In the past few years, California’s proposition 8, which banned gay marriage across the state has been fought, fought, defeated, fought some more, and finally punted back down to the part where it was defeated. The end result is that gays can marry in California, and since that actually means something on a Government level, that’s pretty cool.
But what many people seem to forget is that way back in 2008, Proposition 8 was originally a vote to overturn a perceived abuse of power by the California government. Prop 8 argued that California officials “legalized” gay marriage in the state without having apolitical justification to do so. Prop 8 was a bill intended to negate gay marriage on the basis that it was instated via an abuse of political power.
People also seem to forget that Prop 8 won. It actually won by a pretty solid margin.
Gay marriage is now recognized on a federal level, but it is still up to individual states to decide whether they wish to allow gay marriages. These decisions will be based on the wills of each state’s citizens. That is, except in California.
Because Prop 8 is now gone, California resorts back to its original status of gay marriage being legal. This doesn’t change the fact that this original decision was still the work of policy makers and not public choice. At no point in history have the citizens of California voted to make gay marriage legal in the state. Thus, Gay marriage should not be legal in California.
I would love to see another California proposition to make gay marriage legal, but as it stands the public wishes are being ignored. Recent polls show Californians would likely vote in support of gay marriage today, but these polls mean nothing without a proper vote.
Imagine if everything had been flipped. Imagine if in 2008, Prop 8 fails and gays can marry. Then, anti-gay-marriage groups fight the bill up into the Supreme Court (they absolutely would). Then, by the slightest majority gay marriage is re-banned. My hypothetical Facebook bookmark just exploded.
Yes, people would be upset at the moral implications of this decision, but that’s not what I’m arguing here. The same groups triumphantly celebrating today would instead be enraged that the voting will of the State was completely ignored. Calls of “Democratic slaughter” would be everywhere. Where are those same defenders of Democracy today?
What I’m asking is what makes California different? Why does every other U.S. state have to drum up public opinion to legalize gay marriage, yet California can ignore the will of its people?
As a supporter of human beings, I really like today. As someone who believes in a fair Democracy, I’m not a big fan.