Here Come the Brides! is not just a new Seal Press release, but could be the slogan of thousands of California lesbians today, as a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the state’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Prop 8, approved by California voters in 2008, declared same-sex marriage illegal, nullifying the state’s Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage and led to 18,000 female-female, male-male marriages in the state. The federal court’s ruling upheld that of Judge Vaughn Walker in 2010, who declared that Prop 8 violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by discriminating against gay people who want to partake of marriage.
Before California brides start shopping for dresses and tuxes and registering for gifts, however, more legal challenges lie in wait. Prop 8 supporters can now either ask for a ruling from a larger panel of the 9th Circuit Court, or can take their case right to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hold tight: There’s a bumpy road to justice ahead for potential gay brides and grooms, but a victory in the top court of the land would have national implications.
Until then, curl up with a copy of Here Come the Brides! and read essays, poems, one-act plays (and see a few cartoons) by lesbians who have already tied the knot, are still waiting for legalization, and who otherwise have an opinion on the institution and realities of marriage.
Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, edited by Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort, is available for preorder now, and will be in bookstores in March, 2012.