Tag Archives: California Supreme Court

Some thoughts after SCOTUS – Prop.8 hearing

Prop. 8, that slimy, disingenuous constitution-block to same-sex marriage in the nation’s most Asian American state, is crawling back from the U.S. Supreme Court, not quite totally defeated but certainly with its tail between its legs.

It now waits for a decision by the High Court’s June recess. But from all appearances Prop. 8 will likely be sent back to California with the lower court ruling that declared it unconstitutional intact.

If my crystal ball is correct, same-sex marriages should continue again in the Golden State, but just in California. It doesn’t appear there’s five votes on the court to go whole hog for same-sex marriage nationwide quite yet.

But the trend is here. And if you’re for Prop.8 and anti-same-sex marriage, then you are akin to the proverbial Dutch boy with his finger you know where.

The flood of same-sex marriage support is about to overwhelm you.

Which is why, if you have a problem with same-sex marriage (maybe it’s a Catholic thing), I suggest you get thee to a gay marriage ceremony once they resume.

Stand in the back, by the organ — the big one that makes all the joyous noise. Or, if you’re crashing the party and feel uncomfortable, hide behind a rubber tree. Just go. You’ll be amazed.

In 2003, I attended my family’s big, fat gay wedding last weekend — my cousin Pauline’s, to be exact.

Forget about the legal contortions and gobbledygook you’ll hear from the lawyers on both sides of the issue. When you go to a gay wedding, one thing becomes apparent: The ceremony is so fundamentally American — as American as free speech — that it’s hard to imagine how anyone can fail to recognize a marriage based on such an unabashed public declaration of love.

The power of it all is undeniable. When the politics get personal, the matter is as clear as wedding-gift Lalique.

Before going further, I must say that while the function was big and fat, with nearly 400 people, I questioned whether it was really all that gay.

After all, this was a wedding where two brides made a pair — a lesbian pair. And that’s fine by me. As a straight male, I have definite lesbian tendencies. That is, I really like women, too.

At the wedding, author and former Ms. magazine Executive Editor Helen Zia helped make the distinction for me and schooled me on the lingo.

She said that I could use the term gay for a general description, but that lesbian was more appropriate, because it is more specific for my cousin.

Queer would be the inclusive term,” Zia told me. “Or you could say GLBT, for “gay lesbian bisexual transgender.'”

So be it. The whole affair was really my family’s big, fat queer wedding.

But the pressing questions straight people tend to ask are these: Are these really weddings? Are the participants really married?

No question in my mind. It was a celebration of love and diversity.

Some conservative religious folk keep bringing up children and procreation as the reason there’s a state interest to define marriage as between man and woman. But since that wedding, my cousin has raised a lovely daughter, in a family filled with love.

The truth is there is no good reason to ban LGBT marriages. Period. The change–for equality–is coming.

Addendum: Just heard the audio on the exchange between Justice Kagan and attorney Cooper on 55-year-olds. It’s a good way to refute the procreation idea as the deal breaker on same-sex marriage. Adoption and artificial insemination already diminish the point about procreation,  but using straight 55-year-olds drives the point home. Kagan’s right, most 55-year-olds who want to get married have no interest in kids. Not a lot of kids coming out of those marriages? Probably. But she never met my friend’s 80-something uncle who sired a son. But maybe that’s a Filipino thing. Most of the time, Kagan’s right. Marriage for the AARP crowd isn’t about kids, but no Prop.8 advocate in his right mind would think to try to block those marriages.

Procreation and the preservation of  family are the main points for those who hang on to traditional definitions of marriage. But they’re weak arguments that simply don’t hold up.

At High Noon, an Asian American to California’s High Court: Say hello to Justice Goodwin Liu

Goodwin Liu finally got justice. The title that is.

It’s not the U.S. District Court spot that may have led ultimately to the highest court in the land. Instead he’s Justice Liu, member of the California Supreme Court.

Check out the new AMOK column at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog: