Castro Street and much of the city was alive with protest last night after the California Supreme Court decision to uphold Prop 8 was announced. The proposition, passed by a small majority of voters, rescinded the right of same-sex marriage in the state, while at the same time upholding the validity of thousands of same-sex marriages performed before November 2008. Today this decision is making headlines all over the country and has been the subject of an editorial in the N.Y. Times. Despite the high emotion shown by both supporters and opponents of Prop 8, the underlying question of making changes to the state constitution is perhaps the most important issue to emerge from the case. The California constitution has been amended more than 500 times, making changes both trivial and major to the document. What kind of a constitution needs constant tinkering over the years? Surely one of the most important lessons learned from this case is that it’s time to hold a constitutional convention and take a long, rational look at howthe state wants to govern itself. The opponents of Prop 8 are surely right that the set-back yesterday is only temporary, but the weakness in our constitutional procedures will be enduring unless we do something about them, and do it soon.
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