In case you haven't heard, California Judge Vaughn Walker declared Prop 8 unconstitutional and had it overturned!
As great as that is though, his reasons for doing so are even better, as expecting the ruling to be appealed (which by all appearances it seems to be going in that direction), he basically in his 136 page opinion (pdf file), he countered every ridiculous arguement the Prop 8 supporters gave in their trial:
(The following is from this wonderful article at the Chicago Tribune: "Gay marriage ruling speaks to our nation's highest values" by Eric Zorn, --which is where the title of this post is from--although much of the following quoting the actual 136 page opinion)
Marriage is all about child-rearing? California "has never required that individuals entering a marriage be willing or able to procreate," Judge Walker wrote.
Allowing gays to marry will erode the institution of marriage? "Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriages," he wrote.
Gay couples aren't fit to raise kids? "Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted," he wrote. "The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology." Indeed "the children of same-sex couples benefit when their parents can marry."
Gay couples are unlikely to stay together? "Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions," he wrote.
Civil unions are good enough? "The availability of domestic partnership does not provide gays and lesbians with a status equivalent to marriage," Walker wrote, "because the cultural meaning of marriage and its associated benefits are intentionally withheld from same-sex couples in domestic partnerships."
Now, while reading all of this, I was naturally saying "yes!! Thank you!!" and nodding like a dork. Especially on the "child-rearing" section, because although in the early 21st century when I started following this issue, I never heard much of that argument and always dismissed it as a ridiculous idea. As of late, the myth of queer people being terrible parents by credible research and study has been DISPROVEN. The following organizations (to name a few), all support gays as parents, and the links lead to pages proving that: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the Noth American Council on Adoptable Children, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the National Association of Social Workers (and others) in California Supreme Court Case No. S147999.
Now, despite all that support, the LGBT Parenting "question" is becoming a favorite of groups like NOM (here) and Focus on the Family (here and here) and for arguing against the rights of LGBT people. And that is infuriating, because to those who haven't done the research and looked at the facts, the idea that gay marriage might hurt children disguises the idea that the opponents of same-sex marriage aren't hateful of gay people or just crazy Christians, because they are worried about the children. Even though it's ridiculous because of all the research that shows children raised by LGBT parents are just as well-adjusted, happy, and healthy as a child raised by heterosexual parents. So seeing the judge put it in simple terms on paper is very refreshing, although I doubt it will stop the opposition from continually using that scare tactic.
Which brings me back to the article in the Chicago Tribune, to this particular section which I think is so well worded and a great argument to those who claim that this decision goes against the will of the people:
True, polls and referendum results show that gay marriage is opposed by a majority — an ever smaller majority but a majority nevertheless — of voters.
But any regime in any corner of the world can enforce the prejudices of the majority. It takes a nation devoted to freedom to protect and advance the rights of unpopular minorities and to hold the majority to a high standard of necessity before enshrining its cultural notions into law.
It's nice to hear intelligent words from sane people, isn't it? Although it is sad to know that America can still be against something that just makes so much sense, even when most of our respected allies are for it. Especially when it goes against what we love to trumpet to the entire world, that we support equality for all and we're a free country. But I suppose it is easy to say, and hard to put into practice...
But on a funny end note, I give you hilarious, counter-protest signs to the Westboro Baptist Church (the people who say "God hates fags"). And more here (much of these are Futurama-themed, which I find that much more amusing XD).