The Socialist Party of California celebrates the announcement from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirming that Proposition 8 remains unconstitutional as San Francisco Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker originally ruled. The court confirmed that there is no social or legal justification to keep same-sex couples from marrying. The equal protection clause under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution, as well as the California state constitution, guarantee equal treatment under the law. In addition, it is the responsibility of the judicial branch to protect minorities against majority tyranny.
The Socialist Party USA supports same-sex couples being able to make their own decisions on whether to enter into marriage. We believe that marriage is a civil and human right which must be recognized and protected at all costs. We believe one must be clear that the arguments frequently used by opponents to convince the public at large that same-sex couples and queer people do not deserve to have their marriage rights recognized or protected, are based on outdated, patriarchal social constructions of gender and sex, promoting illogical, strict and rigid gender norms, and myths about the parenting abilities of same-sex couples. These arguments are, of course, baseless and contrary to all available scientific evidence, and must be summarily rejected. Same-sex couples and their families deserve to be recognized and affirmed as equal citizens, enjoying all the rights and privileges accorded to opposite sex couples and their families.
We realize that change sometimes takes time, and as such this case may wend its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming year. Should this come to pass, the Socialist Party of California hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule Proposition 8 unconstitutional as well, thus creating a precedent potentially rendering state and federal DOMA (defense of Marriage Acts) equally unconstitutional and legalizing same-sex marriage rights in all 50 states of the United States of America. Many nations already have legal same sex marriage: Canada, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, and others, with more and more legalizing it every year. The United States needs to join its sister nations in legalizing same sex marriage across the entire nation, in preference to the current state-by-state approach being followed. Minority rights should never be put up for popular vote.
Marriage equality is just one component and the next logical step of a larger struggle for justice and liberation for queer people. We must keep in mind while recognizing marriage is important, that there are still other important matters of discrimination against queer people in housing, employment, and public accommodations, hate crimes, queer homelessness, as well as violence against queer and gender nonconforming youth, not to mention suicides. As a socialist feminist party, we strive for the dignity, worth, and value of every person regardless of sexual identity, gender identity, or gender expression. Queer liberation is tied to freeing all Americans from capitalist exploitation. We continue to struggle to bring about equality and justice for all people by enabling a strong, democratic socialist society. We must keep up our fight until ALL people are treated equally and with the dignity and respect we ALL deserve!