Renewed Hope On Prop 8 Overturn
Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, has renewed hope about the coming California Supreme Court decision on overturning Proposition 8.
With its groundbreaking marriage decision a year ago, the California Supreme Court set us on a path that — despite some setbacks — has led to one marriage victory a week in the past month: A first-ever unanimous state supreme court ruling in Iowa; a huge victory in Vermont, where there was strong enough support for marriage equality to override their Governor’s veto; and tremendous movement in the legislatures of New Hampshire and Maine, with similar progress likely in the months ahead in New York and New Jersey. The result has been a profound sea change in public opinion, including my own view of what the next month will bring here in California.The tide is surely turning. Is the Court listening?
Just this week, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed “a sharp shift in public opinion on same-sex marriage. Forty-nine percent said it should be legal for gay people to marry” — an 11 point shift from a similar poll conducted by the Post just three years ago. I have always believed the California Supreme Court should strike down Prop 8 because the law is so overwhelmingly on our side. But I feared that other factors might result in an adverse decision. That fear has now been replaced by hope as courts and legislatures — as well as public opinion — have moved sharply in our direction. The Court can cement its legacy by overturning Prop 8 and upholding our Constitution’s promise of equal protection. Or it can cause untold pain and hardship to our community and forever undermine the independence of the judiciary and the historic role of the courts in protecting minority rights. I believe the Court will do the right thing.