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California high court upholds gay marriage ban
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California high court upholds gay marriage ban - May 26, 2009, 03:42 PM

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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...4hwkwD98E4K4G0

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California high court upholds gay marriage ban
By LISA LEFF 41 minutes ago
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The California Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, but it also decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before the law took effect will stay wed. Demonstrators outside the court yelled "shame on you!" Gay rights activists immediately promised to resume their fight, saying they would go back to voters as early as next year in a bid to repeal the ban.
The 6-1 decision written by Chief Justice Ron George rejected an argument by gay rights activists that the ban revised the California Constitution's equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature's approval.
The court said the Californians have a right, through the ballot box, to change their constitution.
"In a sense, petitioners' and the attorney general's complaint is that it is just too easy to amend the California Constitution through the initiative process. But it is not a proper function of this court to curtail that process; we are constitutionally bound to uphold it," the ruling said.
The justices said the 136-page majority ruling does not speak to whether they agree with the voter-approved Proposition 8 or "believe it should be a part of the California Constitution."
They said they were "limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values."
The announcement of the decision set off an outcry among a sea of demonstrators who had gathered in front of the San Francisco courthouse awaiting the ruling. Holding signs and many waving rainbow flags, they yelled "shame on you." Many people also held hands in a chain around an intersection in an act of protest.
Same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
The court said it is well-established legal principle that an amendment is not retroactive unless it is clear that the voters intended it to apply retroactively, and there was no such clear indication in Proposition 8.
That provided some relief for the 18,000 gay couples who married in the brief time same-sex marriage was legal last year but that wasn't enough to dull the anger over the ruling that banned gay marriage.
"It's not about whether we get to stay married. Our fight is far from over," said Jeannie Rizzo, 62, who was one of the lead plaintiffs along with her wife, Polly Cooper. "I have about 20 years left on this earth, and I'm going to continue to fight for equality every day."
Also in the crowd gathered at City Hall, near the courthouse, were Sharon Papo, 30, and Amber Weiss, 32, who were married on the first day gay marriage was legal last year, June 17.
"We're relieved our marriage was not invalidated, but this is a hollow victory because there are so many that are not allowed to marry those they love," Weiss said.
"I feel very uncomfortable being in a special class of citizens," Papo said.
A small group of Proposition 8 supporters also had gathered outside the court to hear the ruling.
"A lot of people just assume we're religious nuts. We're not. But we are Christians and we believe in the Bible," said George Popko, 22, a student at American River College in Sacramento, where the student government officially endorsed Proposition 8.
The state Supreme Court had ruled last May that it was unconstitutional to deny gay couples the right to wed. Many same-sex couples had rushed to get married before the November vote on Proposition 8, fearing it could be passed. When it was, gay rights activists went back to the court arguing that the ban was improperly put to voters and amounted to a revision which required legislative approval not an amendment.
That was the issue justices decided Tuesday.
"After comparing this initiative measure to the many other constitutional changes that have been reviewed and evaluated in numerous prior decisions of this court, we conclude Proposition 8 constitutes a constitutional amendment rather than a constitutional revision," the ruling said.
Justice Carlos Moreno wrote the dissenting opinion disagreeing that the proposition did not change the constitution's equal protection clause. He said the law denying same-sex couples the right to wed "strikes at the core of the promise of equality that underlies our California Constitution." He said it represents a "drastic and far-reaching change."
"Promising equal treatment to some is fundamentally different from promising equal treatment for all," said Moreno, who had been mentioned as a possible contender for the U.S. Supreme Court. "Promising treatment that is almost equal is fundamentally different from ensuring truly equal treatment."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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May 26, 2009, 04:43 PM

It's actually not a ban. No US state has ever banned gay marriage, including California. "Gay marriage" has just not existed until recently. Historically, marriage has had a certain definition, and there are those who wish to redefine it to include more than the term has encompassed in the past. What California has done is to decide that the term marriage does not now mean more than it used to in the past. In essence, they have done... nothing.

