pageok
pageok
pageok
Debating Prop 8 and its aftermath:

There's an interesting ongoing debate at The New Republic between Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Just over the litigation approach to getting gay marriage. Basically, Rosen dislikes the emphasis on litigation and Just thinks it has been valuable.

Elsewhere, the ever-wise Jon Rauch has some thoughts on how the growing protests over Prop 8 may help move attention away from courts and toward a genuine political movement. Or as he puts it, "Goodbye Thurgood Marshall, hello Martin Luther King." I hope he's right, though it's too early to tell how much staying power these protests are going to have in the absence of concrete results. One big difference I see: MLK led the black civil rights movement from churches. We're picketing them.

UPDATE: The L.A. Times weighs in, cataloguing the mistakes of the No on 8 campaign.

Public_Defender (mail):
It's really hard to avoid litigation. The new law discriminates against tens of thousands. It only takes one to file a lawsuit that the courts have to decide.

If the marriage equality side tries to push a suit, it could pick a particularly sympathetic plaintiff--for example, a child denied death benefits from a deceased non-biological gay parent. Let the "Christians" explain why the children of gay parents should be denied the legal protections enjoyed by children of heterosexual parents.

As to boycotting churches, a lot of California churches support marriage equality, so there is a religious base for the pro-marriage movement. Hopefully, it won't be ignored.
11.11.2008 5:38pm
K. Dackson (mail):
Jeez, all I hear is how we Republicans should just get over it and let bygones be bygones.

Maybe these people should try to take a little of that medicine.

The losers in this certainly have the right to mary anyone of the opposite sex they wish. Be creative, a couple of gay men and a couple of lesbians get married in the conventional way. Then have an "open" relationship and live under the same roof.

These people need to grow up and learn to be good losers.
11.11.2008 5:46pm
just me (mail):
I think demonstrating or disrupting religious services is over the top.

I also think it may back fire-not sure how seeing somebody disrupt your service is going to do much to tamp down fears or concerns that the pro marriage crowd isn't out to harm your religion or beliefs.

It is interesting to watch though, and in a lot of ways is why I don't think the courts or the ballot box through propositions is the best place to hammer out the issue.
11.11.2008 5:50pm
Malvolio:
The only good thing about Prop 8's defeat -- I won't have to listen to any "Obama has a mandate, the GOP should just roll over and accept the Will of the People." Anybody says that to me, I can ask, "So we should just accept Prop 8?"
11.11.2008 5:56pm
dh (mail):
Protesting churches is a perfectly legitimate way of exposing their lies in getting their congregations to vote yes.

Moreover, the Mormon Church is not especially popular; if the anti-gay marriage cause is associated with them, then it will help gay marriage proponents. Let's call it the "Mormon Amendment."
11.11.2008 6:01pm
Houston Lawyer:
I don't think protesting is going to do the pro SSM side much good. Just look back at the clips of the Civil Rights protestors. For the most part, they were calm, cool and collected, not to mention well dressed. Their opponents behaved like idiots.

The pro-SSM protesters generally act like a bunch of jackasses. They spew almost as much hate and bigotry as was thrown back at the Civil Rights protestors.
11.11.2008 6:02pm
jnet (mail):
Most churches have never been a reliable and welcoming safe harbor for same-sex couples or single gay men and women, so I think we'll wait in vain for a church-based gay civil rights movement. The gays and lesbians need to take ownership of their rights and stop being victims - demand equal protection of the law
11.11.2008 6:06pm
Perseus (mail):
I think demonstrating or disrupting religious services is over the top.
I also think it may back fire-not sure how seeing somebody disrupt your service is going to do much to tamp down fears or concerns that the pro marriage crowd isn't out to harm your religion or beliefs.


Exactly. I'm sure they are gathering footage for use in the next ad war. Indeed, those of us in the vast right-wing conspiracy anticipated this sort of reaction, so our Rovian plot is unfolding just as planned.
11.11.2008 6:10pm
Josh644 (mail):
Jeez, all I hear is how we Republicans should just get over it and let bygones be bygones.

Get over what? Had some right stripped away lately?
11.11.2008 6:11pm
Cornellian (mail):
The losers in this certainly have the right to mary anyone of the opposite sex they wish. Be creative, a couple of gay men and a couple of lesbians get married in the conventional way. Then have an "open" relationship and live under the same roof.

That's how Prop 8 supporters propose to "defend" the sanctity of marriage?
11.11.2008 6:22pm
MarkField (mail):

Jeez, all I hear is how we Republicans should just get over it and let bygones be bygones.

Maybe these people should try to take a little of that medicine.


You mean like those silly gun owners in DC who meekly sat back and handed in their guns instead of mounting a court challenge?
11.11.2008 6:26pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):

You mean like those silly gun owners in DC who meekly sat back and handed in their guns instead of mounting a court challenge?


hmm, i am not sure its analogous
11.11.2008 6:31pm
Cornellian (mail):

hmm, i am not sure its analogous


How about that ballot proposition that would have prohibited an abortion by a girl under 18 without parental notification? That proposition was defeated for the third time in a row here in California, but somehow I don't think the pro-life crowd is just going to pack it in and move on.
11.11.2008 6:43pm
Henri Le Compte (mail):
Cornellian:
I'm curious (genuinely, this is not snark) about why it is that abortion is unique among surgical procedures with regard to parental consent. I work in the medical field, and we cannot prescribe a medication or remove a mole without written parental consent. What makes abortion so different? I assure you that it has nothing to do with the relative risks associated with the procedure.

As a father of two daughters, it strikes me as friggin' radical to say that my child cannot get a flu shot without my written consent, but an abortion? Sure!
11.11.2008 6:53pm
Poplicola:
dh writes: "[T]he Mormon Church is not especially popular; if the anti-gay marriage cause is associated with them, then it will help gay marriage proponents. Let's call it the 'Mormon Amendment.'"

Heck, dh, if that's the approach you want to take, why not tap into perhaps even stronger unpopular association. Why not call it the Black Amendment or the Jewish Amendment. Of course that would be bad PR so I can see why one would vent soley against Mormons.

As a second thought, it might be better to call it the Amendment Defining Marriage, since 52% of voting Californians supported it.

It's comments like these that make me agree with Houston Lawyer.
11.11.2008 6:54pm
Bitter Voter:
I'll trade you Gay Marriage for Must-Issue Concealed Carry and repeal of the California Assault Weapons and .50 Caliber Bans. A right for a right.
11.11.2008 7:00pm
Cornellian (mail):
Henri,

I have no idea what the law is with regard to parental notification for treatment generally, or for abortion in particular. I raised that as an example of not giving up just because you've lost the first vote, not as an argument for or against that particular parental notification proposition.

By the way, and this is going off on a bit of a tangent, but while it may be generally true that parental consent is required for medical procedures, what about the situation of a 15 year old boy who wants a life saving medical procedure but the parents oppose it for religious reasons?
11.11.2008 7:02pm
Cornellian (mail):
I'll trade you Gay Marriage for Must-Issue Concealed Carry and repeal of the California Assault Weapons and .50 Caliber Bans. A right for a right.

I'd take both of those in a heartbeat.
11.11.2008 7:11pm
Vanceone (mail):
Well, one thing is sure: gay marriage is much less likely to get any LDS votes from now on. There were several LDS people who were opposed to Prop 8. Now, they look like fools for bucking the church--because one thing is quite, quite clear: Gays are targeting Mormons, trying to strip them of various rights. Just as the leadership said, in fact....

Yeah, I think SSM advocates are going to have a MUCH harder time defending the "We won't strike at religious rights!" rhetoric in the future. From now on, when the standard SSM argument is "how does two men marrying hurt you, a straight person?" I can just say that I'm LDS and the gay community IS actively trying to harm my church and faith. They want to strip my tax deduction, and judging from the signs I've seen at various protests, they want to do a heck of a lot more than that to the LDS church, including various sorts of bans.

Sure, they probably can't do it now, but if prop 8 had failed, targeting "hate speech" by "Bigoted Mormons" would have been much easier. And as we can tell, there is certainly a strong movement among the gay community to strip the rights of LDS people and the church in general. And that affects me, regardless of my sexual orientation.
11.11.2008 7:11pm
tsotha:
Oh, Bitter Voter, you're just, uh, bitterly clinging to your guns. I mean just because .50s have never been used in a crime in California is no reason not to ban them. They're scary looking!
11.11.2008 7:12pm
just me (mail):
How about that ballot proposition that would have prohibited an abortion by a girl under 18 without parental notification? That proposition was defeated for the third time in a row here in California, but somehow I don't think the pro-life crowd is just going to pack it in and move on.

I don't think gays who want marriage should pack it in and give up.

I do think protesting and disrupting religious services isn't going to help them get what they want, and will only cause more harm in the long run.

I think it is important for gays who want marriage to realize that the religious right isn't the only problem they have with marriage equality. In California Obama won in a romp-but the measure still passed. This means there are a lot of democrats out there who voted yes on the measure.

This means that being against gays isn't just a problem in one party, or even among one group. I am a fairly religious person, but I do not support the various ballot measures that restricting marriage and feel very little threat from the idea of gay marriage. Just like my neighbors divorce has little bearing on my marriage Steve and Bob being married has very little bearing on my marriage. But having a bunch of angry gays protesting outside my house of worship would make me uncomfortable and would make me feel threatened.
11.11.2008 7:12pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
One problem with trying to shape the post-Prop-8 strategy -- anyone can file a lawsuit. And a lawsuit to overturn Prop 8, for better or worse, will be associated with the anti-8 "movement," whether or not it was a strategy widely agreed upon.

You're not going to stop Gloria Allred from filing a lawsuit. Not when there's publicity to be had. (You've heard of suicide by cop? Try suicide by lawyer -- step between Gloria and a camera.)

So debating whether the people who consider themselves the leaders of the gay rights or marriage equality or anti-8 movements should pursue litigation is fundamentally pointless. Someone is going to pursue it.

