When I teach African American history, even to white students, they always ask, "how could people be like that?" They don't so much mean "how could individuals be so bigoted and racist?" The get that. They've met that. They mean "how could such bigotry and racism be written into law?" They wonder how the grandfather clause, or the laws against miscegenation, or the literacy clauses, or the 3/5th clause could actually come into being? They assume that such blatant acts of racism would have been hidden and denied, embedded in cultural practice, not the legal system.
One day, maybe they will wonder how people could be so bigoted and homophobic that the legal system would be used violate the rights of GLBTQ people.
We also need to work on that cultural practice thing, too.
Here are some more articulate reactions to California's decision to uphold Proposition 8:
"Our Big Gay Agenda" and "Shame on You California Supreme Court" at Hahn At Home
"CA Supremes Say Yes to H8" at Roxie's World
"Link Farm: Reactions to the California Prop 8 Ruling" at Pam's House Blend
"Prop 8. What It's Really About" at Shakesville
"Pondering Commitment" at Angry Black Bitch
"California Supreme Court Ruling 6-1" at Womanist Musings
As Bayard Rustin said, "Twenty-five, thirty years ago [from 1987], the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, lesbian. We are all one. And if we don't know it, we will learn it the hard way."
UPDATE: Efforts to challenge Prop 8 in Federal Court.