The California Supreme Court is at this moment debating the Constitutional integrity issues raised by the Prop. 8 ballot initiative.
I find the Twitter version of Constitutional law fascinating – inalienable rights in 140 characters or less:
Justice George asked wasn’t the scope of Prop 8 smaller than the rights given by the court in the in marriage cases
Justice Kennard: Assuming this court were to uphold Prop 8, you have the right to go to the people. Wouldn’t you have that right?
Justice Kennard: Is it still your view that gays and lesbians are left with nothing?
Justice Kennard: Would you agree that Prop 8 did not take away … bundle of rights that this court articulated in marriage cases
(At this rate I could get a law degree in 140 minutes!)
I appreciated Logan Laituri’s recent commentary on The Sad State of Dialogue on Civil Unions. As a nation, we need educate ourselves toward a more complex understanding and language around democracy, rights, human dignity, moral authority, and the common good than we currently have. What is too simple dies because it can’t adapt to change.
Here’s an excerpt from Logan’s piece:
Ever since the November elections, I have been unable to turn my attention from the issue of civil unions and same-sex marriage. My interest was piqued when I heard of my own home state of California’s passage of Proposition 8. So when I received an invite by Facebook to a public hearing before Hawaii’s House Judiciary committee to discuss House Bill 444 (HB444), I enthusiastically clicked “will attend.”
Basically, HB444 extends the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union. For the most part, I am still undecided about how I feel concerning same-sex marriage, but that may be due to my diminished view of the state’s role in sanctioning marriage in general. It seems to me that renaming a legally recognized intimate relationship to allow the religious-industrial-complex to retain its continued hold on the title “marriage” could be a decent compromise in the eyes of the law. I was (and admittedly may remain) very uninformed on the rationale for supporting or opposing the measure, so I was expecting an invigorating debate.
What I got was something much less. The opponents of the bill relied primarily on a 1998 vote to amend the state’s constitution, which defined marriage as being between a man and woman. Furthermore, at least two opponents stated it was simply against their party’s platform to approve civil unions (way to think for yourselves, folks).
Read the rest of Logan’s post here.