On the other hand, they did have a clause to recognize the 18k or so marriages performed for gay couples during the time in which marriage underwent it's redefinition. The result is a kind of marriage schizophrenia. The state will eventually either have to revoke those marriages or let marriage mean more, including that two dudes can be married to each other.

What you have is a state where the citizens have spoken not once, not twice, but three times in favor of not redefining marriage. On the second go-round, the state supreme court decided that it knew better and wouldn't follow the popular vote. On the third round, the court went with the popular vote.

Just in case there is any confusion, I have just listed some facts, not offered any of my own opinions on the matter.


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May 26, 2009, 04:57 PM

The court is correct in this case. Unless they find irregularities in how the initiative ended up on the ballot, voter fraud, or any other procedural issues, there is not much the court can do about it. The voters of California have chosen to amend the state constitution.

It does not, however, change my opinion that if you are going to disallow gay "marriage" but allow "civil unions," then any "marriage" performed in City Hall by a government official (judge, justice of the peace, etc) is a "civil union"... regardless of the gender of the two people. It also does not change my opinion that the church can define "marriage" the way it wants to and the government must respect it (that ever-popular first amendment and religious freedom), but that civil "marriages" must also abide by the "equal protection" clause of the fourteenth amendment and be allowed, regardless of gender of those entering into the union.

Because honestly... why do we need to protect gays from the hells of married life?


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May 26, 2009, 05:22 PM

I truly believe in the future, maybe 20 years or so we will look back on these events and think to ourselves "what in the hell were we thinking".

Similar to how we think when we look back on the civil rights movement. Again what in the hell were we (white people) thinking?

It weirds me out to see 2 guys making out and stuff but honestly, everyone deserves to be happy. If you are able to remove all religious thinking (brain washing according to some) from your thoughts there is no reason why same sex marriage should be banned other than what religion has convinced you is right vs. wrong.

Another great debate that is probably a waste of time. We aren't going to agree, you aren't going to change my mind, I'm not going to change yours so lets talk about motorcycles instead.
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May 26, 2009, 05:55 PM

The attempt to liken this to the civil rights movement is problematic. For starters, it's a secular position built on the premise that all human life is sacred, but it has no explanation for why all human life is sacred. Secondly, marriage is a social construct that has roots in religious doctrine. It exists for reasons that go far beyond personal happiness. Race, on the other hand, is an inherent characteristic of the individual, and the same religious doctrine that upholds marriage also provides the best explanation for why a person's race is sacred.


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May 26, 2009, 06:18 PM

Actually, marriage has its roots in financial strengthening and alliance making. Had a squabble with your neighbor? Have your kid marry his... then you have common grandchildren, and they end up inheriting from both sides. You didn't have quite enough to do the stuff you wanted? Neither did your neighbor? Well, marry into the family and together you might have enough financially to do it.

Religion only put a ceremony around it to "bless" the whole union thing.

If you really want to look at the roots of marriage, look at a Jewish wedding. They're easily one of the oldest religions on the planet. Ever been to a ceremony? That nice little exchange of vows in front of family and friends under the chupa (pardon my spelling, please) finishing up with the breaking of the glass? WRONG. You missed it. They were married a bit before that when the bride and groom stood in front of a Rabbi in the presence of their parents and a couple of other folks who've been through their bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs... and SIGNED A CONTRACT.

The whole ceremony in front of the large crowd is just a big reason to celebrate and have a big ol' party with the friends, family, neighbors, etc.


"They who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- B. Franklin

Every politician should serve two terms... one in office followed immediately by an equal or longer-length one in jail... except in New Jersey where jail time is a pre-requisite to holding office.

Donkeys and Elephants belong in a zoo, not Congress.

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May 26, 2009, 06:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by david636 View Post
I truly believe in the future, maybe 20 years or so we will look back on these events and think to ourselves "what in the hell were we thinking".

Similar to how we think when we look back on the civil rights movement. Again what in the hell were we (white people) thinking?

It weirds me out to see 2 guys making out and stuff but honestly, everyone deserves to be happy. If you are able to remove all religious thinking (brain washing according to some) from your thoughts there is no reason why same sex marriage should be banned other than what religion has convinced you is right vs. wrong.

