Proposition 8 Under Attack by California Legislators
The California Senate Judiciary Committee passed SR 7 this afternoon, expressing their opposition to Proposition 8’s lawful passage. Following the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s passage of the identical HR 5 last Tuesday, the senate committee approved SR 7 on a party line vote of 3-2.
“This is another slap in the face of millions of California citizens,” stated Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Family Impact. “The legislature completely disregards the will of the people by calling on the state supreme court to overturn Proposition 8.” England testified against SR 7 in the committee hearing this afternoon. “As I shared with the committee members, Proposition 8 is a valid amendment to the state constitution. To ignore the overwhelming support of citizens for traditional marriage proves just how out of touch lawmakers are with average citizens.”
Testifying with Karen England was an affiliate attorney from Pacific Justice Institute. On short notice, the legal organization was able to send their attorney who provided valuable testimony on the legality of Proposition 8.
Several organizations testified in favor of the resolution, including Alice Huffman, of the NAACP. Huffman likened the homosexual marriage issue to when the courts had “liberated” her people from suppression of the majority white race. “African Americans should be appalled that their race is being used to push a radical social agenda,” stated England. “We urge African Americans to contact the NAACP and find out why they have inserted themselves into the same-sex marriage debate.” Also testifying for the resolution was the ACLU, a professor from Loyola Marymont Law School, the California Nursing Association, Planned Parenthood, and a representative from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office.
Committee member Senator Tom Harman did a wonderful job pointing out the hypocrisy of SR 7 supporters in calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8. He questioned author Mark Leno about whether it violated the separation of powers to tell the court to rule the way the legislature encourages them to. Senator Dean Florez, who had historically supported traditional marriage in floor votes changed his position and voted in favor of the resolution. “Constituents in Senator Florez’s district need to call his office and find out why he has flip-flopped on this crucial issue,” commented England.
SR 7 supporters filled the committee room and England included in her comments to the committee that opponents were not given adequate notice to alert our side. Committee member Senator Mimi Walters responded that even though they weren’t present, her office’s phones have been ringing off the hook with calls from opponents to SR 7.
In his closing remarks to the committee, Senator Leno likened voters for Proposition 8 to Germans who supported the Nazi regime prior to World War II. “It is stunning to hear a California senator compare good, decent Californians to Nazis,” stated England. “How dare an arrogant senator compare the political battle over homosexual marriage to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Senator Leno should apologize to the millions of voters who supported Proposition 8. And he should stop using such inflammatory, hateful language.
“Californians should be outraged that their lawmakers continue to subvert our ability to pass laws via the initiative process. HR 5 and SR 7 are just the latest attempts to undermine the democratic process. It is lawmakers, not Proposition 8 supporters, who are violating the constitution with their political antics in these committee hearings.”
It’s not too late! The full vote will be in the next few days, possibly tomorrow! Call or Email Your representatives! Find your reps here:
Contact Senator Florez and ask him why he wants the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8.
Phone: 916 651 4016
Fax: 916 327 5989
Contact Alice Huffman about the NAACP’s active support on SR 7 and HR 5
This information is from the Capitol Resource Institute who attended the SR7 hearing.