California Same-Sex Marriage Ban Ballot Initiative Approved for November Election

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After last month’s historic decision by the California Supreme Court, voters in California are now going to get to decide whether discrimination should be written into the state’s constitution the state’s constitution should explicitly ban same-sex marriage.   A ballot initiative for November was approved yesterday by the Secretary of State yesterday.

The voters of California in 2000 approved a non-constitutional ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage.   (That was what was struck down in May by the state supreme court.)   I don’t know what the polls say for the prospects of the constitutional amendment passing this November, but I have to think (and hope!) that the climate is different in 2008 than it was in 2000.   After all, even the most ardent opponents of same-sex marriage would have to admit that Armageddon has not arrived in Massachusetts, and the anti-same-sex marriage position just doesn’t seem to have the same political pull it had in 2004 or 2000.   So, the optimist in me thinks this should fail in November.

But, the lawyer in me (who is not licensed in California, so do not take this as formal legal advice) thinks that the best advice for same-sex couples interested in marrying in California is simple:   do it now and don’t wait!

– David S. Cohen

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