Gay Rights Activists Don’t Like California’s Proposition 8
California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriages, was recently approved by voters in the November 4th election. The proposition is designed to not only define marriage as a union between “one man and one woman” but also seeks to overturn a May 15th California Supreme Court ruling that declared same-sex couples had the right to marry under the California Constitution on the grounds of privacy and equal protection.
This is not sitting well for gay rights activists who have staged protests and even filed lawsuits in an attempt to overturn it. The most recent actions occurred Wednesday where three lawsuits were filed directly with the state Supreme Court, seeking orders immediately to block enforcement of Proposition 8 and to ultimately strike it down as a violation of fundamental rights in the California Constitution.
While I am in no way surprised at the outrage of gay rights activists, I question the way they are responding. How can you thwart the will of the people (voters) either by protest or by legal action? The people have spoken both now and in 2000. If we truly live in a democratic society where the people are supposed to have a voice, then by all means let them have their voice! And that is exactly what happened November 4th when the majority of California voters approved the measure.
Those who filed suit argue that any measure allowing a majority of the public to take away minority rights violates principles of equality at the heart of the state Constitution.
“If allowed to stand, Proposition 8 so devastates the principle of equal protection that it endangers the fundamental rights of any potential electoral minority,” said San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.
Sponsors of the initiative were unimpressed. Andrew Pugno, lawyer for the Prop. 8 campaign, called the legal challenges “an insult to California voters and an attack on the initiative process.”
What do you think? Religious and/or moral convictions aside, if an issue is put up before voters in a democratic society and the voters have their say, should protests from those opposed or even legal action be able to overturn the will of the people?