Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Battle lines are drawn

By now, I'm sure that everybody who reads this blog knows that the California supreme court has ruled in favor of proposition 8 while keeping the 18,000 marriages performed before November 4th intact. Not really much of a surprise as the challenge to proposition 8 was considered a long shot at best.

But, it does leave California in a tenuous position of recognizing (past) but not allowing (future) gay marriages. This all but guarantees that this fight is not over by any means. This issue will be put before California voters again - it's not a matter of if, rather when, be it 2010, 2012, etc.

Truth be told, I'm not really sure where I stand on the action of the California supreme court. On one hand, I believe this is as it should be. While I support same sex marriage - I much prefer these rights be conferred via legislative rather than judicial action.

On the other hand, it's easy to take a side when the argument is largely philosophical in nature without affecting me personally. But, once you get to know real people who are directly impacted by this decision - things get much more fuzzy. And my heart goes out to those who are hurting over this.

I will say that I am disappointed in the official response that the LDS church gave. Not that it was a surprise or anything. It's just that the mere issuance of any sort of statement was like rubbing salt into the wound. I would much preferred that the LDS church had remained silent - and leave those who are mourning to mourn in peace.

But, I also believe that by issuing this statement, the LDS church has thrown down the gauntlet and declared that they will be there to once again take a stand whenever this issue is laid out on the political battleground.

And yes, I did refer to the LDS church as them and not us or we. For when this battle again rises up - I will be standing with my queer friends rather than my church friends.

But, for now, I will honor my baptismal covenants to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.

I do have a question that, perhaps, somebody knows the answer to. California will recognize the marriages performed before the November election. What about same sex marriages performed outside the state of California - will it recognize those? If so, will it make a difference if the marriage was performed before or after November 4, 2008?

Reactions elsewhere in the Mormon queerosphere

A Crow's View : LDS Church Response to CA Supreme Court Decision on Prop. 8
Clark Johnson : My Feelings on Prop 8
David Baker : Bridging the Divide - A Shot at Redemption for All
drakames : Blog Rally
Grant Haws : America - 51% Gets You Anything
John Gustav-Wrathall : Still Married
Max Power : Gay Marriage Rally
Mr. Fob : A Tiny Little Victory
Original Mohomie : Down With "Equality!"
Scot : California Decision on the Proposition

(please let me know if I missed any)


J G-W said...

That's a really good question, and I really have no idea. I'm guessing that's probably another question the courts are eventually going to have to decide.

After all, imagine a couple married in Iowa and then moves to California. If California doesn't recognize their marriage, then couldn't they point out that they are not receiving equal protection under the law in comparison with a couple married in California between June and November?

Grant Haws said...

I definitely agree with you that a line has been drawn. And I can't help but wonder how Salt Lake would feel if we voted away their basic rights. It seems Salt Lake wants to play both sides though, high five eachother in secret for what they accomplished, but then also pretend to be empathetic to those they are discriminating against.

Although I also would prefer equal rights to be acknowledged through the legislature, it doesn't calm my frustration that the courts aren't protecting the rights of a minority.

J G-W said...

This ruling really does create two classes of gay citizens in California too...