Gay rights backers file 3 lawsuits challenging Prop. 8
Now that California's Proposition 8 has passed, which cancels the gay marriage ruling and nullifies all the marriages which have been performed - including that of Ellen DeGeneres - gay rights advocates are deciding what to do next. They've filed three lawsuits challenging the legailty of the proposition.
Reporting from San Francisco and Los Angeles -- After losing at the polls, gay rights supporters filed three lawsuits Wednesday asking the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8, an effort the measure's supporters called an attempt to subvert the will of voters.
"If they want to legalize gay marriage, what they should do is bring an initiative themselves and ask the people to approve it," said Frank Schubert, co-chairman of the Proposition 8 campaign. "But they don't. They go behind the people's back to the courts and try and force an agenda on the rest of society."
Lawyers for same-sex couples argued that the anti-gay-marriage measure was an illegal constitutional revision -- not a more limited amendment, as backers maintained -- because it fundamentally altered the guarantee of equal protection. A constitutional revision, unlike an amendment, must be approved by the Legislature before going to voters.
The state high court has twice before struck down ballot measures as illegal constitutional revisions, but those initiatives involved "a broader scope of changes," said former California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin, who publicly opposed Proposition 8 and was part of an earlier legal challenge to it. The court has suggested that a revision may be distinguished from an amendment by the breadth and the nature of the change, Grodin said