San Francisco used to be the gay wedding capital of the United States.
However, since last Election Day, when Californians passed Proposition 8, which defined marriage in the state as only existing between a man and a woman, the reputation of this Mecca for committed gay couples has fallen considerably.
What’s even worse, the legality of previous gay marriages has also been thrown into doubt.
This is a depressing situation for all marriage-minded gay couples and anyone else who’s gay, lesbian, or transgender for that matter.
However, this sorry come to pass may not be permanent after all.
By next year, Proposition 8 may be cast on the trash heap of history and California may again be one of the gay-friendliest wedding destinations in the U.S. But that depends on the California Supreme Court, which already ruled that previous strictures on gay marriages in California were illegal.
The legality of Proposition 8 will soon be debated by lawyers pro and con before the Court, since the Court has agreed to hear arguments in three anti-Prop 8 lawsuits starting in March of 2009, and there will undoubtedly be a great deal of interest in the outcome of these cases.
The only positive note about this whole situation is that it didn’t affect gay civil unions.
You can still have a civil ceremony in California and even honeymoon there.
But what you can’t do is have the imperishable thrill of going down to City Hall in San Francisco and getting married there.
At least not for the time being.
I’m sure that we haven’t heard the last of Proposition 8, or of legal gay marriage in California either.
Arizona played host to another bit of anti-gay marriage legislation in the last election as well.
Though hardly the Gay Mecca that California has become, Arizona does have some sophisticated and arty folks living there, though not enough to outnumber the Christian fundamentalists, Mormons, and other bigoted rednecks who voted in Proposition 102, which expressly defines marriage as between a man and a woman, even though gay marriage is already illegal in the state.
Florida, too, followed suit during the last election cycle, passing Amendment 2 that defines marriage as between only one man and one woman, and also bans the creation of civil unions for gays.
The overwhelming support for this measure resulted in it passing in every county in Florida except Monroe County at the Southwest tip of the state.
Amendment 2 carried the state by a margin of 61.9% in favor and 38.1% opposed.
About all we gays can do at this point is to write letters to our Congressmen and Women and boycott the states that passed the anti-gay marriage initiatives.