Arguments over California's Prop 8 loom

March 4, 2009 at 12:34 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 (UPI) -- Legal analysts say voter clout will be a key factor when the California Supreme Court hears arguments on the state's gay-marriage ban.

The controversial Proposition 8 was approved in last fall's election and in effect overturned a previous ruling by the high court that held same-sex marriages were indeed legal in California.

The San Francisco Chronicle said some legal experts who have been following the case say approval of Prop 8 will be hard to ignore when the two sides present their cases Thursday.

"I'll be a surprised if the California Supreme Court isn't legally humbled by the constitutional amendment,'' said Ohio State University law professor Marc Spindleman.

Prop 8 amends the state constitution to declare marriage is allowed solely for male-female couples. Opponents are challenging its legality on the grounds it strips homosexuals of a basic civil right and on the technical grounds that it alters the state constitution so radically that a two-thirds majority approval by the Legislature should have been required before Prop 8 was placed on the ballot.

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