Monday, May 25, 2009

Decision Day tomorrow

Word is that the California Supreme Court will issue an opinion on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

I can't tell what their opinion will be. But I'd be interested to know how this Supreme Court could get out of upholding their ruling last year in favor of same-sex marriage. The California legislature had already voted to grant gay couples full marriage rights twice, and the Supreme Court simply determined that there was no constitutional justification for withholding the label "marriage" from such couples.

In spite of this relatively conservative ruling--six out of the seven Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republican governors--the Christian Right has not ceased decry the ruling as "judicial activism." Unfortunately, the Christian Right often finds itself in the situation of being the black pot trying to call the silver kettle black. There is nothing activistic about looking at the State Constitution and determining that marriage rights should be granted to that small minority of the population for whom the full meaning of "marriage" can only make sense within the context of a loving, committed same-sex union. If gay couples have no legal right to same-sex marriage, it would be the same as barring them from their constitutional right to marry at all.

On the other hand, the charge of "activism" is completely fitting for the pro-Proposition 8 campaign we witnessed last summer, where the primary argument the Christian Right gave us was, essentially, "THEY'RE AFTER YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR CHURCHES!"

If the California Supreme Court does reverse their ruling from last year, I have to wonder what justification they could give, since the pro-Prop. 8 campaign offered no legally useful arguments. "Horror Tales From Massachusetts" may be effective in scaring the general public, but a Supreme Court Justice has to make a rational decision.