By Eliza de la Flor
Proposition 8, the California ban on same-sex marriage, has gone before the U.S. Supreme Court and students at LBCC are talking about the impending result.
For a brief time, same-sex marriage was legal in California. Proposition 8, an amendment to the state Constitution defining marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, was passed in November 2008. Since then, the proposition has been challenged repeatedly and appealed as unconstitutional, finally ending in the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26. The case has gained national attention, as the decision could affect policy across the country.
Reactions are mixed nation-wide and LBCC students are no exception.
Samuel Castillo, 24, a French major, said, “I’m disappointed so far. I think it’s unfair. Take the word ‘gay’ out of the situation and take a look at rights and protections that any couples should have under the law and you see it’s unjust. The government’s responsibility is to rectify that. Let’s keep equality in our minds and love in our hearts.”
Liam Donohue, a linguistics major, echoed Castillo’s sentiments. In an email, Donohue said, “I believe that Proposition 8 represents discrimination against homosexuals, by denying our equal rights as citizens. It’s inappropriate because anti-homosexual ideology is based on religious perspectives, which have no place in a country, which upholds freedom of religion, as well as freedom from religion, as a virtue and as a policy.”
Two students who wished to remain anonymous spoke about their support for Proposition 8. One student described “a strong Christian upbringing” as a factor. The student said, “I don’t hate gay people, but I don’t think they should be allowed to get married. We have God in the Constitution and that gives us strength as a country and I think we are slipping morally and I think redefining marriage now is a bad idea.”
Another student shared personal conflict as well as perspective, saying, “Generally, I’m very neutral. Personally, everyone should have the right to choose, but on a broader scale, I feel like it’s a moral hit to the country. As far as my faith is concerned, I’m not sure if it’s the right thing right now. I’m not sure if I would vote for it.”
According to a Los Angeles Times article written by David Savage, the day deliberations begin, the Supreme Court “has at least four options in the case.”
First, they could leave same-sex marriage a state’s decision by ruling it is not a constitutional right.
Second, they could dismiss the appeal, which would again return the decision to California.
Third, the court may find Proposition 8 unconstitutional, but only because it is denying a right won in a state court, again limiting the decision’s effects to Californians.
The fourth option is ruling denial of gay marriages unconstitutional, which could potentially open the decision to nationwide legalization.