Archive for November, 2008

Why We Will Not Go Home

Posted in just sayin' with tags , on November 23, 2008 by countryjim13

Last night was a protest against Prop 8 at Orange Circle. This is right in the middle of Orange County, CA, one of the nation’s most conservative counties, a county that I have had mixed feelings about calling home ever since I moved here 10 years to go to school. This protest was different in a number of ways from the other civil rights protests I have been to since the election. This one was smaller than many of the other protests I have been to, though by the time I left it had grown to around 50 people, which is not bad I suppose for being behind the Orange Curtain. We were plenty loud and received many honks from cars and cheers from pedestrians. We also received something else that I have not yet experienced at any of the other protests I have been to. I have not encountered this in Long Beach or L.A. where most of the sideliners were either supportive or indifferent. There was a counter protest in L.A. last Saturday but it was extremely small and too far from my spot in the sea of civil rights activists to be able to hear anything they were trying to say. Last night was, however, my first civil rights protest in Orange County, behind the Orange Curtain. And while there was a counter protest of one, it was the things being yelled at us by many of the people driving by that provided a unique and perhaps disheartening experience relative to the other civil rights events I have attended thus far.

Fag lovers! I hate fags! God hates fags!. Such words were thrown at us a number of times. We responded with quips such as, “Tell me something I didn’t know!” (in response to the fag lovers comment), “Jesus loves me, why don’t you?”, and “Jesus loves you.” One man who was walking around the outside of the circle with his wife yelled at us to get out of HIS town. We all immediately started shouting back for him to get out of our town. Perhaps that was not the best way to reach out and unite people, it even sounds cheesy and lame when I read it here in words, but it was quite heated, serious, and emotional in the moment. People calling you names and discriminating against you for exercising your first amendment rights, for being open and accepting, for choosing love over separation and discrimination, for fighting for people’s equality and dignity, it can really hurt and at least in me it seems to strike at primal defense mechanisms, igniting a passion that in my heart screams FIGHT!!!. Fight or flight. I am obviously not running.

It is really sad that we have only come so far that in the 21st century people are actually voting to take rights away from anyone at all let alone dedicated, hardworking, and contributing members of our society. On the one hand, it depresses me and makes me think it is all worthless, pointless if more than half of a century after a decade long fight for civil rights we are actually still fighting the same fight. Have we not grown at all? Is the progress we thought we had made in fact anything more than cosmetic? On the other hand, all of the people who are coming together, taking to the streets and taking a stand against bigotry and oppression, I can not help but feel some hope. It is very confusing and conflicting.

Another thing we heard, which was not surprising, but that we still have not heard yet at any other protest was people yelling at us that, “It’s already over!” “The vote is already over, you lost!” Are we really supposed to think that if Prop 8 failed conservatives would have let the issue drop? Are we supposed to believe that they would not be appealing the state Supreme Court’s decision to the national Court? There would be no conservatives in the streets protesting against gay marriage and “the destruction of the traditional family?” Are we really supposed to believe this? Roe v. Wade was 35 years ago, 1973, and many conservatives still have not stopped fighting to criminalize abortion. I still see those vans armed with huge pictures of fetuses from botched abortions.

In May of 2008, eight years after the 2000 vote in which California voters passed Prop 22 banning same-sex marriage, the state Supreme Court rightly overturned the law as unconstitutional (for an explanation of why it is unconstitutional see my article, “The Constitutionality of California’s Marriage Amendment”). And so, just because two weeks ago voters barely passed a law which is virtually identical to the overturned one, a law which not only denies an entire group of people a right that every one else enjoys, but a law which actually TAKES AWAY a right from a group of people after it had been granted, we are supposed to just sit down and shut up. We are supposed to go home because the vote is over and we lost. We are supposed to stop fighting for fairness, equality, and civil rights. We are supposed to let you get away with putting equality and civil rights in our state to a vote. How dare you! How dare you vote to relegate a segment of our population to the status of second class citizens! How dare you put love and the right to legally express and recognize love between two people, any two people to a vote! How dare you force me or anyone else to live by your religious social and moral code! How dare you pretend that anyone else’s marriage has anything to do with you and your family in any way!

Barely half of the voters spoke by voting yes on Prop 8. Almost as many spoke by voting no. It was a very closely divided vote. With that in mind we had better shut up now and stay oppressed for all eternity because a little majority spoke. The problems that this poses with regard the nature of our state and nation’s system of government are obvious.

