A Proposition 8 update
Some news about California Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that reinstated a ban on same sex marriage in California:
- The California Supreme Court announced it would hear arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 on March 5th. A decision is promised within 90 days of the hearing. In addition to ruling on the constitutionality of the amendment, the court will also rule on the fate of the 18,000 same sex couples that married prior to the amendment passing.
- California Attorney General Jerry Brown will argue for the overturning of the proposition, arguing "inalienable rights" cannot be eliminated without compelling reasons.
- General Brown's position of challenging an electorate decision is not unprecedented. In 1964, 65% of the California electorate approved Proposition 14, a constitutional amendment that permitted racial discrimination in property sales and rentals. Then California Attorney General Thomas Lynch argued the proposition violated U.S. constitutional standards. The Court overturned Prop. 14 in 1966 and the U.S. Supreme Court did likewise in 1967.
- The disclosure of campaign contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign revealed the Mormon Church contributed $190,000. Individual Mormon donors also contributed, and there is an investigation by the state campaign watchdog agency into whether the Church violated state law by not disclosing the extent of it's involvement during the campaign, including providing airline tickets, hotel expenses, rental cars and compensated staff costs for members to travel to California to campaign for the proposition.
Finally, a video (via Ezra Klein) representing the 18,000 couples asking the California Supreme Court, "Don't Divorce Us"