We listened in on a conference call with Attorney General Jerry Brown Monday night about what’s next after Proposition 8. It was hosted by Courage Campaign, an online organizing hub for progressive Californians that claims a network of 700,000 people.
Brown did an adequate job of explaining his position that the right of any two people to marry is a “fundamental core liberty” that shouldn’t be able to be “swept away” by a simple majority of voters. But we thought it was weird to hear Brown say that the presentation against the anti-gay marriage amendment made by his own AG staff before the California Supreme Court wasn’t all that he thought it should have been. It was, after all, HIS staff.
We didn’t get a chance to ask Brown whether, as governor, he would lead a drive for a ballot measure to guarantee that marriage between two consenting adults is a fundamental core liberty in the California Constitution, if the state Supreme Court upholds Prop. 8. (How about it Jerry — would you?) He was a bit cagey about what the next steps ought to be for gay-marriage proponents, suggesting that repealing Prop. 8 might be more feasible than approving an affirmative measure.
He said a constitutional convention would be “hard to pull off” because the Legislature would have a crucial role. He warned against protests, suggesting rallies and celebrations, instead – so as not to stir up further antagonisms. And he said it would be a “sad day if this court abandons its pioneering role in protecting fundamental rights” although he’s not giving up on California’s supremes just yet.
We’re not sure if Brown is positioned to capture the majority of gay voters in a Democratic primary (since San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has something of a corner on the market). But he has aligned the Office of the Attorney General of California with gay rights. And that’s not insignificant.