California’s Proposition 8 Upheld by State Supreme Court4 min read

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It looks like California’s Proposition 8 Upheld by State Supreme Court. I find this a sad, sad result, and a little surprising. I guess I do understand why they did uphold it considering the scope of what was being challenged, but if the real issue of civil rights violation went before the US Supreme court, I think it would validate same sex marriage (California Supreme Court Summary News Release). =(

The main issue that seem to be addressed by the court were as follows:

  • Narrowness in scope of the change to the State Constitution and whether or not Proposition 8 was valid as an amendedment or was such a measure required to be run as a fundamental revision to the state constitution.

It is key to understand that they are not ruling on the Gay Rights issue itself, but in the validity of Proposition 8 as a change (in one way or another) to the California State Constitution, which is made pretty clear here:

The opinion emphasizes that it is not minimizing the significance that the official designation of “marriage” holds for both the proponents and opponents of Proposition 8, and explains that an accurate assessment of the actual effect of Proposition 8 on the constitutional rights of same-sex couples is necessary to evaluate the constitutional challenges that are advanced in this case.

I find the following quote really bothersome. This similar logic could be used to uphold a law that prevents interracial marriage from being legal, since its scope would be similarly narrow. This is a scary thought. =(

The court further unanimously held that the scope of Proposition 8 is narrow, limited solely to restricting the use of the term “marriage” to opposite-sex couples, while not otherwise affecting the fundamental constitutional rights of same-sex couples described in its earlier opinion in In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757.

I also find it interesting that this case did not bring to front the violation of civil rights that banning same sex marriage is, and brings to front that the power of a scared majority can violate civil rights of a minority. I am frightened to think what would have happened had the internet (and the TV commercials) existed in its present form during World War II. I can only imagine a horrendous grassroots movement and a ballot item to round up and exterminate Germans or Japanese in a constitutional amendment of a state or two. Eeeeeeeek! =(

We did rounded them all up as an protective act during war time, but, I fear what would have happend had we had the communication capability then that we do now.

I really wonder if it is possible to appeal this to the US Supreme court on the ground of a violation of our Constitutional and Inalienable Civil Rights, and our Pursuit of Happiness.

The court also unanimously held that the new constitutional provision applies only prospectively, and does not affect the continued validity of the estimated 18,000 marriages of same-sex couples that occurred prior to November 5, 2008, when the new constitutional provision took effect. The challenges to Proposition 8 before the court were filed by numerous same-sex couples and public entities and were based solely on the provisions of the California Constitution and did not raise any federal constitutional claim.

… and this to me seems rather arbitrary and a method to appease gay-rights activists. It is good that this was done to save the 18,000 existing marriages or so. I may be a little bitter, but in taking a more objective look at it, this may have been the right thing to do.

People are quite scared to make this a US Supreme Court case and are avoiding it out of fear of extremist violence, and fear of being involved in what will be such a polarizing and protracted case. We need someone with some balls to take it all the way to the top and stop pussy-footing around the real issue here – an unconstitional civil rights violation being perpetrated by a politically active conservative Christian majority pining for their status quo.

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