News Bites: “As California goes, so does the nation”
Those are the words of my mayor, Gavin Newsom, who shared some vindicated words about yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling that declared a ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. After all, he’s the guy that started a gay marriage frenzy here in San Francisco in 2004, and then saw those marriages ruled invalid months later.
It was a celebratory scene yesterday here in San Francisco. Homos everywhere were hands-up in joy, dancing in the street. See for yourself: click here.
Straight supporters were beaming with excitement too. One straight girl in my journalism class happily asked, “Do you think there’s a lot people getting engaged tonight? I wonder if there’s going to be a rush of June weddings.” [Maybe a mid-June rush: it will take at least 30 days for the ruling to go in effect. This SF Gate article has more info.]
Of course I was excited and grateful for the court’s decision, but at the same time I thought, OK, that’s just one more state that thinks I’m good enough to get married. You’re telling me I should be jumping up for joy because I’m being granted rights I already deserve?
I’ll take whatever victories for gay marriage I can get, but someone has to acknowledge that it’s a little messed up to be celebrating one’s status as a second class citizen.
We’ve got presidential candidates who want to make gay marriage a state issue, which only complicates the rights and protections of marriage even more. We’ve got civil unions in Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and New Hampshire; domestic partnerships (with same state benefits of marriage) in Oregon and Washington, and now we have marriage in Massachusetts and California. That handful of states sounds like a mess compared to a neat and clean blanket of federal marriage rights.
My hope and faith is that there’s truth in the statement: as California goes, so does the nation. In the meantime, there’s more work to be done.
So how do you queers respond to another marriage victory?