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Gay Marriage in CA


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Whenever this discussion comes up I go back to the reality that this is really just a Christian debate that has been foisted off on the rest of us. Every couple in the straight world that marries in a U.S. state must participate in a civil union. That is what a marriage license is, a means of registering the couple for tax purposes. There can be no church marriage without that "tax stamp."

There are several Christian faiths that would consider allowing gay marriage, and even embrace same sex couples. But we don't hear about them because they are drowned out in the argument. If a large denomination Christian church (think Catholic) leads the rally against gay marriage where does that leave the MCC church or the Unitarians? Do the billions of dollars hoarded by a church that doesn't even allow their own clergy to marry speak for all Christians? Apparently so. There are no equal rights in religion.

So for all intents and purposes, by the time a couple walks down the aisle they are already married in the eyes of the law and registered by the county clerk. All else is religious pomp and circumstance. When a church organization decries the marriage of same sex couples they are attempting to usurp the laws of the state, which of course is religion interferring with government and a large no-no. That so called religious clause in our constitution is a two way street and if the cowards in Washington would get off their asses and point the finger I would think a lot of churches would lose their tax exempt status, and deserve to do so.

In fact it is easier to start a church in most states than it is to pass a driver's test. I have always wondered what would happen if a million gay people started their own church in which the only sacrament was the marriage of gay couples. A million people, how could government ignore such a thing? What if it were ten million? Imagine the pressure brought to bear on politicians with that kind of voting power. If it became 100 million we could start our own state, or at least buy one. Imagine the signs at the state line: Welcome to Gayzona...We take our religious freedom seriously. :icon_thumleft:

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The decision may backfire and have bad effects on civil-union legislation and therefore bad effects on gay rights. As I understand the decision, in part it says that because California has a civil-union law that provides gay rights, it is discriminatory to prevent the next step: gay marriage. That is, once the civil-union step is taken, the gay-marriage step has to be allowed.

The effect, I think, is to set back the cause of civil unions, which probably are easier to have enacted. If approval of civil-union legislation is equivalent to gay-marriage legislation, then the battle for civil unions will be fiercer and therefore harder to have passed into law.

Frankly, I don't think governments should be in the marriage business at all. Let marriages be the symbolic act that, to some, consecrates a civil union. Since any denomination can have a marriage ceremony, there is nothing preventing one from performing gay marriages, as some do today (however, without the civil-union benefit).

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I think even the religious right concedes that they can't stop gay civil unions -- that's already too widely accepted by insurance companies, most Fortune 500 companies, and many local governments. I don't think the fight for gay marriage will affect civil unions at all.

What is sobering is that the anti-gay marriage forces are pretty well-armed. I saw a news report today, and started listening to a very articulate, intelligent guy talking on the subject... and then realized that he was on the other side! He was so smooth, it was easy to buy into his rhetoric and bull.

A lot will depend on the upcoming Presidential election. If Obama gets back in, there's no chance of getting more conservatives appointed to the Supreme Court, and I think the present judges we have will have to concede that this is a basic human right. BTW, I really, really, really hate Rick Santorum's ongoing debate where if anybody asks him why he's against gay marriage, his rebuttal is, "well, if we allow that, what's to stop three people from marrying? Or a man and a dog?" I just wanna grab a large sock, filled with manure, and wallop him with it...

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In the California case, the court also was concerned with the removal of a right to marry that already existed.

Civil unions are not the terms of the licence issued by the state. To change the marriage licence to a civil union licence requires changing all legislation which refers to 'marriage', from marriage to 'civil union', and evidently this is a complex and difficult task. It is also central as to why the term, 'marriage' is so important to be recognised for homosexual couples as it places the homosexual couple as equal to heterosexual respondents to the legislation which mentions marriage. It also explains why civil union is easier to obtain without upsetting the religious with their obsession of marriage being only for heterosexuals; it means heterosexuals are the ones directly cited as being married, by the various pieces of legislation. Granting civil unions then becomes a second (lesser) class, form of licence, showing that homosexuals unions are not 'marriage' even if the 'civil union' is associated to everything that marriage provides. This clearly means that if equality is the aim, and it is, then marriage must be made gender neutral.