Maybe something more creative and attention-catching is called for.

How about a petition to ban divorce?
11.11.2008 7:13pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):

How about that ballot proposition that would have prohibited an abortion by a girl under 18 without parental notification? That proposition was defeated for the third time in a row here in California, but somehow I don't think the pro-life crowd is just going to pack it in and move on.


i meant as far as the second amendment is explicitly stated in the constitution while abortion and SSM are not (i recognize there are innumerable things that we take for granted that are not explicitly stated in the constitution). that is why i said i didn't think it was necessarily analogous.
11.11.2008 7:16pm
More importantly . . .:
I'm with Bitter Voter on this one. I'd happily trade gay marriage for a shall issue system. We can compromise on the abortion and lop-sided income tax issues later.
11.11.2008 7:17pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):

By the way, and this is going off on a bit of a tangent, but while it may be generally true that parental consent is required for medical procedures, what about the situation of a 15 year old boy who wants a life saving medical procedure but the parents oppose it for religious reasons?



i have the same question(and re the under 18 abortion). maybe one of the profs can enlighten in a separate post?
11.11.2008 7:18pm
A Berman (mail):
While you're at it, protest married couples with children under 18. They voted for Proposition 8 by a two-to-one margin.

Guess they're too busy raising the next generation to learn about how their view of marriage is bigoted.
11.11.2008 7:20pm
KeithK (mail):

If the marriage equality side tries to push a suit, it could pick a particularly sympathetic plaintiff--for example, a child denied death benefits from a deceased non-biological gay parent. Let the "Christians" explain why the children of gay parents should be denied the legal protections enjoyed by children of heterosexual parents.


That's not how courts are supposed to work. The fact that a law may create negative, even tragic consequences, for some citizens doesn't make it unconstitutional.
11.11.2008 7:24pm
MarkField (mail):

i meant as far as the second amendment is explicitly stated in the constitution while abortion and SSM are not (i recognize there are innumerable things that we take for granted that are not explicitly stated in the constitution). that is why i said i didn't think it was necessarily analogous.


Your original response doesn't seem to me to undercut my point. As long as someone believes there's a right, it doesn't make much sense to tell them "the majority voted, go home". The whole point of a right is that majority rule is limited to some extent.

As for being mentioned, that again doesn't matter because I wasn't referring to the merits, but to the individual belief in the right as a motive for litigation.

I won't get into the whole "mentioned" issue in more detail because it gets us into the 9th A, case law, parsing words, etc. and would divert the thread.
11.11.2008 7:26pm
KeithK (mail):

One problem with trying to shape the post-Prop-8 strategy -- anyone can file a lawsuit. And a lawsuit to overturn Prop 8, for better or worse, will be associated with the anti-8 "movement," whether or not it was a strategy widely agreed upon....Someone is going to pursue it.


It may not be possible to prevent others from filing a lawsuit over Prop. 8. But it is possible for leaders of the movement to avoid supporting such efforts and to downplay their importance. A lawsuit filed by John Doe that loses in court quietly provides little negative publicity. The same lawsuit can provide lots of negative publicity if it's praised far and wide and the judges and people of California are widely called bigots when it loses.

(I'm assuming a loss because I can't see any principled argument why Prop. 8 could fail under California law and I doubt that SCOTUS is going to sustain a federal equal protection claim any time soon.)
11.11.2008 7:31pm
Shouting Thomas (mail) (www):
Jesus Christ, what is this burr up the ass you guys have about gay marriage?

Why do you want people to turn homosexual?

What in the world got all of you morons fixated on this childish nonsense? Listen, I used to work for lawyers, so I know just how stupid and childish lawyers can be.

I guess you liked the AIDS epidemic.

Don't you morons have something better to do than promote buggery? Really.

Stop proving how tolerant you are. You're making asses out of yourselves.

Aspire, for a moment, to the level of common sense you'd expect out of a long haul truck driver who listens to country music. If you can...

How did you contract this dementia? Is it a virus?
11.11.2008 7:31pm
tom:
Over at TNR, Richard Just appeals to science as a justification to overrule the current quaint method of letting the CA populace amend their constitution as they see fit. In particular, he writes:

Fifty years ago, people would have scoffed at the notion that sexual orientation was an immutable category similar to race or gender. Today, that idea is widely accepted, at least by psychologists and others who study the subject.


Not exactly. The debate on this point among psychologists who are informed on the subject is as heated as ever. Unless, I suppose, one only considers as 'informed' psychologists who agree with them on this issue, then one can create a consensus real quick... While lots of psychologists regard homosexuality as immutable, their opinions are based on personal belief as much as a preponderance of unambiguous data. The vast majority of the psychologists I know will admit that freely. The data is inconclusive, and we don't pretend otherwise.

Mr. Just seems to suggest we ignore the current voter cohort in CA based on non-existent science.
11.11.2008 7:31pm
Hoosier:
By the way, and this is going off on a bit of a tangent, but while it may be generally true that parental consent is required for medical procedures, what about the situation of a 15 year old boy who wants a life saving medical procedure but the parents oppose it for religious reasons?

Parental consent can be overridden in certain jurisdictions under certain circumstances. But has anyone ever suggested that Hypothetical Boy (A cool new superhero?) be anesthetized and cut open without parental notification? I'm the father of a daughter, as well as two sons. The idea that anyone would have the authority to treat one of my children for any medical condition of any kind without my consent--unless it were a matter of life-and-death--is totally unacceptable. To do so without notifying me is the individual equivalent of an act of war. I'm a pretty moderate conservative, but I'm radical about my family. I doubt I'm alone.

Re: Disrupting Religious Services

Don't do it!

ACT-UP's Brownshirt tactics at St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1989 devastated relations between sympathetic Catholics and the AIDS/HIV community. ("Brownshirt"? Yes. Storming a peaceful public gathering, shouting down the speakers, and trashing the space, all in order to intimidate perceived opponents and gain publicity: Let's not shrink from calling a spade a bloody shovel. And since Kramer likens AIDS in the '80s to the Holocaust in the '40s, I won't be taking any guff for the simile.)

Watching an interview with Larry Kramer in the late 1980s was, more than any other single event, the turning point in my thinking about how Americans should treat gay relationships. After ACT-UP's riot in St. Pat's, I have studiously avoided events at which Mr. Kramer is present. And I will never have anything to do with an event in which ACT-UP is engaged.

Please don't respond at a gut-level. You will do your cause a lot more harm than good. As suggested above: Yes, the protesters will be videotaped. The videotape will be shown on Youtube, and sent via email around the country. And there will be a very significant backlash.

Thought experiment: White Churches in the Civil-Rights-Era South were often the literal bully pulpits of segregationism. How many of them did Rev. King invade? And why?
11.11.2008 7:40pm
Cornellian (mail):
Hypothetical Boy (A cool new superhero?)

He's the superhero that all law professors aspired to be when they were kids.
11.11.2008 7:46pm
Hoosier:
tom

I know squanto about psychiatry. (I'm not even sane myself.) But the reports that I've encountered do in fact indicated that Richard Just is off the rails with that statement. A very impressive report on NPR some time ago looked at all the data, and found that environment and genetics both appear to play a role. This, at least, was the best that one could say from extrapolation from the data.

IIRC, the report said that about 6% of Americans are gay. In separated twin studies, if one twin was gay, the likelihood that the other twin was also gay was twice the national average. Certainly seems to confirm a genetic link. But that still means that 88% of separated twins with a gay identical twin are straight. Pretty far from 0%.

At the present, I suspect being gay may be like having a high IQ. (Is that an acceptable comparison.) There are genetic and environmental factors at work. And one can't give a nature/nurture percentage breakdown: They interact upon each other for a whole lifetime.

Also funny: Fifty years ago, people would have scoffed at the notion that sexual orientation was an immutable category similar to race or gender.

Race and gender are "immutable" categories? This is "widely accepted" now?

What?!!

Has this guy been on a college campus in that same 50 years?
11.11.2008 7:51pm
Hoosier:
Cornellian
Hypothetical Boy (A cool new superhero?)

He's the superhero that all law professors aspired to be when they were kids.


Cornellian wins the month.

(I wanted to be Green Lantern. I can't say that I've been able to connect that with my profession, however. I think most historians aspired to be insecure and drunk. So I'll take "us" Lanterns--arrogant and sober-- over that.)
11.11.2008 7:53pm
K. Dackson (mail):
Wow. Some of you people are dense.

Yes, suck it up and quit whining. You lost, fair and square. Just like McCain lost. We Republicans have to deal with it, just as you have to deal with your loss on this ballot question. Act like grown-ups for chrissakes.

Why liberals think that they can unilaterally reject outcomes at the ballot box when it does not suit them is beyond me. It shows a lack of maturity. But that is what I have come to expect from the loons on the left.

Try again next election cycle. You ain't winning any friends by protesting and disrupting church services. These people will vote against you because they DISAPPROVE of your "lifestyle". Pissing them off will only strengthen their resolve.

Since Prop 8 passed when Obama won, don't you think that you ought to be demonstrating at BLACK churches? Or HISPANIC churches? These people supposedly put Obama over the top. Punish them for their disloyalty to your pet cause - they pulled the lever for Obama and for this proposition as well. The minority communities are probably more strongly against SSM than the Republicans.

Personally, I don't care. What I care about is you people acting like adults and accepting the will of the people through the ballot box. If you don't like the outcome, change it at the ballot box. Go through the courts at your own peril, because people do not like it when unaccountable judges overturn the will of the people.

And, BTW, this issue is simply trying to get a new manufactured "right" minted and stamped "APPROVED". Somewhat different from an enumerated right in the US Constitution that the DC city government tried to take away.
11.11.2008 7:54pm
Hoosier:
Clarifying my 7:40

The interview with Kramer got me thinking that gay people should be able to "go public" with their relationships. Kramer's ACT-UP nonsense made me rethink the man, though not his point.
11.11.2008 7:55pm
wooga:
I voted against Prop 8, and for John McCain.

