The California Supreme Court has announced that it will rule Tuesday, May 26, 2009, at 10 am, on whether Proposition 8, which passed in November by a slim majority of voters (4%) and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, was a valid amendment to the California Constitution.
The court will rule on these questions before the judges.
1. Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?
2. Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?
3. If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?
I don’t need to tell you which way I hope they rule.
And I am sure there will be plenty of talk about it in the blogosphere on Tuesday.
On the same token, interesting news from New Hampshire.
Apparently the state’s House and Senate approved a bill allowing same sex marriage that was rejected by the state Governor and sent back for a vote with some new language added in. The vote on the amended bill fell two votes shy of passing keeping same sex marriage still illegal in NH.
What, you may be wondering was the new language that the governor wanted added in? The governor (John Lynch a three term Democrat) said he wouldn’t sign the bill into law until it contained “the strongest and clearest protections for religious institutions and associations, and for the individuals working with such institutions.”
In other words protection for religious groups so that they can “decline to take part in any marriage ceremony without incurring fines or risking lawsuits’
Which, ummm, Duh!
Don’t religious groups ALREADY have the right of refusal? The Mormon church won’t marry you (or even let you inside the Temple) if you aren’t Mormon, the Catholic church won’t marry you unless at least one of you is Catholic… and even then if it is a mixed marriage you have to get married on the church steps and are not allowed to take your vows up at the alter.
I, personally have absolutely no issue with a religious group or the designated “holy” person from said religious group refusing to do one of their sacred rites with or for a nonbeliever. Just like I wouldn’t expect a Pagan Priestess to baptize me in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I would also never ask a Pentecostal minister to partake in the sacred ritual of Beltane.
Now, things would be different if there weren’t alternative ways to get married… if say a clergy person was he ONLY legal way for two people to tie the knot that would be a whole different kettle of fish. But we have judges, we have ships captains, we have “progressive” preachers… if you want a religious ceremony you CAN find someone to marry you to your beloved even if you are of the same gender. If you want a wedding and don’t need it to be religious then you have even more options.
So, again… why does this need to be implicitly stated in the law itself?
Either there are gay couples who are going to be petty enough to raise this issue or the governor is being preemptively petty… either way I think it is a colossal waste of time and effort.
Of course, that’s just me.
Dear House and Senate of NH,
Your governor is being slightly twitty but perhaps he is just trying to stop some mindless stupidity later on. Get over it and pass the darn bill.
A CA resident
/bangs head on desk.