I don’t get political often here, but this is important for all gay rights and equality in the United States. So listen and read.
For a brief time in 2008, the California State Supreme Court determined same sex marriage was legal. And many couples did in fact get married. But only 6 months later, Proposition 8 was sent to the voters which defined marriage as only between one man and one woman. Unbelievably enough, it passed. Ever since then, there has been an ongoing legal battle in the 9th Circuit Court, saying that the Proposition was illegal in the first place. And after a lot of hemming and hawing, it turns out the 9th Circuit agreed.
This means that the State government cannot find any reason why gays and lesbians shouldn’t be married. And having the government’s direct backing is a great way to secure our rights. Now, at the moment, same sex marriages are not yet resuming. The opposition is given time to appeal, and if they do (and it’s certain they will), nothing more can happen until the appeals are fully resolved.
The opposition has two options. One is to appeal to a larger version of the 9th Circuit. However, that court is known as fairly liberal, so if they do, it’s likely (although not a guarantee) that they would vote in our favor. A final ruling could happen by the end of the year, if not sooner.
Second, they can jump ahead directly to the US Supreme Court. Now if they do that, the first step is that the Court has to even agree to hear the case. If they don’t agree, the case stops there, and gay marriage resumes in California. If they do agree, then any decision they make could possibly affect gay marriage laws for the entire country. At the moment, the court is fairly split over the issue, but there is a bit of evidence it would lean just a bit our way (in swing vote Justice Kennedy)
That’s huge, of course. But as it stands now, it’s probably unlikely that the US Supreme Court would hear the case. The one hitch in the 9th Circuit’s verdict is that they limited it to California only (and the 9th Circuit Court has standing in 9 States, hence the name). If they had made the ruling on behalf of all 9 States in their jurisdiction, the US Supreme Court would be more interested in hearing the case. But if it’s a matter only affecting one State, they’re not as likely to hear it.
I am simplifying things here, but you get the idea. I think it’s important for us to celebrate in this historic accomplishment, especially us fetish guys. The fetish community is a pretty close knit one. That’s a wonderful thing, but it does have one drawback… sometimes you forget how much anti-gay bias and homophobia there still is out there when all you do is hang out with people who support you. We get very comfortable. When we do get faced with it, we can return to our safety cocoon. But lots of us don’t have that luxury. Look at the gay beating that just happened in Atlanta just recently. This is the same city that has tallglassofoj and atloki. It doesn’t seem possible that those two worlds should exist in the same city, but sadly, they do. So we really need to continue to rally and support these landmark decisions. And give a lot of thanks to people like Tynan Fox, who are doing great things by going beyond our community and reaching out to the mainstream. Because those are the people who can make or break our future.
Interested in knowing more? Here’s a good place to get a detailed breakdown.