Where do I go to flamboyantly protest my double loser status?


(I also lost my assembly, school board, and numerous other proposition votes)
11.11.2008 8:06pm
Hoosier:
Since Prop 8 passed when Obama won, don't you think that you ought to be demonstrating at BLACK churches? Or HISPANIC churches?

It's easier to claim the moral high-ground when bashing LDS(?).
11.11.2008 8:07pm
K. Dackson (mail):
wooga:

If you have to ask, you probably wouldn't anyway.
11.11.2008 8:15pm
Vanhattan (mail):
I have been reading this blog for quite some time and I am generally in awe of the wonderful minds and thoughts expressed here. The exception is with the same sex marriage debate that makes me wonder if most everyone here tossed their brains into the gutter.

The assumption that the gays have only attempted to gain civil rights equality via the courts is false. The gays have attempted to influence all branches of the government, the legislative, the executive and the judicial and they have also made many attempts to educate if not to influence the body politic as well.

For example, in California, the state legislature twice voted in favor of legalizing same sex marriage only to have the executive branch (governor) veto each bill. So when you succeed in the legislature but fail with the executive branch, where is one to turn to for a so called tie breaker? The courts, that's where.

As far as all the discussion here about the causes of homosexuality, I have not seen heterosexuals question the causes of heterosexuality. I seriously doubt that most heterosexuals ever contemplated whether or not one should practice homosexuality vs. heterosexuality. Why is that? Because most humans follow their natural, basic sexual orientation instinct and it generally is not something that one feels the need to question. Sort of like next to breathing, eating and sleeping.

I am in the research and medical field and I pray to God that a genetic marker for homosexuality is never discovered. Why? Because I firmly believe that the anti abortion forces who are generally mostly religious would flip on a dime and immediately start advocating (if not legislating) mandatory abortions of all homosexual fetuses.

So maybe it would be better, as someone here suggested, if the gays just fought back by trying to get more religion based law passed, such as a ban on divorce. Maybe the gays should move to make this more of a complete theocracy where the Koran, the Bible, etc. were the law of the land. Sort of like Iran and Saudi Arabia, but with Christianity thrown into the mix. It is probably only then will some of you here wake up to the concept of the judicial branch having the authority AND the responsibility to protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
11.11.2008 8:31pm
Hoosier:
Because I firmly believe that the anti abortion forces who are generally mostly religious would flip on a dime and immediately start advocating (if not legislating) mandatory abortions of all homosexual fetuses.

Other than anti-religious bigotry, what makes you so sure?
11.11.2008 8:48pm
NickM (mail) (www):
The No on 8 campaign broke the first rule of California initiative campaigns: Never believe the Field Poll.

Nick
11.11.2008 9:07pm
cmr:
Why is it that everytime I think someone is about to make a good point about how pro-SSM advocates need to just accept this defeat and try again next go-round, that same person either hints at blaming Blacks or blaming religion? How about they blame no one? People have the right to vote however they want, and for whatever reason they want.

It's also interesting to note how similar some of the rhetoric I've heard from pro-SSM, No on 8 side is to the rhetoric of the Weather Underground (the anti-Vietnam War domestic terrorist group). Bill Ayers said it's easy to convince oneself to do horrible things when you think you're right. I'd really hate to see the gay rights movement slip into the kind of rigid self-righteousness that other extremist groups have. That might be the point of no return.
11.11.2008 9:14pm
Smokey:
I hear that the messiah Obama was on the side of Prop 8. He opposes SSM. Now, he no longer even needs the anti-8 support. He's in.

And I hear that demonizing Mormons is much more politically correct than blaming African-Americans -- who were the reason that 8 passed. Understand? Blacks were the reason.

Stats: White &Asians voted by a slim 51/49 against 8.

Hispanics voted by 53/47 for 8.

Blacks tipped the scales when they voted 70/30 for 8.

But it's much safer and easier to blame Mormons, isn't it? Because blacks might tell the anti-8 gang to go pound sand -- and they'll remember where Obama stands.

Next time, try putting a proposition on the ballot stating that SSM should be A-OK. Ask the voters to decide something they've already decided. Twice.

The ball is in your court. Good luck.
11.11.2008 9:17pm
Perseus (mail):
Your original response doesn't seem to me to undercut my point. As long as someone believes there's a right, it doesn't make much sense to tell them "the majority voted, go home". The whole point of a right is that majority rule is limited to some extent.

The response does indeed undercut your point if one believes that rights need more substantial intellectual moorings than subjective desire.
11.11.2008 9:19pm
pmorem (mail):
Because I firmly believe that the anti abortion forces who are generally mostly religious would flip on a dime and immediately start advocating (if not legislating) mandatory abortions of all homosexual fetuses.

Just like Sarah Palin had an abortion when she found out she would give birth to a child with Downs' Syndrome.

I've got a genetic condition (genetic Autism) which is much less popular with the general population than homosexuality.

I don't generally care for the fundies, but I figure they're likely to be the most active opponents of aborting people like me.

This is potentially a more serious issue than you realize. You may find yourself wanting the Mormons and fundies as allies.
11.11.2008 9:21pm
Don de Drain:
I can understand why opponents of Prop 8 are criticizing the LDS Church. There was a very organized effort by senior leaders of the Church to solicit both time and money from Church members. When they asked me for money and time, I told them no, and told them it was a huge mistake for the Church to do what they were doing. Unfortunately Church members sometimes forget that their leaders are human and make mistakes. This mistake was a whopper.
11.11.2008 9:25pm
crane (mail):
RE: abortions for girls under 18 w/o parental consent

If an underage girl has a baby, the law treats her as an adult with regard to that baby - that is, she, not her parent or guardian, has custody of the baby and makes the baby's medical decisions, etc. Furthermore, while parents may have the right to force their child to undergo normal medical procedures, such as vaccination, they do not have the right to force their pregnant teen daughter to have an abortion. So, since her parents have no legal say over anything to to with the baby if she chooses to have it, and have no legal right to keep her from having it, they should (by this logic) not have any legal say if she chooses not to have it.
11.11.2008 9:34pm
Vanhattan (mail):
Hoosier:
Because I firmly believe that the anti abortion forces who are generally mostly religious would flip on a dime and immediately start advocating (if not legislating) mandatory abortions of all homosexual fetuses.

Other than anti-religious bigotry, what makes you so sure?

I am not in the least bit an anti religious bigot. I have my own religion and fully support everyone's right to worship sa they see fit. However, equal civil rights and who should receive the same in a secular society should never be determined by the prevailing religious majority, whether that happens to be Christian, Muslim, or other. I make this small leap by observing the forces who support the denial of basic human rights and their humanity to the gays. The past behaviour of a person or group is a fairly accurate predictor of their future actions. Hell, in the infancy of the gay rights movement, all they ever asked for were very small rights like not to be arrested in a gay bar. It was not until the majority of gays realized that the relegious were never toing to allow them ANY civil rights, such as job and housing protections, the right to visit a loved one in a hospital, etc. that they became aware that they may as well ask for full equality.

So if you insist that I am a bigot, go ahead. I will admit to having the same feeling as Ghandi in respect to the behaviour exhibited by many Christians in this same sex marriage debate and the way that many Christians and others choose to treat the gays.

"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Ghandi
11.11.2008 9:34pm
ARCraig (mail):
Richard Just. That would be an awesome name for a Supreme Court nominee.

Justice Just
11.11.2008 9:38pm
Sagar:
some of the hotheads saying, 'mormons are only 2% of the population, so they shouldn't be allowed to influence the decision' should try a similar argument about how gays are "only a small % of our population and .... "

the referendum was close, and the next steps should be to try to convince a couple % more voters to your side; but the tactics and arguments put forth so far are not winning any more support for the cause.
11.11.2008 9:39pm
henryporter:
I'm no expert but from the vote totals that I've seen and assuming that the exit poll from CA is correct as to the % of the electorate by race, even if those identifying as Black had voted 45% Yes/55% No on Prop 8, the proposition would still have passed by about 180,000 votes.
11.11.2008 9:39pm
Sagar:
Vanhattan,

nice going on the christians there. what do you have to say about our muslim bros?
11.11.2008 9:42pm
MarkField (mail):

The response does indeed undercut your point if one believes that rights need more substantial intellectual moorings than subjective desire.


No, because the argument being made was that the losers should simply accept the result of the majority vote. People who lose an election don't just give up when they believe a right is involved, they turn to the courts for protection. Now, they may be wrong in their beliefs, but as long as they believe they're right, it's pointless to tell them to accept the result. Doing so begs the question.

If the person making the argument wants to debate the substantive merits of SSM, s/he should do that instead of assuming the conclusion by pointing to the result of an election that everyone can see.
11.11.2008 9:43pm
Norman Bates (mail):
But what if homosexuality is caused by an infectious organism? See for example: Infectious Causation of Disease It would seem absurd not to tolerate persons who've suffered harm in this way. But also absurd to adjust the rest of society to behavior that is at bottom the result of a disease. Particularly when that behavior has profound public health consequences, e.g., AIDS and drug resistant gonorhea.
11.11.2008 9:47pm
Smokey:
crane:
RE: abortions for girls under 18 w/o parental consent

If an underage girl has a baby, the law treats her as an adult with regard to that baby...
Yeah, yeah, yeah. But if she aborts her baby, none of that applies.
11.11.2008 9:51pm
loki13 (mail):
I'm not sure why this is a big surprise coming out of California. The Inglewood Police Department has long known that teh gayz is contagious, and I can't even imagine how bad it would be if they were all married and stuff!
11.11.2008 9:51pm
John D (mail):
Note to Republicans,

So sorry your guy lost. I'm not going to tell you that it's done with and you should just get over it.

You're guaranteed another Presidential election in four years. I hope you find a candidate that appeals not only to member of your own party, but also to those outside the Republican party as well.

