Jump to content

California overturns gay marriage ban


E.J.

Recommended Posts

California overturns gay marriage ban

by AP News

LINK

SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court has overturned a gay marriage ban in a ruling that would make the nation's largest state the second one to allow gay and lesbian weddings.

The justices' 4-3 decision Thursday says domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage. Chief Justice Ron George wrote the opinion.

The city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples and gay rights groups sued in March 2004 after the court halted San Francisco's monthlong same-sex wedding march.

The case before the court involved a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a voter-approved law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

With the ruling, California could become the second state after Massachusetts where gay and lesbian residents can marry.

"What happens in California, either way, will have a huge impact around the nation. It will set the tone," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of the gay rights group Equality California.

California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners the same legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses, including the right to divorce and to sue for child support. It's therefore unclear what additional relief state lawmakers could offer short of marriage if the court renders the existing ban unconstitutional.

A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine California's current laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution.

The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signature to qualify the marriage amendment, similar to ones enacted in 26 other states.

The cases before the California court were brought by the city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples, Equality California and another gay rights group in March 2004 after the court halted San Francisco's monthlong same-sex wedding march that took place at Mayor Gavin Newsom's direction.

Copyright ? 2007 Page One News Media, Inc.

Link to comment

See my post here about "An interesting aspect of the California Supreme Court ruling is that denial of rights to marriage of same-sex couples violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution of the State of California."

Colin :icon_geek:

Link to comment

Group Returns To Court, Seeks Delay In Gay Marriages

by The Associated Press

(San Francisco, California) Even as same-sex couples across California begin making plans to tie the knot, opponents are redoubling their efforts to make sure wedding bells never ring for gay couples in the nation's most populous state.

A conservative group said it would ask California's Supreme Court to postpone putting its decision legalizing gay marriage into effect until after the fall election. That's when voters will likely have a chance to weigh in on a proposed amendment to California's constitution that would bar same-sex couples from getting married.

If the court does not grant the request, gay marriages could begin in California in as little as 30 days, the time it typically takes for the justices' opinions to become final.

"We're obviously very disappointed in the decision," said Glen Lavy, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which is pushing for the stay. "The remedy is a constitutional amendment."

With a stroke of a pen Thursday, the Republican-dominated court swept away decades of tradition and said there was no legally justifiable reason why the state should withhold the institution of marriage because of a couple's sexual orientation.

The 4-3 opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald George said domestic partnerships that provide many of the rights and benefits of matrimony are not enough.

"In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation," George wrote for the majority in ringing language that delighted gay rights activists.

Gay marriage opponents, meanwhile, derided the ruling as an example of judicial overreaching in which the opinions of a few justices trumped the will of Californians.

The last time the state's voters were asked to express their views on same-sex marriage at the ballot box was in 2000, the year after the Legislature enacted the first of a series of laws awarding spousal rights to domestic partners.

Proposition 22, which strengthened the state's 1978 one-man, one-woman marriage law with the words "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," passed with 61 percent of the vote.

The Supreme Court's ruling Thursday struck down both statutes.

Still, backers of a proposed November ballot measure that would allow Californians to vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage said the court's decision would ultimately help their cause.

"(The ruling) is not the way a democracy is supposed to handle these sorts of heartfelt, divisive issues," said Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, one of the groups helping to underwrite the gay marriage ban campaign. "I do think it will activate and energize Californians. I'm more confident than ever that we will be able to pass this amendment come November."

To date, 26 states have approved constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.

In the past few years, courts in New York, Maryland and Washington state have refused to allow gay marriage, and New Jersey's highest court gave the state lawmakers the option of establishing civil unions as an alternative.

Massachusetts is the only other state to legalize gay marriage, something it did in 2004. More than 9,500 same-sex couples in that state have wed. The California ruling is considered monumental because of the state's population - 38 million out of a U.S. population of 302 million - and its historical role as the vanguard of many social and cultural changes that have swept the country since World War II.

California has an estimated 108,734 same-sex households, according to 2006 census figures.

"It's about human dignity. It's about human rights. It's about time in California," San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom told a roaring crowd at City Hall after the ruling was issued. "As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation. It's inevitable. This door's wide open now. It's going to happen, whether you like it or not."

The case was set in motion in 2004 when Newsom threw open City Hall to gay couples to get married in a calculated challenge to California law. Four thousand wed before the Supreme Court put a halt to the practice after a month.

Two dozen gay couples then sued, along with the city and gay rights organizations.

Gareth Lacy, a spokesman for Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose office argued to uphold the ban, said Brown would "work with the governor and other state agencies to implement the ruling."

The justices said they would direct state officials "to take all actions necessary to effectuate our ruling," including requiring county marriage clerks to carry out their duties "in a manner consistent with the decision of this court."

By Thursday afternoon, gay and lesbian couples had already started lining up at San Francisco City Hall to make appointments to get marriage licenses. The county clerk's office in Los Angeles issued a statement saying it was awaiting legal analysis of the ruling and a timeline for implementation.

California's secretary of state is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors of the anti-gay marriage ballot measure gathered enough signatures to put the amendment on the ballot.

Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has twice vetoed legislation that would have granted marriage to same-sex couples, said in a statement he respected the court's decision and "will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling."

