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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gay Marriage Legalized...California in Play?

The California Supreme Court issued a ruling that makes that state the second (behind Massachusetts) to make gay marriage legal. (I will use subsequent blog posts to give my thoughts on the morality, legality, and societal influences of such a ruling but for today let's focus on the politics)

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.” The ruling is likely to flood county courthouses with applications from couples newly eligible to marry when the decision takes effect in 30 days.

The ruling set off a celebration at San Francisco City Hall.

In the immediate aftermath here is the news about a potential ballot initiative from a pro family group to define marriage as one man and one woman in the California Constitution.

“Pro-family” organizations have submitted more than 1.1 million signatures for an initiative that would amend the state Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage. If at least 694,354 signatures are found to be valid, the measure would go on the November ballot and, if approved by voters, would override any court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

Now, everyone will remember that same sex bans were on the ballot in 11 states in 2004: Ar, Ga., Ky, Mi, Ms, Mt, ND, Oh, Ok, Or, and Ut. Only in Oregon and Michigan did President Bush lose and in Oregon it was much closer than expected. Many people believe that in Ohio it put Bush over the top, and certainly, it didn't hurt.

California is a nearly impossible state for Reps to win, however McCain is the best Rep to win it, and there are few things that energize Republican voters like a chance to ban gay marriage. I still don't believe that this will swing California, at least not yet. I do know that if Ca. goes to Reps, that would be the nail in the coffin for Obama in the general election.

Activist judicial overreach has usually resulted in Republican electoral gains in the long run. What this court case will do is re new the debate over gay marriage. It is a debate that Republicans always are eager to have while Democrats always shudder away from. The California Supreme Court did the Democrats no favors today. Watch for this ruling to spark more states to follow in the lead of the eleven I mentioned and put an initiative to define marriage as between one man and one woman on their ballot in November. Just as it paid dividends for Bush and the Reps in 2004, so will it in 2008 for McCain and the Reps.


Anonymous said...

One problem with your reasoning is that you keep saying that marriage is only valid because it produces children.

First of all, there are plenty of couples that can't have children, whether they're gay or sterile or elderly or something else. By your reasoning, since they cannot procreate, they shouldn't be allowed to marry either. I've seen this argument brought up in the comments before, but you ignored it.

This also applies to single parents. If two people get divorced, should we take their children from them and give the kids to a married couple because it's "more stable"?

Secondly, a big reason gays want to get married is to make it easier for them to adopt children. Married couples have an easier time of adopting a child. For gay couples, adoption and surrogacy are the only ways to have a child. Personally, I would prefer to see more people adopting--our orphanages are depressingly full, and the world does not need more children.

The idea that marriage is simply for the purpose of procreation is ludicrous. Recently, marriage is about love. It's a symbol of the love two people share.

Gays don't want to get married so they can take away straight rights. They don't want to get married so they can destroy your idea of what a perfect family is. They just want equal protection under the law. They wanted to be treated like everyone else, because really, you won't find anyone in this country who wants to be treated like a lesser person because of something they can't control.

mike volpe said...

Children is NOT requirement of marriage however it is its primary function. I haven't ignored the comments, you just don't like my answer. While there maybe plenty of straight marriages without children, they are still a tiny minority of all straight marriages. That's because the primary function of marriage is to define the proper family unit, one mother one father and children.

As to your second point, that's yet another reason against gay marriage. You are trying to make the gay lifestyle something it isn't. It isn't the best environment to raise children and yet gay marriage is the first step toward making it equal. Mothers and fathers have separate and vital roles in child rearing. You cannot replace or substitute for one or the other and say it is still the best environment. It isn't.

No one is saying that we need to take children away from single parent households however they aren't the best environment for children. Neither is a gay environment, and so it shouldn't be on par with a traditional environment.