Advertisement

Archive for Wednesday, May 27, 2009

California Supreme Court upholds gay marriage ban

May 27, 2009

Advertisement

— An estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who wed in California last year have some good news with a bitter twist: Their marriages are valid, but also legal anachronisms that the state would not sanction if they wanted to exchange vows today.

The door to gay marriage in California — opened by a California Supreme Court ruling last spring and closed by voters in November — stayed shut under a 6-1 ruling Tuesday by the high court. The justices refused to nullify marriages that took place before the ban was approved, but for the couples involved, relief was mixed with a sense of being marginalized.

“I feel very uncomfortable being in a special class of citizens,” said Sharon Papo, who married Amber Weiss on June 17, the first day gay marriage became legal in the state.

Newlyweds such as Randy Nadeau, 43, and Will Lawson, 47, didn’t know how to react.

“We’re celebrating. We made it. But we’re sad for everyone else,” said Nadeau, who wed his partner of 17 years two days before voters passed Proposition 8 in November. “In general, we’re just embarrassed that the gay capital of the U.S. couldn’t get it together.”

Rejecting a series of legal challenges to the gay marriage ban, the state’s highest court ruled that stripping gays and lesbians of the right to wed was a legal exercise of the virtually unfettered initiative power the California Constitution grants its citizens.

But the court also unanimously held that it would be unfair and unnecessarily disruptive to dissolve marriages conducted during the brief five months when same-sex marriage was legal in California.

Applying Proposition 8 retroactively would have the effect of “throwing property rights into disarray, destroying the legal interests and expectations of thousands of couples and their families, and potentially undermining the ability of citizens to plan their lives,” the court said.

With marriage remaining off-limits to same-sex couples for the foreseeable future, gay rights leaders decried the ruling as an empty victory. Demonstrators wept and yelled, “Shame on you!” and at least 150 people were arrested for blocking an intersection during a post-ruling demonstration.

In the Castro District, the hub of San Francisco’s gay community, the large rainbow flag that waves in Harvey Milk Plaza was lowered to half-mast and replaced with a black mourning stripe at the top.

“It is hard to imagine the court would have permitted any other group to be stripped of equality and excluded from marriage,” said Shannon Minter, who challenged Proposition 8 as legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “Five years from now, people will see this decision as an example of the court’s historical blind spot.”

Activists said they would take the issue back to voters as early as next year.

Attempting to repeal a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage at the ballot box “has never happened in this country, but we are going to do that in California,” said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California. He added that gay marriage proponents would need to ramp up their efforts quickly to submit ballot language to the state by September.

A federal lawsuit challenging the ban was filed Friday in San Francisco. Prominent lawyers Theodore B. Olson and David Boies filed it on behalf of two gay men and two gay women, arguing that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. constitutional guarantee of equal protection and due process.

Olson said he hopes the case, which seeks a preliminary injunction against the measure until the case is resolved, will wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a former U.S. solicitor general who served in high-level Justice Department jobs in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.

Proposition 8 proponents said they wouldn’t challenge the existing gay marriages that were protected by the state high court.

“We see it as really a minor point in ultimately the will of the people being upheld,” said Andy Pugno, general council for the Yes on 8 campaign who argued the case with former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr.

Comments

gr 5 years, 3 months ago

"stripping gays and lesbians of the right to wed"

Gays and lesbians always had the right to wed and still do. We are informed that many do marry and even have children. Then they come out of the closet. And want additional rights. See, heteros do not have the right to "marry" someone of the same sex either.

0

cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 3 months ago

That's one of the things with you Tom, you latch onto some nonsense or propaganda like a pit bull and repeat it ad nauseum, with no facts attached.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/may/26/ap-obama-taps-first-hispanic-supreme-court-positio/#c898708

Foot tastes good, yes?

0

feeble 5 years, 3 months ago

Prop 8 actually does very little to "safeguard" marriage.

Same-sex couples in CA can still get domestic partnerships, which in the eyes of the State of California, afford all the same benefits and protections as marriage.

While the court upheld Prop 8, it also upheld Domestic Partnerships and re-affirmed those rights, basically establishing two separate classes of citizens and opening the door for civil rights litigation.

What this really does is illustrate how dumb it is to allow your state constitution to be amened by simple ballot initiative.

My person view is that if "teh geys" getting married is a threat to your marriage, you have no business being married in the first place.

0

cletus26 5 years, 3 months ago

i think this is a waste of time myself. and when all this started i thought it was a waste of time. the rule are bent, then broke, then someone tries to make better. bend- break-make better. what a waste. b4 this idea of marrrying same sex what was the people doing? continue doing that..

