Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tradition is June Wedding

This New York Times report gets to this point:
In Thursday’s decision, the [California]Supreme Court ruled that the correct standard of review for plaintiffs claiming discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is “strict scrutiny,” the standard used in race-discrimination cases. Under that standard, the government must demonstrate that it has a compelling interest for the law it is defending and that the distinctions drawn by the law are necessary to protect the interest.

Lawyers for state identified two interests that they said justified reserving the term marriage for heterosexual unions: tradition and the will of the majority. Chief Justice George said neither was sufficient.

The State cannot apply religious standards except as those standards exist in the contexts of secular "tradition" & "will of the majority." Then they are not applied as religious standards. We know that the majority, without legal restraints, oppresses the minority, & that tradition commonly is a rationale for all kinds of nonsense. I might consider domestic partnerships sufficient for the time being if Americans understood equal means equal. We don't. We're too accustomed to separate but equal.

Once the state has permitted domestic partnerships providing the rights of marriage except use of the word "marriage" itself, it has no compelling interest in maintaining a separate definition of the word. Neither does the majority, as the majority would know it it acted rationally rather than from prejudice. Tradition is - tradition is the Seventh Inning Stretch at Yankee Stadium where they make everyone stand up & sing "God Bless America" & you have to stop & sing even if you're a pregnant woman hurrying toward the rest rooms. The tradition used to be "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" & nobody got uptight. Tradition is also a wedding in June. Traditions change. Since the state failed to convince 4 of the 7 justices with tradition & majority will, the court had to bring this to the fore:
“The right to marry,” Chief Justice George wrote, “represents the right of an individual to establish a legally recognized family with a person of one’s choice and, as such, is of fundamental significance both to society and to the individual.”
Now more individuals in California have that right. That's all there is to it, really. Anyone losing sleep over same sex weddings at the Unitarian church deserves to suffer.

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