Official Portrait of Governor Jerry Brown
California Department of General Services
OK, now we’re clear! The California Attorney General, and former Governor of California, Jerry Brown has changed his position on the state’s new same-sex marriage ban, and he is now urging the state Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.
Brown filed a brief Friday saying the measure that amended the California Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman is unconstitutional. He says it deprives gay couples of a fundamental right.
After California voters passed Proposition 8 on Nov. 4, Brown said he would fight to uphold the initiative in his role as State Attorney General, even though he personally voted against the measure. He submitted his brief in one of the three legal challenges to Proposition 8 brought by same-sex marriage supporters.
Since it is the Attorney General’s duty to defend the state laws, including those passed into law by the citizens via the proposition process, Brown’s decision was unexpected if for no other reason than he has previously said he would uphold the law enacted by Proposition 8.
He explained his change of mind by saying that after studying the gay rights activists’ positions, Brown believes the activists are correct to argue that the proposition essentially amounted to a constitutional revision, and not merely an amendment that would usually be more limited in its scope.
Actually Mr. Brown’s original position after the passage of Proposition 8 seemed sourced somewhere between imperspicuity and enigma; certainly there was little or no clarity as to how he could be emboldened to say, as he did, that the existing same sex marriages would still be legal, while vowing to uphold the law, which, per the passage of Proposition 8, denied equal access to marriage to same-sex, adult couples, which Brown would be forced to uphold.
At that time, acccording to Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle staff writer: Brown, who represents the state in court, said he would defend the legality of the thousands of same-sex marriages conducted in the 5 1/2 months leading up to election day – even though sponsors of Prop. 8 say the measure was intended to invalidate those marriages…”
In his own article, Egelko quoted Attorney General Brown as saying, “It is my belief that the courts will hold that these same-sex marriages entered into are valid.” He said he would defend Prop. 8 against legal challenges, but would also defend “the marriages contracted during the time that same-sex marriage was the law in California.”
Brown’s statement today was based on his belief that the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights.
This statement may or may not be relevant to whether or not President-Elect Barak Obama should disinvite Rick Warren to pray at the Inauguration Day ceremonies; however, as Attorney Jerry Brown has so handily proven, ‘tis better to reverse one’s position late than to defend one’s earlier booboo ‘till the bitter end. Additionally, as has been proven yet again, clarity is our friend. (Bold face offered as alternate ending from The Daily Horse).
Well duhn (sic), Jerry.