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Do you agree with the California State Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage ban?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 16, 2008

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Photo of Bill Myers

“I agree with it. It was an idiotic law to make in the first place. It is the land of the free except for you, and you, and you? We shouldn’t be afraid of our differences. They make us stronger.”

Photo of Ruth Hite

“Yes, because I agree with them that a domestic partnership is not an equal substitute for marriage.”

Photo of Mike Hooks

“Sure. I feel like every man and woman should have the right to choose the way they want to live their lives and follow their own personal preferences.”

Photo of Sarah Schirmer

“I absolutely agree that same-sex marriage should be legal. If they’ve found domestic bliss, then they deserve all the benefits of choosing to be with one person for the rest of their lives.”

Comments

EXks 6 years, 2 months ago

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

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ralphralph 6 years, 2 months ago

Re: California ... if the people want to decide otherwise, they can amend their constitution. That is a difficult process, as it should be, but it does put the ultimate power back with the people if there truly is a consensus that the Court is wrong. The whole 'checks and balances' thing is remarkable, and remains superior to any other form of government I've seen out there in the world.

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Kyle Neuer 6 years, 2 months ago

Wedding planners and divorce attorneys everywhere applaud this decision.Long overdue.

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acg 6 years, 2 months ago

Of course I agree. I can't even believe this is an issue. Isn't this 2008?

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Bossa_Nova 6 years, 2 months ago

what would this country be like if we voted on every single social issue and the majority vote was law? would blacks still be drinking from different drinking fountains and eating at segregated restaurants? would women be voting today? probably not, because at that time only men would have been able to vote on that issue.

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Jason Bowers-Chaika 6 years, 2 months ago

Fundie, thank you for the examples of cases. But really, procreation? Are these judges so old that they forgot about how putting tab A into slot B has nothing to do with marriage.If this is the best you can do then would you advocate testing couples to see that both are fertile and then following up with a requirement of procreation within two years? What about couples that are post menopause should they then if married be forced to divorce?Weak at best and discrimination at worst.www.KansasEqualityCoaliton.org

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BigDog 6 years, 2 months ago

stuckinthemiddlethe job of the Supreme Court is to apply the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to laws that have been made:and those judges are selected through a democratic process: they are nominated by Presidents that have been elected by the people and those nominations are approved by elected legislators:_________You can't have it both ways ..... you said it shouldn't be decided by the people because they voted for this President and now most don't approve of him ..... and we have a Congress which was elected by these same people that has around a 23% approval rating.Yet these same Justices, whom two, were nominated by this same President and approved by this same Congress are good enough to decide this issue.

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EXks 6 years, 2 months ago

some of you can have my comments "censored" (so much for free press), but you can't stop the wheel of equality from turning. it is only a matter of time before same sex marriage becomes a reality, history is on the side of progress. tick tock, tick tock

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

yep... time for God to rain down fire and brimstone on California... kill everyone but some guy, his wife and two daughters... and when the wife looks back as she's entering into Nevada... turn her into salt...and then the daughters can live in a cave with their dad and get him drunk and have sex with him...gotta love that story...

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Bossa_Nova 6 years, 2 months ago

i could care less if two consenting adults want to make an official/legal commitment to one another whether it's a guy and a girl, two guys, two girls, two hermaphrodites, whatever, it's not going to influence my sexual preference (i'm a guy and i like girls by the way). unless one thinks this is going to hurt the economy or that his/her sexual orientation is being influenced by samesex couples, why should anyone care?

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JJE007 6 years, 2 months ago

You got the first sentence right...lucky.

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beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

The times, they are a changin'. But who cares. I just got tickets to see Tom Waits in June here in Phoenix, and life is good.

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acg 6 years, 2 months ago

Okay, duplenty, I can dig it. That was a great answer, btw, to my question and you're correct the Bible can be very ridiculous.

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notajayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Nonetheless, I predict 235 comments by the end of the day...

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gogoplata 6 years, 2 months ago

The government should stay completely out of the marriage business.

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davidnta 6 years, 2 months ago

Doeboy, please cite where you got this crappy information from. You must seriously be diluted to pull such bs out. What scientist must do is weed the mental illness you have and the whole world will be a better place for it.

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gccs14r 6 years, 2 months ago

The desire for couples to have kids is either religious, "be fruitful and multiply", or to support the Ponzi scheme that is Social Security.

