Pharyngula

I hear wedding bells…

Good news for fairness, justice and equality: California has made gay marriage legal. It’s a small triumph for civil rights.

Now to celebrate, I don’t expect you all to run out and marry a same-sex partner — I think my wife would object, and I’m really not in the market — but wouldn’t you know it? The media is responding to this news with…stupid internet polls! How else can they possibly trivialize an important court decision, after all?

The LA Times is asking, “Did the California Supreme Court make the correct decision today?” (as if, perhaps, enough internet geeks squawk they will change their minds). MSNBC asks, “What do you think about the court decision in California that allows same-sex couples to marry?” — strangely, one of the possible answers to that one is “Don’t think so,” which doesn’t make much sense. It’s also currently leading.

I’m sure you gay readers can think of a more suitable way to celebrate this little bit of recognition, but the rest of us can settle for poking at a radio button on the internet. Do so gaily, OK?

And if you want to do something more substantive, promote equal rights legislation in your state, so that all 50 states someday offer this basic privilege to everyone.

Comments

  1. #1 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    This is a HUGE fucking decision. I’m working my way through it, but the major highlights thus far:

    1) It isn’t just Prop 22–the restriction of marriage initiative a few years ago–that’s unconstitutional, but the separation of same-sex couples into a different institution (Domestic Partnership) that’s unconstitutional. We’ve got to be treated as full equals in our ability to select a marriage partner.
    2) It elevates sexual orientation to a suspect classification. That’s a HUGE deal. From now on, the pressure is on the state to prove that treating gay people differently, instead of on gay people having to prove its wrong to treat them differently.

    I was surprised to hear we’d won today. As I read the decision I’m becoming stunned. This decision is far bigger than just marriage. We won BIG TIME in this decision today.

  2. #2 Dennis N
    May 15, 2008

    It looks like everyone who frequents the LA Times website is already enlightened.

  3. #3 lapo
    May 15, 2008

    *kaboom* Oh no, my heterosexual marriage just exploded! Curse you, California!

  4. #4 Dennis N
    May 15, 2008

    But the more national outlet, MSNBC, shows how far our country still has to go…

  5. #5 JimboB
    May 15, 2008

    Gay marriage killed the dinosaurs! We’re all doomed! Dooooooooomed!

  6. #6 H.H.
    May 15, 2008

    Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to make this decision possible. I look forward to the day when I can explain to my grandchildren that I lived in a time when homosexuals were treated unequally under the law, but that they no longer have to live in such dark times.

  7. #7 Stephen
    May 15, 2008

    Ten years from now, California will be a wasteland where traditional marriages can no longer flourish.

    Just kidding, obviously.

  8. #8 Dennis N
    May 15, 2008

    This goes against my Biblical morals that state that marriage is between one man and one woman (and her woman-servant, and my 6 other wives).

  9. #9 chancelikely
    May 15, 2008

    California and Massachusetts.

    OK, bets on the first red state to permit gay marriage.

  10. #10 Nate
    May 15, 2008

    Being a godless, queer liberal (haha PZ, I embody 3 things that conservatives hate, one more than you), I was excited to hear about the California decision today.

    However, being from Michigan, we have had a shitty week when it comes to gay rights. The Michigan Supreme court just upheld a ruling saying that same-sex couples do not deserve healthcare benefits due to a 2004 anti-gay marriage amendment that passed with a good majority. One more reason I want to get out of this shithole of a state.

  11. #11 Brownian, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Congratulations to everyone whose human love was previously unrecognised and/or illegal because holy books somehow trump anthropology in defining ‘traditional’ sexuality and marriage.

  12. #12 Carlie
    May 15, 2008

    OK, bets on the first red state to permit gay marriage.

    Well, California has a Republican governor. Doesn’t that make them something of a red state already? Outside of liberal evil Hollywood, that is.

  13. #13 Ernie
    May 15, 2008

    “California and Massachusetts.

    OK, bets on the first red state to permit gay marriage.”

    Which one has the highest cowboy population? Texas?
    =P

  14. #14 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    The Court also got this right: the issue isn’t the right to same-sex marriage but the right to choose one’s marriage partner. This is a far stronger decision than the Goodridge case here in MA.

    This is a really, really good decision.

  15. #15 Ron Sullivan
    May 15, 2008

    Every now and then I kind of almost nearly come close to not loathing my fellow human beings quite so much.

    Go California Supremes!

  16. #16 Warren
    May 15, 2008

    @#9:

    OK, bets on the first red state to permit gay marriage.

    It might be Arizona. We’ve got two very blue counties which hold, collectively, about a third of the state’s population, and already defeated one attempt at christofascism in 2006.

    There’s another proposal that wants to limit marriage here, but with the strong Libertarian bent of many rural areas, and with the increasingly cosmopolitan makeup of Phoenix, it might not stand.

    From there it’s just a question of floating a more “enlightened” measure rewording marriage to mean a partnership of consenting adults.

  17. #17 EntoAggie
    May 15, 2008

    Now, can we expect a flood of people explaining to us that they “didn’t realize” that banning gay marraige is bad for gays, and that if we just ignore the problem, it will disempower the legislators and make ‘em quit all their hatin’?

    Seriously, though, this is so fantastic. Just the joy on the two women’s faces in the first article is so heartwarming. Could you imagine being forced to wait 34 years before being allowed to marry the one that you love?

  18. #18 Chris
    May 15, 2008

    If anyone is interested, HRC is currently directing the funds collected directly to the upcoming fight in CA over the decision.
    Here’s the link: https://secure.ga3.org/03/caequalpac

  19. #19 Architeuthis
    May 15, 2008

    Now by the slippery slope logic of the neo-con god-bots, I should be able to expect my marriage to an octopus legal in 5 years or so.

    I’m sure my wife wouldn’t mind…

    As for the decision, my sis and her wife are already planning on getting hitched for real now! Its good that CA has some pretty progressive partnership laws, it’s not equal.

    I cant wait to drink at her and her wife’s wedding.

    YAY!

  20. #20 JRQ
    May 15, 2008
  21. #21 Mary in Vermont
    May 15, 2008

    It will be great when all 50 states let us marry, but even better when the Federal Government allows equal rights.

  22. #22 James
    May 15, 2008

    Crash Poll! Crash Poll Gaily! YA! YA! YA! Will be more gayer in next poll crashing!

    MSNBC Poll: Good idea? (17,777 responses)

    46% – Yes
    51% – No
    2.5% – No answer

    Crash poll faster Werewolves!

  23. #23 SiMPel MYnd
    May 15, 2008

    All, I can say is “Wow…”. After hearing countless stories here and in other outlets of fundies run amok, it’s nice to see the forces of good win a big one once in awhile.

    Congratulations to all you “same-sexers” out there. And thanks to all you “diff-sexers” out there who support them.

    We’ve taken a step in the right direction–let’s hope it sticks…

  24. #24 Bureaucratus Minimis
    May 15, 2008

    Yes, this is a good thing.

    But the battle has just begun. In November there will probably be a ballot referendum on a constitutional initiative to define marriage as between one man and one woman. This ballot initiative would not be subject to judicial review.

    Current opinion polling indicates an even split among Californians on this matter. Hopefully, the essential unfairness of nullifying the thousands of marriages which will occurr between June 15 (whjen the Ca. Supreme Court ruling takes effect) and Nov 11 will sway the citizens to reject this amendment.

  25. #25 Blake Stacey
    May 15, 2008

    On the MSNBC poll, this option is leading with 51%:

    Don’t think so. I’m with the measure under way in California to restrict marriage to members of the opposite sex.

    Man, I know that some guys really like the lesbian pr0n, but why would they want only women to be able to marry?

  26. #26 Kseniya
    May 15, 2008

    Sigh. Yawn. Sittin’ twiddling my thumbs here in Massachusetts.

    Seriously, I am very happy about this. I know I’m just an icky girl, Jeff, if you were sitting right here, I might even hug you. ;-)

    First Red state? Errm… Is New Hampshire Red?

  27. #27 amphiox
    May 15, 2008

    And thus is my faith in the American judicial system restored. A little bit, anyways.

  28. #28 Richard
    May 15, 2008

    We won BIG TIME in this decision today.

    Indeed, just reading the first 12 pages or so shows an incredible smack-down on several of the more common anti-gay-marriage rhetoric.

    -Richard
    (not Dawkins, nor the other one who’s been posting recently)

  29. #29 Katharine
    May 15, 2008

    This is awesome. My cousin, who lives in Redondo Beach, lives with her same-sex partner, and they’ve been a couple for years; I am glad they are able to marry now and enjoy all the benefits that heterosexual couples do.

  30. #30 Etha Williams
    May 15, 2008

    @#7 Stephen —

    Ten years from now, California will be a wasteland where traditional marriages can no longer flourish.

    Just kidding, obviously.

    Maybe not so obviously.

    My high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club (in CA) had a debate on gay marriage with the school’s Republican Students club. At one point, a guy brought up the “sanctity of marriage” argument, and I asked what I intended to be a rhetorical question: “So, if you were in a loving relationship with your wife and the government enacted a law allowing gay marriage, do you think that would make your marriage less meaningful in the eyes of God?”

    He answered, in total seriousness, “Yes.”

    At that point, I just gave up. IMO they should just make it *all* civil unions. Get the government out of marriage all together if so many people consider it a religious institution.

  31. #31 Paul Burnett
    May 15, 2008

    When I hear folks talking about “Defense Of Marriage” I throw in something like “Oh, good – they’re finally going to make divorce illegal” and watch their reactions.

  32. #32 grog the pirate
    May 15, 2008

    #10: Godless, gay, liberal, trial lawyer, worked with the ACLU. Got you beat by two. ;-)

  33. #33 SiMPel MYnd
    May 15, 2008

    @#16 Warren:

    I’m not sure I agree with you on Arizona being the first red state to support same-sex marriage. I live in AZ, too, and I’ve personally witnessed a lot of hate-mongering around here. Any place that can continue to re-elect a moron like Joe Arpaio for sheriff (in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix) doesn’t really rank right up there on the “enlightened” list. But, I really hope you’re right and I’m wrong…

  34. #34 Nentuaby
    May 15, 2008

    California and Massachusetts.

    OK, bets on the first red state to permit gay marriage.

    Posted by: chancelikely | May 15, 2008 4:14 PM

    I’ll put my money on Montana. They’ve always seemed to be REAL conservatives there- that is, people who are for minimal government intervention in ALL spheres, not the perverse minimum service / maximum control “Conservatism” that’s become so popular.

  35. #35 Suspect Device
    May 15, 2008

    “Oh, good – they’re finally going to make divorce illegal” and watch their reactions.

    Wow, if that law did pass, it would be one sure way to end marriag, since, what… nearly half end up divorced anyway?

  36. #36 Bruce
    May 15, 2008

    #22: The point of these polls is to generate traffic and hit counts without the publisher doing the work of providing real content that would give real readers a real reason to revisit the site.
    They probably love it when you crash their poll.

  37. #37 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Seriously, I am very happy about this. I know I’m just an icky girl, Jeff, if you were sitting right here, I might even hug you. ;-)

    I’d probably start crying. Yeah, I’m the radical cynical queer. I also get choked up when I’m recognized as part of the nation, when I’m valued as a human.

    I remember talking to folks about 15 or so years ago, convinced I would never see anything like this in my life time. I managed to make it to Cambridge and Boston City Halls when it became legal in MA.

    I never thought I’d be a citizen.

  38. #38 Warren
    May 15, 2008

    @#33:

    Heh, Arpaio is a thorn, to be sure. But Pima and Coconino counties make up for a lot of it, despite all the redneckery and bigotry that I, too, have encountered — both in rural and metro areas.

    The reason I wonder about AZ is the speed with which a lot of the demographics are shifting here. I don’t think most other red states have this kind of influx of people from other parts of the nation, though I could be wrong.

  39. #39 kmarissa
    May 15, 2008

    IMO they should just make it *all* civil unions. Get the government out of marriage all together if so many people consider it a religious institution.

    Exactly! This is my opinion as well. But most people look at me like I’m crazy when I say it…

    Congrats to everyone in California :)

  40. #40 Cpl. Cam
    May 15, 2008

    PZ said- “The LA Times is asking, “Did the California Supreme Court make the correct decision today?” (as if, perhaps, enough internet geeks squawk they will change their minds).”

    As if said internet geeks have even read the CA State constitution. I expect answer “D. How the fuck should I know? I didn’t even go to law school.” to be wildly popular.

  41. #41 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    OK, bets on the first red state to permit gay marriage.

    Is Iowa red? There’s a case going through the courts there, and it already won at the district court level.

    I would love to watch my Dutch Calvinist relatives who are members of Focus on the Family suffer heart attacks if Iowa’s Supreme Court did the right thing. As much as if Kenny dropped of one today.

  42. #42 Brownian, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Okay, I’m all for celebrating, but let’s think about some of the more serious ramifications of this: are we going to need to legislate increased protection for bridesmaids now that bridezillas can be 250 lb biker men?

  43. #43 EntoAggie
    May 15, 2008

    Good one, Paul. ;)

    Defend the marriage at all costs! Oh, the marriage!! Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the marriage???!!!

    *Ahem*

    Etha, I agree. Even back when Bush was trying for the federal constitutional amendment, he was talking about the “sanctity” of marriage. I felt like I was taking crazy pills…nobody else could see why I thought it was against reason for the president to describe a secular contract in religious terms.

    I’ve always said–if some church doesn’t want to perform or bless a homosexual marriage, that is fine–it is not my power or want to force them. But, the marriage contract is a secular thing. Until they can come up with a secular reason as to why gay marriage would be a bad idea–and I haven’t heard one yet–then they should leave it the hell alone.

  44. #44 Efogoto
    May 15, 2008

    IMO they should just make it *all* civil unions. Get the government out of marriage all together if so many people consider it a religious institution.

    I liked a suggestion I saw: let the religious have “holy matrimony” and keep the word marriage in the laws, then grant marriage to everyone equally. There’s a lot of overhead in changing the text of laws that need not be borne.

  45. #45 Bureaucratus Minimis
    May 15, 2008

    Don’t quit your day job, Brownian.

  46. #46 Katharine
    May 15, 2008

    Brownian –

    The ‘250 lb biker men’ stereotype was not cool.

  47. #47 Sharon
    May 15, 2008

    @Chris #18

    “If anyone is interested, HRC is currently directing the funds collected directly to the upcoming fight in CA over the decision.
    Here’s the link: https://secure.ga3.org/03/caequalpac

    I have just donated. I’m sure there’s going to be a big fight come election time, so every penny helps. I strongly encourage others to donate if they can.

  48. #48 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    I always get a kick out of Lewis Black’s take on the whole “gay marriage as death of american civilization thing”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhz1fd3gmHY

    On the list of things we have to worry about, gay marriage is on page 6 after: “Are We Eating too Much Garlic as a People?”

  49. #49 MikeM
    May 15, 2008

    The only downside I see to this is that 1) someone will now introduce, via the initiative process, a CA Constitutional amendment that will overturn this decision, and that 2) said proposition will bring out the conservative vote in CA in far, far larger numbers than you can imagine (remember: Prop 22 passed easily, even in CA), which will 3) cause McCain to win CA, clinching Bush’s third term in office (this is definitely one point Obama has right).

    This decision scares me, for all the wrong reasons. I think it’s stupid that the government has intervened in these marriages for all these decades; this is a fair and just ruling. It scares me because, trust me, McCain is one happy camper today. This is the best news he’s had all month.

  50. #50 Pablo
    May 15, 2008

    When I hear folks talking about “Defense Of Marriage” I throw in something like “Oh, good – they’re finally going to make divorce illegal” and watch their reactions.

    There isn’t a gay marriage anywhere that can damage the “sanctity of marriage” more than did the two lying, cheating whores who married my brother (not at the same time)

  51. #51 Joe Shelby
    May 15, 2008

    It would be nice if the media actually got around to spending more time researching and informing people about the facts than constantly asking and reporting their opinions about something that the people don’t actually know any real facts about…

  52. #52 Jaycubed
    May 15, 2008

    OK, bets on the first red state to permit gay marriage.
    Posted by: Carlie

    Alaska might be a good state for gay marriage, just due to the male/female demographics.

  53. #53 Warren
    May 15, 2008

    @#49:

    It scares me because, trust me, McCain is one happy camper today. This is the best news he’s had all month.

    Who do you imagine might vote for McCain now, who wasn’t already going to anyway?

    [BTW, Brownian, I’m surprised you weren’t taken to task for the “bridezilla” comment. The “250-lb biker” thing just made me think of a firefighter on a Harley. Oh my, NSFW images…]

  54. #54 Joe Shelby
    May 15, 2008

    btw, I’m just waiting for the next earthquake in the north or super-fire in the south for Robertson and Hagee to yell “see, God is punishing your state!”.

    The tragedy is that such a fire will likely happen right on schedule in October, just in time for the November election where the right-wing nutcases are planning to try to get the constitution amended to override this once and for all.

  55. #55 3rd chimp blues
    May 15, 2008

    MSNBC won’t let me vote more than once per identity.

    EVERY VOTE COUNTS!

  56. #56 Nancy
    May 15, 2008

    This is hands down the best news I have heard in a long time.

  57. #57 Kseniya
    May 15, 2008

    Jeff, I hear ya on the citizen thing, and hug or no hug I feel like crying anyway, though I have no first-hand personal stake in this. I guess it’s empathy, or something, or my joy and seeing my beloved country take one small step in the direction I so strongly believe it should be heading – towards fairness, compassion, inclusivity…

    Etha, and EntoAggie, I’m right there with you. The government should be faith-blind when it comes to marriage, and deal with the secular, social, legal aspects only. Let the spiritual side (if any) take care of itself.

    Sanctity of marriage. What an illusion THAT is. I’ve nothing against marriage, but holy crumbing shortcake. How blind can one be? I love the “make divorce illegal” angle. That’s brilliant. And hey, we can always lobby to bring back the stoning of adulterers.

    O_o

  58. #58 The Uncredible Hallq
    May 15, 2008

    @25 Blake Stacy FTW

    I voted for the “don’t think so” option simply because it makes so little sense.

  59. #59 BMS
    May 15, 2008

    Wedding bells in October!!

  60. #60 MikeM
    May 15, 2008

    Warren, they weren’t going to vote at all. That’s the pattern with conservatives in California. If it looks like they’re getting crushed on some national issue (i.e., the presidential vote), they stay home. But when something like this comes along, it galvanizes them.

    I know that’s the pattern in many states, but this effect is especially strong on CA.

    There’s nothing to vote on in CA as of this moment, but I’ll just bet you they have all the signatures they need to qualify for a November vote within weeks. That’s the way it goes in CA.

  61. #61 Polyester Mather D.D.
    May 15, 2008

    Cats and squid living together –where will it end?

  62. #62 Rose Colored Glasses
    May 15, 2008

    They did the right thing, which is why my hackles went up. I am so suspicious of the government that I’m already looking for the black lining inside the silver cloud.

  63. #63 MikeM
    May 15, 2008

    In fact, I’m already off on my timing. I was too optimistic:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-anti16-2008may16,0,7598579.story

    A coalition of religious and conservative activists has submitted 1.1 million signatures to qualify a constitutional amendment for the November ballot that would say that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

  64. #64 TheWireMonkey
    May 15, 2008

    At that point, I just gave up. IMO they should just make it *all* civil unions. Get the government out of marriage all together if so many people consider it a religious institution.

    I agree, but I might go one step further. I have never had the slightest desire to pair-bond, so it annoys me to no end to hear about additional “rights” given to those who marry. Seriously, the most the government should do is come up with some formal way to recognize an “emergency contact” for when one is incapacitated, and perhaps an official heir. Marriage is ultimately about property, inheritance thereof and sex. I have no problem with the government ensuring a peaceful and smooth transfer of property upon someone’s death, or recognizing power of attorney, but it really has NO business in the bedroom, gay or straight or cephalopophilic.

    That being said, as long as we have to live with government recognized marriage, then gay marriage should be obvious. Hooray California!

  65. #65 Warren
    May 15, 2008

    @MikeM#60:

    But when something like this comes along, it galvanizes them.

    This, followed by your comment at #63, is just plain damn spooky, man.

  66. #66 MikeM
    May 15, 2008

    By the way, please don’t shoot the messenger. I will obviously vote against this stupid proposition. I want to make very clear which side I’m on.

    It’s just that it’ll make it twice as crappy if it boosts McCain to a win.

    I sincerely apologize for being the one to leave the turd in the punchbowl.

  67. #67 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Posted by: TheWireMonkey | May 15, 2008 5:24 PM

    I’d like to recommend a book, Nancy Polikoff’s Beyond Gay and Straight Marriage.

    Her basic argument, to which I am very sympathetic, is that we value marriage–as a specific family form–too highly in this society. There are lots of families–interdependent relationships–that are not formed with a license and ceremony. Such things as hospital visitation (she’s got a great example from MD), she argues, shouldn’t be based on the form of the relationships but the content.

  68. #68 HumanisticJones
    May 15, 2008

    #30

    As a computer scientist I’ve always liked the idea of using class-inheritance models for the whole marriage/civil-union thing. Civil Union would be the base/super class containing all of the properties like economic and insurance benefits. Marriage would be derived/sub class, inheriting the properties of a civil-union while subtyped properties would handle the religious attachments.

    |CivilUnion|<-is a–|Marriage|<–is a–|ChristianMarriage|

  69. #69 RamblinDude
    May 15, 2008

    @#49: It scares me because, trust me, McCain is one happy camper today. This is the best news he’s had all month

    Who do you imagine might vote for McCain now, who wasn’t already going to anyway?

    I agree there will be repercussions. This ruling is a “sign of the end times!” to a good number of religious undecided— who will be more inclined now to vote conservative.

  70. #70 Brownian, OM
    May 15, 2008

    BTW, Brownian, I’m surprised you weren’t taken to task for the “bridezilla” comment. The “250-lb biker” thing just made me think of a firefighter on a Harley. Oh my, NSFW images…

    Oh, a few did take me to task for the biker quote. I only meant to make a play on the stereotype of the bride making the bridesmaids wear ugly outfits, shop incessantly, etc., which groomsmen don’t currently have to deal with (at leat not to the same degree) and how such behaviours might be common among male brides, but I obviously wasn’t very good at it.

    S’okay. I’m no stranger to misfiring jokes. Alright, I won’t sully this otherwise happy day with any more bombs.

  71. #71 Katharine
    May 15, 2008

    MikeM, that’s it. I have just lost my patience with the human race. Can we financially eviscerate the conservatives?

  72. #72 Carlie
    May 15, 2008

    Hey, I want to hug MAJeff too!

  73. #73 Kseniya
    May 15, 2008

    But when something like this comes along, it galvanizes them.

    Can’t we find something that will calcify them instead…?!

  74. #74 Suspect Device
    May 15, 2008

    Hey, shouldn’t the religious right be all for gay marriage? They’ve been warning us for decades that the “last days” are upon us when “men become lovers of men” right from the Revelation playbook. Wouldn’t you think that in the mind of a fundie-sheeple-drone the more gay-marriage the better, because that will finally bring into play God’s hand?

    Or are Christians just inconsistent?

  75. #75 MikeM
    May 15, 2008

    I sure wish we could, Katharine.

    This, on top of what our beloved governor is proposing to balance the budget. Anyone else hear about this? Borrowing against the CA Lottery? One of the most fiscally irresponsible proposals I’ve ever heard.

    It’s as though insanity caused by one drug, and they all went out and took some at the same time.

    Seriously, California governors have been recalled for less than this.

  76. #76 Carlie
    May 15, 2008

    Can’t we find something that will calcify them instead…?!

    Well, it worked in the Bible with that Lot guy…

  77. #77 chezjake
    May 15, 2008

    @ #18 – Chris

    I think you need to elaborate on the “HRC” you cited. The website identifies the Human Rights Campaign, but most of us non-Californians in recent months identify those initials with the female presidential candidate. I almost did a double take at the idea of Hilary extending that level of support to equal marriage rights.

  78. #78 Brownian, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Hey, I want to hug MAJeff too!

    If you don’t mind, MAJeff….

    GROUP HUG!

  79. #79 Kseniya
    May 15, 2008

    There are lots of families–interdependent relationships–that are not formed with a license and ceremony. Such things as hospital visitation (she’s got a great example from MD), she argues, shouldn’t be based on the form of the relationships but the content.

    That’s for damned sure.

  80. #80 grog the pirate
    May 15, 2008

    MikeM, et. al.:

    For what it’s worth, I think the turnout models have shifted a bit in the past eight years. Prop 22 was passed in 2000, back when the religious conservatives had great infrastructure and ground game, and its opponents weren’t able to match that. Compare that with 2006, however, where even in the states that passed anti-gay amendments, well-organized progressive groups were able to use the issue to drive up progressive turnout, especially among younger voters. In Wisconsin, for example, the anti-gay amendment passed, but the GOP took a pounding up and down the rest of the ballot as a result.

    Any constitutional amendment in California may be a tough fight, but I don’t think it’s going to help McCain or the rest of the GOP as much as it might have four or eight years ago.

  81. #81 Brownian, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Hey, shouldn’t the religious right be all for gay marriage? They’ve been warning us for decades that the “last days” are upon us when “men become lovers of men” right from the Revelation playbook.

    Yeah, but they’ve already got that base covered by arming the Middle East. Maybe it’s like a double negative thing, where if you legalise same-sex marriage OR build a wall through the Holy Land, it brings about the End days, but if legalise same-sex marriage AND build a wall through the Holy Land the End Days never come and we’ll have to start thinking of social policies in cycles longer than four years.

  82. #82 MikeM
    May 15, 2008

    Just in case anyone thinks I was just making it up about the lottery, here you go:

    http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/939952.html

    Just amazingly stupid. I don’t think this is a sorta-bad, perhaps debatable idea… Oh, no. This passes all the way into gross incompetence. If Arnold actually gets this on the ballot, you may be looking at a 90% no vote. My guess is he’ll realize that, and this idea goes away.

  83. #83 MikeM
    May 15, 2008

    I hope you’re right and I’m wrong, Grog.

    That’s the real reason I’m replying. It’s not every day you get to refer to someone as Grog.

    Arrrr.

    Nice parrot ya got there.

  84. #84 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    I agree there will be repercussions. This ruling is a “sign of the end times!” to a good number of religious undecided— who will be more inclined now to vote conservative.

    this argument suggests it to be inevitable anyway.

    Instead of trying to artificially “calm” the nutbaggers, I would suggest instead motivating the rational to vote against them.

    fear is a two-edged sword.

    If fundies can be motivated by fear to remove rights, then then non-fundies can be motivated by fearing a loss of their rights to protect those rights, yes?

    It’s quite sad, but obvious, that we as a society have not really moved far away from fear as a primary motivator.

    I would think arguments pulled almost verbatim from the the fight for the Civil Rights act still apply to this as well.

  85. #85 Hereticchick
    May 15, 2008

    HOORAY! Now tell me…how exactly is this going to destroy the sanctity of marriage? That’s because there IS no sanctity in marriage. Divorce is at an all time high, especially among religious people! My husband and i are atheists and we’ve been married 26 years! We’ve been married longer than any of our siblings, a majority of which have been married several times EACH. Ridiculous….

  86. #86 Nova
    May 15, 2008

    Nentuaby:

    They’ve always seemed to be REAL conservatives there- that is, people who are for minimal government intervention in ALL spheres, not the perverse minimum service / maximum control “Conservatism” that’s become so popular.

