Saturday, August 09, 2008

SSM Wording Win on Prop. 8

It's neutral vs. neutered in California. Wingers there (and their financial backers around) are understandably unhappy with Thursday's ruling (opens an 8-page PDF) by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley.

The localized proponents of Proposition 8 on November's ballot wanted happy-face wording on the ballot description, something about not changing any laws. Instead, AG Jerry Brown had inserted accurately, if coldly, in the description that it would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Stripping existing rights from citizens seems most easily accompanied in the dark. This is a lot of light on a harsh subject.

The SF Chronicle's report is here and Arthur Leonard's look at the ruling is here.

The ProtectMarriage.Com lawyer, Andrew P. Pugno (also does work for Liberty Counsel), says he'll appeal. However, Judge Frawley wrote that the ballot measure is what it is — "The court is not willing to fashion a rule that would require the Attorney General to engage in useless nominalization."

Moreover, as Prof. Leonard writes, "The court pointed out first that under established California precedents, what the Attorney General adopts for this purpose is presumptively valid, and there is a high burden on the challengers to show that it is inaccurate and misleading."

While I can certainly see why Pugno's crowd would not want citizens to vote on stripping rights, that is precisely what the vote is about. No amount of cologne will remove the stink from this one. If voters do this, they need to come in with eyes (and nostrils) open.

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