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CA Supreme Court to Hear Prop 8 Arguments

"Today, the California Supreme Court took an important step in resolving the most important civil rights issue of our generation."
On March 5 the California Supreme Court will hear arguments  on the validity of Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage that California that passed in November.  The court has also asked both sides to present arguments on whether the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed in California before the election will remain valid if Prop. 8 is upheld; those opposed to civil marriage equality want those marriages invalidated.

The plaintiffs -- including same-sex couples, the ACLU, and a group of local governments, led by the city of San Francisco -- argue that a measure eliminating fundamental rights from a historically persecuted minority amounts to a revision of the Constitution and exceeds the power of initiatives.

A revision can be placed on the ballot only by a two-thirds legislative vote or by delegates to a state constitutional convention, a main argument against Proposition 8's validity.

Opponents of Prop. 8  also argue that Prop 8 violates the constitutional separation of powers by stripping the judiciary of its ability to protect a minority group. Attorney General Jerry Brown sides with No on Prop 8, arguing that the measure is invalid for another reason: Without a compelling justification, it abolishes "inalienable rights," guaranteed by the state Constitution.

The court has upheld such challenges to initiatives only twice in its history, in 1948 and 1990.

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, who was unflatteringly depicted in Yes on 8's commercials, responded to the news of the hearing with this statement: