Proposition 8: Reading the Tea Leaves

Sara Robinson at Orcinus speculates on what might happen if California’s Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8 tomorrow:

Nobody has a clue which way they’re likely to rule. Activists on both sides have been scrying the tea leaves and chicken bones on this ever since the court heard the case back in March, but have divined nothing. But there’s one forecast I can offer right now: if Prop 8 is overturned by the courts, the backlash from the right is likely to be far more ferocious and intense than anybody on the left reckons right now.

In recent weeks, I’ve been in discussions with some of the state’s gay leadership about how the hardcore right across the country is likely to react if Prop 8 is overturned. From their viewpoint, even a loss in the courts will only be a momentary setback. In that case, they’ll simply put the issue back on the ballot, over and over, for as long as it takes to regain their right to marry. They know (and the most recent polls support them in this) that time, demographics, and the generally tolerant culture of California are all on their side. They may or may not be able to outspend the Mormons and the Catholics; but they know for sure that they can outwait them.

For that reason, they’re not particularly worried about the right-wing reaction to a decision in their favor. In their view, victory is (sooner or later) preordained. In the long run, the anti-gay-marriage forces are fighting a losing battle. If they’re not irrelevant now, they will be soon. And so they’re not much worried about that.

But they should be.

Yes, the right wing is losing on gay rights issues. That is, very precisely, why they’re more dangerous now than they have been in the past. Their impending irrelevance is not a reason to worry less; it’s a reason to worry more. And getting Prop 8 overturned in the courts would ignite the situation, because it will hit absolutely every angry-making right-wing button there is[.]

2 Responses to “Proposition 8: Reading the Tea Leaves”

  1. Asa Wages says:

    The government likes plebiscites only when the results is what the government wants. American’s most important referendum was the secession vote of 1861. In that election 90% of Virginia voted for independence (80% including West Virginia). Tennessee 69%, Texas 75%. Most other Southern states essentially voted 100%. The government simply ignored the vote of the people and invaded the areas that had voted for independence. Eventually the government had to resort to fighting women and children by burning homes and stealing food to win a war they unable to win on the battlefield.
    If the courts rule in favor of Prop. 8 because of the voters then they must recognize all referendums and not just the ones they like.

  2. Booogie-Mann says:

    Looks like the California Court upheld the same position expressed by Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton … that “Marriage” is between a Man and a Woman … as it has always been throughout human history.

    Liberals are creative with words. 9/11 is now a “man-made disaster”, Liberal is now Progressive, Terrorists are no longer Terrorists, and spending increases can be called cuts. So why can’t you guys contrive another word for gay marriage?? Like Garriage, or garbage?? Give it the same rights, but another name. Just quit offending the majority of the population by using the courts to wipe out our votes and with this notion that Marriage can be between 2 guys.

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