Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jerry Brown supports judicial supremacists

The San Jose newspaper reports:
Saying Proposition 8 violates constitutionally protected liberties, Attorney General Jerry Brown on Friday asked the California Supreme Court to strike down the same-sex marriage ban, ...

"There are certain rights that are not to be subject to popular votes, otherwise they are not fundamental rights," Brown said in an interview. "If every fundamental liberty can be stripped away by a majority vote, then it's not a fundamental liberty."
Prop 8 did not, and can not, strip away any constitutional rights. The so-called right to same-sex marriage is based on the constitutional right to equal protection of the laws, as in the USA and California constitutions. P8 only amended the California constitution. If the courts really believed that same-sex marriage rights were a consequence of the equal protection guarantees, then they would rule so based on the USA constitution. They have not and they will not.
"In doing what they are doing now, they are showing the world what their true agenda is: to harm lesbian, gay and bisexual people," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California. "No one could think it's morally acceptable to destroy a legally existing marriage."
This is wrong on many levels. First, P8 did not harm any gays or lesbians. They continue to have all the substantive rights they had before, as the California domestic partnership law still applies. Second, no true marriages were destroyed. While some same-sex couples had California marriage licenses, those couples were not married under federal law, and they could not file joint federal income tax returns or share Social Security benefits.

Third, if you consider P8 to be destroying existing marriages, then the California Supreme Court has already shown that it is willing to do exactly that. It unanimously invalidated all the same-sex marriages that SF Mayor Newsom authorized.

Fourth, claiming harm to bisexuals is a little strange. Is he arguing that P8 is a barrier to some sort of group marriage? Is there some reason why bisexuals cannot just get married just like everyone else? That one has me baffled.
Proposition 8 opponents filed suit the day after the marriage ban passed, arguing that the initiative process was legally flawed. ... Normally, the attorney general would defend existing state law.
If the initiative process were flawed, the time to act would have been before the election. It is too late to complain now. The people have spoken. (I believe that there was a challenge before the election, and the courts dismissed it.) Jerry Brown should defend P8, just as he once defended the California property tax initiative Prop 13 even after opposing it before the election.

I am getting a little tired of people being called bigots just for opposing same-sex marriage. It is not just Republicans who oppose same-sex marriage; it is also all of the major Democrat candidates including Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. Nearly every vote for President in the past several elections has been for a candidate who explicitly campaigned in opposition to same-sex marriage.

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