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Marriage Equality, Take #2

August 7, 2010

Judge Walker’s ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8 was issued this past Wednesday, and I find myself relieved but underwhelmed. What I thought would be a major victory for my son and others like him turns out to be just one of the seemingly innumerable hurdles that must be overcome. I am more frightened and weary than celebratory.

This is in strong contrast to my experience a mere sixteen months ago, when Iowa moved into the ranks of states supporting marriage equality. I was an enthralled participant in local rallies and blogged about it in these pages:

The people and organizations that oppose marriage equality seem powerful and hate-driven. The rhetoric is so repulsive to me I can hardly stand to read it. Two days after the ruling, a Republican who lost the primary race for the Iowa gubernatorial nomination announced he would organize to unseat the three Iowa Supreme Court judges who are up for retention in this year’s election. “If the judges can do this to marriage, every one of your freedoms is up for grabs,” he said during a news conference Friday.

So I find myself of like mind with Diane Silver, one of the bloggers over at The Bilerico Project. As she so eloquently puts it, Judge Walker and the lawyers who argued the case for repeal of Prop 8 “can only move the ball down the field. They can’t actually save us. The only people who can save us is us and our straight allies.” There is work to be done.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Debby permalink
    August 8, 2010 8:42 am

    I don’t think you are whining at all. I think it is sad that two people committed to each other do not have the same rights as two other people committed to each other. (If that makes sense) A commitment is a commitment. No matter what. My daughter and her partner are just as in love as my husband and I are. They should have the same rights as I and my husband do.

  2. megleigh permalink
    August 8, 2010 10:23 am

    I agree that this just seems like one more hurdle in a long line of hurdles still to be negotiated. I have hope that within a generation or so, this will all be just a bad memory, but we can’t afford to sit back now and just let things happen. We need to be helping to push that ball across the line.

    I didn’t think this sounded like a whine at all.

  3. adrianakraft permalink
    August 8, 2010 10:27 am

    Thanks so much, Debby and Meg. I’m glad it didn’t sound like a whine – in any case, what I finally decided this morning is that whining once in a while is okay if it doesn’t disrupt the work!

    I do have hope, and I’m encouraged by the demographics that suggest the younger generation is far more accepting. In the meantime there’s an election here in Iowa this November that could set us way back if we don’t work hard enough.

  4. August 8, 2010 2:46 pm

    True, it’s just one more hurdle. The process is long and painful. Public opinion takes more than a few decades to change. GLBT persons were mostly invisible in this country, hiding behind the facade of being straight, until the Stonewall Riots gave birth to the gay rights movement. Four decades isn’t enough.

    Freeing the slaves started with the first step of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1965. A hundred years later, we still had “no coloreds allowed” and “whites only” signs across the South. Today–more than 150 years after the end of the Civil War racial discrimination is still alive, just not legal.

    GLBT persons will get there. I really believe Judge Walker’s decision on Prop 8 is just the first step. He couched the decision in so many statements of fact, the Supreme Court should have trouble reversing him. As far as I understand, an appeal can only be judged on the facts in the case and the defenders of Prop 8 did such a poor case presenting their bogus “truths”. Their only two witnesses were debunked as “experts”.

    Once a GLBT rights decision is upheld at the highest court, we have precedent for the future. More and more hate legislation is being challenged and overturned. More precedents. Even the backwater state of Arkansas reversed the stupid anti-gay adoption law.

    The biggest fact of all–the majority can not vote on the rights of a minority. Period. If that was the case, the sad truth is African Americans would still be property in this country. The judiciary must push public opinion in the right direction. And I think we’re getting there. For the sake of your son, my niece and every GLBT person in America, I pray we’re getting there.

    • adrianakraft permalink
      August 8, 2010 5:48 pm

      Wow. Your response was exactly the boost my spirits needed – I, too, take the historical perspective and realize we need the long view while we keep working. I do hope the statements of fact Judge Walker so carefully articulated are sufficient to take it all the way to the top. As you point out, factions will still hate and discriminate, it just won’t be legal. Thank you.

  5. Julie Swaney permalink
    August 8, 2010 3:19 pm

    I was raise with the idea to live and let live . In other words if one person loves another person and they want to spend their live together than it doesn’t matter if it is male and female, male and male or female and female. Everyone has the right to love who they want to.
    (Does this make sense?)

    • adrianakraft permalink
      August 8, 2010 5:50 pm

      Makes perfect sense to me! I wasn’t exactly raised with it, but came to that position early in life, long before I knew I would have a gay son. Love is love is love. And I’m fond of a PFLAG bumper sticker that’s been around a long time – Love Makes a Family. Period.

  6. hotcha1 permalink
    August 8, 2010 8:07 pm


    • adrianakraft permalink
      August 8, 2010 9:58 pm

      Hi Linda, we’ll have to agree to disagree, then. Marriage equality would mean my son can claim the same committed relationship with his partner of nine years that us het folks are entitled to – same rights, same responsibilities, same label. I hope to be at his wedding some day.

  7. Kim S. permalink
    August 9, 2010 7:45 pm

    Ok, here goes….I think that a marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman.

    Now before everyone(or anyone) gets on me, hear the rest of my statement.

    I think that a marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman to pacify and shut up the ignorant and hateful.

    AND, I think there should be a (fill in a nationally agreed on word, ex. union) for same sex unions, WITH THE EXACT SAME BENEFITS as a marriage between a man and a woman. That way the ignorant and hateful can keep their ‘marriage’ classification, and same sex partners can have the same benefits along with a singular distinction for which they rightly deserve for all their hard word and tolerance of the ignorant and hateful they have had to endure.

    See, win-win situation……………now lets move on and live in peace!!(to the ignorant and hateful!!) 🙂


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