California Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed a legal brief claiming that Proposition 8, the controversial amendment that declared gay marriage illegal in the state of California, is an unconstitutional measure and should be voided.
Brown, who once said he would dismiss challenges to the measure, has apparently made a dramatic turn-around. "Upon further reflection and a deeper probing into all the aspects of our Constitution" Brown said, "It became evident that the Article 1 provision guaranteeing basic liberty, which includes the right to marry, took precedence over the initiative. Based on my duty to defend the law and the entire Constitution, I concluded the court should protect the right to marry even in the face of the 52 percent vote."
Yes on 8 supporters, including Attorney Kenneth Starr, were urging the Attorney General's office to uphold the measure by invalidating all gay marriages that took place before the ban, an act that Starr claims would be "about restoring and maintaining the traditional definition of marriage." Brown disagreed, noting that the Proposition itself did not have any language in it that specified invalidating marriages performed before the election.
In the end, Brown declared, in what is potentially a very important step towards overturning the measure: "Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification."
California Attorney General Jerry Brown Urges Repeal Of Proposition 8[Huffington Post]
Brown Asks State High Court To Overturn Prop. 8[San Francisco Chronicle]