Archive for Wednesday, February 8, 2012

California same-sex marriage ban struck down

February 8, 2012


— Same-sex marriage moved one step closer to the Supreme Court on Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled California’s ban unconstitutional, saying it serves no purpose other than to “lessen the status and human dignity” of gays.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave gay marriage opponents time to appeal the 2-1 decision before ordering the state to allow same-sex weddings to resume.

“I’m ecstatic. I recognize that we have a ways to go yet. We may have one or two more legal steps,” said Jane Leyland, who was gathered with a small crowd outside the federal courthouse in downtown San Francisco, cheering as they learned of the ruling.

Leyland married her longtime partner, Terry Gilb, during the five-month window when same-sex marriage was legal in California.

“But when we first got together, I would have never dreamed in a million years that we would be allowed to be legally married, and here we are.”

The ban known as Proposition 8 was approved by voters in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote. The court said it was unconstitutional because it singled out a minority group for disparate treatment for no compelling reason.

The justices concluded that the law had no purpose other than to deny gay couples marriage, since California already grants them all the rights and benefits of marriage if they register as domestic partners.

The lone dissenting judge insisted that the ban could help ensure that children are raised by married, opposite-sex parents.

The appeals court focused its decision exclusively on California’s ban, not the bigger debate, even though the court has jurisdiction in nine Western states.

Whether same-sex couples may ever be denied the right to marry “is an important and highly controversial question,” the court said. “We need not and do not answer the broader question in this case.”


FalseHopeNoChange 6 years, 3 months ago

Looks like Webster is going to have to change the "definition" of another word.

Although, I think they should leave it the same and add 2 new ones.

Lezeriage Woman + Woman Beariage Man + Man

Since "poligamy", Man + Women has won a victory. New words for Woman + Women and Man + Men needs to be determined.

I'll take suggestions here please.

Thanks for your participation.

geekin_topekan 6 years, 3 months ago

You have this gothic relish-the-pain thing going on; what gives?

I believe you have solved your own problem though--If marriage is betwixt woman/man, man/man, woman/woman, all in the singular, the language of marriage remains clear. You seem to push this multiplicity issue where there is none to be had. The phantom poligamy issue has fixed itself through societal rule. You can't solve all the world's issues through pessimism. "What if" fears in human behavior are the cause of most problems. Live the solution instead of thinking up problems.

geekin_topekan 6 years, 3 months ago

Funny, I have not heard a single call for a gender-correct title so you are more up on the gay movement than I.

Again, when the surge for title correctness and multiplicity arises, I am sure we can count on your input. When there is no issue to be addressed and we want to hear unsubatntiated paranoia, well, we'll be here for you.

phoggyjay 6 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

phoggyjay 6 years, 3 months ago

"Lezeriage Woman + Woman" "Beariage Man + Man"

Would you care to elaborate as to what that means, FalseHopeNoChange?

phoggyjay 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm actually talking about the words "Lezeriage and Beariage" that you used. What do these words mean? Please enlighten us.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

If the will of the people wanted you to shut up, could we impose that upon you? Could we ban your religion? Put you on a ship back to the land of your ancestors? The will of the people must be tempered by that little thing we call a Constitution. You know, equal rights and all.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

Correction: White, racist, sexist, and rich.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

Will of the people? In a democracy maybe, but we live in a representative republic which protects the rights of the minority.

Brian Laird 6 years, 3 months ago

"republic" and democracy are not mutually exclusive terms. We live in a representative democracy that is also a republic.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps I should have qualified the statement by saying "direct" democracy. Point is, our system of government doesn't allow the majority to dominate the minority...the Constitution will prevail. Some folks apparently think we're living in a direct, or true, democracy whereby the will of the majority is all that matters. The majority of Californian voted to ban gay marriage, but the court says that violates the minority's Constitutional Rights. We live in a republic.

The U.S. Constitution; Article IV, Section 4 -- "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a REPUBLICAN Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion."

U.S. Pledge of Allegiance -- "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The founders of our country believed pure democracy, i.e., the majority of people are always correct, to be contemptible. As Benjamin Franklin was leaving the building where, after four months of hard work, the Constitution had been completed and signed, a lady asked him what kind of government did the convention create. A very old, very tired, and very wise Benjamin Franklin replied; "A Republic, ma'am if you can keep it."

From: The American Ideal of 1776: The Twelve Basic American Principles. -- "It is important to keep in mind the difference between a Democracy and a Republic, as dissimilar forms of government. Understanding the difference is essential to comprehension of the fundamentals involved. It should be noted, in passing, that use of the word Democracy as meaning merely the popular type of government--that is, featuring genuinely free elections by the people periodically--is not helpful in discussing, as here, the difference between alternative and dissimilar forms of a popular government: a Democracy versus a Republic. This double meaning of Democracy--a popular-type government in general, as well as a specific form of popular government--needs to be made clear in any discussion, or writing, regarding this subject, for the sake of sound understanding.

These two forms of government: Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority."

