Proposition 8 again

This week, the California State Supreme Court upheld the results of the 2008 Proposition 8 referendum, which amended the state constitution to state that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The plaintiffs argued that Proposition 8 was in violation of the equal protection clause of the California constitution, meaning that Proposition 8 was a revision of the constitution and not an amendment, and therefore its passage had been invalid  (revising the state constitution is a different process than amending it). They also argued that the protection of minorities was the job of the judiciary, which could not be overturned by referendum or legislation, and therefore Proposition 8 violated the separation of powers doctrine.

The court disagreed, saying that a revision of the state Constitution would require a re-working the entire document, and therefore Proposition 8 was an amendment. They also stated that the judiciary can only interpret the laws and constitution. Since Proposition 8 changed the constitution, it therefore changed what the judiciary had to work with when they defended minority rights and therefore does not violate the separation of powers. The court also ruled that same-sex marriages which were issued before Proposition 8 was passed will still be valid.

Marriages in the United States have always been issued by the state. Therefore, decisions as to who is allowed to be married and who isn’t are the prerogative of the state. California and 28 other states have held referendums to decide the issue, and in almost every instance the voters have decided that homosexual marriage is not something that the state should recognize.

Proposition 8’s passage has unleashed a lot of venom from homosexual activists, which has been detailed in other posts on this blog. It has generated much more venom than the 28 other states that have passed constitutional amendments banning homosexual marriage. Why is this? I think the answer lies in California’s reputation as a liberal and pro-homosexual state. If homosexual marriage can be banned by popular vote in California, then it will probably be banned almost everywhere that it gets put up for a vote.

That’s the real issue – Proposition 8’s passage has show how little popular support there is for legal homosexual marriage in the United States.

2 thoughts on “Proposition 8 again

  1. Just a couple of points:

    “Marriages in the United States have always been issued by the state. Therefore, decisions as to who is allowed to be married and who isn’t are the prerogative of the state.”

    -You’re correct in stating that only states issue marriage licenses, but wrong about the state’s role. The judicial branch has weighed in on marriage before to decide who is and is not allowed to marry. Think Loving v. Virginia, which struck down anti-miscegenation laws.

    “That’s the real issue – Proposition 8’s passage has show how little popular support there is for legal homosexual marriage in the United States.”

    -Support for same-sex marriage is actually on the rise in the United States. Yes, the majority is still opposed, but the level of support for full marriage rights has risen to 39%/42% (depending on which poll you look at: NY Times/CBS or Newsweek). I think that support will grow as same-sex marriage becomes more widespread and also as more people understand the silliness of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. (Think: Dan Choi)

    I think that’s because opposing same-sex marriage (and it would be more respectful to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to call it same-sex marriage rather than homosexual marriage) based on faith and tradition is easy to do, but supporting your position within the parameters of our legal and political system is a bit more difficult.

    Let me get at the root of what I think your argument is: I think you believe that because a majority of people are opposed to same-sex marriage then it shouldn’t be legal…? In the 1950s and early 1960s, a majority of North Carolinians were opposed to interracial marriage. Did that mean that it was OK for the state to ban interracial marriage as long as the people were opposed to it? How is this any different? Traditionally, marriage was reserved for people of the same race. Mixing of the races was also opposed by the Christian community based on biblical teachings.

    Leave your same-sex marriage angst behind and tell me legally, politically, and under the weight of history, why we can continue to ban same-sex marriages.

  2. “I think you believe that because a majority of people are opposed to same-sex marriage then it shouldn’t be legal…?”

    My above post was focused on the legal issues of same-sex marriage, not the moral issues. So yes, if a referendum banning same-sex marriage is legally passed by popular vote than it should be banned.

    Whether or not this is moral is another issue that I’m not raising in this post. But it is legal, and legally enacted law should be enacted.

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