While the legal challenges to Proposition 8 are not yet over, Wednesday’s ruling that overturned the anti-gay marriage law in California was celebrated by the gay community. For now, the gay and lesbian community has chalked up a victory.
Peter Hayashida married his long-time boyfriend two years ago – after the California Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage, but before voters approved Proposition 8. Even though he was on vacation in Hawaii, Hayashida stayed by his laptop computer to listen to KPCC and hear about the federal judge’s Prop 8 decision. Hayashida says he’s thrilled the ruling tossed out the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban.
"If civil rights were awarded on the basis of popular opinion," says Hayashida, "women would still be property, people of different races could not marry. I mean, there are all kinds of historical precedents for why it’s not a good idea to put these things to a popular vote."
Hayashida is a vice chancellor at UC Riverside. He says in his eyes, the fight over same-sex marriage boils down to one group of people deciding how another should live their lives. And he says that’s not right. Hayashida says he’s “optimistic” as the case works its way through the rest of the court system.