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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Glimmers of hope from the CA Supreme Court

I need to get ready for work, and am just now slowly recovering from the emotional and physical exhaustion of the election. But, I couldn't leave you all without a quick summary:

Yesterday, 4 suits were filed in the CA Supreme Court to block Prop 8. Nothing has happened yet, and some involve some controversial legal issues (the lawyers don't want to reveal their strategy), but it seems that with such a big change to the rights in our constitution, that they might have needed to have a 2/3rds vote to have it on the ballot in the first place. We'll see where this goes. We're not sure if Prop 8 is on hold or if it moves forward, but already counties have stopped marrying gay couples.

Last night community gatherings, vigils and protests were held.

In the mean time, GoodAsYou has dug up a Spiegel interview with Justice Ronald George, who wrote the majority opinion in the May ruling ALLOWING same-sex marriage. As the days, weeks and months move forward pay attention to these seemingly very important words of his:
SPIEGEL: If a majority of Californians vote to ban gay marriage in a referendum in November, does your decision lose its meaning? Or are they just overturning the word "marriage?"

Ronald George: If this amendment to the constitution passes, it would prevent gay people from being married, but it would not remove this protection that we put in our analysis. ... We're saying that if you look at a classification of gay people, you must treat it just as if you are classifying on the basis of the color of their skin or their religion. And that is probably the most important thing in the whole ruling, even though the population's attention understandably has mostly been on the "M word" of marriage.

As we indicated last time: To us, this really sounds like Chief Justice George is saying something HUGE without coming out and directly saying it. It seems like he's saying that the anti-gay side can try to deny gay people the word marriage all they want, but they will never be able to deny gays and lesbians their equality. After all, the courts found homosexuality to be a suspect classification. So by virtue of the equal protection clause, how can they possibly deny marriage rights to same-sex couples if they are granted to others? What is the other side's argument? It seems impossible to us that one could, if following the logic of the In re Marriage Cases ruling and the logic of what Chief Justice George is saying here, uphold Proposition 8 or any of the possible arguments that the anti-gay side might use to support it. We see no valid way.

The whole interview is interesting, so be sure to have a look:


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