Protesters throughout California raised their voices against the passage of Proposition 8, which overturned the State Supreme Court decision in May legalizing same-sex marriage.
Demonstrations took place in Oakland, San Francisco, Orange County, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego. Protesters gathered outside Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in Orange County, where Barack Obama and John McCain participated in a "faith forum" during the presidential campaign, and at a Mormon Temple in Oakland to denounce religious support for the proposition.
One can easily criticize the specious reasoning behind a gay marriage ban. There is the contention that heterosexual marriage is a pillar of western civilization, which will crumble if gays marry. One wonders how Canada, Spain, Massachusetts and Connecticut have managed to survive. There is the argument that marriage must be "defended." Sorry, but the health of my marriage is between my wife and me and is not affected if a gay couple down the block gets married. There are the religious denunciations of gay marriage. Last time I checked, this country is not a theocracy. Do we really want to model ourselves after Iran and make laws based on religious edict?
While one can address these moral concerns, there are more important legal considerations. The very concept of a vote on this issue is an outrage. By what right does the majority presume to decide whether a minority has the same right to marriage? When laws against marriage between blacks and whites were overturned, was that a matter to be voted on or was it something for the courts to decide?
Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger put it correctly when he stated, "It is unfortunate, but it 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."
Gay marriage is one of the primary civil- and human-rights issues of contemporary America. Ultimately, supporters of this just cause must prevail through the courts if we are to be true to the principle of equal protection under the law.