Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The People of California Will Have the Final Say in Protecting Traditional Marriage

Yesterday, the
California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, certified the California Marriage Protection Act ("Amendment") for the November 2008 ballot. The Amendment to the California Constitution states: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Liberty Counsel recently filed a Petition requesting the California Supreme Court to stay its opinion pending the vote in November. The Petition also requests the Court to reconsider its decision. Liberty Counsel represents the Campaign for California Families.

A recent poll conducted on May 30, 2008 by ccAdvertising shows that 56% of California residents support marriage as one man and one woman. A poll a few weeks ago by the Los Angeles Times similarly revealed that 54% of those polled supported the Amendment and only 35% opposed it.

Almost two months after the March 4 oral argument, 1,120,590 signed petitions were submitted to the Secretary of State. Only 694,354 petitions were needed to place the Amendment on the November ballot. Unlike Proposition 22, which passed by a margin of 61.4 percent in 2000, but was not a constitutional amendment, the Amendment would amend the state constitution so that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

In light of the certification of the Amendment for the November ballot, the Court must stay its May 15 decision. The Amendment would overrule the Court’s decision and nullify any licenses issued between the end of June and November.

If the Court's ruling goes into effect without modification, individuals could create polygamous and polyamorous relationships. Liberty Counsel
has a chart explaining this problem in its Petition and on its web site at www.LC.org. The Court has inadvertently created a system that hopelessly entangles property, custody, visitation and other rights. The decision should therefore be stayed.

Now that we know for certain the California Marriage Protection Act will appear on the November ballot, the California Supreme Court must stay its decision. Issuing a stay is the only course of action. The people of California will have the final say on marriage. I have no doubt that when the people vote, they will affirm marriage as one man and one woman.