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History Repeating

Mar
24
2004

Juxtapose two stories in two out-of-town papers and you get a pretty good look at the ramifications and a little bit of perspective on the gay marriage debate.
The New York Times’ front page has a piece on every parent’s nightmate: Custody fights over children. No one’s made the argument that gay marriage – and the legal rights it confers, including the right to divorce within a recognized and accepted framework – protects children. But someone should. Consider this: Gay couples who can’t work out their differences can’t sue in Family Court where their privacy is protected. They often find themselves in California’s civil court system where open records – financial, medical and the like – are aired for all to see. Somehow, it seems, that sexual orientation shouldn’t be the keystone for that sort of stuff. The Times pieces goes a long way toward fleshing out the protections argument. Gay folks have been adopting for a while now and that adoption process is what, at it’s heart, is fueling much of the emotion around the issue – one that’s simply not going to go away regardless of what Congress thinks.
The second story on the city’s history of “activist” lawyers isn’t going to surprise anyone walking down McAllister Street. But it places, in a smart context, the city’s history as a force for social change, relying heavily on former City Attorney Louise Renne’s ultimately successful tobacco lawsuits. Renne, of course, is an advisor to Mayor Gavin Newsom. She ran his transition committee.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:58 AM | Permalink

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