Because They Couldn’t Very Well Say “Sorry We Insisted You Waste All that Time and Money”
As pretty much everyone already knows, today the Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and ruled that the private sponsors of Proposition 8 in California didn’t have the legal right to step in and appeal the ruling by a federal court that Prop 8 was unconstitutional when the state of California declined to do so.
From what I understand, this means that gay marriage will probably soon be legal again in California, and that gay couples in the states that recognize gay marriage can soon get federal benefits, including (I assume? I hope?) green card status in marriages where one spouse is not a citizen. (The immigration thing really upsets me.Â I know the tax thing is a drag, but at least you can still live with your chosen partner if you’re both US citizens.)
It only took the church an hour or two to issue a statement lamenting the court’s actions:
“By ruling that supporters of Proposition 8 lacked standing to bring this case to court, the Supreme Court has highlighted troubling questions about how our democratic and judicial system operates. Many Californians will wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong when their government will not defend or protect a popular vote that reflects the views of a majority of their citizens.
“In addition, the effect of the ruling is to raise further complex jurisdictional issues that will need to be resolved.
“Regardless of the court decision, the Church remains irrevocably committed to strengthening traditional marriage between a man and a woman, which for thousands of years has proven to be the best environment for nurturing children. Notably, the court decision does not change the definition of marriage in nearly three-fourths of the states.”
I saw people on Facebook reacting with surprise at the snark in the statement.Â Personally, I think snark is a step up for an institution that has regularly condemned people as evil and tools of the devil and destined for everlasting punishment.Â Way to go, LDS church!Â You’re ever so slightly less nasty now!
So that’s the official response.Â I can’t help wondering, though, about the response from people like Pam and Rick Patterson, the Folsom, CA couple of modest means who in 2008 for emptied their savings account so they could donate $50,000 to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign.Â What are they thinking now?
I posed that question on Facebook.Â Several people suggested that the most financially generous Prop 8 supporters are hardened in their resolve that they did the right thing, that they feel persecuted for righteousness’ sake and closer to celestial glory.
And maybe they do, because they need to justify their enormous sacrifice.Â It’s hard to admit something so costly and destructive was an easily avoidable mistake.
But I’m willing to give it time.Â I know people who donated to earlier fights (the one in Hawaii, for instance) who now feel shame and rage at the church. It was one thing after the defeat of the ERA–the church won that fight–but they have lost this one, and spectacularly. I think a lot of people who donated will quietly concede the matter, and having seen their money and time so wasted, will be much more reluctant to fund the next battle.
As for “supporters of traditional marriage” who didn’t write checks, just made plenty of homophobic statements in public forums, I bet a lot of them will just shrug and say as little as possible now.
And I will add that it delights me to see people who claim to have the gift of prophecy so screwed over by their own bad choices.