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Thread: Same-sex marriage fans, foes await California Supreme court ruling today at 1000

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Same-sex marriage fans, foes await California Supreme court ruling today at 1000

    Same-sex marriage fans, foes await court ruling


    (Decision to be posted on California Supreme court website today at 1000: California Courts: Courts: Supreme Court)


    John Calaway of San Francisco finds out today if the man he married last summer after a 25-year courtship will still be considered his husband in the eyes of California.
    Calaway is one of many - advocates and foes alike - who are waiting anxiously for the California Supreme Court to deliver its verdict at 10 a.m. today in the ongoing battle over same-sex marriage.
    Today's ruling decides whether voters had the right, when 52 percent of them approved Proposition 8 in November, to amend the state Constitution to solidify the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
    If the justices uphold Prop. 8, they will also decide whether to dissolve the marriages of 18,000 same-sex couples who wed before the Nov. 4 election.
    That would include Calaway's.
    "It baffles me that a simple majority can dismiss people's civil rights," he said Monday as he enjoyed a book in the sun at Spike's coffee shop in the Castro.
    Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of Prop 8, said in a statement on the group's Web site that the wait is finally over.
    "We are looking forward to the Court's decision, and we're confident that the right of the people to protect traditional marriage in the state constitution will ultimately prevail," he wrote.
    The ruling will come just over a year after the court's 4-3 decision declaring that state law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violated the rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partner of their choice and discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation.
    The ruling made California the second state, after Massachusetts, to legalize same-sex marriage. Since then, the supreme courts of Iowa and Connecticut have issued similar rulings, and legislatures in Vermont and Maine have also authorized same-sex weddings. Another such law is pending in New Hampshire.
    Majority vs. minority

    This time, the California court faces a different question: whether a majority of the voters can amend their Constitution to take rights away from a minority.
    Lawsuits challenging Prop. 8 were filed by two groups of same-sex couples and by local governments led by the city of San Francisco, joined by civil rights and feminist organizations.
    Stuart Gaffney, who was one of the plaintiffs in the same-sex marriage case that made it to the state Supreme Court last year, said it was nice to have the long Memorial Day weekend to emotionally prepare for the ruling - even if that meant several extra days of stress over the decision.
    "A lot of people are going to want to come to the Civic Center on Tuesday because we're really going to find out what kind of California we have," Gaffney said. "Are we going to have a California where all people are treated equally, or where a fundamental right can be voted away?"
    San Francisco police spokeswoman Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said the city has moved barricades to Civic Center Plaza and the Castro district, where police are preparing for large demonstrations today.
    "Whether it's a celebration or demonstration, we will have enough people to handle whatever comes," Tomioka said.
    Cautious optimism

    Leslie Stewart, a member of Marriage Equality USA who is helping organize rallies in Pittsburg and Concord, said people are feeling both worried and cautiously optimistic about the decision, hoping recent rulings in favor of same-sex marriage in other states will make a difference in California.
    "It's been such a roller coaster," she said. "We're feeling a little strung out at this time. Even if it's a positive decision, it's not a done deal, we're not going to have instant acceptance."
    Hundreds of people gathered Monday night for a Decision Day Eve interfaith prayer vigil at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, where entering parishioners walk past an AIDS memorial chapel containing a block of the AIDS memorial quilt and an altar piece by pop artist Keith Haring, who died of AIDS. Dozens of clergy attended, representing multiple Christian denominations and Jewish, Buddhist and Sikh communities.
    Rabbi Sydney Mintz of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco opened the vigil with a dedication to the families affected by the looming decision. She pointed out 2-year-old Indigo Morgenstern of San Mateo, whose tiny T-shirt proclaimed, "My moms are married."
    One of those moms, Joy Morgenstern, echoed others' feelings of conflict between her own faith - the family attends the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto - and that of religious opponents to same-sex marriage.
    "More people need to understand that religion is not just the providence of conservative people," she said. "We believe that our religious beliefs are just as good as anybody else's. We're just not trying to get them made into law."
    The service was at times defiant, at times emotional, often celebratory, as the hundreds present joined with choir singers for the traditional South African song "Bambalela" - "Never Give Up."
    'We're a family'

    Eric Bustamante of Phoenix spent much of the evening with his head resting on husband David Rowe's shoulder. The couple are flying home tonight, but will be carefully watching events in the city where they wed.
    "We've been together 22 years. ... We're a family, we raised two kids together," Bustamante said. His voice cracked as he added: "Whatever happens, we'll still be who we are. Whether they accept us or not - that's us."
    The Rev. Marc Andrus, the Episcopal bishop of California, said after the service that he hoped those at the vigil took away a feeling of support from the leaders of their faiths. He reminded them of the lessons from their faiths of those who stood up for what was right - even if they did not live to see their convictions made reality.
    "This is going to happen. Justice will prevail. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not here, but eventually, yes - and everywhere," he said. "This is the arc of God's love."



