A measure that proposes to split California into six states–since the one has so much diversity that it is “ungovernable”–is actually making headway, with officials giving permission to start getting signatures on a petition to put it to a vote. They only need just over 800,000 signatures. I’d think they could get that in California. The six states would be Silicon Valley, South California, West California, Central California, North California, and Jefferson (in the northernmost part of the state).
I’m curious about the constitutional ramifications of this project. Can states just split apart like that, and if they do, would the U.S. Congress have to accept them into the union? I guess secession is pretty much out of the question, thanks to the Civil War. But if California were to split into six states, this would give the region 12 senators, probably from 8 to 10 of whom would be Democrats. If this happens, Republicans might need to talk Texas into a similar division.
The state of California, at one time, decided to permit gay marriage, but voters rallied and overturned that law. Now a federal appeals court has overturned that vote on constitutional grounds. See Court Rejects State Ban on Gay Marriage – WSJ.com.
We have been told both by conservatives and liberals that the question of gay marriage should just be left up to the states. That way, different values across this great country can find expression. But here the people of a state are not allowed to have a say in the matter. State legislators can legalize gay marriage. But the actual citizens of a state cannot vote to reject gay marriage. (In this case, the people who do not want gay marriage are from California–California!–presumably the most culturally cutting-edged in the nation.)
It looks like gay marriage will be decided by the courts after all. And if it is construed as a constitutional issue, then a decision for gay marriage must apply to the whole country. This case will be appealed to the Supreme Court, which will have to settle the controversy one way or the other.