The California Supreme Court finds itself center stage this Thursday when it will hear oral arguments on whether it should uphold Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The case touches the heart of our democracy and poses a profound question: can a bare majority of voters strip away an inalienable right through the initiative process? If so, what possible meaning does the word inalienable have?
The state faced a dilemma like this before. In 1964, 65 percent of California voters approved Proposition 14, which would have legalized racial discrimination in the selling or renting of housing. Both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts struck down this proposition, concluding that it amounted to an unconstitutional denial of rights.
As California’s Attorney General, I believe the Court should strike down Proposition 8 for remarkably similar reasons — because it unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples and deprives them of the fundamental right to marry.