After last week’s ruling, WaPo asked various people for their thoughts. It seems to me the GLAAD president summed things up better than anyone else.
JARRETT T. BARRIOS
President of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
The post-Proposition 8 landscape? Appeals of Judge Walker’s decision will leave marriage equality in limbo for some time, but one outcome is certain: the Boies-Olson legal team gave a blueprint for winning in and outside of court by opting for a trial and using it as a platform for the stories of gay and lesbian couples.
The quintessentially American aspirations of these testifying couples — their hopes for their own futures and for their children — made the decision anything but radical. Indeed, how could it be anything but unconstitutional to deny hardworking people the right to take care of one another? The stories of these Californians coupled with hard data created an irrefutable record of invidious discrimination and its harms to the plaintiffs.
While not the first, it is perhaps the most high-profile court case challenging an anti-gay law, and stories like those shared in the trial have become a persuasive argument in legislative debates as in courtrooms. In Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District, sharing stories of love and commitment has been the most surefire way to secure marriage equality. And now it’s working in courtrooms and shifting the general public’s opinion, too.
So none of the following matter:
- what the Constitution says
- what any laws say
- what voters decide (or think they did)
- what any precedents or traditions might be
The only thing that matters is to get a judge who will let people tell him they have a loving relationship, and that’s enough to determine what’s constitutional or not. It’s simple!
What comes next is pretty obvious. The same “standard” can be used to get some other liberal judge to have loving “plural families” (“polygamy” unfairly has a bad rap, so let’s call it by it’s PC term) convince him that marriage needs to include them too. And of course NAMBLA and similar groups can line up kids to say how unfair it is that they can’t marry the 40yo partner they are madly in love with. Why exclude cousins or other relatives? That’s not fair. Maybe before long it’ll be:
Witness #1: “I love Dolly and she loves me.”
Witness #2: “BAAA”