If you’ve lived in the deepest, darkest cave in Antarctica, you may not know that the California Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting same sex marriage in California is unconstitutional according to the California Constitution. Then, Proposition 8, passed in 2008 amended the California Constitution to prohibit same sex marriage. Then, the ACLU sued the State in 2009. Earier in the month, a federal judge ruled that Prop 8 is unconstitutional according to the US Constitution.
Well, along with that, the judge issued a temporary stay on the decision (GLBT can’t run out and get married just yet), until both sides can show if allowing these marriages would cause a societal burden. On the 12th, it was ruled that no, more harm than good would be done if same-sex marriages remained outlawed, however, he gave the Appelate court until the 18th to give the final word.
Today, they spoke, and in there message were both good and bad parts.
First and foremost, until the appeal process is completed, California may not give out marriage liscences to same sex couples. If Prop 8 is held up, then that would create a legal mess. However, this is were things get interesting…
The lawsuit was against the State of California. Neither the Goven(at)or nor the Attorney General would defend the case, so, a private organization, (Alliance Defence Fund), stepped in and defended keeping Prop 8 in place. Well, to put it bluntly, they got their asses handed to them. Now, only the defendant, the State of California, can appeal this decision. Both Arnold and the AG have stated that they aren’t touching this. ADF can’t. They aren’t the defendants, they are just the lawyers for the defense.
So, now this things gets somewhat interesting. Same sex marriages have always had skirmishes, but no out and out battles. One did go to the US Supreme Court, and the court ruled in favor of the GLBT (I’m sorry, I can’t remember exactly who or what the case was), but the court’s decision was very focused. They, in essence, used surgical precision to say the exact question at hand was what was being ruled on, not the issue of same sex marriage in general. Prop 8 was looking like it was going to be the Battle of the Bulge, the last push into the enemy encampment to bring down the strongholds of marriage inequality. However, the way things are looking now, this, too, was just a skirmish, but, it was a skirmish well inside enemy lines, and the vicorty at hand shows that regardless what the will of the people is, there are fundamental rights of the minority that the majority can’t just vote away.
As a final thought, this does set further precidence, and, in the legal world, it’s all about what others have done before. This paves the way for other states who have passed constitutional amendments to prevent gays from marrying to call in to question the authority the will of the many have over the will of the few. Virginia is one of these states, so I just have one burning question…
Will you marry me?