Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sad News, Fellow Geeks: Prop 8 Upheld

Today the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage that passed Election Day. Prop 8 was one of the few dark clouds of last November’s election. The Yes on Prop 8 campaign consisted largely of Mormons from Utah using disinformation of interfere in California politics despite the fact that getting involved in politics violates their tax exempt religious organization status and the fact that their own members have been persecuted over marriage. By spreading a lot of crazy rumors (like their claim that if Prop 8 wasn’t passed kids would be required to learn all about gay sex in kindergarten, no matter what their parents’ wishes) and, to a certain extent, preying on the homophobia of the huge black electorate that turned out toe elect Barack Obama, Mormons and other bigoted gay marriage opponents managed to pass the law.

Opponents sued on the basis that denying one minority the right to get married when everybody else can is clearly against the law. Well, apparently the Supreme Court didn’t feel like wading into civil rights issues because they upheld the ban. They did give the gay community a tiny consolation prize: the 18,000 gay couples married in California before the ban took effect will remain legally married. We can only hope the fact that so many gay people can be happily married without undermining straight marriage will change a few minds in 2010. If you look at the statistics, gay marriage has been gaining ground almost everywhere, California included, as people get over their initial knee-jerk reaction.

Closer to home (for me at least) the debate of whether gay marriage should be legalized continues. Today, the state comptroller issued a report that states the economy of the State of New York would benefit greatly from gay weddings. Something to the tune of $210 million would be pumped into the economy in the next three years by gay couples getting hitched, the government estimates. Considering how hard California has been hit by the financial crisis, maybe they should reconsider…

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