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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    This is nerve wracking. All those lives could be shattered.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    On one hand, I think the court will nullify Prop 8 due to the public perception of the majority deciding the rights of others. On the other hand, I wonder if the court do what Washington has done, go around the issue to keep the majority happy.



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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    protect marriage.. protect it.. oh SHUT UP

    protect it from yourselves, hypocritical fuckwits.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Word is in. They're upholding Prop 8. But allowing existing marriages to stand.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^
    that is so fucked up.
    i hope they challenge this all the way to the US supreme court (once obama has had the chance to put in a couple of liberal judges) and make it federal once and for all.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    ^The Supreme Court doesn't have to hear a case if they don't want to.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Tyranny of the majority rules over minority rights. Pathetic. Nice legal double standard too.. oh, we'll let the marriages stay, but no new ones! How does that work?

    Fucking retarded. May california break off and sink into the ocean.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    How do you uphold Prop 8, and uphold the marriages that took place at the same time? That doesn't make any sense. How do you have a ban of gay marriage, but validate some of the gay marriages?

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Interesting deconstrction

    Today the California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8, a ballot initiative that made it illegal to marry gay couples. But the court did something else. They let stand the marriages of 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before Prop 8 became law. I believe that those marriages may, in the long run, make gay marriage inevitable in California.

    Sexual orientation already enjoys equal status with gender and race in California discrimination law, and, as the LA Times notes, today's court decision doesn't change that:


    Even with the court upholding Proposition 8, a key portion of the court's May 15, 2008, decision remains intact. Sexual orientation will continue to receive the strongest constitutional protection possible when California courts consider cases of alleged discrimination. The California Supreme Court is the only state high court in the nation to have elevated sexual orientation to the status of race and gender in weighing discrimination claims.


    The fact that 18,000 gay marriages will remain on the books means that, eventually, another case will go to the California Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of laws banning gay marriage, and the court will have to consider why those 18,000 marriages how not destroyed traditional marriage as we know it. In other words, the ongoing existence of these marriages, with no demonstrable harm being caused by their existence, will call into question, if not outright destroy, the bigots' argument for why the state has an interest in banning gays from getting married. In more colloquial terms, no harm no foul.

    Yes, the decision is disappointing, but it wasn't unexpected. What is now clear is that those 18,000 gay marriages will remain the law of the land in California. And those 18,000 gay couples should now be able to get California state benefits that straight married couples get. All of that will eventually, I believe, lead California courts to rule that the sky has not fallen - there is no valid reason for not protecting gay couples equally under the law.

    And those 18,000 couples will help prove, in states across the land, that the existence of gay marriages do not somehow cause bigots like Tony Perkins and Jim Inhofe to suddenly want to get divorced and shack up with a guy.

    AMERICAblog News| A great nation deserves the truth
    A bit too rosy, grasping at straws for me...
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    ^^ the Constitution has a rule that new laws cannot be applied retroactively. (meant to reply to King, Grim beat me to it)

    But WOW, what a shit decision. The whole reason we have 3 branches of government is so we can avoid the simple majority decides the rights of minorities. I don't see how the US Supreme Court avoids this equal protection case.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    it avoids it by simply refusing to consider it
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Grim - the ruling sucks, but I do think (as the article points out) that it is a necessary step. If the Calif. Court had not taken this intermediate step, on appeal, it is likely that all the marriages would also be thrown out (those dastardly activist judges circumventing the "will of the people"), which would put Cali back to square one. The justices, made it virtually impossible not to legalize marriages with the next case. Slow, but steady, progress. Consider it a victory, one step early.

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    I'm all or nothing with this.. If I were one-half of any of those 18,000 couples I wouldn't feel victorious after this decision at all. There are still millions of people out there who are being systematically denied the right to marry--and on the basis of religion, too, for the most part. What a crock of shit. It's not a step in the right direction.. it's an attempt at appeasing 18,000 same-sex couples and a slap in the face for the rest of the gay community.

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    This is so stupid. Aside from the obvious, it is especially stupid in light of the massive amounts of REVENUE the state would generate from allowing gay marriages. If they allowed this, it would help the state's massive budget deficit.

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