Saturday, June 29, 2013

Reflections as Gay Marriages Resume in California

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay in the Proposition 8 case and gay marriages resumed in the nation's most populous state as couples turned out in droves to tie the knot.  I'm thrilled for these couples who will now be living in a state where they receive equal rights as citizens.  It's a bitter sweet feeling knowing that in Virginia it may be many years before LGBT Virginians ceasing being the new blacks under Virginia's discriminatory laws.  One thing the flood of California marriages will do is set the stage for more pressure on Virginia businesses to demand that the Virginia GOP stop pandering to spittle flecked Bible beaters as the competition for top employees becomes increasingly tilted against Virginia businesses.  In the past, big businesses have been the major players in reversing anti-gay laws - e.g., Capital One led the charge to end the ban on employer paid insurance benefits for same sex partners.  Think Progress looks at developments in California:

On Friday afternoon, the ninth circuit court lifted its stay on same-sex marriages in the state of California, acknowledging the Supreme Court’s opinion in Hollingsworth v Perry that supporters of anti-gay Proposition 8 did not have standing to appeal a lower court judge’s ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The move, which came earlier than expected, allows gay and lesbian couples to begin getting married immediately.

As soon as the news came down from the ninth circuit on Friday, California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris began marrying couples — starting with Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier.

UCLA estimates that 37,000 same-sex couples in California will get married in the next three years. 

Earlier on Friday, the Office of Personnel Management issued new guidance for “heads of executive departments and agencies” on how they should treat the gay and lesbian couples whose marriages are newly acknowledged as valid, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Both situations underscore the immediate, life-changing impact that same-sex couples are experiencing in the wake of Wednesday’s decisions.

The contrast between California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Ken "Kookinelli" Cuccinelli could not be more stark: Harris supports modernity and equality while Kookinelli supports hate, ignorance and bigotry (all while likely tortured by self-loathing and secretly longing for some hot gay sex).

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