Eat, drink, and be Betty
Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008, just a few days before a majority of California voters — notice I didn’t say a majority of Californians — voted to take deny the right to marry to its gay citizens. Fortunately, in May 2009 the California Supreme Court ruled that those people who got married between June 16 and November 4, 2008, when so-called gay marriage was legal in California, would remain married under the laws of the State. So on October 30, 2018, Jim and I will be celebrating five years of legal marriage. We’ve also been Domestic Partnered since July 31, 2004, and we’ve had a common law marriage since November 1, 1995.
We got married at the San Diego County Administration building:
Afterwards we went out to eat at Baja Betty’s to celebrate:
With today’s historic decisions by the United State Supreme Court in striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional and telling hateful people in California that they had no legal standing to be hateful, thereby overturning Proposition 8 and paving the way for marriage equality in California (again), Jim and I felt a need to celebrate. We went to Baja Betty’s, established in 2004, where the large and predominantly gay crowd was excited and having fun.
Across the street, under the gigantic rainbow flag, a large crowd of a few thousand people were having a marriage equality rally.
I thought it was interesting that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, and Elena Kagan joined Chief Justice John Roberts to form the majority. I would have thought Scalia, Alito, Roberts, and Thomas would have been against gay marriage and Gisburg, Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor, and possibly Kennedy would have been for it.
However, the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of Proposition 8. Rather, in order to rule on the merits, first they had to get by procedural issues, having to decide whether or not the case should even have been in a federal court since it concerned a state constitutional issue that had already been decided by the California courts, including the California Supreme Court. If they could not first get by those procedural issues, they could not rule on the merits of the case itself.
Proposition 8, passed in November 2008, had been overturned by United States District Court Judge Vaughn Walker on August 4, 2010, in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Judge Walker ruled that Proposition 8 violated both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed Judge Walker’s decision on February 7, 2012.
Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals should have denied even considering the appeal because the only two people who could represent the State in federal court would be the California Attorney General or the California Governor. Both refused to do so. The U.S. Supreme Court today determined that the appeals process should have ended there since no one of legal standing wanted to appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
So what effectively happened is that the right-wingers on the U.S. Supreme Court, including the ever so vocally hateful Scalia, chose to lose California by allowing marriage equality to proceed there but let the fight over marriage equality go on a while longer in the states that don’t have it.
My prediction is that within the next decade, you will see a military couple who got married in, say, California get transfered to a state like Texas. Although the federal government would still recognize their marriage due to the Supreme Court’s overturning DOMA, Texas would not. A lawsuit will eventually result in the U.S. Supreme Court requiring all states to recognize the Full Faith and Credit clause of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution which states that the States must respect the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State. At that point, marriage equality will become legal in all 50 states. It will be similar to what happened in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas when the U. S. Supreme Court voided all state sodomy laws.
All in all, though, it’s a happy and historic day for gay citizens of the United States throughout the country but even more so in California. There is still lots of work to do to get marriage equality in every state, so carry on soldiers, carry on. And if you have a need to eat, drink, and be Betty, head on over to Baja Betty’s!
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Posted on June 26, 2013, in History, Photos, SNIPPETS and tagged baja betty's san diego, california proposition 8, defense of marriage acti, full faith and credit clause, gay marriage, judge vaughn walker, lawrence v texas, marriage equality, perry v. schwarzenegger. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.