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Marriage on the Rocks

23 November, 2008


Published: November 22, 2008

Los Angeles

Maureen Dowd, columnist for the New York Times, talked to Senator Diane Feinstein about the newly release movie  MILK.  Feinstein was the person who found Harvey Milk’s body after he had been shot by Dan White.  I found Dowd’s column online last night but it is also in today’s print edition of the paper.  Here are some clips I think are relevant to the ongoing battle for equal rights and the recently defeated PROP HATE.

“The movie, chronicling the rancorous California fight of gay activists against church-backed forces in the ’70s to prevent discrimination against gays, is opening amid a rancorous California fight of gay activists against church-backed forces to prevent discrimination against gays.


This month, gays who supported Barack Obama had the bittersweet experience of seeing some of the black and Latino voters who surged to the polls to vote Democratic also vote for Proposition 8, which turned gay “I dos” into “You can’ts.” About 20,000 gay couples had exchanged vows before Prop 8 passed, backed by a coalition that included Mormon and Catholic opponents.


Feinstein felt sure that gays who have been married in the state since June are still married. “You can’t redact it,” she said. “You can’t blot it out. It’s so intrinsic to the Constitution that you cannot remove it by a vote of the people.”

Jerry Brown, the California attorney general who is also featured in the archival reels in “Milk” from his days as governor, agreed: “I believe those are valid,” he told me, saying that he will argue in the appeal before the State Supreme Court that there cannot be “a retroactive invalidation of these marital contracts.”


The gays were outfoxed by their opponents. In both Prop 6 in 1978 and this year’s Prop 8, the specter of children being converted to a gay orientation was raised. Feinstein said the TV ad of Prop 8 supporters insinuating that “gay marriage would be taught in school really hurt.” (“I can marry a princess,” a pigtailed girl told her mom in the ad.)

Being “outfoxed” doesn’t make the end result right.  It just means that the opponents were able to use fear, anger, and lies to promote their own personal religious and moral views in order to repress people who do not share those views.  

As Feinstein says in Dowd’s column, “I think people are beginning to look at it differently, I know it’s happened for me,” Feinstein said of gay marriage. “I started out not supporting it. The longer I’ve lived, the more I’ve seen the happiness of people, the stability that these commitments bring to a life. Many adopted children who would have ended up in foster care now have good solid homes and are brought up learning the difference between right and wrong. It’s a very positive thing.”

Let us hope that she is right and that people take another, more realistic, look at the issue.

read the rest of the story here:  

One Comment leave one →
  1. PUMAbear permalink
    23 November, 2008 21:15

    Regarding “marriage on the rocks” I just don’t trust completely that the marriages already performed will be honored i the future. Some new amendment can come along that would undo these rights.
    In San Francisco, the people who got married had their marriages rescinded. I realize that was a technical matter regarding the proper jurisdiction of the states, but still…..There is a sorry history of overturning rights that have already been won. Look at the up and down ride for African-Americans when it came to retaining civil rights.

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