Federalism. Checks and balances.

These are the foundations of our nation’s system of government. The majority does not always rule, I am in this case happy to break the news to you. In fact, when the majority of American voters voted for Al Gore in 2000 and the U.S. Supreme Court turned around and declared Bush the winner, I did not hear any conservatives shouting and pouting about majority rules or activist judges. It is funny how the idea of majority rules is only a dearly held ideal when one is actually on the side of the majority. I think this can be said on both sides of the political aisle. Regardless, our nation’s founders were very careful to create ways through which groups who are in a minority of any kind can be protected from a tyranny of the majority. Knowing this, the idea that we would go home and shut up just because a small number of people voted in a particular way is not only an insult, but it flies in the face of the very nature and ideals of our nation’s founding and our systems of government as they have developed over the last two centuries. It speaks to the black/white, right/wrong, no middle ground delusion of a reality in which many conservatives, and indeed many people in general live, love, and learn.

Aside from the unconstitutionality of the law and from the problems that expecting the vote to end the issue poses to the fabric our nation and state’s system of checks and balances, there is also a problem with claiming that any kind of majority in California has spoken through the passage of Prop 8. At this point a look at some numbers would be enlightening. Roughly 6.3 million people voted yes on Prop 8 (source). While that may be 52% of those who voted, it is only 23% of our state’s voting age population, which the U.S. census places at 27.2 million (source). It is only 17% of our state’s total population, which the census puts at approximately 36.5 million people in 2006 (source). Majority? I think not. Of course any vote could questioned in this way. I am not suggesting that all votes should be voided because most people do not vote. If that were the case we may as well just end the voting process, or force everyone to vote. In fact, this is a whole other subject of inquiry that I am not going to get into at this time and in this article.

I think the numbers are quite telling. Did the majority of the state really speak in passing Prop 8? That does not appear to be the case. In fact less than 25% of those who are eligible to vote voted in favor of this blasphemous proposition. In addition, it is well known that there are more liberals who stay home on voting day than conservatives. Democrats always benefit from higher voter turn out because they have more registered voters than do Republicans. Republicans always benefit from lower voter turnout because they have less voters, but vote more regularly and consistently (this begs another question which is beyond the scope in this article, the question of whether America is really a center-right nation, something I have heard from any number of pundits since November 4th, 2008 when Obama was elected and Democrats increased their numbers to strong majorities in both houses of Congress amid record voter turnouts across the nation). In 2004 the Democratic Party had 72 million registered members and the Republican Party had about 55 million. In addition there were about 42 million people registered as Independents (source).

U.S. Political Party Affiliation

U.S. Political Party Affiliation

(source)

This is why it is always conservatives that we hear about trying to suppress votes by passing out fliers that say Democrats vote on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. This is why all the crappy voting machines and the road blocks and other such things that make voting difficult seem always to make their way into minority neighborhoods that traditionally favor Democrats quite heavily. It is because Republican activists know that their party, that conservative America, is in the minority. They know that the only way they can win elections at the national level, and often times even at the state level is if most people, either by choice or through intimidation and suppression tactics, do not vote.

This poses its own problem, of course. If liberals would actually vote regularly then the face of our country and in fact its heart and soul would perhaps appear very differently right now from the way in which it actually does. Along these lines, to suggest that because such a small percentage of the population voted to take gay rights away we should shut up and go home, that we should stop fighting, that we should just accept discrimination, this is not only the most insulting part of yesterday’s experience, but I think it is the most telling and perhaps the most dangerous. When people are chided and ridiculed for exercising their first amendments rights, when we are expected to forgo those rights because some sort of tiny and narrow majority voted in a particular way, it threatens the very fabric of our freedom and democracy. It is all the more reason that we need to continue taking to the streets. It is all the more reason why we can not stop fighting, we can not let this movement fall from the eye of the complacent public until we are victorious in guaranteeing equal rights for everyone! It is not only about fighting for those equal rights, it is also about fighting to ensure that we retain the right to fight against injustice in the face of those who would take all of these rights away, those who would tell us to shut up and go home because a few voters have spoken. I say NO. We say NO. See you in the streets.