A state issued general licence for civil union is therefore a much more difficult objective, as marriage is legally a state issued licence to marry. Only after the state has issued the marriage licence can the religions sanctify the union as a marriage under their respective doctrines. Much of the objection by the religions over marriage is that they do not understand that the licence to marry is issued by the state, not the religion. The religion is free to refuse to conduct its ceremony or not, as is the happy couple free to have a church wedding or not, as they wish. What the religious do not understand is that the principle, of the separation of state and church, applies to the issuing of the marriage licence, already. At the moment such issuance is only available to heterosexuals, and the equality fight is about the state issued licence being applied to homosexual couples as well,

I don't dispute that the idea of the state issuing a civil union licence to all couples regardless of their gender is equitable, but the references to marriage in other legislation evidently makes it a complex objective to realise. It's far easier to simply permit the state's marriage licence to be gender neutral, and let the religions decide which couples they wish to recognise for sanctification; as in fact happens now, where divorce can be recognised by the state, but not by the religion. But the religious have this perception of the term, 'marriage' as belonging to them, when in fact it doesn't. Marriage is already a civil issue.

Any attempt to make the issuing of marriage licences as solely a province of religion, is in direct conflict with the First Amendment.

Of even more concern are those people, including Republican Presidential candidates who have so misconstrued the Constitution and its amendments that they think they can force their interpretation on the judiciary and future legislation in many areas. If this happens then we should brace ourselves for civil reactions of conflict.

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Update: this editorial by legal analyst Jefrey Toobin on CNN says: "My best guess is that this decision will be the last word, though we will not know for sure for several months. I think it will be upheld in the 9th Circuit, but it will not go to the Supreme Court. It will not create a national precedent. But there are 39 million people in California – that’s a lot of people to have same-sex marriage. Technically, the decision applies only to California, but a victory in the nation's biggest state can create its own momentum."

So it may be a done deal. One small step at a time, I think we'll eventually get there.

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I think even the religious right concedes that they can't stop gay civil unions -- that's already too widely accepted by insurance companies, most Fortune 500 companies, and many local governments. I don't think the fight for gay marriage will affect civil unions at all. What is sobering is that the anti-gay marriage forces are pretty well-armed. I saw a news report today, and started listening to a very articulate, intelligent guy talking on the subject... and then realized that he was on the other side! He was so smooth, it was easy to buy into his rhetoric and bull. A lot will depend on the upcoming Presidential election. If Obama gets back in, there's no chance of getting more conservatives appointed to the Supreme Court, and I think the present judges we have will have to concede that this is a basic human right. BTW, I really, really, really hate Rick Santorum's ongoing debate where if anybody asks him why he's against gay marriage, his rebuttal is, "well, if we allow that, what's to stop three people from marrying? Or a man and a dog?" I just wanna grab a large sock, filled with manure, and wallop him with it...

Pec, I think you will find at least a couple of states that have removed civil unions or the possibility of recognising civil unions from their legislation. Also there seems to be reports of enforced disregard for anti-discrimination and benefits for gay couples that has been enacted in some states. Indeed if you look at the map on this site you will see that several states are listed as having "Constitution bans same-sex marriage and some or all other kinds of same-sex unions." (Emphasis, mine)

I am not as optimistic as you are about Obama not appointing conservative justices to the bench, given his bent to be seen as bipartisan. Even so Obama is the best chance we have both as an intelligent President and as advocate for LGBTQ rights. As I keep saying to people who seem unhappy with him, and have threatened to not vote at the election, "Abstaining from voting is effectively a vote for the Republicans."

Unfortunately there are crazy conservatives who would rather vote conservative, than for their own emancipation.

