The Supreme Court has been hearing arguments from both sides examining the constitutionality Prop of Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment that legally prohibits gay marriage.
While it’s good the law is being heard in the Supreme Court, Prop. 8 should never have been a law in the first place. The fact that there is a national debate over whether to deny a group of people their civil rights is unacceptable.
The debate has a significant amount of support on both sides - after all, Prop. 8 only passed by five points. The law met legal opposition in August 2010 when it was overturned by the Northern California Federal District Court for violating the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
The case was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which also determined Prop. 8 is unconstitutional.
With so much legal backing for its unconstitutionality, it is unacceptable that the law is still on the books. For example, according to “Huffington Post,” even the two lawyers who fought against each other in Bush v. Gore, Ted Olson and David Boies, are working together in order to get Proposition 8 declared unconstitutional, and same-sex marriage legalized.
It seems as though even if there’s not much consensus among Americans, there could very well be a consensus about the unconstitutionality of banning same-sex marriage. This consensus is reinforced by how weak the arguments of the attorney advocating for Prop. 8 are.
“The State’s interest and society’s interest in what we have framed as responsible procreation is vital,” said attorney Charles Cooper said during the oral arguments heard March 26. “But at the bottom, with respect to those interests, our submission is that same-sex marriage couples and opposite-sex couples are simply not similarly situated.”
Justices Breyer, Kagan and Scalia all immediately attacked Cooper’s point, arguing that, under
Cooper’s logic, anyone infertile would have to be banned from getting married, too.
This is just one example of the overall illogical discrimination of Prop. 8 and its proponents. The
ballot measure denies the right to marry to 5.2 percent or more than 1.8 million Californians, according to American Community Survey data. If the law were to be upheld by the Supreme Court, more than 10 million Americans would be denied the right to get married.
As such, the Supreme Court should declare Prop. 8 to be unconstitutional and grant people the right to get married to any consenting adult they want.