Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Good News - Court Finds Ban on Gay Marriage in California and Prop. 8 Unconstitutional
Sam and Ariel of Bowerbird Photography have long supported gay marriage. Today, we are thrilled to hear that the 9th circuit federal court of appeals panel has ruled that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional. There is no rational basis to bar individuals from getting married simply because of their sexual orientation. Although many news articles say the ruling was decided narrowly, the decision is nevertheless favorable. The court used an equal protection analysis of the rational basis test instead of asserting a separate right for gay and lesbian people to marry. Historically, very little has been needed to uphold state actions if there was any rational basis for the action at all. Here, the court said that there is not one legitimate reason for discriminating against gay and lesbian people who want to get married. Given the presumption upholding state actions under the rational basis test, it seems the court's decision is actually quite radical and broad, although many journalists opine differently.
As friends of the gay community in San Francisco, we are overjoyed by the good news. Finally, couples in committed relationships may enjoy the many state privileges and benefits conferred by marriage. In addition it is important social validation that the love that GLBTQI partners feel for one another is in no way inferior to the love of straight partners. The message today is clear: love triumphs! As photographers, we are excited for the chance to be able to document GLBTQI weddings, and to photograph the love that all couples have for each other. Since Sam, in addition to being a photographer, is a lawyer, having practiced civil rights litigation, he is relieved to see when courts work; when any marginalized community or individual is able to receive the right to a fair trial and due process.
In this blog post, we have included some wedding and engagement images of GLBTQI couples we have photographed. The photo of the couple in white was taken at San Francisco City Hall, when Mayor Newsom declared that gay marriage was legal, and a rush of people came to claim their right to marry. These rights were soon taken away again, but now after several years, the gay community, and all individuals who believe in the freedom to love and marry, can again rejoice.
We can't wait to take our cameras out and celebrate this victory for gay rights.