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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Supreme Court or not, the wheel of change is already turning with marriage equality

November 2008 should be viewed by Californians as a time of shame. As a state, California has worked very hard to build itself up as the shining lighthouse to guide the rest of the country to safe harbors, and in November 2008 it had the opportunity to show the rest of the country that that beacon would illuminate the path, yet again, into a future where two adults, who loved each other, could have the same rights and privileges as any other two adults who felt the same. Instead, we stumbled and fell.

On the surface, Prop. 8 failing in California seemed like a no brainer. This was the same state that has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country, was the birthplace of the National Farm Workers Association and the state that was second behind the liberal stronghold of Massachusetts in legalizing marriage licenses to same sex couples. If ever was there a place where a piece of legislature like Proposition 8 would sputter and fail it would be California, arguably the prime example of a liberal America. But it didn’t fail, it passed with 52 percent of the vote.

Quickly appealed, the case against Prop. 8 has made its way, almost half a decade later, to the one group of people that can put the final nail in its coffin.

But whether or not the Supreme Court decides to strike down Prop. 8, and it’s older brother the Defense of Marriage Act, or whether they will decide to rule on same sex marriage on a national scale, is an action on the periphery of the real change. What is happening in Washington D.C. now is a slow moving cultural paradigm shift, not just a judicial one.

At this point, the signs are hard to ignore. A poll done by the Washington Post and ABC news shows about 58 percent of those polled favored same sex marriage. While it’s easy to dismiss such polls with claims of sample size and demographic make-up, the same poll yielded just 41 percent in favor in 2004.

Whether we as a country can’t, or simply just refuse to see it, the values of a past age are being shed and forgotten as their proponents simply die off and those still harboring that same antiquated world view shrink smaller and . As the torch is passed from the old values to the new, there will be conflict. We saw it with immigrants during this countries infancy and again with the abolishment of slavery. We saw it yet again with women’s suffrage and then again with the destruction of segregation.

This is the way of things, and so far progress, while slow, has been constant and it will continue to do so into perpetuity.

As shown in the Washington Post poll the country has changed, and with that change, the way Americans look at homosexuals has also changed. Although they always were there, homosexuals are now more visible than they ever were.The difference is, they aren’t just viewed as stereotypes walking down Castro anymore. They are politicians, business leaders, soldiers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, fathers and mothers. Within the homosexual community, there are people smart and dumb, attractive and ugly, successful and unsuccessful, dog people and cat people. On a base level, homosexuals are being seen less and less as “homosexuals.” Instead, they are just people and with that familiarity will come acceptance.

When looking at a group of people, widespread acceptance comes when it almost feels like you’re looking into a mirror and it seems like, to American’s, those lines establishing “us and them” are beginning to blur.

It’s easy to invoke Bob Dylan when looking at social issues like this. “The times, they are a-changin” he said. In this case though, I think anyone invoking that song misses the point. Of course the times are changing, change is an inevitability of our existence, but in this case, the message seems misleading. The times have already changed, it’s just taking some people longer to come to terms with it.

At this point, the only thing the Supreme Court is really doing, is deciding whether or not it wants to be on the wrong side of history.

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About the Contributor
Troy Patton
Troy Patton, Arts & Features Editor
Arts and features editor, spring 2013.

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Supreme Court or not, the wheel of change is already turning with marriage equality