Former CNN Correspondent
By no means am I writing to rub anything into
anyone's face. Today's ruling is simply inspiring a
spirit of jubilation and profound trust that "all men
are created equal" in the
United States of America.
As an African-American who lived through the strife and
court battles of the civil rights movement in the 1960s,
I once again feel that America has risen above its demons of
it nature and chose to do what was constitutional
appropriate, even if our religious and personal beliefs do
not support it. Separation of church and state does work in
the USA, and not just when it is most convenient.
Today's euphoria is, of course,
tempered by the reality, that this is just another of many
steps to come which will be needed to finally resolve the
issue of gay marriage. Like with controversial civil rights
legislation and laws enabling women the right to vote,
today's landmark ruling will have to stand the test of a
series of appeals, no doubt, all the way to the United
States Supreme Court in Washington. What may surprise you is
what I believe the nation's high court will eventually do.
I firmly believe, no matter the
obvious conservative leanings of the John Roberts high
court, the justices will come to agree with the basic points
of today's ruling. Protecting what the constitution says
about equal rights for all will prevail as it has eventually
for all other classes of American citizens for more than 230
years. Despite a desire to do otherwise, I believe this high
court will not want to establish a unique historic infamy.
Such a blunder would be far less forgivable than the chief
justice forgetting the precise wording of the presidential
oath on Inauguration Day.
Gay and lesbian Americans must continue to patient and
vigilant over the next two, possibly three years or more
years until all the legal battles play out. In today's world
of high expectations for quick decision-making, the civil
rights and women's vote decisions might have been botched
horribly with quick, less thoughtful rulings. Instead of
rushes to judgments on great issues, we need deliberative
critical thinking and a well expressed decision that
measures up to the sheer eloquence of the original
constitution. Like we have found with all other aspects of
that great decree from representatives of united states, the
ruling on gay marriage must be able to stand the test of
time and eventually be fully embraced, understood and
respected by all future generations to come.
Those seven million people in California who voted Yes on
Prop 8 also deserve a well thought out and explained
resolution. For their future, they deserve the opportunity
to someday become comfortable with changing their minds. I
suspect few surviving opponents of the equals rights push
for blacks and the women's right to vote still hold those
views thanks to the benefit of time and an opportunity to
see how those decision did not serve to destroy this nation
or its families. Sometime it just takes some people longer
to see the big picture and how not to be afraid of it.
The same is true for church,
synagogue and mosque groups who find today's ruling
appalling, even sinful. Over the centuries religious
cultures have always had trouble adjusting to changing times
and public acceptance patterns. I believe these groups will
eventually come around too largely because they will
eventually want and need to find ways to minister to the
LGBT community. They will do so because of their basic
mission of working to enrich people's lives by showing them
how to coexist and even love one another without judging.
Stubbornly clinging to outdated traditions will eventually
give way to a spiritual energy that always seeks peaceful
As a practicing gay catholic in
a progressive church community here in Northern California,
I am grateful for the time to prove as human beings, and
learn as a nation, that we are truly blessed when we strive
to live up to the powerful and poetic words of our God
inspired American constitution. "One nation, under God" has
always suggested that to every generation. We have trusted
for centuries that eventually we would get it right, and
overcome prejudices and short-sightedness and not prioritize
our personal comfort zones.
Bravo to Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San
Francisco for his ruling today which keeps us focused on
that ever winding and bumpy road to the great promise land
of our own creation in the United States Constitution.
Prof. Bob Rucker
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
San Jose State University
Bob is also a Former CNN Correspondent & Newsweek
Broadcasting National News Feature Producer.
He was also a medical correspondent for Group W Westinghouse
in Philadelphia, PA. where he served
as a weekend anchor for KYW-TV3 Eyewitness News.