Hot off the wires:
California Supreme Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban
The full NYT story is here. Note the surge of commonsense:
The justices released the 4-3 decision, saying that domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage in an opinion written by Chief Justice Ron George. Justices Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Werdegar and Carlos Moreno joined the majority.
In striking down the ban, the court said, “In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.”
There’s a link to the decision and more discussion at Talk Left.
6 thoughts on “And then sometimes they get it right!”
I think this decision is a step in the right direction. Yet, as great as the right for gays to marry is, it’s still continuing the discrimination of relationships of people who don’t want to (or can’t) marry, including the growing proportion of people who are single. Marriage automatically comes with a large set of legal, social, and economic benefits, which are often not given to unmarried people (employer-sponsored health care is the most prominent example). Bestowing these benefits on people simply because they’ve “tied the knot” is part of the historical baggage that comes with marriage that might be appropriate to leave behind. There are other relationships, such as those with close friends or among siblings, that might warrant equal standing to those rights and benefits, as, for example, Kay Trimberger and Bella DePaulo have pointed out in their work on singles.
The current institution – except, for now, in California – excludes same-sex couples, which clearly is discriminatory. Yet, we need to go beyond questioning that type of discrimination and look at the broader discrimination inherent in the benefits of coupledom by asking whether marriage/civil unions should get automatic rights. I would second Michael LaSala’s call for a “critical view of the privileges of marriage.” (Michael C. LaSala. Too Many Eggs in the Wrong Basket: A Queer Critique of the Same-Sex Marriage Movement. SocialWork. Volume 52, Number 2. April 2007.). He calls on us to “advocate for freedom of sexual expression as well as economic and legal equity for all, regardless of marital status, relationship style, or sexual orientation.” I think that’s what we need to move toward.
I’m straight and very happy with this ruling for, I guess to you intelligent people anyway, obvious reasons. Although it’s much more enriching to have 2 positive role models of each sex as your own parents, a loving homosexual couple still beats an unhealthy/unsafe straight couple of parents hands down.
There are tons of single mothers & also fathers out there who are straight & the other role model of the opposite sex is missing anyway.
Thanks for broadening the discussion, Rachel– I look forward to checking out those articles. Daniela, I’m glad you see loving gay parents as a good option, but I’d have to differ with your view that there’s something especially good about having both sexes. In fact, all the research that’s been done points to sex/gender of parents as making no difference to well-being of children.
Jender, “all” the research? I beg to differ. Why do you claim that “all” the research points to this?
See for example here for a summary of the lack of evidence for any problems, or even any difference: http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/policy/parents.html
Thanks for the link, Jender. The resolution section that follows the research summary makes it clear the tragedy that is current social policy in so many places.
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