Kevin And Don Respond To Being Self Loathing
Looking back at their journey from the Stonewall Democratic Club to Log Cabin Republicans, they claim it was one that was actually started by the democrats. After being told that marriage as not a priority on the agenda in 1995, they became disillusioned with the DEMS. For a decade they felt like they did not belong until they met the republicans of the Log Cabin Republican Club and discovered they too shared a dream of marriage equality. This blog is now a digital time capsule of their time as Republicans and moderated by a friend and supporter.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Historical Account Of The Proposition 8 Revision Argument
This week in the perpetual election
July 10, 2008 | 5:22 pm
Legal experts call it a long-shot, but on June 20, several petitioners asked the state Supreme Court to toss Proposition 8, the initiative to restrict marriage to a man and a woman (find a the one-line text of the initiative in pdf, plus the attorney general documents, here). The justices, fresh from their 4-3 ruling that same-sex couples in this state have an equal right to marry (see a pdf of the opinion here), will now have to decide whether their decision turns the ballot measure from a constitutional amendment into a constitutional revision.
It’s like this: Amendments supposedly fine-tune the existing state Constitution, and voters have the power to put them on the ballot by petitioning for initiatives, then adopting them by majority vote. Revisions are rare — sweeping constitutional re-inventions that can be adopted only by convention or placed on the ballot by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.
Backers of Proposition 8 went old-school, filing an initiative petition with Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who certified the proposed amendment for the ballot on June 2. Their opponents argue that in the intervening time, the meaning of the state Constitution changed — because of the Cal Supremes’ May 15 ruling in the marriage cases. Now, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights and others asking the court to block the vote, reversing course on equal protection would be not just an amendment but a revision, and thus it can’t go on the ballot without legislative action or a convention.
There is some spirited disagreement on the origin of revision-versus-amendment argument. “This is something we have been looking at for years,” said NCLR legal director Shannon Minter.
Others argue that approach was crafted just after the court’s ruling by Kevin Norte, a research attorney for the Los Angeles Superior Court and a member of the gay GOP organization Log Cabin Republicans. See his May 21 opinion/analysis in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise here, and his June 17 follow-up here. Follow Norte’s blogging on the issue in the Log Cabin’s Blog Cabin, here. The MetNews also published a July 2 opinion piece by attorney Jack Rosenfeld, who argues that Proposition 8 abuses the initiative process.
The analysis Norte articulated forms the basis of one argument put forward by NCLR and other petitioners asking the court to toss the initiative. Another, as explained by Times Staff Writer Maura Dolan in her July 2 story, is that voters who signed the petition were misled into believing that the initiative would not change state law, although that was true enough at the time.
The petitioners’ brief in reply to the opposition by Folsom attorney Andrew Pugno — who is representing backers of Proposition 8 — is due today. It is not yet clear whether the state high court will hear argument or simply rule on the written briefs, but whatever it does must be done quickly. Ballots go to the printer, with or without the initiative, on Aug. 8.