Tuesday, May 26, 2009

tuesday and everything after

It's Tuesday.

That means I should write a blog post. Tuesday is blog post day.

Why Tuesday?

Well, weekends are out - I'm usually too busy to write, and everyone's too busy to read. Monday is too "back to work" and Friday is all "weekend's here!" Wednesday is "hump day" and Thursday is "almost Friday!" So, Tuesday.

But yesterday was a holiday, so this feels more like Monday. We had a lovely long weekend. I took Friday off and went to see Star Trek with Lisa. Much fun. We had sushi for lunch and had a nice relaxing time with no kids in tow. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were family days. Hanging out with the kids. Seeing friends. Going to the park. Bailing on plans to go to the beach (sorry, Pete). Putting a bench around our tree in the backyard. Other than a marked shortage of naps for me, it was a wonderful long weekend.

Today the California Supreme Court upheld the ban on same-sex marriage put in place last year by Proposition 8.

I 100% expected this, but it still makes me sad.

I expected it because the court wasn't ruling on the merits of same-sex marriage. They did that already. In spring 2008 when they said it was legal under the state constitution for same-sex couples to marry. So a lot of gay couples got married. Friends of ours. And family. Then some folks with lots of money put an initiative on the ballot last fall and changed the state constitution. So gay marriage was no longer legal. So today the court ruled on whether the process surrounding that ballot initiative was legal, and they said it was, so gay marriage is out. But, since it was legal for a few months, anyone who got married then is still married. Which is nice, I guess. Also, confusing.

This isn't a political blog. It's a parenting blog, basically. Which means it's a family blog. And this is about family. Very close friends and members of my family are gay. Some of them are married. So far this has not caused the destruction of a single straight marriage that I know of. I've seen several marriages fall apart recently. It's terrible to watch friends go through the deconstruction of everything they thought they would be doing for the rest of their lives. It's heartbreaking. And sad. And not one of them blamed gay marriage.

Prop 8 proved what I've believed for a long time: the California ballot initiative process is a disaster. Lawmaking shouldn't be left to the general public. Politicians are far from perfect, but we elect and pay them to do a job: make laws. We give them that authority and responsibility to understand the implications of the laws they make and to do the right thing. They screw it up a lot, but it's their job. It's not our job.

Even if you think we should vote on how to spend money or on taxes or bond measures, civil rights should not be subject to majority rule. The very concept of civil rights hinges on protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority. If left to voter approval, we'd still have racial segregation in certain parts of the country. There are many more persuasive arguments for gay marriage than any I could make. I doubt I'm going to change anyone's mind. Sadly, I'm not sure minds can be changed on this issue. I hope I'm wrong. Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love. We need our leaders to lead. This shouldn't be about what people think. It's about what's right.

So, I'm disappointed in California, the only place I've ever lived.

But Star Trek was cool. So there's that.



  1. Well said. So in agreement about the dangers of giving majority rights over minorities. It's a dark and troubling path . . .

    Hoping for light and insight in California!

  2. Love is Love. You cant help who you love (and want to marry) I loved this post. very well said

  3. I'm not sure the issue is that law-making is left to the general public. For me, it's that a simple majority was allowed to make such a sweeping change to our state constitution. I think it's a fundamental flaw in the legislative process in CA.

    I don't trust that fewer than half the people in Calfornia are mindless bigots. But I'm certain that 2/3 of them aren't.

  4. I live in Canada and I was disappointed in California! It really boggles my mind that this is even happening. There are nuclear bomb threats out there that get far less coverage than this! Ridiculous!

    But Star Trek was very cool!! :) I laughed way more than I thought I would!

    Happy Blogging Tuesday to you!

  5. If we let laws like this stand, what's next I ask? Fat people can't get married? Tall people can't marry short people? Yes, it seems silly. But society seems so hell bent on denying rights to anyone who doesn't "conform".

    My marriage may be threatened by a lot of forces, but someone else's marriage will never be on that list.

    Too bad more voters in CA that day didn't have numb tongue.

  6. This comment came from my friend Brooke via Facebook message. She gave me permission to post it here. I thought everyone should see it. Thanks, Brooke.


    It's so sad - I too have never lived anywhere except California and I was very disappointed in my fellow Californians when Prop 8 passed. I am actually a 7th generation Californian, so I LOVE my home state, but when Prop 8 passed I was embarrassed for California. We are supposed to be the open-minded, accepting state!!

    I have 2 stories that really drive this issue home for me. The first: some friends of mine have been together for 12 years; one was rushed to the ER because his appendix burst and he could have died and his partner of 12 YEARS was not allowed to see him, sign his admission papers and he coldn't even get his partner's status because the hospital told him "family only". Thank goodness he recovered (and asked for his partner!), but what if he hadn't? And what about what they were both going through while they were kept apart?

    The second; some other friends of mine had been together for 19 years and sadly, one of them died in a car accident. The family of the woman who died evicted her partner from the house they had lived in together (it was in the deceased woman's name) and wouldn't even let her partner have any momentos. Both situations VERY sad, both couples had been together for years, and both could have been avoided had these loving couples been allowed to legally marry. I know that prop 8 will eventually be overturned, but in the meantime it is very sad that this world is still so full of close minded, prejudiced people! I too have many dear friends (some of who were married before Prop 8 - hooray that they upheld their marriages!!!) who are affected by prop 8 and I agree with you 100%: people should be able to marry who they want!!

  7. I totally agree with you. The whole situation makes me kinda sick and completely sad. This is reason #6796 why you guys need to come live in NY.

  8. Great post. We really do need to change minds on an individual level. I came up with a phrase for this awhile back: personalize the minority.

    Once people see that members of a minority group are 'regular' people with productive lives & loving families, prejudices have to drop away, I think. I know that, sadly, there are still families who disown their children for being gay. (Cuz, hey, who *wouldn't* sign up for persecution and discrimination?) ;/

    I have friends who got married in October, two women who have been together over eight years.
    I know other same-sex couples who got married, couples who are raising children; productive members of society.

    I'm hoping that we will turn this around soon, and will be working towards making same sex marriage legal again through the initiative process in 2010.

    Again, great post.

  9. Americans need to learn the difference between democracy and mob rule.

    Americans elect judges. That's scary.

  10. Yes. Totally. Except the part about Star Trek (I haven't seen it yet.) :)

  11. You always end everything on a positive note, don't you :o)


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