Keeping Families Together
The Asian And Pacific Islander Family Pride Blog
May 31, 2013
Will June Bring Genderless Marriage?
By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA
Tomorrow starts the month of June. Sometime during that month the Supreme Court renders its decision on gay marriage. Or will it? Is it not ironic that in the days leading up to the hearings, there was no way short of going on a foreign trip to escape the opinions and pontificates pouring from all the media distribution channels. Such wisdom! Then when the hearings were over: nothing!
We tried to read as many of the articles we could to get a sense of all what people were saying. There was the question of standing. When two couples sued the state of California to overturn Prop 8, both the state’s governor and attorney general agreed with the plaintiffs and refused to defend the law. So who would? A group of private citizens said they would. Do they have the legal right to do that? Five justices apparently don’t think they do and if they get together and make that their final decision the case is dismissed. But that would make same gender marriage only legal in California without setting a precedent for the other states.
Then there was the “shadow of Roe v Wade” argument. In that case the Supreme Court found that the right to an abortion is a fundamental right. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg thought that the judgment went too far too fast. Many scholars believe that the ruling stopped the democratic processes in states where the matter of abortion should be resolved and instead polarized the nation and started a cultural war that is with us still today. The justices, the shadow argument goes, will want to avoid a similar overreach.
Pundits were counting noses. Who among the justices were for Pro 8 and who against and why? It made for interesting if futile reading. This justice would be against because of his or her past record; that justice would be for because of his or her previous writings. Some believed the justices were looking for away to either wiggle out of the case altogether or to construct a ruling that would apply to the narrowest of application. Some gave up and said nobody can predict how the justices are going to decide.
We read a few articles that June’s ruling, though important, would not matter in the long run. The tide is turning against those who oppose genderless marriages. We agree, but only in principle. A ruling upholding Prop 8 would be devastating, a ruling declaring it unconstitutional would be a foundation from which to grow and blossom justice. To paraphrase Dr. King: the time is now, waiting too often means never.
We have a gay son who is in a seventeen-year committed relationship. In 2011 we wrote about his commitment ceremony, but he is not married, does not enjoy the social respect marriage still brings and does not benefit from the economic security married couples have. We think it is time to take away the ability to build a fence around a social construct that is available only to a few. If marriage is an affirmation of love and a willingness to commit, then everybody who loves should be able to marry.
Belinda and John Dronkers-Laureta are board members of Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride www.apifamilypride.org