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

bdabsolutely: to heck with what the masses want...the Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantee individual liberties...allowing the masses to dictate what everyone can and can't do would be Socialism:the job of the Supreme Court is to apply the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to laws that have been made:and those judges are selected through a democratic process: they are nominated by Presidents that have been elected by the people and those nominations are approved by elected legislators:in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and all other amendments to the Constitution there are rights and liberties that are held beyond the reach of "the voters":

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fundamental 6 years, 2 months ago

In 2007, the Maryland Supreme Court (hardly a bastion of conservative thought) ruled in Conaway v. Dean that "marriage enjoys its fundamental status due, in large part, to its link to procreation. This 'inextricable link' between marriage and procreation reasonably could support the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman only, because it is that relationship that is capable of producing biological offspring of both members (advances in reproductive technologies notwithstanding)."Similarly, in 2006, the Washington state supreme court (again, not exactly a middle of the road court) concluded in the case Andersen v. King County that "limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the state's interests in procreation and encouraging families with a mother and father and children biologically related to both." Those aren't exactly religious bases for deciding the cases.

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

beatricedamn... I wish he was coming closer to here... I think Tulsa is as close as he is getting to Lawrence on this tour...enjoy it!

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 2 months ago

I find it's easier just to preemptively disagree with everything the California State Supreme Court does. Or to just disagree with everything California does.

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Bossa_Nova 6 years, 2 months ago

Gareth,you just single handedly shut down this argument.

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Gareth 6 years, 2 months ago

I'll respect the "no-gay-marriage" argument if a single proponent can give me a NON-religious basis for it. I don't care what your Invisible Sky Pixie thinks is naughty. Give me a REAL reason.

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preebo 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm with Blue, this should be a non-issue, politically. However, as an attorney I find this issue compelling, legally. One could argue that sexual orientation is not a "suspect class" as race and gender is framed in the 14th Amendment so it does not fall under the umbrella of protection. The argument for same-sex marriage is much more ambiguous. Having said that, I agree with the courts ruling....as for Notajayhawk's comment, I'll take the over on that one.

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badger 6 years, 2 months ago

Fundamental, the whole point of why we have Supreme Courts is as a check on our legislatures. While legislators are beholden to the majority and make decisions based on popular votes, those 'activist judges' are the ones who are supposed to make sure our laws don't contradict one another. The good people of the State of California are now free to try and amend their Constitution so that the law isn't unconstitutional.This is the system working. This is what it looks like when it works. Voters ask for laws, Congressfolk give the people the laws they say they want, Presidents and Governors decide whether the laws are in keeping with the best interests of the nation and sign or veto them, and then the courts evaluate those laws on pure Constitutional merit to make sure they are enforceable. What it's supposed to do is give us reasonable, sensible, non-contradictory laws, and if the system worked like this more often that's what we'd actually have - an enforceable legal code working in the best interests of the people of the nation. That we don't is a tribute to stupid judicial litmus tests for confirmations, grandstanding politicians using the legal process to score points, and judges who try to legislate from the bench.As to the decision itself, I'm glad to see it. The legal rights and protections afforded by marriage should be available to all consenting adults entering a legally binding domestic partnership of any sort or to none of them. And the social/community aspect of the wedding, whether someone has the moral right to wed another person, is none of the state's business so long as everyone involved is a consenting adult. Before this, gays could get married in any state in the union. They still can, so long as they find a willing officiant. This addresses simply the issue of whether the legal rights that go with that marriage are available to everyone, and they darn well should be.The marriage ceremony itself isn't the government's to prohibit or mandate, but the rights associated with it are government's to establish or deny, and denying them is pure discrimination.

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preebo 6 years, 2 months ago

"Let the voters in the state decide!"It was this type of response that brought us the Jim Crow Era.In that case the voters chose discrimination. Is there a difference here.

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donsalsbury 6 years, 2 months ago

I'll keep this purposefully cryptic: blue73harley is right, this should be a non-issue. But they're wrong about why. Nevertheless, this has been a long time coming. And if the tide continues to rise, I would rather keep the new system than endure the kind of sentiment change that would undo it all.

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kansas778 6 years, 2 months ago

Infertile couples don't redefine marriage, they still fit the pattern that reinforces the main purposes of marriage. Gay "marriage" completely destroys that.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes. Marriage can be conducted in church, or in state (in the court house by a judge) so it should not be a religious issue. Many non-religious folks get married. If the state affords perks to married hetero couples, the same perks should be given to same-sex couples that want to tie the knot. It makes no sense to discriminate.