    “REAL” conservatism is small economic intervention+large social intervention+tradition. What your describing is Libertarianism (small economic intervention+small social intervention+minarchism or anarchism (there’s a split in Libertarianism based on which).

  87. #87 mkuriluk
    May 15, 2008

    Oi, i’ve been trying to post on the LA times website but to no avail, is anyone having the same experience?

  88. #88 Mrs Tilton
    May 15, 2008

    Jeff, Nate, and all the other gay Pharyngulites:

    yes, this is huge. Congratulations. And I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate why it’s huge for us breeders as well. But I will anyway. It is huge for us for the same reason that the defeat of the Confederate traitors was huge for white Americans of good will; it is huge for us for the same reason that the fall of the apartheid state was huge for white South Africans of good will. (These things were also huge for American homophobes, Confederate slaveholders and racist Afrikaaner as well, of course, even if they were too ignorant to recognise it.)

    But everybody:

    Expect a concerted rightwing effort to have the court’s decision reversed through a state constitutional amendment. And worry that those efforts might very well be successful. If a sufficient number of trogs amend the CA constitution to provide that only one man and one woman can marry, then that’s that. (Unless the USSC decide that this provision offends the 14th amendment; and don’t hold your breath on that one so long as Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito are drawing theirs.)

    Anyway:

    Even if the mouthbreathers manage to reverse this decision, we can take heart, a little, that in the world-historical grand scheme of things, Ozymandias is being steadily hacked off at the knees. Still: that will be cold comfort if, in the hard here-and-now, the mouthbreathers can continue to deny my gay friends what should be theirs by right; if they continue to devalue my own marriage by denying the same happiness to my friends.

    And, oh yeah, PZ; one minor quibble:

    so that all 50 states someday offer this basic privilege to everyone

    No, and if you were a lawyer, I’d have to beat you about the head and neck with a deep-frozen codfish for saying that. But as you have been spared that fate (of being a lawyer; I cannot speak to your encounters with frozen seafood), I will instead suggest that what you wanted to say was “so that no states will attempt to deprive any one of this basic privilege”.

    Finally, architeuthis @19:

    I should be able to expect my marriage to an octopus legal in 5 years or so

    I’m terribly sorry, but there are limits. You cannot reasonably expect decent people to approve of marital relations between an Architeuthis and an octopus.

  89. #89 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    I agree there will be repercussions. This ruling is a “sign of the end times!” to a good number of religious undecided— who will be more inclined now to vote conservative.

    In Massachusetts, since the handing down of Goodridge, pro-equality legislators have consistently won re-election, even in difficult races. Anti-equality legislators have been turned out. Indeed, in the races in which this has turned out to be a decisive issue in determining whether or not to turn out an incumbent, we’ve come out ahead. In other words, supporting marriage equality has been a winning position.

    I’m not saying that every state is going to be like this. but, ya know what, we’re not the complete kiss of death. Politicians need to get over their fear of the bigots and stand up for equality–it may actually HELP them win.

    Fuck the wingnuts. Don’t back down, don’t respect their position. They are actively working to make people’s lives worse. They are attempting to make families less secure, to make children’s lives less stable. They are actively working to harm people. And they need to be called out on it at every chance.

    Standing up for equality can be a winning position. But it’s one people have to embrace. Cowering in fear from the wingnuts isn’t exactly a position from which one can make stands for equality.

  90. #90 Katharine
    May 15, 2008

    UncredibleHallq,

    What doesn’t make sense about it?

    And I thought you were just as pro-gay rights as I am.

    Seriously, what the fuck happened in your brain?

  91. #91 Longtime Lurker
    May 15, 2008

    High fives all around, my GLBT friends! Once marriage equity comes to NY, I’ll be looking forward to two of my co-workers tying the knot. Now, though, is the time for vigilance, not only will the right wingers stage a backlash, but Rick Santorum might come a-looking for your dogs!

  92. #92 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    Cowering in fear from the wingnuts isn’t exactly a position from which one can make stands for equality.

    A message McCain seems to have completely rejected between the years 2000 and 2008.

    In fact a message, on closer examination, that MOST politicians either have forgotten or rejected.

  93. #93 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Expect a concerted rightwing effort to have the court’s decision reversed through a state constitutional amendment. And worry that those efforts might very well be successful. If a sufficient number of trogs amend the CA constitution to provide that only one man and one woman can marry, then that’s that. (Unless the USSC decide that this provision offends the 14th amendment; and don’t hold your breath on that one so long as Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito are drawing theirs.)

    I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the initiative amendment wins in the fall. There are a lot of folks who still aren’t very fond of us. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Although it will take away marriage, the way it’s worded won’t have the same kind of impact that the amendment in Michigan did. Folks in CA will still have Domestic Partnership available should the amendment pass, so at the state level there will still be widespread protection of those couples. Yeah, it will suck big time if there’s a loss of a right, but certain forms of protection will not be jeopardized as they were in places like Michigan or Ohio.

    Second, the issue of suspect classification is HUGE. Like I said, that will have repercussions far beyond this case. My jaw dropped and I immediately texted a friend when I saw the Court had done that. In some ways, that may be today’s bigger victory. I am seriously stunned that the Court went that far.

    It’s a great day that, but we need to remember that today’s victory is tenuous. However, even though that specific part of the victory may be vulnerable, this is pretty much the best outcome we could have hoped for.

    I thought we were going to lose. I’m beyond elated with this result.

  94. #94 MikeM
    May 15, 2008

    MAJeff deserves a second OM for #89.

  95. #95 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Thanks for the hugs folks.

    In lieu of an actual hug, send a virtual hug by donating to the Human Rights Campaign, who, on the linked page, is raising money for their California Marriage PAC to fight this fall’s ballot campaign to rescind the right for people to choose their marriage partner, regardless of gender.

  96. #96 Mac
    May 15, 2008

    I need to get a copy of this decision and put it on a huge sign on my right-on-a-busy-street front lawn, ASAP. Too bad I live in KY, so I probably need to reinforce my windows first.

  97. #97 Cliff
    May 15, 2008

    @67 MAJeff

    Nancy is my wife’s cousin, and we attended her first book signing in Washington DC a couple of months back. I was also thinking of recommending her book, when I read your post.

    The book is now in it’s second printing, and well worth the read for anyone interested in securing their rights and the rights of “family” members, gay or straight.

  98. #98 Lyle G
    May 15, 2008

    I wrote to a Christian site, “Gay marriage is not a religious issue; it is an issue of the legal relationship between people who are living together.” They didn’t get it.
    My longest relationship lasted 13 years, longer than any of my siblings first marriages. Never really wanted to get married, even tho our UU minister would have been willing.

  99. #99 CS
    May 15, 2008

    “A coalition of religious and conservative activists has submitted 1.1 million signatures to qualify a constitutional amendment for the November ballot that would say that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

    I lived in Los Angeles when they first voted to enact the ban that the CA Supreme Court just overturned. I watched the process happen. Signs on church lawns encouraged their congregations to get out and vote on the measure. Christian conservatives (and those behind the Orange Curtain) were galvanized and went to the polls in droves, while MOST of the state (generally liberal, generally socially open, generally politically apathetic) sat at home and did nothing, because they didn’t care about a local election.

    The religious right is going to be energized and organized and fervent about this, so what we need to do (“we” being the LGBT community AND all liberals AND all people who think on a daily basis) need to get equally or better energized, organized, and fervent.

    Let’s just make it happen. I know that sounds over-simplified, but seriously – let’s just make it happen.

    Churches can organize, but so can we.

  100. #100 Kenny
    May 15, 2008

    Well, you are witnessing the begining of the end for our country. We are going to be destroyed by fire. I would guestimate via nuclear war. Laugh if you must but this is only the begining of the end. Our country is doomed.

    Matthew 24:36-38 (King James Version)

    37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

    38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.

    I am off to work. You all enjoy your day.

  101. #101 Longtime Lurker
    May 15, 2008

    No retreat, no surrender, MAJeff! The wingnuts have been actively attempting to make people’s lives worse in every conceivable way: children’s healthcare, environmental/energy policy, worker safety, infrastructure maintenance, the list goes on. Gay Americans function, to a large extent, as a societal “canary in a coal mine”- too bad the snake-handler in Appalachia whose husband works in a literal coal-mine with no MSHA safety regulations is too blinded by biblical bigotry to find common cause.

  102. #102 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Cliff,

    If you see her, tell her she has a huge fan over here. Great book.

    I’d also recommend Michael Warner’s The Trouble With Normal.

  103. #103 bernarda
    May 15, 2008

    The ACLU won a case for student free speech. But you have to see what the principal said.

    http://www.aclufl.org/news_events/index.cfm?action=viewRelease&emailAlertID=3554

    “During the trial, which was held in Panama City yesterday and today, Ponce de Leon High School’s principal David Davis admitted under oath that he had banned students from wearing any clothing or symbols supporting equal rights for gay people. Davis also testified that he believed rainbows were “sexually suggestive” and would make students unable to study because they’d be picturing gay sex acts in their mind. The principal went on to admit that while censoring rainbows and gay pride messages he allowed students to wear other symbols many find controversial, such as the Confederate flag.”

    So when Gawd displays his rainbows he is promoting the gay agenda. Just when you think things cannot get any nuttier.

  104. #104 RamblinDude
    May 15, 2008

    If fundies can be motivated by fear to remove rights, then then non-fundies can be motivated by fearing a loss of their rights to protect those rights, yes?

    Oh, I agree, absolutely. Just pointing out that the battle hasn’t been won–yet.

    Fuck the wingnuts. Don’t back down, don’t respect their position. They are actively working to make people’s lives worse. They are attempting to make families less secure, to make children’s lives less stable. They are actively working to harm people. And they need to be called out on it at every chance.

    Well said. And in the words of our mighty tentacled overlord, “Enjoy the brawl.”

  105. #105 lytefoot
    May 15, 2008

    I agree, but I might go one step further. I have never had the slightest desire to pair-bond, so it annoys me to no end to hear about additional “rights” given to those who marry. Seriously, the most the government should do is come up with some formal way to recognize an “emergency contact” for when one is incapacitated, and perhaps an official heir. Marriage is ultimately about property, inheritance thereof and sex. I have no problem with the government ensuring a peaceful and smooth transfer of property upon someone’s death, or recognizing power of attorney, but it really has NO business in the bedroom, gay or straight or cephalopophilic.

    Marriage is about very slightly more than that. For example, one can cover one’s spouse under many employer-sponsored insurance plans. This really DOES make sense, for the same reason as embedding power of attorney the way marriage does, just like smooth transfer of a couple’s children. It has to do with the creation of “traditional” families, where one partner cares for the domestic space while the other works outside the home. As a woman with a male partner who does these things, I have to say that such an arrangement makes life more comfortable, if you can manage it.

    That being said, I very much agree that legal marriage should have nothing whatever to do with sex. If two adults want to make that kind of domestic sharing arrangement–say, two single mothers who want to combine their families–I’m all for allowing that, as well. Because of the way the legal structures are patterned, allowing such a union for sets of adults larger than pairs might be inconvenient, though not impossible. (Family insurance rates, for instance, would need to increase with the number of adults in the ‘family’.) It’s convenient for the adults in a family to be the pair of parents of any children involved, from a purely logistical sense, but there’s nothing else to it.

    There’s also the pair-bonding aspect of marriage, of course, and the religious/communal aspect… but there really isn’t any reason for the state to get involved in that. In fact, from the standpoint of religion, it’s undesirable. Why would a church want the government to dictate which pair-bonds it can and can’t recognize? If a church wants to marry a man to a man–or a man to a chihuahua, for that matter–what church wants to give the state the right to say it can’t? A number of churches have been marrying gays in the eyes of their god and their community for years, even decades.

    Have you ever tried asking a fundie why he wants to allow the state to dictate which sacraments a church can give to whom? They’re never able to answer, unfortunately. I played that game once… asked someone campaigning for an anti-marriage ballot initiative whether he would also support a law that forbid a church to baptize children born to parents living below the poverty line. He, of course, didn’t see the analogy at all, but it’s possible that some of the argument’s audience did.

    (One can make exactly the same arguments here as against same-sex marriage. Being poor (like being gay) is a “behavior” (they argue that discriminating against gays isn’t like discriminating against, e.g., blacks, because being black is something you *are*, not something you *do*). One can also argue that poor people having children negatively impacts the child rearing of other families (in this case, maybe more legitimately–after all, people with money are the ones that pay the taxes that support the public schools, so if the schools didn’t have to educate all those poor kids they’d have a lot more money to go around, while nobody’s ever actually exhibited a mechanism by which gay marriage negatively impacts straight marriage).)

    Okay, enough ranting. Blarg. On a lighter note:

    Ten years from now, California will be a wasteland where traditional marriages can no longer flourish.

    I’m sorry… what will this change? Have you ever BEEN to California?

  106. #106 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Hey Kenny,

    Go fuck yourself!

    Today is a great day, and your desire to see people harmed, to make their lives worse, shows what a bigoted fuckwit you are.

    Too bad there’s not hell–you belong there.

  107. #107 Katharine
    May 15, 2008

    Kenny –

    Do us a favor. Shut the fuck up and take your Christofascist drivel and shove it up your ass far enough so we don’t see it, although I guess that’d be difficult for you because your anus is so tight that you couldn’t squeeze a pencil up it.

  108. #108 Nurse Ingrid
    May 15, 2008

    Just to add to Grog’s hopeful note:

    Things HAVE changed in California since 2000. Greta and I were among the 4,000 couples who got married at SF City Hall in 2004, and it’s been amazing to feel the ground shift that has taken place since then. Also, as time passes and more of the next generation can vote, that helps our cause because polls about support for same sex marriage skew hugely by age.

    I’m also thinking that the fact that this is a presidential election may work in our favor, because my understanding is that higher voter turnout helps progressives. And I think that Obama will also get a lot of hip young people to the polls who might not otherwise have voted.

    Make no mistake — I am verrrry nervous about the initiative. I encourage all freethinkers to donate to HRC or other groups that are gearing up to fight it.

    Meanwhile, Greta and I have to start planning our THIRD wedding!!

  109. #109 Katharine
    May 15, 2008

    I donated $10 to the HRC today.

  110. #110 IBY
    May 15, 2008

    Wow, it has been fun crashing the polls, and huray for civil rights!!

  111. #111 Sastra
    May 15, 2008

    Our best strategy might be to encourage all the petitions, all the proposals, and all the amendments against this ruling to mention ALMIGHTY GOD as often as possible. They’ll be happy to throw it in.

    It will then be thrown out as explicitly unconstitutional.

    We’ve got to encourage the same shoot-yourself-in-the-foot blabbermouth syndrome as helped sink “Intelligent Design by A Entity On Which We Do Not Speculate Being as We Are Scientists And This Has Nothing to do With Religion.”

  112. #112 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    Well, you are witnessing the begining of the end for our country.

    I’m guessing that was actually Sven tuning his “kenny parody”.

    especially using the fire reference.

    and “guestimate”.

    not saying that what I quoted from it hasn’t been heard nearly verbatim from Pat Robertson and Falwell (before).

  113. #113 Avekid
    May 15, 2008

    Wait a sec… Didn’t dear Kenny say recently that he *wasn’t* homophobic?

    Kenny:
    Normally, I’d be nicer but I’m sick of your homophobic bullshit. FUCK OFF.

  114. #114 SC
    May 15, 2008

    Wonderful news!

    A small contribution from the brilliant, neglected Voltairine de Cleyre to the “moving beyond marriage” discussion

    …from a century ago:

    http://www.deadanarchists.org/VdCMarry.html

  115. #115 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    seriously, if that was really Sven trying to parody Kenny, that was rather bad timing of you.

    suggest you drop trying to see if you can invoke Poe’s Law on this one.

    even parodies can wear thin.

    better cop to this one right now.

  116. #116 Longtime Lurker
    May 15, 2008

    When Kenny wrote:

    “Laugh if you must but this is only the begining of the end. Our country is doomed.”

    What he really meant is “MY country is doomed”.

    I, for one, think that that’s a good thing, as Kenny’s Free Republic Amerikkka would truly be horrific.

  117. #117 bernarda
    May 15, 2008

    The Friendly Atheist has a good comment.

    http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/05/15/honey-and-sweetheart/

  118. #118 Mrs Tilton
    May 15, 2008

    MikeM @94,

    my vote is for a second OM for MAJeff and an honorary OM for the CA Supreme Court.

    Jeff his own self @93,

    Although it will take away marriage, the way it’s worded won’t have the same kind of impact that the amendment in Michigan did

    Agreed, and as far as it goes, that’s a Good Thing. Still: begging pardon in advance for the Godwin violation, a homophobic CA constitutional amendment that failed to eliminate certain quasi-spousal benefits would be a little like a nazi state saying, “Hey you Jews, you do need to wear a yellow 6-pointed star on your lapels and all, but it can be made of comfortable, high-quality cloth.”

    Second, the issue of suspect classification is HUGE

    Agreed. Well spotted; if you haven’t studied law, very well well spotted indeed. That really is huge. I have to wonder, though: if CA amends its constitution to say (in effect) “f*ck off, fags”, will the fags then remain a suspect class?

    I don’t want to be too negative here. This is huge and, though la lutte continue, decent people everywhere can rightly enjoy a moment of gratification and gratitude. But we cannot rest until the Phelpses and Phelps-Lites have been well and truly consigned to the fabled rubbish heap of history.

    God/Cthulhu/FSM/[null set] speed the day!

  119. #119 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Mrs. Tilton,

    You’re right, that losing the right after having it would suck massively. There is a little consolation in that the material affects would be lesser and the issue of suspect classification. As the amendment is worded, it only defines marriage–union of man and woman. The DP statutes would remain in place, and the court has previously ruled they didn’t offend a law making marriage other-sexed only. The amendment would put back in place the “separate but equal” system that existed until today (well, until 30 days from today when folks start marrying). The suspect classification wouldn’t be affected at all by the amendment, and that’s one of the reasons that I think the reach of this decision will have an impact even if there is a loss this fall.

    (I took one law class, but it was all PoMo and shit, so we didn’t deal with these levels of analysis–that’s from my own work as someone who’s been studying the issue. My diss is on this topic, so I’ve kind of had to immerse myself in it. Today’s decision is so much stronger than the MA decision. First, there’s the suspect classification. The other side, though, is that I think CA’s court got the constitutional question right whereas MA’s missed it.

    California said there is a fundamental right of an individual to choose with whom to form a family through marriage, and that restrictions on the basis of gender are the basis of unequal treatment based on sexual orientation.

    Massachusetts said that there is an issue of unequal treatment between same-sex and other-sex couples, and that distinction violates the equality notions of the constitution.

    Both resulted in marriage, but California’s is going to be much more far-reaching. It’s a much stronger decision, legally and analytically.

  120. #120 Cuttlefish, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Time to dust off this one, from when New Hampshire tried to do the right thing. I hope this ruling signals a time in the near future when my neighbors can get married. Not Civilly Unionized, but married. (and yeah, Cali deserves its own verse, but I have grading to do…)

    I had insufficient warning
    When I stumbled out this morning
    Past a half a dozen candidates, each stumping for my vote;
    When I looked, the morning paper
    Had a headline of some caper
    Or the record-breaking snowfall–really, nothing there of note.

    So I grabbed my trusty shovel
    To plow out my “home sweet hovel”
    When I noticed something different–something didn’t quite feel right.
    There was snow, and politicians,
    But some change in the conditions
    Made me wonder if my marriage had the sanctity it might.

    So I checked the sanctitometer
    And struggled not to vomit–her
    “Conventional morality in danger” light was on!
    Now a grim new dawn was breaking
    And I couldn’t stop my shaking
    ‘Cos the morally upstanding world I trusted now was gone!

    I considered seeking shelter
    As I watched the helter-skelter
    Of the politicians canvassing the noble Granite State;
    I heard one of them disparage
    Civil Unions, or Gay Marriage
    As the reason for the panic–then I thought, more clearly, “wait!”

    All this rattling of sabers
    Is about my friends and neighbors;
    These are people whom I know, and who have lived here all along
    If these folks are who they’re blaming
    It’s just pre-election gaming
    And between the politicians and my friends, I know who’s wrong.

    If our morals are declining
    As the candidates keep whining
    I propose a different theory to explain why this is so:
    An invasive mass of liars
    With their speeches, signs, and flyers,
    Slinging mud and kissing babies in a dog-and-pony show.

    Soon the voting will be over
    And the state, from Keene to Dover,
    And from Lancaster to Nashua, will heave a weary sigh;
    With the moral issue buried
    Now my neighbors can get married
    And the Granite State will mean it when it says “Live Free or Die!”

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2008/01/o-noes-teh-sanctity11.html

  121. #121 Blaidd Drwg
    May 15, 2008

    As a happy heterosexual, I am still very happy that this descision has been reached (even though it doesn’t affect me persoanlly). Way to go!

  122. #122 CanadaGoose
    May 15, 2008

    We here in the Great White North True & Free celebrate that Califorina has joined the the modern age.
    We’ve had gay marriage here for several years and all forms of wedlock stumble on much as they did before. Some people, gay and straight, make a go of it and some don’t.
    It still remains popular, though.
    As I am heterosexual and collecting Social Security, I lived many years in the dark ages before a gay freedom movement and I still get a little frisson when someone is introduced as “this is Bob and his husband Jim.”
    How glad I am to have lived long enough to see this in the state where I was born.

  123. #123 dwarf zebu
    May 15, 2008

    I am so proud to live in California right now!!

    “…they continue to devalue my own marriage by denying the same happiness to my friends.”

    Mrs. Tilton, you are brilliant! I now have a snappy comeback for those who want to tell me that same-sex marriage devalues “real” marriage! That’s exactly how I feel: My marriage is being devalued by the denial of the same recognition/legality/happiness to same sex couples that I enjoy!

    MAJeff: How do you feel about Let California Ring? (www.letcaliforniaring.org) They’re the ones I contribute to.

  124. #124 Mrs Tilton
    May 15, 2008

    Kenny @100,

    Our country is doomed…. I am off to work

    I hate to criticise a believer, Kenny, but that is awfully fatalistic of you. (Beware of slipping into pagan Hindooism!) As long as you’re slingin’ scripture, though, let me suggest 1 Peter 3:15: “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you“.

    And your best hope, may I suggest, is this: when the morlocks emerge from their caverns to vote in a homophobic California referendum, pray. On the day of the ballot, gather all your brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those actually entitled to vote in California, and pray as though your lives depended on it.

    This tactic cannot possibly fail for, as our Lord has assured us (Matthew 7:7), “Ask, and it shall be given you”. Really, if you can get all your God-damaged friends, especially those eligible to vote in California, to spend the relevant election day in nought but earnest prayer, then I do not see how that could be anything other than a thumping great triumph for all that is good and wholesome.

    You know what needs to be done, Kenny; good luck now!

  125. #125 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    MAJeff: How do you feel about Let California Ring? (www.letcaliforniaring.org) They’re the ones I contribute to.

    Dunno.

    I’m not a huge fan of HRC (it’s an issue of elite vs. grassroots politics, but whatever). But, they’re not terrible at this sort of campaign.

    I say give to whomever is doing the work. They’re going to need it.

    The wingnuts are pissed they lost Massachusetts. They’re going to throw a hell of a lot at California. Mormon and Catholic and Baptist money is gonna be flowing.

  126. #126 sarah
    May 15, 2008

    WHOOOOO! This is better than pissing on the shoes of the religious right. All I have to say is that I live in SF and cannot wait for my fellow gays to descend upon the castro to celebrate!!!

  127. #127 Sangy
    May 15, 2008

    This is delightful- congratulations to anyone LGBT reading this. Now, we can just hope that it will last through election season.

  128. #128 Christopher Waldrop
    May 15, 2008

    Aside from Kenny (who I suspect may be a joke, because, seriously, can anyone be that stupid? wait, I’m afraid I already know the answer…) I’m thrilled there aren’t a bunch of Christofascists dumping their anger here over the decision. Yeah, I know, they’re in their tight little circles, gathering, planning, and praying–for all the good that does.

  129. #129 Longtime Lurker
    May 15, 2008

    “The wingnuts are pissed they lost Massachusetts.”

    Hell, the wingnuts are losing Mississippi! I just check the Big Orange Blog down the Info Superhighway, and it’s not pretty for the Greedy Old Plutocrats.

    Pissed, yes, but, more importantly, scared.

  130. #130 Steve Sutton
    May 15, 2008

    It’s not a matter of “gay” rights, it’s a matter of human rights. The court striking down the ban is one way of letting the public know that homosexuals are just as human as anyone else and not less than human, as some people who oppose homosexual marriage seem to think.

  131. #131 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    not less than human, as some people who oppose homosexual marriage seem to think.

    I don’t think it’s the fundies’ argument that homosexuals are “less than human”, but rather that by “committing such egregious sin in the eyes of god” they are somehow dooming all of humanity (including the fundies) to disaster.

    (see, RE: Robertson and Falwell blaming 9/11 on teh gayz).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_8dSnKiaD4

    which, on the face of it, is no less an insane argument.

    However, it does little good if one wishes to argue against the fundie position to not know what it really is.

  132. #132 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008
  133. #133 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    I don’t think it’s the fundies’ argument that homosexuals are “less than human”,

    Then why do they keep comparing same-sex marriages to marrying their dogs?

    Yes, we are less than human in their eyes.

  134. #134 Mrs Tilton
    May 15, 2008

    MAJeff @119,

    OK, I think we can safely say this. Even if the trogs mount up in their numbers to vote in some stupid amendment, the court’s decision is a sledge hammer to the knees of world-historical stupidity. Don’t get me wrong. I am enjoying a quiet glass of champagne (well, OK; Diebels Altbier) over this. It’s just that I’ll wait and see a bit before popping the top off the entire crate.

    Dwarf Zebu @123,

    Mrs. Tilton, you are brilliant!

    Thanks, but I’m not. I’m just furious and frustrated that the state arrogates the right to recognise my relationship with my partner in a way that it (mostly) wouldn’t yet recognise an essentially similar relationship between (e.g.) MAJeff and his.

    And let me add this. Jeff and other gay people will understand your anger and mine at this, because it is the same as theirs, albeit necessarily less intense because we are not personally harmed. What they possibly might not know directly is how mortifying it is to be permitted to enjoy a benefit that idiotic shitbags deny them. I am not kidding when I say that it pisses me off that I can marry and Jeff cannot. I am also not kidding when I say that, even if Jeff doesn’t happen to want to get married, it demeans my own marriage if he cannot marry. This is important. Gay people have to bear the brunt of vicious homophobic stupidity. But resisting that stupidity is not, for straight people, merely a matter of decency or sympathy. The homophobes sap the world of its colour for all of us.

    Cuttlefish @120,

    I’ve got you taped, my friend. You are the reincarnation of Sir William Gilbert and I claim my five pounds.

  135. #135 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    Then why do they keep comparing same-sex marriages to marrying their dogs?

    again, it’s the sin thing, they aren’t comparing gays to dogs, their saying that marrying same sex is just as “sinful” as marrying a dog.

    sure, some of the same stereotypes apply to homophobia as they do to racism, but the very loud and clear voice of the xian homophobe (by far the most prevalent kind) is that of Robertson.

    listen to what he says (yeah, I know), especially in the second video I linked to… the second clip (the one with the blue background where he is talking about homosexuals “not caring what they destroy”.

    you won’t find any language in any of the homophobic legislation talking about homosexuals as being “less than human”.

