Why I support marriage equality


I wrote this piece back in May when a local pastor I know submitted his column why Proposition 8 needs to be passed in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, which resulted in 330+ replies to his column.

By Matthew Munson

Back in 2000 I knew the fight for same sex marriage was going to be futile. The proponents of Proposition 22 were well-funded compared to an unprepared group trying to oppose the initiative. They knew that the 2000 primary was going to be the perfect time to bring in their base of voters because the Republicans were having a heated nomination fight. Yes, it is understood that 62 percent did support this initiative. However eight long years does end up changing the views of voters regarding this controversial issue.

Most Californians do see the importance for the recognition of partnership rights and during May 15th, the California Supreme Court laid their landmark decision affirming the right that the right to marry is extended to gay and straight alike. In this case, supporters of Proposition 22 may say that the governor and the state Supreme Court may be violating the will of the people. However the courts are the checks and balances that prevent tyranny of the majority. Just as how Proposition 14 in 1964 was passed to allow discrimination in housing and rentals, it was repealed in 1967 with the US Supreme Court decision of Reitman v. Mulkey.

The dictionary is not a static book, the dictionary changes over time. The definitions of words including marriage evolve just as how generations have varied opinions of same sex marriage. The dictionary of today does include the mention of same sex marriage. The battle for same sex marriage is not for the validation of our behavior, it’s for equal rights for our relationships. It is about improving the lives for all families, straight and gay.

California has most of the rights and privileges extended to same sex couples with domestic partnerships. It is merely a symbolic victory in the state supreme court. Society may not be comfortable or accepting of the idea of the term marriage extended to same sex couples. However it’s integral for couples to be recognized as equal under the law. Federal law gives over 1,049 rights, benefits and responsibilities to opposite sex couples that are routinely denied to same sex couples, because of the Defense of Marriage act these benefits can not be confirmed. If straight allies are uncomfortable with marriage extended to same sex couples, then a parallel institution should be extended nationwide until society is comfortable for same sex marriage.

No one is going to force straight California to enter into a same sex marriage. Although it’s going to be a close fight, win or lose same sex marriage is inevitable. This decision was about civil marriage, if you want to have selective criteria about religious marriage you have the liberty to choose who can be married in your religious institution.

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