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bd 6 years, 2 months ago

Let the voters in the state decide!

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Alison Roberts 6 years, 2 months ago

I dont think it should be up to the people in the states to decide whether or not two people should be allowed to get married. Its a right that everyone, no matter their sexuality, should be able to enjoy (or not if they dont want to). Why is it fair to let other people decide the fate of marriages that have nothing to do with them. Marriage should be about the love of two people, regardless of their sexual preference.

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fundamental 6 years, 2 months ago

Don't get me wrong, folks, I prefer my government as hands-off as possible. If, however, a law must be passed, it should be done so by the means prescribed by the Constitution, not by 7 non-elected officials. That's my beef.

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beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Regarding the offspring issue, would this mean that women who have gone through "the change" shouldn't be allowed to marry since they can't biologically have children? How would this translate to an infertile couple? They couldn't biologically produce, which makes them no different from same-gender couples if birthing were the criteria for granting approval of marriage.

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gccs14r 6 years, 2 months ago

Marriage is a durable financial contract. That's why it requires State approval and why it can be messy to undo.

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Bone777 6 years, 2 months ago

The California Supreme Court is so gay...

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jonas 6 years, 2 months ago

Jorge (Anonymous) says:"If you look at Sodom and Gomorrah. According to Gen. 19:24, it was destroyed by fire from heaven, along with Sodom, for the wickedness of its inhabitants,which were people just like these.What happened to the morals our country was established on, or do we not care any more."According to the Silmarillion, Illuvatar destroys the great land and kingdom of Numenor because they were too prideful, and lusted after the immortality of the Valar, making war on the gods.

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gogoplata 6 years, 2 months ago

All of this could be simply resolved. The problem is that we have one side saying that gay marriage should not be allowed by the government, and the other side saying that gay marriage should be allowed by the government. Why not say that the government keep its long fingers out of marriage completely. For Christians marriage would be left to the church and for the gay couples it could be left to the church or whatever. Then the Christians wouldn't be using force (government) to impose thier views on the gays and the gays wouldn't be using force (government) to impose thier views on the Christians. Live and let live. Sounds good to me.

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fundamental 6 years, 2 months ago

As Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter stated in his dissenting opinion, "Nothing in our Constitution, express or implicit, compels the majority's startling conclusion that the age-old understanding of marriage - an understanding recently confirmed by an initiative law - is no longer valid. California statutes already recognize same-sex unions and grant them all the substantive legal rights this state can bestow. If there is to be a further sea change in the social and legal understanding of marriage itself, that evolution should occur by similar democratic means."

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jonas 6 years, 2 months ago

Gotcha. Long thread, context can get lost.

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acg 6 years, 2 months ago

You took the words right outta my mouth, stuck. Jorge, if you believe that nonsense, go right ahead. But your right to believe in that should stop at the enacting of legislation that dictate to me or mine how we should live our lives. That's why we have a country that separates church from state (or at least it was supposed to).

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

let's see.... "Let the voters in the state decide!"the same voters who 5 years ago supported the bombing and invasion of Iraq by 80% to 20% opposed, and now oppose the war by over 70%?or... the same voters who twice elected a President who now sits with an approval rating in the 20s with over a 70% disapproval rating?those voters?I don't think so: the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are far more reliable than "the voters"... the California Supreme Court got this right:it's time that the US Supreme Court followed suit:

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acg 6 years, 2 months ago

ralphralph, I have often wondered that same thing myself. Personally, I'm not against polygamist relationships if all of the people involved are knowledgeable of the situation and of legal age to be married. I think marrying multiple people without their consent should be illegal, but otherwise, who are we to say who should marry who and why?

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gccs14r 6 years, 2 months ago

Jonas, I was responding to fundamental and referring to why the government has an interest in couples having children. They want to make sure that they have an ever-expanding pool of taxpayers.

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

FundamentalJudges don't pass laws... they rule on the Constitutionality of laws that have been passed by the voters or legislators...and... excellent point made to Benny... regarding those besides Bush who believe the government should have a say in who with and how we fall in love and who with and how live your lives...

