The upholding of Proposition 8 is disgusting and is a matter of great shame for California that the will of a small majority of a population can determine the legal and civil rights of a law abiding minority group. It is like segregation never ended.
I hope that in the campaign to end the sexual apartheid regime in California that the people who are opposed to apartheid not sit on the fence and allow religious extremists like the mormon, catholic and baptist cults to try to hijack the debate. Civil and legal rights for law abiding minority groups should NEVER be determined by popular vote. And I hope the opponents of apartheid advertise who the supporters of apartheid are so their businesses can be boycotted. And if the catholic, mormon and baptist cults start trying to influence the outcome then names and addresses of the bigots involved are printed.
I don’t think that people should be too worried about the Supreme Court upholding the decision of the referendum. This would be a worrying precedent for the future, if it became acceptable for a court to overturn the decision of public votes.
The correct action here is exactly what’s happening: make a new proposition. Educate the public. Tell them it’s not going to “destroy marriage”. Get rid of their fears.
Heck, “marriage” is only a word – call it something else instead!
Most of all, I do hope our gay activist friends in California display the courage, talent, and perseverance to put forward a logical, intelligent, and persuasive argument so that the population vote differently next time around.
Sensibly Common #2: You say:
“I don’t think that people should be too worried about the Supreme Court upholding the decision of the referendum. This would be a worrying precedent for the future, if it became acceptable for a court to overturn the decision of public votes.”
I totally disagree with this point of view. If we accept your logic then if Californians voted on the reintroduction of slavery; or on whether women should have the vote taken off them and the majority agreed with those points of view then the court would be obliged to uphold public opinion.
Legal; civil and human rights for a law-abiding minority should never be decided by the majority. Therefore it is absolutely unacceptable for the supreme court to allow the reintroduction of slavery; or the removal of voting rights for women or the removal of a legal right from gay people.
This court decision is extremely dangerous. I have no doubt that the churches will be aiming to reduce women’s rights next. Facists don’t stop after all.
Although Pink News are cowardly trying to remove my and others’ comments, I would suggest once again that the decision of the California Supreme Court represents common sense. I and billions of other people in the world applaud the decision! There is HOPE!
somewhat off-topic: why do you think that women’s rights specifically would be targeted by the church? In what way?
“Legal; civil and human rights for a law-abiding minority should never be decided by the majority”
To some extent, I agree. There’s a rather good reason why part of the BNP’s policy in the UK is to give more opportunity for referendums: they tend to bring out the opinions of the Daily Heil-reading “bring back hanging” crowd. My problem actually lies with the fact that it was brought to referendum in the first place!
Incidentally, why do you think that women’s rights specifically would be targeted by the church?
The problem—as the court acknowledged—is that California’s constitution is just very easy to amend. They couldn’t reintroduce slavery though, as that is in contradiction to federal law. On the topic of the right of gays to marry, the constitution of the US doesn’t say anything explicitly (and the US Supreme hasn’t ruled on any cases relating to it yet).
What’s important is that the California court defined Proposition as narrowly as possible. It doesn’t annul the marriages of those who got married before November. California must—and does—offer all rights and responsibilities of marriages that can be granted at a state level. It just can’t call them ‘marriage’.
#4: “Incidentally, why do you think that women’s rights specifically would be targeted by the church?”
Well for starters a woman’s right to choose whether or not she wants to carry a pregnancy to full term. Church members who are opposed to abortion absolutely shouldn’t have abortions. But they want to impose their religious beliefs on the state law.
And I have little doubt that considering the facist nature of the catholic, baptist, and mormon cults that the ultimate goal is to remove a woman’s right to vote or have any financial or reproductie independence.
#5 Maccoinnich: You say: “What’s important is that the California court defined Proposition as narrowly as possible. It doesn’t annul the marriages of those who got married before November. ”
That’s one of the most sinister elements of the courts decision. The court has not decreed that gay marriage is unconstitutional. The court upholds the legal status of the 18,000 gay marriages already performed. What they have basically said is that the legal right to marry for gay people is against the will of the California electorate and therefore they have removed that right but that those already married are OK. That is apartheid pure and simple.
