First of all, I am very excited and proud to say that Obama is going to be my president and Chris Gregoire is going to stay my governor. I originally planned to do a really dorky insider-baseball post about who is going to be doing what in the coming Obama administration, but I feel compelled to give people hope about the fallout of Prop. 8 in California.
Yes. It passed. They are still counting, but it passed.
Yes, the Mormon church poured tons of money into this effort. At time when the economy is suffering, do you think the church could have found a better place for $80 million? Yeah, so could I. Does that mean that the Mormons that work and go to school with you are anti-gay? No. The three I talked to are all more than a little disappointed in their church.
Alright, Here’s the hope:
1) Prop 8 does not annul marriages already signed. That means that Ellen, George Takai, and the thousands of others that got married will get to keep their marriage licenses and full benifits under the law.
2) In addition, this creation of three different status people in California (Those who can get married, those who are married but could never remarry, and those unable to get married), creates a "Legal Clusterfuck" that fundamentally clashes with the California State Constitution. Like the Bible, the state constitution will have literally conflicting passages. This is good because that means the Supreme Court of California has the opportunity to strike down Prop 8, popular vote be damned. This sort of judicial action happened alot during the civil rights movement in the south on a local level. The people got upset but realized that Judges have a hell of a lot of power when the choose to use it.
3) Finally, we have a President Obama who has a whole range of options available to him. I have split them up into "Will Do" "Might Do" and my favorite "Could do but probably won’t"
***President Obama has pledged to repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." While it doesn’t allow servicemen and women to marry, it will be a huge step forward and a blow to the homophobic agenda.
***President Obama appoints a rabidly liberal attorney general, who finally makes prosecuting hate crimes against GLBT a high priority.
***President Obama campaigns heavily for a new governor in California to oust Schwartzenager, providing more local support for the GLBTA movement.
***President Obama could bring up a constitutional amendment for a vote in the house that would define marriage as between "two consenting, of age, non-related individuals". Basically work to instate civil unions nationwide. This would be a really tough sell for congress, and I feel his political capital would be better spent on Energy Independence, but that’s just me.
***President Obama could instruct the 9th Circut Court of Appeals to render a legal judgement on whether banning gay marriage contradicts the "all men created equal" part of the constitution. This would undo all the anti-gay marriage amendments, and create a legal pathway for states to sue to allow gay marriage.
COULD DO BUT PROBABLY WON’T
***President Obama could issue an executive order forcing California to issue marriage licenses to couples.
***President Obama could issue an executive order redefining all marriages as civil unions (changing the name), then allow civil unions.
FInally, I want to add a little perspective. The civil rights movement took over sixty years between when it really shot into the public eye, and when we finally have a black president. These things take time. Its a LONG haul. This is one battle. We will win the war.
The one demographic the voted AGAINST prop 8? Voters age 18-24. The future is with us.