Monday, November 10, 2008

Arnie Looking for SSM

Arnold Schwarzenegger's comments resolve nothing, but indicate much. Unlike Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain or Sarah Palin, California's governor finally groks marriage equality.

Evolving from opponent (tradition and then veto) to neutral (let the courts decide) to proponent (no-on-Prop. 8), he made his strongest, most hopeful statements yesterday. Speaking with CNN's John King, he said of the passage of the amendment:
"It is unfortunate, but is not the end because I think this will go back into the courts. … It's the same as in the 1948 case when blacks and whites were not allowed to marry. This falls into the same category."
As is the wont of such manly men, he apparently dragged out a sports analogy from his earlier life. He compared the ensuing struggle to overrule the amendment to a lifter who cannot raise a heavy weight. "I learned that you should never ever give up. . . . They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done."

We can forever kick around Obama's complicity in Prop. 8's passage. Many say he may even secretly be for marriage equality, even as he mouths the separate-but-(un)equal civil unions pablum. The underlying concept is that he could not have gotten elected had he been for civil rights for homosexual couples. Unless he admits to that kind of expediency, we can't know.

Meanwhile though, it is telling and a bit inspirational that Schwarzenegger nails up a poster of truth with compassion. He expected SSM supporters to attack the amendment. As he put it, "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."

NYU law professor Arthur S. Leonard reported on three immediate court filings here. He separately analyzed what might happen to about 18,000 SSMs conducted since the state high-court ruling here.

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