State Supreme Court to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

May 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Voters approved Proposition 8 in November, to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The American Civil Responsibilities Union (A.C.R.U.) said the ban on same sex marriage was the will of the people and it will try to recall any member of the court who votes against Proposition 8."We intend whether it's overturned or not to go after any justice that votes to overturn it whether it's overturned or not," said John Mancino with the A.C.R.U.

They said the ban is now part of the state constitution, and that the court is only allowed to interpret the constitution. The A.C.R.U. was able to recall State Chief Justice Rose Bird because of her opposition to the death penalty.

An exclusive Action News poll conducted by SurveyUSA shows the majority of California voters, 49 percent don't believe same sex couples here in California should be allowed to marry. 47 percent said they should be allowed to marry.

When asked if proposition 8 should remain a law or be overturned, nearly half of the people who responded said the law should stay on the books. 38 percent want to see it overturned.

Opponents of Prop 8 will meet here at Fresno City Hall Tuesday morning while they wait for the state supreme court's decision. They're hoping to celebrate. Those who support Prop 8 are optimistic and holding their ground.

An entire wall in Jason Scott's living room is covered with boxes and signs for Tuesday's rally at city hall. Scott is hoping the Supreme Court will overturn a ban on gay marriage, making the rally a celebration. He's hoping people will show up en masse, just like they did before last November's election. "I think that is one of the most important things, win or lose, is that people come out and show that they still care about the issue."

In the last year, Fresno's City Hall has been the backdrop for several rallies in the Valley, both for and against gay marriage. But next Saturday's "meet in the middle for equality" could be the largest yet. Thousands of people from around the state are expected to arrive in the valley on bus, train, and carpools and march from Selma to Fresno's City Hall.

Organizers say it's important that gay rights advocates focus their attention on the Central Valley where about 70 percent of people voted against gay marriage. "Fresno is very indicative of middle America values. It's a place that people need to go to understand to talk to them about the issues so they can become educated on the issues, and what it at stake," said gay marriage supporter Jon Carroll.

Those who support traditional marriage are also hoping for victory Tuesday.

Fresno Pastor Jim Franklin is organizing a rally for next Sunday aiming to re-affirm for the majority. Who voted for Prop 8. "I'm optimistic, but if it were to go against the people, then there really should be rioting in the streets because then we have lost the ability to govern ourselves."

The state supreme court's decision is expected to come down around 10:00 a.m. Tuesday. Both sides of this issue say whatever happens will not mean the end of their fight.

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