poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Court hearing brings jitters to gay couples at center of dispute
LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer

Molly McKay wore a familiar white satin dress to court Tuesday, the same wedding gown she had put on dozens of times to make a statement at gay rights rallies and the one she finally got to wear for real when she and her partner married in San Francisco on Feb. 12.

But even cloaked in her eye-catching talisman, the 33-year-old lawyer and activist couldn't help feeling left out as the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the disputed legal status of her marriage license and those of 3,954 other same-sex couples.

"It was extremely difficult sitting here with our marriages hanging in the balance and having nobody to speak on our behalf," said McKay, who watched the two-hour hearing on television as part of an overflow crowd of about 100 observers in a basement auditorium of the Earl Warren Supreme Court Building.

Along with limiting Tuesday's arguments to the narrow question of whether a local official can unilaterally decide that a state law is unconstitutional, the justices also declined to let anyone other than lawyers for the city and the original petitioners -- the state and for a Christian legal group that opposes same-sex marriage -- present their positions in court.


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