January 17, 2009

NAACP Challenges Prop 8 in California Supreme Court

I see that the NAACP continues showing signs of relevance. I must admit that I have been very pleased with the activities of the organization since Ben Jealous took over last year.

Earlier this week the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund(LDF) filed a friend of the court brief challenging California's Proposition 8 on the grounds that the basic rights of a minority group cannot be taken away by a simple majority. LDF joined other civil rights groups, the Asian American Pacific Legal Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Equal Justice Society, and the California NAACP in calling for the invalidation of Prop 8.

"It is imperative that the Supreme Court of California recognize that by allowing Prop 8 to take effect, it is setting a dangerous precedent that allows a bare majority to strip minority groups of their fundamental rights. We are joining this challenge to ensure that the rights of all minority groups are being protected," said John Payton, LDF President and Director-Counsel.

The California Supreme Court recognized marriage as a fundamental right. To take away that right a constitutional revision requiring a two-thirds vote by the state legislature - and not just a simple majority vote - would be needed in order to bar same-sex marriage. If Prop 8 is allowed to stand the fundamental rights of all minority groups will be placed in jeopardy.

"Proposition 8 effects more than just the LGBT community. This decision will ultimately affect how the rights of all minority groups are treated in the state of California," said Anurima Bhargava, Director of LDF's Education Practice.

We haven't blogged much about the Prop 8 results in California. Do you have any thoughts or insights on the issue that you care to share?


Shelia said...

This argument is kind of thready. Most "rights" that minorities have acquired have come by way of federal legislation and could not be put to the test by way of a state majority vote.

The "right" of the LGBT community to marry in the state of California came by way of state vote if I'm not mistaken.

But I do find it interesting that the same pool of voters generated enough votes to remove a right that it had given.

Villager said...

Shelia - I found it interesting that NAACP stepped out on this issue. Some were accusing the African American voters in California for the loss. The facts don't support that case ... but, I imagine that NAACP involvement was because of that charge against Black voters.

LGBT community is becoming very vocal in a number of areas.

Your time is back! The Austrailian Open is on ... and the Williams sisters are both on television tonight!

Shelia said...

Jasmyne Cannick and I had a long back and forth on the fact that Black voters were being blamed for the passing of Proposition 8. It's a hilarious assumption that the numbers don't substantiate. She did several television appearances regarding that. But you're probably right on that being why the NAACP stepped in.

And yes, yes, yes, I'm back in business! I was up at 4 a.m. watching tennis and will be all night tonight too.

I don't know if you've seen Venus yet, but she looks fabulously healthy and ready to kick some butt. Serena doesn't seem as ready, but you know her, she will get ready quick!