Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Proposition 8 is overturned!

Thank-you, federal Judge Vaughn Walker for ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.

While the case is likely headed to the Supreme Court, it's still a hopeful development for those of us who believe that all Americans are entitled to equal protection under the law. (Slate's Dalia Lithwick has a terrific analysis of the decision.)

Judge Walker notes that California had already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the ballot measure passed in 2008 - and has suffered no demonstrable harm.

The state, he writes, has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians and "the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples."

The gay and lesbian couples affected by today's decision are not abstractions. They are our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers, our loved ones. They're in loving, committed relationships. I believe that they are entitled to the same rights as any other American citizens.

In 2009, Broadway Impact held a rally for marriage equality in New York City. Among the speakers was actor David Hyde Pierce, who talked about marrying his partner of 25 years, Brian Hargrove, before Prop. 8 was passed.

The road to equal rights for all Americans has been a long and tortuous one and progress doesn't happen nearly fast enough. But we're getting there. And today is one of the good days, because a more just society benefits all of us.


Anonymous said...

Good news, Esther. My friends in California are happy tonight, and I'm happy for them. Thanks for the David Hyde Pierce clip. I love that guy!

Kathy Boyce

Esther said...

Hey Kathy, thanks for the comment! David Hyde Pierce is one of my favorite actors. I saw him in my first Broadway musical - Curtains - and met him at the stage door and got my picture taken with him. A very sweet and gracious man.

JK said...


Thanks so much for recognizing this historic moment in American history. We have a long way to go, but decisions like today's will get us there eventually. Mostly, though, having friends like you as our champions make the fight heard, the setbacks tolerable and the victories that much sweeter.


Esther said...

Well that's very kind of you to say. It is a historic moment in American history! I was looking at some pictures last week from Argentina, where gay couples were marrying, and thinking about how "we" are supposed to be the leader in human rights.

The haters never miss an opportunity to spread their despicable views and sometimes those of us who feel otherwise are too silent. My friends have done so much for me. They've been my champions and enriched my life. I have to speak out and support them.