|It looks like the frustratingly narrow margin of defeat for opponents of the discriminatory Californian Proposition 8, which writes prohibitions against same-sex marriage into that state's constitution, has taken antigay organisations by surprise.
Chief amongst the targets of outrage appears to be the Church of the Latter Day Saints or Mormons. It may not seem like it over in New Zealand, where that faith is shrinking in number, and its local proponents seem apolitical, but in the United States, they heavily bankroll campaigns against same-sex marriage, both within and outside its native Utah.
Demonstrations haven't been restricted to California, or even the United States. There have been a handful of Canadian LGBT solidarity demonstrations in Toronto and Ottawa, and there is continuing international LGBT media coverage of the situation in California. It is significant that Governor Schwarzenegger has backed the LGBT resistance to discriminatory constitutional provisions, and the matter may yet be appealed to the California or US Supreme Courts.
How will the change of administration affect matters in Washington if it comes to that? President-elect Obama personally opposes same-sex marriage, but also opposes discriminatory state and federal constitutional and legislative barriers to it. He has promised to repeal the federal Defence of Marriage Act, and also opposes the so-called "Federal Marriage Amendment," which would violate faith/state separation and religious and philosophical freedom through writing a discriminatory sectarian ban against same-sex marriage into the national constitution. Moreover, FMA sponsor and Colorado Republican Marilyn Musgrave was amongst those defeated at the recent US election.
It'll be interesting to see the effects of the changed parameters over same-sex marriage in neighbouring Australia, whose legislative ban on same-sex marriage is starting to look extremist and isolated, given the change of administration within the United States. One hopes that Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd takes heed of the new climate overseas.
It may be the case that this becomes the equivalent of Stonewall insofar as same-sex marriage activism is concerned. However, one obstacle might be the Bush-packed US Supreme Court, unless some conservative justices die or become incapacitated during President Obama's term(s?) of office.
If the US Christian Right thinks that ending constitutional allowance for same-sex marriage within California was going to conclude that matter, then they must have been seriously delusional. It looks as if it has severely backfired. Craig Young - 5th December 2008