It's pretty nuts when the court decides a few months ago that there's a constitutional right to marry, then backpedals clumsily thus:
Although the majority opinion in the Marriage Cases generally referred to this state constitutional right as the “constitutional right to marry,” at the same time that opinion explained that this constitutional right is distinct from the right to have one’s family relationship designated by the term “marriage.” [citation omitted] Because in common speech the term “right to marry” is most often used and understood to refer to an individual’s right to enter into the official relationship designated “marriage,” and in order to minimize potential confusion in the future, instead of referring to this aspect of the state constitutional rights of privacy and due process as “the constitutional right to marry,” hereafter in this opinion we shall refer to this constitutional right by the more general descriptive terminology used in the majority opinion in the Marriage Cases — namely, the constitutional right to establish, with the person of one’s choice, an officially recognized and protected family relationship that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents of marriage (or, more briefly, the constitutional right to establish an officially recognized family relationship with the person of one’s choice).
Slipping on my lawyer-to-English decoder ring:
We previously decided there was a "constitutional right to marry." The "constitutional right to marry" is commonly understood to mean "the right to enter a marriage." When we said there was a "constitutional" and "fundamental" "right to marriage," we did not intend for that to be interpreted as "a constitutional and fundamental right to enter a marriage." Duh! Fortunately, we did not decide there was a constitutional right to call marriage "marriage." A-ha! So, for the purposes of this opinion, forget we ever said all that crap about "marriage" being a "right." Obviously, we were on crack or something. Hereafter in this opinion, we shall refer to this constitutional right by the more general descriptive terminology, "farfegnugen."
I gotta hand it to the author, he's really tapped into the importance of the romantic commitment underlying the question at bar. I can just imagine how he dealt with the issue in his own life...
Justice Ronald M. George: [kneeling and holding out a ring] Barbara? Will you make me the happiest judge on Earth by entering into an establishment of an officially recognized and protected family relationship where we'll enjoy all the constitutionally based incidents of marriage, or, more briefly, an officially recognized relationship with the person of your choosing which is...me?
Barbara: Ron, are you asking me to marry you?
Justice George: No! Was I somehow unclear?
Okay, getting serious now: a lot of folks are writing that grandfathering the existing marriages is a small victory. This is in no way a victory. This decision is 100% weapons-grade toxic.
When SCOCA decided the Marriage Cases, they did it on Equal Protection grounds. In this case, they've decided the constitution permits unfettered mob rule by initiative; therefore, the majority is free to carve out "exceptions" to the minority's constitutional guarantees and fundamental rights.
As of today, every Constitutional & fundamental right California's gays enjoy is fair game.
Beloved hastens to point out that every minority's rights are now fair game. That's true enough, but every minority is not at risk that a confederacy of religions will attack them.
So to LDS, the Catholics, the Evangelicals, the judges, and all who have labored diligently to prove that "rights" are the privilege of the politically powerful, I salute you: