Gay Marriage: The Many Reactions

The California Supreme Court’s historic ruling on gay marriage has already turned into the hottest news item. And, natural, the reactions are coming in. Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger kept his promise and vowed to let by-gones be gay bygones: “I respect the Court’s decision and as Governor, I will uphold its ruling. Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.”

PFLAG’s proud as pie, of course, but mama Molleen Matsumura had an especially touching – and press friendly! – response, “California has embraced our children and affirmed our families… My husband and I are proud to now live in a state where our daughter’s union will be equal to our own.” So cute!

But, there are some people raining on the parade, so to speak…

While she’s surely happy about the gay win, sappoh-journo Nancy Polikoff can’t help but offer this sobering factoid:

…Giving same-sex couples access to the “special rights” of marriage has a downside for those in the LGBT community who don’t marry, and we have four years of marriage in Massachusetts to prove it.

Some employers there no longer offer domestic partner benefits to their employees; it’s marriage or nothing. So much for making marriage a choice for gay and lesbian couples.

Good god! This is just like that episode of Sex and The City, when Carrie had a wedding shower for herself just to get a pair of shoes. That show was so progressive!

Today’s a great one or most gay Californians, but Karen Gullo rightly points out that this ruling will make things a bit sticky for the Democratic presidential candidates:

The ruling may reverberate in the U.S. presidential race in favor of the presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona. It will force candidates to explain their positions on same-sex unions, said Vikram Amar, a constitutional law professor at the University of California at Davis.

“It’s hard to see how this will end up helping Democrats,” Amar said before the ruling. “It feeds into a kind of perception that this is what liberal activist judges do.”

But wait just one second! The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center – of all places! – highlights an important political tidbit: Republican’s created California’s Supreme Court.

Center CEO Lorri L. Jean had this to say:

The California Supreme Court had the integrity and the courage to do its job and say that ALL Californians are entitled to equal protection of the law. This is not an activist court, this is a moderate court. Republican governors appointed all but one of them! And today that moderate Court did exactly what it is supposed to do–it applied the law fairly.

Social conservatives, obviously, do not agree and are already pushing for a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling. Alliance Defense Fund lawyer Glen Lavy offered this odiferous opinion,

The government should promote and encourage strong families. The only way to make sure it does so in California is to amend the state constitution to protect marriage. That’s ultimately the only avenue to ensure that no one interferes with the will of the people.

The court’s decision clearly demonstrates that marriage is not ultimately safe from tampering by activists and others in government until the voters have amended the constitution.

Governor Schwarzenegger won’t back such an amendment, so Lavy may be screwed, which would probably do him good.