Since this blog started in response to a UMC judicial decision regarding homosexuality, I feel like I can't NOT speak up on California's judicial decision on Proposition 8. I won't go back through the history of the proposition and the legal battle that will likely continue even after yesterday's decision - most of us have heard the details about it by now. As stated in the title of today's post, I am not surprised that the court made the decision that they did. I am disappointed in their decision, but know that if they had overturned the proposition, the situation probably wouldn't look a whole lot different today. It would just be "the other side" having protests and expressing their disappointment. I think the California courts tried to find a compromise, something that would appease both sides in this highly contentious debate. The same-sex couples who got married in that window of time are getting to keep their legal status - congratulations, Ellen! But those who consider this a moral problem can rest assured that nobody else will add to those ranks.
There are several things going through my head at this point. From a personal standpoint, I'm sad that our society hasn't grown past this debate, but I didn't expect that it was going to magically happen based on a few legal decisions. I think it's interesting that Iowa has made gay marriage legal while California, often seen as the nation's most liberal state, can't get it to stick. I think I'm glad to live in the Midwest right now. I think that my wedding didn't need legal status to happen but that someday if/when the time comes, we may want to do a renewal of vows that would be legally recognized. I had hoped that that day would be coming sooner rather than later, but I can be patient. It doesn't do me any good to get angry - there are too many people with too many opinions to fight. I know in my heart that this is an issue of justice and that justice will ultimately prevail. I just hope Trouble and I live to see it.
There have been all kinds of editorials, blog posts, and other statements about the Prop 8 decision. One that I'd like to point out to folks is the One City blog from Beliefnet. I think the author makes some great points about the legal issues on this debate and how most of this debate comes down to differentiating religious marriage from legal or civil marriage. We talk about equal rights in this country but are often too mired in our religious convictions to remember what legal rights are vs our moral beliefs. I don't like the things that a lot of hate groups say, but I can acknowledge that they have the right to say it. That's the beautiful thing about the U.S.A.! But when the word marriage gets used, things somehow get fuzzy. I am a Christian and have always believed in the religious implications of marriage. It was important for Trouble and I to have a minister do our ceremony and to have our family and friends present. We believe that God does bless our love and committment to each other for the rest of our lives - regardless of what other religious people may tell us.
The fact of the matter is that nobody really knows what God thinks about gay marriage. Until a booming voice from the heavens comes down to tell us explicitly, we're all making interpretations about what Scripture says and how it can be applied to our modern situations. But I'd rather err on the side of love and acceptance rather than fear, exclusion and even hatred. I'm going to continue to live my life, in love and committed to a wonderful woman and not getting any legal recognition of that relationship. Whatever. Life goes on and justice will one day be achieved.