  136. #136 JeffreyD
    May 15, 2008

    MAJeff, re #95, I made a virtual hug per you suggestion to HRC, and re #106, I made it in Kenny’s name.

    And what they hell, here is a big hug on the blog for you, assuming you don’t mind a straight guy hug. I am also available to hug gay or straight women, being a dirty old man and all.

    Seriously, I am so glad to see something bright in the way of news coming out of a court for a change. And glad to see we may be moving into the 21st century for real, even if in fits and starts.

    Ciao, Jeffrey

  137. #137 Avekid
    May 15, 2008

    I don’t think it’s the fundies’ argument that homosexuals are “less than human”,

    Then why do they keep comparing same-sex marriages to marrying their dogs?

    Yes, we are less than human in their eyes.

    MAJeff:

    I’d have to agree — if not less than human, certainly less than persons. (Caution, anecdotal “evidence” ahead…) My father was a minister in the Anglican church and was a founding member of a “human sexuality and the church” task group in his diocese. Ten years later (about five years ago), he gave up because they hadn’t moved away from the issue with which they began: should gay men and women be considered as persons? Ten years of yammering on about it, and it was still unclear to them whether or not we could even be considered part of the “we” in all those prayers. I’ve not had an update from this bunch of yahoos lately, but a couple of years ago, there had still been no movement forward.

    This doesn’t speak to this group thinking of gays and lesbians as less than human but, like I said, less than persons. This worrying part is that this group and the diocese in which it operated were both fairly progressive. It would not surprise me in the least if the more conservative, fundie groups actually considered us to be less than human. As you note, the analogical (to gay marriage) case for many fundies is usually marriage to an animal. Sickening (and fallacious — helloooo slippery slope!).

  138. #138 Mikey M
    May 15, 2008

    The sanctity of which of Senator McCain’s two marriages is threatened by this ruling?

  139. #140 Carlie
    May 15, 2008

    I don’t even get the point of Kenny’s drive-by shit.

    “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.”

    So, what he’s saying is that the end times will be marked by people eating, people drinking, and people getting married. Um, I think that describes every period of civilization?

  140. #141 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    you won’t find any language in any of the homophobic legislation talking about homosexuals as being “less than human”.

    Not in the legislative language, no. But you will hear comparisons to animals, marrying dogs or box turtles, things like “even dogs don’t do those things,” etc.

    I think I mentioned the book Against Race a while back. Gilroy uses a great term in there, “infrahumanity.” I think Avekid’s notion of “less(er) persons” works, but I also like the notion of infrahumanity. The boundaries of citizenship are in some ways the boundaries of legal personhood. I think we can agree that the right would have us exist outside that category under most circumstances–they’re just unable to enforce it in as many ways as they once were, but they really do desire a return to the bad old days of sodomy laws and electroshock therapy and employment restrictions and a very rigidly enforced closet…..

    The constant allusions to animals, I think, do make clear that they consider us not just lesser legal persons, but lesser humans. Maybe not subhuman, but certainly infrahuman.

  141. #142 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    But you will hear comparisons to animals, marrying dogs or box turtles, things like “even dogs don’t do those things,” etc.

    before you repeat that you think this means they are referring to gays as subhuman, please attempt to discount what I was saying about them using the comparison only in relation to marriage.

    do you literally hear them telling you that YOU are dog, or rather that marrying same sex is just LIKE marrying a dog?

    even dogs don’t do those things

    reread: “same sex marriage is nothing but sinful; it’s not natural”

    look you seem to be missing my point. Look at Kenny’s argument. Look at Robertson and Falwell’s arguments.

    see the similarity?

    It’s an irrational fear of their own destruction as collateral damage from god’s supposed wrath that they clearly fear.

    Robertson didn’t blame 9/11 on animals, he blamed it on “the sinners”. same thing with any natural disaster, btw.

    It’s pure fear for self-preservation that he is pushing here, and you see it directly reflected in the satements by Kenny (even including the above, which while probably a parody of Kenny, isn’t far off from what he’s been saying anyway).

    The reason I am focusing on this, is that the issue IS one of fear, false fear though it is. Fears can be readily dispelled through experience (it would be nice to be able to shut up the fearmongers too), but accusing the religious right of saying they think homosexuals are less than human will simply allow them to sidestep the issue entirely by saying that they never said that.

  142. #143 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Posted by: Ichthyic | May 15, 2008 8:19 PM

    Both/and my good man, both/and. It’s the fear for themselves and the dehumanization.

  143. #144 CalGeorge
    May 15, 2008

    Very proud of my state today.

    California leads the way!

  144. #145 Zeno
    May 15, 2008

    It’s interesting that this decision was rendered by a court packed with Republican appointees. Only one of the justices was appointed by a Democrat. The Republicans split 3 to 3 on the decision and the Democrat provided the tie-breaker.

    While I almost never listen to Hugh Hewitt’s talk show, I was scanning the radio dial this afternoon to listen to the exploding heads. Hewitt was particularly obliging. He was simply furious and was stamping his little feet in rage for the entire duration of his program. (No, I’m not insane enough to listen to the whole thing. I dipped into his program a few times over the course of three hours and it was all he was ever talking about.) He even quoted a big chunk of Justice Baxter’s dissent, although in more heated tones than Baxter probably intended.

    Here’s the really great thing: First he demanded that California voters recall the four “activist” judges. Then someone apparently informed him that none of the four evil-doers were on the ballot this year. Then Hewitt fulminated that Californians should enact a constitutional initiative measure to allow the “coup leaders” to be removed from office and banned for life from public service. (Hugh was just a little intemperate.) Finally, as I dropped in on him for the last time to hear a few minutes from near the end of the show, Hewitt declared that the problem was too big to allow for a targeted response. It was necessary, he concluded, to recall all judges. Just vote “no” on all judicial confirmations. Yes, even Justice Baxter. Hewitt even mentioned him by name as a regrettable but necessary casualty of the nuclear anti-judge option. Vote “no” on Baxter, the justice whose dissent Hewitt had praised to the skies.

    Ever see the John Cleese skit in which he portrays a BBC broadcaster so overcome by his hatred of commies that he falls to the ground in a writhing fit? It was like that. I had better things to do than listen to rest of Hewitt’s program, so I didn’t learn whether the guys with the straitjacket and tranquilizer darts ever arrived.

  145. #146 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    Both/and my good man, both/and. It’s the fear for themselves and the dehumanization.

    I disagree, from a tactical perspective at least.

    I think the fear is the cause of any dehumanizing statements made, much like the fear of “the angry black man” lead to many racially dehumanizing statements in the 50’s and 60’s.

    you have to attack the cause, not the symptoms.

    btw, since Robertson feels perfectly justified in calling for assassinations (Chavez), I’d feel a lot better if someone took that in a different way and decided the one to go should be the more dangerous one: Robertson himself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WlSYoJQziA

    I keep thinking of the old: “If you had a time machine, would you go back and assassinate Hitler?”

    I wonder if 20 years from now, when people really grasp how much damage the fearmongering of Robertson has done, whether they might be wishing for a time machine.

  146. #147 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    …but more talk of tactics and strategy should probably at least wait until after one has had time to soak up this victory, at least.

  147. #148 MAJeff, OM
    May 15, 2008

    I’m soaking up some Amstel Light :)

  148. #149 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    (Hugh was just a little intemperate.)

    you don’t say?

    O.o

    reminds me of the reaction after Jones’ decision in Kitzmiller.

  149. #150 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    I’m soaking up some Amstel Light :)

    cheers!

    LOL, I wonder what the local bars are saying about this in Palm Springs right now…

    hmm, it might be worth being a fly on the wall tonight.

  150. #151 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 15, 2008

    Well, California has a Republican governor. Doesn’t that make them something of a red state already?

    The only reason the Governator is in the Reptilian party is that he would fit pretty nicely into Austria’s conservative party. So would John Kerry.

    They’ve always seemed to be REAL conservatives there- that is, people who are for minimal government intervention in ALL spheres

    That’s liberal, not conservative.

    (Hint: “liberal” does not mean “Social Democratic”, even though there’s plenty of overlap.)

    I would love to watch my Dutch Calvinist relatives who are members of Focus on the Family suffer heart attacks if Iowa’s Supreme Court did the right thing. As much as if Kenny dropped of one today.

    OH NO — THEY KILLED KENNY!!!

    Well, you are witnessing the begining of the end for our country. We are going to be destroyed by fire. I would guestimate via nuclear war. Laugh if you must but this is only the begining of the end. Our country is doomed.

    Speaking of Kenny: Go to Iran. Or Saudi Arabia.

    Matthew 24:36-38 (King James Version)

    37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

    38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.

    Read these verses again, Kenny. “They” is everyone. The point of these verses is that we don’t know and cannot predict when “the coming of the Son of man” will be. The point of these verses is Mark 13:32–37:

    13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
    13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
    13:34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
    13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
    13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
    13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

    Learn to read for comprehension, Kenny. It would greatly help you everywhere, blogs included.

    Davis also testified that he believed rainbows were “sexually suggestive” and would make students unable to study because they’d be picturing gay sex acts in their mind.

    In other words, Davis is gay. I’d greatly prefer thinking of a math problem over imagining a (…male…) gay sex act!

  151. #152 Avekid
    May 15, 2008

    And I’m soaking up a Dark ‘n Stormy (tasty and refreshing ginder beer and dark rum — yum).

    Cheers, for a major victory!

  152. #153 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    The only reason the Governator is in the Reptilian party

    …is because that’s who funded his backdoor entrance into the governor’s chair.

    simple as that.

    his politics BEFORE he made the run for gov were actually pretty middle of the road.

  153. #154 Lauren
    May 15, 2008

    I say we suggest to the fundies that if they really don’t want gay marriage, that they institute universal health insurance so being insured is never a matter of one’s legal relationship to someone with a better job. Now, obviously insurance is not the only issue – I think even a simple legal marriage (totally non-religious) is also a matter of making a statement to one’s community that two people are deeply in love and want to commit to one another. But it would be fun to watch their heads’ explode when we say it!

  154. #155 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 15, 2008

    …is because that’s who funded his backdoor entrance into the governor’s chair.

    simple as that.

    Didn’t he join long before he started campaigning?

  155. #156 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    Didn’t he join long before he started campaigning?

    yes, he did, but there are many “moderates” in this state. His ties to the more conservative ideologies of the neocons didn’t happen until they started throwing money at him. Before that, he was never viewed as ‘conservative’ (look who he married).

    He did feel strong obligations after they funneled tens of millions (yes, that much) into the recall campaign.

    to his credit, he pretty much gave the boot to the neocons after the failure of the “year of the gubernatorial initiative” in his second year.

    it was an obvious attempt by the neocons to use the initiative process to bypass the state legislature, and the people of CA rightly shot it down in flames (even if they have failed to do so on other occasions).

    since then, we’ve seen a bit of a return to the kinds of things he was saying before he got himself tied up with neocon money.

    CA politics is complicated, but just to be clear, it’s the Southern California neocons that pretty much drive the “conservative” politics in CA, and they have been slowly losing ground since Reagan was President (Reagan as president was their idea, after all).

  156. #157 MIkeG
    May 15, 2008

    Congratulations Californians!
    My little confession is here

  157. #158 Katharine
    May 15, 2008

    UncredibleHallq, on second read of your post and the post you referred to, I may have read your post wrong and inferred you were NOT as pro-gay rights as I am and that you were a homophobe, but there seems to be, now, a high likelihood that you are as pro-gay rights as I am and that you are not a homophobe.

    If the latter is the case, my foot is in my mouth and I will promptly remove said foot.

  158. #159 Dean Booth
    May 15, 2008

    Glenn Greenwald has an excellent post on this today.

  159. #160 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    Indeed, that is an excellent overview and analysis.

    thanks dean.

  160. #161 MIkeG
    May 15, 2008

    MAJeff and other gay Americans, I’m sorry for my previous ignorant choices.
    I have no defense, other than the aforementioned ignorance.

    We can all learn, and knowing openly gay people and seeing their relationships has taught me a lot about what it means to be in a loving relationship. Hell, I took mine for granted, until I saw the strength of an assailed couple. It was amazing. Every shot that hit them made them stronger! Best marriage I have ever seen.

  161. #162 doug l
    May 15, 2008

    I think a better decision would be for the state to explicitly state that marriage is a religious ritual and the state has no business saying what’s legal under that term but legally registered civil domestic contracts and their treatment by all agencies public and private doing business in the state will be recognized when made between two consenting adults regardless of sex.Making that contract should have legal obligations and breaking it shold have legal consequences. Keeping religious terminology out of the discussion is essential.

  162. #163 SteveWH
    May 15, 2008

    Ok, I just read this post, and I’m not going to read through 160+ comments, so I apologize if this point or one like it has been made already.

    I applaud the decision. In time, if NY doesn’t get on the ball, I may suggest to my boyfriend that we relocate to California. But, while we are a gay couple, and legislation on same-sex marriage certainly affects us, I do have one problem with the whole thing.

    My problem is that the discussion is so often cast in terms of “gay marriage” rather than “same-sex marriage”.

    As I understand it, at heart, marriage is about family, relationships, commitment, mutual support, and the recognition and support of one’s community. It is not about sex. It is not a social sanction or a permission slip to have sex, although it often seems like people treat it as such. Sex, and thus sexual orientation, have nothing to do with it. Making marriage about the marriage bed cheapens an important decision, and directs our attention away from what is most important in a relationship – two people living their lives together.

    I understand that the majority of same-sex marriages will be gay couples. Good for us. But, making same-sex marriage into gay marriage narrows our scopes too much. What about two heterosexuals who, due to the large number of benefits that come with marriage, decide that, given their circumstances, it is in their best interests to get married? What about couples where one of the pair is pre-op transgendered, and so, legally, they’re of the same sex? California’s decision is about them too. They may be a minority as far as same-sex marriage is concerned, but isn’t the whole point that we don’t want to be myopic in our view on whose interests get considered?

    Now, pardon me while I step down off of my soap box.

  163. #164 Etha Williams
    May 15, 2008

    This would happen the month after I switched my residency from CA to Illinois, wouldn’t it?

    Oh well. I’m still happy for all you Californians. Hopefully soon, the anti-gay marriage camp will be seen in the same light as people opposed to interracial marriages — as a bunch of backwards, prejudiced morons.

  164. #165 Russell Blackford
    May 15, 2008

    In the current social circumstances, it’s a good result (I can’t say whether the legal reasoning is sound until I actually find time to read the damn thing).

    But a better long-term outcome would be for the state to get out of the marriage business entirely. If people want to be married according to some religious or traditional idea of “marriage”, fine. If they want to have some kind of ceremony to mark the occasion, great. If they invent some sort of non-traditional arrangement and want to call it a marriage (with a nice ceremony thrown in), I wish them well. I don’t care whether they’re the same sex, or different sexes, or how many of them there are, or whether the arrangement includes an intelligent squid from Alpha Centauri (as long as the squid understands and is willing).

    But the state should not be deciding what will or will not be given the social prestige that goes with “marriage”. As long as all concerned are of appropriate maturity, let people simply engage in whatever sexual relationships and means of family formation they want. If they want to mingle financial assets and other contributions, or if they have kids, there needs to be a body of law to sort out disputes when relationships break down, but that doesn’t require a lot of additional regulation – if necessary, the courts are quite capable of applying well-established legal and equitable principles to get fair results.

  165. #166 Ryan F Stello
    May 15, 2008

    This is what crashing internet polls should be all about:

    Having fun and getting the public to recognize that there’s an awful lot more of the previously defined minority than there was before….or at least more with internet access.

  166. #167 Kseniya
    May 15, 2008

    I am off to work. You all enjoy your day.

    Kenny. You medieval imbecile.

    If your god would destroy the world by fire over the question of the legal status of same-sex couples in one jurisdiction of one country on one continent, he’s a pitiful, sadistic cretin unworth of notice, let alone respect, let alone worship.

    In other words, you two were made for each other.

    So. What about the ACLU, Kenny? YOU HAVE NOT ANSWERED.

  167. #168 Ryan F Stello
    May 15, 2008

    Kenny seems to work very strange hours.
    What do you all think: Janitor or Fast-food cook…….or super secret agent!

    (To Kenny: Pre-emptive explanation, I’ve been the first two and almost the third, so don’t feel like I’m being classist or anything).

  168. #169 Zeno
    May 15, 2008

    Russell Blackford: But a better long-term outcome would be for the state to get out of the marriage business entirely.

    Hear, hear! I agree. Leave “marriage” to the churches for those who want ceremonies and instead restrict the state’s involvement to “civil unions,” which would be enforceable contracts between adult parties. Unions would be useful for child-rearing (if any) or communal property and inheritance, but would be entirely distinct from any supposedly sacramental rites. I wouldn’t balk at polygamy either. It’s not as though lawyers would hesitate to build the case law that would cover the varieties of unions among consenting adults.

    Sharks of Love

  169. #170 rrt
    May 15, 2008

    Oh my, Zeno (@145), yes, it does remind me of that wonderful little rant.

  170. #171 Carlie
    May 15, 2008

    Davis also testified that he believed rainbows were “sexually suggestive” and would make students unable to study because they’d be picturing gay sex acts in their mind

    Good lord, don’t let him see any pictures of rainbows with unicorns. Or leprechauns. Who knows what he’d come up with?

  171. #172 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    Kenny seems to work very strange hours.

    now I’m the only one who thought that was a Kenny parody?

    *sigh*

    I give up.

    curse you, Poe’s Law!!!

  172. #173 Trent Eady
    May 15, 2008

    Greetings Godless Sodomites.

    Get trash like this off the Internet: http://youtube.com/watch?v=xozL6yt_Zs0

    It isn’t a truck, you know.

  173. #174 Ichthyic
    May 15, 2008

    It isn’t a truck, you know.

    …though something tells me you wouldn’t mind dragging the person behind one, you sick fuck.

  174. #175 BlueIndependent
    May 15, 2008

    @ #145:

    I have never seen that skit, but it’s all I can help but think of them as being, the way they act. They are literally petulent children in adult bodies. I always hear about intelligent conservatives, but when it comes to the individual rights they crow so much about, if it’s anything like GLBT rights they just cannot handle it. I don’t understand how someone can have that level of a problem with gays having the right to marry. I don’t think I’m capable of understanding it, only fighting against that. If a person is intelligent, but disregards the lessons of society and history because it’s not tradition or some other false notion of human perpetuity, how intelligent are they? Anyone can get a Ph.D, read a book, write a political tract; but if it’s all wrong and serves the worst in humans, how intelligent is it, really?

    I seriously need to know the answer to this question, because with each passing day I find it insulting these views – be they neocon foreign policy or religious right frothing insanity are even given credence beyond the right that they should be expressed. There’s no logic behind it at all. Stances based on fear just are not intelligent, in general. This is not a hard thing to show. Yesterday I was flipping through channels while on a business trip in Folsom, CA. Boy is the radio in that town blood red. And I came across the obligatory religious hour in which the host, tackling callers’ questions about abortion, said that evidence strongly shows abortion leads to breast cancer, and other such intellectual garbage. One caller even opined that the pro-life movement got off to a bad start because it didn’t recognize the dignity of stillborn fetuses; if only they had done that after Roe v Wade, abortion would be gone, or so the tortured logic goes.

    There’s is a hell of a lot of stupid out there.

  175. #176 redf
    May 15, 2008

    this is fine for all homosexuals, a big step for them and our country. but i still think they shouldnt be able to have kids, becuase there is a chance that the child will grow up gay becuase he is around to homosexual parent. But there is also a chance that they wont happen, cuz it is true that some people are just born gay. But I don’t like the thought of more gay people for no reason.

  176. #177 Eva Young
    May 15, 2008

    Both houses in Minnesota have passed a bill allowing municipalities to offer domestic partner benefits. Call Governor Pawlenty – 651-296-3391, and urge him to SIGN SF 960. The Senate passed the bill with one vote short of veto override – the house passed the bill with 7 votes short of veto override.

  177. #178 Natasha Yar-Routh
    May 15, 2008

    Fuck the HRC, give them nothing. Instead donate to Equality for All http://www.equalityforall.com/ and if you live in California volunteer, I just did.

    Sorry if I sound a little bitter about HRC, I’m a LOT bitter. Just a gender queer trans women with a hart full of hate.

  178. #179 Rey Fox
    May 15, 2008

    BlueIndependent: “There’s a hell of a lot of stupid out there.”

    One comment later: “But I don’t like the thought of more gay people for no reason.”

    Do tell.

  179. #180 Avekid
    May 15, 2008

    “It isn’t a truck, you know.”

    Um. What? I must be missing something — I don’t get it.

  180. #181 redf
    May 15, 2008

    Well, why do there need to be, what possible reason would there be to have more gay people. If they are gay then fine, they are naturally gay and just like that, why change something you can’t? But don’t you think that if a heterosexual child grows up with homosexual parents, there is some influence to be gay. Maybe this homosexual parents won’t imply their gay life style upon the child, but maybe they will. And that is not fair to the child when they are young and their opinions on being gay are easily to manipulate.

  181. #182 Avekid
    May 15, 2008

    *sigh* Nevermind. It filtered through. Trash… Truck… Internet isn’t one…

    Hardy-har-har. Douchebag.

  182. #183 Etha Williams
    May 15, 2008

    @#176 redf —

    this is fine for all homosexuals, a big step for them and our country. but i still think they shouldnt be able to have kids, becuase there is a chance that the child will grow up gay becuase he is around to homosexual parent. But there is also a chance that they wont happen, cuz it is true that some people are just born gay. But I don’t like the thought of more gay people for no reason.

    This is just about the most moronic argument I have ever heard (not to mention some really awful grammar and spelling). Even if children of same-sex parents are more likely to be homosexual, SO WHAT?!

  183. #184 kmarissa
    May 15, 2008

    Well, why do there need to be, what possible reason would there be to have more brunettes. If they are brunette then fine, they are naturally brunette and just like that, why change something you can’t? But don’t you think that if a blonde child grows up with brunette parents, there is some influence to be brunette . Maybe this brunette parents won’t imply their brunette life style upon the child, but maybe they will. And that is not fair to the child when they are young and their opinions on being brunette are easily to manipulate.

    There. I think that’s just about as sensible as it was before.

  184. #185 Avekid
    May 15, 2008

    This is just about the most moronic argument I have ever heard (not to mention some really awful grammar and spelling).

    No, Etha, I’m pretty sure redf’s second post — the “explanation” — trumps that one.

  185. #186 spgeenlaw
    May 15, 2008

    To redf #176:

    Well, why do there need to be, what possible reason would there be to have more straight people. If they are straight then fine, they are naturally straight and just like that, why change something you can’t? But don’t you think that if a homosexual child grows up with heterosexual parents, there is some influence to be straight. Maybe this heterosexual parents won’t imply their straight life style upon the child, but maybe they will. And that is not fair to the child when they are young and their opinions on being straight are easily to manipulate.

    That sort of parental influence can go both ways, buddy.

  186. #187 Rey Fox
    May 15, 2008

    “Davis also testified that he believed rainbows were “sexually suggestive” and would make students unable to study because they’d be picturing gay sex acts in their mind”

    Imagine. This poor guy can’t even enjoy a bowl of Lucky Charms at breakfast. How utterly sad.

    “Well, why do there need to be, what possible reason would there be to have more gay people.”

    Because variety is the spice of life? Because why not? Sheesh, grow up.

    “And that is not fair to the child when they are young and their opinions on being gay are easily to manipulate.”

    Oh yes, absolutely. And we wouldn’t want heterosexual parents influencing their kids to be heterosexual either. Probably shouldn’t allow Jews to have children either, because that might provide undue influence for their kids to become Jewish. Shouldn’t let black people have children either, because their kids might end up listening to rap music. Man, I don’t know where our society would be without this logic.

  187. #188 redf
    May 15, 2008

    I really don’t understand how hair can relate to sexual orientation. Why would you say that: “But don’t you think that if a homosexual child grows up with heterosexual parents, there is some influence to be straight.” Yeah and that would be better for him and society in general. There are plenty of straight people, but gay parents should not be able to have or adopt children. The parental influence can not go both ways becuase the general population is straight. Widespread acceptance of gays is not the answer.

  188. #189 Kseniya
    May 15, 2008

    All the answers to redf‘s concerns are embedded in his own comment:

    If they are gay then fine, they are naturally gay and just like that, why change something you can’t?

    Think about it, Red.

    But don’t you think that if a heterosexual child grows up with homosexual parents, there is some influence to be gay.

    Sure, sure. But a heterosexual marriage also provides models for behavior – and yet I’m willing to bet that virtually every gay person you’ve ever met, or even ever heard of, was raised by heterosexual parents. What does that tell you?

    What we’re learning here, as a culture, is that sexual orientation typically, and ultimately, trumps all other influences, whether they’re familiar, societal, religious, or political. What does that tell you?

  189. * * * * *

    Oh, I forgot something earlier:

    Kenny, you gabbling limpet!

  • #190 Ichthyic
    May 16, 2008

    If they are gay then fine, they are naturally gay and just like that, why change something you can’t? But don’t you think that if a heterosexual child grows up with homosexual parents, there is some influence to be gay.

    so if they’re naturally gay (??) that’s fine, but if they’re *insert implied word* unnaturally gay, that’s bad.

    ???

    just how does one become “naturally gay” such that they aren’t “unnaturally gay”?

    the mind boggles. It’s like he thinks that being gay is some sort of infection that can both be inherited and communicated.

    redf winz teh stupid.

    Is this REALLY the level of people that end up being convinced to support anti-gay marriage legislation?

    either we’ve done a horrible job of explaining rights and human sexuality to society at large, or we’re drowning in a sea of incurable stupid.

    I’m beginning to think the latter.

  • #191 Ichthyic
    May 16, 2008

    I really don’t understand how hair can relate to sexual orientation.

    *smacks head with hammer*

    It doesn’t even hurt any more.

  • #192 Etha Williams
    May 16, 2008

    @#188 redf —

    Yeah and that would be better for him and society in general.

    Why?

    There are plenty of straight people, but gay parents should not be able to have or adopt children.

    I’m sure the orphans are whole-heartedly in agreement with you on this one. Heaven forbid they have to grow up with gay parents. No, much better to live in orphanages and foster homes surrounded by good, heterosexual influences. Definitely.

  • #193 Rachel
    May 16, 2008

    I think this decision is a step in the right direction. Yet, as MAJeff (67) and Cliff (97) have pointed out already, it’s still continuing the discrimination against relationships of people who don’t want to (or can’t) marry, including the growing proportion of people who are single. Marriage automatically comes with a large set of legal, social, and economic benefits, which are often not given to unmarried people (employer-sponsored health care is the most prominent example). Bestowing these benefits on people simply because they’ve “tied the knot” is part of the historical baggage that comes with marriage that might be appropriate to leave behind. There are other relationships, such as those with close friends or among siblings, that might warrant equal standing to those rights and benefits, as, for example, Kay Trimberger and Bella DePaulo have pointed out in their work on singles. You can read about a vast array of them at the Alternatives to Marriage Project.

    The current institution – except, for now, in California – excludes same-sex couples, which clearly is discriminatory. Yet, we need to go beyond questioning that type of discrimination and look at the broader discrimination inherent in the benefits of coupledom by asking whether marriage/civil unions should get automatic rights. I would second Michael LaSala’s call for a “critical view of the privileges of marriage.” (Michael C. LaSala. Too Many Eggs in the Wrong Basket: A Queer Critique of the Same-Sex Marriage Movement. SocialWork. Volume 52, Number 2. April 2007.). He calls on us to “advocate for freedom of sexual expression as well as economic and legal equity for all, regardless of marital status, relationship style, or sexual orientation.” I think that’s what we need to move toward.

