On the Prop 8 decision

The court upheld the ban, as they should have. They didn’t invalidate the marriages  made before Prop 8 went into effect, which is an interesting position to take, but not unexpected. The biggest issue I see here is that now they have two separate “classes” of homosexual people in California – those who got married, and those who cannot – which will inevitably cause legal battles down the road.

The text of Prop 8 is as follows:

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.

This initiative measure expressly amends the California Constitution by adding a section thereto; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.

SECTION 1. Title This measure shall be known and may be cited as the “California Marriage Protection Act.”

SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution, to read:

SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

The phrasing of this seems to invalidate the marriages made during that interim, and that to uphold the proposition they would have to cease to recognize the marriages made even before Prop 8 was passed. This, at least in my eyes, would be the correct and consistent legal interpretation. As it is, by upholding the propositon going forward but saying they will recognize the marriages already on the books, the California Supremes have set themselves up for a steady stream of litigation from both sides seeking to push the decision off the fence.

Edit: Here’s the full decision, PDF warning. I haven’t read the whole thing yet as it’s 185 (!) pages, but the gist of why they chose to go this route seems to be that since it did not explicitly apply retroactively, then they will not invalidate those made before the prop went into effect. Seems a rather weasely way to get past the issue, but, there you go.


Elizabeth Scalia is pandering to the Politically Correct crowd, and she’s doing it at Pajamas Media, which is not the best place to do that sort of thing. She criticizes both “the gays” and “the Christians” for behaving “badly” during the Castro district altrication – you know, the one I blogged about the other day in which a crowd of angry anti-Prop 8 thugs surrounded a Bible study and prayer group and poured coffee on them, urinated on them, grabbed a girl’s Bible and attacked her with it, and then tried to molest the members of the group as they were escorted away by the police. Okay, I think we can see where “the gays” behaved badly.

But what are the sins of the Christians? According to Ms. Scalia, it was “singing hymns and praying for them, which might have seemed both separatist and condescending.” She says this “as a Catholic,” who says she’d feel judged by the fact she was being prayed for by strangers.

So on one hand we have a group engaged in physical assault, verbal abuse, and public sexual misconduct… and on the other hand we have a group who was praying.

Yeah. Those eeeevil Christians sure need a good talking to.

Praying is something we are commanded to do without ceasing, and singing hymns like “Amazing Grace” and “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” are hardly extreme measures. These people were holding a prayer meeting – the same one they held “almost every Friday night” according to the locals – where they prayed for the community and tried to share the Gospel.  This is commendable behavior, not something to be looked down on. I have yet to see a report from anywhere on this issue that says the prayer group did anything wrong, or did anything to provoke the attack other than praying and singing.

Yet Ms. Scalia says that what they did was very un-Christlike. Jesus would never have been so intolerant. I wonder, has she read Christ’s sermons? This was a guy who did not have concerns over coming across as extreme or controversial. Remember, he ransacked the temple and screamed at the Pharisees in public, decrying them as a brood of vipers and whitewashed tombs, hypocrites in every sense – can you imagine someone running up the stairs of the Vatican calling out such a thing? No, Christ was truthful. He was direct. He was loving. But he was not afraid of confrontation, and he was not afraid of what the truth would bring. In the same vein, we should speak truth in love, but be careful that we do not worry so much about appearing loving that it is no longer the truth being spoken.