Matt Carberry (kingpin248) wrote,
Matt Carberry

California gets it wrong...

My own personal experience in the Golden State is limited to three days there in the summer of 1999 - and that trip bypassed the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. J. Raymond, my roommate from the New Hampshire Seacoast, has always sung the state's praises. Tupac and Dre were adamant that California, indeed, "knows how to party." And they're not the only talented and groundbreaking musicians to come out of the state.

But on the subject of same-sex marriage, Californians committed "gross error" one week ago by approving Proposition Eight, which amends their state's Constitution to outlaw the practice. The vote was close, with barely more than 52% approving the measure. This, despite all the state's major newspapers editorializing against it, and the opposition of the Governator. As a religious issue...well, we all know it's really a non-issue. In a country such as ours, we can all choose whether or not to recognize a pairing in our hearts. I, being one of the least religious people you'll ever meet, don't have much of an opinion on that aspect.

No, this is a question of legal status, and I don't see why it should be denied to any two people simply because their twenty-third chromosomes match. I'm going to hit back at the most cutting argument against same-sex marriage - the "safety-of-species" question. In this day and age, thanks to in vitro fertilization, it's a moot point. The proponents of the amendment speak of the defense of traditional marriage. This makes me think of words uttered by Chris Rock four years ago, when he invoked such programs as "The Bachelor" and "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" to argue that marriage isn't exactly sacred anymore. And as for tradition? As good as our Constitutional system is, it envisioned an electorate comprised only of white males. These days, we know better, and are better for that. The crux of this thing is the use of the law (and in particular, the tax code) as a means for social engineering. As a libertarian, that's something that roils me.

One thing in the text of the amendment troubles me. It reads, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." This seems to run counter to the Full Faith and Credit clause in Article Four of the federal Constitution. So the way I read it, the Golden State must still recognize any marriage performed in another state; for example, licenses issued in Massachusetts or Connecticut should theoretically be unaffected. This is based on a "prima facie" reading of the words of the respective Constitutions; I have not delved into any sort of case law, and that may say something entirely different.

I disagree with the opinion expressed by Californians, but they have spoken, and their view must be adhered to and respected. I hope they get another chance to express their will in the near future - and that they come to a different conclusion.
Tags: politics

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