Keeping Families Together
The Asian And Pacific Islander Family Pride Blog
February 10, 2012
Let’s Send Flowers To The Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals
By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA
We wanted to write about something else, but this week it is not possible to ignore the momentous ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that California’s Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of our federal constitution.
Although we are on record of viewing the struggle for LGBT persons to marry as won awhile back and that now we should prepare to combat the prejudice and hatred that will remain for generations, this court ruling is a big milestone. Our son is a step, albeit a small one, closer to being equal to his brother and sister and everybody else.
We Celebrate Some Parts Of The Ruling
We like Judge Steven Reinhardt’s statement that: “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.” A host of ingrown traditions, stultified beliefs, and archaic laws told our son that he does not belong, that he doesn’t get to be the same as everybody else. Not just that, he is also less valued, because he does not adhere to values treasured by a majority. Equal but separate does not work, because those who are separate are always inferior.
We Worry About Other Parts
We worry about the narrow scope on which the ruling is based. The judges did not say that same sex marriage is protected under the constitution. They said that there is no reason to separate LGBT people from the rest of society. And that is why we worry about the dissent by Judge N. Randy Smith who thought that there could be a reason for the state to ban same sex marriage, namely, “responsible procreation” and “optimal parenting.” Statements of protests from Prop 8 proponents don’t worry us too much, because we have been reading and hearing them for so long. Maybe we should pay closer attention for what they say to see where they are going next.
Regardless, Take Time To Celebrate
The legal battle for same sex marriage continues, though for us, the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Still, someone has to man the barricades until the Supreme Court ends the discrimination. So from parents of a gay son to those who are manning the barricades, a heartfelt thank you for staying the course and making it happen
Belinda and John Dronkers-Laureta are board members of Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride apifamilypride.org