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

fundamental I can't disagree, in principle... and though I believe that the courts are a necessary evil, I believe they are messed up, beyond just the problem with activism... but I don't see this as activism... I believe this is a matter of rightly ruling that the existing law was unconstitutional... the decision was that part of the existing law made something illegal that they believe is constitutionally protected... and I believe they are correct:

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fundamental 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, you asked for one "non-religious" reason, and I gave you one. I'm sorry you didn't like it. It clearly has nothing to do with religion, and is a reason that high courts have, in multiple cases, cited as cause for not observing same-sex marriage. You asked for it; I gave it to you. What else do you want?

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

beyond the legal protections that the statutes provide to same-sex unions, "marriage" is a matter of religious, cultural and social choice... of which the State and courts have no business getting involved in...Baxter has it ass-backwards with regards to how change in social understanding should come about... if we are indeed a country of liberty, matters of religion, culture and social understanding should be allowed to develop outside the government interference.. including democratic votes...as it has been said:"the government that governs best is the government the governs least:"

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

ralphralph It's a good question... I really don't know if there is a reasoned argument that states clearly any kind of trespass upon others' rights in plural marriage...and... without any such trespass, why should there be a government prohibition?

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Doeboy 6 years, 2 months ago

One mustn't forget the gay men who spread Aids across the globe, or the disease of cryptosporidium, a highly infectious disease that spread like wildfire in the homosexual community, now found in our ground water and streams able to infect at will. Of course we mustn't forget the 70% divorce rates of the gays who were allowed to marry just a few short years ago.It isn't about religion. Shouldn't science be trying to figure out how to cure this mental illness of sexual perversion instead of accepting it? Will someone now sue for a trifecta?

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fundamental 6 years, 2 months ago

Badger wrote:The marriage ceremony itself isn't the government's to prohibit or mandate, but the rights associated with it are government's to establish or deny, and denying them is pure discrimination.Guess what? They already had those rights. They just weren't called married. That's all. It's semantics. I'm all about civil unions; I think they're great. I don't see how you can deny consenting adults willing to commit to one another a set of rights that others enjoy simply because of their gender or gender preference. There are all sorts of legal arrangements that grant rights to both parties. I simply prefer "marriage" as a subset of civil unions, one that is made up of one consenting male and one consenting female. That's my opinion.

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gccs14r 6 years, 2 months ago

California: like everywhere else, only sooner.

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

BigDogI'm not trying to have it "both ways" or any way...the system is what it is:my examples of what the voters have voted for and supported were just that... examples...examples of how the voters/masses are unreliable when it comes to understanding and making decisions on key issues that effect anyone other than themselves as individuals:as for how we get judges put in place it's a matter or checks and balances...it's not ideal... but it beats having the voters/masses making key decisions about what people can and can't do...

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

acg~chuckle~Joshua 5:3 is pretty creepy, isn't it?

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acg 6 years, 2 months ago

duplenty, Joshua 5:3? Seriously? Um, I have to ask why.

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bd 6 years, 2 months ago

So ,"STICKINTHEMIDDLE" we let the supreme court decide our future!!!!!!!To heck with what the masses want!That is not Democracy, but Socializm!

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kansas778 6 years, 2 months ago

Marriage is not about, and has never been about, love. That's the fairy tale version. Grow up.

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fundamental 6 years, 2 months ago

Benny Oates,For your information, it's not only W. and Rove that you should be sticking it to. All three current presidential candidates have stated they do not support same-sex marriage. So really, your statement should have read, "not just those who worship at the altar of Obama, Clinton, McCain, W. Bush and Karl Rove.

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ralphralph 6 years, 2 months ago

Question: If marriage is no longer "one man and one woman", then can we justify prohibiting plural marriages? That is, if marriage can be "one man and one woman" or "one man and one man" or "one woman and one woman", then why can't it be "one man and two women" or "one woman and thirteen men"? I'm not much of an advocate either way, but it seems that if we are going to say that marriage is the union of people who love each other, in whatever form or gender they come, then is there still a limit to that, and if so, why?

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Sean Livingstone 6 years, 2 months ago

People who are against same-sex marriage replicate those who opposed cross-racial marriages in the past. What you do in your bedroom is none of my business, and who you like to marry is also none of my business. This is not the business of this country, people should have the rights to choose who they like to go to bed with, who they want to give their wealth to.. blah blah blah. Move on.... let's tackle the Iraq war...

