Shannon Minter, standing, speaks to the California Supreme Court in San Francisco, Thursday, March 5, 2009 on the constitutionality of the state’s voter-approved Proposition 8 that bans gay unions. The court will decide whether to uphold the same-sex marriage ban and whether same-sex couple marriages will remain valid
It is my sense (and others too) that the California Supremes will acquiese to the vote of the people on making traditional marriage (one man and one woman) the law of California since the election. However, the validity of prevous gay marriages (allowed by last year’s California Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 22) may be upheld in some way.
The California Supreme Court appeared ready today to vote to uphold Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that banned gay marriage, but also seemed ready to decide unanimously to recognize existing same-sex marriages.
During a three-hour televised hearing in San Francisco, only two of the court’s seven justices indicated a possible readiness to overturn the initiative. Chief Justice Ronald M. George noted that the court was following a different Constitution when it approved gay marriage last May.
“Today we have a different state Constitution,” he said.
Justice Joyce L. Kennard, who usually votes in favor of gay rights, voted against accepting the revision challenge to Proposition 8 but said she would hear arguments over the validity of existing same-sex marriages.
Kennard said during the hearing that “Prop. 8 did not take away the whole bundle of rights that this court articulated in the marriage case.”
She said that “a very important holding” â€“ giving sexual orientation the same constitutional status as race or gender â€“ was not changed.
“Is it still your view that the sky has fallen and gays and lesbians are left with nothing?” she asked gay rights lawyers?
Kennard told them they also had the right to return to voters with their own initiative.
So, how will the vote break down in the court?
Justices supporting the overturn of the original gay marriage ban (May 2008) are:
- Chief Justice Ronald George
- Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar
- Justice Joyce L. Kennard
- Justice Carlos R. Moreno
Chief Justice George and Justice Moreno stand for reconfirmation to another twelve year term of office in November 2010.
Justices dissenting from the original decision to end the gay marriage ban are:
- Justice Marvin Baxter
- Justice Carol Corrigan
- Justice Ming Chin
Flap can count as well. Three California Supreme Court Justices that opposed gay marriage plus Justice Kennard (who refused to sign the order and voted to deny the petitions) equals four votes upholding the Proposition and the traditional definition of marriage.
Flap bets the final vote will be 6-1 with Moreno dissenting to uphold Proposition 8 simply because a MORON would have to rule this is a revision of the Constitution and not an amendment.
The decision by the California supreme court is due within 90 days. Want to bet the Court releases its opinion on Friday prior to the Memorial Day weekend?
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