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03/03/2009

CA legislature gives no props to 8

by Jeremy Hooper

Dear Prop 8,

Your state legislature would like you to please kindly leave California, ASAP.

We appreciate your prompt cooperation on this matter of great historical import.

Best,
Good As You

SACRAMENTO – The California Senate today passed Senate Resolution 7, which declares the Senate’s opposition to Proposition 8, last year’s ballot measure that banned marriage for same-sex couples. SR 7, which passed the Senate with an 18-14 vote, was introduced by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California.

An identical measure in the Assembly, House Resolution 5, authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, passed the Assembly today. Resolutions do not require the governor’s signature, so both SR 7 and HR 5 immediately become the official position of the legislature.

“Both houses of the Legislature recognize that Proposition 8 undermines the fundamental principle of equal protection guaranteed by the California Constitution,” said Senator Leno. “Proposition 8’s revision to the California Constitution violated key structural checks and balances in the state’s legal system when it was approved by a slim majority of voters last November. If Proposition 8 stands, we would be setting a dangerous precedent in California that allows a majority of the people to deny equal protection under the law to a minority of Californians.”

Leno Resolution Opposing Proposition 8 Passes Senate [Mark Leno]
(H/t: Pam's House Blend)

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Your thoughts

Standing for the wrong side will never make it right, regardless of how many people or voters there are.

Posted by: a | Mar 3, 2009 10:04:33 AM

So the state legislature defies the will of the people.

Posted by: Michael Ejercito | Mar 3, 2009 1:04:18 PM

No Michael, a bare majority of the people defied fairness, equality, and legality. The legislature is standing up against the right of that bare majority to roll back a fair Supreme Court ruling in the manner that they did.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 3, 2009 1:08:38 PM

Michael -

The will of the people doesn't get to circumvent our checks and balances system. Everyone is welcome to use the system. They're not allowed to ignore the legal process that everyone else has to follow, though. Removing a fundamental right from a minority and censuring the supreme court's ability to protect suspect classes in this way? .. That's a revision. Because it sets precedent that a bare majority [ 50.1%] of the voting population in California can remove any fundamental right (freedom of speech) from any legally suspect class ( Churches). ... Sounds like a bad idea for everyone involved. Try doing it legally next time, k? :) Submit it through the legislature first. Since the legislature is what was circumvented, it makes sense they'd speak up about it.

Posted by: Heather | Mar 3, 2009 1:25:47 PM

My understanding is that the legislature is saying they disagree with one particular decision of "the people" and they have made a statement to this effect. A statement of disagreement is not defiance.

I know what decision I want the Supreme Court to make, but ultimately it rests on complex points of law. They may be forced to side with Prop. 8. That will be a pity, but ultimately it will come to the same thing. The haters are diminishing. The world is changing, and for the better.

That doesn't mean it's not important. Knowing that we (or the next generation) will get full rights eventually is not good enough. "Justice delayed is justice denied."

TRiG,
Ireland.

Posted by: Timothy (TRiG) | Mar 3, 2009 1:51:31 PM

a nice gesture but utterly meaningless. The legislature has already for years been supportive of gay marriage. And courts aren't supposed to be swayed by political ploys. Infact I'm hoping it is their strong reasoning of the constitution that leads to prop 8's overturn.

Posted by: Pomo | Mar 3, 2009 7:24:29 PM

Michael, back in the '60s the vast majority of Californians (as I recall, it was 66% of the voters) voted for a constitutional amendment that overturned the Rumford Fair Housing legislation. The fair housing legislation, by the way, made it illegal to refuse to sell or rent property to ethnic minorities (including, but not limited to Asians). Sixty-Six percent of Californians voted to allow PREJUDICE to factor into housing sales and rentals. The California Supreme Court ruled that that amendment was unconstitutional.

If the Supreme Court hadn't ruled that way, then anyone today would be able to refuse to sell or rent property to you simply because you are of Asian descent. I would think that you would be happy that they (and the legislature which passed all of the fair housing legislation in the first place) stand up for minorities against the prejudice if the majority.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Mar 3, 2009 7:47:09 PM

It's not meaningless Pomo. Bush administration aside, the three branches of government pay a lot of heed to each other's opinions. This is something the supreme court will likely pay a lot of attention to, and is one more thing in our favor.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Mar 3, 2009 8:59:06 PM

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