Hearings began Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court on the legality of Same-Sex Marriage. On one side is the City of San Francisco, representing twelve plaintiffs who filed suitafter the California Supreme Court ruled against the sanctioning of the marriages. All twelve of the plaintiffs were married last spring- in fact, two of the plaintiffs, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, were the very first couple to have been married. On the other side is the state of California and various other “traditional family” type groups. The hearings continue today.
At issue, of course, is just what constitutes the idea of “marriage” and what rights gay people are allowed to have. Representing San Francisco is City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who is both straight and married, and who has been actively involved in helping the Mayor navigate the legal flotsam and jetsam involved in all of this (as consigliore to the Mayor, he technically is supposed to have told Gavin that what he was doing was illegal and wrong, but instead joined in the fight). Arguing against him is State Attorney General (and rumored cannon-fodder to run against Arnie in the next election) Bill Lockyer who doesn’t really appear to be all that psyched to be doing what he’s doing. Helping him are two religiously oriented legal groups, the Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defense Fund.
In yesterday’s hearing, Herrera argued that a ruling in support of inter-racial couples to marry in 1948, one which declared the "the right to marry the person of one's choice'', supports the rights of gay people to marry. The state argued that California laws already give equal rights to gay couples- a domestic partner law goes into effect Jan. 1- but that allowing gay people to marry will cause the decaying of the institution of marriage, children growing up in weird families, dogs and cats living together, blah…blah…blahbity…blah. Three words- Mrs. Britney Federline. Anyways, hearings will wrap up today. Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer has asked for further written arguments by Jan. 14th (hey, it’s kind of like a written exam for lawyers!) and then has 90 days after that to issue a ruling. Whatever the ruling, you can expect this case to go all the way back to the California Supreme Court and maybe even The Supreme Court as we’re pretty sure neither side is going to give in on this. Either way, expect hot air emanating from the cable news channels- especially now that Christmas is soon to be over and Bill O’Reilly no longer has to try and save Christmas- and statements of outrage from Evangelical types feeling empowered that their prayers have given us four more years of W. All we can say is that we wish the best of luck for the twelve couples involved.
Image courtesy of USA Today