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Cory Doctorow

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today's court ruling

OK, so it's not a great big roaring thunder of traffic, but I kept having a moving picture much like this in my head since 10 am Pacific today.  SF Gate (the online version of the Chronicle) has all the details on California's Supreme court ruling from earlier today.

To be fair, most everything I was hearing/seeing/reading was preparing everyone for an upholding of Proposition 8.  The real "nail biter" here was whether all of the marriages of gay couples and lesbian couples between May 2008 and early November 2008 would continue to be valid or if they would be invalidated.

Those marriages, per the court ruling, are still valid.

Not being an attorney or legislator, the other picture in my head formed was that of two groups of employees at a company.  90% of them get the same 3 weeks of paid vacation time each year and the company closes its doors during those three weeks. The other 10% of employees only get one of those weeks paid.  

The reason?  Does it matter?  Why wouldn't everyone get 3 weeks paid vacation? Or, why not give everyone one week of paid vacation and two weeks unpaid?

Now, in the real world, it's rare a company closes its doors for three weeks.  Vacation pay in the U.S. is determined by the employer and, at least in my experience, is based on how many years you have worked for the company.  Those with the largest number of years of employment with the company get the largest amount of vacation pay.  Outside of the U.S.'s relative cheapness in giving employees paid time off, most workers are O.K. with "more seniority, more paid time off" as the rule.

So, who would ever agree to randomly select 10% of employees to only receive one week of vacation pay and no pay for the other two weeks while my fictional company closes its doors for its workers' mass vacation?

It seems the California Supreme Court had no problem agreeing to this while "grandfathering" a small group of the 10% who, through determination and hasty preparation and execution, found a way to get all three weeks vacation paid.

And, now I'm back to why I've had traffic in my head most of the day.  Those thousands of G & L couples whose marriages were not invalidated today have laid down a big street over which all sorts of attorneys and advocates will motor to give all consenting adult couples, gay, lesbian, straight, what-have-you, will eventually have the full right to marry and all enjoy the same benefits and same designation.

Ready to ride?  Start here.

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