Make-or-Break Moment for Same Sex Marriage

March 5, 2009 12:01:11 AM PST
Same sex marriage in California is at a make-or-break moment. The state Supreme Court will listen to arguments tomorrow on whether Proposition 8 is valid. Most of the members of the high court were appointed by Republicans, but last year, they voted 4-3 to allow same sex marriage. That's a big part of the argument against the validity of Prop 8 and the people who attended a vigil Wednesday night are banking on the California Supreme Court.Candlelight and body heat warmed about 100 people who gathered at the county clerk's office in downtown Fresno on a chilly night, to rally the troops before the critical court fight.

After 52% of voters passed Prop 8, essentially outlawing gay marriage, its opponents have fought back against the majority.

The argument before the Supreme Court is that since the state's highest court already legalized same sex marriage last may, Prop 8 supporters needed 2/3 of the legislature to approve a ballot measure before voters ever got the chance to weigh in.

Now, the same court will decide if that's true. "That's what we're really concerned about is the activism of this court," said Cornerstone Church pastor Jim Franklin. "This is a court that has proved it is not going by the letter of the law consistently -- that it is willing to be pushed by the voice of a small minority."

Franklin says opponents are trying to overturn the will of the people. He says the word 'marriage' should only apply to a man and a woman, as it's been for most of human history.

But at the vigil, one gay man said his personal history should be a lesson that love doesn't differentiate by gender. "I would hate to think that 42 years ago I would not have made the decision to be with him -- hopefully for the rest of my life as it's turned out -- because he was a man rather than a woman," said Ellis Vance.

The case should take about three hours in front of the Supreme Court Thursday. After that, the court has 90 days to make a decision. Both sides say they'll continue to fight if they lose.

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