Marriage déjà vu

Yesterday morning the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case challenging Prop 8, the voter initiative that amended the constitution to eliminate same-sex marriage rights in the state. Thom and I went to Civic Center in San Francisco to watch the hearing on a giant screen arranged by the marriage-equality organizations. (We ran into Julie there; here’s her pic of us and her whole set.) I didn’t feel like the hearing shed much new light on the case, since most of the arguments were ones we’ve heard before, but it was good to get a feel, slight though it was, for the justices’ thinking by way of their questions.

Gathered outside there were a lot of people on both sides of the debate, and though both crowds got loud especially after the hearing concluded and the attorneys emerged from the court building to make public remarks, the event was more or less peaceful.

Prop 8 hearing

Just last year at around this time, on March 4, 2008, I remember watching the webcast of the case that eventually led to the recognition of same-sex marriage rights a few months later. I’m trying to remain optimistic. This time around I guess I’m hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, or rather, something in the middle. The buzz I’ve been reading is that the court may uphold Prop 8 as a legal amendment to the state constitution, but also uphold (rightfully so, I believe) the validity of the same-sex marriages entered into between June and November 2008.

The court must give its decision within ninety days. Whichever way it goes, we have to keep fighting for our rights.

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