If you know anything that would indicate that there is a Constitutional issue with President-Elect Obama taking office, please make that soon.

But, also, please stop comparing Proposition 8 to Senator McCain's loss.

We didn't outlaw the Republican Party. No one passed a law forbidding Republicans from seeking the Presidency. No one is tampering with the sequence of Presidential elections; there's another one in four years.

Nor has anyone made any serious claims that the election of Mr. Obama was unconstitutional. Once again, if you are aware of any way in which the election has deprived you of equal protection under the law or due proccess, please let it be known immediately.

Otherwise, you're left with a really bad analogy when you talk about Prop 8.
11.11.2008 9:53pm
Vanhattan (mail):
(link)pmorem

"Just like Sarah Palin had an abortion when she found out she would give birth to a child with Downs' Syndrome.

I've got a genetic condition (genetic Autism) which is much less popular with the general population than homosexuality.

I don't generally care for the fundies, but I figure they're likely to be the most active opponents of aborting people like me.This is potentially a more serious issue than you realize. You may find yourself wanting the Mormons and fundies as allies".

Yes, you make a good point. In this scenario, gays may in fact require the full support of fundamentalist's as you suggest. However your assumptions that Down's syndrome and Autism are less acceptable to fundamentalists are not well documented. I have never seen any voter referendums or propositions to deny equal civil rights to either group.

You also do not take into consideration the many inconsistencies of fundamentalism. For example, the Marriott corporation (Mormon owned) selling pornographic movies in most if not all of their hotels (granted it is limited to heterosexual porn), or the acceptance of eating of shellfish, legal divorce, etc.

Because even the fundamentalist's do not strictly adhere to their own faith or faith based laws, and in this scenario, a third option would most likely appear.

Namely, outlaw ALL abortions, EXCEPT in the csse of a homosexual fetus.
11.11.2008 9:56pm
Vanhattan (mail):
Sagar:

"Vanhattan,

nice going on the christians there. what do you have to say about our muslim bros?"

I am at a loss as what to say to our Muslim brothers. In Iran if it is any barometer, they continue to publicly murder the gays. Often by hanging as docuemtned in the link below.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4725959.stm


I can only assume that the Muslims did not get actively involved in the same sex marriage debate because most of the Muslims who have immigrated into the US are very well aware of what theocratic rule or religous law can lead to.
11.11.2008 10:13pm
Perseus (mail):
No, because the argument being made was that the losers should simply accept the result of the majority vote. People who lose an election don't just give up when they believe a right is involved, they turn to the courts for protection. Now, they may be wrong in their beliefs, but as long as they believe they're right, it's pointless to tell them to accept the result.

I agree that as a practical matter there will always be discontents unwilling the accept the results of a vote because they believe the result to be unjust. But since majority rule invariably entails some unjust results, it's not pointless to encourage people to accept them because without a strong presumption in favor of majority rule, you might as well dump the republican form of government.
11.11.2008 10:15pm
Jerry F:
"Namely, outlaw ALL abortions, EXCEPT in the csse of a homosexual fetus."

I know Leftists who take the exact opposite stance, namely that abortion is acceptable even during the third trimester, and that women are free to abort Down's Syndrome babies, but aborting babies for being homosexual would be wrong.
11.11.2008 10:17pm
elenathehun (mail) (www):
Vanhattan: "Namely, outlaw ALL abortions, EXCEPT in the csse of a homosexual fetus." Buddy, I'm sorry you feel this way, but all the anti-abortion Christians I know are pretty, you know, ANTI-ABORTION. They think it's murder. I really doubt fundamentalist Christians are going to say "outlaw abortion (except for the gays ones)!" Between bearing a gay kid and killing the gay kid, bearing the gay kid is going to win.
11.11.2008 10:17pm
pmorem (mail):
However your assumptions that Down's syndrome and Autism are less acceptable to fundamentalists are not well documented.

My exact words were: with the general population

I don't know where the various population segments fall on the subject. I'm curious to find out.

I suspect the scenario you suggested (only in the case of homosexuality) would draw support from very few people. I suspect that there's far more support for "at will, for any reason", with any test for homosexuality being done quietly, privately, and without any public discussion.
11.11.2008 10:19pm
Perseus (mail):
As suggested above: Yes, the protesters will be videotaped. The videotape will be shown on Youtube, and sent via email around the country. And there will be a very significant backlash.

Videotape? Do you still listen to music on an 8-track tape player? Are you like that old geezer John McCain who can't use e-mail?
11.11.2008 10:27pm
Jerry F:
I have never met a Christian who supports the death penalty for homosexuals simply for entertaining homosexual thoughts; even Fred Phelps does not make this argument. The Christian Reconstructionists are among the harshest on homosexuality, and they only support death penalty for homosexual *conduct*. Even if you could identify which fetuses have homosexual genes, pro-life Christians would not believe that the fetuses should be killed because there would be no way to know whether said fetuses would ultimately (as adults) engage in homosexual conduct. Taking an opposite view on this would go against the Christian doctrine of free will. I am much more concerned that we will end up in a society where abortion is always allowed except to prevent the spread of homosexuality, which is a far more realistic prediction of where we are going.
11.11.2008 10:28pm
Sagar:
I can only assume that the Muslims did not get actively involved in the same sex marriage debate because most of the Muslims who have immigrated into the US are very well aware of what theocratic rule or religous law can lead to.

the "pilgrims" on Mayflower also fled religious persecution back then, but are not granted the same (above) benefit of doubt :-)

whatever may be the history of spanish inquisition, it is difficult for me to take seriously that christians in the US will bring theocracy.

regarding the muslims in the west who are aware of theocratic rule back home - that doesn't seem to stop them from wanting to impose Sharia in UK and Canada for starters.
11.11.2008 10:30pm
Vanhattan (mail):
Perseus (mail):
"But since majority rule invariably entails some unjust results, it's not pointless to encourage people to accept them because without a strong presumption in favor of majority rule, you might as well dump the republican form of government".

This is precisely why the US has a democratic republic and not a true democracy. Our founding fathers recognized that in order to protect the minority from unjust laws that the majority may make from time to time that a democratic republic form of government was the best way to protect all citizens - not just the majority.
11.11.2008 10:36pm
Vanhattan (mail):
Sagar:
"regarding the muslims in the west who are aware of theocratic rule back home - that doesn't seem to stop them from wanting to impose Sharia in UK and Canada for starters."

Good point. This is why Canada enacted the "Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms". The Charter was created with the purpose to protect all of its citizens and to ensure that all citizens and all residents alike were treated as equal under the law, including the gays, Muslims, Christains, etc. So yes, while it is true that some fundamentalist Muslims are pushing for Sharia law in Canada and in the UK, it is very unlikely that they will get very far in their pursuit (in Canada). Sharia law does not respect all people under their law in the same way, e.g. women, the gays, etc..therefore is fundamentally opposed to the Charter. I cannot speak for the UK however.
11.11.2008 10:45pm
Perseus (mail):
Our founding fathers recognized that in order to protect the minority from unjust laws that the majority may make from time to time that a democratic republic form of government was the best way to protect all citizens - not just the majority.

I don't disagree, but just because people like to run around proclaiming this, that, and the other thing a "fundamental right" that the majority may not violate doesn't mean that we should encourage it.
11.11.2008 10:46pm
Seerak (mail):
The Left is busy scrambling trying to douse the strife amongst two of their key tribes right now; the Mormons and churches in general are the distracting scapegoat meant to prevent what happened last Friday in West Hollywood. With the sword of democracy still sticking out of their backs, gays can't be allowed to realize that it was put there by many of their own side as well as the religionists.

God forbid, if they did that, than they might smarten up and realize that some things shouldn't be subject to a vote. Then they might ask, what might such things be? and next thing you know, they discover the principle of individual rights. If they go there, they might discover that Bitter Voter's offer is better than anything the Left offers them.

I'll trade you Gay Marriage for Must-Issue Concealed Carry and repeal of the California Assault Weapons and .50 Caliber Bans. A right for a right.

The Left can't afford losing one of their tribes to such thoughts; independent men can't be ruled, after all. So, scapegoat they must. Keeping gays on the plantation overrides all other considerations, so don't expect the things they do to make much sense outside of that overriding goal.
11.11.2008 10:48pm
rlee:
Re: abortion right of minors
My understanding is that it's particular to abortions because of the analogy to life-threatening medical conditions. There's a definite timeline, so minor girls won't necessarily be able to change their parents mind before the issue is mooted. Whether a girl gives birth or has an abortion, there are enormous psychological and physiological consequences. Unlike being forced to keep a mole until the age of 18, a girl can't override her parents once she reaches the age of majority. In my mind, the unavoidable major consequence (either way) justifies some additional autonomy in the matter.
11.11.2008 10:51pm
Vanhattan (mail):
Perseus (mail):

I don't disagree, but just because people like to run around proclaiming this, that, and the other thing a "fundamental right" that the majority may not violate doesn't mean that we should encourage it.

Equal civil rights for all people is not the same as "encouraging" anything. Equal civil rights means one thing and one thing only, that the law be equally applied for all people as individuals and all groups of people. I am aware that some minority goups of people under our laws are provided additional rights, but never less. Proposition 8 provides less rights to only a certain group of people. This is why this law is fundamentally flawed at its core and why it will fail in the long run, if not the short.
11.11.2008 10:53pm
Malvolio:
I don't generally care for the fundies, but I figure they're likely to be the most active opponents of aborting people like me.
Hmmm. If a huge section of the population were trying to kill "people like me", I would be extremely fond of any group trying to stop them.

