Monday, March 30, 2009
Do Mormon bigots have reasons to celebrate? Maybe.
Legal experts who once hoped the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8 now expect justices to uphold the measure.
Justices heard oral arguments March 5 over the constitutionality of Prop 8 — an amendment that ended same-sex marriage in California, and whether the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed in the state are still valid.
Gay activists and attorneys from some California municipalities argued the court should invalidate Prop 8 because it is not an “amendment” but rather a “revision” to the state’s constitution, thereby requiring a two-thirds vote from both chambers of the California Legislature for approval.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown also filed a brief against Prop 8, but argued the court should invalidate the measure because it took away inalienable rights without compelling reason.
Experts who watched the hearing said afterward that justices telegraphed in their line of questioning that they favored upholding the amendment.
Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the organizations that filed a lawsuit against Prop 8, said she was “much less optimistic” after witnessing the oral arguments.
“I think the court telegraphed that they are skeptical of the revision theory that we’ve advanced,” she said. “And as tragic and monumental a disaster it may well be for Prop 8 to be upheld. [It] appears that the court is on that course.”
Doug NeJaime, a gay fellow at the Williams Institute, a think-tank for sexual orientation law at the University of California in Los Angeles, said “a clear majority” of the court would rule in favor of Prop 8 because justices weren’t buying the argument that the measure was a qualitative revision to the constitution.
If the California Supreme Court upholds what amounts to a blatantly homophobic assualt on gay marriage equality, expect a recall effort of the judges who side with the Mormon bigots responsible for the antigay marriage measure.