Gay Marriage: California Court Upholds Ban

      The California Supreme Court has upheld the November 2008 ballot initiative that reinstituted a ban on same-sex marriage. But the ruling upheld the validity of the estimated 18,000 unions entered into between gay or lesbian couples under the state high court’s decision in May 2008 recognizing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
      The 6-1 decision upholding Proposition 8 ruled that the measure defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman amounted to a “constitutional amendment” instead of a “constitutional revision” that could be adopted only after approval by the state legislature as well as voters. But the opinion stressed that the court’s earlier ruling that laws discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation are subject to strict constitutional scrutiny remains in place.
      What do you think? Should same-sex couples have the right to marry? Should the issue be decided by legislatures, courts or the voters? For background, see Kenneth Jost, “Gay Marriage Showdowns,” CQ Researcher, Sept. 26, 2008.