"Thursday’s hearing is being treated by some activists as a combination of election night and Super Bowl. In San Francisco, for example, Proposition 8 opponents have erected a Jumbotron screen in front of the courthouse for spectators unable to squeeze into the courtroom."after the hearing the jumbotron will feature the video of cher's 2002 farewell tour, as well as the current showtune video mix from san francisco gay bar the midnight sun.
in reality, the california supreme court will not rule, technically, for or against same-sex marriage. this is the basis of the court hearing today:
"does the initiative approved by californians (last year's proposition 8) merely amend the state constitution or, as gay rights groups hope the court will rule, revise it?"california's constitution distinguishes between amending and revising, although those differences at times remain unclear (hence today's hearing.)
amending the state's constitution is one thing; ballot initiatives are used quite often to address things like property taxes, gambling on tribal lands, and eminent domain, and can be place on a ballot by collecting roughly 700,000 signatures (2008 figures.)
revising the constitution, making a "substantial change" cannot be done by a simple statewide vote. a revision must first go through a detailed legislative process, requiring approval of two-thirds of each house in the legislature or a constitutional convention.
those fighting to repeal prop 8 will argue that if a ballot initiative can be used by the majority to take away the rights of a minority, then proposition 8 threatens the civil rights of all californians.
those fighting for prop 8 will argue that, while i'm happy to have them as "friends" and let them dance for me, write my tv shows, or redecorate my living room, i don't want these heathens to have each other's social security. honey don't you sit on my lazyboy, and pass the shrimp cocktail.
the court will hear three hours of testimony today, and is expected to rule within 90 days.