Thursday, March 5, 2009

The return of Prop. 8

Judges and lawyers wrangled today about the constitutional legitimacy of Proposition 8, the successful November ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage.

I do not profess to be a constitutional expert, so Second Thoughts will not wade into the sticky issue the court must consider — whether Prop. 8 is an amendment to the constitution, and therefore legitimate, or if it was a fundamental alteration of the constitution, and therefore invalid as things now stand.

The ramifications in this case are so far-reaching it makes the head spin.

When it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage, however, it remains a black spot on our citizenry that we would not only prevent people from marrying their lovers and partners, but that we would also seek to rip apart 19,000 unions already consummated. (Backers of the proposition publicly stated that it was designed to be retroactive, and the wording of the proposition seems to clearly bear out that intent.)

As attorney Kenneth Star, who today argued in favor of the gay marriage ban by saying voters have the "raw power" to "define rights," ironically said:

"We govern ourselves — and we may govern ourselves unwisely."

Allowing the government to place barriers between consensual, reciprocal love. How unwise, indeed.

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