You also do not take into consideration the many inconsistencies of fundamentalism. For example, the Marriott corporation (Mormon owned) selling pornographic movies in most if not all of their hotels (granted it is limited to heterosexual porn), or the acceptance of eating of shellfish, legal divorce, etc.
J. Willard Marriott was a Mormon -- and not a "fundie", assuming you mean fundamentalist -- but both Host Marriott and Marriott International are publicly held. Besides, would being a fundamentalist prohibit owning a company that sold pornography? As for eating shellfish and getting divorced, neither fundamentalist nor Mormons are Jews or Catholics.
11.11.2008 11:04pm
traveler496:

I agree that as a practical matter there will always be discontents unwilling the accept the results of a vote because they believe the result to be unjust. But since majority rule invariably entails some unjust results, it's not pointless to encourage people to accept them because without a strong presumption in favor of majority rule, you might as well dump the republican form of government.


Perseus, you and a number of others on this thread are I think simply not getting the distinction between votes which people believe are denying them fundamental rights, and other votes.

Perhaps it would help you to reflect that the "discontents" of 150 years ago were slaves denied their freedom or women denied the right to vote, and of 70 years ago were men and women denied the right to marry because they happened to be of different races. What would you think of someone who directed your comment above to such groups? Would you at least consider it inappropriately insensitive and dismissive?

If not, you are at least consistent. OTOH if so, I think it is incumbent on you (and on others who have made remarks of similar tone) to explain why you believe differently when the topic is gay marriage - at least, if you want those of us to whom the above analogies ring true to find your point of view other than narrow minded verging on repellent.
11.11.2008 11:06pm
Matteo (mail) (www):
An irony:

If someone accuses me of being a "homophobe", then he is judging me (and calling upon others to judge me) for having some kind of wicked psychosexual abnormality. I had been given to understand that the people who use that term were against that sort of thing.

Corollary: If judicial tyrants void Prop 8 (ruling, in essence, that some voters do not have the right to amend the constitution), then a whole group of voters will have had its civil rights denied, because of its "homophobia". Thereby setting the judicial precedent that it is, in fact, okay, to deny civil rights to a group due to its being perceived as having some kind of wicked psychosexual abnormality. This is not a precedent that I'd want to set if I were on the other side. As it currently stands, no one has yet had their "equal protection" civil rights denied (since homosexuals have an equal right to marry the opposite sex as anyone else, and the right to marry the same sex is denied to all equally). But if Prop 8 is overturned due to judicial overreach then the precedent will have been set.
11.11.2008 11:34pm
Cornellian (mail):
As it currently stands, no one has yet had their "equal protection" civil rights denied (since homosexuals have an equal right to marry the opposite sex as anyone else, and the right to marry the same sex is denied to all equally).

And in 1940 black people had the same right to marry someone of the same race as anyone else and the right to marry someone of another race was denied to all equally.
11.11.2008 11:45pm
Randy R. (mail):
Norman Bates;" But what if homosexuality is caused by an infectious organism? See for example: Infectious Causation of Disease It would seem absurd not to tolerate persons who've suffered harm in this way. But also absurd to adjust the rest of society to behavior that is at bottom the result of a disease. Particularly when that behavior has profound public health consequences, e.g., AIDS and drug resistant gonorhea."

Homosexuality isn't *caused* by anything, any more than heterosexuality is. I never choose to be gay, and I have been gay my entire life. I did, for a long time, try to deny it and try to be straight, but I never could.

Sorry, but homosexuality isn't a disease, and it doesn't spread. There are certianly more out gays than in the past, but the actual number hasn't really changed. It just appears that there are more because we aren't willing to be closeted any more, or enter into sham marriages to hide.

And futhermore, lesbians have the lowest rate of AIDS of any group and many STDs. If you are concerned about health consequences, you should be encouraging women to be lesbians. Which won't work, in any case, but you can feel good about appearing to care about everyone's health.
11.11.2008 11:48pm
MarkField (mail):

I agree that as a practical matter there will always be discontents unwilling the accept the results of a vote because they believe the result to be unjust. But since majority rule invariably entails some unjust results, it's not pointless to encourage people to accept them because without a strong presumption in favor of majority rule, you might as well dump the republican form of government.


I see it as a continuum. Majority rule can sometimes be unjust, but it should never violate fundamental rights. We don't always agree on the dividing line, but I think you decrease respect for majority rule, rather than increase it, if you tell people they need to sacrifice a fundamental right for its sake. As Thomas Jefferson said in his First Inaugural, "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
11.11.2008 11:49pm
Matteo (mail) (www):
In 1940 a black man was denied the right to marry the woman of his choice. In 2008 a gay man is permitted this. Since marriage is, by definition, to a member of the opposite sex, it seems that the black man was denied full access to the institution. However a gay man isn't. There simply is no longer a lack of equal protection with respect to this one-woman, one-man institution, an institution defined as such explicitly in the text of the California Constitution.
11.11.2008 11:52pm
John D (mail):
Matteo,

If Prop 8 is voided, could it be that the judges are saying that there are ways in which the Constitution cannot be changed? If they ruled that Prop 8 constituted a revision, then it would be up to those opposed to same-sex marriage to do this through the appropriate procedure of getting a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature before sending it to the people.

In other words, they needn't decree that Prop 8 is evil, wicked, and bad, they might just say it done through the wrong procedure.

I doubt that would satisfy you.

Gay people have had their rights denied here. I have to say that I wish a loveless, hostile marriage to a closeted gay person to everyone who pronounces that gay people have every right to marry someone of the opposite sex.

You, by that standard, have not lost your right to free speech if we insist that all of your future communications must be made in Xhosa. For your free speech rights to be meaningful, they must be in the form of your choosing. For my marriage rights to be meaningful, I must be allowed a partner for whom I would feel sexual attraction and could love.

(For the record, got one. My husband's a great guy.)
11.11.2008 11:55pm
Randy R. (mail):
Jerry F. " Even if you could identify which fetuses have homosexual genes, pro-life Christians would not believe that the fetuses should be killed because there would be no way to know whether said fetuses would ultimately (as adults) engage in homosexual conduct. "

It would, however, be a pretty safe bet.

Shouting Thomas: "Aspire, for a moment, to the level of common sense you'd expect out of a long haul truck driver who listens to country music. If you can... "

Apparently, the irony of referring to the reality of truck stops along America's highways is quite lost upon you.

It always amazes me the number of people who believe that homosexuality is a choice. I'm convinced that they only people who really believe this are bisexuals themselves, because they waver somewhere in between homo and hetero, and they are worried that there is enough societal approval, they might just blurt out their attraction to Tom Cruise.

All my straight male friends who are secure in their sexuality, however, don't believe it's a choice, and certainly don't really care about the issue on way or another because it simply isn't an issue for them. They all tend to be happily married as well. Or are so busy chasing skirt that they don't time to think about it.
11.11.2008 11:59pm
John D (mail):
Matteo,

Since marriage is, by definition, to a member of the opposite sex


Well, that may be your definition, but it doesn't actually describe reality. There are people married to same-sex partners in several countries and there are married couples in several states, including Massachusetts, California, and New York.

From a descriptivist stance, it's impossible to make a an accurate dictionary definition of marriage that specifies it as an opposite-sex pairing.
11.12.2008 12:00am
Perseus (mail):
Proposition 8 provides less rights to only a certain group of people.

Not really since virtually all of the legal benefits are available under CA domestic partnerships. The debate over Prop. 8 largely boils down to a struggle for public recognition (and indirectly acceptance) of same sex unions as being of equal dignity and benefit to society as opposite sex unions (and woe betide any individual or group who dares to disagree). And for some of us, Prop. 8 was about teaching a lesson in restraint to the despots on the CA Supreme Court (which minted yet another new right out of thin air) and in the state legislature (which tried to override Prop. 22 in defiance of the state constitution).
11.12.2008 12:04am
Randy R. (mail):
Matteo: " Since marriage is, by definition, to a member of the opposite sex."

Nope. These are the jurisdictions that have defined marriage as between two people, of any sex: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Canada, Spain, S. Africa, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands.

That covers several millions of people, and in all those places gay couples are now allowed to legally get married and have it recognized by the state.

In addition, there are several religions that recognize and sanctify same sex marriage, including the Unitarians, Universalists, Reformed and Conservative Judaism and several others that I can't recall right now.

In any case, although YOU can define marriage however you like, in these places you have to admit that marriage is defined quite differently.
11.12.2008 12:05am
Randy R. (mail):
John D: "You, by that standard, have not lost your right to free speech if we insist that all of your future communications must be made in Xhosa. "

I would like the opportunity to put Matteo's marriage up for a popular vote. Anyone else with me? AFterall, marriage is NOT a fundamental right, so we can take it away from anyone we please, as long as we get a simple majority on it.
11.12.2008 12:09am
Randy R. (mail):
Perseus: "The debate over Prop. 8 largely boils down to a struggle for public recognition (and indirectly acceptance) of same sex unions as being of equal dignity and benefit to society as opposite sex unions ."

And to a large extent, you are correct. Wow! I agree with Perseus!

And seeing as how my relationship with my boyfriend is at least as good as any marriage, I don't see why it shouldn't get equal dignity. We pay taxes just like everyone else. And unlike a lot of straight couples, we've never hit one another. We're both excellent cooks, and we never argue over who has to clean up after dinner.

Seems my same sex union is actually better than a lot of you straights. I think it deserves the same respect and dignity, don't you?
11.12.2008 12:12am
John D (mail):
Randy,

I'm fine with putting Mateo's marriage up for a vote. I have deep and abiding sympathy for any woman within a 50' radius of Mateo, including his mother and any sisters.

I'm afraid I'd have to vote that Mateo cannot get married due to its likely pernicious effects on some innocent woman.
11.12.2008 12:16am
Matteo (mail) (www):
John D,

I'm not trying to split legal hairs here just for the hell of it. The question is, are we a nation of laws and procedure or are we not? If you wish to change a centuries old institution and overturn the existing legal order, then it is incumbent on *you* to pass an amendment (I wouldn't even make the cockamamie claim that you'd need a "revision"). Otherwise you are simply violating the civil rights of voters, should you achieve the lawless and objectively invalid ruling that a duly enacted amendment to the Constitution is unconstitutional. In the long run, achieving your goals via judicial tyranny would probably be utterly disastrous.

