Thursday, May 14, 2009

Legal Brief: Huffington Post

Matt Coles, director of the ACLU's LGBT wrote an article for the Huffington Post today; Mormons and Knights and Understanding Proposition 8. As you can imagine I don't agree with Coles but I enjoy hearing all sides of an argument.

1 comment:

  1. At the end of the article Coles asks whether Mormons or Catholics would be okay with a California constitutional amendment that granted greater freedom of religion to all Californian except Mormons and Catholics. He asserts, "This is nothing more than what Proposition 8 did." Except that sexuality isn't protected in the First Amendment. Freedom of religion is. Free speech is also protected by the California State Constitution § 4. I'm actually unclear how sexual orientation is protected in California. (Judicial interpretation of the right to privacy in §1, perhaps?)

    Though I disagree with Matt Coles' policy views, I actually agree with him that the California constitutional amendment system is flawed. I don't think it makes sense for a simple majority to be able to amend a state constitution. I think only a super-majority should be allowed to do so, precisely for the reasons cited by Coles: because an easily-amended constitution can be easily manipulated so that a minority's rights can be infringed.

    However, my agreement is limited to the proper structure of constitutional amendment processes. Coles seems to think that anyone who agrees with his conclusions about constitutional amendments must therefore agree with his support of same-sex marriage. To the contrary, I still disagree with Coles that there is a legal right to marriage as long as there is equal protection under the law, as was the case in California prior to the California Supreme Court's ruling.