  • #194 Ichthyic
    May 16, 2008

    Imagine. This poor guy can’t even enjoy a bowl of Lucky Charms at breakfast. How utterly sad.

    kinda give new meaning to:

    “Always after me lucky charms…”

  • #195 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    *mutter*

    Please make that: “…whether they’re familial, societal, religious, or political…”

  • #196 redf
    May 16, 2008

    at no point did I state that I am against gay marriage, I am against them having kids. Naturally, you are born with that orientation. Unnaturally, for some reason you choose to become gay. I don’t think it is some infection or disease. Apparently you do though, in your psuedo-moderate attitude towards them. And I hate to refer to gay people as “them” as if they are some sort creatures that came from the sewers. They are people just like you and me. But they shouldn’t be able to have or adopt kids.

    Kseniya:”…yet I’m willing to bet that virtually every gay person you’ve ever met, or even ever heard of, was raised by heterosexual parents.”

    Well, ok if gay parents are going to adopt or have kids then this society is going to have more homosexuals for reasons I have brought to attention earlier. Gay people used to be every once in awhile from thier parents, now there are going to be many more. Since I said they are people like you and me, I’m sure someone is going to say then “why can’t they do this…..if they are just like us!” They just shouldn’t becuase it is not right or fair towards kids.

  • #197 JOHN
    May 16, 2008

    *smacks head with hammer*

    It doesn’t even hurt any more.

    smack some sense into your head then.

  • #198 Etha Williams
    May 16, 2008

    redf,

    You still haven’t answered my question of why it would be “be better for him and society in general” if a kid were influenced to be heterosexual.

    Also, I think this should win an award for Most Simultaneously Stupid, Funny, and Sad:

    And I hate to refer to gay people as “them” as if they are some sort creatures that came from the sewers. They are people just like you and me. But they shouldn’t be able to have or adopt kids.

  • #199 spgreenlaw
    May 16, 2008

    redf #188

    I really don’t understand how hair can relate to sexual orientation. Why would you say that: “But don’t you think that if a homosexual child grows up with heterosexual parents, there is some influence to be straight.” Yeah and that would be better for him and society in general.

    I fail to see how society benefits when a homosexual child is influenced by his/her role models to pretend to be straight. If a society is so fragile and afraid that it is unable to make room for the vibrancy begotten of minority positions and preferences, than I’d question the worth of such a narrow, bigoted, and cowardly culture in the first place.

    There are plenty of straight people, but gay parents should not be able to have or adopt children.

    Why? Time and time again homosexuals have shown themselves to be just as capable and loving parents as heterosexuals. I didn’t know that both a penis and a vagina were required to teach a child how to be a good and caring person.

    The parental influence can not go both ways becuase the general population is straight.

    Of course the parental influence can go both ways. In fact, you admit this much just a few sentences earlier in the same post!

    Widespread acceptance of gays is not the answer.

    Should I take it that you would prefer bigotry and inequality over acceptance and mutual respect?

  • #200 redf
    May 16, 2008

    It is better for society becuase people are mean. They judge too quick of gays and that is not fair, but it is not going to change. People will always judge them for being gay. Not everybody will do this but most will. So less gay people results in less discrimination. But really, Widespread acceptance of gays is not the answer. OK and oh yeah, i didn’t say this before but gay parents should not be able to adopt or have kids.

    Etha!: “Also, I think this should win an award for Most Simultaneously Stupid, Funny, and Sad.”
    That’s nice!

  • #201 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    Red, you’ve somehow managed to completely miss the point of my last comment. Please, please, educate yourself. What possible good can come from you clinging to your ignorance like this?

    Here. Allow me to assist you:

    Regarding the question of same-sex couples in parenting roles and the corresponding effects that being raised by a same-sex couple has on children, a composite analysis of nine different studies concluded, in the words of Ellen Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Tufts-New England Medical Center, that:

    “The vast consensus of the studies is that children of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way. In some ways, children of same-sex parents actually may have advantages over other family structures.”

    Dr. Perrin also says, “What is exciting about this study was that they followed the children 11 years later when they became adults. But they still found no difference in adjustment, self-esteem, psychiatric or psychological problems, family relationships, or in identifying sexual orientation.” [Emphasis mine]

    Got that? “No difference in identifying sexual orientation.”

    It seems that the greatest problem encountered by these children is that they suffered some stigmatization at the hands of those who exhibit a bias against homosexuality. I’m going to assume I don’t have to explain the irony inherent in that aspect of the issue, do I, Red?

    Ask yourself: are you one of those people? If you persist in clinging to – and promoting – your ill-informed and prejudiced views, you can only be considered part of the problem, not the solution, and will cause more grief than good. Is that what you want?

    You’re wrong about the solution, by the way: it is in the widespread acceptance of gays as full citizens with unqualified civil rights.

    Please join us now, Red, here in the 21st Century. You won’t regret it.

  • #202 spgreenlaw
    May 16, 2008

    Redf #200

    As this post illustrates, racism is still very much alive in the U.S. Sadly, it will probably never be completely obliterated. Does this mean that minorities should not be allowed to bear children, since things are not going to change? (I don’t agree that we can never move beyond our current judgment of homosexuality, by the way. Clearly we are making progress.)
    After all, less non-whites means less discrimination!
    *rolls eyes*

  • #203 Etha Williams
    May 16, 2008

    @#200 redf —

    The kindest thing I can say is that you are completely incoherent.

    First you say:

    It is better for society becuase people are mean. They judge too quick of gays and that is not fair, but it is not going to change. People will always judge them for being gay. Not everybody will do this but most will. So less gay people results in less discrimination.

    Although I think you’re being far too pessimistic about mankind’s ability to change positively and become more accepting, this is sort of a moot point since you go on to say:

    But really, Widespread acceptance of gays is not the answer.

    So even if it’s possible to get to the point where most people wouldn’t prejudge and discriminate against glbt people, that’s still not the answer! Right…

  • #204 redf
    May 16, 2008

    NO

    BYE! <<<<<3

  • #205 Ichthyic
    May 16, 2008

    NO

    BYE!

    OH NOES!!!!

    “I must run away before you start to make sense to me!!!!”

    yikes

    *doubletake*

    YIKES.

  • #206 Azkyroth
    May 16, 2008

    this is fine for all homosexuals, a big step for them and our country. but i still think they shouldnt be able to have kids, becuase there is a chance that the child will grow up gay becuase he is around to homosexual parent. But there is also a chance that they wont happen, cuz it is true that some people are just born gay.

    Do you have a single fact to back that up?

    But I don’t like the thought of more gay people for no reason.

    If you have no reason for not liking it, which I agree is true, why don’t you?

  • #207 spgreenlaw
    May 16, 2008

    Aw, did we scare him off?

  • #208 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    Bye, Red. Don’t get your tongue caught in the door on your way out.

    Sigh. Another medieval imbecile in the form of a semi-literate concern troll.

    My, my – but don’t the civil rights issues bring them out in droves? In droves, I say!

  • #209 Ichthyic
    May 16, 2008

    Aw, did we scare him off?

    that’s like wondering if you scared a deer with the headlights on your car.

  • #210 Azkyroth
    May 16, 2008

    Unnaturally, for some reason you choose to become gay.

    There is no one on earth who matches that description.

    Unless by “chooses to be gay” you really mean “comes out of the closet” rather than “lives a miserable lie for his or her entire life” or, in many cases, “cuts his or her wrists in despair.” Which, evidently, you think is preferable. Just admit that you want people to suffer and die. It helps to be honest with yourself.

  • #211 Azkyroth
    May 16, 2008

    It is better for society becuase people are mean. They judge too quick of gays and that is not fair, but it is not going to change. People will always judge them for being gay. Not everybody will do this but most will. So less gay people results in less discrimination. But really, Widespread acceptance of gays is not the answer. OK and oh yeah, i didn’t say this before but gay parents should not be able to adopt or have kids.

    So basically, you’re demanding that gay people bend over backwards and remain second class citizens so that people like you don’t have to manifest some semblance of humanity.

    No further questions, scumbag.

  • #212 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    Meh. Write ‘im off. He clearly stated – yelled, in fact – that he did NOT want to join us here in the 21st century. His loss, not oursm, but it is too bad that there are millions more like him, with ears of stone, minds of tar, and sour milk flowing through their veins.

  • #213 Ichthyic
    May 16, 2008

    minds of tar

    I think that was the key issue there.

  • #214 mikey
    May 16, 2008

    I was taking a gay friend home one night, and I asked him if I should keep going straight. His answer, “No.”

    I almost ran a red light.

  • #215 Ichthyic
    May 16, 2008

    regarding redf, I think Carson said it best:

    “That’s some weird, wild stuff.”

  • #216 Scott D.
    May 16, 2008

    It’s been a long time in coming, lets work to make the rest of the nation follow suit. I’m no lawyer, but I don’t see how the federal Defense of Marriage Act could possibly pass constitutional muster.

    Now here are some related articles by the Onion.
    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/30475
    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/gay_marriage_proponents_hope_to

  • #217 Rey Fox
    May 16, 2008

    If I had to guess, I’d say that the problem that redf has is that gays can’t make babies. Because as we all know, the human species is dying out, so we need all the babies we can get.

  • #218 Etha Williams
    May 16, 2008

    @#217 Rey Fox —

    If I had to guess, I’d say that the problem that redf has is that gays can’t make babies. Because as we all know, the human species is dying out, so we need all the babies we can get.

    I think another part of the problem he has is that teh gays are trying to steal our orphans. Because as we all know, the demand for orphans is far outpacing the supply…

  • #219 Scott D.
    May 16, 2008

    Once the LGBT community has equal rights and society at large is accepting of it, there will be Christians out there saying how they lead the charge to bring equal rights to all. Just like they’ve claimed to be behind the emancipation of slaves, and the civil rights movement.

    But what good is history if you cant rewrite it?

  • #220 Fantod
    May 16, 2008

    So, what [Kenny’s] saying is that the end times will be marked by people eating, people drinking, and people getting married. Um, I think that describes every period of civilization?
    Posted by: Carlie

    The amazing precision of biblical prophesy just makes me want to sing hosannas till my stigmata bleed!

  • #221 John Mashey
    May 16, 2008

    re: #145 and Republican judges

    people sometimes say “…restores some faith in the judicial system,” but in fact, at least sometimes the judicial system does a pretty good job.

    let us recall:
    1) The Terri Schiavo case, in which the key judge George Greer, and a solid majority of other in involved judges were Republican or appointed by Republicans, which didn’t immunize them from being attacked:
    Google: activist judges schiavo

    2) The fine Judge John E. Jones of Kitzmiller vs Dover School District fame, who was also pilloried:
    Google: activist judge john jones

    3) Some people may know of the ongoing CA creationism case (Calvary school vs University of California), decided so far by Judge S. James Otero, nominated by George W. Bush in 2003.

    4) This case, another fine result, as noted in #145.

    While judges seem normally distributed (like many other things), a surprising number actually seem to rule *by the law* once they get in there, regardless of who appointed them. At the risk of some distaste, one might use the Schiavo case to compare the performance of the judicial system versus {executive branch + legislatures). At least in that case, I know which I’d prefer.

  • #222 Hematite
    May 16, 2008

    Here I am, late as usual. Congratulations to all you Californians!

    I’m not clear on the finer points of marriage/civil union laws around the world, but we’ve had civil unions in New Zealand for about 5 years now, as far as I know the only legal difference between a civil union and marriage is a technicality to do with adoption. Wikipedia says that civil unioners who wish to adopt must apply as individuals rather than a couple. Civil unions seem to be working out great, and I know of a few heterosexual couples who have civil unions too.

    To begin with I was disappointed by the ‘separate but equal’ overtones of civil unions, but despite objections in principle I’m not aware of any practical problems that have arisen. Civil unions also have the benefit of removing the religious dimension from state recognition of partnership.

    Does anyone know what weight California gay marriages will carry in other states?

    Again, congratulations.

  • #223 Hematite
    May 16, 2008

    Now, I’m wary of asking this but I’m going to anyway. Let’s remember that when one is ignorant it is best become learned. So, in the nature of scholarly inquiry, what is the objection to Brownian’s biker-bride joke way above?

    I see that the humour comes from imagining a brawny biker with tattoos in a wedding dress yelling at his bridesmaids. I imagine that the objections come from making an unfavourable comparison to homosexuals, but I’m not entirely clear what that comparison is. That gay men are likely to be bikers? That leather clad bikers are likely to be gay? That gay men wouldn’t make good participants in a wedding? None of these are well know pernicious stereotypes to me.

    I’m sure I’m missing something here. My antipodean irreverent sense of humour might have something to do with it. I’d be grateful if somebody would explain this to me without making me go through the embarrassing I’m-liberal-and-I-know-more-gay-people-than-you-dance. Because I am and I do.

  • #224 Wowbagger
    May 16, 2008

    Hematite – #222:

    I think what Brownian meant was that if it was two men getting married then the bridesmaids might be men as well – and wearing ‘typical’ bridesmaid’s dresses. He’s saying more about the hideousness of bridesmaid’s dresses than he is casting any aspersions on anyone in the LBGT community.

    At least that’s my (similarly Antipodean) interpretation.

  • #225 wrpd
    May 16, 2008

    I think you’ve all been unfair to redf. Just think of the monumental work his brain had to do to make his comments. Someone surely had to show him how to turn on the computer, find the internet, and get him to this blog. That alone must have taken hours. Then he must have worn the rest of his brain cells ragged trying find the (sometimes) right letters to write his posts. I imagine he has an incredible headache right about now. Let him rest.
    Personally, as a gay father who raised two biological sons mostly alone I don’t think that redf or his ilk has much to worry about. My best man at my heterosexual wedding was my boyfriend at the time. My sons’ godfathers were all gay. Our holidays were spent with gay and lesbian friends. My younger son was part of a Rocky Horror Picture Show reenactment group and I would often find him asleep on the couch the next morning wearing make-up and fish-net stockings. But, in spite of all that, both of my sons are completely heterosexual–but not in the Ted Haggard way.

  • #226 James
    May 16, 2008

    I’m not gay but I revel in the justice of this ruling. California has led the nation in civil rights legislation for decades and it warms my heart to see my adoptive state doing the same today.

  • #227 negentropyeater
    May 16, 2008

    Reading through some of the comments on the latimes site is quite depressing.
    The amount of hate, dreck, stupidity, and irrationality of the anti-gay arguments is flabbergasting.

    -The great lie has won a temporary victory! A small minorty temporary victory over common sense. Disease and corruption soon to follow. Every parents worst mightmare!!!

    -There are two….. THE JESUS CHRIST and the anti christ every one belongs to one of them.who do you belong to.???

    -Completly immoral and disgusting. I do believe that it should be the pulic that has the final say to the ruling. Put it on the November Ballot and and as GOD AS MY WITNESS I WILL DO ALL I CAN TO HAVE IT DEFEATED.

    -If you haven’t been to California recently you’re probably not aware of how much evil there is out there. You can feel it in the air–oppressive, satanic, demonic power. And not believing in it doesn’t make it go away. Charles Manson was just the tip of the iceberg. Nobody there is willing to face up to how bad things have gotten, and how much worse they’re going to become if things keep going the way they have been. If you live in California, your kids ARE NOT SAFE, period. Most of you probably know that already, though. The question is whether you’ll ever do anything about it. I guess most of those who could have already left.

    -If you live in San Francisco … I would move as soon as possible to more stable ground! PS: Why is it that Christians are told to shut up and stop forcing their views on other people … but it’s okay for others (anti-Christians, gays, and liberals) to do the same exact thing? PLEASE STOP FORCING YOUR ANTI-GOD LIFESTYLES DOWN OUR THROATS!

    So, yes I’m happy with this decision, but how do we make sure that these loons don’t try to overturn this on the ballot come november ?

  • #228 JeffreyD
    May 16, 2008

    Sigh, one goes to bed happy after having read the news reported in the blog and then awakens to read antedeluvian comments such as those by redf, and the aggravation sets in again. Well, redf did accomplish something, made me long for the simple reasoning of Kenny.

    Re the biker bridezilla, I do not see the issue with it either. I found it a funny joke, Month Pythonesque in form. A straight bridezilla is funny, a gay biker one is funny, a radical republican would be funny…I am now thinking about Kung Fu bridezillas, and White Trash Barbie bridezillas. I am thinking about asking by anime artist daughter to do a real anime bridezilla for me, green and all. That said, I realize my humour is sometimes heavy and insensitive, so am willing to have the issue explained to me and willing to change my mind.

    Ciao, Jeffrey

  • #229 Won Hung Lo
    May 16, 2008

    What I am waiting for is legal Polygamous Marriage.

    Why not!

    I can hardly wait!

    Oh boy!

  • #230 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    I do love how once gay people are mentioned folks like redf turn into babbling idiots. It’s like we have the power, simply by existing, to make other people dumber.

  • #231 Cassie
    May 16, 2008

    #144: California leads the way? In what parallel universe? Massachusetts led the way, like a gazillion years ago.

    And Redf, I know he’s gone, but he should donate the twists and turns of his brain to absurdity science:
    “gay parents should not be able to have […] children.”
    But they’re already parents!

    (going away to line head-shaped indentation in desk with fluffy material)

  • #232 negentropyeater
    May 16, 2008

    It’s like we have the power, simply by existing, to make other people dumber.

    Yeah, but extremely short term effects only. I’m amazed at how at rapidly the dust settles. Here in Spain, four years down the road, it seems that kind of dumbness has already almost dissapeared.

    The problem in the US is that you’ve got an extremely complicated situation, state courts, federal courts, etc… That means things can keep dragging on and on, and that’s the disadvantage over our more simpler forms of democracies.

  • #233 negentropyeater
    May 16, 2008

    We passed gay marriage in Spain 4 years ago, and it was the same story, huge outcry of religious conservatives, this is going to spell the ruin of the country, blah blah blah…

    Last month, we had elections again, it wasn’t even an issue. Nobody cared. As usual with civil liberties, conservative people realise that progress is good ounce it’s been forced down their throats and move on.

    The problem in the US is that it keeps dragging on and on, you’re never sure where this thing is going to go, until there is a president who decides to solve the problem ounce and for all. I hope Obama will be the one. I don’t know.

  • #234 MarkW
    May 16, 2008

    Congratulations California.

    We have ‘civil partnerships’ here in the UK that are gay marriage in all but name. (I think the name thing was a sop to quiet the few fundies we do have.) And like negentropyeater says about Spain, it’s not even an issue any more.

    (Although I think the BNP (neo-fascist British National Party) election material at the beginning of this month may have mentioned an intent to do away with civil partnerships, but they’re the lunatic fringe.)

    Aside: how do I say ‘some of my best friends are gay’ (which is true) without it sounding insincere? lol

  • #235 Mrs Tilton
    May 16, 2008

    Negentropyeater @226,

    PLEASE STOP FORCING YOUR ANTI-GOD LIFESTYLES DOWN OUR THROATS!

    [NB: Negentropyeater didn’t write that, he merely quoted the brain-donor who did!]

    I’m sure I cannot be the first to have noticed this, but why is it that so many homophobes are obsessed with the image of something being forced down their throats?

    I find Freud greatly overrated, personally, but I have to admit that, sometimes, he’s just so right.

  • #236 Mrs Tilton
    May 16, 2008

    MAJeff @229,

    It’s like we have the power, simply by existing, to make other people dumber

    With great power comes great respnsibility. And watch out for the kryptonite.

  • #237 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 16, 2008

    I don’t have time to go through all the comments at the moment but…

    First, so as not to be misconstrued, I think this is great and is long over due.

    I do however see one downside that is unfortunate.

    You know the rethuglicans will put the Gay Marriage Ban Amendment on the ballots this fall. That is sure to energize their base and can only work against every dem on any ballot that people will be voting on it.

  • #238 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    With great power comes great respnsibility. And watch out for the kryptonite.

    As long as I follow the way of the Divine Miss Patsy, nothing can harm me, not kryptonite or bad synthetic fibres.

  • #239 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    Now, if someone would beat a personality into David Archuletta–or get him off the show–it would be a damn near perfect week.

  • #240 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 16, 2008

    Now, if someone would beat a personality into David Archuletta–or get him off the show–it would be a damn near perfect week.

    You know what sucks. While I don’t watch that show I know exactly who you are talking about..

    hehe

  • #241 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    While I don’t watch that show I know exactly who you are talking about..

    My best friend and I text each other MST3K-like comments throughout each episode. It’s much better when you spend time mocking it.

  • #242 JeffreyD
    May 16, 2008

    Mrs Tilton, re #235, my wife and I always giggled about that very thing when we heard it from her fundie relatives. I think good Doktor Freud may have been on to something on this one, sometimes a cigar is not a cigar.

    Ciao

  • #243 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 16, 2008

    Oh and if this decision in California isn’t a sign of the end of times,

    THIS for sure is.

  • #244 Moggie
    May 16, 2008

    @ #229:

    I do love how once gay people are mentioned folks like redf turn into babbling idiots. It’s like we have the power, simply by existing, to make other people dumber.

    Oh, I think they were already babbling idiots. You just make them babble a little louder, possibly in an attempt to drown out their own doubts. When a redf says “you choose to become gay”, I can’t help wondering whether s/he has to constantly “choose” to remain straight.

  • #245 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    THIS for sure is.

    I KNOW! I Remember when it was first announced. OY! There are some things camp can’t even justify.

  • #246 JeffreyD
    May 16, 2008

    Correction, #234, not #235, although I am sure most people can find the correct post.

    Ciao

  • #247 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 16, 2008

    My best friend and I text each other MST3K-like comments throughout each episode. It’s much better when you spend time mocking it.

    Oh don’t let my dismissive demeanor provide any false notion that I’ve NEVER seen the show.

    My wife was addicted for the last 3 seasons but decided for her mental health that this year she would not watch. Which means I haven’t watched it.

    :)

  • #248 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    When a redf says “you choose to become gay”, I can’t help wondering whether s/he has to constantly “choose” to remain straight.

    I did choose something. I chose to live life openly as gay. I chose to not lie about my relationships. I chose to build community with other like-minded individuals. I chose to engage in political and community organizing based on those similarities. I choose where I spend my money. Yeah, there are lifestyle choices I make based on this identity category, and I should have the fucking right to make them. The issue of “choice” is a red herring.

    Why the hell shouldn’t such choices be available?

    Back in the early liberationist days, one person–can’t remember who–wrote that the goal was to free the “inner homosexual” in everyone. Not to make everyone gay, but to say, “You can make choices as to how you live your life, who you live with, who you love, and to whom you make love. It’s your choice.”

    It’s called freedom. Works for me.

  • #249 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 16, 2008

    I KNOW! I Remember when it was first announced. OY! There are some things camp can’t even justify.

    Why the hell Donnie Wahlburg would do this when he’s built a pretty respectable acting career is beyond me.

    Ok I derailed this post …… sorry.

  • #250 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    Ok I derailed this post …… sorry.

    It’s about 250–at this point there’s usually no rail to follow anymore :)

    We should start talking about the tackiest commitment ceremonies we’ve been to. I’ve sort of campily argued against gay marriage because, c’mon, do we really want gay wedding planners to make our lives as tacky as they’ve done for straight folks?

  • #251 SC
    May 16, 2008

    I have a particularly negative reaction to David Archuleta because he reminds me of Sergio, the winner of the 2005 season of Operacion Triunfo (Spanish Idol – I don’t know if it’s still around, but it was a trip and a half). I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about him, and in fact called in to vote for another finalist, Soraya. As I understand it, she’s had significant success as a recording artist since then, and he’s faded into obscurity.

  • #252 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 16, 2008

    I’ve sort of campily argued against gay marriage because, c’mon, do we really want gay wedding planners to make our lives as tacky as they’ve done for straight folks?

    hahaha!

  • #253 SC
    May 16, 2008

    I’ve sort of campily argued against gay marriage because, c’mon, do we really want gay wedding planners to make our lives as tacky as they’ve done for straight folks?

    That reminded me of A&E’s “Wedding Wars”:

    http://crackle.com/c/Movies_and_TV/John_Stamos_as_a_Gay_Wedding_Planner_watch_Weddin_/1658852

  • #254 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 16, 2008

    Ok since we’re on derail mode.

    Everyone should watch this. The good stuff starts half way through and you have to watch an advert first. It’s a bit long but its really good.

  • #255 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    OK, I have no link, but I’ll describe my favorite.

    This was probably 1994 or 5. A college roommate was in the ceremony as one of the best men, so he invited me.

    It was at the old Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. For those not familiar with it, the old Guthrie was a theater-in-the-round.

    So, dividing the circular front stage from back stage is a lace curtain, with a spotlight down the center. As “Un bel di vedremo” from Madama Butterfly plays on the sound system, the two grooms–in matching linen pants and vests; no shoes, thank you–approach each other from either side of back stage, meeting in the center spotlight just behind the curtain. they then clasp hands and walk to the front of the stage where the two best men and the minster are standing.

    OK, so I’m shrinking in my seat already. Off to the side, because I don’t know anyone, I keep getting lower and lower, trying not to laugh, or at least to not be seen laughing.

    They do the vows, then the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus sings “There’s a place for us” from West Side Story.

    Then some more talking. Then a trio from the chorus–including one of the grooms–sings “Love Changes Everything” from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Aspects of Love.

    Chocolate and champagne reception in foyer, and then off to the Gay 90s drag bar.

  • #256 Flex
    May 16, 2008

    CS wrote, “Churches can organize, but so can we.”

    Let’s also not forget that churches, as 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organiztions, can LOSE their tax-exempt status if they engage in substantial lobbying activity.

    An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

    Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive offices), or by the public in a referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure. It does not include actions by executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.

    A church or religious organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

    From the IRS tax quide for churches and relgious organizations. http://www.irs.gov/charities/churches/index.html

    Some lobbying is allowed, but if it is a substantial part of their activies, they can lose their 501(c)(3) status.

    So if there is a particularly blatant example in your neighborhood, report it. A few complaints to the IRS may well make some churches moderate their activities.

  • #257 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    Good morning-after, everyone. :-)

    My favorite gay-marriage joke is simple one-liner: “I don’t think we should legalize gay marriage. I mean, haven’t those poor people already suffered enough?”

  • *
    Re: “forced down our throats”

    Leaving the subtext behind for a moment, the ubiquity of this theme make is no less irritating. It’s a classic example of the blind hypocrisy of the poor, persecuted majority: They, who want to impose their values on everyone else, view the granting of equal rights to a perceived minority as equivalent to having the lifestyle of that minority shoved down their throats.

    Do they ever stop to think? Ever? Do they ever take a step back, press the pause button on the fearhate tape that perpetually plays inside their heads, and allow their brains to process the issue in an objective and rational way?

    Apparently not.

    Anyways, that link I posted in my attempt to enlighten Redf[ail] is to an article on Medscape about a composite analysis of nine different studies regarding same-sex couples in parenting roles and the corresponding effects that being raised by a same-sex couple has on children, is a cornerstone of my response to “arguments” such as the one thrown up by Redf[ool]. What I lack is a link to the actual study…

  • *
    I’d like to personally thank Mrs. T. for putting words to some of the feelings that have been swirling around inside me for the past few years.
  • #258 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    Hell, I’d suggest looking at the Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz meta-review in American Sociological Review. Not only are there few differences between children of gay and straight parents, the differences that do appear favor gay parents. Those children tend to feel more loved and wanted within their families, and tend to be more accepting of social differences.

