by Pa RockWhen Federal Judge Vaughn Walker overturned California's homophobic Prop 8 this week, he originally said that the state could immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but upon reflection he decided to stay that order until arguments could be made in court on the appropriateness of that action. Reactionaries, of course, want to stall the issuance of licenses as long as possible, and they are arguing that if more people get married and the Walker ruling is eventually overturned by a higher court, the status of the marriages that occurred in the interim will be in question.
But others in California are looking at it differently. They see this as an opportunity to flex the state's newly implanted equal rights muscle.
Once and future governor, Jerry Brown, went to court yesterday in his current role as the state's attorney general. In that capacity he asked that the court remove Judge Walker's stay and allow the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately. By taking that bold action, Brown not only did what is right, he also helped himself politically by tacking to the left of his opponent in the governor's race, billionaire Meg Whitman - and leaving her stranded with the right-wing rabble.
(Poor Meggie has become something of a mess in trying to wend her way through the turbulent waters left in the wake of Prop 8. She was at one point in her life thought to be a liberal, or at least liberal on some issues. However, Meg did not bother to vote in any elections until recently because she was too busy raising her family and running eBay, so she conveniently has no record to defend. Later she voted for Prop 8, indicating that it was in line with her faith, although former employees and friends at eBay said that Meg had never been one to belabor the topic of faith before. But now she is stuck. You can't be a serious Republican contender in California and support popular social movements like gay marriage, and the tide is definitely flowing away from the Mormons and other social malcontents who spent a bazillion dollars to pass this extremist measure. What's a Meggie to do?)
Answer: Who cares. She can dump all of her billions into this race, but the momentum remains with Brown - and its getting stronger thanks in no small measure to his bold statements on the ugliness and unconstitutionality of Prop 8. The election is his to lose - and Pat Brown's son isn't going to botch it up.
But Jerry Brown's rush to court is nothing if not predictable. The really big news is that current governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has also gone to court asking that the state be allowed to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately. That's right, Republican Governor Schwarzenegger has joined the movement! (Here's hoping that O'Reilly or Hannity or one of those other Fox morons can't resist the urge to imply that Arnold is a big ol' homo - and the governator responds by feeding them their teeth!)
It continues to be a great week for California and for America!