Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Reciprocating Saw Tearing Through California

I mentioned before in my Prop 8: Enough Already! entry that prior to this past election day gay marriage had been shifted back and forth in legality six times.  Well thanks to a conservative, religious and traditionalist population, the lucky gays in California have been blessed with lucky number seven.  All the gays in California should walk into as many churches as you can and shake hands with everyone, thank them for dragging you back and forth like a rag doll.

I prophetized in that entry that if Prop 8 was enacted into law that within eight years the courts would again take up the case and possibly pull the power back to the side of the gays. Remove eight years, insert two weeks and I was EXACTLY right. 

Yes at the urging of Attorney General and Former Governor Jerry Brown (his aura always smiles and never frowns [bonus points if you get that]) the supreme court is again going to take up the gay marriage question.  The case is slotted for March and will answer the question of whether this was a proper use of an initiative. Unfortunately all gay marriages remaining on hold at least until a decision is made.

It is painfully sad and a little scary that this battle has come to this.  We are back to the courts, how many times can this go back and forth?  It can not be healthy for the legislature and now the people to be fighting for control of the constitution with the supreme court.  Is this not asking for a breakdown of democracy in the state of California? Should we have written rules as to when one branch of the government supersedes the others?

It is hard for me to be unbiased in weighing whether the Supreme Court should be again looking at this case, because I have a direct hope for an outcome that can only come from them doing so.  I know that if Prop 8 had been voted down, and the supporters of it had proceeded to bring the case to court I would be extremely annoyed, but yet I'm advocating just that for my side.

The only way that I can defend this belief is in saying, as I have in the before mentioned entry, that this is a case best left to the courts.  The reason being that it is a case of extending the rights of a minority against the tyranny of the majority.  It was wrong for the majority to hold a popular vote against a minority in the first place, therefore their taking it to court would be furthering the wrong.

I was going to write more about the reasons that this was a case best left to the courts, but I found this article by Kermit Roosevelt which makes my arguments seem like the fourth grade abridged version. Here is a taste:

"Regardless of where you stand on same-sex marriage, what's troubling
for US citizens in the California case is the idea that an equality
guarantee could not be effectively enforced against the will of a
majority. The point of such a guarantee is precisely to protect
minorities from discrimination at the hands of a majority."

I encourage you all to read the article, it gives quite a compelling argument for the supreme court intervention.

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