Brian Laird 6 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, you are making a distinction that just does not exist by restricting the meaning of words to what you think they should mean. You arbitrarily decide that "democracy" only means "direct democracy". However, there is such a thing as "representative democracy", which is what we currently have. If you want to try to co-opt the word "democracy" to mean only what you say it means, that is fine, but don't try to make the rest of us go along.

I agree with you that the constitution puts limits on what can be democratically decided with out changing the constitution, so that the rights of the minority are not trampled. This is a good thing. However, the constitution can be amended through the democratic process, so it is not set in stone.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

That's not what Benjamin Franklin thought. But wtf does he know, right?

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

Where in the Constitution does it say democracy? It doesn't. The Constitution does say republican form of government. Sorry, to bring it up...The Constitution is nothing but toilet paper these days anyway.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh boy! Ben Franklin says its a republic....The constitution says its a republic, the pledge of allegiance says its a republic...but I'm co-opting the words? Wow.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

The goal of a Constitutional Republic is to avoid the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy but what exists in America today is a far cry from the Constitutional Republic our forefathers brought forth.

"A Constitutional Republic has some similarities to democracy in that it uses democratic processes to elect representatives and pass new laws, etc. The critical difference lies in the fact that a Constitutional Republic has a Constitution that limits the powers of the government. It also spells out how the government is structured, creating checks on its power and balancing power between the different branches. The sovereignty resides with the people themselves. The people have no obligation to the government; instead, the government is a servant of the people, and obliged to its owner, We the People. "

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

Definition of DEMOCRACY: a. government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b. a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 3 months ago

Wrong again. It's all about the will of the almighty dollar.Or the 1%which holds most of it.Most of the opposition to gay marriage was funded by the Mormon church.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

It's time to move forward. It's nobody's business who marries whom. If anyone, gay or straight wants to marry, let them. If a church doesn't want to do it, then do it at city hall.
However, if marriage is to be limited, let the limits be on Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears.

phoggyjay 6 years, 3 months ago

On to the Supreme Court, where it will hopefully become legal in all fifty states. Is America finally ready to grow up and let adults choose who they want to marry, regardless of gender? I think so.

RogueThrill 6 years, 3 months ago

Not to mention it's a judge addressing a policy question when he should be judging the case based on the legal merits. You know, like the other judges.

deec 6 years, 3 months ago

Actually a majority of people polled favor gay marriage, or are equally divided for/against.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

You seem to forget about the Constitution there.

When the majority try to pass unconstitutional laws, the courts rightly intervene.

Part of those "checks and balances".

deec 6 years, 3 months ago

Equal protection clause, 14th amendment.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Depends on which unconstitutional law we're discussing.

Your comment was broad, so my response was broad.

In this instance, denying same-sex marriage violates the "pursuit of happiness" clause, as well as Loving v. Virginia, which held that marriage is a fundamental right.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

The term "judicial activism" is the emptiest, most meaningless phrase ever. Even the person who first coined that phrase could never come up with a definition for it.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

It's a bogus definition, not made up by the guy who coined the phrase (who came to regret it). The definition you have cited is one that can be (and usually is) applied to any decision by the side who disagrees with that decision.

The written decision in this particular case is very fairly based on US Supreme Court precedent, so could hardly be said to be based on personal views about public policy but rather on binding case law the appellate court is obligated to follow.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

And the only opinions that will ultimately matter are those of the SC justices who hear a case on this issue.

My general point is that you seem to have forgotten about the whole "checks and balances" part of our system when you say things like "If the courts are going to dictate our laws,..."

Our system is not one which is founded on the simple idea of majority rule, without any other considerations.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

Please see my comment above explaining how we live in a republic whereby the Constitution protects the individual and minority from the tyranny of the majority...

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 3 months ago

Wiki: "The response of church members to their leadership's appeals to donate money and volunteer time was very supportive, such that Latter-day Saints provided a significant source for financial donations in support of the proposition, both inside and outside the State of California. About 45% of out-of-state contributions to came from Utah, over three times more than any other state. ProtectMarriage, the official proponents of Proposition 8, estimate that about half the donations they received came from Mormon sources, and that "eighty to ninety percent" of the early volunteers going door-to-door were LDS."

Terry Sexton 6 years, 3 months ago

Long time coming & long overdue. I read that in a 'personals' ad, but it applies here, too.

