The Silent Court
To the rest of America, and maybe the world, people view California as being liberal. If a person only lives in the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco, then I would easily understand that California is liberal. Yet, half of California’s GDP from agriculture. Many parts of California have Republican leaning voters, which makes California a more complicated state.
In 2008, there was a marriage bill on the ballot that defined marriage between a male and a female. Due to Obama being on the ballot, there was an assumption that this bill was not going to pass. That was a horrible assumption. Obama won California in a landslide, and the marriage bill passed with a landslide because what many people didn’t realize is that Black and Latino voters are very conservative about issues about the LBGTQ community.
As a Black woman raised in a Black church, I was not surprised that Blacks and Latinos increase in their voting presence meant that the marriage bill would most likely pass. In church, we would hear about how horribly sinful the LBGTQ community was. They were not accepted in the church, and in fact, it was a demon inside of them that could be cast out through prayer.
The lawyers on opposite sides of the political aisle teamed up to take this case to the Supreme Court. Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General refused to defend this act, so another group stood up and defended the passage of the bill. In 2015, the decision was rendered saying that the group who defended the passage of the bill had no standing. Essentially, the California Attorney General was the individual who should have been there, and since she was not, the Supreme Court simply made the easiest decision as possible that made gay marriage legal by default.
The LBGTQ took this decision as a win, but is it really a win? It appears that the Supreme Court does not want to make an outward statement – Gay Marriage is a legal right.
There was a hope that the Court would take a stand. In Colorado, there was a baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay male couple because of religious principles. Being that the LBGTQ community is a protected class, when the couple went in front of Colorado’s Civil Rights Board, the decision favored them. It is okay to deny someone’s business, but it is not okay to do it based on religion, race, sex, or sexual orientation. This case went to the Supreme Court, and the decision was rendered – the bakery could make the decision to not bake the cake. Yet, the Supreme Court did not say that religious principles are more important than denying the right to bake a cake for an LBGTQ couple.
The Supreme Court made a specific decision for this specific incident – the Colorado Civil Rights Board/Commission did not follow procedure. This allowed LBGTQ couples to sue and win for the same reason in future cases, in which they will be successful as long as the correct procedure is followed.
If we are all waiting for the Supreme Court to make a decision about Gay Marriage being a right, then it is clear that this Court is unwilling to make that law or take that particular stance. I am beginning to wonder is this because they want the legislature to take this stance. If this is the case, then the LBGTQ community is one of the few groups that the Courts are refusing to ensure equal standing in society. The Courts have in many cases stood up for the marginalized population, but this is one group that remains in limbo based on who is in power.