Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Today's Court Decision

Today's decision by Judge Vaughn Walker was a victory for love and commitment in our state. I was proud to officiate the weddings of more than 15 committed couples in 2008, including the first wedding in the City of Los Angeles on the steps of City Hall. These weddings were some of the most moving experiences of my life--I still remember each of the smiles on the faces of couples I married who in some cases, had waited for decades for equality to apply to their unions and to have the same legal recognition from the state that their friends and co-workers and neighbors enjoyed. These couples looked like California--young and old, white, black, Latino, and Asian, men and women, public employees and private entrepreneurs, incredibly committed and contributing residents of our beautiful city and our state.

Religious beliefs are private and are protected by the United States Constitution--this is one of the great things that makes this country so special. But the ability of two loving and committed individuals to be recognized by the state for their union should not be denied to two adults simply because of whom they love. This is the promise of our country and of our constitution. Proposition 8 flew in the face of this. As Judge Walker wrote:
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.
Congratulations to all of us in California. While the march towards equality in this country seems easy when we read about it in history books, it can be a painfully slow walk through many moments of defeat. Today is a day to celebrate.