Prop 8, the gay marriage ban in California, has been ruled unconstitutional.
No, I'm not elated. I'm not relieved. I'm perhaps a tiny bit pleased, but that's all I'm allowing myself.
Of COURSE it's unconstitutional.
And of course it isn't over.
There was no other way the judge could rule, really. A majority of my neighbors, no matter how much they hate me, can't vote to take away my civil rights. Sorry. Even if they are motivated by centuries-old superstition or belong to an out of state cult that believes the Garden of Eden is in Missouri, and even if they lie and lie and lie and lie to get 50% + 1 of my neighbors to share the belief with them, it doesn't matter. The Constitution gives me protection. Or it should. I'm sure my fellow citizens of African descent can tell me what cold comfort that is - to be guaranteed things in writing that people will kill you to prevent you from having - even as they voted in favor of taking away my civil rights.
This decision means nothing. We have the most conservative Supreme Court in decades sitting now in DC, and Ms. Kagan is unlikely to have any effect on that. Justice Thomas, that intellectual light weight who is the ultimate of all affirmative action hires, is the most activist judge in the history of the court; Alito and Scalia are mean spirited, mendacious bigots, and Roberts give it all a pretty face. No, it comes down to Justice Kennedy to decide if equal protection before the law means what it has been read to have meant since 1954 - or not.
So the decision by U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker - a President Bush (père) appointee - is welcome, of course. It was a good result, and was reasoned in a way to make overturning it very difficult. We're not done, though.
The fight isn't over, I'm not elated, and I see no cause for celebration.
Well funded superstitious people - the same folks who would have made a constitutional amendment to allow witch burning because of their "faith" - will keep pouring in millions to keep the queers from having their same legal protections.
Until I get to vote on their marriages, why would I be happy? Until the Supreme Court rules, why would I be happy? Until a majority of my neighbors decides that the 14th Amendment DOES apply in California, why would I be happy?
I remember November mornings in Colorado in 1992; in California in 2000; in California in 2008...
Until I wake up with MORE civil rights than I had when I went to bed, well, I'll believe it when I see it. When it has some sense of the final.
Until then, it's a good result, but...