    In terms of gender identity and sexual orientation outcomes: who cares? Those are simply unimportant questions. It isn’t an issue of whether gay parents raise gay kids, but whether gay parents raise well-adapted kids who can make their way through society and treat others well. On that, the research all shows success.

    People who make these “logical” assumptions would best be served by looking at the actual research rather than just spouting off nonsensical “common sense.”

  • #259 Full Meddle Jacket
    May 16, 2008

    Congratulations to the Golden State.

    Mrs. Tilton #234:

    I’m sure I cannot be the first to have noticed this, but why is it that so many homophobes are obsessed with the image of something being forced down their throats?

    Excellent stuff! You are not the first.

    redf #181:

    Well, why do there need to be, what possible reason would there be to have more gay people.

    What possible reason would there be to have more gay people?

  • #260 SC
    May 16, 2008

    …snide remark about ASR…snide remark about ASR

    NO!

    I can resist!

    (I haven’t read that article, but I’m sure it’s very good.)

  • #261 Nick Gotts
    May 16, 2008

    Congratulations California! Ever think about going for independence?

  • #262 K
    May 16, 2008

    As a non-resident of the US, I’m unable to understand what “benefits” unmarried gay couples stand to lose, as compared to married ones.

    Would someone please enlighten me?

    Where I live, gay marriage is more or less illegal. That apart, the biggest hurdle that a gay couple can face is social ostracism. (Which term is rather mild; it can mean anything from not being able to buy stuff at your neighbourhood shop, to being arrested for indulging in “sexual intercourse contrary to natural law”, to getting lynched). Only the FSM knows when things will change.

  • #263 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    Oh, FTR, Brownian’s “bridezilla” quip didn’t trouble me in the least. It’s a funny image.

    Access to the Medscape link may require registration, but to paraphrase the legendary Ms. Joplin, “Medscape ain’t worth Medscape – but it’s free.”

    I don’t have a funny commitment ceremony story, but I did work on the catering crew for a gay wedding in Harvard Square about two years ago, so though I missed the wedding I did get a detailed look at the reception. It was as joyful and traditional as any reception I’ve worked – both grooms in tuxes, strong showing from family and friends on both sides of the aisle (so to speak), and one of the sweetest, warmest, most loving toasts I’ve heard at a reception, delivered by the mother of one of the grooms. She was a gracious and well-spoken southern lady, whose mellifluous voice could melt butter at a hundred paces. It was clear how proud and happy she was for her son.

    The first dance was a thing of beauty. It was sweetly awkward at first – both grooms seemed to be soft-spoken men, somewhat shy and self-conscious in the moment – but once they got going they relaxed a bit, and I could feel the whole room kinda… unify… behind them.

    The song was Bette Midler’s version of “Do You Wanna Dance”, and those of you who are familiar with that arrangement will recall that there’s a key change in the middle, at which point the song really takes off – and indeed it did, and when it did, the room erupted in cheers and applause, not just because the band was kicking ass (it was) or because the grooms were allowing themselves to get swept away by the wave of that key change (they were) but because of the symbolism of the dance and what was really going on there, which was something everybody knew, but didn’t say: this was more than just another wedding.

    It seemed to me that everyone there felt that they were part of something bigger, like they were witnessing, celebrating, and participating in something that represented the end of a long era of tyranny. I was just an anonymous serving drone, and I got caught up in it. So did the band – I know them quite well, (full disclosure: it was my dad’s band) and every one of them has close friends or family who are gay. I swear, I thought my dad was gonna burst into tears in the second half of that song, too. He’s such a sentimental sap sometimes.

    That must be where I get it. :-)

    I know I’m imposing a lot of my own feelings on my perception of the event, and maybe it was just another wedding, but I don’t think so. I’ve worked a few dozen weddings over the past few years, and this one had different kind of energy, a barely-containable shared joy that I hadn’t witnessed more than once or twice before – or since.

  • #264 Karey
    May 16, 2008

    If the result of this decision is that bigots come out in force to vote conservative, then its an election I’m proud to lose.

  • #265 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 16, 2008

    Ok this one isn;t really about the planning, but about the preacher.

    Two of my good friends got married in Albany, GA. That’s not namby pamby liberal Atlanta Georgia, that’s deep south in your face Georgia (her family was from there).

    We’re in a Baptist church that was from the 1800’s all bunched up in there and its the middle of the ceremony. Half the people have their earphones in one ear listening to the Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama football game and the other half are wishing they did. I was actually paying attention to the preacher out of some masochistic fascination I have with these types of events. So this is a paraphrase but the preacher starts telling his little nice story that is supposed to relay some moral or whatever.

    He starts talking about this nut that is very important to helicopter pilots. It’s the nut that holds the blades down on the axis so they don’t fly off. With out these nuts, helicopters wouldn’t be able to fly or if they lots these nuts during flight, the helicopter would crash and burn. Marriage has nuts like these too. There is an important force that acts like these nuts that holds marriage together. Without this force, marriages would fail, homes would break up and lives would be ruined.

    And I shit you not, this is what came out of his mouth next.

    “Do you know what they call those nuts on the helicopter? They call them Jesus nuts. Without Jesus nuts helicopters couldn’t fly and without Jesus nuts, your marriage will not be full and will fail”.

    Needless to say, being the heathens that we are, the rest of the night consisted of lots of imbibing of adult beverages (and possibly other things) interspersed with loud proclamations of things like “Jesus gave his nuts for you” and “I love Jesus nuts”.

    It was both a disaster and one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.

  • #266 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    Where I live, gay marriage is more or less illegal

    Oh dear. Where’s that, K?

  • #267 K
    May 16, 2008

    Oh, it’s that ex-Brit colony, India.

    We still have archaic Brit laws dating back to a couple of hundred years ago, and that piece of legislation referring to “sexual congress against the laws of nature” or words to that effect is one of those. Never mind that the Brits themselves have gotten rid of these things :)

  • #268 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    Jesus Nuts.

    Band name!

  • #269 kmarissa
    May 16, 2008

    K,

    Here’s a brief run-down of legal and economic benefits conferred by marriage:

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_bene.htm

  • #270 Snitzels
    May 16, 2008

    HOOOOORAAAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

  • #271 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    Why the hell Donnie Wahlburg would do this when he’s built a pretty respectable acting career is beyond me.

    OH HELL! I’m working at home and have the Today Show on. NKOTB was just performing.

    It’s really kind of freaky to watch a bunch of guys who I think are older than me still up there performing the same teen hits and dance moves. I mean, kind of sick freaky. It’s bizarre.

    Not even camp can make it good. A hot tranny mess wouldn’t even go near it.

  • #272 Quiet Desperation
    May 16, 2008

    Ten years from now, California will be a wasteland where traditional marriages can no longer flourish.
    Just kidding, obviously.

    Of course.

    Ten years from now, California will be a wasteland for reasons completely unrelated to marriage of any kind. ;-)

  • #273 Quiet Desperation
    May 16, 2008

    I’m terribly sorry, but there are limits. You cannot reasonably expect decent people to approve of marital relations between an Architeuthis and an octopus.

    Not to mention animals cannot agree to contracts.

  • #274 EntoAggie
    May 16, 2008

    As for Brownian’s joke, I was actually shuddering at the Bridezilla part. When I was doing my part to defend marriage by planning my EXTREMELY sacred one (now divorced, TYVM), I could get called a Bridezilla for the mere sin of making up my mind on something. Jokingly, of course, but this kind of thing does get old after a while:

    “Mom, I thought it might be nice if you could read this poem during the ceremony.” “Really? Do you think that’s necessary?” “Well, I just thought it might be nice.” “Okay, BRIDEZILLA, whatever you say!!”

    Le sigh.

    So, yeah, I’m a little sensitive when the word is brought up. But, that could just be me.

  • #275 SC
    May 16, 2008

    Ten years from now, California will be a wasteland for reasons completely unrelated to marriage of any kind. ;-)

    Such as running out of water.

  • #276 Onkel Bob
    May 16, 2008

    Have to agree with MikeM, say hello to President McCain, good bye to human decency.
    As a long time Ess Eff Bay resident, I can tell you, there’s nothing blue about CA. The only reason this state votes for democratic candidates in presidential elections is because the Republicans don’t come out in the urban districts. (they perceive it as swimming against the current) With the “defense of marriage” proposition on the ballot, they will be out in force.
    Look at the demographics of the Central and San Joaquin Valleys – these areas are 90% Republican. With the exception of a few college towns in the north, that is also strongly Republican. The fastest growing districts are Republican. Demcrats are restricted to LA Basin and Ess Eff Bay, and even those areas are not secure. Pombo lost his seat by the slimmest of margins, and he was as corrupt as any politician could be. The latest fight is over developing a redistricting plan that is independent – won’t happen.
    One other thing to consider – the CA budget is a mess. College tuition was just raised another 10%. (50% increase over past 6 years)
    The elementary and secondary school system is in disarray. Nevada and Texas, (Texas?!) are poaching our teachers. Water is going to be a problem this year as snowpack is below normal. There’s a unquiet mood among the electorate. All these will bring out everyone to vote and when everyone votes in CA, it goes to the Republicans.

  • #277 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    I also love how idiots like Huge Nitwitt, who pretend to understand and value our system of government, scream about “activist judges” and “coups” when things don’t go their way. Did this guy bitch and moan about the cruel fate of that friend of justice, liberty, fairness and honesty, Tom DeLay? I expect he did…

  • #278 mgr
    May 16, 2008

    Onkel Bob and MikeM:

    I strongly disagree with how California politics will operate with Gay rights. Prop 22 was passed with a special election, putting the proposition on the November ballot will put it before a larger and bluer turnout.

    Mike

  • #279 MikeM
    May 16, 2008

    This thread took a turn yesterday regarding a ballot proposition in California to change the California constitution. This Slate article gives me hope that won’t happen, but also notes that the ballot proposition voting procedure in California is radically different from that of Massachusetts.

    I’m resigned to one thing: This proposition will be on the November ballot. There’s no question I’ll vote against it. That’s a done deal. For all the rest of us who live in CA and follow this blog, I urge you to do the same.

  • #280 MikeM
    May 16, 2008

    This article in the Chronicle, however, thinks the court ruling will energize the right in 2008.

    Here’s what John McCain says:

    On Thursday, he seemed eager to court the right, releasing a statement that criticized the California court’s ruling and appeared to endorse a proposed state ballot initiative to amend the Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage.

    “John McCain supports the right of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution sanctioning the union between a man and a woman, just as he did in his home state of Arizona,” the statement read. “John McCain doesn’t believe judges should be making these decisions.”

    Here’s what the Concerned Women for America say:

    “The California Supreme Court has just given Republicans an early Christmas gift,” said Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues for Concerned Women for America. “This will be at the top of the list of issues in the 2008 race, and it comes during a time when Republicans are in desperate need of something that will invigorate the base.”

    (How come I think “PRUDE!!” whenever I hear “Concerned Women for America”?)

  • #281 MikeM
    May 16, 2008

    mgr, #278, I wish you were right, but you’re not. March 2000 was a Presidental primary election. There were at least 14 propositions on that ballot.

    /SIWOTI-mode

  • #282 Ktesibios
    May 16, 2008

    Ten years from now, California will be a wasteland for reasons completely unrelated to marriage of any kind. ;-)/blockquote>

    In some places it already is.

    Ever been to Perris?

  • #283 Chris (in Columbus)
    May 16, 2008

    When I read about the passing of gay marriage, I was shocked. Not at the results–but at myself. I started crying.

    I am so happy for the GLBT community. Coming from the largest state in the Union, this will have a ripple effect over other parts of the country. Finally Americans will stop abusing and ignoring their gay brothers and sisters.

  • #284 MAJeff, OM
    May 16, 2008

    When I read about the passing of gay marriage, I was shocked. Not at the results–but at myself. I started crying.

    Same here. Especially this morning while watching Ellen when she announced that she and Portia DiRossi will now be getting married. It was pretty cool.

  • #285 DB
    May 16, 2008

    Maybe I am a jerk, but this actually made me more happy knowing the religious right would be livid more so than for the gays…though I am happy for them. I just like to see the other guys fuming!

  • #286 Dennis N
    May 16, 2008

    May I chime in and say Portia is hilarious on AD. I don’t find Ellen funny though.

  • #287 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    Wow. Portia deRossi here… David Cross there… More than coincidence?!

    Re: CA vs MA. I guess size does matter.

  • #288 MikeM
    May 16, 2008

    In reviewing the results of Prop 22, which yesterday’s ruling overturned, I’m still dismayed at the results.

    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2000_primary/measures.pdf

    Go down to page 10. LA, 59-41; Orange, 70-30; Riverside, 74-26; Sacramento, 62-38; Kern, 80-20; San Diego, 63-37…

    And it goes on and on. I think the SF Bay area was the only metro area to go against 22, and even that wasn’t by as large a margin as you’d expect, 68-32.

    Oh well. At least no one’s proposing we borrow against future lottery earnings to balance this year’s budget. That’d be a gimmick. What fool would propose that??

    Oh, wait.

  • #289 LordJiro
    May 16, 2008

    Not sure if this (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24665965/) has been posted yet (don’t have time to read almost 300 comments!), but the fundies are already fighting it. Surprise surprise.

  • #290 BMS
    May 16, 2008
  • #291 Willo the Wisp
    May 16, 2008

    Who cares what the public think? This is a human rights issue, and therefore public opinion is irrelevant. To deny same-sex couples the right to marry is to deny them a basic human right that the rest of the population is permitted.

  • #292 Pablo
    May 16, 2008

    Al Franken has some interesting things to say about the “gay marriage measures energize the base” stuff. In his book, “Truth” he refers to an analysis of the 2004 election. In this election, there were 13 states where gay marriage measures were on the ballot. Although Bush got more votes overall in 2004 than he did in 2000, the increase was not as big in those states that had gay marriage initiatives as it was in those without. So, it doesn’t seemt that gay marriage measures really helped Bush all that much in 2004.

  • #293 Kseniya
    May 16, 2008

    Who cares what the public think? This is a human rights issue, and therefore public opinion is irrelevant. To deny same-sex couples the right to marry is to deny them a basic human right that the rest of the population is permitted.

    Hear, hear! This is not a question of whether or not to add a turnpike toll. The majority does not have the power or right to dictate the civil rights of a minority.

    Isn’t that written down someplace? o.0

  • #294 Flex
    May 16, 2008

    Jesus Nuts.

    Band name!

    Band name hell…

    Snack food!

  • #295 phantomreader42
    May 16, 2008

    Kenny @ #100:

    Well, you are witnessing the begining of the end for our country. We are going to be destroyed by fire. I would guestimate via nuclear war. Laugh if you must but this is only the begining of the end. Our country is doomed.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see religious nuts using this as an excuse for mass murder.

    Thanks for warning us of your terrorist plot, Kenny. Homeland Security will be duly notified. They may go easy on you if you rat on the rest of the cell. :P

  • #296 paul
    May 16, 2008

    Loads of comments just waded through, too much to say. So I’ll just say HURRAY, IT’S ABOUT FRICKIN TIME! Only effects me in a psychological way personally, seeing that I’m nowhere close to being ready to marry, but perhaps now whenever Matt Barber or Peter LaBarbera talk my blood pressure won’t rise to dangerous levels. Fundies can believe I’m immoral and a sinner and less than them all they want and I don’t give a crap, because my state is no longer officially homophobic!!*

    *barring a complete disaster come November.

  • #297 John mashey
    May 16, 2008

    re: #229 polygamous marriage

    I’ve often seen the (silly) argument “we can’t legalize same-sex marriage because next we’ll allow polygamy … [and then the world will end].”

    Polygamous marriage may make sense under certain circumstances [consider an age-group in which an unusual number of young men gets killed in warfare], but there is a rather strong difference between same-sex marriage and polygamous marriage. Of course, of the several flavors [polygyny = 1 man, >1 woman, polyandry = 1 woman, >1 man] the former is far more common, but has different effects. ]

    1) Usually, slightly more males (~1.05:1} than females are born, except where gender selection drastically raises the mail/female ratio. Some parts of India and China are up to ~1.3.

    2) An excess of unmarried young men (especially unmarried young men with poor marriage prospects) tends to produce more local violence & social turbulence. See, for example:

    Violent Land: Single Men and Social Disorder from the Frontier to the Inner City, David T. Courtwright, 1996.
    From review in Amazon:
    “The presence of women and the institution of marriage are two of the most important factors in determining levels of violence and disorder in American life, writes David T. Courtwright in this historical and contemporary study. They socialize young men, who are responsible for most of the irresponsible (often criminal) behavior in the United States and elsewhere. When one or both of them has been lacking–on the American frontier, in early immigrant communities, and in today’s inner city–social pathologies have erupted.”

    OR
    “Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia’s Surplus Male Population” : MIT Press as part of Harvard’s Belfer Center series on international security. Historical and sociological evidence predicts that excess males in China & India portend instability and more authoritarian states.

    3) Consider societies in which polygny is accepted. This allows high-status males to have more females, meaning low-status males have an even lower chance of being married. This has certainly shown up in the dynamics of polygynous sects in Utah/Texas, etc, i.e., the senior males decide everything. Assuming a ~1:1 ratio, if men can average 2 wives each, that means that ~50% of men have wives, and 50% don’t. At 4 wives each, 25% do, and 75% don’t.

    This approach may well fit conservative, patriarchal societies well, but guarantees a large pool of frustrated young men, and of course, polyandry atop a 1.3X ratio would likely be Bad News.

    My wife once visited an emir’s harem in Northern Nigeria, and spent some time talking to several of the emir’s 4 wives [emir was off in London with one of them]. They seemed pretty happy, as they all got a chance to go shopping in London while the kids were watched by the others. For a woman, it may well be a rational choice to be a junior wife for the richest male in the area, and sharing the kid-minding seemed OK.

    Of course, the (implied) 3 unmarried men around there may not have been so happy.

    4) I haven’t seen any studies that claim that an excess of unattached females causes violence problems, although it is certainly well-known that life is easier with two parents, so that marriage between female homosexuals would seem to cause no problems, and maybe offer benefits. [I’ve met kids who seemed perfectly fine with two mothers.]

    5) Marriage between homosexual males *decreases* the number of unattached males. Polyandry increases the number of unattached males. From, the studies above, one of these sounds like a positive social benefit, and the other doesn’t.

  • #298 Longtime Lurker
    May 16, 2008

    Stupid Kenny, only Dick Valentine could start a nuclear war in a gaybar.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTN6Du3MCgI

  • #299 Russell Blackford
    May 16, 2008

    John Mashey said

    Marriage between homosexual males *decreases* the number of unattached males. Polyandry increases the number of unattached males. From, the studies above, one of these sounds like a positive social benefit, and the other doesn’t.

    I think he meant that polygny increases the number of unattached males, which is true.

    This could, indeed, have cumulative undesirable effects, but of course so can many things. We don’t usually ban things merely because of that reason, especially not when the things concerned relate to highly personal matters (including matters of love, sex, family formation and so on). At the moment, in fact, we don’t criminalise polygynous relationships. If I wanted to shack up tomorrow with two of my favourite ex-girlfriends (hello A, hello J) in a polygynous arrangement, my big problem would be convincing those lovable women to agree. A and J would laugh at me. However … if they were silly enough to agree, the law would do nothing to prevent it. It would be perfectly legal for us all to go and live in (at least for me) orgiastic bliss.

    So we already have a situation where polygynous relationships are legal and, as far as the state is concerned, available. Whatever cumulative social harms might arise if polygynous relationships were common – and if their effects not cancelled out by equally common polyandrous or male homosexual ones – are not deemed so great (or so probable) as to override the strong presumption of sexual liberty in modern, free societies.

    Accordingly, all talk of polygamous relationships in this debate is beside the point. Such relationships are already available in Western societies.

    Of course, by having a category of “marriage” the state confers a particular prestige on certain relationships (often along with a range of legal benefits, though that is more an American phenomenon than a universal one; in Australia, for example, the strong trend is for most benefits available to married couples to be available to de factos … and the trend is now for gay de factos to be treated like “straight” de factos).

    For the state to attempt to give particular prestige to one way, and not others, that people choose to arrange their personal lives is fundamentally illiberal.

    It would be better if the state simply remained above the fray of whatever goes on in society: i.e., whatever kinds of sexual and family arrangements people choose to enter into. Not only should criminal law no longer ban “fornication”, “adultery”, “sodomy”, and so on, as has become the case in the civilised world; there should also be no body of law that confers a higher social status or prestige on, say, heterosexual relationships over homosexual ones, or monogamous relationships over polygynous or polyandrous ones, or any of these over promiscuous group arrangements, etc. None of this is Leviathan’s business, so I say that Leviathan should get out of the entire marriage game. Its involvement is a relic of earlier times – pre-liberal times or times when the full implications of liberalism were not yet apparent.

    Further thoughts and some debate over here: http://metamagician3000.blogspot.com/2008/05/get-leviathan-out-of-marriage-business.html

  • #300 themadlolscientist
    May 17, 2008

    YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY CALIFORNIAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!

    Gay marriage killed the dinosaurs!

    Makes sense to me…….gay dinosaurs aren’t too big on doing the stuff that makes little dinosaurs. If most of the dinosaurs were gay, I suppose that would explain a lot. :-)

    MAJeff, OM proposes:

    We should start talking about the tackiest commitment ceremonies we’ve been to.

    I’ve never been to a tacky one. The few same-sex unions I’ve attended have all been fairly simple and low-key, with nothing odder going on than the two moms or the two dads dancing together at the reception. (And believe it or not, they’ve all taken place in churches.)

    In my experience, if you want tacky you have to hunt up “traditional” straight weddings between rich people’s kids. You know, the ones where proud Daddy spends enough on the party to buy the kids a starter McMansion (nothing too fancy, something in the lower $750s will do just fine) and a matching set of Beemers to put in the garage and set up a trust fund for the grandkids’ education.

    BTW, when I voted in both polls a half hour or so ago, the good guys were winning. I tried to stuff the ballot boxes, but they’re both rigged so I could only vote once. :-(

  • #301 Kenny
    May 17, 2008

    >Hey Kenny,

    >Go fuck yourself!

    >Today is a great day, and your desire to see people
    >harmed, to make their lives worse, shows what a bigoted >fuckwit you are.

    >Too bad there’s not hell–you belong there.

    Hey Jeff,

    Did I say I wanted anyone harmed? uh, no I did not.
    Learn to read and maybe you might get somewhere in life.

    I said the USA was going to be destroyed. I am not the one that is going to do anything. It is going to happen because our country has turned down the path of sin.

  • #302 Ichthyic
    May 17, 2008

    I said the USA was going to be destroyed.

    HOHO, another great parody, feaux Kenny.

  • #303 Kenny
    May 17, 2008

    Wait a sec… Didn’t dear Kenny say recently that he *wasn’t* homophobic?

    >Kenny:
    >Normally, I’d be nicer but I’m sick of your homophobic
    >bullshit. FUCK OFF.

    I really don’t like the word homophobic. It is so broad and a really useless term.

    Check it out: http://www.lyberty.com/dict/homophobia.htm

    So broad of a term it could be used any kind of way you want and there is no phobia.

    What I ment was that I am not scared of homosexuality. I am only telling the truth. I have no hate against homosexuals at all. I have lived in West Hollywood in L.A. I am sure you know what that means.

    I have had guys that think I am cute. The thing is that I am not afraid of it and I am not scared of who I am.

    Many homosexuals say that people are homophobic if they disagree with them or their lifestyle. This is becoming offensive to me. I don’t use the FA word and I would hope someone would be a little considerate to stop using homophobic.

    However, regardless of the issue the USA is still doomed to get nuked because of the Sin that is creeping in.

  • #304 Ichthyic
    May 17, 2008

    However, regardless of the issue the USA is still doomed to get nuked because of the Sin that is creeping in.

    heh, what a card, you just can’t make stuff up this silly.

    do another one, master of parody!

  • #305 Kenny
    May 17, 2008

    >I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see religious nuts using
    >this as an excuse for mass murder.

    Non-violent people commiting murder? Well, that is a stretch.

    >Thanks for warning us of your terrorist plot, Kenny.
    >Homeland Security will be duly notified. They may go easy
    >on you if you rat on the rest of the cell. :P

    Well great, the only problem is that I never said anything about a terrorist plot. They will see my post and agree with me. I said that the USA was going to be destroyed and I never said that I would do it. I love this country, but I am loving it less day by day. However, the country is going to destroy itself and doesn’t need help from me and I wouldn’t do it anyway. I am not about hurting people and I am non-violent myself. Besides that stuff leads to high blood presure and heath problems. I don’t need any of that.

  • #306 Ichthyic
    May 17, 2008

    Well great, the only problem is that I never said anything about a terrorist plot.

    oh, come on, surely you can flesh out a parody as simple as a terrorist plot, right feaux Kenny?

    do one where you mimic how Robertson talks when he claims teh gayz are the ones to blame for 9/11.

    that one always makes me laugh.

  • #307 Kenny
    May 17, 2008

    >do one where you mimic how Robertson talks when he claims >teh gayz are the ones to blame for 9/11.

    Well fish it’s not about blaming gay people for issues. It’s about blaming America for falling. This country is falling. Rome fell because of the very same reasons. If you look at history this pretty much is the same way.

    When you reach a point where anything goes, then there goes society. It’s like a domino effect and we are starting to see it.

    Also for more history study Sodom. :)

  • #308 Ichthyic
    May 17, 2008

    It’s about blaming America for falling. This country is falling. Rome fell because of the very same reasons. If you look at history this pretty much is the same way.

    meh, close, but I still think you need to put some fake tears in there and talk more about how god will smite us, that kind of thing.

    here, look at this and try again:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-RGWXMGKq0

  • #309 Ichthyic
    May 17, 2008

    you should try parodying Falwell too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-CAcdta_8I

    then you can go back to the subject of the ACLU and talk about how the ACLU killed god.

    that stuff’s frickin’ hilarious.

    better than Carson.

    seriously, you can do a funnier parody if you work on it.
    don’t overdo it, though, because then it just gets boring.

    heh, look at me trying to give advice on how to do parody.

  • #310 Ichthyic
    May 17, 2008

    oh man, I’m cracking up just watching those clips again.

    funny, funny stuff.

  • #311 Kenny
    May 17, 2008

    >meh, close, but I still think you need to put some fake
    >tears in there and talk more about how god will smite us,
    >that kind of thing.

    Too late, I have already seen this video.

    Parody of typical atheist:

    Atheist: “I am more intelligent than you are. You are stupid. I have Dawkins, um I mean science that proves that God doesn’t exist. I am better than you are because I am full of reason. I don’t care what other science says about dimensions or what scientific studies say about NDE’s because I have dawkin’s. That is just junk science and I am still better than you and you are still stupid!”

    person with reason: “Well, what about this philosopher here?http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/atheist_philosopher_041210.html

    Atheist “Well, he isn’t a scientist and he knows nothing about anything. He is stupid. Biology proves there is no God. Haven’t you heard of evolution? You are still stupid and I am a genius because I have read Dawkins’ book!”

    Sorry, I couldn’t do it anymore as it gets too repetitive but that is pretty much how I see it.

