When we defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman back in 2004, “progressives” shook their heads and figured that such a vote was par for a backward place like Arkansas. Then Michigan did it, and even Oregon. In all, forty states, one way or another, now define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Then there’s California. Progressive California. Tolerant California. For liberals, it’s as sacred as the Alamo is to Texans—a place they’re willing to fight for to the last man—or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender person.
The passage of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008 meant that there was no safe-haven for same-sex marriage anywhere in the United States, not even California.
But never fear, the Federal Courts are here. Alleging that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, liberals are seeking to have the law struck down. The trial, expected to last three weeks, will take place in San Francisco and be heard by Federal District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, who was appointed by President George H. W. Bush.
What does this mean for the Arkansas Marriage Amendment passed in 2004? Well, it depends. It depends on the U.S. Supreme Court. If California’s Proposition 8 gets appealed to the 9th Circuit and on to the U.S. Supreme Court, and if they strike it down, the Arkansas Marriage Amendment could be in jeopardy, along with all other similar laws.
While not likely, the U.S. Supreme Court could strike down Proposition 8 and all other similar laws, including ours.
Or the Court could strike down only Proposition 8, setting the stage for a flurry of litigation that could result in most or all same-sex marriage bans falling like dominoes, one-by-one.
Then, there’s another scenario. There’s no guarantee that the U.S. Supreme Court will even hear such a case.
Before the case ever makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court, it has to stop at the Ninth Curcuit—possibly the most liberal federal court in the nation—a place where justice isn’t quite as blind as elsewhere. That’s the next stop in the appeal process for whoever loses in the trial currently underway.
It’s too early to tell just how Prop 8 will affect the rest of the country. In the meantime, we can count on all the ACLU-types to keep trying to gain in court what they cannot win at the ballot box.