Saturday, March 07, 2009

Stranded SSM Trailblazers

Surely, it's not what California same-sex couples planned for when they married. Now it looks like over 18,000 such pairs will be involuntary freaks, but in a good way for the state and nation.

Extrapolation from this week's arguments before the state Supreme Court strongly suggests:
  • As odious as stripping existing rights from a group of citizens is, that's how it can work there.
  • The thousands of SS couples married from June until the end of the year remain legally married, at least in state.
The aim of the November ballot vote was to delineate a separate and inferior class, SS couples who could not marry. While it succeeded there, it seems to have also created a subset of married gay and lesbian couple. They in their obvious stability, love and well, normality will haunt the voters and legislature.

The LATimes has been tops on the Prop 8 coverage. A solid piece yesterday described the "elated and isolated" couples grandfathered into legal marriage.

SS marrieds and those with civil unions already expressed their discomfort and frustration at localized legality. Such spouses from the likes of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire need to draw up and carry medical proxies and other documents different-sex married don't. The California of legally-married-by-quick-action is a whole other layer.

Many frequently tell me to take the long view. I'm not good at that on marriage equality. I do agree that with four or eight years, California will remove that horrid amendment. Meanwhile, several other populous states will enact either same-sex marriage or its asthenic relative, civil unions.

So, we won't have to wonder long how it will be for the 18,000 drafted role model couples. I bet media all over the state and some national ones are on it now. Find one or two gay or lesbian marrieds, ideally with kids. Ask what it's like at work, in the supermarket, in church, with family. Make sure to isolate issues and insults. Finish with their aspirations for statewide equality. Repeat.

At least there are many thousands of them. As a group, they are not costly to the state nor destructive. Inevitably in this oddest of periods there, they will be role models. People will watch and judge and report. I suspect full equality and more SSM company can't come soon enough for many of these couples.

The anti-marriage equality sorts would surely prefer that this group they seem to have created in their spite disappear. Their absurd, illogical and untrue claims that SSM harms anyone oxidize in the reality. The more people who know, work with, and meet these 36,000 citizens, the more rust coats the lies about them.

The attention on these couples cannot be as intense as on those who have brought the lawsuits that meant equality legalization. Yet, it is the kind of scrutiny that would make most of us very uncomfortable. Other than your in-laws, who is looking at and judging your marriage every day?

Here's to strength to the couples and to the return of SSM in California.

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