Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

As California goes so goes the nation…(not!)

May 16th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Same Sex Partnerships, US Election 2008

We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.

‘Activist judges’ (all bar one appointed by Republican Governors) have overturned the ban on same sex marriage in California. Actually they didn’t allow same sex marriage they just said that same sex couples should not be treated differently to heterosexuals. Arnie has said Hasta La Vista and murmurings are coming from presidential camps.

McCain made me laugh

He supports the right of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution sanctioning the union between a man and a woman, just as he did in his home state of Arizona.” his campaign said in response. “John McCain doesn’t believe judges should be making these decisions.”

McCain rejected the will of the state’s high court even as he tried to maintain his long-held stance that the issue should be left to the states. He suggested that he backs an effort by California’s religious conservatives to put a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman on the November ballot.

Now as the state legislature has previously supported full marriage then he’s let off there, and he’s giving the fundamentalists a nod of sorts too ‘cos that’ll mean that the Karl Rove effect could help him get to the White House. (The Karl Rove effect is one where you run as many referendums (called ballots in the US) on moral issues – primarily gay marriage – to get the religious voters out who’ll also vote for the candidate. )

Obama was wishy washy –

“Barack Obama has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions as president. He respects the decision of the California Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage,”

And you can almost see Hilary’s gritted teeth moving as

Clinton’s campaign said she “believes that gay and lesbian couples in committed relationships should have the same rights and responsibilities as all Americans and believes that civil unions are the best way to achieve this goal. As president, Hillary Clinton will work to ensure same-sex couples have access to these rights and responsibilities at the federal level. She has said and continues to believe that the issue of marriage should be left to the states.”

The issue of gay marriage will now dominate the presidential elections and the candidates are definitely not loving it but the whole area is now also a huge mess, with different bans, ballot measures and court rulings. If you live in New York you can travel to Canada get married there and then come home and get your relationship recognised. In Massachusetts you can only get married if you are living in the State. Next month if the California ruling becomes law as is likely, you can fly there from New York and get married and then go back and get the benefits but you can’t get married in New York. Ed Stein explains all. (And you thought the EU was confusing!)

I’ve been tuned into SiriusOutQ all evening listening to callers planning their nuptials and commentators reflecting on what this really means. Lots of views and opinions and general happiness and a bit of ‘let’s not all rush to altar’ also. Best comment of the night was from a gay man rejoicing in the fact that he was getting the right to be as bitter and twisted as straight people. And the host Michaelangelo Signorile just kept talking about choice – that people in California may now have the choice to marry or to enter into domestic partnership. Here if some groups on either side got their way we’d have no choice – one size fits all fits no-one. (Or we may have nothing at all – Dermot oh Dermot give us the bill?) I wonder what the Irish reaction will be tomorrow – all about the ‘M word’ or anything about the right to a choice?

Pam Spaulding has a great round up of reactions from the republicans, fundamentalists and family values types.

Go read the straight man who doesn’t like the word marriage either and knows an awful lot more about how this will impinge on the presidential election. Better than calling you sweetie Richard? 🙂



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