Thoughts on Prop 8

I’ve mixed feelings on California’s State Supreme Court upholding our constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. On the one hand it means same-sex couples have to wait still longer before being granted the basic human rights every m/f couple enjoys today in our state. On the one hand it gives us, the voters, one more chance to do the right thing by overturning this knee-jerk throwback to a previous era.

It’s a sobering thought that, if my wife and I had been born into our grandparents’ generation, it would have been illegal for us to be married in California, because she’s Asian and I’m Caucasian. That ban was also overturned by the California Supreme Court, who in 1948 declared that our anti-miscegenation law violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Only that time there was no way that 52% of the voters could overturn that right simply by passing a ballot measure.

Fear and ignorance always bring out the worst in us, and the rights enshrined in a democracy’s constitution are there, in part, to prevent a majority from acting on those base emotions in a way that tramples a minority. In this case, the State Supreme Court has declared that we voters need to grow up and do the right thing ourselves. I hope we do it soon.