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Leah McElrath Headshot

CA Supreme Court Cuts the Marriage Equality Baby in Half - and It Hurts

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I am in my kitchen crying while my 3 year old is parked in front of the television in the other room so she won't see my tears.

Earlier today, I wrote a brief post noting that it is a "significant and beautiful day for our nation" because we had a qualified president nominate a qualified jurist for an opening on the Supreme Court -- and they both happen to be people of color.

So what changed?

The California Supreme Court decided to split the proverbial baby in half with regard to its decision about Proposition 8 -- they upheld the amendment to the California state constitution limiting marriage to opposite sex couples and yet upheld the validity of the marriages between same-sex couples which took place before the Proposition passed with a narrow popular vote margin. As a friend of mine noted, I didn't expect it to hurt this much.

I know that the decision by the CA Supreme Court to uphold the 18,000 marriages between same-sex couples already performed is a partial victory for marriage equality.

More importantly, I know that the trajectory of history is on the side of marriage equality for same-sex couples -- and that we will, sooner rather than later, look back on these days with disbelief that it was ever even an issue. So I know that the future is bright.

But today, right now, I am just a mom who is home sick caring for her also sick child (thank you, group A streptococcus) and a mom who also happens to be a lesbian.

And it hurts to see the images on the news of signs that say "Gay = Pervert" (thankfully my daughter is too young to be able to read yet) and to hear the news that yet another group of my fellow Americans has decided that it is okay to declare me and other lesbians and gay men to be second class citizens. It just hurts. There is no other way to put it.

No doubt I am more conscious of the hurt today because I am tired and sick -- but I am also mature, educated, safe and greatly privileged in many areas of my life. It breaks my heart to think of all of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people out there who do not have my advantages and of what this must feel like to them.

What might appear to others to be some kind of even-handed compromise nevertheless cuts like a knife for many of us.