    What Good is Knowledge Without Wisdom?

  • #312 Ichthyic
    May 17, 2008

    I have Dawkins, um I mean science that proves that God doesn’t exist.

    yup, that’s a pretty good parody of Kenny all right.

    can you do one where Kenny talks about the ACLU?

    What Good is Knowledge Without Wisdom?

    What good is wisdom without deeds?

    (that’s my Jewish Impression – think it’s any good?)

  • #313 Kenny
    May 17, 2008

    Ichthyic, do you live uptown in manhattan (NYC) by any chance?

  • #314 Ichthyic
    May 17, 2008

    Ichthyic, do you live uptown in manhattan (NYC) by any chance?

    lookin’ to get lucky, sailor?

    sorry, I don’t swing that way.

    More power to you though. This is a good thread to come out in. Many will embrace your courage here.

    OTOH, if you’re looking for the personal ads, I think you should try a facebook account, maybe?

  • #315 Rey Fox
    May 17, 2008

    Kenny, I fart in your general direction. Yes, again. And not just because it’s Friday night and I’m drunk.

  • #316 Russell Blackford
    May 17, 2008

    All right, when you’ve all finished feeding your troll are we going to have a serious discussion about public policy in relation to marriage or not? I guess not.

  • #317 negentropyeater
    May 17, 2008

    Kenny,

    Well fish it’s not about blaming gay people for issues. It’s about blaming America for falling. This country is falling. Rome fell because of the very same reasons. If you look at history this pretty much is the same way.

    When you reach a point where anything goes, then there goes society. It’s like a domino effect and we are starting to see it.

    Also for more history study Sodom. :)

    Gee, I think I’ve heard that line before, that was Sally Kern. See, knew she would make adepts…

    First Kenny, remember that california is not leading in this respect, there are countries that have already done this for many years. So, instead of scaremongering and assuming that this is going to cause moral depravation, nuclear war, God is going to intervene, if you would care to analyse what happens when countries legalize gay marriage, such as is the case in the Netherlands since 2001 and Spain since 2004, you would observe the following :
    – acceptance of gay marriage is now so widespread that it is not even in an issue being discussed by politicians anymore. Opinion surveys show that parents are actually satisfied with that law whereas years ago, prior to legalizing it, they were a majority against it.
    – there has been no particular change in the frequency or intensity of natural or unnatural disasters in Spain and Netherlands since then.

    Second, it is not homosexuality that causes empires to fall, but it is because of obscurantism and when exceptionalism blinds its people. At least on that one, we can certainly agree that America is falling behind the rest of the developped world.

  • #318 Dennis N
    May 17, 2008

    Ok I studied Sodom. Its historical existence doesn’t happen outside the Bible. So are you saying in a thousand years someone will make some stories about us out of their ass? I’m cool with that.

  • #319 MAJeff, OM
    May 17, 2008

    Kenny,

    You lackwitted diarrheal blunderbuss.

    Study some fucking history. Study some sociology. Study some psychology. Your silly little book of fairy tales is useless you fuckwitted bigot.

  • #320 MAJeff, OM
    May 17, 2008

    Parody trolls are worth of high velocity transcortical lead therapy.

  • #321 Holydust
    May 17, 2008

    Sidenote:
    as a bisexual teenager I was so, so hardcore in love with Portia Derossi, and that was back when she was just your typical guy-dating beautiful TV star. When she started dating Ellen Degeneres I was just like, “holy crap, REALLY?!” I felt vindicated. So, so vindicated.

    So I’m really happy for them (and quite jealous). She is blindingly gorgeous.

  • #322 blf
    May 17, 2008

    … the USA is still doomed to get nuked because of the Sin that is creeping in.

    Yea, the LHC is directly aimed at N.America.

  • #323 Kseniya
    May 17, 2008

    Holydust, vindication rocks. :-) Are you aware that for several years before she got with Ellen, Portia was dating a woman named Francesca Gregorini? This may have escaped your attention cuz she was trying to fly under the radar at the time.

    She is very beautiful. Every now and then I see a woman who makes me think “Hmmm…”. I don’t seem to be able to talk myself into being anything but heterosexual, though. Heh. (This is a common fact of life that homophobes should take to heart.)

  • #324 Kseniya
    May 17, 2008

    So let me get this straight. Kenny has no ill will towards homosexuals, despite the fact that their mere existence will bring down a rain of nuclear fire upon our once-righteous heads?

    I realize that self-deception is your primary psychological defense mechanism, but really – stop lying to yourself, Kenny.

    What about the ACLU, Kenny? Are you ready to admit your claims were based on a lack of knowledge, and to adjust your thinking accordingly? We’ve been chasing you down on this all week, and you haven’t said “Boo.” Why is that?

  • #325 MAJeff, OM
    May 17, 2008

    So let me get this straight. Kenny has no ill will towards homosexuals, despite the fact that their mere existence will bring down a rain of nuclear fire upon our once-righteous heads?

    Apparently, Kenny’s animosity is directed at people like you who accept queers as humans.

  • #326 negentropyeater
    May 17, 2008

    BTW Kenny, about Sodom, I can read the Bible, exactly as you do, I can listen to experts exactly as you do, it just depends which version I decide to trust …

    What about these comments from various eminent theologians and professors of near Eastern and Judaic studies who have really looked into the original texts ?

    – “To suggest that Sodom and Gomorrah is about homosexual sex is an analysis of about as much worth as suggesting that the story of Jonah and the whale is a treatise on fishing.”

    – “There is ironic aspect to this passage that is rarely discussed: To judge by other biblical references to Sodom, God seems to condemn the citizens for insensitive treatment and harassment of others. But, this is the very passage that many conservative and some mainline Christian faith groups use to verbally attack gays and lesbians.”

    – “The real story of Sodom may well have involved a mob who mistook the angels for ordinary humans. Driven by fear, suspicion, and/or hatred there intent was to humiliate, by rape, what they assumed were stranger people visiting their city. The Sodom situation has many parallels to gay-bashing today, with homophobes trying to assault gay and lesbian strangers.”

    What you say about this, dear Kenny ?

  • #327 MAJeff, OM
    May 17, 2008

    Kenny,

    I just have to ask. What the fuck is wrong with Christians?

  • #328 Kseniya
    May 17, 2008

    Apparently, Kenny’s animosity is directed at people like you who accept queers as humans.

    Oh… yeah! Armageddon will be my fault. :-D

    (And all this time, I’ve been blaming Bruckheimer and Bay…)

  • #329 MAJeff, OM
    May 17, 2008

    Oh… yeah! Armageddon will be my fault. :-D
    (And all this time, I’ve been blaming Bruckheimer and Bay…)

    If we can get Junior Vasquez to DJ Armageddon, all will be forgiven.

    I’ve been blaming Il Divo.

    Shit, what’s up with Teddy?! Did I just hear “stroke-like symptoms?”

  • #330 Longtime Lurker
    May 17, 2008

    Wow, it took so long for Kenny to respond that I honestly thought he had an accident while working as a Tuber Immersion Technician… glad you didn’t get your hand in the Fryulator, buddy.

    Kenny, simply put, you are a wretch.

    The best thing about Kenny is that his life is one lurid fantasy in which two boys kissing can somehow bring about a nuclear holocaust, just as a judge ruling against theocracy can somehow rain sulfur on a small Pennsylvania town. Hell, Kenny even wants a nuclear holocaust on some level so he can feel vindicated for his stupidity and bigotry.

    “I said that the USA was going to be destroyed and I never said that I would do it. I love this country, but I am loving it less day by day.” Kenny, your world is shrinking, your attitudes and prejudices are becoming increasingly marginalized- you protest that you aren’t scared, but face it man, you’re shitting yourself. Just like the rednecks turning the firehoses and dogs on black marchers in the ’60s, you are on the wrong side of history, and that simple fact is making your amygdala work overtime.

  • #331 phantomreader42
    May 17, 2008

    Kenny the wannabe terrorist:

    I said that the USA was going to be destroyed and I never said that I would do it.

    The only way your delusional fantasies of nuclear destruction brought about by treating gay people like people can ever come to pass is if you, or your fellow religious nuts, make them happen. You’re the nut who babbles about a vast gay conspiracy to exterminate christians. You’re in the unenviable position of wanting the destruction of your country, because you aren’t allowed to persecute anyone you want, so you project your delusions onto others.

    There’s no rain of fire coming to “cleanse” the US of those blasphemous notions of equality and freedom. Someday, you’ll have to face that. I hope you find some psychiatric help with that, because otherwise you’ll probably be a danger to yourself and others.

  • #332 Owlmirror
    May 17, 2008

    Congratulations to all Californians of all genders, and all their expanded range of potential and actual marriage partners.

    So, anyway, I’ve been noting “Kenny”‘s little interjections and the reactions that they draw, and I’ve been trying to figure out what’s up with him.

    It seems pretty clear to me that he’s obsessed with death: his moniker is a character who dies repeatedly as a cartoon, he’s fascinated by those reports from near the end of life called NDEs, and of course, there’s his repeated insistence that the world is going to end in fire; “will be destroyed”.

    Many years ago, I heard a piece on NPR about those who were similarly obsessed with the end of the world (it might have been right around the millennium changeover). One of the people they spoke to was an elderly woman who kept calculating the date when the world would end, and redoing it as those dates passed. She then mentioned that she was in constant pain from something, I think it was severe arthritis or something similar.

    So I thought: “Of course! She really wants to die, but suicide and despair are sins that will get her cast into unending torment, so of course she has to displace and redefine those feelings into a desire for God to do his will and destroy his own creation, and almost incidentally, her as well. And of course, this way, she is assured of her own righteousness and therefore her being deserving of heaven”

    I suspect that something similar is going on with “Kenny”.

    Now, why would someone want to die? Well, there are lots of reasons, but it might be because there is an irreconcilable conflict between multiple ideas of who he is, and who he is supposed to be.

    “Kenny” has no doubt been exposed to multiple conflicting ideas about homosexuality. On the on hand, reason itself, and a large portion of society at large, say that homosexuality is no big deal. Liberal Christianity (and other theologies) might say that it’s a way for people to fulfill the commandment to “love one another”. But on the other hand, there is also the message from the juvenile and macho that weakness and effeminacy are bad things, and use “fag” and “gay” as insults. And of course, there is the message of deeply conservative and reactionary Christianity, that homosexuality is purely evil; an act that the almighty angry God condemns.

    “Kenny”‘s conflicting and obsessive remarks about homosexuality suggests that he’s having trouble coping with that; that he’s trying to reconcile the opposing messages, and his own desires, and failing. Note that he compares homosexuality with adultery. We might speculate that he originally got married with the hopes that having a wife might help him override his desires, to “cure” him, as it were. But that made things even worse: Now he has to cope with the fact that his desires are two sins instead of one; his desires are both adulterous betrayals of his marriage vows and commitment to his wife, and a betrayal of God’s laws against homosexuality. And wanting to die so as to escape this conflict just makes things worse!

    So of course, he has to repress everything. Repress the desire, repress the confusion, repress the despair. But of course, it all oozes out under pressure: the desire to die becomes an obsession with death and destruction, his own repressed desires becoming the cause of said death and destruction.

    So why does he come here, then, to vent all of this? Well, one idea that occurred to me is that he is secretly envious of atheists, who fear neither God nor eternal punishment after death, and he is trying to figure out how and why. Of course, if he can convince an atheist, even one, as to the truth of his own confused beliefs and fears, he will have some company. But perhaps he’s also secretly looking for an argument that will convince him that God really doesn’t exist; that his fears are groundless.

    Who can say?

    OK, that’s my armchair psychological analysis done for this month.

  • #333 Ichthyic
    May 17, 2008

    You’re the nut who babbles about a vast gay conspiracy to exterminate christians.

    actually, rather than promote a long, drawn out analysis, I have come to one, rather obvious conclusion:

    Kenny is gay.

  • #334 Gustav Nyström
    May 17, 2008

    Really, Kenny, if you fear that homosexuals are going to cause some sort of nuclear disaster, you’re pretty homophobic.

    Unless, of course, you don’t fear a nuclear holocaust…?

  • #335 Bride of Shrek
    May 17, 2008

    Waaaa, not fair. I go away for 24 hours to get some assessment in and you guys have a Kennyfest without me. Hmpph, and I thought I was your friend. Sob.

  • #336 Kseniya
    May 17, 2008

    Really, Kenny, if you fear that homosexuals are going to cause some sort of nuclear disaster, you’re pretty homophobic.

    Well, as MAJeff pointed out, it may be that Kenny is homophileophobic.

  • #337 Rey Fox
    May 17, 2008

    “She is blindingly gorgeous.”

    She’s got a pretty face, and good comedy chops (Arrested Development). I just think she needs a cheeseburger or two.

  • #338 thalarctos
    May 17, 2008

    Rather than giving Kenny the attention he seeks as he hijacks another thread, typing faster and faster with one hand, the harder he gets publicly spanked, I’d prefer to talk about something interesting instead.

    In my immediate circle of friends, the two longest-together couples have been together for 30-something years each; one couple is gay males, and the other couple is straight. Not that they’re big sentimental fans of the whole American marriage deal, being atheist red-diaper babies who grew up to be hippies in Haight-Ashbury in the 60s, the straight couple got married more for the legal and social lubrication it provides than needing any state imprimatur. A & B and 1 & 2 have both had multiple health scares, and both B and 2 have been caretakers for their respective partners on multiple occasions.

    Anyway, that’s about as stark a contrast as it gets, I think–similar personalities, similar situations, similar length of commitment to each other, but because A & B are straight, while 1 & 2 are gay, A & B get all the social benefits, while 1 & 2 are treated like second-class (at best) citizens.

    Often, as California goes, so goes Washington state (eventually), so I’m wondering what this means for 1 & 2. Not that they’re temperamentally any more inclined to marry for marriage’s sake than A & B were, but if they did, it might be useful for health and retirement issues, as well as 2’s veterans’ benefits.

    Jeff, or anyone else that knows–have there yet been any retirement benefits or veterans’ benefits test cases among the couples who’ve gotten married in Massachusetts? I expect any plan will balk at paying out more benefits, especially back benefits, but when the law’s on the couple’s side, I’m not sure what they can ultimately do about it.

    I’m curious what this might mean for 1 & 2 if Washington state follows California in legalizing gay marriage, and–not to put to fine a point on it–whether my friends will live long enough to see benefits from it if we do, given the reluctance to pay out. Any data points on precedent will be welcome.

  • #339 MAJeff, OM
    May 17, 2008

    Jeff, or anyone else that knows–have there yet been any retirement benefits or veterans’ benefits test cases among the couples who’ve gotten married in Massachusetts? I expect any plan will balk at paying out more benefits, especially back benefits, but when the law’s on the couple’s side, I’m not sure what they can ultimately do about it.

    I’m not sure, but i do know there are issues. For example, there’s some pension plan that’s administered at the Federal level, can’t remember which one. For couples who receive state benefits, such pension plans are governed by federal DOMA, so no pension for survivors. It’s not just Social Security.

    There were cases previously about survivors–same and other-sexed–with mixed results. Part of the problem is that all the benefits are focused on one particular form of relationship–one with a solemnizing ceremony and a license–and neglecting the varied interdependent relationships that comprise contemporary family forms.

  • #340 MAJeff, OM
    May 17, 2008

    Additionally, in one of those weird ironies, same-sex partners were eligible for survivor benefits for victims of 9/11.

    The status of queer families is very contradictory, but usually leaning toward more vulnerable due to lack of recognition/protection.

  • #341 brokenSoldier
    May 17, 2008

    I expect any plan will balk at paying out more benefits, especially back benefits, but when the law’s on the couple’s side, I’m not sure what they can ultimately do about it.

    Posted by: thalarctos | May 17, 2008 8:11 PM

    I don’t know that it has been tested yet or not, but any sort of military pension would almost certainly be contested because such a marriage contradicts their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. This is exactly why the federal government hasn’t wanted to push this issue, even in the face of pressure from the President – because it is a fight they will eventually lose.

    I’ll see if I can find any specific examples, but I have personal experience with Army disability and pension, and they have denied claims for things much less than an act that directly contradicts an official policy. Usually they have to search for a reason to deny the claim, but in this case the reason is right there in front of them, and they can hide behind the policy as long as it exists.

  • #342 MAJeff, OM
    May 17, 2008

    I don’t know that it has been tested yet or not, but any sort of military pension would almost certainly be contested because such a marriage contradicts their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. This is exactly why the federal government hasn’t wanted to push this issue, even in the face of pressure from the President – because it is a fight they will eventually lose

    It would also be denied because of Federal DOMA. That law defines marriage as between a man and woman for all Federal purposes. The 9/11 thing was established for surviving family members, not limited to spouses. No military person would be eligible with a same-sex spouse because the federal government does not consider them to be married for any purpose whatsoever.

  • #343 thalarctos
    May 17, 2008

    and neglecting the varied interdependent relationships that comprise contemporary family forms.

    yup, that’s it. thanks, Jeff. Forgot about the goddamn DOMA, too. Screwing over real families in the name of “defending” marriage–fuckers.

    I kind of expected the picture would be unclear at this point, which is sad on lots of levels, only one of which is that my friend probably won’t live long enough to collect the benefits he should to take care of him in his old age.

    (and if that homophobic asswipe Kenny dares to make any snarky remark about my friend, he’s going to find out for himself what “thermonuclear” really means.)

  • #344 Longtime Lurker
    May 17, 2008

    Oh double bing-bang hell, I was poking around “Sadly, No” and found this horrid screed by that “4 Steps to Defeating Darwin” knuckle-dragger:

    http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/fischer/080515

    Jumping Jesus on a Pogo Stick, I despise these people.

  • #345 MAJeff, OM
    May 17, 2008

    I should probably elaborate. At the federal level, DOMA has two parts:

    1) It defines marriage for federal purposes. As I said, this means that in every federal program, marriage is exclusively defined as being between a man and a woman. So, even couples from California or Massachusetts, or those who legally marry in places like Holland, Belgium, Canada, Spain, or South Africa are basically legal strangers according to the federal government. That has implications from pensions to immigration.

    2) It allows states to not recognize same-sex marriages from other states. So, the 27 (26?) states that have amended their constitutions to bar recognition of these relationships are protected according to federal law. I think there are only about 6-7 states that don’t have some statutory or constitutional ban. Couples married in MA and CA will likely be recognized in NY. They can’t marry in MA, because they can’t marry in NY, but they’ll be able to marry in CA and come back and have their marriage recognized. A couple from VT or CT, where they established Civil Unions alongside a ban on same-sex marriages, would be able to go to CA and marry (again, not MA), but their marriages would not be recognized in VT or CT. We’ve got a legal mess. The CA situation will likely in the next several years result in a challenge to this second part of DOMA–a challenge I fear we will lose because the federal courts have been stacked and are going to be pretty hostile to such claims.

    It’s going to be a state-by-state thing. I’m guessing DOMA is going to go through something like sodomy laws. An early challenge in which it is upheld followed by a couple decades of change when it will be overturned. That, however, is a guess pulled straight out of my ass.

  • #346 thalarctos
    May 17, 2008

    I don’t know that it has been tested yet or not, but any sort of military pension would almost certainly be contested because such a marriage contradicts their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. This is exactly why the federal government hasn’t wanted to push this issue, even in the face of pressure from the President – because it is a fight they will eventually lose.

    yes, but not in time for my friend, unfortunately–we’re talking Korean War benefits to give you a sense of the age range we’re in. the gov’t can run out the clock a lot longer than he can :(.

    If WA passes a similar law, there may be other reasons why it makes sense for my friends to marry–but the veteran’s benefits, which have been accruing for decades now, are off the table due to DOMA in any case, it sounds like.

    The irony of that treatment is even more shameful when you consider the military’s record on racial integration–that’s something to be proud of. Maybe not perfect, but a hell of a lot better than the corresponding civilian society at the time. That record just heightens the contrast with the pusillanimous DADT policy.

    I’ll see if I can find any specific examples, but I have personal experience with Army disability and pension, and they have denied claims for things much less than an act that directly contradicts an official policy. Usually they have to search for a reason to deny the claim, but in this case the reason is right there in front of them, and they can hide behind the policy as long as it exists.

    Another shame. One of my colleagues at the VA has told me absolute horror stories about PTSD being reclassified as other psych diagnoses in order to deny benefits to deserving vets. It’s yet another level of appalling.

  • #347 thalarctos
    May 17, 2008

    Defense Of Marriage Act

    you know, though, this discussion gives me an idea.

    I could divorce Mr. thalarctos, marry 2, collect his veterans’ benefits for as long as 1 remains alive, direct-depositing the checks right into 1’s bank account. Then, on 1’s death, I could remarry Mr. thalarctos.

    No changes to anyone’s routine or living arrangements, just to the paperwork, and 1 would get the benefits he should. And it would all be perfectly legal, since I happen to possess a vagina.

    I wonder how many such real families DOMA has broken up, and how many such sham families for the sake of such legalities it has generated. Typical conservative obsession with style at the total expense of substance, it seems.

  • #348 cicely
    May 17, 2008

    If we’re gonna try to analyze Kenny’s motives in coming here, my own suspicion is that he’s “witnessing to the heathen” and exercising a masochistic streak and/or a low-level martyr complex. (After, in reality, wouldn’t you rather be assailed with words than sticks and stones? And cybermartyrdom can be stopped at any time, just by leaving the website and not coming back. Much easier than being un-burned at the stake, or un-crucified, or un-stoned.)

    And, Kenny, from #305:

    >I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see religious nuts using
    >this as an excuse for mass murder.

    Non-violent people commiting murder? Well, that is a stretch.

    Sounds to me as if you are asserting that religious nuts are by nature non-violent. Check out the news; endless examples just leap off the page, and are not limited by specific religious persuasion. Those suicide bombers aren’t doing their thing in hopes of getting a burger and some fries, and those that threaten and shoot at abortion doctors aren’t doing it to demonstrate Christian Charity.

  • #349 Rey Fox
    May 18, 2008

    “>I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see religious nuts using
    >this as an excuse for mass murder.

    Non-violent people commiting murder? Well, that is a stretch.”

    Come on, Kenny. You regularly accuse us of being in the early stages of planning pogroms for less than what the religious nutters do and say.

  • #350 cicely
    May 18, 2008

    For clarification: my blockquote didn’t work out the way I plannned. The “Non-violent people commiting murder? Well, that is a stretch” was Kenny’s response to the part that did blockquote correctly; afterward is my response to his response.

    Probably obvious to everyone in the room, but it was bothering me.

  • #351 brokenSoldier
    May 18, 2008

    Another shame. One of my colleagues at the VA has told me absolute horror stories about PTSD being reclassified as other psych diagnoses in order to deny benefits to deserving vets. It’s yet another level of appalling.

    Posted by: thalarctos | May 17, 2008 8:46 PM

    Yeah they did that exact same thing to me. I was wounded in Nov. 2005, and it took until this January for my retirement to go through – because that’s how long it took for the Army disability rating system to reach a decision even close to accurate, but it still has its flaws.

    I was diagnosed with acute PTSD (at the Tampa VA Hospital, no less), but the Army listed it as an “Anxiety Disorder, NOS,” meaning not otherwise specified. By calling it an anxiety disorder, they can avoid having to use the specialized ratings for PTSD mandated by law. And since PTSD is listed as a type of anxiety disorder, they can do this all they want, and get away with it every time. Very rarely do veterans ever get diagnosed – by the Army – with PTSD. Usually it is listed as an anxiety disorder, and there is nothing the soldier can do about it because it is not technically incorrect. Conversely, the Veterans’ Administration – where you get rated as soon as you are separated or retired from service – regularly diagnoses patients with PTSD. (But the Army disability system/ VA rating system clusterfuck is another very long story, indeed.)

    But then again, two years in that system has shown me that for the majority of this government (and the Army, specifically), treatment of veterans is more of a financial burden than an inherent duty. The more veterans the Army can separate instead of retiring (20% disability or less), the more veterans the Army never has to pay again. If you are medially retired (above 30%), the Army has to pay you a monthly disability check. The more vets they don’t retire, the less checks they have to send out. It’s pure business, and that’s how it is being treated, even by some of the physicians. Disgusting, indeed.

  • #352 Kseniya
    May 18, 2008

    MAJeff, Thalarctos: This is slightly off-topic, but are you familiar with the so-called “Dominique Law” in NY? It has to do with insurance coverage in same-gender partnerships…

  • #353 Kseniya
    May 18, 2008

    (Oh, I just love how the feds “Support The Troops” … )

    O_o

  • #354 thalarctos
    May 18, 2008

    I’m very sorry to hear that, brokenSoldier. You deserve much better treatment than that.

    (Oh, I just love how the feds “Support The Troops” … )

    I’m trying to figure out how to fit “I Support Our Troops — Too Bad Those Goddamn Clowns In The Republican Federal Government Don’t” on one of those magnets.

    And no, I had not heard of that law–thanks for the pointer.

  • #355 Walton
    May 18, 2008

    Hi, I’m new here. I’m going to wade in with a viewpoint which I imagine many of you will disagree with; I’m posting it here, rather than elsewhere, because I want to engage in rational debate with people who hold the opposite view.

    I believe that this court decision was very, very wrong. Not, I hasten to add, because I oppose same-sex marriage. I don’t. I am personally perfectly content for same-sex couples to enjoy all the legal benefits which stem from a marriage. I have no problem with it whatsoever. In a referendum on same-sex marriage, I would almost certainly vote to allow it.

    What I disagree with is judicial activism. The voters of California, in a referendum, explicitly endorsed a ballot measure banning same-sex marriage. This is democracy in action; the people of California didn’t want same-sex marriage. Considering that same-sex marriage is a contentious moral issue on which there is no objectively “right” answer, it is a policy question which is eminently suited to popular democratic decision. To have that overturned by a small group of judges, against the expressed will of the people, is fundamentally wrong.

    It’s not the consequences of the California Supreme Court’s decision which I disagree with. It’s the principle. The California state constitution says nothing about gay marriage. This was not legitimate legal interpretation; it was judicial political activism, and runs counter to the democratic principle.

  • #356 Kseniya
    May 18, 2008

    Walton: A simple group substitution exercise is called for here:

    This is democracy in action; the people of California didn’t want same-sex marriage.

    This is democracy in action; the people of California didn’t want interracial marriage.

    This is democracy in action; the people of California didn’t want inter-faith marriage.

    Democracy in action is NOT:

    The people of California voting to restrict civil liberties by enacting unconstitutional measures.

    “Judicial activism” is a red herring. It’s code used by (primarily) the Right to mean “those bastard judges don’t see things our way.”

    You are aware of the role of the judiciary, aren’t you? Not simply to interpret the law, but to protect againsts unconstitutional laws.

    Checks and balances, my man. Checks and balances.

  • #357 Kseniya
    May 18, 2008

    Put another way, democracy doesn’t give the majority carte blanche to restrict the civil rights of minorities. Again, one role of the judiciary is to ensure that it doesn’t.

  • #358 thalarctos
    May 18, 2008

    This is democracy in action; the people of California didn’t want same-sex marriage.

    Are you familiar with the term “tyranny of the majority”?

    Because surely you’re not advocating that one group of citizens is entitled to decide whether another group of citizens gets fundamental human rights, without consequence.

  • #359 Walton
    May 18, 2008

    Response to all of the above:

    Yes, I am familiar with the fact that the American codified constitutional system enshrines certain rights in the constitution (whether at the federal or state levels) and that those rights are supposed to be protected even from the democratic majority. This is fair enough, and I can understand the reasons for it.

