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Here’s a proposition for you … just leave the gays alone, would you?!

california-constitution.jpgHere in California, we’ve got a weird form of democracy. With enough support, people can get propositions placed onto statewide ballots. If these propositions pass, state laws or the California Constitution itself are amended. The idea is great on paper, as it puts true legislative power in the people’s hands. Of course, trouble is, the people are generally fucking stupid. And the propositions are invariably backed by big interest groups trying to push through their own agendas, hoping to snow the generally fucking stupid people. Plus, the propositions that have been voted through have caused many of the state laws to become sloppy and, but for a few of them (such as the much needed Prop 64, which necessarily took a little bite out of our relatively unique Unfair Competition laws), the impact ends up being small.

I bring all this up as background to understanding Proposition 8, which is now slated to appear on our fall ballot. This proposition would amend the California Constitution to ban marriage, by placing the following language in our constitution: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” In light of the Cali Supreme Court giving the ok to state-sponsored gay marriage, this is a particularly hot-button topic out here and the backers of Prop 8 had no trouble getting enough signatures for the Proposition to appear on the fall ballot although, from studies and polls I’ve seen, a majority of Californians support or are indifferent to gay marriage.

In any event, a lawsuit was filed last month against the Secretary of State in an attempt to put the kibosh on Prop 8. The lawsuit claims that the signature gathering was flawed, and that the proposition is more akin to a revision of the Constitution, rather than an amendment, which requires an entirely different process (the state Legislature must approve the revision, and the revision must then be ratified by the people). I’m actually a bit torn on the thing. Not substantively — I’m behind gay marriage 100%. Rather, part of me would like to see the Prop 8 vote over and done with, for better or worse. But another part of me thinks that a delay can only help the anti-Prop 8 cause, as voters see that, over time, gay marriage doesn’t make our state fall into the ocean. But I guess it’s up to the California Supreme Court now, so we’ll just have to wait and see how it shakes out.