[Edited 10/31/08 11:47am to correct link]
As readers of this blog know, my topic is "democratic egalitarianism"--all those issues of economics and democratic sustainability that are worthy of our consideration as we struggle to sustain our democracy in the face of a corporatist agenda (i.e., an agenda that privatizes and deregulates; that grants control over much of what matters to us in our daily lives to multinational corporations with no loyalty to our country or our people or the public good; that makes greed good, redistribution upwards meritorious, and redistribution to care for public needs and those who need a safety net to protect them somehow morally questionable).
Accordingly, I write not just about the economy and taxes, but about the importance of developing democratic institutions that acknowledge all groups, that respect each individual and provide opportunities for self-fulfillment to all. California's recent recognition of gay marriage as a constitutional right under the state's constitution is one of those wonderful moments when one's faith in fellow citizens to finally get it right is renewed. Gay marriage provides no threat to straight couples like my husband and me. Our marriage is just as strong after Massachusetts' and California's recognition of gay marriage as it was before. Gay marriage does provide a benefit to gay couples--they are permitted to enjoy the legal blessing of their commitment in the same way that straight couples can, to know that their legal rights are understood and defined in the same way, so that others, such as their children, will also have clearly defined rights.
Here's a story in the Orange County News that sets the record straight on Proposition 8: a "no" vote is necessary to preserve the wonderful progress that California has made. I've quoted an excerpt of the article, below.
Fifty years from now, we will surely look back, with shame, at society's mistreatment of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered ("LGBT"). It is an unfortunate feature of democracies that the majority can pass laws that disfavor minority groups. This country's history of legally sanctioned segregation, "separate but [supposedly] equal" education and bans on interracial marriage were products of democratic institutions not yet ready to fully integrate racial minorities into society.
This country, however, was not built on the premise that majority will should rule on all matters; on the contrary, the American legal system was fashioned specifically to protect against the tyranny of the majority. ... In recognizing that same-sex couples have a right to marry, the California Supreme Court took a step toward equality, recognizing that the state constitution guarantees equal protection to same sex couples.