UC Berkeley News
Point of View

Point of View

Gay marriage supporters on Sproul steps Elated members of the campus's LGBT community gather on the steps of Sproul Hall Thursday to celebrate the California Supreme Court's decision endorsing same-sex marriage. (Cathy Cockrell/ NewsCenter photo)

Same-sex marriage: What's your view of the State Supreme Court ruling?

— On May 15, shortly after the State Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on same-sex marriage — ruling that the state's ban violates the "fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship" — elated members of the campus 's LGBT community gathered at Sproul Plaza to celebrate.

"It’s historical, wonderful, and it’s time that California really extended full rights to all Californians," said Billy Curtis, director of the campus's Gender & Equity Resource Center. "Though we still have a long way to go, so that those with international partners can also get these rights as well," he added. "Right now this is restricted to Californians who are citizens."

Like the court decision itself, which was 4-3, and public sentiment nationally, campus opinions on same-sex marriage come in many flavors. Here are just a few, gathered in a quick, unscientific survey in the hours following the court decision.

I think it's great that the Supreme Court passed the bill. It shows how the government is becoming maybe more open minded in terms of gay marriage. I think everyone should have the right to marry who they want, and not have the government define love. So it was exciting to hear that on the news. I think we're going in the right direction.

Brooke Hall, senior, psychology
Hometown: Calabasa, CA
Brooke Hall, senior

Phillip Alvarado, junior

It's extremely amazing — and we have a huge fight ahead of us on the ballot in November. We're going to have a couple of initiatives on the ballot to change the state Constitution. One petition already has got 1.1 million signatures; they only need 700,000. We're going to fight it. We have the support of allies, of the LGBT community, and of our great governor. Gov. Schwarzenegger is behind us on this.

I have a partner of 17 months. We would love to get married someday — full and recognized. But the fight is definitely not over. There's only one state besides us, Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal. That leaves 48 states — and until all of us have equal rights, none of us have equal rights.

Phillip Alvarado, junior, political science and history, president of the campus's Queer Alliance & Resource Center; Hometown: San Bernadino, CA

I don't think it's that good, honestly. I'm a Christian. I'm against gay marriage. I feel like marriage should be between a man and woman. I think children need their mother and father. I oppose it, but it's done now. If you look around, and you have an open eye for it, you'll see more gay couples around. It kind of does say a lot about where our world is headed toward. I'm not too concerned about it.

John Kwon, freshman, electrical engineering and computer sciences, Hometown: Chadsworth, CA
John Kwon, freshman

Davitt Moroney, professor of music

At last! The many reasons for personal happiness for me and my partner are obvious. But pragmatically, from the university's point of view, this was a critical decision. UC has already steadily but quietly been losing highly talented LGBT individuals students, staff, faculty whose relationships were not granted full legal equality in this state. Over the last five years, jobs in Canada and Massachusetts (not to mention Belgium and Holland), and in other states whose civil partnerships offered more equal legal protection, have obviously become far more attractive at the personal level.

Even though the California Supreme Court decision is a long document, its essential reasoning and fundamental principles are simple and forceful. Discrimination of any kind hurts everyone, including those people who discriminate. Thank you, California!

Davitt Moroney, professor of music

I can't really say anything about same-sex marriage, because I really don't agree with the governmental contract of marriage in general. I understand that it's more or less for the legal rights, and I feel like whomever you choose to be with, the person who loves and cares about you, you should be able to have the legal rights to act on their behalf. But marriage in general, I don't agree with the governmental contract. I think the state should stay out of people's homes and bedrooms.

Brandi Howard, senior, African American Studies
Hometown: Oakland, CA

Brandi Howard, senior

Thomas Wiley, junior

I respect homosexuals; I respect their right to be together. But if you look at history, marriage was always between a man and a woman. So allowing homosexuals to have marriage is kind of redefining marriage. It's kind of like playing a game, knowing the rules of the game, and then adding a whole new fact to the game. It's not the same game anymore. So I have no problem with allowing homosexuals to be together even with the same exact rights as someone who is married, the same exact benefits. Just don't call it "marriage." Call it "garriage" or something! Marriage is still between a man and a woman. That's how it's always been.

Thomas Wiley, junior, economics and rhetoric
Hometown: Hayward, CA

I personally don't agree with same-sex marriage, as a person of faith. So I don't agree with the ruling, but the climate of the country has been moving that way anyway, so it doesn't surprise me. But I don't agree with the decision at all, because of my faith. I'm a Christian. I believe in the Bible and what it says, and it's very clear about that point. I use the Bible to guide my life, and I take how I feel about different things in the world from that. So I don't agree with the decision.

Dannielle McBride, senior, molecular and environmental biology (African American Studies minor); Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Dannielle McBride, senior

Oscar Acosca, junior

This is a great achievement for the queer community. California's definitely taken a step in the right direction. I'm pretty sure New York is next; that's my prediction. This will, for the queer community, give an incentive to stop being promiscuous. Now the fact that we have been recognized, it's going to encourage people to be committed, devoted, and faithful which is what marriage is about. People felt they weren't being recognized; their partnerships weren't being recognized. So they felt devalued. So this is a great thing.

Oscar Acosta, junior, mass communications
Hometown: Whittier, CA


As a straight "person of faith," I'm thrilled with the State Supreme Court's ruling. We need definitions for marriage and family that encompass reality, not someone or some belief system's favorite ideal. As a Christian I believe God invites us in with open arms and meets us where we are. And that includes all kinds of marriages, partnerships and families. We need to open our eyes and hearts and see what wonderful marriages and families there are around us. And they do not always constitute a man and a woman with or without children.

Linda Finch Hicks, manager, history department
Linda Finch Hicks, manager,history department

Sharon Page-Medrich, executive assistant to the Dean of the Graduate Division

At a UC LGBT alumni reception last week, I was moved by President Dynes' public comment, saying how heartbreaking it would be not to be able to marry the person one loves. It's thrilling that our state's highest court has affirmed the fundamental right of all couples to the benefits and responsibilities bestowed only by legal marriage. Those Justices today earned their title!

Sharon Page-Medrich, executive assistant to the Dean of the Graduate Division