Win it clean, and you've won it.

I will say that one of the big reasons I voted 'Yes' on 8, is that, based on precedent in other jurisdictions, once "gay marriage" becomes law, then churches and believers inevitably become targets of "discrimination" and "hate speech" litigation/prosecution. The Prop 8 rioters have certainly reinforced this assessment for me. Not because I think the worst elements represent all gays, but because the worst elements are going to be the ones driving the litigation/prosecution regardless of what the "I just want to be left alone" majority of gays thinks.
11.12.2008 12:17am
rlee:
Could we put to rest the "everyone has the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex" argument? First, substantively, it's clearly no right to someone who is exclusively attracted to members of the same sex. Just as having the right to marry someone of the same sex would be no right to heterosexuals. No one is advocating for the right to engage in two marriages, i.e. one to a member of the opposite sex, and one to a member of the same sex. And second, to the extent SSM opponents are now agreeing marriage means "one man and one woman," it wasn't that long ago when a good chunk of the country agreed marriage meant "one man and one woman--of the same race."

I do find the VC comments interesting, but one of the frequent annoyances I experience is the conflation of "illegitimate" with "substantively wrong." To me, "illegitimate" is about the process--like a court ruling that the legislative branch has usurped executive power.

To the extent Prop 8 protests are spilling into a message of "illegitimate," yes, it's a bad move, and it wasn't illegitimate. People are upset the Mormon Church got its members to donate the overwhelming majority of Yes-8 money, especially as an institution with a relatively small constituency in CA. FWIW, I think SSM-protesters are trying to avoid this message, as No-8 clearly also relied on out-of-state funds. But I think the primary message is substantive--that the Mormon Church was wrong on this issue. It's political speech at its best. It's not a message that the Prop 8 vote was wrong; it's a message that the vote came out the wrong way. Is it strategic to go against the people who spoke with money rather the people who spoke on the ballot? Sure, but there's nothing wrong with that.

To review:
Crying illegitimate when it wasn't (e.g. what many feel the protesters are doing) --> pointless
Crying illegitimate when it was --> good idea!
Crying substantively wrong when there's no recourse (e.g. if McCain supporters protested) --> pointless
Crying substantively wrong when it was --> good idea!
Crying substantively wrong when it wasn't --> trick question! People get to disagree about what's substantively wrong.
11.12.2008 12:19am
The Real Pink Pig (mail):
I'm somewhat amazed at the amount of misinformation out there. For the record, an amendment to the Federal constitution requires the support of 2/3 of each House of Congress (the Houses in question being the House (duh!) and the Senate), followed by the approval of 3/4 of the States. The President plays no role in this.

It is an open question, never resolved, whether a State can rescind a previous approval. If the answer is Yes, then the 16th Amendment was not correctly passed, and is therefore invalid. In case you don't know, that would mean that the income tax is invalid. There were at least two states, IIRC Indiana and Michigan, which first approved the 16th Amendment and later rescinded their approval. And the answer is ... For the record, the 16th Amendment maxed out at 36 states (out of the then 48), if you included Indiana and Michigan. It was never approved by any of the other states. The Federal courts (but not IIRC the Supreme Court) have always held that the 16th Amendment is valid.

I have no idea what the constraints might be on California law, but it seems clear to me that if the voters pass an "Amendment" to the state constitution, then that is the law, for what it's worth.

Personally, I think that restrictions of this sort are invidious crap, but I don't live in California, so who am I to say? It kind of diminishes the image of California as the ultimate progressive state, doesn't it?
11.12.2008 12:20am
Matteo (mail) (www):
John D.

Go ahead and put my marriage up to a vote. You do have that right (but you'd ultimately have to enact an Amendment to the US Constitution; then the voting away of my marriage would quite simply be the law of the land, leaving me no recourse whatsoever to the courts, which *is* after all the way these things work). However, you'd lose.

My wife enjoys being married to me quite immensely. The fact is, that in the goodness of her heart, she actually wishes that you'd turn to Christ and be healed, and also enjoy marriage to a very good woman. You have that right! And Christ *can* do it! But please don't hate me for saying so, I'm just the messenger.
11.12.2008 12:31am
Vanhattan (mail):
Matteo (mail) (www):
"As it currently stands, no one has yet had their "equal protection" civil rights denied (since homosexuals have an equal right to marry the opposite sex as anyone else, and the right to marry the same sex is denied to all equally). But if Prop 8 is overturned due to judicial overreach then the precedent will have been set."

It appears that you do not agree with the California Supreme Court decison, and you certainly have that right. I personally find your arguments against ssm rather weak.

In respect to your argument above, namely "since homosexuals have an equal right to marry the opposite sex as anyone else, and the right to marry the same sex is denied to all equally".

The California Supreme Court addressed your argument directly. Calling this argument "Sophistic" because such a choice negates the persons sexual orientation. I paraphrase: Just as such a statute that would restrict marrigage to persons of the same sex would discriminate against heterosexual persons on the basis of their heterosexual orientation thus the current California statues realistically must be viewed as discriminating against homosexuals because of their sexual orientation.

If you are interested, this can be found on page 96 of the May 15 2008 SCOC ruling on the legality of same sex marriage.
11.12.2008 12:36am
Randy R. (mail):
Matteo: "I will say that one of the big reasons I voted 'Yes' on 8, is that, based on precedent in other jurisdictions, once "gay marriage" becomes law, then churches and believers inevitably become targets of "discrimination" and "hate speech" litigation/prosecution. "

Really? So in Massachusetts there has been hate speech litigation and prosecution? Where? Got any evidence to back it up? As I recall, there hasn't been anything of the sort. Furthermore, no church in Mass, has been required to sanction gay marriage.

"The fact is, that in the goodness of her heart, she actually wishes that you'd turn to Christ and be healed, and also enjoy marriage to a very good woman."

And now the truth comes out. So we gays are some how damaged, and we need healing. And it's not about civil rights at all, but about trying to get us to do marry the opposite sex.

Sorry, kiddo, but God made me this way. And there is no amount of 'healing' that Christ can do to change that. Heck, even Exodus, the leading 'ex-gay' organization says that most gays can't change their orientation, even after years of prayer and celebacy. There are in fact plenty of gay people who are deeply religious, and I know quite a few. God seems pretty darn happy with them.

"But please don't hate me for saying so, I'm just the messenger."

No, we don't hate you Matteo. It's just like you folks say, we hate the sin, not the sinner. So sure, we hate your attempts to change us and your failure to accept us as your equal, but we don't hate you.
11.12.2008 12:42am
Matteo (mail) (www):
Vanhattan,

I know that the California Supreme Court has addressed my argument directly. Therefore the voters have now, in turn, addressed the California Supreme Court's argument directly, by enacting not a statute, but an amendment, in order to clarify the issue for the Court. We're just trying to make their job easier, since it seems that they were confused by the "complexity" of the question.
11.12.2008 12:44am
Randy R. (mail):
Matteo: "My wife enjoys being married to me quite immensely"

Then I suppose you would be a tad upset if the voters of of your state, by a mere 51%, voided your marriage?
11.12.2008 12:50am
Vanhattan (mail):
Matteo,

I am surprised that even you would not agree that the argument I called you on is rather "sophistic". If I were arguing against ssm, this would be the last argument I would use as it is just so on its face just plain stupid and juvenile.

There are far stronger reasons to argue against ssm that deserve some close scrutiny, all which I happen to disagree with, but I am afraid this one has got to be one of the worst.
11.12.2008 12:54am
Matteo (mail) (www):
Randy R,

It's not a question of "ah, so now the truth comes out". John D. openly offered an implicit insult to my wife (and to her husband), and I thought he'd like to know how she feels about the situation. Otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it at all.

This discussion interests me because seeing the absurd idea of "unconstitutional" constitutional amendments being seriously defended interests me, as does seeing the half-baked rationales for stripping me of my constitutional rights as a voter.

Again, I find it strange that your side would contemplate making such an immense strategic blunder. Be cool, pass your own amendment and you'll win this thing. Bring down a judicial sledgehammer, and all long-term bets are off.
11.12.2008 1:01am
Randy R. (mail):
It's interesting, Matteo, that when John D. wants to put your marriage to a vote, you claim that's an insult. Meanwhile, 18,000 gay couples have gotten married since the Supreme Court's decision, their marriage was put up for a vote, and you don't realize that we might consider that an insult as well?

If it angers you that for just proposing that we put your marriage up for a vote, perhaps you can understand why we would be quite angry over the fact that our marriages WERE in fact put up for a vote, and that we lost the vote, and had our marriages voided.
11.12.2008 1:06am
Matteo (mail) (www):
Vanhattan,

As a believer in the rule of law, I don't find my argument sophistic in the slightest. But then, I am not schooled in the thought processes of black-robed social engineers/legislators.

In any case it is not now a question of argument. The votes have been counted.
11.12.2008 1:06am
Randy R. (mail):
Matteo: "In any case it is not now a question of argument. The votes have been counted."

Absolutely. And we'll be back, with or without the help of the guvernator. And seeing as how support for gay marriages has dramatically increased over the past ten years, and that support is highest among the youngest voters, I am pretty confident that it's only a matter of time.

Which I why I agree that gays shouldn't do anything to unnecessarily upset people. protest, but peacefully so. Call out the Mormon, Catholic and any other churches that oppose us. We can make the case for gay marriage, as we did ultimately in Massachusetts.

And no, you won't be finding many -- if any -- of us trying to become straight, because we know better than anyone that it simply can't be done, anymore than you can become gay.
11.12.2008 1:11am
Matteo (mail) (www):
Randy R--

The insult was not the idea of putting it to a vote, the insult was in my alleged pernicious effects, as if she were too stupid to judge my character for herself.

