Monday, January 12, 2009

Proposition 8 - Two Panels at AALS

01/10/09 Constitutional Law Prof Blog: "The AALS Conference on Friday [January 9th] featured two panels discussing California's controversial Proposition 8 ... The first panel was the AALS Executive Committee Program entitled Democracy’s Dilemma: The Case of Proposition 8." The second panel was a "Hot Topic" program, entitled Proposition 8, Legal Challenges, and the Future of Marriage Between Same-Sex Couples.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Back in June, G.A.Y. discovered an interview that Ronald George, the Republican-appointed CA Supreme Court Justice who wrote the majority opinion that granted same-sex couples equal marriage rights, gave to German publication Spiegel. At the time we found one particular quip interesting. Now, in light of Prop 8's apparent passage and the court battle that's about to ensue, we find it doubly interesting. Here, check it out:

SPIEGEL: If a majority of Californians vote to ban gay marriage in a referendum in November, does your decision lose its meaning? Or are they just overturning the word "marriage?"

Ronald George: If this amendment to the constitution passes, it would prevent gay people from being married, but it would not remove this protection that we put in our analysis. ... We're saying that if you look at a classification of gay people, you must treat it just as if you are classifying on the basis of the color of their skin or their religion. And that is probably the most important thing in the whole ruling, even though the population's attention understandably has mostly been on the "M word" of marriage.

As we indicated last time: To us, this really sounds like Chief Justice George is saying something HUGE without coming out and directly saying it. It seems like he's saying that the anti-gay side can try to deny gay people the word marriage all they want, but they will never be able to deny gays and lesbians their equality. After all, the courts found homosexuality to be a suspect classification. So by virtue of the equal protection clause, how can they possibly deny marriage rights to same-sex couples if they are granted to others? What is the other side's argument? It seems impossible to us that one could, if following the logic of the In re Marriage Cases ruling and the logic of what Chief Justice George is saying here, uphold Proposition 8 or any of the possible arguments that the anti-gay side might use to support it. We see no valid way.

The whole interview is interesting:

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