May 29th, 2009
08:59 AM ET

Prop hate

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on
In Session.”

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Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

I clerked for the California Supreme Court so I was uniquely disappointed, but not at all surprised, by the decision of the court this week on gay marriage.

The news got drowned out a bit by the announcement of a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court which is ironic because this whole gay marriage thing could end up there eventually. But for this state supreme court, the whole question boiled down to the will of the people.

Now, in my humble opinion, the California initiative process is a cop-out. It relieves state legislators of the responsibility of making the hard decisions they were sent there to make; and, it leaves the public holding the bag that contains the thorny really tough questions.

That being said, the justices were loath to overturn a decision made by a majority (however slim) of voters.

The gay marriage fight in California is far from over, however. Yes, the court ruled to uphold Proposition 8; but the ruling does not mean the justices agree with the sum, substance or mean spirit of the law. Remember, the same court upheld same sex marriage in May, 2008. The difference from May, 2008 and now? One election cycle.

Prop 8 passed with 52 percent of the vote. But that is hardly the end of the story. Change is still coming, it just comes slowly. Iowa, Maine and Vermont have recently legalized same sex marriage. Massachusetts before that. And already advocates in California are planning to take it back to the voters.

So the court’s ruling on Proposition 8 was a big moment in the evolution of the law in this area; but it by no means ends the debate.

Find more In Session blogs here.

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