Once again, you seek to redefine a social institution and modify an entire legal structure, so please enact an amendment (not a revision) in order to do so. The court erred in its decision, and has now been corrected. You should not be angry at the voters, but instead angry at the court for its judicial incompetence. They wrongly jumped the gun and got your hopes up. You *should* be quite angry about that, and I do not blame you.
11.12.2008 1:18am
Matteo (mail) (www):
Anyway, time to sleep. I've enjoyed the back and forth, and I do wish your side the best of luck in furthering your agenda using honorable means. I have little doubt you'll eventually win, that is, if you *do* use honorable means. And I reiterate, it is the courts, through shear overreaching incompetence, who have monstrously screwed you over on this issue. Your anger is properly directed at them, not the voters who corrected their error.

And my wife would like to leave you with this thought: Nothing is impossible for God!
11.12.2008 1:27am
Kevin Murphy:
As long as people attempt to take gay marriage out of the political arena and use court fiats to force a decision, we will have no acceptance of the idea. See Roe. The absolute worst thing for gay marriage proponents would be to "win" on shaky grounds at the CA Supreme Court. Californians expect the Court to give initiatives deference, absent clear constitutional conflict.

I voted NO on 8 (and no on 22 back when), but if the CA Courts overturn if due to the specious "revision" argument or the offensive "liberal ratchet" claim, I'll be voting for the inevitable recall, and against CJ George's retention in 2010. It becomes a matter of precedent, not a policy choice, and I don't want the Court making stuff up; it won't always go my way.
11.12.2008 1:51am
Perseus (mail):
Perseus, you and a number of others on this thread are I think simply not getting the distinction between votes which people believe are denying them fundamental rights, and other votes.

Oh, I get it all right. I just need something more than mere subjective belief to take seriously a claim about a right being fundamental.

AFterall, marriage is NOT a fundamental right

Bingo!

I see it as a continuum. Majority rule can sometimes be unjust, but it should never violate fundamental rights. We don't always agree on the dividing line, but I think you decrease respect for majority rule, rather than increase it, if you tell people they need to sacrifice a fundamental right for its sake. As Thomas Jefferson said in his First Inaugural, "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."

That Founders like Jefferson were willing to require that slavery be abolished by legislatures--not the courts--is an indication of how close to majority rule they were on that continuum.
11.12.2008 2:13am
MayBee:

How about that ballot proposition that would have prohibited an abortion by a girl under 18 without parental notification? That proposition was defeated for the third time in a row here in California, but somehow I don't think the pro-life crowd is just going to pack it in and move on.


They aren't packing it up and moving on. At the same time, they aren't protesting in the streets. The LA Times isn't encouraging them to shake things up. In fact, I seem to recall Clinton actually put restrictions on how close protesters like them could come to an abortion clinic.
Shall we keep gay rights activists from coming near churches?
Should they hope a Gavin Newsome figure would come forward and require parental notification for all abortions in his CA city?

I want gay marriage to happen. It isn't going to come about by making Mormons- people who cherish marriage- the enemy. Embrace the people that believe in solid marriages, and find a way to convince them that is exactly what *you* want.
11.12.2008 2:35am
John D (mail):
Matteo,

It's not a question of "ah, so now the truth comes out". John D. openly offered an implicit insult to my wife (and to her husband), and I thought he'd like to know how she feels about the situation. Otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it at all.


My apologies. I meant no insult to your wife.

That I find you an odious individual is, of course, no reason to invalidate your marriage.

Other than that it doesn't accord with your religious principles, do you really have a reason to invalidate mine, and one that you would want to see generally applied to all couples?

For the record, my marriage is in perfect accord with the principles of my religious denomination which holds that straight and gay people ought to be treated equally. It was really amazing to hear my mother-in-law discussing how Prop 8 had compromised her rights.
11.12.2008 3:46am
Public_Defender (mail):

Me: If the marriage equality side tries to push a suit, it could pick a particularly sympathetic plaintiff--for example, a child denied death benefits from a deceased non-biological gay parent. Let the "Christians" explain why the children of gay parents should be denied the legal protections enjoyed by children of heterosexual parents.

Response: That's not how courts are supposed to work. The fact that a law may create negative, even tragic consequences, for some citizens doesn't make it unconstitutional.


True, but picking sympathetic plaintiffs (or unsympathetic defendants) for test cases is a tried and tested method for advocacy groups of all stripes. Remember Kelo?
11.12.2008 5:55am
Public_Defender (mail):
And yes, I know that Ms. Kelo lost her case. But she managed to get four votes for what would have been a significant change in federal constitutional law. The sympathetic facts of her case put eminent domain in pretty much the worst light possible and led to some significant victories on the state level.

Here, if Proposition 8 is going to be litigated (and I think that is inevitable for the reasons in my first post), the marriage rights side might as well push a sympathetic case to the front of the line.
11.12.2008 6:25am
Anatid:
Re: abortion right of minors

The most compelling reason to support this is purely practical. The fact remains that abortion, unlike the majority of medical procedures, is a highly sensitive topic, particularly for teens. A teen who fears repercussions from her parents might lie to a doctor or otherwise make medically unwise decisions, threatening her health. She would also be more likely to seek an off-record, back-alley abortion, which can be life-threatening.

The fact also remains that a large majority of girls who get abortions choose to tell their parents anyway - and the ones who don't usually face abuse, being kicked out, or worse. If stepdad is also the baby's father, then asking his permission is trouble.

Whether or not you believe that teens should be able to get abortions without parental consent, the net effect of Prop 4 would not have significantly lowered the abortion rate, nor significantly raised the rate of parental support for teens getting abortions. It would, however, have raised rates of child abuse and rates of mutilation and mortality from back-alley abortions. If you want your kid to not get an unnotified abortion? Raise her right, so that she feels safe talking to you when she needs your help. Don't pass laws that will endanger kids whose parents aren't that accepting.
11.12.2008 7:02am
RAH (mail):
RANDY R

Why do you want the government to regulate your pesonal living arrangements? A marriage is an agreement between two people to share their lives. The couple can create a partneship agreement and place all the conditions they agree to in that agreement , include property rights and have that agreemnt enforced by the courts.

You do not need a license to marry you can create your own agreement , include the 50% property sharing and what ever else you want.

Have a fancy ceremony to celebrate the agreement and you have the trapping of the wedding party.

I do not want the state government to issue marrigae licenses at all. A marriage is a personal decision not a state decision.
11.12.2008 8:42am
Happyshooter:
The fact remains that abortion, unlike the majority of medical procedures, is a highly sensitive topic, particularly for teens. A teen who fears repercussions from her parents might lie to a doctor or otherwise make medically unwise decisions, threatening her health.

Nice try. The fact is that a democrat federal judge in my state, backed up by a dem panel at the 6th Circuit, ruled that our state's parental consent to medical treatment law was just fine and dandy and clearly fell under the police power of the state.

They then ruled that anything to do with birth control, from abortions to the pill to norplant, are simply not medical treatment or procedures.

They just flat out made A not equal A, so that they could get teens hooked on birth control and abortions early when it will take better.

It is not anything other than a 1984 style lie, the same type of lie that will be told by the Cal Supreme Court to get gays one step closer to recruiting little kids.
11.12.2008 9:11am
Ray Eckhart (mail):

We're picketing them.


MLK did not have to deal with open hostility on the part of most churches to his cause, just complacency, a far different thing. Where were all the church sponsored rallies and appeals for money to their congregants to oppose his "radical agenda?"
11.12.2008 9:11am
Brian Mac:

And futhermore, lesbians have the lowest rate of AIDS of any group and many STDs. If you are concerned about health consequences, you should be encouraging women to be lesbians.

Sweet! So now when encouraging female friends to experiment, I can say it's all in the name of public health!
11.12.2008 9:34am
Careless:

No, we don't hate you Matteo. It's just like you folks say, we hate the sin, not the sinner. So sure, we hate your attempts to change us and your failure to accept us as your equal, but we don't hate you.

Randy, you might not hate him, but it's pretty clear (John D) you don't speak for everyone.

They just flat out made A not equal A, so that they could get teens hooked on birth control and abortions early when it will take better.

Hooked on birth control and abortions? Seriously?
11.12.2008 10:03am
Hoosier:
Perseus

Videotape? Do you still listen to music on an 8-track tape player? Are you like that old geezer John McCain who can't use e-mail?

It's worse: I don't even use the internet.
11.12.2008 10:29am
Ken Arromdee:
I'm curious (genuinely, this is not snark) about why it is that abortion is unique among surgical procedures with regard to parental consent. I work in the medical field, and we cannot prescribe a medication or remove a mole without written parental consent. What makes abortion so different? I assure you that it has nothing to do with the relative risks associated with the procedure.

Because there's a chance the parent will throw out or abuse the child for wanting an abortion. Becuase of the social dynamics of abortion, this problem is pretty much limited to abortion and nothing else (except maybe medication for STDs.)

Because the parent could do something to the minor that isn't abuse, but which never happens for other kinds of medical procedures. Again, the social dynamics of abortion pretty much limit this to just abortion; you never see someone saying "now that you told me you want a hernia operation, I'm not letting you see your boyfriend any more."

Because the need for the abortion could have come about because of abuse in the first place, yet the parent could plausibly not want to have the procedure performed (unlike ordinary injuries, where it would look very bad for a parent to, say, not take a kid with a broken bone to a hospital.)

Because the decision to have an abortion affects the minor's entire life, including after she turns 18. This is pretty unique for any medical procedure that doesn't fix something life threatening.
11.12.2008 10:40am
Mark E.Butler (mail):
Why bother with the small stuff, like redefining marriage to include relationships involving only one sex? All you "No on 8" folks should instead try to amend the California constitution to do away with the sexes altogether. If men are women and women are men and nobody can tell the difference anymore (and, of course, my proposed amendment would succeed in accomplishing that), then how could the county clerk deny a marriage license to any couple that showed up in the office?

