On January 11, Prop 8 will return to court in California. The federal lawsuit will be held in the US District Court in San Francisco and could possibly last up to a month. The city of San Francisco will be intervening on the side of gay marriage after several gay rights groups were blocked from it. These groups, however, will be considered “friends of the court” and will have advisory status.
The defendants in the case are not expected to defend Prop 8 because many have expressed agreement that it violated the US Constitution. However, the passing of the proposition amended the California Constitution, making the case a battle of federal vs state law.
On the side of gay marriage, the plaintiffs will argue that Prop 8 violates the due process and equal protection clauses set forth in the US Constitution. They will try to show that the law is discriminatory based on sexual orientation and that it creates a “disfavoured” legal status for those affected. The other side, though not necessarily the defendants set forth in the suit, will likely present and argument based on states’ rights.
Many believe that this case will move on to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals and then on to the US Supreme Court before finally coming to an end. If this is the case, a ruling in opposition to Prop 8 could mean an end to all gay marriage bans in the US. Obviously, a great deal is hinged upon this case.
I’m interested to see what will come of this case. Though there are a lot of predictions, there are no guarantees that it will even get beyond this next hearing. If that is the case, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more smaller cases on the same subject over the next few years. On the other hand, this could lead to a key victory for gay rights over the next year or two.
For more on current marriage law in California, check out this San Jose family lawyer website. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.