Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Gay Thing: Supreme Court to Decide Prop 8 & DOMA Today

My assumption that the Supreme Court would decide the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8 on Thursday turned out to be wrong. Apparently it is some time today, and I'm actually a little beside myself. I needn't worry of course, my 2008 California marriage is secure either way. And hell, even if it was annulled, it's not going to change my relationship, SCOTUS be damned.

Still, both cases could have huge ramifications for gay people in general, and even for my marriage as it applies to federal law, and in other states. If neither case goes our way, it will be mostly a symbolic blow: something that catches headlines, and visibly stalls our momentum. But even in this worst-case scenario, nothing will actually have changed. It would be a status quo decision. Gay rights would continue on, marriage equality would continue on, and California would probably vote on a reversal of Proposition 8 anyway.

There are multiple ways the decisions could go, the easiest for SCOTUS would be to punt one or both cases on standing, in which case the gay side wins, though the ramifications are unclear. They could vote to kill DOMA and/or Prop 8, but limit the scope. Or they could make a very broad ruling. All of these eventualities in any combination is still pretty much a win for the pro-gay side. Only a decision to uphold both DOMA and Prop 8 is a total loss, and as I said before, that leaves us where we started, with a black eye (or two), but no backward movement.

One thing I can tell you: I don't appreciate having my life, my relationship's legal status as equal United States citizens hinging upon the whims of some of the people on this court. And one wonderful result--should we score even a modest victory--would be a reduction in the possibility that my life is ever a political football again.

And either way, we're going to have fun in Palm Springs, where we were married, on our 5th anniversary. That's one thing they absolutely can not take from us!

And again--any high tech robbers out there--we've got a house sitter, so just forget it!

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