Prop 8 Battle Heads to Court
On Thursday, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments over Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Gay-marriage opponents claim that if the Court strikes down the ban, it will “overturn the will of the people.” But as California Attorney General (and former Governor) Jerry Brown points out, courts have already ruled that discrimination cannot be imposed by the “will of the people”:
In 1964, 65 percent of California voters approved Proposition 14, which would have legalized racial discrimination in the selling or renting of housing. Both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts struck down this proposition, concluding that it amounted to an unconstitutional denial of rights.
Supporters of Proposition 8 seem to think that discrimination based on sexual orientation is somehow different than discrimination based on race. But last year, the state’s high court disagreed:
In 2008, the California Supreme Court was faced with the question of how the values enshrined in Article I apply to same sex marriages. It concluded that the concept of “liberty” includes the right to form the enduring relationship called marriage and that no compelling interest justified denying this right to same sex couples. Just like the right to be free from discrimination in housing, citizens have the right to be free from discrimination in state-granted marriage licenses.Click here for reuse options!
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