Surprising headline from the San Francisco Chronicle: “Justices seem to be leaning in favor of Prop. 8.”
I don’t find it surprising because I thought Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that amended the the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman. Legal challenges were inevitable, but Prop. 8’s constitutional defeat was not. I’m just surprised the Chronicle’s already started the 10 count.
Here’s the story:
“There have been initiatives that have taken away rights from minorities by majority vote” and have been upheld by the courts, said Chief Justice Ronald George. “Isn’t that the system we have to live with?”
George wrote the majority opinion in the court’s 4-3 ruling in May striking down California’s ban on same-sex marriages - which voters, in turn, reversed in November by approving Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
Another member of last year’s majority, Justice Joyce Kennard, said the challenge to Prop. 8 brought by advocates of same-sex marriage involved “a completely different issue” from the court’s ruling that the marriage laws violated gays’ and lesbians’ rights to be treated equally and wed the partner of their choice.
“Here we are dealing with the power of the people, the inalienable right, to amend the Constitution,” Kennard said. Speaking to a lawyer for same-sex couples, she said those who want to overturn the voters’ decision “have the right to go to the people and present an initiative.”
There were some indications of divisions among the justices on the validity of Prop. 8 during the hearing, which lasted more than three hours at the court’s San Francisco headquarters. But on a separate issue, all seven appeared to agree that the 18,000 same-sex couples who married before Prop. 8 passed would remain legally wed.
The Los Angeles Times says more of the same. Something that’s different and worth reading is this article that Mollie Ziegler Hemingway wrote for Christianity Today before Thursday’s California Supreme Court hearing. Here’s the lede:
Obnoxious mobs that won’t tolerate disagreement don’t usually win supporters.
A manager at a Los Angeles Mexican restaurant was targeted for her $100 contribution in support of traditional marriage. Protesters hounded her out of her job, and did the same to a Sacramento theater director and the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Churches and Mormon temples were vandalized. The mainstream media ran an all-out public relations campaign in support of same-sex marriage. Hollywood quickly put together “Prop. 8: The Musical,” an Internet video that mocked Jesus, the Bible, and Christians.
“Want to cause a nice long backlash to gay rights? That’s the way to do it,” said lesbian social critic Camille Paglia.
Obnoxious, bigoted mobs that won’t tolerate any disagreement don’t usually win supporters. Or, as the usually insufferable Objectivist Ayn Rand said, “Argument from intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.” Of course, if the media are to be believed, same-sex marriage is a done deal. “Same-sex marriage is inevitable. It just takes time,” a Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist wrote.