Confusing Prop 8 Outcome: Separate But Equal Becomes Separate But Random
Thoughts on the just announced Prop 8 ruling: this is a situation that’s almost assuredly temporary. In short, the CA Supreme Court agreed that the ban on gay marriage could stand, did not require a state constitution vote, and yet that the 18,000 or so already married couples could retain their rights. In some ways, the ruling makes perfect legal sense. But the outcome itself is simply going to be bizarre and unsustainable. Prop 8 opponents might be unhappy with the ruling, but they should realize pretty quickly that it’s a death knell for anti-gay marriage forces in California.
Are we really talking here about limited edition gay marriage certificates? Are they going to be collector’s items? I wonder if you can trade them around on ebay as needed…
Seriously: it’s one thing to have two separate but unequal sets of legal rights for gay and straight partnerships. But now there’s a third class of legally recognized partnership: gay people that randomly happened to get married during a strange window in the law. There’s no way that situation can last for very long before voters in California correct it (and almost certainly by allowing all other gay people to marry): it’s simply too absurd for even people who aren’t crazy about gay marriage to tolerate as a true status quo.