Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Legal Commentary: Prop 8 Overturned

The 4-3 ruling declared that the state Constitution protects a fundamental "right to marry" that extends equally to same-sex couples. It tossed a highly emotional issue into the election year while opening the way for tens of thousands of gay people to wed in California, starting as early as mid-June.

The majority opinion, by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, declared that any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation will from this point on be constitutionally suspect in California in the same way as laws that discriminate by race or gender, making the state's high court the first in the nation to adopt such a stringent standard.
A lot of people will be focusing on the first paragraph, but I'm actually interested in the second paragraph. Not only in this instance is the law an over-reach, but for the State of California, any law that singles out sexual orientation will be treated as suspect. That's a stronger, broader protection than granting the right of marriage.

Which, of course, is awesome enough.