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Senate approves resolution opposing Proposition 8

Gay Just days before the matter is to be taken up by California’s Supreme Court, the state Senate today approved a resolution today calling Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage, an improper revision of the Constitution because it was not approved by the Legislature.

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said the initiative is a fundamental revision to the document, not an amendment, and therefore required deliberation by the Legislature and a two-thirds vote of both houses to put it on the ballot.

"Do we have a constitutional democracy in California, or do we have mob rule?" Leno asked his colleagues before the 18-14 vote approved the resolution.

The issue of whether proper procedures were followed in putting the measure on the ballot is to be considered Thursday, when the state Supreme Court takes up a legal challenge to the ballot measure.

Republican senators said the resolution was an inappropriate attempt by the Legislature to influence the courts.

"Californians have spoken. They have spoken a couple of times," said Sen. George Runner (R-Lancaster). "I guess I don’t see the California citizens, who I believe thoughtfully went to their voting places, as participating in mob rule."

--Patrick McGreevy

Photo: Protesters demonstrate against Proposition 8. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (77)

The California Senate did the right thing today. Our state constitution's equal protection clause is meaningless if a majority can vote to take away the rights of a minority. Proposition 8 cannot be allowed to stand without eviscerating a core constitutional principle.

I hope that the Assembly will soon follow suit with a yes vote on HR 5.

The California Senate is a bunch of dirtbags that don't give a hoot about what voters or taxpayers think. They do whatever their twisted minds want and the heck with what voters pass.
Guess what you clowns? Mob rule is what we are headed for if the Voters will is overturned!

"Do we have a constitutional democracy in California, or do we have mob rule?" "

Apparently, we have Mob rule.

I'm going to form my own Mob to redefine "responsible tax payer".

Good ol R-Tom Harman Huntington Beach states Prop 8 is not an amendment because it is a "14 worded initiative" but when D-Mark Leno San Francisco asked would it be an amendment if it stated "Jews can't marry"? Good ol R-Tom Harman Huntington Beach DID NOT EVEN ANSWER!!! I wonder WHY HE DIDN"T ANSWER THAT ONE?????? haha PATHETIC!!!!

This is really great news!! AND I hope the start to finally give equal rights to everyone and end to HATE and discrimination.

Regardless of my opinion about gay marriage, the idea of popular referendum is not "mob rule." In California, we instituted the concept of popular referendum to check the power of politicians and to hold them responsible to the voters. Leno is disguising his dislike of popular vote by calling it "mob rule." Prop 8 was a legitimate exercise according to the principles outlined in our state constitution regardless of how much I dislike Prop 8.

The constitution guarantees rights for citizens and fundamental revisions of this document should be protected against. We cant have a ballot measure on such a thing. A ballot measure was created to disallow the rights of a minority group based on a subjective interpretation of what marriage is.


Like it or not, the sleeping giant has been awakened. What was once a political movement (and subsequent backlash) has become a societal shift. Fifty years from now, my grandkids yet to be born will ask what all the fuss was about. We ask now of our grandparents what the big deal was about interracial marriage (well, most of us do, anyway, Confederates notwithstanding). The Bible can be used justify or forbid anything, so those arguments will always fail. (Thank the Lord, because I would hate to give up bacon.)

Unconstitutional? Then why not take the issue before the US Supreme Court? Oh, that's right, it's because they know prop 8 would be upheld in federal court.

So now we start this old song and dance again. The politicains are "smarter" then the people, so they only get to make the decisions. The money this state wastes on these thing amazes me. First Prop 8 was a ballot issue, then it loses, and now all of sudden it's a legislative issue. Soon that opinion will be taken to court and a few million more dollars will be spent on what is essentailly a dog chasing his own tail.

Californians, wake up! We voted, and there was a result. Some people didn't like it, others did. To the winners, congrats. To the losers, too bad, better luck next time. But this needs to end NOW! I am so tired of money being needlessly consumed by state politicans and lawyers. Enough!!

Runner is too stupid to be a state rep, and is intentionally complicating an important debate, with political rhetoric. We must get this bum out!

Didn't we already vote on this. Why is the legislation going against the people's will again.

I voted to allow but I believe the Senate has a responsibility to the voters.

I would be outraged, but it's just so predictable. I've already lost ALL faith in California lawmakers (how long does it take to approve a budget?), so to see them turn their backs on the people who elected them is not even surprising any more. Just disappointing.

Good. We need to stop the discrimination and allow everyone's relationships to be recognized equally. It doesn't matter if it's called marriage or civil unions, as long as everyone is treated the same way.


So in Leno's version of a constitutional democracy, the courts and the voting public have no place; the heavily gerrymandered Senate is the supreme and sole ruler...

Josh (and the others who spoke below),

Have you actually studied what qualifies as a "constitutional revision" under the law? Looking at the precedent of cases which have come before, the voters were well within their means to pass this initiative. This was not by any stretch of the law a revision, as defined by the court in past cases. Furthermore, despite the faulty logic employed by the court in the cases which legalized same-sex marriage, citizens do not and have never had a "fundamental right to marry anyone." There are myriad reasons for this, but suffice it to say that this is clearly not the case. The matter of whether same sex couples should be a union sanctioned by the state (and given specific privileges, etc.) is a matter of decision by the people, not fundamental rights. Just like a decision of what the legal age for marriage is, how many people you can marry, etc. You can't draw an imaginary line in the sand and say "this is where my fundamental rights begin," because someone else down the line can make exactly as persuasive an argument, rendering yours obsolete.

Marriage is on aspect of the law where, like it or not, churches and state are intertwined. Because of this, the legalization of same-sex marriage would have a devastating impact on the freedom of California citizens to exercise religion. I have no problem with same sex couples enjoying the same rights as heterosexual couples, but changing the government-sanctioned meaning of the word marriage would overturn the will of the people and further harm the already-damaged unit of the family.

I am a registered Republican voter. I commend the logic and common sense of every state senator who believes that the civil rights of any minority may not be abridged by a popular vote, and thus voted in favor of this resolution.


I agree with this decision and applaud it. And I believe the CA Supreme Court will rule similarly. It should take more than a popular vote to modify the California State Constitution, otherwise there will be chaos. And no vote should be able to take away the civil rights of any individual, so what is really in question here is the legal definition of marriage, not the question of whether any two consenting people of legal age can be joined in a civil union and enjoy all the same rights as a married couple. You don't have to be gay to understand that equal rights are guaranteed under California law. I have observed many happy gay families in my community, and think the time has come to remove the stigma from this lifestyle so the children of these loving, devoted parents can feel accepted by society.

A ballot was put before me to vote on. This ballot had gone through the legal channels I believe. My decision to vote banning gay marriage was my right. And now I see that when something that the state Senate wanted in the first place did not happen, they change the rules. I believe they would have upheld the ruling had it gone the other way.


Perhaps we should get to vote on your marriage as well, and maybe everyone elses? Maybe you don't have sex often enough, or say "I love you" to your husband enough times per week. Maybe you don't take good enough care of your kids (perhaps we can also vote on whether they should be taken away?)

How does all that sound?


Let's see ... 6.3 million people in California, approx. 17% of the state's population voted to take away the marriage rights of a minority. I'd hardly call 6.3 million people a majority. The State Supreme Court will right this wrong. There is a reason for the equal protection clause in the state constitution.

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