Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Should Prop 8 Go Back to Ballot?

It's a question that Pam Spaulding poses, after posting Evan Wolfson's excellent piece on Huffington Post about the injustice that would prevail if the California Supreme Court doesn't overturn Prop 8. Pam isn't so sure we should bring this back to a ballot and thus buy into a system that that allows a minority's rights to come up for vote by the majority. I completely agree on how wrong the latter point is, but how else will Prop 8 ever be overturned if it's not a ballot measure? Do we have a choice? Says Pam:

The matter of "letting the people decide" is why I'm personally not keen on trying to put the whole matter back onto the ballot in 2010. Why do we want to legitimize an illegitimate process of putting civil rights up for a majority vote? In NC, we're fighting to keep an amendment off of the ballot because of the very principle that our rights shouldn't be determined by mob rule. The proposition system in California obviously works to our disadvantage, but that's not going away any time soon. The bottom line is that if the California Supreme Court is not ready and able to see the error it seemingly is about to make, it means we have to look to other states, rather than setting a precedent of putting the matter on a ballot. We have to pick the battles that place us on firmer, not shakier, legal ground. Ballot initiatives that go our way only lay the groundwork for the opposition to try to repeatedly overturn what it doesn't like, as we've seen with the anti-discrimination ordinances. The last thing our movement needs to have to do is re-win rights that have been won, then overturned because we affirmed majority rule in this important case.

And then there's the very real possibility we will lose as well. Then what? I will bring this up for a discussion the show today.