Peacemaker452 6 years, 3 months ago

An easy way to solve this problem is to get government completely out of the marriage business. The only interaction that should require government involvement is if the people getting “married” want to record a legal contract before hand, or to apply common law to the “divorce” of no contract is on file.

voevoda 6 years, 3 months ago

If the dissenting judge is determined to see that all children are raised by married, opposite-sex couples, he is going about it the wrong way. Maybe he should start by prohibiting divorce. And then by requiring men to marry their pregnant girlfriends. And then by requiring widows and widowers to remarry. That would eliminate most of the circumstances in which children are raised in homes without married, opposite-sex parents; families with gay parents are not nearly so numerous. Of course, any judge who tried to do any of this would be forced from the bench. And rightly so.

pocket_of_sunshine 6 years, 3 months ago

+1,000,000,000,000,00 People would have absolute meltdowns if the law told them they couldn't get a divorce and had to stay married to help protect the so called "sanctity of marriage" so many people like to use as argument.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

""The justices concluded that the law had no purpose other than to deny gay couples marriage, since California already grants them all the rights and benefits of marriage if they register as domestic partners." === I think this was the esence of the decision, not whether or not the court 'approved' of these arrangements. Should be interesting if the Supremes take it. If they are smart, they'll let it stand and wait some more to see what other cases come up. As I understand it, this was based on the public allowing gay marriage, then taking it away via popular vote. As someone mentioned above, the public cannot vote to deny rights to others. If this were the case, all sorts of strange ballot measures would pop up in some of the states. Good decision so far, IMHO.

somedude20 6 years, 3 months ago

The logic of some people. So if a woman married another woman and a man married another man that would cause the people of America to go crazy and start marrying appliances, dogs, polygamy? Same logic would be that allowing people to carry concealed handguns everywhere would lead to people carrying rocket launchers, flamethrowers, TNW's and machine guns everywhere and we can't have that..gateway drug!

Guess when you allow the blind to own and use a handgun, logic is not a common virtue

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

It's only disturbing because people fail to understand our constitutional principles and protections, and mistakenly believe that the "will of the voters" is all that counts.

Also, of course, only 52% of the voters approved it, so a large minority of 48% opposed it.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Indeed. And just a few years later, I'm not sure the vote would come out the same. I've also heard anecdotally from several people who voted yes, thinking that was a vote in favor of gay marriage. Who knows how many voters made that same mistake (both ways).

Which really just lends more support for the idea that something like this should not be put to a popular vote.

Linda Endicott 6 years, 3 months ago

I thought it was disturbing that the issue was put on the ballot in the first place...

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

This proposition does nothing to improve marriage - infidelity and divorce rates are quite high among heterosexuals.

Actually, most people who want to safeguard the rights of gay folks would probably be fine if society or the state eliminated the various legal benefits of marriages.

As long as those exist, though, gay folks should be entitled to them.

I'm also fine with civil unions, and religious marriages, as long as everybody can create a civil union - that's actually a pretty good idea to me.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 3 months ago

Leaving the subject out of it, I don't like the fact that the people's voice is not heard. Fair election, the loser goes to court and wins. I'd feel the same the other way too.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

The problem, though, is that something like whether rights that have been granted should now be stripped should (must) never be put to a popular vote. The American constitutional system worked exactly as James Madison and the rest of the founders intended by utilizing all of our checks and balances to make sure the rights of a minority were not infringed by a majority.

pace 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe we could just vote the trolls should not have the right of free speech. cool huh? Gee what if the trolls voted that caring people should not marry. Now that would be a bummer. We probably should not turn away from civil rights, personal rights. I have no desire to interfere with other's matrimony, except to wish the newly weds the best of luck and good wishes. If a husband doesn't care if the "wife" can't cook, I don't care. If a wife doesn't care if the husband can't mow the lawn, I don't care. I don't care which person wants to be "wife" or "husband". If a man wants to marry a man, I don't care, or a woman wishes to marry a woman I don't care. I only care if some body want to impose his prejudice on another. Gay marriage, cross faith marriage, interracial marriage, is not an assault on other people's marriage. . I can make a commitment of love , gay or straight, is sure better than a commitment of hate. I know this will not sway anyone, most minds are made up. I wish some of the people arguing against other people's right to marry would at least acknowledge they are talking about people who love each other.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

If it involves consenting adults, I have no problem with it.

Or with group marriages.

purplesage 6 years, 3 months ago

Wrong. You cannot do anything you want in a free country. Legislation has been passing at record rates trying to do what folks used to do for themselvs - control themselves. I cannot, with impunity, scream "FIRE" in a room filled with people, as the old example goes. I cannot drive 80 MPH on Highway 59 - even if I want to.

And you are wrong on another count. The fact is, the country is not free. The Obama Administration is forcing people to violate their conscience by requiring even Roman Catholic institutions to carry "health insurance" tha offends the Church's positions on contraception and abortion. Hillary Clinton talks of "freedom of worship" - a semantic trick to keep religion and religious expression under wraps and out of the public square. And now, despite the will of the people, and that is always dependent upon who exercises the right to vote, some deviation of marriage is being rammed down the throats of Californians by the 9th Circuit.

Say what you want, it isn't "normal" - two men married, two women wed, is, has always been, and will always be a violation of nature and of God's precepts. And by the way, it has nothing to do with whether the folks involved are pleasant, good natured, intelligent, etc.. It just isn't normal. That's all.

deec 6 years, 3 months ago

If it isn't "normal", then why has it been documented in dozens of other species? If god doesn't like homosexuals, why did he make so many of them? Homosexuality is quite normal; that's why it has been documented throughout history. Marriage, likewise, has had a multitude of variations throughout history.

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