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We wanted to run something on Prop 8, as it's called, one of the most notorious miscarriages of democracy in the ongoing disaster that is our state's referendum system. Audrey Bilger, who teaches Victorian literature at Claremont McKenna College and who has closely followed the passage of the proposition and the legal challenges that overturned it, agreed. Bilger wrote some months ago for us about Jane Austen, the writer who perfected the marriage plot, and Austen's continuing fascination for readers today. The story of Prop 8, Bilger says, is no less compelling as narrative, and although the trial transcripts and supporting documents weigh in at roughly twice the poundage of Austen's collected works, she argues they make just as rewarding reading.
– Tom Lutz
AS PROPOSITION 8, my home state of California's ban on same-sex marriage, makes its way through the courts, it leaves behind a trail of documents that will be required reading for anyone who wants to understand American democracy at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Now that Prop 8 has been declared unconstitutional for the second time and the Perry case may be headed to the Supreme Court, we can pause to take stock of this work-in-progress. The Prop 8 trial is, in fact, one of the greatest stories of our time.
I have a personal...read more