Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SP Queer Commission Statement: California Same-Sex Marriage Ban Declaired Unconstitutional

By SPUSA Queer Commission Chair Jim Sanders

On Wednesday, August 4th, Judge Vaughn Walker issued a 136 page decision declaring Proposition 8, the law that bans same-sex marriage, unconstitutional. This is great news in the long struggle for marriage equality.

From Judge Walker's decision:

"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. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."

In a socialist society, state intervention into, and authorization of, marriage could be made obsolete. Making healthcare and housing available to everyone would end the need for spousal dependence. Marriage would then become a right of personal privilege rather than an economic compulsion. Until such time Socialists need to engage in the struggle to make all equal under the laws of the current state.

While this is a welcome legal victory, there is still much work to be done. It is reprehensible that a law like this could ever be created in the first place. Opponents of same-sex marriage used the same tired local autonomy – “it should be left up to the states” – rhetoric that was used by the confederacy before the civil war, and by many long after. The “Jim Crow” laws were defended in this way. We must fight for equal protection at a federal level.

Ultimately, the arguments must be taken to the people. The law went into effect in California because a scant majority of California voters succumbed to a campaign that trumpeted long accepted prejudices and approved it in a referendum last year.

As socialists, we seek to create a world where, quoting Marx: “The free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.”

No comments:

Post a Comment