Friday, December 19, 2008

Sir, Your Fifteen Minutes Were Up Some Time Ago

Please, Kenneth Starr, slip back into obscurity.  Don't be a footnote in TWO shameful events in U.S. history.

A great many things about this whole situation put me into fits.  First of all, I find it maddening and a little sickening that a majority of Californians saw fit to eliminate the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry.  Marriage equality ("gay marriage" to some of y'all) is not popular, I get that.  Extending equal civil rights to people in the minority seldom is (see Loving v. Virginia, Brown v. Board of Education, etc.) - but just because it is unpopular does not make it okay to discriminate.  The Bill of Rights and state constitutions enumerate the legitimate powers of government, and they also ensure the rights of individuals against the tyranny of government and the tyranny of the majority.  (entering sidebar rant) Look, I don't like guns.  I really, really don't like guns.  I've never fired one - in fact, I've never even held one and hope never to hold one - and yet, it is clear that the Constitution protects the legal rights of individuals to keep and bear arms, and so I support that right.  I find many uses of this right to be odious and unChristian, and I do not plan to ever make use of this right, and I wish there were fewer guns out there (especially those bought "for protection") and fewer people who used them....yet, it is a fundamental civil right that should be available to all citizens.  (not unlike marriage....)

Second of all, this lawsuit reveals the disingenuousness of the supporters of Prop 8, who, before Nov. 4, swore up and down that this change to the CA state constitution would not in any way affect the marriages already performed.  Cold comfort indeed, but now they are reneging on even that.  (I realize that supporters of Prop 8 are no more monolithic in nature than are its opponents, and that not all members of the "Yes on 8" coalition have to agree to everything that every other coalition member says, but still.)  Furthermore, the state AG, Jerry Brown (yep, former Governor Moonbeam) has already expressed his opinion that marriages performed in California during from June to November were and shall remain valid, and he's said repeatedly that would be his position before the courts.  

Third of all, and most personally, this raises up the same specters of fear that my moms lived with for nearly twenty years before I married them this summer.  (I posted my experience here.)  You know, they really were not that into getting married when it was not an option for them, and obviously their relationship isn't any more valid with that piece of paper than it was without it.  And yet, their marriage was a profoundly moving event for all of us, and it was only in the experience of being able to be legally married that they realized just how important it was for them, personally, politically, and spiritually.  

And now Ken Starr wants to take away all of this, for my family and for thousands of other families throughout California.  Thanks a lot.  

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