The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) argued in its petition that the initiative, which would strip same-sex couples of the right to marry, is such a significant change in the California Constitution that it constitutes a revision, not a mere amendment, to the Constitution and therefore requires a more deliberative democratic process before being presented to voters. (credit for images) If passed, the measure would strip a fundamental right from a specified minority – which is just the sort of majoritarian action that courts, not electorates, are best positioned to reckon with. Donna Ryu, a clinical professor of law at the University of California,
For me, having recently moved into the democratic chaos of
But it’s being part of a California lesbian family that makes me feel as if history -- and marriage -- have been thrust upon me, like it or not. Everyone has asked, “so, are you getting married now?!” Yes, I think we are, but I can’t help but be startled by the question. Perhaps I should have spent more time preparing for this moment of liberation; instead, I was figuring out how to build a relationship in spite of legal and political obstacles -- and developing a healthy skepticism about marriage as an institution. From Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (p. 302):
Reader, my story ends with freedom; not in the usual way, with marriage.
(Cross-posted at Legal History Blog)