Last week, a federal judge ruled that California’s Prop 8- the notorious anti-gay-marriage initiative- was unconstitutional.
This is a huge victory for the California LGBT community, but it is also much more. It sends a message to other groups that would fight against equal rights that no one group has the right to deny happiness to another.
Prop 8 was largely funded and supported by Mormon groups. The groups, and religious or “values” based groups like them, have an amazing capacity for fundraising, and a frightening amount of clout when it comes to public policy. With a well organized campaign, they believed they could essentially undo the legislation their government enacted. And they were partially right- they were able to pass Prop 8.
But this federal ruling is another step firmly towards equality, and once that equality is legally supported, recognized, and enforced, these attempts to deny some subset of citizens their rights will begin to dwindle and die.
We cannot legislate an end to bigotry. We cannot litigate an end to ignorance and intolerance. What we can do is continue to fight for the rights of every person, regardless or race, religion, or sexual orientation, to share in the American dream of happiness and prosperity.
Congratulations, California! And welcome back to to the realm of reason and compassion.
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