0

sfjayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

All you bigots out there try this - "Head on down to your local high school -- hell, make it a junior high or even an elementary -- and take yourself an informal survey. Ask the various wary, bepimpled youth of Generation Tweet what they think about those scary gay people getting married.

Ask them, in your most panicky, alarmist, Mormonified voice: Aren't they horrified at the very idea? Aren't they shocked at the very thought of two people in love having their union officially recognized and validated by the state?

Don't they know the musty ol' Bible mutters some barely coherent, mistranslated silliness about it in a single word or two written 1,500 years ago in a long dead language by acidic church elders with powermad political agendas and violently repressed libidos who nevertheless wish to instruct us all how to live and love and screw?

Please note the response. Please observe how the kids merely look at you as though you're more than a little bit deranged and prehistoric, so out of touch you might as well be Dick Cheney talking up the diesel-powered rectal thermometers he so loved back in World War I.

Watch carefully as they sigh and roll their eyes, then whip out their Nokias to text their friends about how this creepy elder just tried to convince them that the harmless, yawningly commonplace homosexuality currently saturating the popular culture all around them, from fashion to Facebook, movies to "American Idol," is not only wrong, but so wrong that the law should ban it forever because... well, no one really seems to know exactly why. And watch as they mock you cause they know you and your breed will die out very soon indeed.

Here is what it tells you: Gay marriage is a foregone conclusion. It's a done deal. It's just a matter of time. For the next generation in particular, equal rights for gays is not even a question or a serious issue, much less a sinful hysterical conundrum that can only be answered by terrified Mormons and confused old people and inane referendums funded by same. It's just obvious, inevitable, a given."

Thanks Mark

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

sfjayhawk;

The problem with that is that particular phenomena has been going on throughout history - schoolchildren often (usually) disagree with the policies of the 'older generation,' but when they become that older generation, their views frequently begin to morph into those of their predecessors.

By the way, maybe you should stop hanging out around school kids and talking to them about gay rights - kinda' creepy there, sf.

0

Mixolydian 5 years, 3 months ago

Wait.......I thought if it was the law as stated in the constitution, the will of the majority and the rule of law upheld by the highest court, the only possible response to naysayers is to shout, scream and whine: STHU. You then demonize and denigrate those people by calling them "witty" names like whack job and wing nut and radicals.

So here goes, let me try this out like a real LJ World commenter....

It's the law in California as stated in their constitution, supported by a majority of Californians and upheld by the highest court of California, so all you whack jobbed, wing nutted radicals....STHU!

hmmm, nope. I didn't like that.

0

gr 5 years, 3 months ago

"How does any gay marriage hurt any one's marriage?"

Beo, how is opening up marriage to any and all things going to help anyone's marriage?

0

chzypoof1 5 years, 3 months ago

I could really care less if this had passed. But, I support it. "Marriage" is a religious term, and means a joining of a man and a woman. Period. Look it up.

The part that really bothers me is the bigot/race/discrimination card being played. The Gay "community" is already protected by existing discrimination laws in all states. This is not a religious group or seperate race. It's a SEXUAL PREFERENCE. I get no special rights as a married man to a woman, neither should someone married to someone of the same sex.

If you are homosexual, get your domestic partnership, register it at the courthouse, and enjoy your life. Quit trying to make a big deal about yourself and just live your life like everyone else.

Peace.....

0

gr 5 years, 3 months ago

Beo, do you suggest that if something doesn't "hurt" something, it should be promoted even if it doesn't help something?

(think before answering)

0

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

beo,

That seems like the best solution to me as well.

The other way would be to confer no benefits on partnerships at all, marriages or civil unions.

Mix,

The US Constitution would take precedence over state constitutions if they are found to be in violation of our basic principles. I believe these amendments, laws, etc. are, and if the US Supreme Court has the guts, they will say so.

chzy,

The benefits of being a married heterosexual are well documented, include legal and tax benefits, and also social recognition and support.

0

sfjayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

and then there is this .."According to FiveThirtyEight, marriage bans like California's are losing support at a rate of about two percent a year. According to that model, more than half of U.S. states will vote against bans like the contemptible Prop 8 as soon as 2012, if not sooner. By 2024, even miserably homophobic joints like Kansas and Mississippi will be flying the rainbow flag.

You could say, then, that we are, right this minute, at the tipping point. You could say that very soon indeed -- sooner than many people expect, in fact -- we will all look back on this inane gay marriage hysteria and wonder, what the hell was that all about? And realize that this is merely the last, fitful gasps of a long-dying ideology, markers of a certain kind of sad, conservative desperation. We will all look back and think, what the hell were we thinking? And by the way, isn't President Obama's second term going just astonishingly well?"

