Update: Oh, it's dropped, baby. It's dropped. Start here.
Enjoy your weekend. All hell’s gonna break lose on Tuesday.
The California Supreme Court announced today that in four days it will release its much-anticipated ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the controversial November ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage. If the court upholds Prop 8, it will also have to decide whether the 18,000 gay marriages conducted between June and November will stand.
Based on oral arguments on March 5, we predict that Prop 8 will be affirmed by the court by a 5-2 vote, but that the marriages performed in the interim will be declared valid. But some predict that the high court could do something unpredictable, such as uphold Prop 8, while ordering the state Legislature to end marriage as we know it and allow only civil unions. That would leave the term “marriage” to churches.
All eyes on Moreno, after the jump.
One thing to watch is how Justice Carlos Moreno votes. He’s on the Obama administration’s short list to replace David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court (and up for the gig, he tells Legal Pad), so Moreno’s position will be heavily scrutinized. Moreno voted with the majority to legalize gay marriage last year, and in the March 5 arguments seemed strongly opposed to Prop 8. This is the sort of thing that comes up in confirmation hearings, you know.
The San Francisco city attorney’s office and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have already called a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in City Hall’s South Light Court. Prop 8 opponents also plan to march from St. Francis Lutheran Church at 152 Church St. to the Civic Center from 9:15-10 a.m. and, if the marriage ban is upheld, a group of Bay Area clergy and their congregants will engage in non-violent civil disobedience in the Civic Center at 10:30.
In a press release, Kathryn Kendell, NCLR’s executive director, said today that a ruling upholding Prop 8 would be a “terrible blow” to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.
“But we must be prepared,” she said. “If we lose, we will mourn, but we will not rest. We will work relentlessly to regain our equality at the ballot and to remind our fellow Californians that all families deserve the same dignity and respect.”
Pro-Prop 8 groups had not issued any statements as of 11:15 today.
— Mike McKee