Friday, December 17, 2010

Sitting here in limbo

On one front, things look good, but on the other front, they don’t look so hot.

Or maybe not.

Put it another way, are we taking one step forward and another step back?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

It could be that we’ll end up taking two steps forward or two steps backwards.

Who’s to say when it comes to Proposition 8 here in California and the don’t-ask-don’t-tell rule in the U.S military?

Earlier this month, there was a hearing on Proposition 8 in an appeals court after a judge had ruled the same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional. It was reported that the appellate judges - two of the three of them were known as liberal - appeared to want to rule in such a way so that the case won’t go to the U.S Supreme Court. A big fear is that the U.S Supreme Court, which would close the case for at least a while, is increasingly conservative and could well set this cause back decades if it got its hands on it.

However, this reporting was really just tea-leaf reading, and the ruling is likely not to be out for months.

Meanwhile, the congressional repeal of D.A.D.T is, after lots of fanfare, all but dead in the water. There is a bit of talk about bringing it up again, probably on a separate vote, in this lame-duck session, but that looks like a tall order after the brutal fight over the tax-cut extension and when an usually popular nuclear arms reduction treaty is an iffy proposition. Prospects for the repeal look even dimmer come January, when the Republicans will take over the House of Representatives and gain seats in the Senate.

Then again, the courts will likely repeal D.A.D.T anyway. Good - but this path will be more abrupt and a rougher ride for the military.

Good grief! Enough already! Can someone please make a decision? The problem is that everything rides on who makes the decision. Sure, we can have a say on who makes the decision, but, again, that takes time.

Marriage and military service may be abstract and far-fetched for me - unlike, say, attendant-care funding - but, as a gay man with gay friends, I am sick of being a political football, a pawn in a social game, dependent on what time it is and who’s in charge, making the decisions, at the time.

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