Sara Whitman

A Few Clarifications

Filed By Sara Whitman | May 17, 2008 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: LGBT issues, marriage, marriage equality

What a day Thursday was, with the ruling, the excitement before and after. There was a lot to digest with everyone claiming information- like CNN saying marriage equality was defeated- so I would like to clarify a couple points that I was briefed on today.

One is, yes, without question, out of state folks can go to California and get married. I am certain the addition of the largest state in the nation to the marriage equality issue the silly little 1913 Law in MA will go away fairly quietly in the night.

Second, a better opinion could not have been written. Every ridiculous, bogus retort about why marriage should stay a heterosexual privilege was responded to and completely dismissed. In fact, it declared there is a "fundamental right to marry."

This, folks, is huge.

Third, this is a California state law issue. It cannot be appealed to the US Supreme Court. Period. No question. It's not a gray area it is clear cut, nope, not going to happen, no.

Fourth, there is no stay on this decision, as there was on the Goodridge decision in Massachusetts. And while there is a reality of probably a 30 day period of preparing for the change, people will be getting married BEFORE the very likely ballot question in November.

Fifth- there is a ballot initiative to amend the constitution of California to ban "gay" marriage. It looks fairly certain that there will be enough signatures to be up for a vote in November.

Sixth, it's not gay marriage. It's marriage equality. I wish everyone would stop calling it gay marriage. That was a tool of the right to make it into some kind of special privilege. It's not. It's about equal access to the same rights.

What an amazing, historic day. I keep saying that, over and over again.

And lastly, I hope everyone can take a minute tomorrow on the fourth anniversary of the Goodridge decision to say thanks to the seven plaintiff couples who made history, who fought against many in our community who said it was the wrong thing at the wrong time and should never be done.

The team at GLAD knew it was time. We owe them our deepest appreciation.

Along with David Wilson and Robert Compton, Gloria Bailey and Linda Davies, Richard Linnell and Gary Chalmers, Maureen Brodoff and Ellen Wade, Gina Smith and Heidi Norton, Ed Balmelli and Michael Horgan and of course, Julie and Hillary Goodridge.

Crossposted from Suburban Lesbian Housewife


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Thanks for laying out the answers to some of the questions that may be floating around the community, Sara.

I'll be one of those out-of-staters taking advantage of the Cali decision!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 17, 2008 9:29 PM

Fourty years is a brief amount of time really, it just seems like forever if it occurs during your life. To go from being institutionalized for being Gay, to this day? To go from your expression of love being an illegality, to this day?

Sara, it is enough to rekindle one's belief in Santa.

I want all you GLB peeps to remember Thursday.

Now take that same feeling and imagine how your transgender brothers and sisters (who are on the sidelines watching this party and happy for you) will feel when we finally get an inclusive federal ENDA passed and signed into law

Sixth, it's not gay marriage. It's marriage equality. I wish everyone would stop calling it gay marriage. That was a tool of the right to make it into some kind of special privilege. It's not. It's about equal access to the same rights.

I thought that making marriage seem more legitimate than other relationship forms was a tool of the right....

And if it were really about equal access to the same rights, then why don't we just focus on expanding those rights instead of the institution of marriage? As Waymon posted a bit below here, it's not just about rights - it's a cultural question, it's about identity and legitimacy. Under that paradigm, I'd rather be same-sex married than marriage equalitied. If it's just about rights, though, I'd rather make those rights available to unmarried people and couples, and that would be closer to equality for me.

Fourth, there is no stay on this decision, as there was on the Goodridge decision in Massachusetts. And while there is a reality of probably a 30 day period of preparing for the change, people will be getting married BEFORE the very likely ballot question in November.

I heard that the Secretary of State in CA had to approve because there's a ballot measure pending on the same issue. Is that true? I'm going to look it up.

Second, a better opinion could not have been written. Every ridiculous, bogus retort about why marriage should stay a heterosexual privilege was responded to and completely dismissed. In fact, it declared there is a "fundamental right to marry."

I thought it was strange in that way too. Good strange, but it was like all those arguments that in LGB corners have become white noise at this point were actually believed by people in a position of political power.

It's definitely big in that respect.

I respectfully disagree with Monica. At least this trans person was not standing on the sidelines merely watching "you" LGB people celebrate Thursday's decision. Instead, I am celebrating the fact that, at least in California courts, making marriage available to all, regardless of the sex or gender of the partners, removes any question regarding the continuing validity of marriages where one spouse transitions from one gender to the other after already being married, and the validity of new marriages involving at least one trans partner entered into after this decision.

Second, as a lesbian identified trans woman, I am also celebrating the California Supreme Court's historic decision that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation must be evaluated under the "strict scrutiny" standard of review, which very few laws can survive. Although this change only applies to actions by California state and local governments and, thus, does *not* ban discrimination by private employers, landlords and others (which is largely already covered by state law), rooting out all governmental distinctions based on sexual orientation will have a widespread impact. Moreover, it opens up an additional argument in other states that adopt this reasoning, that, if governments are barred from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, there is no reason that private businesses should be permitted to do so. (Since California already bans sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, this argument is not likely to be of much importance there.)

So, I celebrate with all people this historic moment affirming the equality of everyone, regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation.

alex, I was briefed by the attorney's at GLAD so I'm fairly certain all this information is correct.

I think it's amazing but no, of course it's not all of what we need. not even remotely. but damn, it hammers away at all those nutty christian conservatives who seem to think they own this country and it's "moral values."

I hear you Monica. and we will get there.

At least this trans person was not standing on the sidelines merely watching "you" LGB people celebrate Thursday's decision.

Thanks Abby. Some of these us vs them differences are just plain silly. I'd be happy to celebrate a trans victory without having to qualify it with "something for me."

As Sara says, "This is HUGE!"