Thursday, November 6, 2008

Not the end of the story, not by a long shot

As should be obvious to any but the most hunchbrained ignorami, Proposition 8 is a direct violation of equal protection under the law. This was the basis for the California Supreme Court's decision allowing gay marriage in the first place, and I really don't see how the decision can be reversed without undermining one of our basic rights as Americans. Do even the most unreconstructed homophobic knucklewalkers on the Right really want to go there? Of course, if habeas corpus can be thrown out, anything's fair game, but still.

At any rate, it's going to be really interesting to see how the legal battle over this plays out.

I have to say, Obama's failure to come out explicitly in favor of gay marriage is one caveat I have about him. Make no mistake, I think he's going to accomplish great things, and I'm immeasurably proud to call him my president. But this is one point on which the people -- that's us, ladies and gentlemen -- will have to lead our leaders. I'm still optimistic, if for no other reason than the fact that we've got love and compassion and justice on our side. And this issue is never, ever going to go away.

7 comments:

Ed Bruske said...

Not only did Obama not come out in favor of gay marriage, he has said explicitly that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman.

Rob said...

On the other hand, he's expressed a desire to overturn the truly awful Defense of Marriage Act. In his column today, Glen Greenwald has this to say:

"Barack Obama has, on numerous occasions, emphatically expressed his support for repealing DOMA. When he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, he wrote a letter to Chicago's Windy City Times, calling DOMA 'abhorrent' and its repeal 'essential,' and vowing: 'I opposed DOMA in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor.' But he went on to cite what he called the 'the realities of modern politics' in order to proclaim (accurately) that DOMA's repeal at that time -- 2004 -- was 'unlikely with Mr. Bush in the White House and Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress.' After Tuesday, that excuse is no longer availing."

hsempl said...

and then there's the death penalty.

T said...

Yes. Sigh. That's always been one of my issues with him, although on the other hand, I was really heartened that in his acceptance speech, he made reference to "gay and straight" Americans. Rhetorically, that does something I don't think any president has done: it makes explicit the connection between gayness and membership in the nation. I know this hasn't been explicitly challenged by any but the most rightwing crackpots, but if he rhetorically extends full citizenship to LGBT Americans, then it stands to reason (or maybe it's just hope/wishful thinking) that whatever he thinks about marriage, he may work to get rid of some of the ridiculous federal laws that deny us the same rights, benefits, and protections that straight (and, specifically, married) Americans have.

I don't care if I can't call commitment "marriage," but I *do*, for example, want not to be taxed on any health insurance cover that might come from my partner's job, and I sure as hell want tougher laws against hate crimes. Despite Prop 8 (which I think will have a hard time standing up to the legal challenge, but what do I know?), I do think Obama might actually do something about these inequalities...I hope.

mike said...

Not that it's a good thing that Prop 8 passed, but I do think it's the kind of setback that will ultimately accelerate things in the right forward. There was something close to actual rioting in the streets of LA last night. The times, I believe it's been mentioned, they are a-changin'.

Di said...

I think it's funny that people are already complaining about Obama not being liberal enough ;)

(I kid, I kid!)

Rob said...

No complaints, I believe. Just acknowledging that our man fits nobody's definition of a progressive. We knew that about him from day one.