Thursday, 6 November 2008

California: "Power of numbers to discriminate against minority. Courts should step in to protect fundamental rights!"

Excellent editorial by the San Francisco Chronicle in reflection to the voting results in California to approve the so called "Proposition 8" which would constitutionally ban historic same-sex marriage decision by the Supreme Court.

The fight over Prop. 8 goes to the courts

On Tuesday night, the portrait gallery of American presidents was finally widened to include a face of color.

On Wednesday came the sobering reminder that flat-out discrimination against gays and lesbians remains socially acceptable and entrenched in the law.

It was disturbing enough that voters in Florida and Arizona approved measures to prohibit same-sex marriage. But the passage of California's Proposition 8 was all the more unsettling because it did not just exploit voters' discomfort with the notion that sexual orientation should not be a barrier to the rights and responsibilities of marriage. This was an open assault on a right that was affirmed by a state Supreme Court ruling in May. This was an ugly slap that threatens to disrupt the lives of the 18,000 couples who have legally wed since then.

This was a classic case of a majority using its power of numbers to discriminate against a minority group.

[...] As soon as Prop. 8's victory was assured, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and his counterparts from Los Angeles and Santa Clara County went to the state Supreme Court to try to invalidate it on the grounds that it conflicts with the equal protection pillars of the state Constitution.

"It goes to the heart of what the judiciary is supposed to do: To ensure that everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law," Herrera said.

The legal swords have been drawn. Opponents of same-sex marriage instantly decried the possibility that "unelected judges" could thwart the will of the majority.

But when the will of the majority is discrimination against a minority group, the courts have a legal and moral obligation to step in to protect fundamental rights.

*/emphasis mine/

Below are some pictures via Towleroad from anti-Proposition 8 rally in West Hollywood yesterday.

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