California’s Proposition 8 Upheld – The Rule of the People Still Matters!

This article was taken from World Net Daily and was posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2009.

The California Supreme Court today affirmed a voter-approved state constitutional amendment that limits marriage to one man and one woman.

But in a decision today that essentially was a 6-1 vote, the court upheld the estimated 17,000 to 18,000 same-sex relationships that were formalized last year between its approval of “gay marriage” in May and the November ballot initiative that overruled the decision

“We conclude Proposition 8 constitutes a constitutional amendment rather than a constitutional revision. As a quantitative matter, petitioners concede that Proposition 8 – which adds but a single, simple section to the Constitution – does not constitute a revision,” said the majority opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald George.

“As a qualitative matter, the act of limiting access to the designation of marriage to opposite-sex couples does not have a substantial or, indeed, even a minimal effect on the governmental plan or framework of California that existed prior to the amendment. Contrary to petitioners’ claim in this regard, the measure does not transform or undermine the judicial function; this court will continue to exercise its traditional responsibility to faithfully enforce all of the provisions of the California Constitution, which now include the new section added through the voters’ approval of Proposition 8,” he said.

“Furthermore, the judiciary’s authority in applying the state Constitution always has been limited by the content of the provisions set forth in our Constitution, and that limitation remains unchanged,” said George.

At issue was the Proposition 8 state constitutional amendment adopted by voters in November. At its adoption it became part of the state constitution, defining marriage as being between one man and one woman only.

The amendment gathered the support of nearly 53 percent of California voters. It had been proposed even before a state law enacted by a voter initiative in 2000 was thrown out by the state Supreme Court last May.

Homosexual-rights activists sued following the 2008 election, contending the amendment was a constitutional “revision” rather than an “amendment.” Amendments can be put on the ballot by petition; revisions must earn the approval first of the state legislature, which is dominated by pro-homosexual Democrats.

The court essentially “grandfathered” in the thousands of homosexual “marriages” processed by the state, reasoning that to nullify them would create a conflict with the state’s due process.

“Under these circumstances, we conclude that interpreting Proposition 8 to apply retroactively would create a serious conflict between the new constitutional provision and the protections afforded by the state due process clause,” the opinion said.

“In the absence of a clear and unambiguous statement that the new provision is to have such an effect, the general legal guideline that requires courts to interpret potentially conflicting constitutional provisions in a manner that harmonizes the provisions, to the extent possible, further supports the conclusion that Proposition 8 properly must be interpreted to apply only prospectively.”

Before California’s court decision, only Massachusetts had recognized same-sex “marriages.” In Massachusetts, a court opinion was issued, and state officials decided simply to implement their own changes in the legal code without having them adopted by the legislature as the state constitution demands.

Iowa also has imposed same-sex “marriage” in a similar fashion, even though the legislature never has changed the law. Other states where it is recognized include Connecticut, Vermont and Maine. In several states, voters already have begun ballot box plans to reverse the decisions.

The latest California Supreme Court ruling came about after homosexual activists, unhappy with the decision by the state’s voters, filed lawsuits over their claim to “marriage” rights.

According to the Associated Press, “gay” rights activists even before the ruling was announced were threatening “angry” protests if the court didn’t rule in their favor. They already have announced a plan to return to the ballot box in 2012 to demand a repeal of Proposition 8.

Frank Schubert, who directed the successful Prop 8 campaign, said traditional marriage supporters don’t have events planned.

“We will react to it in an appropriate fashion,” Schubert told AP.

As the time of the November election, the ballot box loss infuriated homosexual activists, some of whom gathered around traditional marriage advocates to rage and bully.

When the justices heard arguments on the dispute several months ago, supporters of traditional marriage reported they were pleased by the tone and direction of the questions.

Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, who participated in a friend-of-the-court brief submitted on behalf of traditional marriage, said at the time two of the justices who less than a year ago voted to “invent” homosexual “marriages” appeared “to have gotten the message loud and clear, that they have been overruled by the voters.”

Thomasson described George and Associate Justice Joyce Kennard as “hard” on those who challenged the rights of voters to change their state constitution.

Thomasson said when the arguments turned to the estimated 18,000 same-sex “marriages” performed in California between the time of the court’s order to create that institution until the November election, the lead attorney arguing for traditional marriage, Ken Starr, suggested that justices should check the plain reading of the amendment when there is a question over its meaning.

The amendment notes that no matter when and where “marriages” are performed, only those between a man and woman are to be recognized or valid in the state.

“Ken Starr did a brilliant job defending our positions, that this was an amendment and people have the right to amend their constitution,” said Karen England, executive director of the Sacramento-based Capitol Resource Institute, at the time.

A friend-of-the-court brief submitted by the Florida-based nonprofit legal group Liberty Counsel suggested invalidating the amendment would “undermine” the role of the people as authors of the constitution.

“The judiciary is but the creature of the Constitution, and cannot judge its creator. It cannot rise above the source of its own existence. If it could do this, it could annul the Constitution, instead of simply declaring what it means,” the brief explained.

When the 2008 ruling was released, Justice Marvin Baxter filed a dissent that warned of utter chaos in the institution of marriage unless judicial and executive activism is reined in.

“The bans on incestuous and polygamous marriages are ancient and deeprooted, and, as the majority suggests, they are supported by strong considerations of social policy,” he wrote. “Our society abhors such relationships, and the notion that our laws could not forever prohibit them seems preposterous. Yet here, the majority overturns, in abrupt fashion, an initiative statute confirming the equally deeprooted assumption that marriage is a union of partners of the opposite sex. The majority does so by relying on its own assessment of contemporary community values, and by inserting in our Constitution an expanded definition of the right to marry that contravenes express statutory law.

“Who can say that, in 10, 15 or 20 years, an activist court might not rely on the majority’s analysis to conclude, on the basis of a perceived evolution in community values, that the laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer constitutionally justified?” Baxter wrote at the time.

Ron Prentice, CEO of the California Family Council and chairman of the ProtectMarriage.com campaign that put the amendment in front of voters in November said a constitutional amendment was the “only way for the people to override the four Supreme Court judges who want to re-define marriage.”

The amendment reads: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Californians in 2000, with a 61.4 percent vote, approved Proposition 22, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The vote established the law that was declared unconstitutional by the recent Supreme Court ruling.

In the court’s 2008 opinion, George concluded “an individual’s sexual orientation – like a person’s race or gender – does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.”

Homosexual activists said California now is “rolling backward.”

In a prepared statement, Molly McKay, of Marriage Equality USA, said “the Grinches and bullies were able to prevail today” and forecast the coming rejection by Californians of Prop 8.

But officials with Liberty Counsel, who have represented the Campaign for California Families for years, said the conclusion “proves when people are allowed to participate in the democratic process, they will take action to uphold traditional marriage values.”

The organization said the court’s conclusion to allow the marriage licenses issued to same-sex duos makes little sense. After all, when the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, existing slavery was banned, “slave holders could not claim grandfather rights to own another person,” LC said.

“It is time to move on. By a mere 14 words that reaffirm the historic and common-sense definition of marriage, the people have restored common sense and the rule of law to California,” said Mathew Staver, chief of Liberty Counsel. “This is a great day for traditional marriage and the family. We have fought this battle in California for nearly five years to defend traditional marriage.

“Political leaders who say that we should give up the battle on traditional marriage are out of touch with the American people. Our future leaders must be strong advocates of traditional marriage and family,” he said.

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