Wednesday, November 19, 2008

California Supreme Court to Hear Prop 8 Case

This just in .... California's highest court has just agreed to hear legal challenges to a new ban on gay marriage, but has refused to allow gay couples to resume marrying until it rules.

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted three lawsuits seeking to overturn Proposition 8. The amendment passed this month with 52 percent of the vote. The court did not elaborate more on this decision.

Gay rights advocates in these case are arguing that the measure was actually a constitutional revision, instead of a more limited amendment. A revision of the state Constitution can be placed before the voters only by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature or a constitutional convention.

Lawsuits to overturn the initiative contend it was a revision because it denied equal protection to a minority group and eviscerated a key constitutional guarantee. Supporters of Proposition 8 counter that it merely amended the constitution by restoring a traditional definition of marriage.

In its order, the court established an expedited briefing schedule, under which briefing will be completed in January 2009 and oral argument potentially could be held as early as March 2009.

Six justices — Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Justice Marvin R. Baxter, Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, Justice Ming W. Chin, Justice Carlos R. Moreno, and Justice Carol A. Corrigan signed the court’s order, but Justice Moreno indicated that he would grant the requests to stay the operation of Proposition 8 pending the court’s resolution of these matters.

The court has tended to defer to voter sentiment on initiative challenges, but it has overturned popular ballot measures in the past.

In 1966, the California Supreme Court struck down an initiative that would have permitted racial discrimination in housing. Voters had approved the measure, a repeal of a fair housing law, by a 2-to-1 margin.

Opponents challenged measure on equal protection grounds, not as a constitutional revision.

Additionally Federal courts have also overturned another contentious initiative, Proposition 187, the anti-immigration measure passed by voters.

Crossposted via Lez Get Real.

17 comments:

Renee Gannon said...

Here's hoping the courts do the right thing!

Queers United said...

I wish they wouldn't wait so long but maybe time is on our side, so people will relax on the issue and not feel their vote was stolen if they overturn prop 8.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Judges do their job and do not abuse their power. Judicial activism is not a judges job. A judges job is to look at the constitution and evaluate what is constitutional or unconstitutional. More clearly defining the definition of marriage is not unconstitutional.

Mr. HCI said...

Targeting a specific minority group, however, IS.

Mr. HCI said...

Targeting for discrimination, I mean.

Anonymous said...

"We the people" who passed prop 8 are not discriminating, we are more clearly defining a term. Since when does a more extensive definition of a word translate to discrimination? California's Supreme Court has no business letting their political agenda rule, they are in the business of understanding and interpreting the state Constitution.

Sabertooth Screaming Lemur said...

The judges are supposed to decide if a ruling is unconstitutional, Anon. "Majority rules" is an unjust way to govern, because the majority is by definition not going to be able to look out for the interests of minorities and will always seek only to keep its own priveleges. Segregation and no interracial marriage were "the will of the people", too, and the courts decided it was wrong; as is Prop 8 because it discriminates against a minority. It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

In regards to "we are not discriminating, we are more clearly defining a term" -

Ok, how about I "define" a citizen with voting rights to be a white male making over $150,000 a year?

This might sound absurd to you now, but it wouldn't have a couple hundred years ago.
Definitions like this are one of the best tools of discrimination.

Anonymous said...

The interesting part of this debate which the lgbt communtiy refuses to see, or if they do see will not admit, prop 8 being overturned takes away rights of the majority. So if the whole argument is taking away rights; which I believe is a very weak argument, their are better reasons for legalizing same sex marriage, then it would only make sense to protect the majority. A lot of people would have much more respect for this effort if the lgbt community came out and was honest and said we understand us getting our 'rights' or our way takes away your rights to parent as you choose, run your business by a moral compass, etc., but we do not care because we still want this. That holds much more water than to say we just want our rights and their are no consequences for other people. Be truthful and admit their are grave repercussions for the family, the education system, religious freedoms and others.

Anonymous said...

What "rights" were taken away when each person had the right to marry the person they chose to marry? None that I can see. Every person will still be able ayyend the place of worship of their choice (or not). The education system will not change. Families will still exist. I don't get what you haters see as the "GRAVE REPERCUSSIONS" of same sex marriage.

