5/16/2008

Will the voters be facing a constitutional ballot issue on Homosexual Marriage in November?

The WSJ's Political Diary has this today by John Fund:

Barack Obama is unlikely to be pleased by the court's decision. He will recall how the issue of judicial interference with the political process bedeviled John Kerry's 2004 campaign after the high court in Mr. Kerry's home state of Massachusetts legalized gay marriage. Anti-gay marriage initiatives eventually passed that year in nearly a dozen states.

In California, the issue is guaranteed to be a hot political topic this fall. More than 1.1 million signatures have already been collected to put a measure on the November ballot that would change California's ban on gay marriage from a statutory provision to a Constitutional clause. Putting their preferences into the state Constitution is the last recourse of the state's citizens against being dictated to by the state's Supreme Court.

Public opinion seems fairly clear. In 2000, 61% of California voters approved a statutory ban on gay marriage while also leaving open a chance for other legal protections to be extended to gays. The measure, Proposition 22, passed in all but four Bay Area counties and even won a third of the vote in San Francisco.

Supporters of gay marriage assert that public attitudes have shifted since 2000, but they seem unwilling to test that belief through the democratic process. . . .


Obama announces his support for the California court's decision here. As I have written before, if the courts are going to take away voters' ability to decide these issues, I don't see where the courts can draw a clear line between different types of marriages. If they allow homosexual marriage, the would presumably have to allow polygamy, if they are going to be logically consistent. It might be that the courts don't care about being logically consistent. However, I think that Fund has it exactly right in that supporters of homosexual marriage are unwilling to test their beliefs that voter support has swung in their favor.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Passion and Lore said...

I believe we need to allow marriage to be run by the free market and not the government. Until that happens, the government can not take sides, it must allow gay and polygamous marriages instead of discriminating against them.

5/17/2008 3:41 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Isn't "interference" by one branch of government relative to another the definition of "checks and balances"?

5/17/2008 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it depends on how your define "interference." If by interference you mean a branch of government encroaching upon the sovereign sphere of another, no. If you mean one branch of government thwarting another by not providing cooperation that is within its own sovereign sphere that would be necessary to achieve an end of the former, yes.

The judicial branch can not interfere with the legislative and executive branches by just rewriting or striking down laws willy nilly. It can, however, hold a law unconstitutional.

How many of us will have a problem with the SCOTUS striking down the oppressive DC gun ban on constitutional grounds?

I disagree with the CA Supreme Court's interpretation but it has not stepped outside of its coordinate sphere here.

5/17/2008 9:55 PM  

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