California cannot describe itself as a democratic state while fundamental legal rights can be removed from minority populations by popular votes.
Actually, the problem is that California has rather too much (direct) democracy; the California constitution has been revised or amended over 500 times. There’s not really much the court can do to alter that.
A system which allows a majority vote to determine the legal or civil rights of a law abiding minority group cannot be defined as democracy though. That’s tantamounf to saying that if women had their right to vote removed by will of the electorate then that’s a democratic decision. It isn’t. It’s populism. It is not democracy. Germany had ‘democratic’ elections in 1933 remember. And look what happened there.
Is this the [judicial] revenge of the Republicans?
I note the one Justice to vote for equailty was the only Democrat on the Californian Supreme Court.
What you describe Simon, I believe is known as the Tyranny of the Majority.
I find it interesting that a state that voted overwhelmingly Democrat in the presidential election on the same day could also pass such a nasty, biggoted law.
I think everyone is missing the point. The lawsuit wasn’t about gay marriage. In the end it was about whether the proposition was actually an amendment or a revision. The courts said it was an amendment and therefore it stood. It also said, correctly, that no rights were removed. California has the same rights for domestic partnerships as marriages. In this case the court said the voters can choose to define a word how they like.
However, I agree that DP and marriage are not the same in our minds and hearts. But I’d also rather win at the ballot box and not the courts on some technicality. Californians will vote to overturn prop h8 in 2010 and restore same-sex marriage. We now realize we were too complacent in our belief that no one in their right mind would vote for prop h8 and I’m know I will be more active in changing minds.
My understanding is that domestic partnership carry “most of” the same rights as marriage in California, not “all the same rights”. I’ve read the details elsewhere on the net of the rights married californians have, which domestic partnership couples don’t have (although can’t remember them all off-hand to re-list here, but they are noted elsewhere as I said).
That’s what I thought too, George. I’m not sure but I think domestic partners are denied certain pension rights in California. Think I read it was a state scheme.
Anyway, why SHOULD anyone have to use a different word? I agreed with CPs in the UK originally because I naively thought it would keep Fundamentalist Christians happy, but it hasn’t has it? They just want to cause trouble – look at all the recent cases like Ladele’s.
Marriage should be gender neutral and no business of any church, unless the participants request some kind of religious blessing
I still can’t get over the fact that the Court ruled in favour of Prop 8.
Under the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the rights of the minority must be protected and can’t be diminished as a result of any form of referendum. Civil rights issues especially should not be decided by mob rule which is what this was all about, in fact it is the tyranny of the majority over the minority that is prohibited under the first ten amendments. Proposition 8 is indeed a blatant violation. The judges who voted to uphold the ruling should be disbarred forever, six conservatives (republicans) and one dissenting democrat (labour).
Lets not forget, the African-American civil rights movement was decided on and legislated by the Supreme Court of the United States, NOT the electorate..ditto Roe v. Wade, giving women the right to choose if they wanted an abortion. If the civil rights movement had been left to the masses to decide, there would still be slavery, anti-misegenation laws (prohibiting African-Americans from marrying other races), abortion rights and women’s rights in general all would have been banned because of mob rule.
Domestic Partnership laws in California do NOT confer all of the rights of marriage as some people like to think, nor do civil unions (partnerships). Marriage is the universal standard that is recognised around the world. Until gay people enjoy that right, then there is NO equality. Separate is NEVER equal no matter how you skew it or use different terminology. Its the one thing that is causing so much confusion and mess in the EU with so many different kinds of “unions”, some offering more, some offering less. That is most definitely NOT about equality either.
dear california F–K YOU!
Simon Murphy (3):
‘Legal, civil and human rights for a law-adiding minority should never be decided on by a majority.’
That describes almost word-for-word the concept that directed Canadians to accept and legalize same-sex marriage. You got it!