Tuesday, March 03, 2009

California Legislators Trash Proposition 8

The Mormons and other homophobes behind California's Proposition 8 intended to ban same sex marriage have run into a legislative wall.

California legislators say the proposition is invalid because it attempts to rewrite the state constitutionl, something within the power only of the legislature itself.

Just days before a historic state Supreme Court hearing on Proposition 8, the Legislature approved a resolution Monday declaring that voters alone did not have the right to adopt the gay-marriage ban.

The nonbinding resolution contends that Proposition 8 – which defines marriage as between only a man and a woman – was an improper revision of the state constitution. Sweeping revisions can only be adopted, the resolution says, if they originate in the Legislature, gain two-thirds approval in that body and then win approval by voters.

The resolution also states that Proposition 8, which voters approved in November, oversteps the authority of the courts to enforce equal protection and prevent government discrimination.

"We're talking about a radical revision to our constitution," said Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, an openly gay member of the Legislature who sponsored the resolution.

"Do we have a constitutional democracy in California," Leno asked, "or do we have mob rule, where a majority of Californians can change the constitution at any time?"

It seems logical enough. Why should a bare majority of a minority of eligible voters be allowed to do what takes a 2/3rds majority in the legislature followed by voter endorsement?

When the question comes before the courts, California's attorney-general will argue that Proposition 8 violates an "inalienable right of liberty" in the state constitution


sassy said...

Thanks for the morning smile. :)

The Mound of Sound said...

You're welcome. This shows the inherent danger in participatory democracy measures such as referenda.

Take Louisiana which has one of the poorest education systems in America. A proposition was put forward for a tax cut that would necessitate gutting the education budget. It was passed by a strong majority.

People will throw their government and society into the gutter if offered the chance to shave their tax bill. That's been the story of the Bush/Cheney years and what a mess it's left.

appreciable said...

Why do you single out Mormons in your first sentance? We are not the only religion that this against Same-Gender Marriage.

The Mound of Sound said...

Are you suggesting the Mormon church wasn't the single most powerful backer of Proposition 8? What I've read indicates that the Mormon church was the largest financial backer for the initiative. In effect, it singled itself out - although I'm sure it wasn't hoping for the attention it bought itself.

The Mound of Sound said...

I've since found that the Mormon Church was just A major backer of Proposition 8, along with other groups such as the Knights of Columbus.