Proposition 8 went under a two-hour hearing in front of a three-judge panel at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Dec. 6.
Californian voters passed a ban of same-sex marriage in California (52 percent to 48 percent) in November of 2008, only five months after gay marriage was allowed in June. But a federal judge found Prop. 8 unconstitutional in 2010. Gay marriage opponents are appealing the ruling.
Prop. 8 has caused some concerns and distress amongst people of the CVHS community.
“Prop. 8 has been so incredibly painful for my family,” said Melissa Kindelspire, a science teacher at CVHS, who happily married art teacher Jo Sutton on Oct. 4, 2008. “I actually try not to think about it much. I try to take care of my family, school, life, and think that things will get better.”
The Spectrum Club is an alliance group for people of all sexual orientations. Colleen Wisel, a member of the club, spoke up on her opinions about Prop. 8.
“I was pretty upset when Prop. 8 passed because I don’t think anyone should have their rights taken away,” Wisel said. “I thought we’d already decided that separate but equal isn’t fair. I guess that coming from the Bay Area, which is pretty liberal, I was a little surprised, but I forgot to think about the other more conservative parts of California.”
C-SPAN televised the arguments from the appeals court.
When asked about his opinions about the broadcasting of the hearing, social studies teacher Roger Kim responded, “I think it’s a good idea to televise it. It will bring the issue into public discussion and more people will discuss it.” Kim married his husband in 2008 before the ban took effect.
“Marriage is a civil right,” Kindelspire stated.
Out of the 50 states of the U.S., only five and the District of Columbia have marriage equality.
“Five out of 50 is a pretty pathetic number,” Wisel said. She also believes that more states should “come to their senses and realize that everybody deserves equal protection under the law.”
“Civil rights take time,” said Kim.
Some view our school as a safe place for people of different sexual orientations and beliefs, while others disagree.
“That’s not to say that I’ve never seen people voice negative opinions or hostility towards gay people,” said Wisel, “but for the most part, it’s under control. I still think that the LGBT community should have more recognition and acceptance and for that to happen, we need to educate people.”