Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Proposition 8: Should a judge or voters decide gay marriage rights?

That's the headline on a CSM piece I just read. I left a comment saying "Basic human rights should never be left to a popular vote. Whether they're established and protected legislatively or judicially is largely irrelevant." (I submitted my comment and found it awaiting moderation, so that might not have been the exact wording)

I doubt very many people would argue that everyone shouldn't have the right to spend their lives with the one they love and who loves them in return... or not, as the person chooses. The argument seems to gain steam with respect to the question of whether gays should be afforded the same rights and privileges in those unions as people involved in heterosexual partnerships. I have never seen any valid reason for denying those rights. Most excuses devolve into selectively quoting the bibble, and I'm sorry, but both the Constitution and I agree that that is not a valid source for legal argumentation.

In a story that makes me happy, OregonLive reports that
The University of Oregon tops a list of 230 universities in a new ranking of the most gay-friendly colleges in the nation, followed closely behind in 15th place by Oregon State University.
BooYah! Go Oregon!

At any rate, the judicial decision on California's Prop 8 is expected today; based on what I've read about the procedings, I expect the judge will most likely make the call I'd prefer. I know too many people that this kind of thing directly affects to be impartial about it.

Followup: Wow, that was quick. Apparently the decision was announced while I was putting this together. BooYah, California!Followup 2: Some more details and a link to a PDF of the decision at NY Magazine.
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.

Followup 3: And more at The Guardian. Rights? Yeah, I gotcher rights right here. In a few years. Maybe.
But even before the ruling was announced, supporters of the ban had already filed for the decision to be put on hold pending an appeal to the next level, the US ninth circuit court of appeals, the last stop before reaching the Supreme Court in Washington DC.

1 comment:

Dana Hunter said...

This is why I love Judge Walker so. He gets it. He understands.

Rights definitely aren't something that can be left up to majority rule. Some of those amazing advances in civil rights we're so very proud of now were won in court while the majority howled. People somehow seem to forget this when they're wringing their hands over the will of the majority. And so it shall be with this, should the Supreme Court do the right thing.