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CA Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage @ 10 AM PST

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:51 am - May 15, 2008.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Legal Issues

The California Supreme Court will issue its ruling on gay marriage this morning, Thursday, May 15, 2008, at 10 AM Pacific Standard Time, 1 PM GayPatriot Blog Time.

While most gay activists are optimistic the court will require the state to recognize same-sex marriages, I’m not so sure that ruling would be a good thing. Proponents of an amendment to amend the state constitution to recognize as marriage only unions between one man and one woman have gathered enough signatures to put their proposal on the fall ballot. This ruling could give them added impetus to pass their proposal.

After state supreme courts (Hawai’i and Massachusetts) attempted to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions, opponents of gay marriage succeeded in placing referenda on state ballots to define marriage as one man and one woman. Citizens in those states responded by passing these bills by large margins.

But, when the Washington and New York State Supreme Courts did not rule in favor of recognizing same-sex marriages, the impetus for such referenda began to dry up. State referenda in the months following those rulings saw ever smaller margins of victory. In 2006, such an initiative passed in conservative South Dakota with only 52% of the vote while a more draconian one was defeated in Arizona.

Advocates of gay marriage may bemoan a ruling which maintains the current definition, but they shouldn’t be so glum. A defeat at the state Supreme Court will make it easier to defeat the proposal slated for this fall’s Golden State ballot. A ruling mandating recognition of same-sex marriage could lead to backlash as it would energize social conservatives who support the traditional definition of marriage as well as other Californians who don’t believe courts should define marriage.

And these citizens have already weighed in on this matter in 2000 when they voted for Proposition 22. If advocates of gay marriage had respect for the democratic process, they would go back to them and ask them to repeal this proposal. They’ll have a chance this fall, a chance which they wanted to avoid (by attempting to harass those gathering signatures). Their decision to go through the courts may make their goal more difficult to realize.



  1. If advocates of gay marriage had respect for the democratic process,

    There’s been a few liberal measures, around the country the last few years, which have gone down in defeat. Of course, the liberals said “SCREW YOU! We’re gonna do it anyway!!!”

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — May 15, 2008 @ 6:03 am - May 15, 2008

  2. patriot the logic isnt adding up for me here. If we don’t hope for a marriage equality ruling, we won’t have marriage. If we do get it and the amendment gains steam, atleast we will have marriage and have to fight to keep it. So it is basically no marriage, or marriage and a big battle, no? The governator also promised to veto any amendment, he said that to the Log Cabin Republicans, so hopefully even if the amendment passes the governor will kill it.

    Comment by queerunity — May 15, 2008 @ 8:02 am - May 15, 2008

  3. I will give up golf until we have equal marriage rights.

    Comment by James — May 15, 2008 @ 9:23 am - May 15, 2008

  4. Jeez! Get the government out of my bedroom and out of my laundry room! Regardless how the government wants to define marriage, that doesn’t prevent the gay community to lobby for civil unions. Leave the marriage for the straight people, but give us our civil unions. If we’d just drop the word “marriage” and “equality”, we’d probably get much farther (further?).

    Comment by A Different Peter H — May 15, 2008 @ 10:01 am - May 15, 2008

  5. Amen to A Different Peter H.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 15, 2008 @ 10:36 am - May 15, 2008

  6. if you want the gov’t out of the bedroom they shouldnt be deciding who marriage is for based on bedroom practices. why should straight people have marriage and gays civil unions? sometimes i think conservative gays are suffering internal homophobia.

    Comment by queerunity — May 15, 2008 @ 11:05 am - May 15, 2008

  7. The democratic process? Sure, technically. 4 million out of 34 million Californians voted on the issue, in a primary election where the nominees were basically decided – so basically, it was passed by virtue of a social-conservative get-out-the-vote effort, rather than any kind of real involvement by the general CA populace. This November would be a different animal – not only will there be MUCH higher participation, it’s also 8 years later. Massachusetts has had marriage for 5 years, and the sky hasn’t fallen. Thousands of other things have changed regarding gay recognition and respectability – isn’t it fair to say that the time may have come to reconsider this?

    And one more thing about Prop. 22 – they marketed it as a way of preventing CA from having to respect marriages entered into in other states, leaving the choice about same-sex marriage up to Californians. Our legislature has passed a bill – twice – which would change California’s policy on marriage, and our governor vetoed it saying that the courts would have to rule. Today they will, and God willing, they’ll rule that the state constitution’s promise of equality under the law means exactly that – equality under the law, in the form of equal protection for everybody’s fundamental right to marry the person of their choice (within reasonable, narrowly tailored restrictions, of which gender is not one).

    If that means we face a fight in November, I’m not afraid. I trust that the people of California are better than that, and that with enough work, they can be persuaded that our cause is right and just. I am willing to do that work. Are you? Or will you just sit there and snipe from the safety of your keyboards? That, my friend, is disrespecting the democratic process more than anything the Court could say today. I say, bring it on.

    Comment by Casey — May 15, 2008 @ 11:54 am - May 15, 2008

  8. Queerunity, my point is simple and based on the record. When state Supreme Courts rule in favor of gay marriage, referenda opposing it gain steam. When they don’t so rule, those referenda don’t do as well at the ballot box.

    I fear a backlash should this pass especially since California voters already weighed in on the matter. The appropriate route to change the state’s definition of marriage is through the ballot box.

    If the amendment does pass this fall, the governor will not be in a position to kill it.

    Casey, maybe turnout was low in 2000, but it was on the ballot. Glad at least that you’re not afraid of the referendum. I think the serious advocates would relish a battle, giving them a chance to make their case for state recognition of same-sex unions as marriage to the people of the Golden State.

    Too many gay marriage advocates would rather bypass the people where they would need discuss the meaning of the institution rather than fit into a discussion of rights.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — May 15, 2008 @ 12:07 pm - May 15, 2008

  9. The governor can’t veto a people-passed amendment, only court amendments? I thought he could veto it.

    Comment by queerunity — May 15, 2008 @ 12:58 pm - May 15, 2008

  10. No. The governor can only veto legislation, not ballot initiatives. The check on initiatives comes from the courts.

    Comment by Draybee — May 15, 2008 @ 1:23 pm - May 15, 2008

  11. If advocates for gay marriage had any respect for the democratic process

    Rights should never be up to the democratic process. If people had any respect for gay citizens as people, this sort of referendum would never even make it off the ground in the first place.

    Comment by PSUdain — May 15, 2008 @ 5:29 pm - May 15, 2008

  12. PSU Dain, this is not a question of rights, much as gay marriage advocates and the California supreme Court misrepresented, but about privileges.

    If the issue were the freedom of two individuals to live together and call themselves married, that would be one thing, but the issue here is whether or not the state should recognize their union and accord them the privileges it does to different-sex couples who elect marriage.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — May 15, 2008 @ 5:46 pm - May 15, 2008

  13. If people had any respect for gay citizens as people, this sort of referendum would never even make it off the ground in the first place.

    Gee, I wonder why they don’t?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 15, 2008 @ 6:16 pm - May 15, 2008

  14. Screw so-called “internal homophobia” because you agree that marriage is defined by a male (sex not gender) and a woman (sex not gender)! I’m so sick of hearing that because I don’t subscribe to the idea that to be a gay person that you have to be liberal. By this logic, then any black person that calls others n*gger is an internal racist? Leave marriage to the church, let the government recognize civil unions with the same rights, and lets then try to find our own word for what us same-sex couples share. How about love?

    Comment by A Different Peter H — May 15, 2008 @ 6:35 pm - May 15, 2008

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