Recently in Equality Category
In amongst all the post-neocon Obama excitement, there were a lot of depressing votes against equality in America yesterday. Arkansas voters barred unmarried couples from adopting or fostering, and it was clear that "unmarried" was code for gay or lesbian. Florida, Arizona and California went for hetero definitions of marriage, albeit by relatively low margins in the last two cases.
If you want to see some decent analysis for why equal status lost even in much-mythologised California, read Time. San Francisco Mayor Newsom, who only narrowly beat a Green mayoral candidate in 2003, seems to have had a Sheffield moment, for one thing.
However, a pal in Massachusetts pointed out to me perhaps the most interesting consequence. The Proposition 8 amendment to California's constitution bans gay marriage. Other parts of the same constitution guarantee equality. So if the gays can't marry, perhaps no-one can.
All those wingnuts who said that gay marriage could threaten the traditional family may just have abolished the entire institution of marriage themselves. I know it won't happen, but stop for a second and imagine what a magnificent irony that would prove.
Some have argued that opening marriage up to same-sex couples allows them to suffer just as much as heterosexuals. Perhaps California is edging closer to a more imaginative solution, one which is just as equal.