One for the Good Guys

I was on my way home when a friend called me to say that Proposition 8 in California had been overturned. I simply smiled and said, “Good.” “Are you happy?” I asked. “Yes,” she said. Now she has nothing to worry about. My friend is gay and has been a part of my life for a long time. When same-sex marriages became legal in this state, I attended her and her long time partner’s wedding, but things have not been easy for them. No their relationship is fine, it’s just these bigoted idiots who think they have the right to tell her who to marry or who to love.
I seethe with anger when I hear those who are against gay marriage (a bunch of self-righteous homophobes who have no clue as to what they’re talking about). When asked, “What is it to you if gays marry?” they give this stupid look as if I should agree and not question them. “Well,” they say, “It just isn’t right”. I reply, “What exactly isn’t right about it?”. At that point, it’s always the “because God said so” argument, to which I say, “Yeah, your “God.” By this time, they are red-faced and babbling, and I feel better. I can only imagine what color homophobes faces were turning when Justice Vaughn Walker of California struck Down Prop 8, calling it unconstitutional.
For those of you who have no clue, Prop 8 was an intuitive to ban same sex marriage in California. It managed to make it to the ballot box in the state and was voted in by the people of California on the same night President Obama was elected (I know- The same night we elected the first Black President we were taking away someone else’s civil rights). Early on there were many, including this writer, who called that vote a sham and a shame.
My friend was fearful even though it seemed gay marriage in Massachusetts was safe. The passing of Prop 8 in California would no doubt put a gleam in the eye of those who were still afraid that because gays were getting married, civilization as we know it would end. Now, after reading the trial transcript of the ruling and the hearing itself, my friend really didn’t have much to worry about.
Proponents of Prop 8 were trying in vain to portray same-sex marriage as being harmful to children. Really? My godsons seem pretty normal to me, except for the occasional mischief that 10 and 12 year olds get into. To my knowledge I don’t know of any children of gay parents that have been killed because Daddy couldn’t balance the books or because Mommy couldn’t get a partner so she had to drown her kids in a car.
I have also heard proponents argue that marriage between gay people would ruin the institution of marriage. What institution? Marriage is what it is. It’s about two people exchanging vows, and most of all it’s about love. And a memo to everyone- 50% of them don’t last. So again I ask, what institution? The Prop 8 folks failed to prove either of their arguments, and as the Judge said, it seems that married people think that gays are akin to second class citizens, as were blacks and other minorities in this country.
I was shocked that the God argument didn’t come up, but then again maybe that one has gotten a little old. Of course, homophobes aren’t going to go away quietly. They still will have an appeal, and then in a year or two, the Supreme Court, but there is very little chance that either court will overturn the ruling. If it’s against the Constitution, the Justices won’t overturn it, and the beautiful thing is they can’t be voted out. So my friend can relax because for now, just like every once in a while, the good guys win.

James Shearer

James Shearer is a writer and co-founder of Spare Change News.

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