It might interest you to know that we are afflicted with similar attitudes here in Australia as with Santorum. A leading conservative politician in my state told me directly that she wouldn't vote for gay marriage because people would next want to marry their dog or horse.

These people prove there is a time machine somewhere, or a rift in the fabric of time as they are clearly from the bronze age as far as their intelligence goes, and golly has it ever, gone.

I also agree with the idea that Supremes may sidestep the case as far as the rest of the U.S. is concerned anyway.

I do though, think that equality has to win in the end, but why do we have suffer these wingnuts to drag-out every advance the human race makes?

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I am not as optimistic as you are about Obama not appointing conservative justices to the bench, given his bent to be seen as bipartisan. Even so Obama is the best chance we have both as an intelligent President and as advocate for LGBTQ rights.

Obama has been very cowardly, in my opinion, in half supporting gay rights. But he was at least instrumental in finally overturning "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and that was a tremendous step. I think he's just too much of a wuss in not wanting to rile the religious right and just say he's 100% in favor of gay rights and gay marriage. It's being whispered that Obama privately has no problem with gay rights, and in fact feels that the government has absolutely no business making laws concerning gay people (except age of consent, which is a state-by-state matter). If he wins the election, which I believe he will, I think within a year he'll go on the offensive and push through an amendment for no sexual bias to the U.S. constitution.

It'll take time, but it'll eventually happen. I just hope we live to see it!

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Obama has been very cowardly, in my opinion, in half supporting gay rights. But he was at least instrumental in finally overturning "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and that was a tremendous step. I think he's just too much of a wuss in not wanting to rile the religious right and just say he's 100% in favor of gay rights and gay marriage. It's being whispered that Obama privately has no problem with gay right, and in fact feels that the government has absolutely no business making laws concerning gay people (except age of consent, which is a state-by-state matter). If he wins the election, which I believe he will, I think within a year he'll go on the offensive and push through an amendment for no sexual bias to the U.S. constitution.

It'll take time, but it'll eventually happen. I just hope we live to see it!

I don't know if you consider African-Americans as the religious right, but it African-Americans were the largest bloc of voters supporting Proposition 8 in Califonia. I suspect Obama fears losing some of those voters with a too-strong gay-rights position, since those voters are crucial in states he needs to win in November.

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All of this about California's Proposition 8 being declared unconstitutional based on a vote of the people of California to approve an amendment of the California Constitution that took away rights granted to them by the California Supreme Court is well and good, but for true gay rights what is needed is the elimination of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.

If anything is unconstitutional based on the United States Constitution it's DOMA. DOMA is specifically anti-gay in that it restricts non-heterosexual marriages and civil unions from having any of the rights defined in DOMA that are granted only to married heterosexual couples.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I don't know if you consider African-Americans as the religious right, but it African-Americans were the largest bloc of voters supporting Proposition 8 in Califonia. I suspect Obama fears losing some of those voters with a too-strong gay-rights position, since those voters are crucial in states he needs to win in November.

I don't know if you remember, VWL, but there was a tremendous clash of opinions when I said this during the last election on Prop 8. Several members were very upset that I brought it up -- but the fact remains that a large segment of black and Hispanic voters (particularly Catholics) voted against gay marriage and were extremely outspoken in demonstrations. I concede that not all black and Hispanic people feel this way, and for a fact, I know many who could care less.

Nobody has ever explained to me why a gay marriage makes a straight marriage anything less. All the proponents against it see it purely as a moral and religious issue, and don't consider the purely legal problems -- like taxes, insurance, inheritance, hospital emergencies, immigration, and so on. DOMA is a very, very complex and heinous act, as explained at this Wikipedia link.

I consider the Defense of Marriage act one of the three stupidest things Clinton did in office -- the other two being the dalliance with Monica Lewinski, and pardoning lots of people on his last day in the White House. 97% of the rest of the time, he was a great President.

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