Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Will California's gay marriage ruling impact N.C.?

Gay rights proponents in North Carolina may be heartened by a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, but it's likely that the case won't affect our state's upcoming vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9
th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against California's Proposition 8, which voters approved after the state supreme court had struck down a law that limited marriage to between a man and a women. The appeals court panel ruled that those rights couldn't be rescinded.

That ruling was so specific to California that it doesn't apply to other states, says
Holning Lau, an associate professor of law at UNC Chapel Hill. "The appeals court said that Proposition 8 is problematic because it involves taking away marriage rights," says Lau, who specializes in constitutional law, as well as sexual orientation and the law. "That hasn't happened anywhere else in the country."

The best hope for gay rights advocates in North Carolina is that the California case makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court. Proposition 8 proponents say they are contemplating whether to ask the full 9
th Circuit Court to hear the case first. If they choose the Supreme Court instead, the case would likely be heard next year.

That's if it's heard at all. Experts say the narrowness of the 9
th Circuit ruling might prompt the Supreme Court to pass on the case. Or justices could take the case and rule as narrowly as the panel did Tuesday.

We hope the U.S. Supreme Court takes advantage of this opportunity to take the wider view and address the constitutionality of denying gays the state-sanctioned right to marry. That will happen eventually,
Lau says, but this court has a history of taking a minimalist approach and ruling only on the case at hand.

"I do think that eventually the Supreme Court is going to have to deal with the issue of marriage equality," he says. "The question is when."

Peter St. Onge


Wiley Coyote said...

...only in Ashville.

Archiguy said...

A question of civil rights, which is all this is when you sweep away the Biblical rhetoric, should never be put to a popular referendum. Too easy for a "tyranny of the majority" to deny equal rights to a persecuted minority.

The electorate can be persuaded to vote for nearly anything - look what the Nazi party was able to do to the most secular, well educated, and technologically advanced nation in Europe back in the 90's with complete control of the media. Hatred for Jews was mainstreamed astonishingly quickly.

Hate filled propaganda can easily sway the weak-minded - just listen to AM talk radio. America's ideal of equal rights for all must remain above that kind of blatant political manipulation.

Wiley Coyote said...

...The electorate can be persuaded to vote for nearly anything

I agree.

Look at the current Socialist, flip-flopping fish currently occupying the White House.

"Did you vote for Obama?".



"For Change"

"What kind of change?"

"I don't know, just for change"...

You're right. Sheeple will vote for anything or anybody..

Archiguy said...

Frankly Mr. Coyote, if you think Obama is a socialist (I'll give you flip-flop if you'll find me a politician who doesn't), I've got some nice beachfront property in Arizona you can buy. But I realize it's something you heard on AM radio, so you predictably regurgitate it here. Ironically, that proves my point in the above post - folks like you can be made to believe almost anything. Thanks for that.

Wiley Coyote said...

No Mr. Archiguy... Obama's actions make him "socialistic".

Of course, a sheeple such as yourself wouldn't know, afterall, you must follow the talking points!

Garth Vader said...


You are right in saying Obama voters wanted "change".

You are wrong in believing they got any.

Bailouts, wars, currency destruction, unemployment, destruction of the Constitution: Obama is Bush's third term. If you liked W you should love BHO.

cooldela1966 said...

The CA decision will only fire up the voters of NC. Liberal court decisions don't ring well with many of the older voters.