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Outlining a Progressive Future

California Supreme Court Upholds Prop 8.

In news today from California, the California Supreme Court has ruled to uphold Proposition 8, therefore ensuring that same-sex marriage stays illegal in California until at least November 2010. The ruling came after a court battle that saw opponents of proposition 8 argue that the proposition was illegal as the measure revised the states equal protection clause of the constitution to such an extent that it should have been counted as revision to the constitution, which would have required legislation to be passed in the California State House of Representatives. The court made a 6-1 ruling arguing that it was not their duty to overrule the ‘will of the people’ in this situation. At the same time however, the court made a 7-0 ruling stating that all same-sex marriages completed during the time it was legal in California will stay legally married.

This ruling sets up an interesting battle in California for 2010. There is no doubt now that the gay rights movement will now take its campaign back to the ballot box in 2010 with a proposition to overrule Proposition 8. With the extremely close victory for Proposition 8 and what is considered to be a changing tide in the United States towards a more open mindedness about same-sex rights, this will set up an interesting battle and one that could see the gay rights movement have its first win at the ballot box.

In the long run this could be more beneficial for the gay rights movement. If they had won today there was a good chance that there would be a backlash within the community who saw this as ‘activist judges’ who were overruling the will of the people. However, if they manage to pull over enough people to claim a victory in 2010 it will be claimed to be proof that the tide is shifting in the United States towards a society more willing to accept same sex marriage. This could create a situation where politicians could begin to feel even more comfortable in supporting same-sex rights, therefore promoting further action in the future. 

Whilst this ruling will ensure that same-sex couples will continue to suffer now, this vote could have a silver lining that will see stronger action in the future.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Human Rights, Options for a Progressive Future, Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments