California high court will hear appeal of gay marriage measure – CNN.com

(CNN) — California’s Supreme Court said Wednesday that it will hear the appeal of a challenge to Proposition 8, a voter-approved measure outlawing gay marriage.

California’s voter-approved measure banning gay marriage has sparked protests throughout the state.

In a written statement, the court said it will not block the implementation or enforcement of the law in the meantime.

Proposition 8 passed with about 52.5 percent of the vote, making California one of several states to ban gay marriage in the November 4 elections.

But unlike the other states, California had already been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples since May, after a state Supreme Court ruling legalized the unions.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed legal challenges to the vote, asking the high court to rule the ballot-initiative process was “improperly used” to strip away a right protected by the state constitution.

The court said arguments in the case could be heard as early as March.

In its May 15 ruling legalizing gay marriage in California, the justices seemed to signal that a ballot initiative like Proposition 8 might not be enough to change the underlying constitutional issues of the case in the court’s eyes.

The ruling said the right to marry is among a set of basic human rights “so integral to an individual’s liberty and personal autonomy that they may not be eliminated or abrogated by the legislature or by the electorate through the statutory initiative process.”

In the hours after the proposition’s apparent passage, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles and other cities across California in protest.

Observances in support of gay marriage were held in cities across the country Saturday.

It’s been more than two weeks since the election, and still no one has been able to tell me why the majority should be able to suppress the rights of the minority, when both the California and US Constitutions are supposed to be designed to protect the rights of all people, both majority and minority.

I think, however, that even if the California Supreme Court overturns Prop 8 as an unlawful constitutional revision, we won’t have heard the last of this issue; whether it goes back in front of the legislature to be voted on before going back on the ballot a third time, or whether it gets appealed to the US Supreme Court, this issue is not going to go away anytime soon.

And that’s a good thing. Issues like this need to remain as visible as possible until all people in the United States are affording the same rights and privileges.