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fundamental 6 years, 2 months ago

Stuck,Judicial activism is a huge problem in this country. You can argue that there never should have been a law in the first place, but the fact is, there was a law regarding same-sex marriage (one that granted every right that marriage affords hetero-sexual couples). What the court did was essentially write a new law. I understand that "technically" they ruled on the constitutionality of the law, or at least that's what the 4 who voted in the majority will claim. That doesn't change the fact that something that was not addressed by the law prior to 2000 is now legal, and not because it went through the prescribed democratic process. That's my issue with it.

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jonas 6 years, 2 months ago

gccs14r: Or, maybe, they like kids. . . .

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Jorge 6 years, 2 months ago

If you look at Sodom and Gomorrah. According to Gen. 19:24, it was destroyed by fire from heaven, along with Sodom, for the wickedness of its inhabitants,which were people just like these. What happened to the morals our country was established on, or do we not care any more.

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gccs14r 6 years, 2 months ago

No federal marriage amendment is required. The 14th Amendment is sufficient.

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Jason Bowers-Chaika 6 years, 2 months ago

If one were to examine the reasons why the government allows civil contracts between Man/Woman consenting adults that are called marriage, one would likely agree that the same reasons would apply to gay couples.www.KansasEqualityCoalition.org

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ilikestuff 6 years, 2 months ago

No.gogoplata, I have heard your argument before and agree completely.

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tashtego 6 years, 2 months ago

In 1948, the same court, California Supreme Court, found that the state law against interracial marriage was unconsititutional. Any law that restricts a fundamental right is subject to what we lawyers call "strict scrutiny". A state defending such a law must show a "compelling state interest" as opposed to a "rational basis". In this case, as in other cases, notably the U.S. Supreme Court case of Romer v. Evans (Colorado constitutional amendment prohibiting anti-discrimination laws protecting gays), the state could not do that. And it probably could not come up with a "rational basis either, had the judicial review been regular scrutiny. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an aptly-named decision, Loving v. Virginia, found that marriage is a fundamental right, a unanimous decision overturning Virginia's law prohibiting interracial marriage. Why not let the people decide? Because the whole idea of the Constitution, as interpreted over the years in these kinds of disputes, is that majorities do not decide the rights of minorities. So I look forward to the U.S. Supreme Court invalidating ALL the state constitutional amendments that restrict marriage. If you had put interracial marriage to a vote in California in 1948, or in Virginia in 1967, a majority of voters would likely have been in favor of prohibiting it. But if McCain wins this year, Bush III will be under immense pressure to appoint so-called "conservative" judges who have an activist (and statist) agenda--to destroy the right to privacy, overrule Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas and abortion and homosexual conduct will be illegal in many states once again.Some "conservatives". They want to rescind the right to privacy from governmental interference. And the states' alleged justification for laws like these is to protect "families" and "traditional marriage". It's ridiculous. Back when homosexual conduct was criminal, or misunderstood, lots of homosexuals would get married to the opposite sex. That DID cause harm to families and to children, as marriages and families broke up and parents were not happy with their lives, etc.

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jonas 6 years, 2 months ago

"When God glorifies himself in perfecting the salvation of his people, he not only silences all enemies, but rolls back their reproaches upon themselves."Maybe the problem is a god that glorifies himself. Only self-centered jerks glorify themselves.

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purplesage 6 years, 2 months ago

The referendum of the people means nothing. Actions of duly elected representative have been disregarded. A group of judges has adjudicated radical social change. It is time for a federal marriage amendment. See the following:http://www.informz.net/pfm/archives/archive_602932.html

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Jorge 6 years, 2 months ago

Joshua 5:3?How dreadful is their case, who see the wrath of God advancing towards them, without being able to turn it aside, or escape it! Such will be the horrible situation of the wicked; nor can words express the anguish of their feelings, or the greatness of their terror. Oh that they would now take warning, and before it be too late, flee for refuge to lay hold upon that hope set before them in the gospel! God impressed these fears on the Canaanites, and dispirited them. This gave a shortrest to the Israelites, and circumcision rolled away the reproach of Egypt. They were hereby owned to be the free-born children of God, having the seal of the covenant. When God glorifies himself in perfecting the salvation of his people, he not only silences all enemies, but rolls back their reproaches upon themselves.

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Jorge 6 years, 2 months ago

"When God glorifies himself in perfecting the salvation of his people, he not only silences all enemies, but rolls back their reproaches upon themselves."Maybe the problem is a god that glorifies himself. Only self-centered jerks glorify themselves. This is real love-not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.~ 1 John 4:10, NLTI guess that was selfish too.

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