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The Meaning of Words: Liberal and Conservative

Posted in politics on November 20, 2008 by countryjim13

We hear the words conservative and liberal, but what do these words mean? They do not seem to be words with universal meaning and what issues or positions have fallen under the terms have changed over time and do change from place to place. These words do not have the same necessary, specific meaning in all modern political societies. What is conservative to one society may seem liberal to another relative to the general political atmosphere in a given state. But at its core, regardless of what issues are taken up at a particular time in history by those who are, at that given time, defined as politically liberal or conservative, there are definitions for these words that allow us to look at the them and the world at large in terms of a definite directional trend. This trend is toward change and progress, which we shall see, are synonymous with the term liberal.

We can look at a number of different definitions for the word liberal. Webster’s online dictionary says that the word liberal comes from the Latin liberalis meaning :suitable for a freeman, generous,” and from the term liber meaning “free.” This in and of itself is interesting. If liberal means toward freedom and the term conservative is the functional opposite of the term liberal, then what does the term conservative mean…? The entry then goes on to list a number of definitions for the word liberal including “marked by generosity,” “lacking moral restraint,” “not literal or strict,” and “broad minded, not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms.” This dictionary also defines the term liberalism as “a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties” (source). Again, this begs the question that if the word conservatism is the opposite of liberalism, and liberalism means “belief in …the essential goodness of the human race…for the protection of political and civil liberties,” then what does conservatism mean? Does it mean the belief in essential evil of the human race, for the suppression of political and civil rights? I think I could easily make the argument that this is the case. Look at the modern American conservative movement to suppress a woman’s right to choose, a gay person’s right to marry, the historical and continued suppression by conservative America of various minority groups from African to Asian to Latin American, even various European immigrant communities have a history of being oppressed by WASP American mainstream culture.

Most of the above definitions do not directly refer to the purpose of this discussion, though I would certainly argue that “marked by generosity” is a definition very fitting of the term liberal in modern American politics, most conservatives would argue that “lacking moral restraint” is certainly a correct definition of the modern American liberal, and the definition “not literal or strict” refers to the way in which documents such as The Constitution or The Bible or any other piece of literature or art can and may be interpreted. The definition of liberal I am most concerned with is the one that says a liberal is someone who is “broad minded, not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms.” The term liberal means untraditional, willing to experiment with new ideas and new ways of doing things. It is through experimentation, invention, and innovation that our societies progress and indeed, liberalism is defined as belief in progress. We can not be moving forward if we are looking to the past, we can not progress if we continue to cling to outdated modes of thinking and behaving. Philosophies, religions, beliefs must shift and evolve if they wish to remain alive, vital, and relevant. When we see that our old views no longer work, no longer serve the common good or when our old views are exposed as prejudiced and discriminatory, when the old way of doing things no longer serves to benefit the societies we live in, it is time to try something new. This is liberalism and this is the history of this country. It is a history of innovation and change, of progress in the areas of production, politics, and civil rights, in the direction of increased socio-political freedom and equality.

With this frame of reference, it always strikes me as a bit ironic when people say that America is a conservative nation, or a center-right nation. This may be true at any particular time given the naturally swinging pendulum of American political sentiment. That pendulum constantly swings back and forth between the right and the left from antislavery to segregation to the progressive era, from the liberalism of the New Deal, JFK, and the ’60s movements to the conservatism of the McCarthy era and the era of the Regan Republican. However, when one looks at the general trend in America it is toward innovation and growth economically (never forgetting that this has been coupled with waste, pollution, disparity and income inequality as well) and toward increased equality and civil rights socio-politically.

The term conservative, on the other hand, is defined by Webster’s online dictionary as “a: tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : traditional b: marked by moderation or caution c: marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners” (source). When we look at this definition of conservative it becomes clear why political and social conservatives have, throughout time it seems, tried to vilify and demonize the liberal. It is the age old battle of tradition vs. change and progress. Whether it is royalists fighting to save their King or Christians fighting to end abortion and save what they see as the “traditional” definition of a word that has a long history of being changed, marriage. Conservatives are the Paul Bunyans of American folklore, racing to defend their ways of life against the tidal wave of modernization and change. This is not to imply that traditional cultures around the world are not worth saving, not to imply that they should be swallowed up by the current wave of modernization in the form of economic globalization. On the contrary, these societies are worth saving from these external pressures. However, at the same time we must recognize that everything does change, no matter how slowly and that change from within can not be suppressed without causing irreparable harm to the state of a nation of people. Whatever does not change and evolve is doomed to stagnation, decay, and extinction. From ancient Rome to modern America empires grow and fall. If we fail to retain our position on the cutting edge of innovation and change in the midst of world in massive flux, we will surely fall like those before us.

