And Now, on the Flip Side...
It was a very promising day in the legal world when moments ago, President Barack Obama nominated to the Supreme Court federal appellate circuit judge Sonia Sotomayor. Her previous rulings show that she is a centrist, fair-minded judge who, far from being a mere safe choice, seems to be concerned primarily about the sanctity of the Constitution and observing the rule of law. Judge Sotomayor has a depth and breadth of experience unmatched by any sitting Supreme Court Justice.
But even as Sotomayor's impending nomination was making the rounds, the California Supreme Court had to fuck up the rest of the day by upholding Proposition 8, the measure that banned gay marriage in California.
I never thought I would ever see the day when Iowa, New Hampshire and Maine (Iowa, New Hampshire and Maine, for God's sake), would be more progressive regarding same sex marriage than California.
Proposition 8 proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that even the most liberal-leaning and progressive-minded voters in what used to be the most progressive state in the union can be dissuaded from voting their conscience and would instead overturn existing state law if enough money and propaganda is catapulted at them by all manner and sundry religious nut jobs like Focus on the Family, cultists like the LDS and even Blackwater Worldwide.
And the "prop" Prop 8 ought to stand for just that: Propaganda. It was propaganda aimed at tens of millions of voters who were convinced that they ought to vote their way into the bedrooms of thousands of same sex couples who married when they legally could a year ago and countless tens of thousands more who had hoped to marry.
While resisting the bitter, bile-smeared propaganda leveled against Barack Obama, California voters in their very finite wisdom were convinced they were given the right to dictate to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people whom they could not marry.
It was a ballot measure that, by rights, never should have been put on the ballot, since Prop 8 never passed either chamber in the California state congress. Even Republican Gov. Schwarzenegger refused to get involved, content to leave it in the hands of others.
This wasn't the way it was supposed to be scripted. This was supposed to be a blow against hatred and bigotry against the LGBT community. This was supposed to be California's moment to come back into the light and join Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa and Maine in the growing community of states that allow same sex couples to exchange holy vows under the eyes of the god of their choice. This was supposed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that gave birth to the latter day gay rights movement.
But the California Supreme Court locked the closet door and themselves behind it, keeping what was once the most progressive state in the union in the feared darkness.