This case is not about
just us. It's about justice.
My wife, Diane, and I
will never say, "Please don't divorce us."
There is a very moving
public service announcement all over the Internet in which
same-sex couples are holding up a sign or saying, "Please
don't divorce us." The music in the background is
compelling, and the announcement, which collects thousands of
names for the organization that produced it, should have made
Diane and me very happy, especially because there is a clip of
our wedding in it. But it didn't.
Once I got over the
hearts and flowers of seeing other same-sex married couples, I
became very angry. Because that PSA is totally off message.
The upcoming March 5
California supreme court case is not about us.
If the court rules that
only existing marriages of same-sex couples are valid, it will
be a hollow victory, because we do not want to be the only ones
on the Freedom Train.
The California supreme
court needs to overturn Proposition 8 because what Prop. 8 does
-- for the first time in American history -- is to take out of
a constitution a group that has been declared equal by the
This is dangerous,
because it means 50% of the people plus a single vote can vote
to take away protections for labor, for unions, to take women
and minorities out of the constitution ... to take you out of
the state constitution.
The legal challenge to
Prop. 8 is supported by hundreds of religious organizations,
civil rights groups, women's organizations, and labor
unions, along with numerous California municipal governments,
bar associations and leading legal scholars.
What started out as a
fight for loving same-sex couples wanting the fundamental right
of marriage has exploded into one of the biggest civil rights
cases in American history, because now we, and all of the
attorneys on our side, are standing up to defend the
constitution for all of us.
Diane and I are
optimistic. Of course, we are not attorneys, which I'm sure
gives us a leg up on optimism. But why would the California
supreme court not overturn Prop. 8, when the proposition would
also give people the power to challenge all of the court's
decisions protecting minorities against the loss of fundamental
rights? Wouldn't this make the court obsolete?
Some people have said,
"Well, you can always put your right to equality back on
the ballot in 2010." Excuse me? Since when was it OK for
people to vote on a group's rights to basic equality and
civil rights? Equality isn't a popularity contest. It's
the right of all California citizens.
should ever be put to a popular vote. That's why we have a
court system. And that's why Diane and I are confident the
court will show the courage it did when it not only ruled for
marriage equality for same-sex couples but also declared that
lesbians and gays were a suspect class, a legitimate minority
entitled to all rights.
If the court does rule
for us, tens of thousands of us will be on the streets that
night celebrating a great victory -- not just for us
but for everyone.
But if we lose and
Prop. 8 stands, even if the court rules to uphold existing
same-sex marriages, hundreds of thousands of us will be on the
streets, angrier than we have ever been.
The time for saying
"please" is over.