Gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry in California, the state Supreme Court said today in a historic ruling that could be repudiated by the voters in November.
In a 4-3 decision, the justices said the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the “fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship.” The ruling is likely to flood county courthouses with applications from couples newly eligible to marry when the decision takes effect in 30 days.
The ruling set off a celebration at San Francisco City Hall.
In the immediate aftermath here is the news about a potential ballot initiative from a pro family group to define marriage as one man and one woman in the California Constitution.
“Pro-family” organizations have submitted more than 1.1 million signatures for an initiative that would amend the state Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage. If at least 694,354 signatures are found to be valid, the measure would go on the November ballot and, if approved by voters, would override any court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.
Now, everyone will remember that same sex bans were on the ballot in 11 states in 2004: Ar, Ga., Ky, Mi, Ms, Mt, ND, Oh, Ok, Or, and Ut. Only in Oregon and Michigan did President Bush lose and in Oregon it was much closer than expected. Many people believe that in Ohio it put Bush over the top, and certainly, it didn't hurt.
California is a nearly impossible state for Reps to win, however McCain is the best Rep to win it, and there are few things that energize Republican voters like a chance to ban gay marriage. I still don't believe that this will swing California, at least not yet. I do know that if Ca. goes to Reps, that would be the nail in the coffin for Obama in the general election.
Activist judicial overreach has usually resulted in Republican electoral gains in the long run. What this court case will do is re new the debate over gay marriage. It is a debate that Republicans always are eager to have while Democrats always shudder away from. The California Supreme Court did the Democrats no favors today. Watch for this ruling to spark more states to follow in the lead of the eleven I mentioned and put an initiative to define marriage as between one man and one woman on their ballot in November. Just as it paid dividends for Bush and the Reps in 2004, so will it in 2008 for McCain and the Reps.