Another great debate that is probably a waste of time. We aren't going to agree, you aren't going to change my mind, I'm not going to change yours so lets talk about motorcycles instead.
I see these two statements made a lot from the "secular side" whenever religion is brought up.

If someone is ready to say, that their mind will not be changed, how are they not brainwashed themselves?


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I'm not saying this site has a bunch of gay dudes on it but a few of you definitely lack a bumpstop on the sexuality gate.
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May 26, 2009, 06:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Piper View Post
Actually, marriage has its roots in financial strengthening and alliance making. Had a squabble with your neighbor? Have your kid marry his... then you have common grandchildren, and they end up inheriting from both sides. You didn't have quite enough to do the stuff you wanted? Neither did your neighbor? Well, marry into the family and together you might have enough financially to do it.

Religion only put a ceremony around it to "bless" the whole union thing.

If you really want to look at the roots of marriage, look at a Jewish wedding. They're easily one of the oldest religions on the planet. Ever been to a ceremony? That nice little exchange of vows in front of family and friends under the chupa (pardon my spelling, please) finishing up with the breaking of the glass? WRONG. You missed it. They were married a bit before that when the bride and groom stood in front of a Rabbi in the presence of their parents and a couple of other folks who've been through their bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs... and SIGNED A CONTRACT.

The whole ceremony in front of the large crowd is just a big reason to celebrate and have a big ol' party with the friends, family, neighbors, etc.
I don't think it goes, like you think it goes.


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I'm not saying this site has a bunch of gay dudes on it but a few of you definitely lack a bumpstop on the sexuality gate.
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Here is my anus! Deliver thy penis unto it!


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May 26, 2009, 06:33 PM

What exactly is marriage to most people, anyway? I'm curious to know what people think it's for.


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What exactly is marriage to most people, anyway? I'm curious to know what people think it's for.




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I think you and Carnage can still go to Massachusetts.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seijirou View Post
I'm describing what I remember from my friend's marriage many years ago. He and I knew each other since first grade. I was at his bar mitzvah... I was in his wedding party. I know about the ceremony in front of the Rabbi because I watched them go into it... saw the little table, etc. I believe it was my friend, his bride, his father, her parents, the best man, and the "maid of honor"... and of course the Rabbi. Then they closed the door, did their business, came out and had the ceremony, and had one big party. He later explained to me what happened, since I'm not Jewish.

Lifting my friend's dad in the chair for the Hora was... fun. His dad wasn't the tiniest of people... I think it took 8 of us.


"They who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- B. Franklin

Every politician should serve two terms... one in office followed immediately by an equal or longer-length one in jail... except in New Jersey where jail time is a pre-requisite to holding office.

Donkeys and Elephants belong in a zoo, not Congress.

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May 26, 2009, 07:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Piper View Post
I'm describing what I remember from my friend's marriage many years ago. He and I knew each other since first grade. I was at his bar mitzvah... I was in his wedding party. I know about the ceremony in front of the Rabbi because I watched them go into it... saw the little table, etc. I believe it was my friend, his bride, his father, her parents, the best man, and the "maid of honor"... and of course the Rabbi. Then they closed the door, did their business, came out and had the ceremony, and had one big party. He later explained to me what happened, since I'm not Jewish.

Lifting my friend's dad in the chair for the Hora was... fun. His dad wasn't the tiniest of people... I think it took 8 of us.
@ lifting the father.

I just think when you mentioned the contract, it carried with it some connontations that weren't necessarily accurate to what the contract is in a jewish wedding. It's basically a prenup.


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I'm not saying this site has a bunch of gay dudes on it but a few of you definitely lack a bumpstop on the sexuality gate.
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Here is my anus! Deliver thy penis unto it!


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May 27, 2009, 02:05 PM

Why not give them civil unions, seems win win. It won't be "gay marriage" and the gay peeps will still get all the good financial benefits that come with it. Pretty surprised California of all places didn't pass gay marriage though, isn't this the same state with San Fran in it? The gayest city in the world?
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