Wednesday, November 05, 2008

California's Massive Election Stinkbomb

Well, my joy at last night's election was not undiluted. Unfortunately, we in California saw our constitution polluted by an amendment targeting a specific group and removing some of their rights under law.

Yes folks, I'm talking about that enormous blight on California, proposition 8. This "turdblossom", to steal a Bush moniker, was passed by 52% of my fellow golden state voters. Most people that I spoke with who voted for this amendment believed the outright lies and distortions they'd been fed by proposition's proponents. They were in fear of their children being "taught" gay marriage in public schools. Of course none of them could recall their children being taught straight marriage in public schools, it isn't, but that didn't deter them from voting to deny others a fundamental right on the basis of this fear.

They believed that their churches would be forced to marry homosexuals or face fines and lawsuits despite the clear statements by authorities that this is not the case.

Remember folks, there is no specific gay marriage law that permits gay marriage and requires any attendant changes in other areas of society. There is only a simple reading of the equal protection clause of the California constitution that says no one can be denied their rights or provided with ersatz separate but equal rights under the law. Not sure what's so difficult to understand about that.

Any other battles in the culture wars being fought at the extreme fringe of our society are a separate issue. This one is a simple one about equal rights.

Instead of equal rights, we have now written discrimination into our constitution. Way to go California, two steps forward, one step back. Well, progress is never easy. At least this time around, the bigotry received only a simple majority, which amazingly is all it takes to poison our constitution, 60% to passa damn budget but 50% plus 1 to pass a constitutional amendment. The last time the anti-gay forces, (yes, that's what you are), were at this game, they garnered over 60% of the vote. Just a few years later, we've come a long way. Perhaps soon we can amend the constitution to remove this awful stain.

In the meantime, there are lawsuits to come. How is it that one constitutional amendment can stand in opposition to the basic document itself without modifying that section??? In other words, if the equal protection clause is unmodified and is the basis for the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, then proposition 8 is still unconstitutional unless it directly modifies that clause, which it doesn't. If proposition 8 does, in fact, modify the equal protection clause then it is a revision, not an amendment and must be passed by a different set of rules.

This ain't over yet, my friends. This may go all the way to the supreme court. Personally, I'd rather not see that right now. Hopefully we can resolve this at the state level with the lawsuits that have been filed. If not, I would guess that a few years down the road, the majority of Californians will be ready to repudiate this odious piece of law that reminds me of nothing so much as a remnant of the discredited philosophy of apartheid.

1 comment:

EMG said...

Just a quick update to this post. As was easily foreseen, the lawsuits have come fast and furious on Prop 8. Personally, I think the suits have a good chance of succeeding on the merits.

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