In normal political campaigns, election day — win or lose — signals the end.If the justices toss out Proposition 8, some gay-marriage opponents have talked of putting something on the ballot themselves, either to again ban gay marriage or to oust Supreme Court justices or both.
“Election day has come and gone, but the campaign is clearly far from over,” said Eric Jaye, a political consultant who has worked on gay rights campaigns around the country and has also advised San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “The question is not if this will be back on the ballot. The question is when this will be back on the ballot.”
Not so with Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman that was approved by 52% of California voters Nov. 4.Instead of settling the question of gay marriage in California, the election merely ushered in a new, and in many cases more heated, phase of the campaign, with both sides looking ahead to 2010, when the matter could be back on the ballot.
This could happen no matter how the state Supreme Court rules. The court announced this week that it would review the legality of Proposition 8 in response to several lawsuits filed by cities and gay couples.
If justices uphold the proposition, gay marriage backers plan to put their own measure before voters perhaps as soon as 2010 to re-amend the state Constitution to allow the marriages.