California Upholds Gay Marriage Ban, But Gay Marriage Wins
Anybody who reads this blog knows where I fall on the gay marriage issue, but the Supreme Court of California wasn’t reallly deciding the validity of gay marriage itself, so the ruling was actually dead on in my opinion.
This article from Bloomberg points out why…
The court legalized gay marriage a year ago before California voters overruled it in November. Fifty-two percent of them approved the ban, amending the state constitution to recognize only marriages between a man and a woman. The court ruled 6 to 1 today in favor of upholding Proposition 8, saying it was ruling only on the ability of voters to pass a ballot measure rather than whether gay marriage should be legal.
â€œThe principal issue before us concerns the scope of the right of the people, under the provisions of the California Constitution, to change or alter the state constitution itself through the initiative process,â€ the court wrote, â€œnot to determine whether the provision at issue is wise or sound.â€
Yes, it’s the law and it’s specific. And if they ruled against that provision, it would harm the citizens’ rights to amend the Constitution. That’s not a precedent the courts want to set just to prove a point.
But here’s the most important part of this entire argument…all the marriages that happened before the ban are legal!!!
The court ruled unanimously that the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed before the ban remain valid. The November ban sparked protests across California and led activists to create Web sites that identified individuals who donated money to support the measure and boycott donorsâ€™ business. The ballot measure overrode the courtâ€™s May 15, 2008, ruling that laws barring same-sex marriages were unconstitutional.
So to all of you gay marriage advocates, I know this seems like a loss today but it’s not.
Actually, this is a VERY big win as it signals continuous positive movement. Because you know there will be another ballot initiative to overturn Prop 8 at some point and it’ll pass and California will join the growing number of states where marriage is equal for all. But you have to get out there and fight for it if you want it to happen.
More as it develops…