TFG Thoughts: Why the Gay Supreme Court decision may not be good news

UPDATED:  See the end of the post.

Sure, it’s historic.  And I’d hope to think that it’d be pretty clear to anyone reading this blog that of course gays have the right to get married, and that it’ll be an easy win at the Supreme Court level.

I wish I had that optimism.

Now, I’m not all doom and gloom, either.  And I certainly hope things go our way.  It’s a possibility.  But we also have to be realistic here… we’re preaching to our own choir here, and we’re only hearing our own song.  There’s a whole lot of people outside our circle that would like to see it go the other way.

This article in the LA Times has a bit of the realism I’m talking about.  First, this quote:


“I think any time our gay issues go to the U.S. Supreme Court we are all filled with anxiety because you never know,” said West Hollywood City Councilman John  Duran.  “We have a lot of anxiety because we realize whatever decision they make, if it’s adverse, we have to live with it for a generation.” 

That’s right.  If we lose this, it could set the gay rights movement back 20 years, at least on the federal level.  There’s a lot at stake here.  And while there’s been momentum in our direction, is there really enough right now to convince the Supreme Court, a conservative leaning group who tends to be behind the social trends?  It’s a really big gamble, and I think the odds would be more strongly in our favor if this had waited another few years before going to this big of a scale.

Also consider this quote from the article:

Gay marriage foes were decidedly more ebullient, saying they liked their chances in front of the high court.

And the scary part is I think this is true… if they’re going to win, this is the time.  They know that if this had waited a few more years, they wouldn’t have as much of a chance, there’d be too much support our way by then.

You can never really predict what the Supreme Court will do.  Many seemed to think they’d deny the Prop 8 case… but they didn’t.  It may go our way, and it may not.  If it does, there’s a chance same sex may be legal for the entire country.  And if we lose, we may lose BIG.  Either way, it’s going to be tense.

Now, as I understand it, even if the worse happened, individual states still have the option to try for same sex marriage by voting.  But it would have to be a state by state basis, and we all know many states such as Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, et al would not exactly be quick to jump on the bandwagon.

On a personal note, my own partner and I were hoping the Prop 8 case would get denied, because then marriage would have returned to California immediately.  And now we have to wait until March at best.  (I know we could go to another state, but we were really wanting California, as we both grew up here.)  If it doesn’t go our way, then our state will have to revote on it again, which wouldn’t be until 2014, the earliest.

It’s getting tough to keep waiting.

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UPDATE:  There was another article in the LA Times today mentioning how this will really come down to Kennedy vs. Scalia.  Scalia has a long record of making anti-gay statements and decisions, which is what makes this all rather scary.  Fortunately, Kennedy has a history of very progressive gay rights, and has a bit more senority.  That gives a bit more confidence and hope for our side.  But you can bet that Scalia will fight a hard fight, and not make it easy.
Also, I haven’t really addressed the DOMA side of things, but most scholars are thinking that case will have an easier time.  But Prop 8 has a potentially larger impact.  An editorial brought up the point that even if the Court does decide our way, you can bet the country will be divided much as it was after Brown vs. Board of Education, and could take nearly a decade to fully accept; it’d have that much impact.

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In other minor unrelated news, I’ve updated my “Other” blog links that are in the left sidebar.  A few of them are sites I don’t check very consistently, and I’ve since discovered a few of them weren’t there anymore.  But they’re all current now!

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