The worst effect I can discern at this point has been that the "aawww, happy couples, how sweet!" factor has gone up exponentially, reaching near-diabetic levels. I keep coming across pictures of ecstatic partners kissing over wedding cakes. It's such a normal human thing that it really shouldn't be that heart-warming - and I'm one of those people who tends to roll the old eyes at weddings anyway - but the fact they had to fight so long and so hard for such a basic ceremony has me wanting to pop open champagne by the case.
If Ann Barnett had her way, the corks wouldn't be popping at all. And that's where I have to put down the bubbly and limber up the Smack-o-Matic.
I'm sure the majority of you have heard about the Kern County, California clerk's decision to stop performing marriage ceremonies right before same-sex couples could start tying knots. If not, educate yourselves and return.
Right, then. A couple of points:
First, the whole "we're not gonna do it cuz we can't afford it" defense sort of collapses in light of little details like this:
On Monday, The Bakersfield Californian published e-mail messages between her office and a conservative legal group, the Alliance Defense Fund in Arizona, which had unsuccessfully argued against same-sex marriage in front of the State Supreme Court.
In one message, a member of Ms. Barnett’s staff requests legal assistance, saying Ms. Barnett “fully expects to be sued” for stopping the weddings.
You don't have the resources to perform weddings, but you've got the resources to pay settlements? Go on, pull the other one - it's got wedding bells on.
It's even better that they've reached out for defense to the group of lackwits who failed miserably in front of the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage issues. Something tells me the more liberal California courts will be making mincemeat out of these meatheads.
Secondly, does anyone else find it ironic that it's the government, which is supposed to be non-religious and non-discriminatory, that's discriminating based on religious dogma (despite their transparent financial figleaf), while we've got some deeply religious folks doing things like this:
Still, ministers like Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff of the Unitarian Universal Church will be out here at the Kern Co Administration Plaza marrying gay and straight couples for free.
Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff, Unitarian Universal Church: "I think it's important because we need to celebrate justice wherever it is and folks have been denied the right to get married for a long time."
You know, I don't think atheists would have much to bitch about if the vast majority of churches were like this. Oh, there'd be good-natured quibbles about rational vs. irrational thinking and all that rot, but nothing like the acrimony that's sparked when dogmatic religious fucktards decide that their medieval views need imposing on society. I don't know if Rev. Tetzlaff drinks, but my shot glass is tipped her way regardless.
I'd like to see a lot more of this sort of thing. A lot more same-sex couples getting to suffer enjoy the same right to marry that heteros do, and a lot more moderate and liberal religious sorts getting out into the public eye and proving that you can believe in a magic sky daddy without being a total asshole about it.
One final point: FindLaw's Vikram David Amar has a nifty little column up showing that the neocon's palpitations over teh gays getting married OMG!!111!1! is remarkably similar to the hysterics thrown over letting black kids go to school with white kids:
After the school desegregation ruling, some jurisdictions simply tried to close down their schools, rather than desegregate them. Prince Edward County, Virginia, shut down its public education system in 1959 rather than comply with a desegregation decree. The case ultimately made it to the Supreme Court, in Griffin v. County School Board, which ordered the schools to reopen, stating whatever “nonracial grounds might support a State’s allowing a county to abandon public schools, the object must be a constitutional one, and grounds of race and opposition to desegregation do not qualify as constitutional.”
You know, I don't know what it is about that ruling, but I get this strange feeling it might come into play when Ann Barrett gets her bigoted arse hauled into court.
I can hardly wait. This is going to be almost as good as Expelled: the Unending Dumbassery.