Cultural Battle Divides US: Supreme Court Hears Prop 8 Arguments
On November 4, 2008, California voters passed an amendment to the state's Constitution, Proposition 8 (Prop 8), that restricted marriage to a man and a woman. Demonstrations and protests followed across the state and the nation, creating a cultural battle that appears to be dividing the United States.
Social conservatives and liberals both consider California a trendsetter that could shape the same-sex marriage agenda, even though an overwhelming majority of U.S. states have laws stopping gay couples from wedding. Groups representing both sides have turned the legal fight into a broad cultural question.
Gay marriage opponents said overturning the California ban would change the nature of state government by gutting the people's right to make law.
The court would create "a sweeping power, vested in the least-democratic branch, that overrides the precious right of the people to determine how they will be governed," same-sex marriage opponents said in papers filed with the court.
Gay marriage proponents, including former Governor and current California Attorney General Jerry Brown, argue that the right to marry is part of the "inalienable right" to liberty, so the state Supreme Court must strike down an amendment to the constitution limiting it.
"What hangs in the balance is equality and justice for all," National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell told reporters before the arguments.
The court will hear three hours of arguments today and have 90 days to issue an opinion. If the Supreme Court overturns Prop 8, same-sex couples would again be permitted to marry in California.
Also on NowPublic Proposition 8 Special News Coverage, here.
Most Recommended Comment
Negros Oriental, Philippines