    However, from a purely legal perspective, neither the US Constitution, nor (as far as I know) the California state constitution, says anything whatsoever about same-sex marriage. Or, indeed, about abortion – Roe v Wade was a completely farcical decision, when analysed purely from a legal viewpoint. There is simply nothing in the US Constitution conferring a right to abortion, nor anything that could possibly have been intended by the framers to confer such a right.

    This is where the analogy which Kseniya attempts (above) to draw – between same-sex marriage and interracial or interfaith marriage – falls down. Where the rights of racial minorities are concerned, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments – enacted after the Civil War – were expressly designed to emancipate black Americans and confer upon them the rights of citizenship. Landmark decisions, such as Brown v Board of Education, were not judicial activism; the courts were simply applying those amendments in accordance with the framers’ intentions. However, the courts did later go too far, by forcing desegregation busing (see Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 1971); in doing so, they went beyond the Constitution.

    Judicial activism is not a red herring. It is a term describing what happens when the courts go beyond a literal reading of the rights conferred by the Constitution, based on the wording and the framers’ intentions, and instead create entirely new “rights” based on their own controversial viewpoints. As I said, I don’t disagree necessarily with the basic idea that some rights should be constitutionally enshrined and protected from the tyranny of the majority; but the judges should not invent new “constitutional rights” that are not actually in the constitution. This makes a mockery of the whole idea of constitutional democracy, and leads inexorably to a form of benevolent judicial tyranny.

  • #360 Walton
    May 18, 2008

    Correction – the word “benevolent” in the last sentence above should have been in quote marks.

  • #361 thalarctos
    May 18, 2008

    This makes a mockery of the whole idea of constitutional democracy

    The idea that citizens can vote away human rights from other citizens without redress is where the mockery of constitutional democracy lies.

    Conservatives only oppose judicial activism when it doesn’t go their own way, anyway; I sure didn’t see any cries about “judicial activism” coming from conservatives opposed to the installation of Bush or stopping the recount in Florida. So I am not convinced that opposition to judicial activism is as particularly principled as its advocates claim anyway, in the best of cases. Certainly when human rights are at stake, it’s morally and ethically wrong to just sit by and say, well, there’s nothing we can do, the people have spoken that gay citizens don’t deserve human rights.

    It’s part of the checks and balances in the system, as Kseniya observed, and if the people hadn’t pushed the original homophobic act, the judicial pushback wouldn’t have occurred so quickly. The beauty of the American system is its capacity for self-correction, as painfully long as it sometimes takes, however.

  • #362 MAJeff, OM
    May 18, 2008

    So, the right to choose one’s marriage partner is a new right? That’s what was in question in this case, as you would know if you’d read the decision and understood its bases in the California constitution.

    Then again, who cares if folks like me continue to be treated as lesser citizens. We shouldn’t have any recourse to the courts for protection.

  • #363 Owlmirror
    May 18, 2008

    but the judges should not invent new “constitutional rights” that are not actually in the constitution.

    And if you read the actual text of the actual decision, you will discover that they made no such invention.

    Accordingly, the legal issue we must resolve is
    not whether it would be constitutionally permissible under the California Constitution for the state to limit marriage only to opposite-sex couples while denying same-sex couples any opportunity to enter into an official relationship with all or virtually all of the same substantive attributes, but rather whether our state Constitution prohibits the state from establishing a statutory scheme in which both opposite-sex and same-sex couples are granted the right to enter into an officially recognized family relationship that affords all of the significant legal rights and obligations traditionally associated under state law with the institution of marriage, but under which the union of an opposite-sex couple is officially designated a “marriage” whereas the union of a same-sex couple is officially
    designated a “domestic partnership.” The question we must address is whether, under these circumstances, the failure to designate the official relationship of same-sex couples as marriage violates the California Constitution.

    I know, legal language is so hard.

  • #364 negentropyeater
    May 18, 2008

    Walton,

    the constitution doesn’t define the term “marriage”, so why do you make the implicit assumption that it means heterosexual marriage if you say yourself that you are in favour of understanding the term marriage in its most inclusive way ?

  • #365 Etha Williams
    May 18, 2008

    @#359 —

    This is where the analogy which Kseniya attempts (above) to draw – between same-sex marriage and interracial or interfaith marriage – falls down. Where the rights of racial minorities are concerned, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments – enacted after the Civil War – were expressly designed to emancipate black Americans and confer upon them the rights of citizenship.

    Though it was written in response to the civil war, the 14th amendment (“Citizen Rights”) applies to everyone when it guarantees:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    (Emphases mine.)

    In denying same sex couples the right to marry with “protection of marriage” acts, states are abridging the privilige and liberty of glbt citizens to marry; they are also denying glbt people important property rights (since the contract of marriage is important in delineating property sharing between married couples).

    That said, as Owlmirror pointed out in #363, this was about the CA constitution, not the US constitution.

    Judicial activism is not a red herring. It is a term describing what happens when the courts go beyond a literal reading of the rights conferred by the Constitution, based on the wording and the framers’ intentions, and instead create entirely new “rights” based on their own controversial viewpoints.

    I agree that by this definition, judicial activism does exist, but it’s become a red herring all-purpose insult to use whenever one disagrees with a judge’s decision. Like “liberal,” “conservative,” and countless other political buzzwords, this phrase has, through countless instances of misuse, been stripped of all useful meaning.

  • #366 negentropyeater
    May 18, 2008

    There is only Judicial activism if you accept that when reading the word “marriage”, it goes beyond literal reading to interpret this term as the union between two human beings… Which I don’t. End of the discussion.

  • #367 Owlmirror
    May 18, 2008

    Oh, and one more thing.

    While “man and woman” seems like clear language, the terms, while being broadly distinct, do not cover all cases. When you study up on the psychology of gender and biological outliers which includes different types of intersex individuals, the terms no longer seems quite so clear-cut for all cases.

    So… just out of curiosity, Walton, do you support for “the people” (bless their little hearts) whose will you think should prevail — pulling down your pants to stare at your genitals, and/or assaying your DNA to examine your sex chromosomes, and/or doing brain scans to determine your exact gender ideation, and then doing the same thing to your potential spouse, before graciously agreeing that you are of a particular gender, and your partner is of the opposite gender?

    Are you really, really sure that that’s a good idea?

  • #368 Ichthyic
    May 18, 2008

    nor (as far as I know)

    Then perhaps you might consider reading it before making inane commentary?

    or, read the ruling itself, as it lists the relevant sections of the state constitution that were ruled on.

  • #369 themadlolscientist
    May 18, 2008

    Today’s LA Times has an article on California’s Chief Justice Ronald M. George and why he voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage:

    He indicated he saw the fight for same-sex marriage as a civil rights case akin to the legal battle that ended laws banning interracial marriage.

    Whaddaya know – another Republican who gets it! Move over, Judge Jones!

  • #370 Ichthyic
    May 18, 2008

    I agree that by this definition, judicial activism does exist, but it’s become a red herring all-purpose insult to use whenever one disagrees with a judge’s decision. Like “liberal,” “conservative,” and countless other political buzzwords, this phrase has, through countless instances of misuse, been stripped of all useful meaning.

    …and just like with the word “liberal”, it was stolen for misusage by the right, in order to mask the fact that by far and away the most “activism” (defined as rulings based on ideology instead of precedent or law) happens on the part of right-leaning judges.

    from the rubes pov, it’s all projection to think it’s “liberal activism by left-leaning judges”, from the pov of the politicos on the right, this is just a perception to be advertised and encouraged.

    the right basically wants to destroy constitutional, representative, democracy, all the while trying to hide it by blaming it on the “liberals”.

    It’s really gotten disgustingly obvious.

  • #371 Ichthyic
    May 18, 2008

    I agree that by this definition, judicial activism does exist,

    The question is, why should you accept that as a definition of it?

  • #372 JeffreyD
    May 18, 2008

    Having read all of the above, I think what bothers me the most is that those against gay marriage will never say why they are against it. I hear about traditions and about yada and yada. It seems the only reason to oppose gay marriage is that the opposer considers it a religious sin. Of course if they state that aloud, I guess it would be easier for courts to give the ok for gay marriage, given the separation clause in the Constitution.

    We can fancy it up all we want, but I can come to no other conclusion than those opposing gay marriage oppose gay people even existing. Yes, I know this is simplistic, but frankly, I think we sometimes split so many hairs that we lose sight of the basics. Dress it any way you want, if you oppose gay marriage, gay rights (which are actually just citizen rights), or the like, maybe you are just opposed to gay people.

    I have now been in four or five wars, depending on how you judge them. I knew gays in all of them, men and women. They fought and died and bled for this country and it is appalling that they do not have full rights and that their brothers and sisters do not have full rights.

    If you hate gay people, just say so, have a little courage of your own, tell the truth and shame the devil!

    On another topic – brokenSoldier, a firm grip on the shoulder or a hug, your choice. I have PTSD as well, relatively mild case but bad enough. I get a little tired of this “greatest generation” thing, about the WWII vets. Very few of them served more than 200 days in combat, and that is rare. The record for semi-continuous combat days in WWII is, working from memory here, held by the 2nd Infantry Division, with 305 days in combat, but of course, not every unit in the division was in the line for that period of time and, to be honest, WWII combat was really seldom “felt” by those not in the infantry, artillery, engineers, or armored forces. Line of communication and support personnel in WWII had little effective chance of being injured by enemy action. Few individual soldiers ever came close to the 200 days mark. Again, working from memory, reports from 1944 indicated that after 200-240 combat days, a soldier was incapable of being useful in the infantry, who sustain the most casualties, and should be moved into a non-combatant post. Starting with Vietnam, and continuing through counterinsurgency type operations to today, combat or the threat of it (equally stressful) tends to cover almost the entire tour be it 12 or 14 months or more. In the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, we are looking at multiple tours of duty. PTSD is also cumulative. Sorry, this is kind of a bugbear with me and I am a little emotionally fragile right now. My real point is that those who should be in charge have known the pyschological problems since early in the 20th century and still treat the soldiers like dirt and/or fodder. Corrections to the above welcomed. Back to lurk mode.

    Ciao

  • #373 Walton
    May 19, 2008

    General responses, since my remarks seem to have provoked a flood of criticism:

    I have read the decision (which I admit I hadn’t before making my first post). I stand by my conclusion. The ruling was a textbook case of judicial activism.

    They quoted an earlier decision of the court, People v Belous: “[c]onstitutional concepts are not static… in determining what lines are unconstitutionally discriminatory, we have never been confined to historic notions of equality.” I think that is fundamentally wrong. In interpreting which rights are conferred by the constitution, the courts should have regard to two things only: what the constitution actually says, and what its framers intended. Both should be construed on their narrowest, most literal interpretation. Otherwise the court is, essentially, given discretion to “update” the principles of the constitution in order to meet what the court itself sees as the interests of equality and personal liberty – which gives the court an overtly political, policy-making role. This takes difficult and contentious questions about the proper boundaries of rights out of the hands of the democratic majority and puts them into the hands of a small group of judges.

    The court acknowledged that there is no express “right to marry” in the California Constitution; rather, they relied on earlier cases which construed the “right to privacy” as conferring a right to marry. This involves a broad, and strained, construction of the rights in the Constitution – which, as I argued above, is fundamentally wrong, because those rights (since they take a policy question out of the hands of the democratic majority) must be construed narrowly. Furthermore, in this instance there is no suggestion that the framers of the California Constitution, or any of its amendments, intended to confer a fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex.

    Reading pages 68-70 of the decision, it appears that the court was arguing that, because homosexuality is no longer treated as a mental illness and because society recognises that homosexuals can enter loving and committed relationships, the court must recognise that discrimination against homosexuals is constitutionally illegitimate – despite the fact that, by the court’s own admission, the authors of the California Constitution would not have intended homosexual behaviour to be protected from discrimination (and, indeed, such behaviour was criminal for much of California’s history).

    I am not arguing that discrimination against homosexuals is good. But it is not unconstitutional, because the state Constitution says nothing about homosexuals, and its framers did not intend homosexual behaviour to be protected from discrimination. Therefore, the judges should not extend the rights conferred by the Constitution, especially not against the will of the democratic majority.

    Furthermore, the court also recognised that California has extensive “domestic partnership” legislation, allowing same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership which confers all the same rights as a marriage under California law. They argued that this was inadequate because it does not entitle such couples to benefits under federal law, which does not recognise same-sex partnerships; but this should not be a concern for a California state court. It’s a policy consideration for the federal government. (Also, if I’m correct – I could be wrong about this – doesn’t the Defense of Marriage Act prevent the federal government from conferring marital benefits on same-sex couples even if they’re married under state law?) So the only real question is whether same-sex couples have a fundamental right to call their relationship a “marriage” rather than a “partnership” – a difference of semantics which seems to serve no purpose other than pissing off religious people.

    I think there’s a fundamental disconnect, in American society, between the liberal intellectual elite, who are in favour of same-sex marriage and want to use the courts to force it through, and the ordinary American voters and their elected representatives, who are clearly (for whatever reason) against same-sex marriage. As I said, I would be perfectly happy to vote in favour of same-sex marriage myself. But I think it’s dangerous that this rift in American society is growing wider.

  • #374 JeffreyD
    May 19, 2008

    Regarding Walton’s #373, will just sadly reiterate the first four paragraphs of my #372. Walton states, “I am not arguing that discrimination against homosexuals is good.” Maybe. However, the point of #373, once we blow away the chaff, seems to be that it is OK to legally discriminate against gay people if the majority wants to so do.

    Sad

  • #375 Walton
    May 19, 2008

    Not quite. I’m not arguing that it’s OK; I’m arguing that it’s not unconstitutional. There’s a difference.

    There are many contentious questions about fundamental rights – e.g. what those rights should be and what they should protect. There is no intuitively, universally “correct” view on rights. Where the constitution explicitly protects a certain right, then that right must be protected even against a democratic majority; but this should be interpreted narrowly. Where the constitution doesn’t speak directly on an issue, it is better for it to be determined by the will of the people than by a small group of judges.

    You consider it to be discriminatory to prohibit gay marriage. Many other American voters disagree. On what basis do you assert that your view of fundamental rights is inherently “right” and theirs is “wrong”?

  • #376 Walton
    May 19, 2008

    Not quite. I’m not arguing that it’s OK; I’m arguing that it’s not unconstitutional. There’s a difference.

    There are many contentious questions about fundamental rights – e.g. what those rights should be and what they should protect. There is no intuitively, universally “correct” view on rights. Where the constitution explicitly protects a certain right, then that right must be protected even against a democratic majority; but this should be interpreted narrowly. Where the constitution doesn’t speak directly on an issue, it is better for it to be determined by the will of the people than by a small group of judges.

    You consider it to be discriminatory to prohibit gay marriage. Many other American voters disagree. On what basis do you assert that your view of fundamental rights is inherently “right” and theirs is “wrong”?

  • #377 Walton
    May 19, 2008

    Sorry for duplicate post.

  • #378 MAJeff, OM
    May 19, 2008

    No, Walton, you’re saying that as someone who is discriminated against by “the people” my only recourse is to the assholes doing the discriminating. The courts are off limits. I get it.

  • #379 negentropyeater
    May 19, 2008

    Walton,

    you don’t answer the question :
    where in the constitution does it say that the term “marriage” is not the union between two human beings ?

  • #380 Kseniya
    May 19, 2008

    The lack of any mention of homosexuality in the constitution is telling. Is marriage defined at all? Does the state constitution explicity list the subgroups of humanity that are allowed to marry? Or those that are not?

  • #381 JeffreyD
    May 19, 2008

    Walton, sophistry quite literally bores me to tears, but just to play the game, I will assume for the moment that you are truly interested in human rights. Regarding your question, “On what basis do you assert that your view of fundamental rights is inherently “right” and theirs is “wrong”?”, my answer is very simple, basic human rights as predicated by my understanding of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence implies that all should be equal before the law. My view is simple, if two adults want to do something that literally harms no one else I can so no reason to prohibit that something. My tastes in the matter should have no bearing on that.

    Regarding Constitutions and laws in general, they can be amended to correct injustices, like the overthrow of slavery.

    Finally, and I have already wasted too much time on you, the tyranny of the majority is what you seem to be proposing. If the majority of the people want to return to slavery or embrace genocide, should we allow this? Law is often the only thing that protects the minority from the majority. I doubt you really want majority rule to decide every issue without recourse to law.

    Human rights are rights, either we agree on that, or we do not. A human should have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as long as no one is harmed. And no, harm does not include your feelings being hurt that gay people can marry.

    I am in a bad mood today, and probably should have delayed a response because of it. I am having a difficult time holding my contempt of you at bay. I do try to maintain a modicum of decorum and manners. I stand by my first four paragraphs of my post in #372, especially the fourth one, in regard to you. I do not believe your statement that you would vote for gay marriage (your #373) if you had the chance and believe you are only trying to pretend you care about the law to push against full rights for a portion of the population. If I have judged you harshly and/or incorrectly, you have my apologies. If I have not, please have the courage to so say.

    Ciao

  • #382 Bill Dauphin
    May 19, 2008

    OK, I’ve been out of the loop for a couple days (busy volunteering at this very cool event), and trying to catch up on missed reading days here is getting d@mn near impossible, so I haven’t read the whole thread, but…

    IMO they should just make it *all* civil unions. Get the government out of marriage all together if so many people consider it a religious institution.

    Hear, hear! This has always been my solution, except that I would use a different term (my favorite is “domestic partnership”), because “civil union” has been somewhat tainted by the debate so far. This CA decision is a great victory, but it would be an even greater victory if we could get to the point of understanding that the state has no business regulating sex or love at all.

    In my model, domestic partnerships would include all the partnership aspects of current civil marriage, but would take no notice of sex, gender, or love; they would be available to any two adults who were legally competent to enter into a legal partnership. This legal framework would allow not only GLBT “marriages,” but also partnerships based on nonsexual relationships (platonic roommates, siblings, adult children living with widowed parents, etc.). Any two people who wanted to could form a partnership for the purposes of mutual support, establishing and maintaining a household, and (if they so choose) raising children (all of which the state has a legitimate interest in) without any stipulations about any romantic/sexual relationship they might have (which the state has no legitimate interest in).

    Those couples who did have an intimate relationship they wanted to publicly acknowledge before a community of their peers could still be married by any number of religious or philosophical institutions… but that ceremony and the promises contained in it would have nothing to do with the law, and civil society would have nothing to do with enforcing those promises.

    Actually, I’d take it a step further: If I had my way, the law would take no notice whatsoever of the sexual behavior of consenting adults. That is, no act that was otherwise legal would be prohibited, discouraged, or regulated in law because of its sexual nature per se. This would have the effect of instantly “legalizing” gay marriage (gay everything, actually), sodomy, adultery, prostitution, polygamy/polyandry, pornography, sex toys, contraception, and all those other things the bluenoses want to stamp out. It would not (despite the inevitable cries of alarm) legalize rape (nonconsensual sex would still be assault), child molestation (child abuse would still be abuse), bestiality (cruelty to animals would still be illegal), public nudity (if it’s really ever been a public nuisance or disturbance of the peace, it still would be)…. It seems to me that the aspects of sexual behavior that are legitimately subject to the state’s control would be so without reference to sex; anything that’s only under the state’s control because it’s sexual shouldn’t be.

    Ahh, but I’m apparently living in my own private Idaho on this point. My proposal is way too radical, and even Etha’s more modest one has little realistic chance in our current political environment; marriage equality is probably the best we can hope for. [sigh]

    PS to Etha: Congrats on your Molly. Extraordinarily well deserved!

    PS to Kseniya: I can’t imagine MAJeff or anyone else could possibly find you “icky.” Your luminous presence here dwarfs in significance your unfortunate (from some points of view) possession of girly-bits! ;^)

  • #383 Bill Dauphin
    May 19, 2008

    Kseniya:

    Every now and then I see a woman who makes me think “Hmmm…”. I don’t seem to be able to talk myself into being anything but heterosexual, though.

    I need you to ‘splain this to me: From my POV it’s so transparently obvious that women in general are several orders of magnitude lovelier and sexier than men that your steadfast refusal to get all hot an bothered over the gorgeous Portia totally baffles me.

    In fact, I’m not sure I’m really a heterosexual per se: I think what I really am is an unqualified lover of women (I tried to come up with a faux Latin term, but gynophile just sounds awful) who happens to inhabit a male body. When there are women around, it’s a total mystery to me why anyone, regardless of gender, would want to have sex with us icky boys.

    I suppose it’s a good thing for the world that mine is a minority opinion! ;^)

  • #384 Walton
    May 22, 2008

    JeffreyD, you have indeed misjudged me. I personally have very little concern either way about same-sex marriage. My preferred option would be to allow same-sex civil partnerships conferring all the same legal rights as a marriage. But it isn’t a major issue for me.

    My concerns here are legal and constitutional, rather than moral. The nature of a codified constitution is to place certain rights beyond the boundaries of democratic debate. The US Constitution, and the various state constitutions, clearly do enshrine some specific rights – the prohibition of slavery etc. being among them. I can see that there are sound arguments in favour of protecting some rights even against an overwhelming majority.

    However, because this method of protecting rights is inherently anti-majoritarian, it should be restricted ONLY to the rights which are explicitly stated in the US Constitution or a state constitution. These rights should be construed narrowly, and in accordance with the intention of the framers. If judges “update” the constitution or interpret it broadly, in order to meet what they see as the demands of “fundamental rights”, then they move beyond legal interpretation and into political activism.

    The fact is that the framers of the California state constitution did not intend to confer a right to same-sex marriage, nor did they intend that any part of the constitution would be interpreted to confer such a right. No one would seriously dispute this. Therefore, it is inherently wrong for the Supreme Court to rule that it does confer such a right, against overwhelming popular disagreement.

    To those of you who strongly support same-sex marriage, I urge you to remember that the ends do not justify the means. Achieving a desirable policy goal through anti-democratic methods does not excuse those methods. If you want same-sex marriage to be legal, you should use the established democratic processes to persuade the American people to vote in favour of it. Unless you don’t believe that the people ought to be trusted to make decisions – in which case, why do you support democracy at all?

  • #385 Walton
    May 22, 2008

    A few more responses (sorry to fill this page up).

    To JeffreyD. …my answer is very simple, basic human rights as predicated by my understanding of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence implies that all should be equal before the law. Do you actually think that the framers of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence intended to confer a right to same-sex marriage? To believe so is entirely ahistorical. They didn’t even intend to confer rights on women, slaves or Native Americans. Indeed, slavery and racial discrimination were perfectly constitutional practices until the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. We today view slavery as abhorrent – and rightly so – because values change over time. But the point I am trying to make is that neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution can sensibly be used to support your argument.

    Regarding Constitutions and laws in general, they can be amended to correct injustices, like the overthrow of slavery. – Yes, exactly. The Constitution was amended to overthrow slavery. However, it has not been amended to guarantee a right to same-sex marriage, and it does not guarantee any such right. I am entirely in favour of amending constitutions to reflect changing values and views on rights; but I am not in favour of judges “interpreting” constitutions to reflect such values.

    Finally, and I have already wasted too much time on you, the tyranny of the majority is what you seem to be proposing. If the majority of the people want to return to slavery or embrace genocide, should we allow this? – No, because the Constitution does actually protect against those things. It doesn’t protect a right to same-sex marriage.

    To Kseniya. The lack of any mention of homosexuality in the constitution is telling. Is marriage defined at all? Does the state constitution explicity list the subgroups of humanity that are allowed to marry? Or those that are not? – No. If you read one of my earlier posts, you will note that the Court conceded that there is no express “right to marry” in the state constitution. They relied on an earlier case which interpreted the “right to privacy” as including a right to marry. I am arguing that where a right is not specifically protected by the constitution, and there is no evidence that the framers of the constitution wanted to protect that right, it should not be protected. The judges should not invent new “constitutional rights” that are not actually in the constitution.

    To negentropy: where in the constitution does it say that the term “marriage” is not the union between two human beings? – As I did actually say earlier, it doesn’t say anything about marriage at all. I don’t quite get the point of the question.

  • #386 D
    May 22, 2008

    Walton,
    Your interpretations seem to directly ignore the 9th amendment. I would also say that relying upon the intent of the constructors require us to depart from their historical norms and base our interpretation on our current times.

  • #387 Walton
    May 22, 2008

    I disagree, because that then leaves it up to the judges to decide what the norms of the “current times” are. We should stick to what the Constitution says, and what its authors intended it to mean.

  • #388 negentropyeater
    May 22, 2008

    The court acknowledged that there is no express “right to marry” in the California Constitution; rather, they relied on earlier cases which construed the “right to privacy” as conferring a right to marry. This involves a broad, and strained, construction of the rights in the Constitution – which, as I argued above, is fundamentally wrong, because those rights (since they take a policy question out of the hands of the democratic majority) must be construed narrowly.

    Does the california constitution confer a right to marry yes or no ? You think no, the court think yes.
    There lies the difference, so there’s only judicial activism if we accept that you are better able to interpret these texts than the judges. But why should we ?
    These judges are supposed to interpret texts that are not always 100% clear and judge to the best of their abilities what they mean. They consider that these text mean that a right to marry is conferred by the constitution.
    Ounce this is accepted, which I see no reason not to, (btw these judges aren’t particularly liberal if I’m not mistaken, aren’t 6 out of 7 republicans) the rest is just quite obvious.

  • #389 MartinM
    May 22, 2008

    We should stick to what the Constitution says…

    And the 9th amendment says that unenumerated rights exist. The entire point of the Constitution is that rights lie with the people, and no government may infringe upon them. Therefore the judiciary must attempt to ascertain whether or not an unenumerated right is being infringed; to do otherwise would be contrary to what the Constitution says.

  • #390 Leigh
    May 23, 2008

    Walton @ #387: “I disagree, because that then leaves it up to the judges to decide what the norms of the “current times” are. We should stick to what the Constitution says, and what its authors intended it to mean.”

    Really? And you don’t see that under your argument, interracial marriage would still be illegal?

    There is absolutely no difference in the two situations, you know. And perhaps I should remind you that, according to racist Christians, interracial marriage is ALSO “unbiblical”. Bigots just love to point to that misbegotten book to reinforce their prejudices.

  • #391 Etha Williams
    May 23, 2008

    @#387 Walton —

    I disagree, because that then leaves it up to the judges to decide what the norms of the “current times” are. We should stick to what the Constitution says, and what its authors intended it to mean.

    “It has been objected also against a bill of rights, that, by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration; and it might follow, by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government, and were consequently insecure. This is one of the most plausible arguments I have ever heard urged against the admission of a bill of rights into this system; but, I conceive, that it may be guarded against.” -James Madison, Address to the House of Representatives Regarding the Bill of Rights

    Hence the 9th Amendment.

  • #392 Kseniya
    May 23, 2008

    Bill: Thank you. :-)

    Walton:

    “If you read one of my earlier posts, you will note…”

    Sorry, I somehow missed that. :-/

    Leigh: It’s nice to see your name in the threads again.

    Etha, et al: To what extent does the 9th trump any restrictions imposed or implied by a state constitution?

  • #393 JeffreyD
    May 23, 2008

    Ah, did not realize this thread had reactivated as it was down for a while. I had responses ready for Walton once he gave the fully expected reply about not touching the holy state Constitution, but I see that D, negentropyeater, MartinM, Leigh (the heretical non-believer in the Giant Purple Bats), Etha and Kseniya have taken care of that very well. No need to toss my 1.5 cents (inflation) into the mix.

