HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Friday, October 10, 2008


Hartford, Connecticut -- The Connecticut Supreme Court in a 4-3 ruling says same-sex couples have a right to marry, making it the third state in the nation to legalize gay marriages.
The legal reasoning - as reported by msnbc.com - is identical to that used by the California Supreme Court in March.
The Connecticut high court said the state's marriage law discriminates against (Gays) because it applies only to heterosexual couples, therefore denying gay couples the financial, social and emotional benefits of marriage.
"Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established, equal-protection principles leads inevitable to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same-sex partner of their choice," wrote Justice Richard N. Palmer in the majority Opinion that overturned a lower-court ruling.
The California high court made a similar ruling.
"(B)ecause of the widespread disparagement that gay individuals historically have faced, it is all the more probable that excluding same-sex couples from the legal institution of marriage is likely to be viewed as reflecting an official view that their committed relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex couples," California's Chief Justice Ron M. George wrote in his court's majority Opinion.
Based on the same equal-protection argument used by Massachusetts and Connecticut, the California high court ruled that "the failure to designate the official relationship of same-sex couples as marriage violates the California Constitution."
Those supporting Proposition 8 on the November ballot, which will overturn the California ruling and embed unlawful discrimination into our state Constitution, use a meritless argument in their ads currently running on TV.
They claim that, because voters approved an initiative in 2000 that declared that marriage was limited to a man and woman, the state's high court should have followed that initiative.
The argument is legally invalid.
If an initiative were passed that declared that a wife was the "property" of her husband and must always do as he says, that would obviously violate the state Constitution and be declared unconstitutional. It could not be enforced.
Voters cannot use a state initiative to violate the law.
But, they can change the Constitution and make it discriminatory, and that is what Proposition 8 accomplishes.
The California court's ruling simply says that the current state statues in the Family Law Code limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violates the equal-protection clause of the Constitution.
With three high-court decisions on the issue, voters need to recognize that the law on marriages is changing, and the tide is moving away from restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples.
The Connecticut court's decision further validates that the California court had already said, and may influence voters to reject Proposition 8 in November.
The Connecticut Supreme Court staff is sending a full, hard-copy of their ruling to San Diego News Service. It will be carefully studied and a legal analysis of the Opinion will be posted here.
Copyright, 2008 by journalist Leo E. Laurence, J.D. leopowerhere@msn.com (619) 757-4909


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