California Supreme Court Refuses to Overturn Prop 8
Update: "A divided California Supreme Court today let stand Proposition 8, continuing marriage discrimination in California. The Court refused to undo the 18,000 marriages that same-sex couples celebrated in 2008, so that those couples remain married even while other California couples are, for now, barred from joining in marriage." [More...]
Teddy at Firedoglake tells us what to expect from the Prop 8 decision. He says there are two questions and three possible scenarios.
The opinion will be released here at 10 am PT.
The Court's Prop 8 page (with prior rulings, briefs and background) is here.
From Teddy: Question One:
The first question is whether or not Proposition 8 is such a sweeping change to the California constitution that it should have been handled differently; fundamental rights of a minority should not be put to a vote. Because the Court previously ruled that marriage is a fundamental right, it's conceivable that they will rule that this right cannot be taken away from a minority of the citizenry by a popular vote.
Prop 8 is a sweeping revision to the California constitution, this logic goes, and therefore needs to be legislated and then presented to the electorate for a vote. Because Prop 8 was never voted on by the California Assembly and Senate, but made it onto the ballot via the signature-gathering referendum process, it short-circuited the proper mechanism and should be overturned.
The second question, which really only comes into play if Proposition 8 is upheld, is what does California do with all the marriages -- perhaps as many as 18,000 even though no one kept track -- that happened after the Court ruled marriage was a fundamental right and couldn't be denied same-sex couples (May 2008) and before the voters narrowly approved Proposition 8 that November?
Presumably, if the Court overturns Proposition 8, these marriages will stand. But if they uphold Proposition 8, are these marriages valid?
45 minutes to go. I will update when the decision becomes available.
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