What would the world be like if we did, in fact, continually cling to tradition and refuse to change and evolve as a society, as a nation, as a world? What is now the U.S. may still be ruled by Britain, the nations of the world may still be ruled by Kings. Europe may be still be in effect ruled by the Catholic Church. Perhaps Africans and African-Americans would still be living within the bonds of slavery or with the humiliation, cruelty, and innate inequality of segregation and apartheid. A woman’s place would still be in the home and she would not be allowed to vote. Maybe we would all still be poor small tenant farmers living on feudal lands owned by the local Lord of the Manner. Perhaps we never would have moved beyond small bands of tribal hunter/gatherers. Maybe that would be a good thing. I’ll be the chief. Regardless, all of the changes that have brought us to our present day society have been the result of innovators, experimenters, free thinkers, people who dared to do things in a different way, people who insisted on fighting for equality, freedom, independence. It is progress, it is liberalism, it is the history of this nation, it is the history of the world (though perhaps, unfortunately, more so in some parts of the world than others).

The meanings of the words liberal and conservative go way beyond a particular person’s stance on the death penalty or abortion, the right to bear arms or the right to marry. It is about the fundamental direction of our society. Is that direction one of progress and growth, of evolution toward equity and equality, or are we stagnating, becoming complacent, clinging to the traditions of the past and even to the worst parts of our past simply for the sake of tradition? Are we holding our society back or helping it move forward? This is the question begged by a closer examination of these words that we see so often, and which are so often sadly overlooked or weighted down by the meaning of popular politics.

“The Thought Police”

Posted in politics on November 20, 2008 by countryjim13

By now most of us know the story. On October 17, 2008 Minnesota’s Republican Representative, Michele Bachmann, discussing Barak Obama’s affliation with Bill Ayers on the MSNBC news show Hardball with Chris Matthews, said that the media should investigate Congress for anti-American views. If you watch the whole ten minute interview, she goes on and on ranting about liberals and Matthews ask her very clearly if being liberal means being anti-American. She says, “Yes…blah blah blah.” She says very plainly that Obama has anti-American views and says that the U.S. is full of Americans who hate America, especially in our Universities (you can see the whole interview here).

Now, having somehow managed barely to win reelection after making such statements, she is trying to tell the country that this whole thing never even really happened. This week on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes she claimed that she never said Obama had anti-American views, she never called for Congress to be investigated for anti-American views. She said that it was an “urban legend,” something she never said, a big bad rumor. Colmes read her the quote, even showed the footage of her saying it and she still denied it (you can see the interview here).

Clearly she is a liar. She is so much a liar that she will even continue to lie when her own lie is played back right in front of her face. She is dangerous, she called for a resurgence of Orwell’s Thought Police, a call to a renewed McCarthyism. Now, instead of apologizing or admiting that she was wrong and made a mistake, she is trying to tell us that we were all imagining it. How condescending. How cowardly. How insulting.

We have seen this before. This is a classic tactic of the Bush Administration. Mistake after mistake, but never admission. They can not bring themselves to say they were wrong, to admit a mistake, they simply talk around it. They change history by saying they meant something else, by saying the never said the things that they were caught on camera saying. They are THE PARTY of Orwell’s 1984, continually erasing and recreating history to impose the illusion that THE PARTY has always existed, always been right, always successful, always victorious, never incorrect, never mistaken, never flawed, never human.

As informed citizens it is our duty to spread word of such lies. We must warn against those who seek to turn totalitarianism loose on our country or any other. We must guard against those who would try to use the tools of democratic ideals and government to hunt down not only dissenters and free thinkers, but anyone whom they label “liberal.” They seek to outlaw beliefs, thoughts, diversity, human and civil rights. The closing of American society seems to have already begun. The question is whether the people will continue to sit back and watch it happen, to approve of its happening. People like Michele Bachmann should not be in office where they can affect our nations domestic or foreign policy in even a small way. Her and other conservatives of like mind are a danger to freedom and democracy in our country and in the world. We can only hope the people of her district will wake up and see the kind of person they have put in office to represent them.

Fundamentally Illogical

Posted in just sayin', religion on November 19, 2008 by mightyfag

Before I come off as some kind of atheist who has nothing but contempt for religions, let me clarify that I am an ordained Priest and have a Doctorate in Divinity as part of my training in my religion. I have great respect for religions around the globe including those that I do not ascribe to personally. I do, however, have a problem with fundamentalist evangelicals who feel the obligation and NEED to push their beliefs on others, and even worse, inject their personal religious practices into coded law.

