LA Connection Property Blog: California Supreme Court to hear arguments on Proposition 8

California Supreme Court to hear arguments on Proposition 8

Starting on March 5, 2009 the California Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Proposition 8 - the controverial November 2008 ballot that changed the California State Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, effectively prejudicing same-sex couples wanting equal rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

In addition to hearing challenges to Proposition 8, the court will consider the fate of 18,000 same-sex marriages that occurred before the November election.

According to The Los Angeles Times: "Forty-three groups representing civil rights activists, legal scholars, labor unions, bar associations, state legislators and religious organizations have filed written arguments asking that Proposition 8 be overturned.
Twenty organizations, including religious and legal groups, have argued that the measure should be upheld."

An estimated combined $80 Million has been spent by both proponents and opponents of the measure.

The ramifications of Proposition 8 needs to be carefully and seriously examined by the courts and shown for what it is - promotion of inequality and prejudice against fellow American citizens.

There is no place for Prop 8 in the California Constitution and certainly no place in Federal Legislation.

Comment balloon 8 commentsCOMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn • March 03 2009 11:10AM



I don't have an problem with the concept of rights for same sex couples.

That being said, wasn't this proposal voted on by the citizens of CA and passed by a majority vote?

Posted by Terry Lynch (LAR Notary and Closing Services) almost 12 years ago


Unfortunately there has previously been erroneous legislation adopted in States which violated the Constitution of the United States. Over time the courts examined and judged the merits of the legislation and repealed the particular laws. I'm confident this will happen with Proposition 8.


Posted by COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate (COMPASS) almost 12 years ago

AMEN Stewart.  Its really hard for me to understand how one special interest group can either try to allow or take away the rights of another special interst group.  We're all humans here.  One of the nice things about us flaming liberal democrats is that we adhere to "live and let live."

Posted by Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495 (Stage it Right!) almost 12 years ago

Hi Stewart - Fingers crossed that this will be overturned. We're getting there but we're not there yet.


Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) almost 12 years ago

History has proven that the majority vote isn't necessarily the RIGHT (correct!) Vote.  If that were the case, the majority vote was NOT to end slavery and NOT for womens right to vote and most certainly NOT for the right to choose.  Civil Rights have NEVER been won by the majority vote (that I'm aware of!) and are given and passed by the Supreme Courts.  The Majority Vote isn't always the RIGHT Vote - especially when it comes to Civil Rights. 


Posted by Jeremy Cowin (Jeremy Cowin Appraisals) almost 12 years ago

I watched much of the arguments today. There was some great lawyering -- on both sides. I'm afraid the justices will be swayed by fear of recall more than by their constitutional obligations. According to Ken Starr's argument, as he himself admitted, a majority vote could overturn the right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. These people hate, and fear, gays so much that they have gone constitutionally nuts.

Posted by Ann Heitland, Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales (Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties) almost 12 years ago

Stewart-I tried to watch the hearings online, but could not get into the site due to the large volume. Obviously, this is an issue of great concern to a large number of people. I certainly hope that the California Supreme Court overturns prop 8, but, unfortunately, news reports were not encouraging. It does seem, however that the 18,000 marriages will remain in place.

Illinois has a civil unions bill in the legislature now, so hopefully that will pass and we will have some of the rights of married couples.

Posted by Rich Quigley almost 12 years ago

Aloha Stewart Penn,

This all started here in Hawaii in the mid to late 1990s.  First the Hawaiian Supreme Court ruled the Hawaii Constitution did not prohibit same sex marriages.  Then the misguided politicians and religious sects fanned the flames of fear that gay marriage would threaten hetrosexual marriage.  So high was the fear that nearly 70 percent of Hawaii voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1998 granting the state Legislature the power to reserve marriage for couples of one man and one woman.

There was one very small compromise at the time that allowed non related same sex couples to own Hawaii Real Estate as Tenants By The Entireties -- which was up and until that time reserved for married opposite sex couples.  The law that was passed was Reciprocal Beneficiaries Law (Act 383) and it was enacted in July 8, 1997.

