07 July 2006

Indignation on Vacation

There's a lot to be happy about here on our vacation--the fabulous bloggy playdate, great fireworks in Our Capital, good food with good friends, and the escalators in the ritzy hotel where Politica's conference is being held. And did I mention the swirly door on said ritzy hotel? What more does a vacation-with-four-year-old need? Curious Girl is just so happy with this combination of sight-seeing, visits with friends old and new, and tons of time with her mothers.

So whence the indignation? The New York State Court of Appeals ruled against the couples suing for the right to marry under the NY constitution (well, they didn't say the constitution forbids same-sex marriage, just that it was a right for the legislature to decide, and that there are rational arguments that would permit the legislature to limit marriage to heterosexual marriage). Those rational arguments are all about the children. The majority opinion notes that it could be a reasonable argument to say that children are better off raised by a mother and a father, that "intutition" says children could do better seeing models of men and women daily.

So under this line of reasoning, would it be OK to restrict marriage to fertile heterosexuals? The court's way of thinking presupposes that straight people get married, and then they have children. What about the children who are living in families with two moms or two dads? The state does have, and should have, a strong interest in protecting the rights of children. But children like my daughter deserve the state's protection too, and one way in which Curious Girl's life would be very much legally protected is if the state allowed her mothers to wed legally. She's a delightful, flexible, loving and generous child, and one of the biggest problems in her little life is the continued threat posed by anti-gay initiatives, some of which could legally destroy our family.

Mombian shares my indignation; The Republic of T has a nice set of quick links to other writing on the ruling. I agree with Terrance (at R of T) that in the end, marriage equality will come to the US. Someday. But probably not very soon, maybe not even in my lifetime. And as I watch my daughter doing ballet on the windowsill stage here in our hotel, I get very tired of waiting for the inevitable. I want the state to protect my child now.

Happy vacation blogging coming soon (with playdate photos), but first, some indignation.


M. said...

I share your indignation. The assumptions these decisions are based on are just so off, and so painful.

liz said...

I, too, share your indignation.

I'm so ashamed of my adopted state of VA and its proposed constitutional amendment. I'm ashamed of my home state of NY.

I loooooved meeting you, Politica, and Curious Girl. Muffin Man can't stop talking about CG!

Mommygoth said...


I'm so sorry. It's always been incredibly frustrating to me to watch my friends Bruce and Leslie outlast most of our other friends' marriages, but they can't be married because they are men. They have been together and happy since 1988 - if that's not a committed relationship, I'm not sure how you define one.

I can only imagine how it must feel to be in your situation.

Rev Dr Mom said...

I share your indignation as well. First of all the developmental evidence imo is not as clear cut as they would have you believe (I doubt that there have been any good studies that compare two moms or two dads to one of each). Second, hetero marriage is NO guarantee that children will be raised with two (different gender) parents.

And yes, if the interests of children are what are at stake, then there are better ways to protect them.

I am disappointed in NY--I really thought things might go differently there.

Phantom Scribbler said...

The indignation is everywhere these days. Even in Massachusetts it may have to come to a vote. And while I don't like seeing procedural loopholes being used to prevent things from going to the ballot, I'm also pretty indignant at the idea that civil rights should be granted by a majority of the population. Feh.

Scrivener said...

It's awfully difficult not to be appalled at the state of the nation. Our state supreme court just upheld the law banning gay marriage, and I can't decide whether I'm happy about it or not: on the one hand, it's clearly a terrible law that passed under entirely false pretenses; on the other, at least the GOP won't be able to put it on the ballot again in November and ride the wave of homophobic Republican voters to another landslide victory. I gotta get out of Georgia.

trillwing said...

This issue always raises my hackles. I mean, who the hell do these people think they are, trying to deprive others of civil rights? I especially hate the argument that gay families are threats to heterosexual family life. I grew up in Long Beach (CA), and the neighborhoods packed with gay couples and gay families were some of the best neighborhoods in the city.

I'm so sorry.

jo(e) said...

And in New York! A pretty progressive state. This shows how fucked up this country is.