0

chzypoof1 5 years, 3 months ago

Jafs - "The benefits of being a married heterosexual are well documented, include legal and tax benefits, and also social recognition and support."

Homosexuals have ALL of those already in most states, including Kansas. (Especially Lawrence).

Oh no, someone doesn't like what you do, and they tell you. Deal with it. We all do things that others don't like. You just have to move on. I'm not judging you, I'm just telling you to live your life how you want to, without worrying about what others think.

0

chzypoof1 5 years, 3 months ago

Logic-

You don't really help the argument for this, when you continue to bring up Race. This is NOT a Race issue. It is a preference issue. Homosexuality is not a race, anymore than Heterosexuality is.

This is an issue of the meaning of marriage. Domestic partnership IS allowed, and granted the exact same rights, in California. The religious term marriage is being maintained for what it is...man and woman. That's it.

0

Chris Golledge 5 years, 3 months ago

gr,

It sounds like you have given up on the argument that gay marriage is harmful and that leaves you with the argument that it doesn't help anything; so, it should not be condoned.

Does the right to pursue happiness mean anything to you? Or rather, do you not think this right applies to others, or just to those like you?

0

Satirical 5 years, 3 months ago

sfjayhawk....

What is with the Mormon bashing?

0

Chris Golledge 5 years, 3 months ago

chzypoof1,

If there exists a religious group willing to recognize the marriage of two consenting adults, same sex or not, that would disprove your premise that the religious term marriage only applies to mixed gender unions. There are such religious groups. Your argument is based on a faulty premise.

Next.

0

Satirical 5 years, 3 months ago

Logicsound09….

I agree on your first point, however I would add that even if “marriage” does have a solely religious definition, since marriage is now a civil institution in the U.S, only the statutory, or civil definition is the one that matters, not any religious definition. While the law may be based on the religious definition, the law, which can be changed, is all that really matters.

I disagree that all legally recognized unions should necessarily be labeled the same. The law often labels differently things which are in fact different without violating the U.S. Constitution. So I think it would be consistent if the law termed the legal union of one man and one woman a “marriage,” the legal union of two people (same-sex marriage) a “civil union,” the legal union of one person to any number of people (polygamy) a “domestic partnership,” etc. (or however society decides to label the relationship). This does not create a “separate but equal” question, since these things are in fact different, giving different labels but conferring essentially the same rights makes sense. Therefore I think the court’s ruling is narrow enough to allow all the same rights of marriage to same-sex couples, but simply label them something else. Seems like a win-win for most people.

0

chzypoof1 5 years, 3 months ago

As I expected, multiple people are twisting what I said. Traditional marriage is recognized by the state because of it's religious meaning. Forget not that this country was founded on religious morals. yes, we have seperation of church and state, but we also have a preset group of common beliefs that are commonly followed.

Again, I'm not sure why the argument is such a big deal. Homosexuals have ALL the same rights as Heterosexuals in the state of CA. It's not a racial slap or discrimination to maintain part of the traditions that this country was founded on.

Being offended too much is a sad state to live in....

0

sinverguenza 5 years, 3 months ago

So what, invictus?

"The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."

  • Loving v. Virginia
0

motocross 5 years, 3 months ago

Marriage is God given, not for some dudes who are lusting after eachother's goins'. Wake up, Jesus is Lord, God is real.

0

Satirical 5 years, 3 months ago

Sinverguenza…

The state may regulate marriage and define marriage as monogamous. See Reynolds v. U.S.

Also, Loving v. Virginia is factually distinguishable since the facts dealt with one man and one woman. So while it is clear marriage is a fundamental right, if narrowly applied, it is only a fundamental right for one man and one woman.

0

sinverguenza 5 years, 3 months ago

Sat -

I do not follow that last paragraph.

How can you narrowly apply this fundamental right for one man and one woman? On what precedent or language do you base that?

I imagine if there were actually language that factually applied to this fundamental right of marriage with concern to "one man and one woman", proponents of equality like myself would be fighting an even more uphill battle.

Please explain.

I would argue that Loving v. Virginia is factually distinguishable since the facts deal with establishing the right of two people to marry despite and regardless of their genetic makeup. Seems to me it would easily follow that if two people can get married regardless of their genetic makeup (which is what Loving v. Virginia actually established, as I see it) that the opinion stands across the board, whether it be with concern to race, gender, disability, etc.

