The California Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban, passed last year by 52% of California voters who voted.
I know people who are hopeful and people who are not. We'll all know within 90 days, one way or another. I did not watch any of the oral arguments, though I've read about the legal theories that are before the Supreme Court. For the most part, however, I cannot stand reading about or thinking about constitutional law - state or federal.
I think constitutional law scholars and judges dealing with constitutional law questions are generally full of shit. It is almost entirely outcome-oriented stuff, with arguments being constructed to arrive at a particular result, not, as they lead us to believe in law school, the results flowing from a logically constructed argument based on pure legal theory and analysis. I don't necessarily blame the judges and scholars, although it is quite irritating when they are so blind to their own result-determined reasoning. It really can't be any other way - many of the questions one must face in the course of dealing with a constitutional law question can only be answered using some internal set of belief systems that, inevitably, get to the core of the outcome of the con-law question. What rights are inalienable? What does equality mean? How can we answer these questions without expression of our personal views? Equality does mean gay and straight couples sharing the exact same rights and dignities to me, but that is because I believe it to be so, not because "equality" in and of itself means anything. Nothing is equal just like nothing is fair, kids.
Anyway, this post is not about constitutional law, really. It is about the ways in which we live our lives to express our values and create equality - or at least equity - despite the law and society and all of it.
We're going to Florida later this month to my husband's first cousin's wedding. This wedding is untraditional in a number of ways. It is on a Thursday. It is outdoors. From what I can gather, it is not going to be a religious service. The invitation did not contain the couple's parents' names, or registry information, or details about an expensive reception in antiquated language.
Perhaps because the wedding is not traditional there are quite a few relatives who are not going, including our cousin's own stepmother! Maybe - just maybe - these relatives are not going because Ken's cousin is gay and they don't think this is a real wedding simply because it is not a legal marriage. Not that they are homophobic, necessarily. But are they treating this wedding the same way they would treat this same wedding if it were between a man and a woman?
My wedding was also not traditional, in the traditional sense of traditional. Like this one, my wedding was sparsely attended by distant (geographically, culturally or emotionally) relatives. Maybe it was because my husband and I both appeared in sun dresses on our hand-lettered wedding invitation. Or maybe it was because we were living an "alternative" life in Santa Cruz, making art and music instead of making money, and people didn't take us seriously. At least my wedding was on a Saturday.
Now is really a terrible time for us to travel to this wedding. Disposable income is at an all-time low. We're taking the kids out of school and just a week after we get home they'll be out of school for spring break (there goes more income disposed!) Really it is kind of a pain in the ass, logistically.
I believe that if this wedding was sanctifying a legal marriage, we would have considered not going. And we considered not going because of the money and the timing. But we ultimately decided that a) a first cousin is a first cousin, and he came to our vow renewal ceremony, 12 years after our original wedding, and b) we have to put as much positive energy into the issue of gay marriage as we possibly can, and that includes not just voting and marching and holding vigils, but also maybe holding same-sex weddings in higher esteem than we would hold another similarly situated opposite-sex wedding. Affirmative action, wedding-style.
And so, my point: Fuck all those people who didn't come to my wedding just because they think I'm weird and that somehow makes my wedding less important. And fuck all the people not going to this one.