“Tuesday’s child is full of grace…”
Immediately on the heels of news regarding Komen, comes another related item that spells trouble for the conservative agenda in the United States. In a 2 – 1 decision by a three judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a lower court’s 2010 ruling on California Proposition 8’s unconstitutionality has been upheld. The lower court ruled in 2010 that the voter-approved measure infringed on the civil rights of the LGBT community. In its ruling today, the panel’s majority position stated that;
“Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted.”
Attorneys representing the supporters of Proposition 8, along with the two couples that have petitioned the courts to overturn the ban, have both said that they would follow the appeals process, all the way up to SCOTUS if they did not receive a favorable ruling in the matter.(1)
This news follows Washington state’s pending adoption of new legislation that would legalise same-sex marriage. Last week, the state senate passed the legislation in a 28 – 21 vote. This week, the bill will go through the state’s House of Representatives, where passage has been claimed to be likely according to state senator Ed Murray, the bill’s sponsor. Washington state governor Christine Gregoire has stated that she would sign the bill into law if it arrives on her desk. Opponents to Marriage Equality may challenge the bill if it becomes law, with a push to bring the question before voters in November.(2)
Likewise, the Los Angeles-based gay rights group Love, Honor, Cherish has plans to start gathering signatures for a November ballot initiative geared toward repealing Proposition 8.
In this writer’s own humble opinion, a defeat of Proposition 8 must result in a re-evaluation of DOMA’s own constitutionality. If SCOTUS upholds that any provision in state laws that limits marriage to “one man and one woman” is a violation of the civil rights of LGBT citizens, then the Defense of Marriage Act cannot be upheld either. Once DOMA is put in its rightful place, (six feet under!) then real progress in the battle for LGBT equal rights can be realised.