Thursday, March 05, 2009

Name That Institution.

California's Supreme Court heard arguments today on whether the California voters' decision to pass Proposition 8 and limit marriage to opposite sex couples would be allowed to stand. The argument was televised on the State of California's government channel.

Judging from the direction of the arguments, it appears the Court will uphold Proposition 8 and rule that the voters had the right to limit marriage to opposite sex couples. The Court's ruling will be extremely limited to holding that Proposition 8 merely affected nomenclature. The Court will rule that Proposition 8 changed nothing else with respect to the rights of same-sex couples.

The Court already found in The Marriage Cases last year that same-sex couples under California's Domestic Partnership law enjoy nearly all the same rights as those enjoyed by opposite-sex marriage partners. The argument today, and concessions by the attorney supporting Proposition 8, made it clear that Proposition 8 in no way changed any other part of the Supreme Court's ruling in The Marriage Cases. The argument today further clarified that California could expand the definition of Domestic Partnerships so that such partnerships would be marriages in all but name, and that expanded definition would not run afoul of Proposition 8's limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples alone.

The course same-sex marriage advocates could follow after Proposition 8 is upheld is to seek to marginalize marriage and make domestic partnerships the norm. Use the arguments made at the Court to urge California's legislature to make domestic partnerships available to opposite-sex couples, to have California continue to issue marriage certificates to opposite-sex couples but also register every opposite-sex married couple as a domestic partnership, have California recognize domestic partnerships transacted in other states as valid in California when the partners move to California, and in every way possible change domestic partnerships so that legally they are identical to marriage.


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