I was saddened to hear last year that Californians voted to adopt Proposition 8, or the ballot that amends the State Constitution to “Eliminate Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry,” in last year’s election. Since that election, various legal actions have taken place and the next milestone happened on May 25 when the California Supreme Court unfortunately upheld Prop 8 but thankfully said that existing same-sex marriages were still valid.
Well, the latest volley in this struggle for same-sex marriage in California occurred this past week. Bypassing the state level, U.S. Federal Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned Prop 8 saying that it was unconstitutional with respect to the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, notably the Equal Protection Clause. While this is good news, the judge chose to stay his ruling (meaning, California can’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples just yet) until the ruling is appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Whatever the decision in the Court of Appeals, the case will definitely go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This is the first time that the same-sex legal debate within California spilled out to the national level. It’s a certainty that whatever happens in this California-initiated same-sex debate (which started when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples back in 2004) will greatly affect the course of same-sex marriages in the United States and the world. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of within the next few years.
Of course, none of this remotely matters here in the Philippines. But I’m guessing it’s all just a matter of time. Why? I’ve read the interesting idea that our great-grandparent’s generation were sexist (discriminating against women) and our grandparent’s generation were racist (discriminating against non-white people, notably blacks). This idea was extended to say that our parent’s generation were homophobic. Generations are increasingly becoming more liberal and so I’d like to think that societal acceptance of homosexuality is really just a matter of time.