Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hearing on California's Proposition 8 Today

Today, the California Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on the validity of Proposition 8. Proposition 8, overturning a previous ruling that same sex marriages were legal in the state, was approved by voters in the November, 2008 election. Today, the California Supreme Court will begin consideration of the validity of the measure, which will in the end determine the validity of same sex marriages within the state.

Of primary concern in determining the validity of Proposition 8 is determining whether this measure improperly amended a constitutional amendment. Should the Court determine Proposition 8 constitutes a proper revision to the state constitution, which apparently many experts believe will be the case, the Court will then have to determine the validity of previously performed same sex marriages during the time period when such marriages were legal. Many feel that the Court will uphold Proposition 8, as well as the existing same sex marriages.

Opponents of Proposition 8 contend that this measure improperly amends the state constitution by means other than what is provided in the constitution itself. The Attorney General is contending that Proposition 8 “eliminates an inalienable right without compelling reasons.”

Supporters of Proposition 8 “have threatened a campaign to remove justices who vote to overturn the measure.” If Proposition 8 is upheld, gay right activists will most likely seek to add a measure to the 2010 ballot to reconsider gay marriage.

The original ruling had a slight majority, 4 to 3, determining that same sex marriages were legal in California. Should the supporters of Proposition 8 be able to swing a single justice’s vote, Proposition 8 will be declared valid and same sex marriage will once again be illegal in the state of California.

This topic has been written about quite a bit, including blog postings on this site when the measure was initially passed. As stated here, it is good to see that Americans have started accepting some forms of change, but the continued opposition to same sex marriage makes one question how truly open we as a society are. As the California Attorney General is expected to contend, marriage is one of the inalienable rights granted to the American people; to eliminate this right merely because the people desiring to marry are of the same sex does not seem a valid enough reason to prevent them from doing so. By denying these inalienable rights to certain groups of people, America is showing a tendency to cling on to the past rather than openness to change and the future.

To read the entire article, click here.

The arguments will be streamed here from 9:00 A.M. until noon Pacific on March 5, 2009.

No comments: