By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
By Leif Haven
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Kate Conger
By Brian Rinker
By Rachel Swan
In a decision that intensified one of the country's most bitter debates, a San Francisco Superior Court Judge ruled last week that California's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, declaring: "No rational basis exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners." Citing the state Supreme Court's 1948 decision that struck down California's law against interracial marriage, Judge Richard Kramer argued that the state's 28-year-old marriage law was arbitrary and discriminatory. Although the decision will be appealed to the California Supreme Court, which is not expected to rule until next year, it was a triumphant moment in San Francisco, where Mayor Gavin Newsom hailed the news as vindication of his own high-profile stance. Of course, many conservative and religious groups were outraged and quickly labeled Kramer an "activist judge" who failed to appreciate the moral and traditional roles of marriage in society; they also renewed calls for a President Bush- backed constitutional amendment against same-sex unions. Are you an apologist for opponents of gay marriage? Take our quiz and find out!
1) In his opinion, Kramer wrote: "The idea that marriage-like rights without marriage is adequate smacks of a concept long rejected by the courts: separate but equal." Do you think he was right to draw a parallel between this issue and the past debate over interracial marriage?
A) Of course. It's a perfectly apt comparison, and hopefully future society will be similarly ashamed of its attitudes.
B) No, no, no. That was discrimination because of skin color. This is discrimination because of gender. See the difference?
C) Wait, what are you saying? That interracial couples can get married?!?
2) This past November, voters in 11 states passed state constitutional bans against same-sex marriage, and the controversial issue was widely seen as a boost to President Bush's re-election. Do you see this issue as a means for conservative religious groups to shape the national debate over morality?
A) Does the pope shit in the woods? I mean, not thispope, necessarily ....
B) Not really. I just think two gals getting a tax break is a form of cheating.
C) Look, it's not a question of whether you believe in a higher power or whether government has the right to decide who should be allowed to marry. It's a simple question of remembering which document was written by God -- the Constitution or the Bible?
3) After his ruling, conservatives derided Judge Richard Kramer, 57, as a maverick with a political agenda, although he is a registered Republican, GOP nominee, and Roman Catholic. How do you account for his thought process, which is more in line with liberal ideology?
A) Maybe his kids listen to David Bowie.
B) Wait a minute, wait a minute. Kramer was the same judge who presided over the settlement talks in the fight for Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball! How come this guy gets to decide allof the really important cases?
C) The work of Satan's demons.
4) What do you think is the underlying rationale behind the arguments advanced by opponents of gay marriage?
A) Terrifying fundamentalism, deep-seated homophobia, and a stunning misapprehension of Cher.
B) The idea that two guys holding hands is just kinda creepy.
C) Respect for the laws of nature: A man and a woman can produce a child, whereas same-sex couples cannot. (Bonus point for adding: "Well, actually, now that you mention it, my wife and I have been told we can'thave kids ... but the point is that we have the equipment to try.")
5) What aspect of same-sex marriage do you think would transform society the most?
A) Gosh, there'd be an immediate spike in amazing weddings.
B) Oh, no ... can you imagine the number of Queer Eye spinoffs we'd have to endure?
C) Well, I'd say the appearance of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse would be a pretty big deal.
6) Those who oppose gay marriage on religious grounds often point to a line from the Bible in Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination." What do you make of this quotation?
A) Does Leviticus say anything about priests lying with altar boys?
B) To be fair, Leviticus also tells us not to marry widows or divorced women and that "you are not to trim the edges of your beard?" I mean, c'mon.
C) Notice that Leviticus doesn't say anything, specifically, about two women ... .
7) The case still has a long way to go before same-sex couples are granted the right to marry, and Kramer's decision will not take effect during the appeals process, which won't be taken up by the state Supreme Court until next year. What do you think is the most likely outcome of the lengthy court proceedings?
A) That young Mr. Newsom will, at long last, emerge from Kimberly's shadow.
B) I don't know ... I just hope Will & Grace doesn't lose any of its punch.
C) That Judge Richard Kramer will get a lotof hate mail from Alabama.
How to score:
Score zero points for every "A" answer, one point for every "B," and two points for every "C."
0-6 points: Don't celebrate yet, same-sex marriage fans: California judges are always doing something crazy.
7-10 points: On the fence, eh? You win your very own copy of The Birdcage on VHS.
11-14 points: Congratulations, you are a true apologist -- and obviously a staunch believer in the separation of church and state.