0

madameX 5 years, 3 months ago

"Also, Loving v. Virginia is factually distinguishable since the facts dealt with one man and one woman. So while it is clear marriage is a fundamental right, if narrowly applied, it is only a fundamental right for one man and one woman."


Actually, I think that's what would be up for debate if a gay marriage case made it to the supreme court. I haven't read the opinion, but does it specifically limit the right to one man and one woman, or is that just assumed because the case dealt with one man and one woman? The case by itself might not guarantee two men the right to marry, but does it specifically deny them that right? The argument that it does could be made, but so could the argument that it sets a more general precedent of non-discrimination. What I'm trying to say is, it probably shouldn't be treated as a forgone conclusion either way.

0

sinverguenza 5 years, 3 months ago

Original_Me:

You do realize the feeling is mutual, right?

0

Chris Golledge 5 years, 3 months ago

chzypoof1 (Anonymous) says…

"As I expected, multiple people are twisting what I said. Traditional marriage is recognized by the state because of it's religious meaning. Forget not that this country was founded on religious morals. yes, we have seperation of church and state, but we also have a preset group of common beliefs that are commonly followed."

If by common, you mean majority (and it can't be common to all or there would be no controversy), then how is this different from saying that you believe that the majority have the right to impose their beliefs on the minority and restrict them from pursuing their own beliefs?

0

sinverguenza 5 years, 3 months ago

chzypoof1 (Anonymous) says…

“As I expected, multiple people are twisting what I said. Traditional marriage is recognized by the state because of it's religious meaning. Forget not that this country was founded on religious morals."

Actually, Article 11 of the 1796 Treaty with Tripoli states:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."

Forget not that morality exists outside of religion, instead.

0

gr 5 years, 3 months ago

"You could use gr's same twisted logic with that one too:

“Hispanics always had the right to wed and still do. We are informed that many do marry and even have children. Then they fall in love with a caucasian. And want additional rights. See, caucasians do not have the right to “marry” someone of the different race either.”"

You could use unLOGICs same twisted logic with that one too:

Two people always had the right to wed and still do. We are informed that many do marry and even have children. Then they fall in love with a third person. And want additional rights. See, any two people do not have the right to “marry” a third person either.”"

"don't even bother with the whole illogical “slippery slope” tactic"

Ag, if you haven't noticed in the news, your feign of slippery slope has become a real item. There ARE those using your same poor reasoning to request polygamy and pedophilia. So no slippery slope there but the continued downward spiral of marriage.

Here's one now: 28 May 2009 at 12:46 p.m. logicsound09 (Anonymous) says…

"I see no flaw with polygamy so long as all parties involved are fully-consenting adults."

"It sounds like you have given up on the argument that gay marriage is harmful"

Not true. I was merely pointing out faulty logic.

"Does the right to pursue happiness mean anything to you?"

Ahhh. There's some right there. Do you stand behind that statement or as soon as I question you on that, you will move on to something else? To get you started in ignoring it, what about bisexuals - does their happiness mean anything to you?

0

Cooky_the_Cook 5 years, 3 months ago

What about asexual people. I don't think they have the right to actually marry "nobody" as of now. Autosexual people cannot marry themselves either. This country sucks.

0

Satirical 5 years, 3 months ago

Sinverguenza… “Please explain”

The holding of Loving v. Virginia can be read broadly, to mean marriage between any two individuals is a fundamental right; or it can be read narrowly, that marriage between one man and one woman is a fundamental right. Since the actual facts of the case presented one man and one woman, the easier argument is to say the holding is limited to the facts. While it is true, the facts did deal with two people, more specifically those two people were one man and one woman. The facts did not involve two men or two women.

So when you say Loving v. Virginia stands for the proposition that marriage is a fundamental right for same-sex marriage, polygamy, group marriage or whatever, I counter that by stating that Loving v. Virginia narrowly interpreted does not support that proposition.

As madameX implicitly stated, this is one debate that would occur if this were ever argued on a U.S. Constitutional basis. Whether Loving should be interpreted narrowly or broadly.

0

Satirical 5 years, 3 months ago

madameX… “The case by itself might not guarantee two men the right to marry, but does it specifically deny them that right?”

I never argued that Loving v. Virginia held that two men do not have the right to marry. The U.S. Supreme Court has been silent on the issue of same-sex marriage, but as stated earlier has ruled the State may regulate or even criminalize certain types of marriage. The type of marriage specifically before the court in Reynolds v. U.S. was polygamy.

I agree no one should have any “forgone conclusion” about what the U.S. Supreme Court will decide (even for subjects already decided), but that doesn’t mean two people can’t debate where the law currently stands based on analogizing similar Court opinions, or debate where they think the law might go.

