In response to the changes California’s Attorney General made to Constitutional Amendment Proposition 8, opponents to gay marriage have threatened to sue the state, alleging that the new language unfairly biases the voter against the law. Proposition 8 was originally written “to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” However, the language had been constructed previous to a California Supreme Court decision in May, which overturned the marriage ban that had been implemented by Proposition 22, passed in 2000. A.G. Brown modified the language on this year’s amendment proposal to reflect the fact that the court’s ruling has rendered same-sex marriage legal in California, and that Proposition 8 will in effect be curtailing rights already enjoyed by Californians. The new language reads:
“Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry (emphasis added). Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over the next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact to state and local governments.”
Supporters and opponents of gay marriage alike agree that the new wording will probably hurt the amendment’s chances of passing (although a majority of Californians support a same-sex marriage ban). A spokesperson for the Protect Marriage coalition, an group against gay marriage, has declared the new language “inherently argumentative” and calls the change an “about face” from the original amendment. The suit was filed in the Sacramento County Court on Tuesday.