Monday, March 2, 2009

CA legislature urges the overturn of Prop. 8

Just days before the important Prop. 8 hearings at the California Supreme Court, California lawmakers overstepped their bounds within the principle of separation of powers and passed resolutions to overturn Prop. 8.

The amazing BeetleBlogger reports:

This update just came screaming down the wires from Karen England at the Capitol….

California Legislature Violates Separation of Powers, Passes Anti-Prop 8 Resolutions

Moments ago the Assembly and Senate passed resolutions stating their opposition to Proposition 8.

Both houses of the state legislature are trying to go on record opposing Proposition 8 prior to the California Supreme Court’s hearing of the lawsuits against Proposition 8 on Thursday. In lengthy floor debates, Democrats passed HR 5 (Ammiano) and SR 7 (Leno), which express the opinion of the legislature that Proposition 8 was an unconstitutional revision and must be ruled invalid. However, the legislature’s passage of HR 5 and SR 7 violates the separation of powers doctrine which clearly instructs the legislature to refrain from influencing the judicial process, particularly pending legal cases.

Many Democrats rose to speak out against Proposition 8, even those from districts that clearly voted in favor of Proposition 8. “How arrogant for these lawmakers to express their personal opposition to Proposition 8 and try to persuade the court when their constituents voted in favor of traditional marriage,” stated Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute.

Assemblyman Van Tran eloquently pointed out that HR 5 is an attempt to “retroactively disenfranchise the votes of over 7 million voters” who passed
Proposition 8. He explained that HR 5 is also an “illegal ex parte communication with the court.” Tran went on to chastise the Democrats for seeking to unduly influence the judicial review of Proposition 8 after the people had voted, and the legislature is politicizing the judicial process just a few days before the hearing.

Republican assemblymen Chuck DeVore, Ted Gaines, Joel Anderson, Steve Knight, Mike Villines and Dan Logue all rose to speak out against HR 5 and affirm the people’s right to pass Proposition 8.

Joel Anderson called on this fellow lawmakers to refrain from interpreting the law in the legislature, leaving that constitutional duty to the judicial branch.


Christa here again. Seriously, this is getting so frustrating! What do you do when the constitutional, proper channels for decision making in this nation fail? I feel nigh unto my wit's end, thinking that all the hours and hours of time - not to mention the thousands of dollars of hard-earned money - that went to pass Prop. 8 will go down the drains with the court's ruling. The people have voted twice, and yet representatives spoke up against their constituents' votes, and the activist judges are unlikely to uphold the vote.

All we can do is to pray. Pray hard, and remind God that there are still those who will fight for what's right, regardless of what circumstances we face. There really is no other choice. Even if our victories get taken from us, the choices we make and the stances we take never can. In the end, that's going to have to matter more than the final outcome.


Kate said...

Cry all you want... civil rights should NEVER be put to the vote of the American public.

If it were left up to voting, we'd still have slaves and you'd still be unable to vote.

Sorry you're disgruntled, but the legislative and judicial branches of our government exist to protect the rights of the minorities.

Christa Jeanne said...

Kate, have you read the Constitution recently? The government is not set up to protect the rights of minority classes. Which isn't to say that they don't do that, because they do, but that is certainly not their sole function. At all.

In a governmental contract, people submit certain rights to the government in exchange for certain benefits. I agree to abide by the laws in order to have the use of roads and the protection of the military, things I can't do for myself. But when government oversteps its bounds and strips people of rights in favor of other groups, there's a problem. It goes both ways.

Frankly, the civil rights analogy doesn't hold up water in likening it to Prop. 8 in my book. They're apples and oranges. How many gay people have had to sit in the back of the bus? Race is something you're born into - it's a noun, not a verb. While people may have inborn inclinations toward homosexuality, it is in the doing - the verb - that defines someone as "gay," just as how I am Mormon because I live by that set of rules, so to speak. It's what I do that sets me apart in that way.

Now, gay marriage alters the basic marital covenant in a way that interracial marriage did not. Black, white, Asian, Hispanic - marriage was still between one man and one woman, with the end purpose of creating a family. That is simply not biologically possible for a same-sex couple. Period. You can't argue that.

So same-sex marriage isn't about gaining rights - it's about altering the institution that's been the foundation of our society for millenia, and when you do that, you open a Pandora's box because you therefore alter every codified reference to "marriage" in law. There's an overwhelming amount of statistical evidence that shows that a nuclear, traditional family with a mother and father is the most stable societal unit - therefore, it should be fostered and encouraged because it benefits the greater good.