Gays Disappointed Twice Today: Prop 8 and SCOTUS

On Friday, May 15, a nasty Prop 8 rumor made its way through Twitter. The rumor stated that California had overturned Prop 8. Excited Tweeters (like myself) quickly retweeted this information and linked to an old gay marriage article (without checkin’ the date first) as proof that Prop 8 had been overturned. Just as quickly as the rumor started, it died; we all learned that the California Supreme Court wouldn’t announce a decision on Prop 8 until May 26.

And so it happened. Today the gay community learned that California’s high court has upheld the gay marriage ban passed in November 2008:

“In summary, we conclude that Proposition 8 constitutes a permissible constitutional amendment (rather than an impermissible constitutional revision), does not violate the separation of powers doctrine, and is not invalid under the ‘inalienable rights’ theory proffered by the Attorney General. We further conclude that Proposition 8 does not apply retroactively and therefore that the marriages of same-sex couples performed prior to the effective date of Proposition 8 remain valid. Having determined that none of the constitutional challenges to the adoption of Proposition 8 have merit, we observe that if there is to be a change to the state constitutional rule embodied in that measure, it must ‘find its expression at the ballot box.’”

Twitter was buzzin’ with the news and live citizen-coverage of a Prop 8 protest in San Francisco had Tweeters glued to their computer monitors. I’m guessing the next move will be an attempt to get this issue back on the ballot for California voters to re-evaluate. Let’s hope the gay community’s leaders (both large and small) do a better job of training gay activists to pound the pavement and make face-to-face contact with voters (all voters, not just gay white voters) who will eventually support full equality for the LGBTQ community.

If it makes anyone feel better (I doubt it!) Governor Terminator said he would abide by the state high court’s ruling, but believes gay marriage will eventually be approved. Does that mean Terminator will throw California queers a bone before he leaves office?

I asked my Twitter followers if they thought it was a coincidence that President Obama announced his SCOTUS nominee within hours of the California Supreme court annoucing its decision on Prop 8. None of my respondents thought it was a coincidence.

Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, Hispanic female Sonia Sotomayor, is not the openly gay woman the gay community was hoping for. But let’s not fret just yet. There was no husband or children mentioned in any of the White House press releases detailing Sotomayor’s personal and professional life. Perhaps there’s still hope that the gay community will have an ally in the nation’s high court.

Sotomayor is replacing justice David Souter (rumored to be a closet case) who, before his time on the Supreme Court, had supported legislation that banned gay adoption. After Souter stepped into his SCOTUS shoes, he became an advocate for gay rights.