Let me start by saying that I’ll probably piss off quite a few people with this post, Mormons in particular, but given that you doubt my humanity please forgive me for questioning your Christianity.
I’m not quite sure why you decided to cross the Rubicon on this one, but I think you made a mistake that a lot of people are going to come to regret. I think that for the forseeable future gay marriage would only have been legal in a smattering of states. Yes gay advocates would’ve have pushed for it nationwide, but by forcing them to do it on a state-by-state basis, their prospects were fairly limited. By going for the Big Kahuna so to speak (yeah, I know I’m mixing metaphors here) you’ve seriously overplayed your hand.
Unless I miss my guess, gay advocates are already looking for a test case to get this in front of the SCOTUS. Now that may make you cackle your hands with glee. After all, that august body is decidedly conservative. However, in this particular case conservative might not be your best choice. See, conservatives tend to be strict constructionists of the Constitution, and even under the tightest interpretation of the Constitution it is clear that Prop H8 is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Further, it typically takes years for these cases to work their way up to the courts, and by then, well the Court could be an entirely different animal.
So, upon looking into my crystal ball I’ve got a pretty good idea of how the SCOTUS may split the baby on this one. And like most cases of this ilk it’s going to leave everybody unhappy. I suspect the Court will order states out of the ‘marriage’ business. In other words, ‘marriage’ is for churches only. Everyone else will have a ‘civil union.’ Yeah, pretty effed up, isn’t it? And for those that ask why gay people can’t be content with civil unions I present two points: One, it’s only in my lifetime that my own marriage became legal. If someone had offered me a ‘civil union’ I probably would’ve told them something too foul to print here. Further, civil union does not offer the same rights and protections as marriage. Separate is inherently unequal, how many times do we have to repeat that?
And for those of you who are concerned because ‘marriage’ is a ‘sacrament.’ Well, yes and no. Prior to about the fourteenth century or so (check my dates), marriage was strictly a civil matter, primarily having to do with property and such. People didn’t get married in the church, it was strictly forbidden. Like most things, it was only when the church decided there was a profit to be made from it that it suddenly became part of canon law. So taking it back to being a state matter should really be no big deal.
So, America, welcome to the world of civil unions, brought to you by the Mormons.