‘Day of Decision’ Rallies Planned Regardless of California Court’s Ruling on Prop 8
March 16, 2009 - 8:26 AMWin or lose, homosexual activists in California and across the nation are preparing to "respond immediately" to the upcoming California Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of Proposition 8.
The voter-approved ballot initiative amended the California Constitution to read, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
Supporters of same-sex marriage have asked the California Supreme Court to invalidate Prop 8, and a decision is expected this spring. This is the same court that paved the way for same-sex marriage in California in a May 15, 2008 ruling. Proposition 8 then invalidated that ruling.
Homosexual activists are calling for “Day of Decision” rallies within hours of the court releasing its Prop 8 ruling. "We've seen a tremendous outpouring from LGBT and allied individuals and organizations who wanted to join together in unity the night of the decision, regardless of the outcome," said event organizer Andy Tyler in a news release.
The court will give 24 hours’ notice before issuing its ruling, which is due no later – and probably earlier – than June 3.
Day of Decision is calling for rallies either to protest a decision upholding Prop. 8 or to celebrate a decision invalidating Prop 8. “This has become a national issue because if Prop. 8 is upheld, it will be the first time in American history that a recognized minority group will be taken out of a constitution,” activists say.
"We will not consider it a victory if Prop. 8 is upheld while existing marriages are allowed to stand," said Day of Decision co-organizer Robin Tyler, who married her girlfriend during the four-and-a-half months that such marriages were legal in California.
"As a community, we can only advance as one. Offering special treatment for some community members while taking rights away from the rest is completely unacceptable," Tyler added.
On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that denying same-sex couples the legal right to marry violated the California Constitution’s equal protection clause. The first legal same-sex marriages were performed in California on June 16 and continued through Nov. 4. According to Equality California, approximately 18,000 same-sex couples were married during that time, and those marriages remain valid now.
During oral arguments in the Prop 8 case on March 5, Kenneth W. Starr, the lead attorney for ProtectMarriage.com, told the court that the people have the final word on what the state Constitution says. “The people have the inalienable right to control their constitution,” Starr argued.
The legal challenge against Proposition 8 claims that the measure cannot be added to the constitution by ballot initiative, but only by a constitutional “revision,” which requires either a two-thirds vote of the Legislature or a statewide Constitutional Convention.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown said while Prop 8 is not an improper revision of the state constitution, it should still be invalidated because it infringes on the “inalienable” right of same-sex couples to liberty.
In effect, Brown urged the court to elevate the rights of same-sex couples above the right of the people of California to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, ProtectMarriage says.
See earlier story:
Arguments for Calif. Prop. 8 May Win the Day, but not the Battle, Against Same-Sex Marriage