Thursday, December 04, 2008

CA lawmakers voice support for gay marriage a symbolic and non-binding way.

Calif. lawmakers voice support for gay marriage
(Sacramento, California) A resolution has been introduced in both the California Assembly and Senate to reaffirm support for same-sex marriage.

The measure is non-binding, but the symbolism in the wake of Proposition 8 is significant, LGBT rights leaders say.

California voters last month agreed to void the state Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. The legality of the vote, however, is back in the hands of the court, which will hear arguments in the case early next year.

State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), the first openly gay man elected to the California Senate, and State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano ( D-San Francisco) introduced concurrent resolutions that back up the legal arguments of Prop 8 opponents.

“While a proposed amendment to the California Constitution can be accomplished through the initiative process,” the resolution reads, “A proposed revision of the California Constitution must originate in the Legislature and must be approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the Legislature before being submitted to the electors.”

Proposition 8 passed with a slim 52 percent majority. Following the election three challenges to the vote were filed by LGBT rights groups.

All three cases claim the measure abridges the civil rights of a vulnerable minority group. They argue that voters alone did not have the authority to enact such a significant constitutional change.

The justices said in addition to hearing arguments on the validity of the vote, it wants to address what effect, if any, a ruling upholding the amendment would have on the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages that were sanctioned in California before Election Day.

The justices directed Attorney General Jerry Brown and lawyers for the Yes on 8 campaign to submit arguments by Dec. 19 on why the ballot initiative should not be nullified. It said lawyers for the plaintiffs, who include same-sex couples who did not wed before the election, must respond before Jan. 5.

Oral arguments could be scheduled as early as March, but a ruling would not be likely for months after that.

You read the rest of the story here.

Crush du Jour: Josh Lucas

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