In the painful aftermath of the passage of Prop 8 in California, it’s nice to see things heading in the right direction in Connecticut. Today is the first day for same-sex marriage in the Nutmeg State.
Meanwhile, on the left coast, there’s a legal battle brewing over whether Prop 8 was a permissible change to the state Constitution. Apparently, this turns on an arcane point of California constitutional law:
[O]pponents of Proposition 8 argue that this kind of change is a “revision,” not an “amendment.” The distinction is important, legal experts say, because revisions require two-thirds approval in the Legislature and then a popular vote. Amendments can be approved by popular vote only.
If, as opponents say, the court finds that Proposition 8 qualifies as a revision, then the proposition would be found unconstitutional because its proponents would have, in effect, skipped the required legislative step. If the court strikes down the initiative on these grounds, it is not certain the lawmakers would take up the issue again.
If the court sides with Proposition 8 proponents and allows the amendment, the recourse for gay rights activists would be to put the matter to voters again through their own initiative or take the matter to federal court, something most activists are not ready to do, given the court’s current composition.
Very interesting. Any California con law experts out there? In any event, it’s nice that the Governator has come out strongly against Prop 8 — but annoying that he could have helped to defuse the whole thing by signing the bill that has twice been laid before him that would have legalized same-sex marriage legislatively. Why he thought it was a good idea to veto that bill in favor of letting the courts do it is beyond me.