Thursday, March 5, 2009

Today in Gay History

March 5, 2009

California Marriage Equality

The California Supreme Court will today hear oral arguments pertaining to the legality of Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that changed the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage on March 5.

The hearing is expected to result in a decision that sets a precedent and makes history. Both supporters and opponents of Prop 8 will be voicing their reasons as to why or why not the amendment should remain in effect. Groups in favor of equality filed a suit shortly after the November election, claiming the marriage ban violated the state Constitution. California’s Attorney General, Jerry Brown at first stated he would defend Proposition 8, but then changed his stance arguing that the measure was in fact unconstitutional.

Supporters of Prop 8 have filed briefs supporting the ban as it was approved by the voters 52% by 48%. According to the court, judges presiding over the case will consider three key issues. Is Prop 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution and did not clear the Legislature as required for revisions? Does Prop 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California State Constitution? And, if it is determined that Prop 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

Stay tuned. A decision is not likely for a couple of months, but today's hearing might give court observers a glimpse of how the Justices are leaning.

Crapaud's prediction: Justices will split the baby à la Solomon: a) Uphold Prop 8's validity, sustaining the mob rule of 52% tyranny, while b) Sustaining the validity of the 18,000+ marriages contracted in California by same sex couples between June and November.

Update: Crapaud viewed and listened to the arguments via internet live stream from a San Francisco TV station. My impression is that it could still go either way. However, its probably still tilted in favor of upholding the validity of outlawing same sex marriage by poplular vote.

This is due to the (likely) swing-back vote of Justice Joyce L. Kennard, about whom this retired lawyer has two immediate impressions: 1) She is an erratic narcissist who adores the sound of her own accented English; and 2) Although she voted last May to declare the denial of marriage rights to same sex couples inherently unconstitutional, she now fears for her chances in a recall and will vote to say: "The state must make equal provisions for gay couples just like we said back in May. But what teh Prop 8 did was just a matter of" nomenclature," i. e. the "people" may revise the constitution to create a new class of "marriage" called something else."

I know, I know, it doesn't make any sense, but that's what this judge is about to join in declaring to save her sorry ass from recall by these same "people."


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