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GO, Supreme Court of California, GO!!!

The Ginger was thrilled to tell me that the California Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

As past cases establish, the substantive right of two adults who share a loving relationship to join together to establish an officially recognized family of their own — and, if the couple chooses, to raise children within that family — constitutes a vitally important attribute of the fundamental interest in liberty and personal autonomy that the California Constitution secures to all persons for the benefit of both the individual and society.

Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.

I am happy to say that Canada legalized same sex marriages in June 2005. When Canada introduced legislation in 2005, the United Church offered congratulations in this press release.

The United Church of Canada congratulated the Canadian government today on introducing legislation that offers a win-win solution in the same-sex marriage debate.

"Marriage will be enhanced, not diminished, religious freedom will be protected, not threatened, and Canadian society will be strengthened, not weakened, as a result of this legislation," says the Rev. Dr. Jim Sinclair, General Secretary of the General Council.

Canada's largest Protestant denomination, The United Church of Canada, has long supported the civil recognition of same-sex partnerships. In August 2000, the 37th General Council affirmed that human sexual orientations, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are a gift from God and part of the marvellous diversity of creation. The Council further resolved to advocate for the civil recognition of same-sex partnerships. In August 2003, the 38th General Council decided "to call upon the Government of Canada to recognize same-sex marriages in marriage legislation."

However, individual church communities must go through their own discernment process, and decide for themselves whether to perform same-sex marriage. Fortunately both my church family and minister, Rev. Valerie, support these unions. If not, I'd be looking for another church home because I could not freely worship in a place where my daughter was unable to marry her chosen partner (whenever that time comes, of course - she's only 18 now so years away from marriage!)

Ginger's favourite excerpt from the California decision was this section (especially the bolded lines).

Although the understanding of marriage as limited to a union of a man and a woman is undeniably the predominant one, if we have learned anything from the significant evolution in the prevailing societal views and official policies toward members of minority races and toward women over the past half-century, it is that even the most familiar and generally accepted of social practices and traditions often mask an unfairness and inequality that frequently is not recognized or appreciated by those not directly harmed by those practices or traditions. It is instructive to recall in this regard that the traditional, well-established legal rules and practices of our not-so-distant past (1) barred interracial marriage, (2) upheld the routine exclusion of women from many occupations and official duties, and (3) considered the relegation of racial minorities to separate and assertedly equivalent public facilities and institutions as constitutionally equal treatment. As the United States Supreme Court observed in its decision in Lawrence v. Texas, supra, 539 U.S. 558, 579, the expansive and protective provisions of our constitutions, such as the due process clause, were drafted with the knowledge that “times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress.”

For this reason, the interest in retaining a tradition that excludes an historically disfavored minority group from a status that is extended to all others — even when the tradition is long-standing and widely shared — does not necessarily represent a compelling state interest for purposes of equal protection analysis.


Ginger also thought Ellen Degeneres' announcement was pretty cool...

And now, I leave you with this photo from the WonderCafe Ad Campaign:

ACD-20061103000300-gaymarriage.jpg

Comments (3)

Wonderful post! I too was SO happy when I saw that in the news yesterday. And how awesome that your church is so enlightened.

Have a good weekend!

Interesting that your church supports same sex marriage. That seems to be the main excuse those against same sex marriage use. I heard this person raving on the radio yesterday about "what's next - father's will be able to marry their daughters?". I just don't understand the big deal. I personally was also glad to hear California gave it the thumbs up.

Eden:

To quote Gavin Newsom, San Francisco's mayor, "It's about human dignity, ... it's about time..."

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