Word. Yay for this intermediate victory for marriage equality! I skimmed over the decision, and a few things stuck out:
1. Sounds like the defendants of Prop. 8 were very poorly organized: not knowing what to argue, having witnesses withdraw for dubious reasons, putting up expert witnesses who couldn’t pass as experts, etc. Judge Walker doesn’t really hide his disdain for them, painting a picture of folks who were great at manipulating voters and terrible at swaying great legal minds of reason. That… might not fly so well in the 9th Circuit. I mean, sure, they’re a bunch of lefty weirdos, so they probably support marriage equality. But they are a bunch of lefty weirdos! They probably don’t like having democracy besmirched like that. You know? Maybe (hopefully?) I’m over-thinking this.
[Edited to add: You know what makes me angry, though? Equality opponents framing the decision as a deprivation of Californian’s “core civil right to vote for marriage.” Because “voting for marriage” is not a civil right. Voting is a civil right, but even the right to vote is and has always been subject to greater limitation than the right to marry. For example, convicted felons can be deprived their voting rights permanently (although I think in California the restriction only applies to incarcerated felons), but you could not permanently deprive felons the right to marry (unless they’re gay).]
2. I like Judge Walker’s approach of comparing allowing same-sex marriage to other changes in marriage from the last centuryish. I also like that when I started explaining the decision to Collin, we had this conversation:
Robin: So he says, look dudes, allowing interracial marriages didn’t destroy the institution, ending coverture didn’t destroy the institution, this won’t either.
Collin: What’s coverture?
Robin: It’s the old system whereby getting married erased the woman as a legal entity, and she became part of her husband’s legal entity instead.
Collin: I want that! I want to cover you!
Robin: Tough luck, buttercup!
Collin: I want your social security number! I want your birth certificate! I want to mush them into mine!
Robin: Well I want to stay a person.
Collin: You’re a lady, I know all you really want is to get married.
3. There is no three. Other than to say, once again, yay!