?365Gay.com 2008

Link to comment

No matter what I read, and how much of it, I just cannot get my head around what it is that 'everyone' will lose by having gay 'marriage'. Surely the whole thing comes down to trying to prevent the evolution of a word from one meaning to something slightly different. In particular, those who say civil unions with all the benefits and responsibilities of marriage are 'okay' but those unions should never be called 'marriage', boggle my mind. At least the people opposed to any union at all for same sex people have some semblance of logic behind them, even if they are 'wrong'.

Link to comment
P.S. anything that doesn't make sense or whatever, you will half to overlook. I just finished finals and I have been pretty much intoxicated for the last...well, I don't exactly know how long.

I guess that explains why you're suddenly talking like a vampire. Either your protective coloration as a mild-mannered college student slipped for a moment, or you were three sheets to the wind. I accept that latter explanation. I guess I half to.<c>

C

Link to comment
No matter what I read, and how much of it, I just cannot get my head around what it is that 'everyone' will lose by having gay 'marriage'. Surely the whole thing comes down to trying to prevent the evolution of a word from one meaning to something slightly different. In particular, those who say civil unions with all the benefits and responsibilities of marriage are 'okay' but those unions should never be called 'marriage', boggle my mind. At least the people opposed to any union at all for same sex people have some semblance of logic behind them, even if they are 'wrong'.

Trab, I couldn't agree with you more. People complaining about gay marriage don't have much logic behind them or their arguments. I think their position can be summed up as they think gays are sinful, anything to do with being gay is sinful and should be abolished, and anything done legally to shore up gay rights should be fought. They see this as their calling, as it makes them more righteous. But trying to find logic in their positions will just screw up your head. Stop looking for it is my advice. These are people on the margins of society. The majority seem to be moving forward into broad acceptance.

C

Link to comment
No matter what I read, and how much of it, I just cannot get my head around what it is that 'everyone' will lose by having gay 'marriage'. Surely the whole thing comes down to trying to prevent the evolution of a word from one meaning to something slightly different. In particular, those who say civil unions with all the benefits and responsibilities of marriage are 'okay' but those unions should never be called 'marriage', boggle my mind. At least the people opposed to any union at all for same sex people have some semblance of logic behind them, even if they are 'wrong'.

Trab, I think it is related to the ancient power of words. To the illiterate, words spoken and written seem like magic.

The uneducated feel words have a power beyond their meaning. That it is possible to call up demons and curses by utterances.

This superstition is compounded by the filters modern communities place on certain words like four letter words. The power of a curse still prevails in many minds.

So words have special meanings that cannot be challenged for many people.

Many older gays had a real problem accepting "queer" as anything other than a derogatory term used to describe homosexuals.

Association of words with a meaning held in relation to what an individual believes, rather than what is verifiable as fact, renders certain words to be beyond change in some people's view.

Whether the power of these words is due to, ancient superstitions or what I like to call, modern duperstitions is of little regard here.

Marriage has a significance all of it own, most of it traceable to the caveman's club beating his wife into submission, although that no longer seems to be part of any modern marriage ceremony of which I am aware.

Marriage to many people is Prince Charming and the beautiful Princess joining bonds in matrimony and living happily ever after.

However many Princes and Princesses were told whom they would marry for purely political and/or social obligations. Such marriages not only verified the alliance of kingdoms. but also sanctified the act of marriage itself as having great power.

Arranged marriages still do occur, both for reasons of State and for reasons of social if not economic status.

To many people "having a marriage" is more important than "being with the one they love." (See daytime soap operas for the perennial character worried about "the marriage," rather than being concerned for their partner to whom they are married.)

Marriage carries with it a connotation of respectability. That respectability is a compounded mix of historical and social generations. It is related to not only respect for another person's partner as being out of bounds to any other person, but also to attempt to give some degree of acceptance to the (filthy) sex act itself.

Given these almost subconscious meanings for the word marriage, it should come as no surprise that there is a resistance to allow same sex partners to use the word "marriage" in describing their union.

Not only does recognition of marriage between same sex partners admit social acceptance of the sex act between them but also that it is as respectable as sex between a man and a woman.

That is what the early gay liberationists realised when they said that gay marriage was necessary to clinch the freedom for homosexuals.

Without the right to marry, homosexuals are second class citizens in the eyes of the community.

This is why it is important to support gay marriage proposals. It is also why some seek to prohibit marriage for gays.

Legal marriage between partners, regardless of gender, forces society to acknowledge that we all have the right to love whom we wish without fear or favour. That is acceptance. Unconditional acceptance.

Whether or not you marry your lover boy (or girl) should be up to the both of you to decide.

That to me is a self-evident truth and human right.

:hug::wub:

Link to comment
No matter what I read, and how much of it, I just cannot get my head around what it is that 'everyone' will lose by having gay 'marriage'. Surely the whole thing comes down to trying to prevent the evolution of a word from one meaning to something slightly different. In particular, those who say civil unions with all the benefits and responsibilities of marriage are 'okay' but those unions should never be called 'marriage', boggle my mind. At least the people opposed to any union at all for same sex people have some semblance of logic behind them, even if they are 'wrong'.

It's like a bunch of little kids who want to play football, and one says "It's MY ball and you'll have to play by MY rules or you can't play at all." Juvenile? No. Infantile? Yes.

Colin :hug:

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...