Why Does Our Timing Suck So Much?

Although I’ve never been anywhere near the point of propsing marriage to somebody, I expect the government to allow me right to do so. So when Massachusetts became the first state in the country to offer same-sex marriage, I was thrilled. Though, even at the time I was skeptical of the timing (it was announced at the beginning of the presidential campaign and put into right affect about now- as the final candidates are generally determined). I feared it would affect the national elections and it did. Conservatives ate it up and Bush returned to the White House and 20+ states subsequently instituted marriage bans.

Here we are exactly 4 years later approaching the next presidential election campaign. And in the same historic week that Massachusetts began handing out marriage licenses, the California Supreme Court has deemed that California’s marriage ban is unconstitutional. Within a month, same-sex weddings could start taking place in the most populated state in the country (one out of every 9 residents is from California).

This is a wonderful thing for equal rights. I couldn’t be more thrilled. However, couldn’t they have waited until November 7th to make this announcement? With timing like this, it’s only going to a) rally the religious right together, and b) have California place add an ammendment onto the same ticket as the presidential nominations in November.

I’m not a politician. And it’s rare that I get political on my blog. But I don’t understand how many times these things can get approved, over-turned, approved, over-turned. I mean, In California same-sex marriage licenes were given out in February 2004 since nothing prohibited it them. Then the state stopped them, then the people voted and rejected it, but they allowed domestic partnerships instead (similar in some ways, different legally and in name). Now the courts deemed their votes unconstitutional, yet the people again have a chance to over-rule it in the November elections.

How many times is one issues allowed to be addressed? It’s like double-jeopardy…can’t you only be tried in court once? I recall similar issues in Massachusetts where it came up for a vote (in the state house, not in the polls) multiple times. It passed, it failed, it passed, it failed. Same-sex marriage opponents are still working on ways to ban it in this state even to this day (8,000+ marriages later).

In the end, any civil rights issue shouldn’t be given to the people to vote, no? I suppose it technically shouldn’t be given to any person to decide (including judges); civil rights should simply be based on something that we all have for each other: respect. We shouldn’t have to debate the rights of one consenting adult committing to another consenting adult – not matter what age, sex, religion, nationality.

That said….the media is going to go crazy with this bit of news and I do have concerns it will affect the election next fall. Only time will tell…


  1. Comment by Fred on May 16, 2008 11:34 am

    Take heart, Karl – call me Pollyanna, but it may not be so bad this time, to whit:

    1.) The California Legislature has TWICE voted to approve marriage, but it got thrown to the courts.

    2.) Arnie has said he won’t oppose it (and, really, as he’s a largely socially liberal Republican and a Kennedy by marriage, I rather doubt he, personally, has any problems with it at all, but he has to tread carefully with his whack-job constituents in Orange County, for example).

    3.) Thus, all THREE branches of California’s government, including the duly elected representatives of the people, are signed-on.

    4.) A GREAT deal of fatigue over this issue has settled in even among the Religious Right – except, of course, the arsehole talking heads who make their living off of being divisive pricks (moral cousins of the people who convinced the Serbians they were ‘special’ and historically put-upon as Yugoslavia was coming apart….). A lot of pretty darn conservative evangelicals are starting to say – ‘it’s the economy, stupid, and doing Christ-like things for our neighbors, not worrying about what other folks are doing in their own homes.”

    5.) More time has meant more younger voters on the rolls, who are in favor of this and don’t get what all the fuss is about.

    6.) McCain DOESN’T want to talk about this, and rather pointedly HASN’T talked about this, beyond the ‘code’ backhand about appointing strict-constructionist justices – and he cited Roberts, Alito, and Rehnquist in his speech, not Scalia or Thomas….hmmm…. So, the wing-nuts don’t have direct access to power, at least yet. Let’s hope he doesn’t, oh-so-stupidly, pick Romney for Veep…UGH!!! But, even Romney kinda proved in his failure that it doesn’t entirely fly…

    Slow and steady, slow and steady: take a deep breath!!

  2. Comment by jeff on May 16, 2008 4:05 pm

    We have gay marriage? When did we vote on that?

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