To these folks I want to say one thing. When you use theological or dogmatic justifications for a discussion about politics and civil rights you are invalidating any and all arguments you might have made, no matter how eloquently you stated them. Discussion around a topic requires ground rules that define the forum in which it is taking place. In the forum of politics, the ground rules are the laws of the land – the Constitution. In discussions about faith, the ground rules are the particular tenets of that religion.

The discussion about Proposition 8, while it may appear to be about your own spiritual beliefs, is not a discussion around your religion or its practices, it is a discussion about laws and the rights of individuals protected thereby. If you use theological arguments to justify your position, you are no longer operating within the field of play and your points are moot.

Take for example, this (pdf format) fundamentalist theopolitical garbage. It is a letter to the Chief Justice on the California Supreme Court by the Kingdom of Heaven – World Divine Mission. In this letter that they have submitted on behalf of the “Almighty Eternal Creator” (a fictional character in LEGAL terms) they manage to string together biblical passages, fundamentalist illogic and legal terms to justify the taking away of a minority’s rights. In this case, it is against gay and lesbian couples’ right to marry – with a side note against abortion.

Using the same forum of rules they have set up, the Supreme Court of California should also rule to outlaw divorce (Matthew 19:6), having sex with a woman while she is on her period (Leviticus 20:18), the consumption of shrimp and other shellfish (Levitius 11: 9-12), cotton-poly blends and other mixed fibers (Leviticus 19:19), eating of pork (Leviticus 11:7), and they should reinstitute slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46). All of these are positions upheld in the bible which according to the pdf linked above is the law of the “Almighty Eternal Creator” and therefore rules over politicians and the laws they make.

To quote a good friend of mine, Jeff, “No More Jewish Fairy Tales!” Get your religion out of the state and get the state out of religion. That’s the way this country was established and the courts have upheld that view time and time again. The government doesn’t have a right to tell you how to practice our faiths and the churches don’t have a right to tell us how to draft, implement and uphold our laws. Period. End. Of. Story.

Los Angeles Anti-Prop 8 Protest Pics

Posted in in the community, just sayin', politics on November 17, 2008 by mightyfag

This weekend, several thousand of us poured into downtown Los Angeles, CA in order to demonstrate for the repealing of Proposition 8. Check out some of the pics below:

Los Angeles Prop 8 Protest

Los Angeles Prop 8 Protest

Estimates put the crowd at around 12,000 – 13,000 strong. There were several guest speakers including Los Angeles Mayor Antonion Villaraigosa, Ricki Lake, Lucy Lawless, and several others. The march circled downtown and crossed the 101 freeway where demonstrators waved signs at passing traffic, causing it to slow as people either honked in support or flipped people off in disagreement.

I marched – you can see me in the top picture holding the yellow “Restore Gay Marriage” sign – but I found a few things about this demonstration very offputting. First, the whole point of demonstrating is civil disobedience. You inconvenience the city by shutting down thoroughfares, showing the power of the people to cause disorder, but then you stop short of any violence and certainly keep it peaceful. But these demonstrations are being OVER planned, OVER monitored and consequently are nothing more than a parade. When the streets are blocked off in advance of the crowd, then the effect and power of the people is quelled. When the crowd gathers in an intersection and finds music being played to them over an amplified system, the effect is to passify the righteous anger of the people.

This protest had both, including over an hour of celebrity and guest speakers ahead of any said march. Speakers…. SPEAKERS?!!?! This isn’t a pep-rally… this is a PROTEST! Eventually the crowd began chanting “MARCH! MARCH!” and the speakers were shut down and the people began moving through the streets.

In my opinion, the problem with the gay community is that our abiding of the law and our generally peaceful nature is miscontrued as passivity and harmlessness. “Those nelly queens wouldn’t have it in them to rise up and do anything about it, so let’s take their rights away and they’ll just go back to doing hair and arranging flowers.” I think that the prearranged nature of these protests just allows that stereotype to flourish.

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t get permits for his demonstrations. Ghandi didn’t “stay on the sidewalk” to demonstrate. Rosa Parks didn’t ask permission before sitting in the front of the bus. It was the DISOBEDIENCE of these activists that made the difference. It is when the police and authorties lash out against said disobedience that the community takes notice and says, “Well, they shouldn’t be beating that guy just for sitting in an intersection!” or “Wait, they are HURTING people?! Those folks are just shouting at the injustice that’s been done to them!” It is that sympathy and compassion from those who sit on the fence that make change in politics and policy.

