A lot of my liberal friends are up in arms that the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8. I'm not. I'm even a bit glad that they did.
The problem here isn't the court. The problem is Proposition 8 itself. And California's ridiculous rules for amending its constitution. Remember that this is the exact same court that gave Cali gays the right to marry in the first place. We loved them when they did that. They said marriage was a constitutional right. Of course, if they determine that it's a constitutional right, well, the only way to make it unconstitutional again is to change the bleeding constitution, which is exactly what Prop 8 did.
The constitution, which the CSC is sworn to uphold, is different now than when they made their initial decision. The (kinda wobbly) grounds for this particular suit were based on whether the constitution was amended or revised. There are two different standards for those things. An amendment only needs a majority vote whereas a revision requires legislation with a two-thirds majority. Dumb? Yes. Legal? Also yes. These things are far from mutually exclusive.
The process, while moronic, was entirely legal. The meatheads in California passed an amendment through their own codified-into-stupidity rules. It's idiotic that 50.1% of the state can decide to amend their constitution, which is supposed to protect rights, in order to deny rights. And massive funds for propaganda coming in from Utah? Sure. Bring it on. But those are the rules. If the CSC had ruled to overturn the vote, they would have been wrong. And there would have been the biggest, nastiest, ugliest right-wing hissy fit about judicial activism that you would ever have the misfortune to experience. And they would have been right, for once.
This is a temporary setback, but it always was. Prop 8 supporters are on the wrong side of history. Full marriage rights are inevitable. I sense that the right knows this and are throwing up as many roadblocks as they can. California will have them soon enough, probably in a few years when they put it back up for a vote and the demographics change just enough to swing it. Younger voters, and those not quite old enough to vote, favor full marriage equality by a pretty hefty margin. The numbers get lower as the voting age gets higher. You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. It won't be long.
This is not really a sad day. If you had asked even the most optimistic gay rights advocates five years ago where we'd be now I don't think any of them would have predicted that more than half a dozen states would either have full equality or be leaning hard in that direction. (Should I say it? Okay. I'll say it. Fucking Iowa!) But here we are. It's actually moving very swiftly, by historical standards. Someday, even sooner than we think, we'll wonder what all the fuss was about. And Miss California's fake boobs will explode in her face.