0

sinverguenza 5 years, 3 months ago

The facts of the case do not concern themselves with gender at all. It's just as easy to interpret it my way as it is yours, so I guess you know, tomato and tomato, but I'll continue to hope (and advocate) that one day this nation will end sexual orientation discrimination.

And the polygamy and group marriage arguments don't really apply considering that only two people were involved in the case.

Really, do you believe that Loving v. Virginia is an opinion designed to outline the right of marriage as "one man and one woman" or as "two consenting adults can marry whomever they choose, regardless of their genetic identity"?

Just throwing this out there - but I would bet that at face value, more people would agree that the case had more to do with freedom of choice in marriage than it had to do with anything else.

But yes, it is not in our hands, but rather the hands of the policy makers and the courts. It's just our duty to fight for what we think is right. I believe equality is right - not just for homosexuals, but for any consenting adults who wish to designate a social contract that affords them benefits and rights. That's another argument for another day.

0

madameX 5 years, 3 months ago

Satirical,

Well, now I have to go look up Reynolds v. U.S.

Sounds like we're on the same page as to where the debate is, even if we disagree on where it should go...

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

sfjayhawk (Anonymous) says…

"And realize that this is merely the last, fitful gasps of a long-dying ideology, markers of a certain kind of sad, conservative desperation. We will all look back and think, what the hell were we thinking? And by the way, isn't President Obama's second term going just astonishingly well?”"

Um - sf? If Obama is still president, then your fairy tale just isn't going to happen. He's against it, ya' know.

By the way, if you keep deluding your self that it's only conservatives that oppose gay marriage, you've already lost. You do know it was a Democratic president that gave us both the DOMA and don't-ask-don't-tell? And before you say we had a Republican congress, there was not a veto-proof majority, and quite a few Dems voted for the DOMA.


Agnostick (Anonymous) says…

"What this really does, then, is set a precedent for the next ballot initiative that goes through… which will most likely be one that overturns Prop. 8."

You and sf living in the same fairy tale land? So, you believe that gay marriage will be made legal by the voters of California - those same voters who just made it illegal?

"And please… don't even bother with the whole illogical “slippery slope” tactic"

Especially as you have no answer for it.

You demand that gays should have the right to marriage because anyone should - anyone but those people (e.g. polygamists). You claim something as a "right" for your favored group but somehow that wouldn't make it a "right" for everybody. Why - because the all-knowing agnoschtick gets to choose who's entitled to their rights?


logicsound09 (Anonymous) says…

"I would be interested to see how the California Supreme Court would rule if Prop 8 was an amendment to prevent interracial marriages…."

A tired old argument, and a fundamentally unsound comparison.

With a ban on interracial marriage, you are treating two groups of men differently. You are saying men in group A can marry these women, but men in group B can not. Conversely, a gay marriage ban treats all men equally - all men can marry any woman, no man can marry any other man.

Also, a ban on gay marriage is not against the Constitution, as it denies nobody any rights. Any gay man can get all of the same benefits (taxes, inheritance, whatever) exactly the same way I can - by marrying a woman.

"The “race” example that I brought up is also “a preference issue”."

Really? When did you choose what race you were?

0

sustainabilitysister 5 years, 3 months ago

It's not good enough California. I can't believe we're still fighting over equal rights for all in the United States of America. Aren't we supposed to be a progressive and more ethical country? I don't understand the argument against gay marriage at all.

0

gr 5 years, 3 months ago

"I'll let you do you own web search on the validity of the ol' “slippery slope” argument—I don't need to “have an answer for it.”"

Guess you just make false claims with no "answer for it"?

Why don't you start by defining what a slippery slope is, then follow that with why you think this fits or doesn't fit? You'll come across appearing more "valid".

0

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

It's very interesting that because I spoke up in favor of gay marriage, that chzy assumes I am gay.

Hmmm - many straight people are in favor of equality under the law.

Actually I am a straight white married male, fwiw.

The problem is the mixed nature of marriage as both a secular and religious institution.

Personally, if I were gay, I would be glad to have a civil union that grants me the same rights/priveleges as marriage, but it seems that many gay/lesbian folks consider that "separate but equal" and thus not really equal.

And, unlike many who feel polygamy would be some sort of disaster, it seems to me if consenting adults are involved, what's the issue?

Given the horrible record of heterosexual marriage (high levels of infidelity, abuse, divorce, child molestation), why do we hold it up as some sort of ideal?

If we are to hold up anything as a positive ideal to strive for, shouldn't it be loving, stable partnerships of whatever kind (as long as they involve consenting adults)?

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.