Tag Archives: same-sex marriage

Emil Guillermo: Obama’s strange Friday–same sex and black churches.

Did you see his phone call to the Jim Obergefell, lead plaintiff on the same-sex case?  And then did you see him in Mother Emanuel singing, “Amazing Grace”?

President Obama was deftly in two different worlds that don’t always mix. Are we on a collision course?

Read my piece in Diverse.

DOMA done, challenge to Prop. 8 denied, let the June weddings begin again in California

I could sense something good was going to happen as early as this spring, but you never know.


And today, it happened.

The Supreme Court by it’s 5-4 ruling has declared Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

This really is a states rights issue. How could those legally married in states that allow gay marriages be denied federal benefits given to straight wedded couples? That’s discrimination, and shouldn’t be allowed. The court concurred.

So if you’re in one of the states where same-sex marriage is legal, this is an especially great day.

The DOMA refutation was expected. It wasn’t clear what the court would do with Prop. 8, the same-sex marriage ban voted in by the state.  When it was challenged and California officials wouldn’t defend the ban, the proposition’s leadership went to court to defend its constitutionality. But the high court in the way it acted, chose to sidestep ruling directly on same-sex marriage. It simply ruled that the Prop.8 folks didn’t have standing, or the right to argue the matter. So the case is sent back to the 9th circuit with orders to dismiss the case, and based on reports, same-sex marriages can resume again in California.

The Pride Parade in San Francisco on Sunday is going to be extraordinarily celebratory.

After the disappointing decisions on affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act this week, the Supreme Court gives us something to cheer about.

No warm champagne toasts on these decisions.

On DOMA and Ginsburg’s dairy metaphor: Coconut milk marriages anyone?

I think my initial predictions will hold up. Prop. 8 goes back, and same-sex marriage resumes in California only. DOMA however goes dormant, if not totally dead.  DOMA doesn’t make sense, but to predict exactly how SCOTUS will come down on it isn’t really clear. Kennedy talking states’ rights and against Federalism could sway the conservatives, who may want to do nothing and let the Obama Administration have the courage of their convictions, i.e., if it’s a bad law, don’t enforce it. But who wants to deal with principles in Washington?

Then again, SCOTUS  can’t not do something. As Kennedy pointed out there is a definite victim with the estate tax burden on the plaintiff.

The court can be so stuffy that anytime someone shows some humanity or levity, it brings oxygen to the brain. That makes Justice Ginsburg  high-point scorer for the Wednesday session by pointing out the problem with denying same-sex couples the basic rights afforded to other marrieds under federal law.  The two-tiered, second class argument works here. But as Ginsburg put in dairy terms, that’s “skimmed milk marriage.” 

She totally skipped 2 percent marriage.

And then, what about the vegans?   

Do I have a coconut milk marriage? (You can have non-dairy, no-sugar, good fat Coconut Milk, Trader Joe makes the best one I’ve tasted. We’re talking alternatives that complete the metaphor).

See my original predictions at www.aaldef.org/blog


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.