I am angry, upset, furious, baffled and shocked by the Supreme Court of California ruling that upholds Proposition 8. In the long run, the ruling is not about same sex marriage, or if "opposite marriage" is the only morally correct form of marriage, but if minority rights can be voted away by a simple majority.
Marriage is a civil contract and is only valid in California if a piece of paper is signed and filed with the appropriate agency within a certain period of time. As a clergyperson, I can say to a man and a woman,
Linoleum vinegar spinach
then we and a witness all sign the license, it gets mailed in to the country registrar and *abracadabra hocus pocus dominocus* they are married, with all the rights and privileges at a state and federal level. But if the Pope or Pat Robertson perfom a full blown ceremony and ooopsy doodle, no one sends in the paperwork, that lucky couple is royally screwed–they aren’t married in the eyes of the government, their insurance company or any other official body. So let’s just take religion out of the mix and point out the truth: "Marriage" is a civil contract which grants certain rights. Maine got it right in their legislation, entitled An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom.
In 1958 Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter got married in Virginia and were criminally indicted for that act because he was white and she was black. Almost a decade later, in 1967 the United States Supreme Court determined that anti-miscegenation was unconstitutional. It took until 2000 for Alabama to repeal that state’s laws banning interracial marriage.
There is talk now of placing a new marriage initiative on California’s 2010 ballot, giving us over year to educate voters that this is about civil rights and fairness. Hopefully we can take a page out of Maine’s book and point out that granting marriage equality doesn’t force churches to perform ceremonies. All we need is a simple majority. . . .