Thursday, May 22, 2008

Goin' to the Chapel

The California Marriage Ruling

It's been a few days since the Supreme Court in the State of California issued its ruling that declared man/woman only marriage laws to be discriminatory. As expected, the gay and lesbian community is overjoyed with gaining marriage equity in one of the nations largest states. And rightfully so. And as expected there is a renewed push for an initiative that would make marriage inequity in a constitutional amendment. Legal scholars are flipflopping all over themselves with this one. Can something the Supreme Court already declared "unconstitutional" then be added as an amendment by a vote of the people? No one knows for sure.

One thing not often noted in the news discussions is that the composition of the California court is largely Republican and conservative. Many are pointing to the 4-3 "narrow" vote, but even some of the dissent wasn't as "anti" as detractors would like you to believe. The truth is that the original principles of "conservativism" have been corrupted by the moralists - marriage equity is something true conservatives - not religious based ones - would endorse.

The timing of the decision isn't optimal. While I've long held to the sentiment of Dr. King - "Justice delayed is Justice denied" - I also recognize the political implications in what should be a strong Democratic election year. This is re-fueling arguments for a federal amendment - for which the Clinton administration stalled with the Defense of Marriage Act - a typically half-baked Clinton-esque sellout.

Make no mistake, I am overjoyed for my gay and lesbian friends...but it really has only tangential meaning to me. Currently, transgenders can basically marry either sex...its only a question of where, not whom. The state of Kansas - my dear, backwards neighbors - in working to deny J'Noel Gardiner her marital rights to inheritance, declared that for the purposes of marriage a person is who they are from birth. So I, as a "birth" male can only marry a woman in Kansas. Yet in Missouri, where we have yet to adopt such backward legalese (don't think we're saints...give it time), I can marry a man since I am legally a woman.

The backlash however will fall on me. The rightwingers will feel emboldened and energized to attack us again - and they don't see any difference between the G, the L, the B and the T. So while there are those who have abandoned the trans community on other issues, we will be forced into providing money and resources to helping them counter this anticipated assault.

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