Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
by Rex Wockner
Resolutions were introduced in both houses of the California Legislature on Dec. 2 opposing Proposition 8, the voter-passed initiative that amended the state constitution Nov. 4 to re-ban same-sex marriage, which had been legal since June 16, following a state Supreme Court ruling.
The resolutions, put forth by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) claim that Prop. 8 was an illegal “revision” of the California Constitution rather than a mere “amendment.”
Fundamental or far-reaching changes (revisions) to the document require a two-thirds vote of the legislature, followed by voter ratification, or a constitutional convention, followed by voter ratification. Amendments, on the other hand, can be passed by 50 percent of voters after being placed on the ballot via a signature-gathering drive, as was the case with Prop. 8.
“Proposition 8’s revision to the California Constitution violates key structural checks and balances built into our legal system,” Leno said. “Overnight, the constitutional protections of thousands of tax paying, law-abiding California citizens were stripped from them by a simple majority vote, without a prior two-thirds vote by both houses of the legislature, thereby trampling on their fundamental right to equal protection.”
Prop. 8 passed Nov. 4 by a margin of 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent.
Gay rights lawyers also have put forth the “revision” argument, as well as other arguments, in lawsuits accepted by and awaiting action from the California Supreme Court.
The cases likely will be heard in March and decided by June.
California stopped issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Nov. 5, a move that was formalized by the state Supreme Court on Nov. 19 when it agreed to hear the new lawsuits.
By that time, an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples had married in the state.
Forty-four California legislators already have taken a position against Prop. 8, filing a brief with the state Supreme Court on Nov. 10 urging that it be overturned.
Signers included Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.