Who is Eligible to Enter Into a Reciprocal Beneficiary Relationship?

In order to enter into a valid reciprocal beneficiary relationship, it shall be necessary that:

  • Each of the parties be at least eighteen years old;
  • Neither of the parties be married nor a party to another reciprocal beneficiary relationship;
  • The parties be legally prohibited from marrying one another under HRS chapter 572;
  • Consent of either party to the reciprocal beneficiary relationship has not been obtained by force, duress, or fraud; and
  • Each of the parties sign a declaration of reciprocal beneficiary relationship as provided in HRS section 572C-5.

    How to Register a Reciprocal Beneficiary Relationship

  • Prepare and file a Registration of Reciprocal Beneficiary Relationship form with the Department of Health (Registration forms may be downloaded from this site -see below).
  • The Registration form must be signed by both parties and notarized - contact your local bank about notary public services.
  • A fee of $8.00 (money order or cashier's check only - made payable to the State Director of Finance - and no cash or personal checks will be accepted) must be paid at the time of the filing of the Registration form.
  • At least one stamped, self-addressed, legal-sized envelope must be provided along with the Registration form - two stamped, self-addressed, legal-sized envelopes must be provided if the two Certificates (see below) are to be sent to two different addresses.
  • The notarized Registration form, payment, and envelope must be sent by postal mail to:

    RBR Office
    P.O. Box 591
    Honolulu, HI 96809-0591

  • After being registered, two Certificates of Registration of Reciprocal Beneficiary Relationship (one for each party) will be sent by postal mail using the provided stamped, self-addressed, legal-sized envelope(s).
  • Registration will not be accepted and Certificates of Registration will not be issued on a walk-in basis.
  • Copies of the Certificate of Registration are available upon written request, sent to the same address listed above, at a fee of $8.00 per copy (payment must be made in the same manner as for the initial registration), and a stamped, self-addressed, legal-sized envelope must be provided along with the request and payment.

How to Obtain Registration or Declaration of Termination Forms

Registration and Declaration of Termination forms may be picked up at the following locations:

Honolulu   Department of Health Building
Lobby Area (1st floor)
1250 Punchbowl St.
(corner of Beretania and Punchbowl Streets)
(808) 586-4533
Hilo   Governor's Liason Office
75 Aupuni Street
(808) 974-6262
Kailua-Kona   Governor's Liason Office
75-5722 Kuakini Highway, Suite 215
(808) 327-4953
Wailuku   Governor's Liason Office
2264 Aupuni Street, #1
(808) 243-5796
Lihue   Governor's Liason Office
3060 Eiwa Street, #106
(808) 274-3100


Hawaii is now close to legalizing Civil Unions.  There is overwhelming support in the legislature to do this but the fearfull politicians under preasure from the fearfull religious sects will not let it out of committee.

The following is today's news: Honolulu (AP) by Mark Niesse

The drive to make Hawaii the fifth state in the country to allow same-sex civil unions is on the verge of failing, despite support from most state lawmakers.

Senate leaders had planned a vote before the full Senate as early as Tuesday, but deep divisions have emerged over whether Democrats should take an extraordinary legislative step to revive the measure after a tie committee vote.

A tie vote in committee usually is enough to kill a measure, but the bill could advance under a rarely used provision of the Hawaii Constitution if more than one-third of senators approve.

The Democratic leadership wants more than half the Senate to agree to put the bill before the full Senate. Some rank-and-file senators who support the bill, however, are unwilling to circumvent the normal legislative process.

The measure already has passed the Hawaii House.

Sound familure?

John Petrella, REALTOR®
ABR®, GRI, Principal Broker

Direct: 808.640.3953

Local Hawaii Real Estate
Honesty • Integrity • Commitment

159 Keawe St., Suite 1
Hilo, Hawaii  96720

REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Posted by John Petrella (Local Hawaii Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments