Feb 9, 2012

The overturning of California’s Proposition 8 affirmed!

Over 3 years ago, voters in the U.S. State of California narrowly passed Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The amendment had added the following clause to their state’s constitution: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” I had expressed my dismay back then.

Proposition 8 was of course challenged, and after being upheld in May 2010 by the California Supreme Court, U.S. Federal Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned it in August 2010. This was then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

The latest development happened on February 7, 2012, when the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the overturning of Prop 8. In a 2-1 decision, the judges of the Ninth Circuit said:

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

“The People may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry.”

What a great piece of news! And this comes after New York passed a same-sex bill last year. Unfortunately, a stay against full repeal of the amendment still continues pending appeals to either the full Ninth District Court or the U.S. Supreme Court and that means that California still cannot issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Nevertheless, the fact that U.S. federal judges struck down Prop 8 is still good news. And just in time for Valentine’s Day! :-)


Anonymous wrote on February 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM:

And Washington State is not that far behind. :D

chink wrote on February 9, 2012 at 9:57 PM:

Just wondering why this piece of news seems so significant to us in the Philippines? It is not that i am against marriage equality! Sorry, let me rephrase that...i am not against FREEDOM TO LOVE, ala PINK DOT! As i have posted in other blogs, it makes me wonder why after so many years of pushing ourselves out of the closet, we decide to fit ourselves back in a heterosexual construct? Why not create a gay version to the straight term for cohabitation? And if the intent is to get the same benefits (i think in terms of legal rights, health issues and partner responsibilities), then work for it through proper legislative process so that when we do get the rights that w deserve, the die hard closeted homo haters can never claim that we 'stole' their ideas. I sometimes get the feeling that we are getting sucked into the leftist mindset that demands benefits without working for them. Since the traditionalist are backed by the old institutions, we settle for the superficial rhetoric of the so-called progressives; only caught up in the what others must do for us instead of promoting WHAT WE SHOULD DO FOR OURSELVES! Oh and in this light, let me confirm that i'm elitista total and proud of it.

cArLo wrote on February 10, 2012 at 3:51 PM:

This is great news!
I just hope that gay marriage would be legalized here in the Philippines. But this being a conservative (pa rin) and religion-bound country I guess it's not gonna happen here.
But I still am hoping...

Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on February 11, 2012 at 7:26 AM:

@Anon, yup! I’m now just waiting for their governor to sign the law so that I can blog about it! :D

@Carlo, that will be far off into the future. I’d be very happy if we a least get the anti-discrimination bill passed.

Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on February 11, 2012 at 7:30 AM:

@chink, I’m personally not too hung up with terminologies, whether it’s called marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships. But clearly for a lot of people, this is an important issue.

It’s not really about trying to fit ourselves into the heterosexual constructs, but rather about convincing people that LGBT people are just like other people in all but sexual orientation and identity, and thus deserve to be treated the same way, without discrimination, such as in recognizing that LGBT people should have the right to marry each other too, with all the benefits that it confers.

Besides, any great news should be shared, even if it’s outside the Philippines.

chink wrote on February 13, 2012 at 5:50 PM:

@vince: i definitely support anti-discrimination in all forms (well maybe not all forms since i'm elitist, hahaha!). however, behind the facade of wanting this, the LGBT community seems to still be waiting for our straight brothers and sisters to accept us on their given terms. well, that's how i view it.

hopefully, there's some positive news for us in the philippines, and no i don't mean the passing of the reproductive health bill, puhleez!