On May 15th 2008, the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same sex marriage. The decision is set to take effect 30 days after the ruling, making that June 16th. It’s been 4 years since the Supreme Court of California banned SF Mayor Gavin Newsom from continuing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples at City Hall. Over 4,000 licenses were issued in a month-long span (Feb 12 – March 11, 2004). Those licenses will not have to be nullified, but couples will have to re-do their vows. Just like in 2004, celebrity couple Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon will be the first to wed.
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon marry in an iconic 2004 photograph.
Even though I am not gay, I will always support anything that makes things the way that they should be. There are many issues that have gray areas, but, to me, the legal right of homosexuals to marry is a very black-and-white topic. It’s as black-and-white as the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, racial suffrage, and the 21st amendment. Being gay is not a choice, just like being born a certain race or sex. If you don’t believe that, then you need to take a second look at reality and put yourselves in the situations of others.
It’s a terrible feeling to not be able to be comfortable in your own skin and have to lie or hide every single day. Growing up, I lived in a basically all-white environment. From kindergarten through 8th grade, it was myself and one other Asian kid, who transferred out of my school in the 6th grade. I was never ashamed of or felt bad for being different, but if I could have lied about being Asian, I might have once or twice. Those were the only days I’ve actually gotten in fights, usually as retaliation from being called a “chink” or some other stupid reference to being Chinese. Don’t get me wrong, overall I had a fun time in school and I was a huge jokester, but there were definitely times when I wanted to hide and just be like everyone else.
I have personally decided to show my support for the gay and lesbian community by offering to volunteer my services to the County Clerk’s Office (email@example.com) and the LGBT. I strongly encourage anybody else who would like to support the community and any movement to grant equal rights (in general) to do the same. Also, if there are any couples (gay or straight) who would like me to reside over their wedding, I would love to do so and donate the proceeds to LGBT or another local cause. Please comment on this page or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This ruling actually ties in with two of my previous posts: Same Sex Marriages and Reverend Matthew Jung Lee on my personal blog. In 2006, I wrote about how infuriated I was when the Senate even considered an amendment to the Constitution to make gay marriages illegal. Then, last August I wrote about becoming an ordained minister and legally being able to wed couples. Back then, my ministry was just a joke; but, now I’m glad these two posts will come together.
The ruling will be great for the Bay Area for many reasons. This article talks about the economic boom that holding these weddings in California will create. An estimated $692 million will be spent in California over the next three years. All of the news press will also work to encourage acceptance worldwide and educate people on the issues related to homosexuality. The best thing though is that it is a symbol for change. I applaud Mayor Newsom for opening up City Hall to marriages, probably knowing full well that the Supreme Court would eventually get involved. The momentum spurred law suits from the ban on marriages and pressure on legislatures to take a serious look at the values of their constituents. This is one victory for the People.