So, after months of my covering Proposition 8, it’s over. I mean, I’m sure I’ll have articles to write, but for now, the case is closed on Proposition 8, and the Supreme Court has ruled that the ban on gay marriage is for good. Or at least until 2010, when proponents of gay marriage can put their own measure on the ballot and try to get things switched:
Although the decision was expected, disappointed protestors rallied outside the court. As anticipated, the court also ruled that the 18,000 gay marriages that took place while same-sex marriage was legal in the state would continue to be legally valid marriages….The LA Times blog post says that proponents of gay marriage will try to put their own measure on the ballot in 2010….
The Wall Street Journal reported that couples outside the Court House said that they would commit “civil disobedience” in response to the ruling. Protests started immediately, and a Twitter user known as 1 Street, 1 Fight is reporting them live. According the feed, an Episcopal priest was the first person to be arrested.
[full article here]
Well, at least the end of one thing (the fight to save gay marriage in California) marks the beginning of another: the first time I call someone’s Twitter page a news source. (It’s like Bob Dylan, whose birthday was Saturday would have said, “You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone.”)
Anyway, this Tweeter is live tweeting the protests in San Francisco, which is pretty cool, and bring me to my point. Yes, there are protests. And people are outraged and sad. Sad, I think, is a great reaction, because the reality is: Overturning Proposition 8 would have required that an emotion, or gut instinct, overrode the laws. I never thought I would say this, but I think that the Supreme Court did what they were elected to do: preserve our country’s system of checks and balances.
Now someone who is fake married to a woman on FaceBook, and a tremendous supporter of gay rights, this is weird for me to say. But when Obama announced his nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, one of the things he said about her was that she would do her job to fairly interpret laws. This struck a note with me. It was a few hours before California announced the decision, but when I heard it, I realized: they’re going to uphold the ban.
Let me be frank. I wish, at this moment, that we lived in a country where the justices could say: Proposition 8 is really unfair, let’s undo it. But another moment, I’m not going to wish that they could change the law on a whim. And I think all of us aiming to be activists learned an important lesson, which is that getting what you want takes a lot of hard work, and it takes hard work in advance: I.e fighting against Prop 8 before it was passed, not crying about it after.
And although the time I’ve spent covering gay marriage has brought our country to this point, which is making me “sad,” I think there’s cause to be positive, too. When I started writing gay marriage stories, it was an obscure topic, and now it is full-fledged presence in the mainstream media. That’s a triumph in itself.
One of my favorite quotes from our favorite civil rights leader, MLK Jr. is, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” Well, the silence is over. This is a hump, but I’m excited to see what’s next. Hopefully, whatever it is won’t involve admitting that I’m a professional, and being fake married to a woman on Facebook is not really all that appropriate. It’s just…she’s my roommate. I’m thinking a divorce now would just make toothbrushing time awkward.