UPDATE: The bans against gay marriage in California have been overturned by the state's Supreme Court. Read the opinion here.
As I write this, people are awaiting today's decision from the California Supreme Court as to whether the gay marriages that were allowed - arguably, ordered - by San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsome are legitimate. It is a fight that boils down to whether judicial activism will triumph over legislative action and, more importantly, what people have decided.
Some years back, the voters in California passed Proposition 22 that became law by which "marriage" was defined to be a civil contract between a man and a woman only. That is how it reads in California's Family Code. Same sex partners can enter into a registered domestic partnership and, should things not "work out", can petition the Court to dissolve the partnership, at which time the laws governing the dissolution of a marriage generally apply. In short, while we don't yet have gay marriage, California has gay divorce.
The Supreme Court's decision comes out today at 10:00 a.m. PST. I will read it with both a professional interest as well as a personal one. I have been asked, how can a Catholic lawyer "do divorces?" I point out that what I do is to dissolve civil contracts, but the Sacramental marriage stays the same. For this reason, the idea of a gay marriage does not make me run to the hills, looking for the End Times. However, I am quite wary of judicial activism - how does a court overturn the will of the people? But then, I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution - both state and federal - and if a law is unconstitutional, it must be stricken. And I have never been a proponent of California propositions because it is a system that allows a lot of well-intentioned but misguided or poorly planned laws to come into effect, and I don't cotton to the unwashed masses trying to legislate morality.
I'll keep you posted.