On Nov. 4, 2008, Americans held their heads up high knowing they elected the first black president. But also on that day 7,001,084 Californians voted to strip gay Californians of the right to marry, including 50.1% in Los Angeles County. Merely 1,185 days later the Ninth Circuit Board of Appeals in a 2-1 decision struck down Proposition 8. In doing so they said that domestic partnerships do not equal marriage, being able to procreate is not a criteria for being legally able to marry and that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
There has always been debate about the concept of marriage within the queer community. There are some of us who don’t believe in the concept of marriage, that it is a heterosexual construct to keep everyone in strict conformity. Others feel it is an expression of love between two people.
Regardless of what one believes it is a basic human right to choose whether or not to be married, to share the economic and social benefits of entering into this legal contract that heterosexuals enjoy. If two people are committed to each for life, then they should be able to visit one another in the hospital without being harassed. If gay people want to make the mistake of marriage, then they should be able to choose to do so.
It’s about the humanizing of gay people, and on this day the federal courts said that I am just as human as my mom and my family. That I deserve the same rights that they hold, that I can’t be discriminated against because I like dick.
Of course when the concept of choice enters the discourse, the right wing automatically goes into convulsions at the thought of people being able to choose how to live one’s life. How allowing gay marriage strips the rights away from people as Rick Santorum tweeted earlier in the day, I have no clue.
Now as overjoyed as my queer brothers and sisters and everything in between are, I don’t really share in the sentiment. What little joy I feel is overwhelmingly masked by disgust that it took this to affirm my rights. It’s ridiculous that in 2012 that a human being should be seen as less than human. And today, I am just as human.
But not so fast. Still in place still is a stay that is preventing gay marriages to resume in California until all of the appeals process is done. Backers of Proposition 8 can appeal to the entire 11-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit court or take it directly to the United States Supreme Court. So there will be more fighting to be done. More dehumanizing moments. More religious inanity.
This just keeps on going. And in what is supposed to be the greatest country of the world, the torchbearers of freedom and liberty, I will still be just a little less human.