    Ciao, y’all

  • #394 Walton
    May 23, 2008

    To Leigh (post 390): Really? And you don’t see that under your argument, interracial marriage would still be illegal?

    No, it wouldn’t. You seem to have entirely missed the distinction I’m trying to draw. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments altered the Constitution to emancipate people of colour and enshrine racial equality as a constitutional right. This new right wasn’t created through action of the judiciary, it was created through actually changing the Constitution. There’s a clear difference.

    On the other hand, there has never been an amendment protecting homosexuals from discrimination. As we have established, the framers (either of the US Constitution or the California state constitution) did not intend to confer such protection. So the judges should not “update” the constitution to meet what they see as the contemporary needs of society.

    If an amendment were to be passed prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, it would be 100% right for the courts to rule that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

    As to your comments about the Bible, they’re entirely off-topic. I’m arguing about this from a legal, constitutional and democratic perspective; the Bible doesn’t enter into it. I honestly don’t care why so many American voters strongly oppose same-sex marriage; in a democracy, that’s up to them. I’m opposing this decision on the grounds of principle.

  • #395 Walton
    May 23, 2008

    In response to those above who’ve brought up the Ninth Amendment. Yes, it protects unenumerated rights, but I have to point out that the California Supreme Court did not seek to rely on the Ninth Amendment in justifying its decision, nor has it been used to justify any of the major controversial judicial rulings in recent decades. Furthermore, it does not function as an independent, separate source of federally enforceable rights. As Justice Arthur Goldberg said in Griswold v Connecticut, “I do not mean to imply that the …. Ninth Amendment constitutes an independent source of rights protected from infringement by either the States or the Federal Government.” The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Gibson v Matthews held that “the Ninth Amendment does not confer substantive rights in addition to those conferred by other portions of our governing law.”

    Even in Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court specifically did not seek to rely on the Ninth Amendment in construing a right to abortion (even though the District Court had done so). Justice William Douglas said: “The Ninth Amendment obviously does not create federally enforceable rights.”

    Rather, what it was intended to do was to ensure that the creation of the Bill of Rights, with enshrined constitutional rights, would not be seen to supersede and eliminate Americans’ traditional liberties under common law, the legal system inherited from England.

    Thus, I think the Ninth Amendment argument fails on a legal basis alone.

  • #396 Owlmirror
    May 23, 2008

    Perhaps some commentary by a legal analyst on the difference between the CA Constitution and the Federal Constitution might be germane…

    In the view of the California Supreme Court majority in the gay marriage case, the California Constitution mandates the equal treatment of same-sex and opposite-sex couples with respect to the right to marry – and to rule otherwise would be to slight the Court’s responsibility to enforce the state’s constitution regardless of the popular will.

    In the dissenters’ view, however, the majority has improperly substituted its moral judgment for that of the people of California, who have traditionally limited the right to marry to unions between a man and a woman.

    In my view, the majority has the better of this argument — for a somewhat ironic reason. The dissenting justices, even though they are state judges interpreting their state’s constitution, failed to recognize important distinctions between the California and the U.S. constitutions, regarding amendment procedures. Accordingly, they have obscured the fact that the case for extending the right to marry to same-sex couples under the California Constitution is significantly stronger than the case for recognizing such a right under the U.S. Constitution.

    Also:

    To begin, the California Constitution contains an affirmative grant of personal rights that has no analogue in the U.S. Constitution. Article I, section 1 of the California Constitution provides: “All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”

    California courts, moreover, had long recognized a “right to marry” to be a component of the state’s explicit constitutional protection of the right to “privacy,” not least because the right to privacy was added to the state constitution at a time when the right to marry was already thought to be subsumed within the concept of privacy.

    http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/lazarus/20080523.html

  • #397 Owlmirror
    May 23, 2008

    Oh, and a quick skim of the annotations, here, say nothing about the Ninth Amendment of the Federal Constitution being limited merely to the common law liberties from England.

    http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/constitution/amendment09/

  • #398 Leigh
    May 24, 2008

    Walden: “You seem to have entirely missed the distinction I’m trying to draw. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments altered the Constitution to emancipate people of colour and enshrine racial equality as a constitutional right. This new right wasn’t created through action of the judiciary, it was created through actually changing the Constitution. There’s a clear difference.”

    No, I understood your argument. I just think it’s wrong. The 13th and 15th amendments are explicitly about race. But the 14th amendment . . . whatever the historical context was (I’ll concede that part) . . . is not.

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Not any negro person, or any former slave. ANY PERSON. I’m not a strict constructionist, so frankly I don’t give a rat’s ass what was in those justices’ heads. They were men of their time, and not of our time. Our time is different in so many ways, and we’ve come so far in changing our society to expand our understanding of who qualifies as a “person”, that it would be a huge step backwards to limit ourselves to original intent.

    I understand where you’re coming from. And just between you and me and the several thousand people who may read this, I share some of your concerns, especially about Roe v. Wade. (I’m fully in support of the outcome, don’t mistake me; but the legal reasoning was a little . . . creative.)

    But consider, Walden, where we would be without Brown v. Board of Education, based on the 14th Amendment (that same one which doesn’t restrict itself to race as a criterion for a protected class). It took the Supreme Court to jolt us out of our comfortable rut of racism. Do you really believe that segregation, laws against interracial marriage, and all the wickedness of Jim Crow would have magically disappeared from our society WITHOUT the Supreme Court?

    And note, those evils took place WITH two constitutional amendments explicitly devoted to race. We didn’t see real movement forward until the Civil Rights Act was passed, more than ten years later, which took all the political capital Lyndon Johnson had earned over a brilliant career of decades. The danger of tyranny of the majority is very real.

    My point about racist Christians was not wandering from the topic, Walden. You missed MY point . . . our government was set up with checks and balances for a reason. The protections of the Constitution are for everyone, but to have any meaning, they MUST be enforced as a matter of secular law, no matter how despised a minority group may be by the majority.

    As a practical matter, justice is easier if you have majority buy-in. But for African-Americans, the process took many decades and is still ongoing. How long must we wait for ALL people to be truly equal?

  • #399 Leigh
    May 24, 2008

    I’m sorry, Walton, that I mistook your name. I have Thoreau on the brain.

  • #400 Walton
    May 24, 2008

    To Leigh (supra #398). You say: I’m not a strict constructionist, so frankly I don’t give a rat’s ass what was in those justices’ heads. They were men of their time, and not of our time. Our time is different in so many ways, and we’ve come so far in changing our society to expand our understanding of who qualifies as a “person”, that it would be a huge step backwards to limit ourselves to original intent.

    The argument I’m making is that everyone should be a “strict constructionist” (a term which ought not to be synonymous with “political conservative”). Yes, society has changed dramatically since the enactment of the 14th Amendment. There may be a necessity for the Constitution to change with it. But if the Constitution needs to change, it should do so through the amendment process, not through judicial interpretation. The Constitution is designed to protect certain basic rights; what those rights are can be determined through a literal reading of the Constitution itself, and, where this is ambiguous, through seeking to understand what its framers intended.

    I will say, though, that I’m not attempting to argue that the 14th Amendment should only protect from discrimination on grounds of color or race. It does say “…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Thus, if a state law were to be passed denying homosexuals the vote, for instance, or access to the courts, this would be unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment; I don’t think any sane person would argue otherwise. It’s clear from a literal reading of the text.

    Moving on to your comments on Brown v Board. You say: Do you really believe that segregation, laws against interracial marriage, and all the wickedness of Jim Crow would have magically disappeared from our society WITHOUT the Supreme Court? – No, I don’t. This was a good thing that the Supreme Court achieved. But that wasn’t actually judicial activism, though it was labelled as such by segregationists. Rather, it was based on a literal reading of the 14th Amendment and a common-sense application of it to the situation. It was legally correct. When I express my disagreement with “judicial activism”, I’m certainly not asserting that judges should not make any decision which has a political impact; I’m trying to say that the courts should enforce the law as it stands, not as they think it ought to be.

    Where the Supreme Court did go too far on the issue of race was with cases such as Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, where they ordered that the racial imbalance between different schools in a district be redressed by forced busing. In that instance, they departed from the 14th Amendment. The “equal protection of the laws” does not mean the forced creation of a greater state of de facto social equality. Similarly, today’s affirmative action processes ought IMO to be ruled unconstitutional (at least in the context of government employment and state-owned educational facilities), since they effectively discriminate on the basis of race (against whites), therefore denying some people the equal protection of the laws on a racial basis.

    Finally: The protections of the Constitution are for everyone, but to have any meaning, they MUST be enforced as a matter of secular law, no matter how despised a minority group may be by the majority. – I agree entirely. But the judges shouldn’t invent new constitutional rights in order to thwart the will of the majority, simply because they believe that the majority is wrong. As I said, it would be unconstitutional (under the 14th Amendment, and certainly under all state constitutions as well) if a law were enacted depriving homosexuals of the right to vote, the right of free speech or the right of access to the courts, even if there were overwhelming popular approval for such a measure. But in terms of marriage, homosexuals were not being denied the equal protection of the laws; to put it in simple mechanical terms, a homosexual in California prior to this ruling had exactly the same marriage rights as a heterosexual (i.e. to marry someone of the opposite sex). I realise that’s pedantic, and it would be wholly unsatisfactory as a normative argument against same-sex marriage, but from the standpoint of pure legal reasoning I do think it’s relevant.

  • #401 Leigh
    May 24, 2008

    Walton, you frame a coherent conservative position on the issue. Unlike some conservatives, you clearly recognize what it is you want to conserve!

    But it seems to me that the legal reasoning in Loving v. Virginia can be applied (almost word for word) in support of gay marriage. The court said:

    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.
    . . .
    There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.

    So there you are, an earlier opinion setting precedent to affirm the very freedom we’re discussing. Marriage IS a civil rights issue.

    Look at how easily the reasoning in Loving v. Virginia can be adapted to a gay marriage case:

    “Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man’, fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the homophobia embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious gender discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, the person of one’s choice resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State. ”

    . . .

    “There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious gender discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only marriages involving gay or lesbian persons demonstrates that the gender classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain heterosexual privilege.”

  • #402 Leigh
    May 24, 2008

    Such a suit would probably hinge on whether there is a “legitimate overriding purpose”. “I think gay sex is icky and I would freak out if a married gay couple moved in next door” or “the Bible prohibits it, so you’re persecuting Christians if you allow it” might not be good enough at the Supreme Court level.

  • #403 JeffreyD
    May 24, 2008

    Leigh, re your #401 and previous on this thread – Brava! Brava!

    Walton, you put you arguments well, but I do not accept your reasoning. I still believe the Constitution meant what it said about granting freedoms. I personally do not want to see an amendment that says it is OK to be gay and for gays to marry because I not think it is necessary. I think the Constitution as written allows for it (being gay and marrying), and yes, this is my interpretation. We, as a people, still have much catching up to do to meet the freedoms the Constitution granted us. We will just disagree on this point.

    Ciao, y’all

  • #404 Owlmirror
    May 24, 2008

    Walton, since you seem to be conceding that the California Supreme Court correctly interpreted the California Constitution, and you’re more interested in arguing from the Federal Constitution anyway, I’ll explicitly make a federal case out of the whole business.

    Is the so-called Defense of Marriage Act constitutional?
    Are state limitations on marriage constitutional?

    Given that the 14th Amendment has been used to affirm the right of individuals to form all sorts of contracts, I think it is reasonable to assert that placing gender-based restrictions on the formation of marriage contracts violates the 14th Amendment.

    Given that the 4th Amendment protects against unreasonable searches of persons, I think it is reasonable to state that people have the right to assert a gender without fear of the state denying any given individual their preferred gender by forcing them to submit to a medical and physical exam, and further forcing said individual to abide by the state-mandated exam. Therefore, explicitly gender-biased laws about marriage violate the 4th amendment as well.

    IANAL, of course. This is not legal advice.

  • #405 Walton
    May 24, 2008

    To Owlmirror (supra #404).

    …since you seem to be conceding that the California Supreme Court correctly interpreted the California Constitution – Not necessarily. I just don’t know enough about the California state constitution to continue arguing the point, whereas I am very familiar with the federal constitution.

    Your interpretations of the 4th and 14th Amendments are perhaps textually tenable, but the problem I have is their explicit departure from original intent. It is abundantly clear that the framers of these amendments did not intend them to confer marriage rights on same-sex couples, and, indeed, those eighteenth- and nineteenth-century statesmen would have found the idea absurd.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that society ought to be bound by the moral norms of the past. But I do think that the effect of rights enshrined in the Constitution should be limited by two things: the wording of the Constitution and the intent of its framers.

    The reason for this – that is, the reason why I advocate strict constructionism – is that the enshrinement of constitutional rights is inherently non-democratic, because it takes some spheres of public policy out of the remit of majoritarian politics. There are undoubtedly sound reasons for doing this, and it’s clearly what the Bill of Rights (and subsequent amendments) was intended to achieve; but the legitimacy of such enshrined rights stems from the fact that the people’s representatives endorsed those rights through the constitutional amendment process. Thus, the effect of those rights should be limited to what the people’s representatives intended at the time of enshrining them in the Constitution. So even where the text would support a broader interpretation, I don’t think the courts should depart dramatically from original intent; because if they do, the concept of “constitutional rights” loses its inherent legitimacy, and is defined simply by what the judiciary think it should mean.

    I will say, though, that there is a difference between creating new rights and simply reasoning by analogy. Thus, I do agree, for instance, with the Supreme Court’s decision in Romer v Evans, in which they held that the 14th Amendment renders unconstitutional a state law which prevents governmental action to protect homosexuals from discrimination. While the 14th Amendment was intended to protect African-Americans rather than homosexuals, I have no problem with, on a literal reading of the text, interpreting it to cover a different minority.

    But what it doesn’t do is create a new right – the right to marry a person of the same sex. As I said, looking at it on a purely mechanical, legalistic basis, the law of marriage does afford equal protection to all people, whether homosexual or heterosexual – all are equally entitled to marry a person of the opposite sex. I know this would be a wholly unsatisfactory normative argument against same-sex marriage, and it seems pedantic, but I think it is a valid distinction as regards legal reasoning.

  • #406 Owlmirror
    May 24, 2008

    But what it doesn’t do is create a new right – the right to marry a person of the same sex.

    You’re ignoring the essence of my first argument: that same-sex marriage is not a “new” right at all, but rather is a type of contract, which of course has enormous precedent.

    The point that a marriage contract between two persons of the same sex would have appeared absurd to the original statesmen is hardly relevant: As you say, we are not bound by the moral norms of the past.

    The protection of rights is precisely meant to be a universal and general principle, rather than something meant for some particular day and age.

    The reason for this – that is, the reason why I advocate strict constructionism – is that the enshrinement of constitutional rights is inherently non-democratic, because it takes some spheres of public policy out of the remit of majoritarian politics.

    Hm. So what?

    If the public policy in question does not actually affect the majority negatively, — that is, it does not restrict their rights in any substantive way — then why does the majority have any say whatsoever in preventing said policy?

    Emphasizing individual rights as a general principle does actually benefit the majority, even if they do not see it that way at first.

    Given that the general mass who oppose same-sex marriage do so not out of known harm, but rather out of a sense of revulsion — the same sort of revulsion that underlies racism or misogyny — it is proper to reject their bigoted, prejudiced, and discriminatory voice in this instance of the reinforcement of general and universal rights.

  • #407 Leigh
    May 24, 2008

    Walton, Owlmirror and I have demonstrated, rather conclusively I think, that same-sex marriage is not a new right at all. Your counter to our argument from the 14th Amendment, that the Framers would not have intended such a thing, is specious. By your own admission, their morals are not our morals. That defeats your primary argument, I believe. Do you agree?

    If the Supreme Court agreed with your reasoning, Loving v. Virginia would have resulted in an adverse verdict. I defy you to demonstrated that an interracial marriage would not have shocked, horrified, and disgusted many if not most of the Framers. That they were men of their time does not mean we should be men of their time.

  • #408 Walton
    May 24, 2008

    To Leigh and Owlmirror.

    By your own admission, their morals are not our morals. – True. But if you’re using the argument that society’s consensus on morality has changed since the 14th Amendment was framed, then it ought to be pointed out that, according to the popular vote in many states (including, obviously, California), society’s stance on same-sex marriage hasn’t changed; a majority of people still believe it to be immoral. Thus, when you say that “their morals are not our morals”, what do you mean by “our morals”? Who defines what is the “correct” moral standard in modern society?

    If the Supreme Court agreed with your reasoning, Loving v. Virginia would have resulted in an adverse verdict. I defy you to demonstrated that an interracial marriage would not have shocked, horrified, and disgusted many if not most of the Framers. – Not necessarily. We’re talking about the 14th Amendment here, an amendment which was specifically passed for the purpose of granting equal rights to African-Americans. I don’t honestly know what its framers thought of interracial marriage, but I don’t doubt that they must at least have considered the possibility in framing the amendment. On the other hand, there is absolutely no way they would have even imagined that the amendment could be used to guarantee a right to same-sex marriage.

    Owlmirror at #408: If the public policy in question does not actually affect the majority negatively, — that is, it does not restrict their rights in any substantive way — then why does the majority have any say whatsoever in preventing said policy? – So who do you trust to decide on public policy, if not the democratic majority? The courts? Judges are neither superhuman nor infallible. No one is. I would far rather trust a democratic majority – wrong as it sometimes is – to make controversial decisions.

    Given that the general mass who oppose same-sex marriage do so not out of known harm, but rather out of a sense of revulsion — the same sort of revulsion that underlies racism or misogyny — it is proper to reject their bigoted, prejudiced, and discriminatory voice in this instance of the reinforcement of general and universal rights. – This presumes that there is an objective, universally applicable concept of “general and universal rights” and that the judges, in their infinite wisdom, can be trusted to know what this is and to apply it. Furthermore, your comment that “it is proper to reject their bigoted, prejudiced, and discriminatory voice” seems rather elitist; are you saying the masses can’t be trusted to govern themselves? If so, what’s the point in democracy at all?

  • #409 Leigh
    May 24, 2008

    Ah, strong comeback, Walton!

    Furthermore, your comment that “it is proper to reject their bigoted, prejudiced, and discriminatory voice” seems rather elitist; are you saying the masses can’t be trusted to govern themselves? If so, what’s the point in democracy at all?

    Yes, indeed, that it was we are saying. It’s what the Framers were saying as well, in this sense:

    They were well aware that the majority could destroy the republic by enacting legislation that would trample the rights of the minority. That was the whole point, after all, of the Bill of Rights. That was the whole point of creating a judiciary whose role it is to evaluate the tension between minority rights and majority rule.

    Their overall objective was to create a stable Republic in which individual rights were maximized within the bounds of a decent and healthy society.

    I point out to you, once again, that the 14th Amendment says nothing about race. There is no objective reason to use it to differentiate between interracial and same-sex marriage. If your argument as stated above had prevailed, Loving v. Virginia would have failed.

    After all, in this instance and at that time, the majority consensus about interracial marriage would have undoubtedly declared it to be immoral.

    In a aside, I want to personally welcome you to the board and tell you how glad I am to hear a true and rational conservative voice. This is the most fun I’ve had in quite a while.

  • #410 Leigh
    May 24, 2008

    I look forward to rejoining battle in a bit . . . time to go to dinner!

    JeffreyD, my husband wants to go for Cajun food, but we have a guest who prefers something else. I envied you and your shrimp and grits last night!

  • #411 JeffreyD
    May 25, 2008

    Leigh, re your #410, while I am still too morning stupid for much coherent thought, I do hope you enjoyed your dinner last night and got something at least as good as Cajun. Come to Charleston SC some time when I am in country and will take you and hubby out for good seafood. Later today, plan to treat myself to fried shrimp, hush puppies, a martini and other good things. Stocking up on taste memory favourites before I go overseas again.

    Morning to you, off to catch up on the blog threads.

  • #412 Owlmirror
    May 25, 2008

    Thus, when you say that “their morals are not our morals”, what do you mean by “our morals”? Who defines what is the “correct” moral standard in modern society?

    To a certain extent, touché. Who decides, indeed?

    What I had in mind was that many, if not most, of the 18th and 19th century statesmen clearly had morals which included the unexamined beliefs in racism and sexism which we would now recognize as being morally wrong.

    It also occurs to me that examining what their “intent” was is rather useless for other reasons which are harder to articulate; I will need to think about this more.

    So who do you trust to decide on public policy, if not the democratic majority? The courts? Judges are neither superhuman nor infallible. No one is. I would far rather trust a democratic majority – wrong as it sometimes is – to make controversial decisions.

    Oh? Yet you yourself reject the democratic majority’s decisions on race. On what basis?

    I would insist that decisions about rights are best made by those who are best informed, either by informing themselves or by being informed by those who have actually studied the issues, and who are the most honest, and who are the most-fair minded. Do you disagree? Do you think that decisions should be made by those with clear bias; with unreasoned bigotry; by the stupid and deceitful?

    This presumes that there is an objective, universally applicable concept of “general and universal rights”

    How about the extension of basic ethics to all persons and groups? Do as you would be done by if the situation were reversed. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you, if you were them.

    You yourself have no particular problem with same-sex marriage, yet you offer no objection to that right being blocked, presumably because same-sex marriage has no potential benefit to you anyway.

    and that the judges, in their infinite wisdom, can be trusted to know what this is and to apply it.

    All we can hope for is that judges be informed, and be fair minded. Sometimes those hopes are thoroughly crushed. Sometimes we get a Dred Scott decision, which just goes to show that judges can be just as biased and bigoted as the people of their own communities.

    Furthermore, your comment that “it is proper to reject their bigoted, prejudiced, and discriminatory voice” seems rather elitist; are you saying the masses can’t be trusted to govern themselves? If so, what’s the point in democracy at all?

    I am saying that when the masses oppose rights for others based on fear, confusion, personal disgust, false beliefs continually propagated, and religious irrelevancies, then no, they cannot be trusted to be fair-minded towards others.

    This doesn’t have to do with governing themselves; it has to do with governing others, or rather, controlling others.

    And speaking of elitism… Again, you agreed that racist laws were wrong. Does that mean that you think you’re better than those who thought that racial oppression and segregation were right?

  • #413 Walton
    May 26, 2008

    Some responses to Owlmirror at #412. I have a lot more to say, but don’t have time today, and need to consider the question in more depth; I’ll try and write a more detailed reply tomorrow.

    Oh? Yet you yourself reject the democratic majority’s decisions on race. On what basis? – On the basis that the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, which guaranteed basic civil rights to persons of color, were passed by the democratic amendment process laid down by the Constitution, which requires much broader democratic support than any state law. Simply put, in democratic terms, a constitutional amendment trumps a state law, because a constitutional amendment is the product of a complex process which cannot succeed without a very broad national consensus. Therefore, constitutionally speaking, the courts were quite right to invalidate segregationist state laws which violated those constitutional amendments. So this doesn’t involve a departure from the general democratic principle.

    I would insist that decisions about rights are best made by those who are best informed, either by informing themselves or by being informed by those who have actually studied the issues, and who are the most honest, and who are the most-fair minded. – But who decides which people are the “best informed”, or the “most honest”, or the “most fair-minded”? This is where all political theories based on elitism fall down – who determines which people are fit to join the elite?

    Do you think that decisions should be made by those with clear bias; with unreasoned bigotry; by the stupid and deceitful? – This is something of a straw man argument, and again runs into definitional problems. Every single human being with opinions has a “clear bias”. You have a bias, as do I. And are you suggesting that those people who you view as “stupid and deceitful” ought to be deprived of any decision-making power?

    How about the extension of basic ethics to all persons and groups? Do as you would be done by if the situation were reversed. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you, if you were them. – This is certainly a rationally defensible theory of general ethics, and I can understand the use of this to justify same-sex marriage. But people’s views on ethics differ, depending on their philosophical, moral and religious convictions and their cultural context. Since we have established that your view of ethics is not necessarily endorsed by a broad consensus of modern society, on what basis do you assert that your theory of ethics is “right” and opposing views are “wrong”?

    Again, you agreed that racist laws were wrong. Does that mean that you think you’re better than those who thought that racial oppression and segregation were right? – No. They were of their time. Historically, scientific racism and eugenicist theories were popular; it was widely believed that African-Americans and other persons of color were biologically inferior on some level. As a matter of scientific fact, we now know this to be incorrect, but our forebears did not know that. The behavior of the likes of George Wallace in the 1960s may be less excusable, in an age when eugenics had already been thoroughly discredited; but bear in mind that people of that generation had grown up in a thoroughly racist and racially-segregated environment, and were taught from an early age that African-Americans were inferior. It’s also notable that many ex-segregationists – George Wallace among them – later repudiated their earlier racism. So no, I don’t look back at the past with a modern condemnatory eye.

    I do consider myself “better” – both in an intellectual and a moral sense – than those unreconstructed racists who persist today, because their ideas have been thoroughly discredited by both science and history. But those racists are a small minority, and are not able on their own to implement change through the democratic process; thus they are substantially irrelevant.

  • #414 Owlmirror
    May 26, 2008

    Oh? Yet you yourself reject the democratic majority’s decisions on race. On what basis? – On the basis that the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, which guaranteed basic civil rights to persons of color, were passed by the democratic amendment process laid down by the Constitution, which requires much broader democratic support than any state law. […] So this doesn’t involve a departure from the general democratic principle.

    And neither do my arguments. To paraphrase your own words, the 14th Amendment guaranteed basic civil rights to all persons; I think that the interpretation that this covers the right to form a contract between any two persons, which contract may be called a “marriage”, is the correct interpretation. If the Supreme Court comes to the same conclusion, the democratic majority — if such a thing even exists — would be as much in the wrong as those who created the segregationist legal systems.

    But who decides which people are the “best informed”, or the “most honest”, or the “most fair-minded”?

    I’m in favor of empirical, evidence-based systems that have systematic transparency, and full accountability. How about you?

    This is where all political theories based on elitism fall down – who determines which people are fit to join the elite?

    Being informed and honest is an “elite”?

    And are you suggesting that those people who you view as “stupid and deceitful” ought to be deprived of any decision-making power?

    Now who is making a straw-man argument, with that “any decision-making power”?

    And I will turn the question around again: Are you saying that decisions about rights should be made by the ignorant and fraudulent?

    How about the extension of basic ethics to all persons and groups? Do as you would be done by if the situation were reversed. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you, if you were them. – This is certainly a rationally defensible theory of general ethics, and I can understand the use of this to justify same-sex marriage. But people’s views on ethics differ, depending on their philosophical, moral and religious convictions and their cultural context.

    And yet, I would suggest that those differing views are merely hypocritical. In any and every other situation, they would gladly use the above conceptualization of fairness and ethics. It is only when they are in the majority and discussing those that they have demonized that they are willing to make exceptions to the very basic ideas of fairness and ethics above.

    This really does bring us back to the whole idea of the tyranny of the majority. Are you really trying to defend the notion that if the majority says that the many should be allowed to oppress the few, their “view” of ethics should prevail?

    If you have some other ideas in mind for these differing “views” of ethics, I think you need to articulate what they are more clearly and explicitly.

    I do consider myself “better” – both in an intellectual and a moral sense – than those unreconstructed racists who persist today, because their ideas have been thoroughly discredited by both science and history.

    So you’re OK with being an elitist when you’re certain that you’re in the right? Welcome to the club.

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