Yesterday the Obama administration went to the Supreme Court to challenge California's Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. It was a big battle in CA back in 2008.
Despite fighting against it with every color available, CA voters passed Prop 8 which says Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
California does recognize domestic partnerships, giving partners all the same benefits as married people. That would also be the case in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island. But the administration argues; “the designation of marriage, however, confers a special validation of the relationship between two individuals and conveys a message to society that domestic partnerships or civil unions cannot match.” Which is why I bet Prop 8 passed.
Eric Holder further argued "the administration seeks to vindicate the defining constitutional ideal of equal treatment under the law. The California ban against same sex marriage is based on impermissible prejudice". Just to be clear the Federal government is not a party in the CA case. It's Perry v. Brown. Brown of course the Governor of CA and Perry is I assume Perry Mason who can no longer hide his feelings for DA Hamilton Burger.
photo: screen grab Perry Mason
Oh I'm sorry it's actually 48 year old Kristin Perry who is trying to marry 50 year old Sandy Stier in Berkeley CA. So why did the Obama administration jump in to this? Gay marriage activists have been lobbying them to try and sway the court their way. But the President made it clear he would never interject the Feds in to the state's rights to decide if same sex marriage would be legal where they live. Last Fall while announcing he had evolved in to a supporter of gay marriage, he also it would be worked out at the local level. Robin Roberts points out that it's not being worked out because 30 states have banned it. He corrects her and says different states can come to different conclusions. He goes further to say "Many people who want to define sex as between a man and a woman aren't coming at it from a mean spirited perspective". Which would seem to go against what his Attorney General argued yesterday about it being based on prejudice.
Oops! I guess Obama evolved again.
So is Prop 8 unconstitutional? I don't know. Sometimes States have laws that most of their citizens like but are ruled to be unconstitutional. Most states had a law against people from different races marrying. In 1965 the ACLU took up the case of Richard Loving who had married Mildred in DC but when they tried to return home to VA, they were jailed and then banished from VA for a term of 25 years for violating the states Racial Integrity Act. In 1967 The Supreme Court ruled the Racial Integrity Act unconstitutional and Richard and Mildred got back to Loving. (bow chicka wow wow)
Photo:screen grab PBS
I could also see the court siding with the argument that States recognize marriages specifically to encourage responsible procreation. Therefore it has to be limited to to opposite sexes. In addition since there is nothing to gain from elevating domestic partnerships to marriage beyond what Attorney General Eric Holder argues is "the special validation", then the court could rule no benefits have been denied. Unlike in the Loving case, the State isn't imprisoning same sex partners or banishing them. In fact the State bestows all the privileges of traditional marriage. Is not giving someone a special validation unconstitutional? The Obama administration thinks it is. What do you think? Vote in our poll on the left side of the page, or leave a comment on our Facebook page or a voice mail at 343-1027 that we can play back on the air.