Same-Sex Marriage An Idea Whose Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

But those sections can no longer be used, as they were by the California Supreme Court, to provide gay couples with the liberty and privacy rights of equal access to civil marriage," as the Court did previously (Feldblum 2009).

Despite the presence of Bishop Robinson at the inaugural, President Obama himself has been admittedly less stalwart in his support of gay marriage: in response to a "1996 Outlines newspaper question on marriage" Obama said "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages…There was no use of the phrase civil unions" as he advocates today, as a replacement for gay marriage (Linkins 2009). Obama has had to tread a careful line, given that many Catholic, blue-collar workers and Latino voters are often social conservatives -- these voters are often 'swing' votes for Democrats. All were his most difficult constituencies to win during the election, and he has little to gain, given that many gay voters vote for more liberal candidates (Newman 2009). Although they may be disappointed in his withdrawal of support for gay marriage, unlike Latino voters on the opposite side, gay voters are unlikely to withdraw their support for Obama. Obama clearly wishes, at the national level, to avoid polarization and divisiveness. Yet even while Obama backs off his earlier position, and despite the setback of Proposition 8, this cannot diminish the slow and steady gains in Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and elsewhere.

When examining the rhetoric of those advocating Proposition 8: "What was particularly striking about the campaign to enact Prop 8 was the extent to which proponents went out of their way to claim that the new provision would not take rights away from gay couples. In a Frequently Asked Questions document, for example, they raise the question, 'Will Proposition 8 take away any rights for gay and lesbian domestic partners?' only to reply: 'No. Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage; it is not an attack on the gay lifestyle. Proposition 8 does not take any rights away from gays and lesbians in domestic partnerships. Under California law, domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits' as married spouses. There are no exceptions. Proposition 8 will not change this'" (Feldblum 2009). In other words, even anti-gay crusaders had to tread carefully in their rhetoric -- an odd victory, but a victory of sorts for advocates of same-sex marriage, and a harbinger of hope that a more vocally mobilized gay rights opposition might be able to strike Proposition 8 down in the future, if they are able to explain its terms and the suffering it causes with greater clarity to the electorate.

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