Anonymous said...

For one my church's adoption agency will cease to exist if the California Supreme court overturns prop 8. My children will learn about same sex relationships in the classroom where I have no say over it. Look at what happened in Massachusetts when a set of parents wanted notification that their elementary aged child would learn about same sex marriage, the dad was arrested. My church is being threatened with their tax exempt status. Religious universities will have to offer housing for gay couples. Religious institutions or churches that say homosexuality is a sin could potentially be sued. Yes I would say that their are very serious consequence if prop 8 is overturned. The lgbt community needs to stop with the lies and admit that these are realities not scare tactics, they will happen.

bridgeout said...

I am hoping this just may be a way to restore gay marriage in CA!!

neillncali said...

My Question for Anonymous is "What would Jesus do???" Do you think that he only wanted to preach the good news to Heterosexuals?? Do you think that when you die and meet your maker, you will not have to answer for breaking the TWO COMMANDMENTS that JESUS OVERRIDED; "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF" AND "LOVE YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART"!!!! In the same passage that states "man may not lay next to another man" it goes on to say that eating meat from a hooved animal is a SIN JUST THE SAME????? All you people who eat pork, according to your scripture, will ALL GO TO HELL!! Get off the bible thing because you have no argument!! And again, ask yourself "WHAT WOULD JESUS DO"!!!

Anonymous said...

To Neillncali I will answer your questions and respond one my one. What would Jesus do? Jesus loves everyone unconditionally and equally, but He also knows the power of keeping the commandments. Remember he felt all the same temptations we do but he chose the right and was perfect unlike all of us. He would absolutely want the good news of the gospel preach to everyone, everywhere, than is why their are tens of thousands of full time missionaries who are preaching regardless of race, economic status, etc. You are making a false assumption by assuming that because people do not support prop 8 they do not love all of God's children. Love the person hate the sin. And actually my scriptures say 'eat meat sparingly.' There is the old law and now we live by the new law. So I ask myself what would Jesus do, he would love while still teaching us to do the right thing. Just as parents because you set restrictions on our children and do not let them do everything and anything they please because you know it is damaging, the same is with Jesus. I will love my children regardless of what they do but I will not let them do whatever.

Cody said...

Honestly, what I think is that one of the "Anon" commenters is kinda cowardly...I know I'm gonna stir the pot here...but, come on, if someone's going to post a comment, at least let the community know your name, so we can personally judge the merits of the comment and figure on whether or not it is worthwhile to form a coherent response...

And, while I'm at it...let me jump in...living in Ohio (known as the absolute WORST state in the US for GLBT equality and protection...I think there was something on Towle's blog or something about it), I have a lot fewer protections than most...but, moving on: nobody can make predictions on what any supposed "Messianic" figure would or would not do: we're not in the place of power to do that...and, also, if the straight majority thinks they'd lose rights: what would they lose, really? They can still marry and divorce all they want, they just have to make a little room (and with as many people as we have in this country, that's getting tougher every minute! haha! ^_^) And, I'd like to see where churches would lose their exempt status...last I heard, it was only if a "substantial effort" (or something like that; I'm not certain of the exact wording) went into political activism. In addition, I'd like to see proof, Anon, of every claim you've made...usually, I'm not going to get this argumentative, but, honestly, over the past 2-3 weeks, my 20-year-old brain's frying from hearing all the back-and-forth on this, and it's getting to where I just want to pull the Lewis Black (he used this idea for abortion, but it works here, too:

"We take the most ardent people on both sides of the issue, lock them in a big room, and tell them that none of them can leave until they come up with some sort of ANSWERS!!!"

(And, just FYI: yes, I'm gay, and yes, I believe that this should NEVER have happened...but, just get it overwith already!!! ^_^)

Anonymous said...

this was and is a condtitutional amendment, if the courts rule that this amendment is unconstitutional, they will have ruled that the constitution of California is unconstitutional. At that point, the state of California will not have a constitution, they will be ruled by an oligarchy -- also known as the Supreme Court of California.

Cody said...

I don't think it was...isn't the initiative/proposition process separate from the Constitutional amendment process?

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