Citizenship, Values

a happy day for you (if you’re the kind of person who likes civil liberties)

Gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry in California, the state Supreme Court said today in a historic ruling that could be repudiated by the voters in November.

In a 4-3 decision, the justices said the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the “fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship.”

“State Supreme Court says same-sex couples have right to marry” SFGate.com, May 15, 2008

This issue may go to the state ballot in November. Hopefully, the voters of California, unlike those in 26 states that have banned same-sex marriage, will take a stand against discrimination. The way I see it, all you need is some historical perspective to understand that banning gay marriage in favor of domestic partnerships is painfully similar to “separate but equal” Jim Crow laws. Let’s not forget anti-miscegenation laws (most states explicitly barred interracial marriages well into the 20th century; Alabama’s anti-miscegenation law was not taken off the books until November 2000!). I wonder if any whites (the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965) voted to bar interracial marriages on the premise that interracial marriage threatened the “institution of marriage” — because they had the traditional view that marriage was a privilege that belonged to white people, just like some straight people are irrationally attached to the idea that the only marriage is hetero marriage.

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