Saturday, August 9, 2008

Same Sex marriage on November 5

Peleg and I plan to be married some time before the election. We already had our big church wedding two years ago to mark our tenth anniversary. So this event will be strictly a legal affair of having one of my minister friends sign our license. But then comes the question of what will happen to that marriage if on November 4, California voters approve Proposition 8, which would "eliminate the right of same sex couples to marry" (as titled by Jerry Brown, our Attorney General). Would a marriage that was legal in June, July, August, September, October, or the first week of November, still be legal after November 4, or would our marriages be nullified?

Jerry Brown has said that the State's legal position will be that the existing marriages would stand. Thus he would defend couples like Peleg and I if anybody sued to dissolve our marriage. I appreciate his support but I think he's wrong, legally. The text of the constitutional amendment we're voting on is clear: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The amendment doesn't talk about weddings, it talks about marriages. It's not just the "right to marry" that is being eliminated, it is the right to have that marriage "recognized" in California. If Peleg and I wanted to receive any of the State-granted benefits of marriage after November 4, the State would have to recognize us as a married couple, which the Constitution (if Prop 8 succeeds) would expressly forbid.

The final decision will be made by the Courts, if Proposition 8 passes, and I am completely convinced that Prop. 8 will not pass. And it is partly the prospect of forcibly invalidating so many thousands of loving, legal marriages, that makes the Proposition so unattractive.


Anonymous said...

Rev --

Election day is November 4, not 11.

Rev. Ricky Hoyt said...

thanks. I fixed the date in the post.