Happy Birthday, Unconstitutional Prop 8!

Where were you on August 4, 2010? A small group of LGBT organizers spent the morning huddled at the Federal District Court building in San Francisco, waiting for Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling on Prop 8 to arrive. And when it did, whoo boy, was it a good one.

Two years later, as the case approaches the U.S. Supreme Court, AFER looks back at some of the highlights of that decision.

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  • Richard Ford

    “Proposition 8 was premised on the belief that same-sex couples are simply not as good as opposite sex couples.”
    Right. Sure, this is a bogus premise, but it neatly explains Prop 8’s fate: Prop 8 was was approved by a manipulated electorate (enough of whom bought into the bogus premise) but given the thumbs down by high-level courts (whose justices are, appropriately, more “judicious”).
    Yet even if the premise were valid, if same-sex couples were in fact somehow “not as good as opposite sex couples,” should that in itself justify prohibiting them from marrying?
    Let’s say Mr. X is not as good a golfer as any of the others at the country club. Does that mean he should be disqualified from joining the club? From playing golf at all?
    People deserve a chance to pursue happiness and fulfill their ambitions on an equal footing with others as long as they wish those others no harm.
    That is the premise I start from.

  • B

    Ironically, given the court ruling, the pro-prop-8 people could reintroduce the initiative with the exact same wording and try to come up with some honest arguments in its favor instead of the pack of lies they used in 2008, which were designed to scare people with no regard for the truth. They’d have to keep “poster boys for animus” like William Tam away with a proverbial 10 foot poll, of course. If they won, the ruling would not apply as its preconditions (lack of a rational basis) would not apply if they can come up with some legitimate argument), so it would have to be thrown out on broader grounds. Unfortunately for the pro-prop-8 side, it would be harder to get Prop 8 passed today than 4 years ago because public opinion is changing, but if it did and a broader ruling threw it out, they’d have a better chance with the U.S. Supreme Court on the theory that broader rulings are more likely to be heard on appeal than very narrow ones given the limited number of cases the Supreme Court can hear each year.

    If they had used a legitimate argument in favor of the initiative, it might not have passed and if it had passed under those circumstances, it would have been by a narrower margin. But if if the pro-prop-8 side had behaved itself and it did pass, they would be in much better shape than they are today. So in a sense, they shot themselves in the foot.

  • Steven McCarthy

    Same sex marriage is still not valid in California. Where is the win? And the USSC can be another year off? Seems to me those haters keep on winning.


    @Steven McCarthy: the haters” are all the mentally ill Christian. If you only knew how many time I have sent a letter to the Israeli, government to STOP Christian coming to their country and abolish Christianity from the world. christianity is a mental poverty! I Adam A Karu SAY,SO!!.

  • B

    No. 3 · Steven McCarthy wrote, “Same sex marriage is still not valid in California. Where is the win? And the USSC can be another year off? Seems to me those haters keep on winning.”

    They are not winning. So far, they have lost in a district court and an appeals court, plus in a request for second review. Their only option now is to appeal to the Supreme Court, which hears only a tiny fraction of the appeals sent to it. Chances are their case won’t be heard.

    What they are doing is dragging out what I would presume is the inevitable. The U.S. legal system simply provides lots of opportunities for stalling and they are using those.

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