It’s not surprising but still incredibly disappointing. No, I don’t live in California. Heck, I’m not even gay. But what the hell, California! I know just as much attention should be spent on the dozens of other states that haven’t allowed gay people to marry each other at all, let alone for five whole months . . . but I am so angry at the majority of California judges* who clearly have no ethics. They don’t have the strength of character to perform the job they’ve been selected to do: to interpret and apply the Constitution. But instead they buckled, pandering to the Right who appointed them, or maybe just afraid of the name-calling they’re sure to get anyway from the Right (well, boo-fucking woo), and in doing so they’ve made the California Constitution a joke.
A friend said to me today, “So, gay people can’t get married in California anymore, huh?” to which I responded, “Oh, they can still get married– as long as it’s to a member of the opposite sex. Sham marriages are still legal in California.”
And that is so true. Sham marriages are tolerated, even encouraged! What made my marriage (my failed marriage, btw, but that’s not super relevant right now) more valid than anyone’s? Think of all the sham marriages you know of. Off the top of your head, how many? Five? Ten? And I’m not just talking about the get-married-for-a-green-card kind of sham (which may or may not be as common as you think); I’m also talking about your aunt and uncle or grandparents who have separate rooms “because one of them snores.” I’m thinking of people who got married because of an unintended pregnancy (yes, that’s the way to make “an honest woman out of her”– by proposing a loveless marriage). How about your friends’ parents who stayed together “for the kids” until the youngest graduated from high school? And don’t even get me started about the politicians who run for office in Minnesota but their spouses live in California. Or the man who got married in the 1970s because he, like many people, couldn’t bear the idea of being a pariah or a freak. (Sadly, some of these chickens went into politics, forced to seek sexual gratification in airport mensrooms). All of these marriages are bullshit, and yet, they do nothing to damage the quality and strength of anybody’s marriage, so why do some of these bigots use the “sanctity of marriage” crap as an excuse to be against equality in marriage? And how do they get away with it?
It’s bigotry. It’s the majority doing their damndest to take rights away from the minority. And we oughta be ashamed.
In a recent entry in The Blarg, my friend Justin likened the anti-gay agenda of Prop 8 to the racism that we’re ashamed of in our parents or grandparents. Justin says,
You will become a family punchline, and your grandchildren will chalk you up as being both ignorant and intolerant.
“My grandparents still use the word ‘faggot,’” they’ll embarrassingly admit to their friends. “But they’re just old bigots; they’re too small-minded to know any better.”
June 12 is Loving Day, which commemorates the day in 1967 that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mildred and Richard Loving (an interracial couple who fought for the right just to live in their homestate of Virginia as a married couple without worry of being sent to prison), striking down any remaining anti-miscengenation laws in the United States. I am embarrassed and disgusted that those laws existed (let alone just six years before I was born!) and I know that Justin is right and that in forty years, people will feel the same sadness and embarrassment about the widespread persecution of gays as I do about the persecution of non-whites.
*”It weakens the status of our state Constitution as a bulwark of fundamental rights for minorities protected from the will of the majority”– Carlos Moreno (who is the court’s only Democratic appointee).
Let’s just hope some asshole doesn’t put a proposition requiring the burka on the next California ballot. My BFF has glorious hair, and it would be a damn shame to have it covered.