Saturday, February 14, 2004

Good for the newly married gays! 

Jane Meredith from the Chicago Tribune reports:

Attempts to stop San Francisco from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples stalled in court Friday, while city officials granted hundreds more licenses to jubilant couples who came from as far away as New York.

Lawyers for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund sought an injunction from Judge James Warren of San Francisco Superior Court to stop the actions of city officials, who began issuing the marriage licenses on Thursday. The licenses, authorized by new Mayor Gavin Newsom, are in defiance of a state law passed by a ballot initiative in 2000 that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Warren told the Alliance Defense Fund it had to return at 2 p.m. Tuesday to make its request. The Campaign for California Families, another group seeking an injunction, is to appear in court at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Meanwhile, there was a crushing demand Friday for marriage licenses and ceremonies. To meet it, Mabel Teng, assessor and recorder for the city and county of San Francisco, had eight office clerks from her department and six from the county clerk's office deputized to perform civil ceremonies. They circulated through the rotunda, ready to assist the couples gathered there.

"I expect to marry 300 couples today, maybe 400, maybe 500," said Teng, who performed one ceremony after another. Typically, her office performs 20 ceremonies a day.

City Hall planned to stay open for marriages Saturday, which is Valentine's Day.

My own view—all too lonely, but I still insist rational—is that the state should get out of the marriage business entirely, since the state has no business at all defining "sanctity." That way, everything is clean: churches handle sanctity, and the state handles the contractual aspects (adoption, inheritance, benefits, etc.)

That said, more power to the couples. So far as I can tell, here's what the controversy on the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage boils down to:

  • It solves cash flow problems for the winger attack machine

  • As an appeal to raw hatred and prejudice, it will fit right into Republican election plans for 2004;

  • It won't, in fact, defend marriage. Adultery and divorce destroy far more marriages, and nobody seems to be proposing an amendment against them yet.

I just don't see the logic of it. If Jules and Jim marry, how does that make John and Mary any less married?

The (gutless, feckless) Beltway Dems have said that "Everything is on the table.". Outing gay Republicans—we already know who the adulterers and divorcers are—might be one way to bring this nonsensical amendment talk to and end, tout suite.

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