Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Sad Day

I just wanted to take a moment to discuss what happened today in California.

In case you weren't aware today the California Supreme Court has ruled to uphold proposition 8 which makes same sex marriage against the states constitution. This is an especially important issue to me as this judgement comes down four months to the day before my wedding.

Please, for a moment, put aside any religious or personal feelings you have toward homosexuality and look at this from a purely legal point of veiw, as those justices were supposed to have done.

The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. "

This one sentance makes it clear that what the California Supreme Court did today was not just against what this country was founded on but actually against the constitution which they are charged to uphold.

The first amendment lays the foundation for the seperation of church and state which has been further upheld and solidified through Supreme Court decitions dating as far back as 1878. Simply stated, it is unconstitutional to legislate morality which is the only way to define what was done today in California.

There are no valid, legal reasons to ban gay marrage. The only arguments that have been presented are that homosexuality is 'an abomination', 'unnatural', or 'against God'. And while those who argue this way are absolutely entitled to their beliefs, under the first amendment they are not entitled to make these beliefs law.

For the same reason that a Baptist marrage is just as legal as a Catholic, Jewish, Muslim or Athiest marrage or for that matter Inter-Racial marrage, Same-Sex marrage must be allowed. You don't have to like it or believe that it is right but our forefathers made sure that our personal beliefs couldn't impede on the rights of our fellow, equal citizens.

I'll get off my soap box now, just wanted you to be fully and unprejudicedly informed.

*Note, the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution stated in Article VI Paragraph 2, "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. " Makes it so the Federal Government when exercising its constitutional powers has supremacy over all state laws (supported by the Marshall Court in McCulloch v Maryland) What this means is that the when this goes to the Federal Supreme Court, their dicition, which must be made to uphold the constitution, which the California Supreme Court is not so strictly bound by, their decition will have national repercussions and make gay marrage legal in the US not just in certain states. So maybe this is a little backward victory*

Update: My good friend and law student Ak informed me in his infinite genius, "It's unlikely the Supreme Court will agree to hear it given that it's a state constitution issue - really, given some of the jackasses on the court right now that's probably for the best - and they'd only be granting certiorari on the technical issue rather than whether or not banning gay marriage is discriminatory.

More likely is we're just going to overturn it next year. Never say die!"

And there you have it. Note to others, CTY Law and Politics definitely makes it so you can make a logical and informed sounding argument, but it doesn't mean it's going to be correct :)

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