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May 27, 2009

Q&A with Lambda's Jon Davidson on the Prop 8 ruling

In a Q&A with the National Law Journal (free registration required), Lambda Legal's Jon Davidson notes the anomalies and unanswered questions left in the wake of the California Supreme Court's decision upholding Proposition 8. 

Davidson notes that the decision seems inconsistent with the court's ruling last year that creating a legal status for gay couples but refusing to call it "marriage" was inherently unequal:

They seemed to say all that's really being taken away is the designation of marriage, but that's inconsistent with how important they said that was in their decision in May. They noted that being relegated to some other institution — which is what they're saying is OK to do here; you can have the same rights but it's not going to be called marriage — sends a message that your relationship is inferior to the majority's, that you are a second class citizen, that we are setting you aside in a way that conveys that you're unequal and, as the court pointed out before, there are real world consequences of that.

The way I think about it is [that] if Prop 8 had instead said [that] only a marriage between white people is valid or recognized in California and all other relationships between other couples are limited to domestic partnerships, would anybody say that's a limited amendment to the Constitution?

Davidson also notes the unanswered questions left by the decision, such as the status of same-sex couples who were legally married outside of California during the time that such marriages were legal inside California.


May 27, 2009 | Permalink


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