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14 Amendment: R.I.P.

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The California Supreme Court today upheld a voter-approved ban -- the recent so-called Prop 8 -- on same-sex marriage, but in the same ruling decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who got married before the ban took effect last November will continue as legally married couples.

Is that not an astonishing ruling? Same-sex couples who were married several months ago did so legally, but couples seeking the same status today seek an illegal contract -- illegal because of religious insanity. Excuse me a second while my head explodes. In other words, in the brief time after the first Supreme Court ruling on this issue in May 2008 until the religious crazies could get a ballot initiative before the voters last November -- a total of six months -- same-sex marriage was legal. Now it's not. WTF?

Today's ruling indicates the Court was unwilling to, in effect, nullify the decision by a majority of California voters (52% to 48%) who decided in the November 2008 initiative to deny the legal, civil right of marriage to couples who happened to be of the same sex. That decision had, of course, no basis in law -- except mob law -- and had its origins exclusively in religious nuttiness and church-ordered persecution.

Today's ruling codifies the right of the majority to tyrannize the minority -- at the very least where it concerns denying legal status to people who happen to be homosexual. How else should one read the decision? It was only a year ago that the California Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying sexual orientation, like race or gender, "does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights" including, obviously, the right to sign a marriage contract that contains the same rights and responsibilities whether the signatories are homosexual or heterosexual.

Last year, writing for the 4-3 majority, Chief Justice Ronald George wrote, "We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples."  The ruling was comparable to the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Virginia case overturning that state's ban on interracial marriage (which was also a religious nut-ball ban to begin with). The California ruling was about civil marriage; about fundamental, equal rights under the law. It has nothing to do with religion. People who want to worship a god or an animal or a piece of furniture have a legal right to deny sanctifying a marriage between people who do not worship a god or an animal or a piece of furniture. And that's where it ends. The State issues a marriage license, not a snarling pack of religious bigots.

But, we know the story of Prop 8, don't we. Shortly after last year's ruling on the denial of the civil right of marriage, the religious a**holes went to work and Proposition 8 was born in an attempt (today proven successful) to duplicate a 2000 voter referendum that banned same-sex marriage. It was that law that was struck down in May of 2008.

So, what now? For the time being, the Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, is dead, murdered in California by religious freaks who insist god said he didn't want the queers to marry. The Clause provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Hey, ask any religious idiot and he or she will tell you without hesitation: "Gawd's law is waaayyyyy more important than man's law." The California Supreme Court today agreed with that steaming pile of religious bullshit.

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Mike Malloy is a former writer and producer for CNN (1984-87) and CNN-International (2000). His professional experience includes newspaper columnist and editor, writer, rock concert producer and actor. He is the only radio talk show host in America to have received the A.I.R (Achievement in Radio) Award in both (more...)
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