Queer Town: Theories Abound Over Proposition 8 Ruling

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Tue, May 12, 2009 at 8:00 AM

As gay rights activists and anti-gay marriage forces wait for the California Supreme Court to finally rule on Proposition 8, the ballot measure that took away the existing right of gay and lesbian couples to legally marry in California, the Internet has become a place of endless, somewhat humorous speculation of when the justices will deliver their decision.

click to enlarge Anti-Prop. 8 marchers took to the streets in Westwood in November. - PATRICK RANGE MCDONALD
  • Patrick Range McDonald
  • Anti-Prop. 8 marchers took to the streets in Westwood in November.

A few weeks ago, for example, people's email boxes were lit up with the theory that since the supreme court didn't want to dirty the legacy of its initial ruling on May 15, 2008, that first legalized gay marriage in California, and since Gay Pride weekends were looming in the not-so-distant future and the supreme court didn't want to offend gay folks if they ruled against them, the justices would probably hand down their decision on April 30 or May 4.  Those dates, of course, came and went and nothing happened.

Now, there's a theory making the rounds that since the Los Angeles Police Department

is sending a large contingent of officers to Washington D.C. for an

awards ceremony this week, and since the Oakland Police Department is

also sending a number of officers, the Los Angeles and Oakland police

departments have contacted the California Supreme Court and asked

to hold off on a judgment this week . . . just in case the gays decide

to riot in the streets.

Whoever came up with that theory is now throwing out the dates of Thursday, May 21 or Monday, May 25 for the Proposition 8 ruling to be handed down -- typically, the supreme court delivers its ruling on a Monday or Thursday, with a 24-hour advance notice. The only problem with May 25 is that it's a holiday. Memorial Day, in fact.

Equality California, the major gay rights organization in this state, has also gotten into the act. On May 5, that group sent out an email to thousands and thousands of people across the country, stating the supreme court will rule "any day now." EQCA then made a pitch for "I Do" T-shirts and signs, which can be purchased on its web site with the proceeds going to various gay rights groups. Indeed.

The fact of the matter is, no one really knows when the California Supreme Court will hand down its ruling. Usually, the justices deliver it just before deadline. In this case, the supreme court must file its decision by June 3, which is a Wednesday. So the safe money, and there's undoubtedly someone, maybe a bunch of lawyers, with a Proposition 8 pool out there, is probably on Thursday, May 28 or Monday, June 1.  The latter, though, is a holiday in New Zealand, so maybe the supreme court justices will take that into consideration. After all, who would want to offend this state's gay Kiwis?

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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