THEN: California Supreme Court casts 4 – 3 vote to lift the ban on gay marriage

Originally Printed: by, Erin Macke

Erin Macke

On Thursday, May 15, the California Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban against gay marriage with a 4-3 ruling, finally making gay marriage legal in the state of California. The Court ruled that the Constitution’s “fundamental right to marry” should extend to same sex couples. Now California joins Massachusetts as one of the only two states that recognizes the ceremony legally.

While this is a huge achievement for California, it is still a little embarrassing that only two out of the fifty states recognize all types of couples. It amazes me that we can put a man on the moon, almost cure erectile dysfunction,combine peanut butter and jelly into one convenient; but still we are unable to get a few states to agree that all people are equal.

Isn’t this the country that screams equality? I guess Orwell  was right when he said that all people are equal but some are just more equal than others. It’s just a little disheartening when after everything this country has been through with the fight for equality for everyone, we still find ourselves telling people the correct way to live an dictating what you can do if you live that way.

The battle against same-sex marriage has included ridiculous anecdotes and offensive speeches while somehow managing to miss this real point of equality. This really shouldn’t have been a question of whether or not a same-sex marriage is a religious offense or not. Since the controversy started, it should have been an issue of the rights of the people rather than the criticism of the practice.

I understand that most religions don’t condone gay marriage, but this issue stretches much further than religion. There will always be some group that says some practice goes against the will of God, but this issue should not stop at the doors of a church. This debate should have always been seen as a topic of equality and addressed in the same way.

Not everyone is going to agree on everything 100% of the time, but there is always room for compromise. I cannot even completely agree with either side and I consider myself to be pretty liberal. However, I am capable of realizing that this is 2008 and by now we should have equality for everyone. I realize that this battle is far from over and may not end for years to come, but I don’t feel that any group or committee should have the ability to refuse rights to people who have committed no crime. I am pleased to see that the efforts of people fighting for what they believe in have finally paid off and that everyone’s countless hours of determination were not in vain. Even though this decision took several years to come about, I am pleased that it has finally happened. I can’t help but have hope that this means that our society is becoming a little more tolerant than than it has been in the past. Tolerance and coexistence are all we really need to be able to live in a peaceful environment and the California Supreme Court’s decision has taken us one step closer to achieving this goal.

However, this victory is not complete yet. Almost immediately after the ban was lifted, an initiative created by Conservative and religious groups, which may appear on the November ballot, was started to amend the Constitution and prohibit same-sex marriages. Thankfully I have heard that the Constitution is a hard thing to amend. I personally have not attempted to amend a Constitution recently, But I’m sure there is a lot of paperwork and red tape involved. Hopefully these obstacles will delay the initiative for several years if not indefinitely.

Now someone just needs to talk to those other 48 states.