Friday, May 16, 2008

Here Comes the Groom

OK. This gay marriage decision in California. It's raising the predictable shit storm across the blogosphere, and opponents of the court's ruling say they're going to push for an amendment to the state constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. If you want to go read all about it, fix yourself a big pot of coffee, sit in a comfortable chair and Google "California gay marriage ruling" then search the blogs, too. I saw and heard all I wanted to see and hear about this on the Lehrer News Hour yesterday. I'm really tired of the subject, to tell the truth, and let me be straight out here (no pun intended) and tell you that a couple of seconds shot of two dudes kissing each other on the lips is enough for me. I thought the news story on the News Hour was a little over the top in that aspect of its coverage.

Let me make these observations:

  • First of all, I can't get worked up about this. If these people want to live together and say they're married, if they want to have a ceremony with their friends where the groom gets to kiss the groom, and the bride, the bride . . . well, have at it. How does this threaten anything at all, much less the institution of marriage as the religious right (what a misnomer) contends? Does the fact that some people put their money under the mattress threaten the institution of banking? And what materially is changed in California by this decision? Gay unions there are already thoroughly protected by the law. They just aren't called "marriages."
  • Second, the only reason I think there's any importance to this issue at all is that it will be whipped up into a slavering frenzy by the right, and they will try to make it a central issue in the coming campaign. It may not have the salience it did previously, though, because McCain is fuzzy on the issue, not foursquare on God's side like some other Republicans. His campaign issues site doesn't say anything about this. He's on record as saying this is a matter for the states to decide--same thing Hillary and Barack say, too--everybody's tiptoeing on this one--but he's against what the California Supreme Court decided.
  • The usual blather about "activist judges" is abroad again . . . "one judge" deciding the case and all that. These people ought to find out how the American constitutional system works.
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