Prop 8 Struck Down Because Unjust, Also Because Judges Hate the Phrase ‘Domestic Partnership’
Prop 8. which took away the right of same-sex couples to marry, is overturned in California, because it is unjust. Also because the phrase ‘domestic partnership’ is too dang wordy for the judges.
A judge ruled today that Prop 8 – the California referendum that took away the right of same-sex coupes to enter into the sacred bonds of marriage – was illegal.
The judge’s ruling was somewhat narrow, according to the Washington Post. Rather than stating that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the ruling stated instead that California couldn’t, by referendum, overturn a right that it had given those couples in the state, which is kind of a hogwash of lexical mumbo jumbo. In short, it it’s not quite the ruling that many wanted, but it’s a ruling that pushes the progressive cause forward and gives the number of states in which same-sex marriage is legal a happy little uptick.
The judges in the ruling, who appear to be lovers of literature and pop culture, also gave some great quotes and managed, according to Reuters, to mention Elvis, Shakespeare, and Groucho Marx. In the ruling, they wrote, for instance, “Groucho Marx’s one-liner, ‘Marriage is a wonderful institution … but who wants to live in an institution?’ would lack its punch if the word ‘marriage’ were replaced with the alternative phrase,” like domestic partnership.
Well, um, sure. Losing part of America’s comedic heritage is perhaps even worse than, you know, rampant homophobia.
The court also said, “We emphasize the extraordinary significance of the official designation of ‘marriage,’ ” the decision says. “That designation is important because ‘marriage’ is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name of ‘registered domestic partnership’ does not.”
I agree, of course. As an English major, I’m just glad to see that rulings can in part be based on the fact that creating “domestic partnerships” not only relegates same-sex couples to secondary citizen status, but also relegates same-sex couples to a horribly-named and over-syllabled institution. If I’d known how literary and linguistic judges were, I might have gone into law just to take an axe to all sorts of phrases that I have a linguistic distaste for. Is the judicial branch where English majors go to stick it to the man and de-jargon English, bringing back the eloquent verbiage of Shakespeare, and, um, Groucho Marx? Is there a secret English-language version of the L’Academie francaise among distraught English majors-turned-judges?
[Photo from Wikimedia Commons]
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