Mixed bag on props
Prop 8 in California looks like it might have won, unfortunately. Our hopes that we can avoid a Supreme Court hearing on gay marriage look dimmer every day. I suspect, with President Obama doing the appointing, we’re going to scratch out a victory (I’m assuming Kennedy will just keep moving to the left on this issue) if this happens, but it would have been nice to avoid it and all the whining about “judicial activism” that will surely come about. I’d hate to see gay marriage become the next abortion—a catch-all issue for right wingers to dump all their personal frustrations on. But since the right has decided that gay marriage is an assault on “traditional” marriage, it’s just a matter of time before they create a cadre of broken people who blame their romantic problems and life problems in general on gay marriage, in the same way that they’ve created a cadre of broken people who blame all their problems on abortion.
The good news: All anti-choice initiatives went down. The nutbags in South Dakota and Colorado should be grateful, though, because we just got a Supreme Court stay of execution on abortion rights. Maybe we can turn this into a solid majority, though I don’t think there’s any anti-choice SCOTUS judges that are likely to retire in the next four years. I do see Stevens, Ginsburg, and Souter stepping down, though. But I’m grateful today to see that one major reason the anti-choice movement has grown increasingly bizarre and drawn to fantasy is that the country is slowly moving away from them. The South Dakota abortion ban went into the polls in a dead heat, but it lost 55 to 45, a decisive smackdown. There’s an actual “Bradley effect” when it comes to choice issues—people tell pollsters they’re “pro-life”, but can’t pull the lever against women’s rights when it gets down to it. Legal abortion makes being morally superior on the issue easier, because it makes it much easier to hide it when you yourself avail yourself of the right to abortion. Which we know that “pro-life” women often do.
Conclusion: Feminists should consider focusing some more of our attention on the fight for gay marriage.