With that, I think the time has come to couple this continued display of outrage with action. The lawsuits need to be pushed hard until the Supreme Court hears them. The churches who donated to this campaign against the “church and state separation” clauses in their 501(c)3 tax-exempt statuses need to be held accountable – they should lose their statuses and have to pay back taxes and penalties for the year. Most importantly, significant change has to be made to the voter initiative process in this state. The tyrrany of the majority should never infringe upon the rights of the minority. That is a fundamental concept from the inception of this great experiment in democracy that is the United States. Couple the shouts with action and we’ll have a show of force never before seen.

Join the Impact!

Posted in public notices with tags , on November 12, 2008 by mightyfag

Cities across the country will be staging coordinated protests this Saturday November 15,2008 at 10:30am PST (1:30am EST). Gather at your local city hall, bring your signs, noisemakers and more. The more we speak out and let the general populace know about the injustice of Proposition 8, the more awareness we bring to the dangers of taking away anyone’s civil rights. Join us as we march on City Hall!

Learn more at Join the Impact!

The Constitutionality of California’s Marriage Amendment

Posted in politics with tags on November 11, 2008 by countryjim13

Prop 8 amends California’s constitution with only a simple majority vote. This is one obvious problem. Our Constitution is the foundation of our state’s law. It doesn’t matter what the issue, it needs to be more difficult to change our Constitution than by simply winning a simple majority. At the very least changing the state’s Constitution by popular vote should require at two thirds majority. I suggest a movement to put a proposition on California’s ballot to amend our Constitution to require just such a vote. Hey, we’ll only need a simple majority to pass it!

Another obvious Constitutional problem when it comes to the marriage amendment is the fact that the way Prop 8 amends the state’s Constitution is contradictory and UNCONSTITUTIONAL in a number of ways.

1. Article 1 Section 1 of the California Consitution states, “All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights.” It is clear that Prop 8 ignores this first line of the first article of the foundation of our state law. Prop 8 assumes that some people are more free than others. In fact it does not just assume this, it codifies it into law, into the very foundation of our law. Thanks to Prop 8, only straight people are equal in California. This is illegal, unethical, immoral, and shameful.

2. Article 1 Section 7b states that “A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges
or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens.” In light of this clause, how can marriage be legally granted to one class of citizens and not another in this state? Now, thanks to Prop 8, Article I Section 7.5 says that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” This is in direct contradiction to Art. 1 Sec 7b. By defining marriage legally as only between a man and a woman a “class of citizens” (gay people) is being specifically denied a right that other classes of citizens have been granted. According to Art. 1 Sec. 7b if marriage is recognized by the state among one group of people, it must be recognized by the state among all groups of people.
California Constitution Source

The state’s Supreme Court agreed with this argument when, in the case of In re Marriage Cases they said in a 4-3 decision, “…we conclude that the right to marry, as embodied in article I, sections 1 and 7 of the California Constitution, guarantees same-sex couples the same substantive constitutional rights as opposite sex couples to choose one’s life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized, and protected family relationship that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents of marriage.” This ruling overturned a previous law passed by California voters, Prop 22, which outlawed same-sex marriage, but was not an amendment to the state’s Constitution. Can there be any question that state Supreme Court, by the same legal logic that was used in In re Marriage Cases to overturn Prop 22, must also declare Prop 8’s marriage ban amendment unconstitutional?

There is precedent for a state Supreme Court declaring constitutional amendments unconstitutional. For example, Lousiana’s gay marriage ban amendment was overturned in October of 2004 as unconstitutional. Granted this was not because of the nature of the amendment, but rather because amendments to Lousiana’s Constitution must only deal with one issue and this particular amendment dealt with more than just marriage (source).But the point is the same, Constitutional amendments voted into law by popular vote have and can be overturned by the courts. Such precedent does exist and the Lousiana marriage amendment is only one example.

Interestingly enough Governor Arnold Swarzenegger, who one year ago in October of 2007, vetoed a law passed by the State Legislature that would have legalized gay marriage (source), has said that the state Supreme Court should overturn Prop 8 (source).

Can there be any doubt that this illegal constitutional amendmentment must be overturned as such, as unconstitutional?