The California Supreme Court's affirmation of the right to same sex marriage on May 15, 2008 is a bright light in these very dark, fascist times and is a milestone event. Here is the 172 -age, 4 to 3 decision permitting same sex marriage in California, 39 years after Stonewall and annual gay rights parades across the nation, growing in number and with the generations: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S147999.PDF
You can also get in Word format at: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/opinions.cgi?Courts=S
The date is May 15, 2008, the case number is Cal Supreme Court S147999
The cout's press release is at: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/presscenter/newsreleases/NR26-08.PDF
The majority opinion, which ends at page 121, was written by Chief Justice Ronald George and signed by Justices Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Werdegar and Carlos Moreno with Justice Kennard writing a separate concurring opinion. Justice Marvin Baxter wrote a separate concurring and dissenting opinion signed by Justice Ming Chin and Justice Carol Corrigan also wrote a separate concurring and diseenting opinion.
The opinion confirms the reality that the gay liberation movement is part of the long history of civil rights struggles, based on the black liberation movment, with its reference to the 60 year old decision of Perez v. Sharp, (1948) 32 Cal.2d 711, overturning California's racist laws that forbade interracial marriage. The fact that such racist laws existed anywhere in the US, and California was only one of many states that had such horrifying, insane laws, means this country was never a democratic country. Of course, a country based on genocide and slavery cannot claim to have democratic foundations. It took until 1967 for the US Supreme Court to overturn all racist marriage laws. See
“Mildred Loving, civil rights-era pioneer, dies at 68” By Patrick Martin, May 9, 2008 World Socialist Website, at http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/may2008/lov-m09.shtml
And this decision also confirms the secular nature of our society, which is extremely important in the face of the anti-science, anti-evolution, anti-abortion position of the current reactionary US government and in regard to abortion, the US Supreme Court, which has criminalized abortions for the last trimester of pregnancy. THIS DEFENSE OF THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE MAKES THIS DECISION AN IMPORTANT TURNING POINT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST FASCISM IN THE USA. Regardless of what anyone may think of the institution of marriage, everyone has a civil right to marry, regardless of what any superstition says about it, and that is the impact of this decision beyond the issue of same sex marriage. To claim to be an industrialized society, science and the secular nature of the society must be defended.
The fact that the decision is split so closely means that the ruling class is slowly being dragged into the 21st Century by the younger generations as gay marriage increases its support with each succeeding younger generation. Harvey Milk would be proud of California as we are proud of him. I just wish all my friends who died of the government's genocide program called "AIDS" were here for this moment. We are here with their memory to carry on, and that is what we must do with all deliberate speed, to defend our homes by voting NO on 98/Yes on 99 to defend rent control on June 3. Let us remember the current gay liberation movement began in San Francisco in 1964 in defense of gays against police raids at a California Hall New Year's dance as I recall, and in 1969 with the primarily black and Puerto Rican workingclass gay people defending themselves from a police attack on the Stonewall bar.
For the 1964 event, see http://www.shapingsf.org/ezine/gay/files/60s.html
The gay liberation movement was of course part of the counterculture that developed in our opposition to the war against Vietnam, perpetrated by the capitalist class to maximize their profits, the primary goal of the bankrupt social order in which we live, capitalism.
Now we have to defend it in November as the religious nuts are putting an anti-gay marriage initiatve on the ballot. It is awaiting verification of signatures by the Secretary of State. See Item 1298 at: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_j.htm#2008General
That's why it is important to vote, not just in November, but also JUNE 3, to DEFEND RENT CONTROL. No on 98, Yes on 99.
As to gay marriage and the presidential race, Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party support gay marriage. The front running Democratic Party candidates for president claim to support civil unions for gays, but not marriage. Bill Clinton was the author of the infamous anti-gay marriage, Defense of Marriage Act. of 1996 nullifying pro-gay marriage laws by one state being recognized in other states under the full faith and credit clause of the US Constitution. That will have to be challenged, and it will be overturned as the US Supreme Court already overturned its own sodomy decision.
The Peace & Freedom Party platform may be found at: http://peaceandfreedom.org/home/index.php/about-us/platform
and the section on gay liberation is as follows:
•Equal treatment and benefits under the law for all families. Guarantee equal child custody, adoption, visitation privileges, and foster parenthood rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
•Equal treatment for all people in the military regardless of sexual orientation.
•The right to gay marriage and partners' benefits.
•Accurate sex education courses in public schools. Truthful information about sexuality in society and history.