Wednesday, June 04, 2008

CA will have referendum on supreme court gay marriage ruling; Americans may be changing opinions

On Monday, June 2, the California secretary of state announced that a referendum measure to limit marriage to “one man and one woman” by amendment to the state constitution would be on the general election ballot on November 4.

However, for voters to do so would, given the wording of the court’s opinion, codify into law the idea that people who do not marry opposite sex members may sometimes, even as individuals, be treated as second class citizens and be expected to make sacrifices for those who do (see posting May 15 on this blog).

USA Today this morning (June 4) reports a Gallup poll that claims that 63% of Americans view marriage as a private choice. Only 33% believe that the government may regulate such a “choice: and 4% had no opinion. So a referendum this time might really fail. (The Briggs initiative to prohibit retention of gay teachers failed in California in 1978 by a 3 to 2 ratio.) The story also gave references to other stories in Massachusetts and Virginia. The story indicates that voters are beginning to see that life has not changed that much in Massachusetts as a result of the state supreme court opinion forcing legal recognition of gay marriage. The story (“Most say gay marriage private choice”) is by Cathy Lynn Grossman and the link is here.

There are multiple media reports to the effect that later today (June 4) the California state Supreme Court refused to stay its order in view of a likely referendum, and indicated that marriage licenses could be issued June 17.

Update: July 16

The California Supreme Court refused to stop the referendum, known as Proposition 8. The CNN story is " Californians cleared to vote on same-sex marriage ban," link here.

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