Made up 'rights' and the status quo
The approval of Proposition 8 in California, a constitutional change designed to prohibit marriage between couples of the same sex, was not just a defeat for fairness. It raised serious legal questions about the validity of using the Election Day initiative process to obliterate an existing right for a targeted minority.Wait a minute.
These deeper questions were largely lost during the expensive campaign by proponents of Proposition 8. Essentially, in their rush to enshrine bigotry in the State Constitution, they circumvented the procedure specified in that same document for making such a serious change. Now, the state’s top court, which has agreed to hear the legal challenge to Proposition 8, has the unpleasant duty of tossing out a voter-approved ballot measure.The case turns on whether Proposition 8 is a constitutional amendment, requiring only approval by a bare majority of voters, or a more far-reaching constitutional revision, requiring a two-step process: either a constitutional convention or a two-thirds vote of the State Legislature followed by voter ratification. The court, which has struck down several measures before, should not lightly overturn the will of the people. But it has not confronted a revision this far-reaching in terms of upsetting basic rights and the state’s constitutional structure.
I think the editorial board of the Times has stood logic on its head. The so called "existing right" had existed only a matter of weeks after it was made up by the California Supreme Court. The proposition was an attempt to return to the status quo as it has been for billions of years. It makes more sense for the proponents of gay marriage to have presented a proposition to get what they wanted rather than using the courts to by-pass democratic change.
I don't think gay marriage is all that important, but then I am not a gay person wanting to get married. I am not a gay person at all. I really have not met many gays who expressed a desire to get married. Those who do appear to be a minority of a group that is already a pretty small minority. They may have a yearning for seeing their life style accepted as normal but so do the polygamist.
The conduct of the disappointed gays has been reprehensible. Throwing a tantrum is not endearing and it is not likely to change minds which should be their objective if they want to change the law.
For the Times to pretend that gay marriage in California was a settled issue explains why there has been a slip in credibility for the media.