Untying the Knot of Seperate and Unequal Marriage

By Jorge Rivas Sep 21, 2009

While more states move to legalize same-sex marriage, California has instead eliminated this right with the passage of Proposition 8. Legal scholar Tobias Barrington Wolff and civil rights attorney Eva Jefferson Paterson join the Hammer Museum to discuss the uncertain future of marriage equality in California.

Wolff served as co-chair of Obama’s LGBT advisory committee during the 2008 presidential campaign. Paterson is the President and co-founder of the Equal Justice Society, a national strategy group heightening consciousness on race in the law and popular discourse. In the video above Patterson looks at the intersection of race, gender and misconceptions about the role of the Black community in the passage of Proposition 8. She made it clear with election data that the failure to stop Prop. 8 can not be blamed on black and brown folks — not to mention the fact that it was "white folks in the Mormon church who outspent and out organized the No on 8 campaign." She also presented a brilliant breakdown of parallels between Prop. 8 and other propositions throughout California’s history of denying rights to certain groups through the the "misguided democracy" that we Californians call the initiative process. The video above is a little long, but I highly recommend it. At the very least, skip around for Eva Patterson speaking at the podium and answering questions from the audience.