And it's time to ditch that ridiculous "Marriage Equality" slogan. Anybody and his dog could tell you that there's nothing equal about "marrying" two men to each other and marrying a man and a woman. But, if you move upward to "Sex Equality" so that, by constitutional fiat, all men and women are hereafter simply "humans", then all marriages will be between two "humans" and all this damnable discrimination will come to an end.

All you'd have to do then is figure out a way to turn a colon into a uterus, and how to add some ovaries. That might prove a little difficult, but you might find some useful suggestions in Abraham Lincoln's famous answer to the question: Why do men have nipples?
11.12.2008 10:44am
Hoosier:
Vanhattan

"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Ghandi

So you share his bigotted opinion? Or is one suppoded to assume that Ghandi, being Ghandi, was right?

Because, to be frank, I don't. "I don't like your Hindus" wouldn't go over very well, I'm sure.
11.12.2008 10:57am
Visiting Lawyer (mail):

Well, one thing is sure: gay marriage is much less likely to get any LDS votes from now on. There were several LDS people who were opposed to Prop 8. Now, they look like fools for bucking the church--because one thing is quite, quite clear: Gays are targeting Mormons, trying to strip them of various rights. Just as the leadership said, in fact....


Steve Young and his wife do look a little silly now, you are right. As do the no on 8 types in my sister's congregation who got a brick through their window as a part of demonstration by people they used to agree with.


I will say that one of the big reasons I voted 'Yes' on 8, is that, based on precedent in other jurisdictions, once "gay marriage" becomes law, then churches and believers inevitably become targets of "discrimination" and "hate speech" litigation/prosecution. The Prop 8 rioters have certainly reinforced this assessment for me. Not because I think the worst elements represent all gays, but because the worst elements are going to be the ones driving the litigation/prosecution regardless of what the "I just want to be left alone" majority of gays thinks.


It is too bad Canada went the way it did with those cases, not to mention too bad the Boy Scouts have been subject to the kind of litigation that makes some churches fear they would be next.

On the other hand, no one is prosecuting any of the hate crimes committed against Mormons or the LDS. In some ways, that is an improvement, in other ways sad that the LDS are now considered a "legitimate" target for hate crimes.
11.12.2008 10:58am
Randy R. (mail):
Matteo: "And my wife would like to leave you with this thought: Nothing is impossible for God!"

Very true. And I hope and pray that someday God will change your wife's heart and realize that gays don't need any healing, and will accept us as individuals just as worthy as any other. Think God can do that for her?

"Randy, you might not hate him, but it's pretty clear (John D) you don't speak for everyone."

I don't believe I ever said that I speak for everyone. Gays are not a monolithic organization, we don't exchange memos on the gay agenda. We are individuals. Heck, one-third of gays voted for McCain.

Rah:" Why do you want the government to regulate your pesonal living arrangements?"

For the same reason straights wasn the government to regulate their personal living arrangements.

"A marriage is an agreement between two people to share their lives. The couple can create a partneship agreement and place all the conditions they agree to in that agreement , include property rights and have that agreemnt enforced by the courts. "

All true. But it's a lot easier to get all those same rights by getting married. You don't have to carry around living wills, powers of attorney and all that. Plus, there are many benefits and legal implications at the federal level that only married spouses can get.

When straight people say that they would prefer to get civil unionized than get married, then I will be happy to just have that. Until then, what's good enough fro straights is and should be good enough for me.

Mark: "Anybody and his dog could tell you that there's nothing equal about "marrying" two men to each other and marrying a man and a woman."

All human beings are unique, and none are equal to another. One person is tall, the other short, one is smart, the other stupid, one is blue-eyed, the other is brown, one is stong, the other is weak. Yet the law requires that each be *treated* equally. Which is what we are trying to get as well.

Unless, of course, you believe that in the US, our constitution, which requires 'equal protection' under the laws, has already made everyone absolutely equal already.

But you actually make a good point. How do we define a man and a woman? There are people born with both genetalia, and they are intersexed. Which are they? Can they marry either man or woman? There are some people with three chromosomes, XXY. Are they man or woman? Do you just go by how they are dressed? This law will of course be rather troublesome to those who biologically (and therefore God given) can't be placed in a box of either male of female.

But you know, with God all things are possible. Perhaps if they pray hard enough, God will erase that extra chromosome, and then we won't have to make the hard decisions.
11.12.2008 11:09am
John D (mail):
Careless,

I may fervently dislike Matteo (hate is a bit stronger than my feelings), but that is only because he is someone who has done me a harm.

By voting against my civil rights and insisting that his religious beliefs should trump mine, Matteo has left me with fewer civil liberties. Members of my religious group can no longer engage in our practices as we see fit, we are compelled to act against our conscience and treat same-sex and opposite-sex couples differently. The state of California can no longer recognize my marriage.

To only add to my irritation, Matteo belongs to the crowd that believes that homosexuality can be "changed," despite that this is simply untrue.

I have to turn the question around. Why does Matteo hate me? What have I done to deserve his mistreatment? Why are my civil rights less valuable than his?
11.12.2008 11:09am
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
DP's have to be changed to avoid the "statutory scheme" that was ruled unconstitutional by the court. If they give "all the rights of marriage", then they cannot have a different name from marriage, and Prop 8 didn't change that. It'd still be a statutory scheme that resulted in different names for the same rights.

So, they should adopt Recognition Ready civil unions that are defined as "marriage minus conception rights". All the other rights of marriage, but no longer all the rights of marriage, and therefore now constitutional. Then when Congress enacts the Egg And Sperm Civil Union Compromise, which bans genetic engineering (and therefore same-sex conception) and recognizes Civil Unions defined as "marriage minus conception rights", those couples will be immediately get fed recognition.
11.12.2008 11:10am
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
How do we define a man and a woman?

Basically these are defined by the likelihood of being able to conceive with someone else. If you would be more likely to successfully conceive with a random woman than a random ma, then you are a man.
11.12.2008 11:14am
MarkField (mail):

That Founders like Jefferson were willing to require that slavery be abolished by legislatures--not the courts--is an indication of how close to majority rule they were on that continuum.


You're wrong about Jefferson. He was very much a proponent of using the courts to protect fundamental rights. When he was urging Madison to support a Bill of Rights, he said, "In the arguments in favor of a declaration of rights, you omit one which has great weight with me, the legal check which it puts into the hands of the judiciary. This is a body, which if rendered independent, and kept strictly to their own department, merits great confidence for their learning and integrity."


AFterall, marriage is NOT a fundamental right

Bingo!


This may be your view, but the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that it is.
11.12.2008 11:19am
Matteo (mail) (www):
So, let's see here, I am odious to some, hated by others.

The feeling is not reciprocated.

Look, my message is simple. Secure this new definition of the institution of marriage via legitimate means. I did not vote against your marriage rights, since at present they do not yet legitimately exist. I voted against an egregious error on the part of the court. The rule of law is more important to me than any particular issue. I am not alone in this (obviously). The problem with the court's ruling is that the Prop 8 vote became a tangled-up referendum on both the question of SSM, *and* on the question of slapping down a rogue judiciary.

If your side puts an amendment on the ballot, then the question becomes very much clearer. Voters will focus on the question itself, and not on anything else. And if you succeed, the right to SSM will be explicitly stated in the Constitution in a way that absolutely anyone (hopefully even judges!) can read. Should you succeed in this, I would fight any effort to overturn it. Although I wouldn't be thrilled about it for religious, moral and cultural reasons, I'd recognize your legitimate victory. If this all seems like some sort of odious hate-bomb to you, then the problem is with you, not me.
11.12.2008 11:36am
Cornellian (mail):
If English has a foreword and an afterword, why does it have only an aftermath, but not a foremath?
11.12.2008 11:42am
Hoosier:
If English has a foreword and an afterword, why does it have only an aftermath, but not a foremath?

And, as long as we're at it, what's that thing that comes in between the foremath and the aftermath? Is that just the math? Middle-math? What?
11.12.2008 11:59am
mischief (mail):

She would also be more likely to seek an off-record, back-alley abortion, which can be life-threatening.


So can having an abortion without parental notification. Girls have died from bleeding and from post-operation infections because to get their parents to take them to the ER, they would have had to tell them they were having complications from the procedure.
11.12.2008 12:05pm
pauldom:

"The couple can create a partneship agreement and place all the conditions they agree to in that agreement , include property rights and have that agreemnt enforced by the courts. "

All true. But it's a lot easier to get all those same rights by getting married. You don't have to carry around living wills, powers of attorney and all that.

I've wondered about this issue ever since reading about Janice Langbehn and Lisa Marie Pond. They signed up for a cruise with their kids, but before the ship could leave Miami, Pond suffered a brain aneurysm and died. The hospital wouldn't let Pond's partner or children into her hospital room, despite having power of atty and other docs faxed to them, reportedly because Florida is "an anti-gay state." (Pond's sister was allowed into the room.) Later, Langbehn's request for Pond's death certificate (needed for insurance purposes) was denied.

Stories like this suggest that "partnership agreements" don't really do the job.
11.12.2008 12:43pm
Randy R. (mail):
" The hospital wouldn't let Pond's partner or children into her hospital room."

Can any one explain the justification for hospitals' behavior on this issue? when a person is dying or in critical condition, I can understand that you have to severely limit who is bedside. But why is it limited only to married people? And why don't they ever have to produce evidence of marriage, it's just taken at their word? And why the problem with letting gay people have their partners, even if they don't have a DP or such things?

I thought hospitals were supposed to be compassionate places of healing. If I were in ICU, I would want my partner there, and that would help me recover more than having anyone else. Why can't they do that for me?

Anyone?
11.12.2008 1:03pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
This is going to be so much fun when the first lawsuit comes and the CA SCOTUS overturns Prop-8 just like that. Then watch the shitstorm! Fun times ahead.
11.12.2008 2:02pm
John D (mail):
EIDE_Interface,

This is going to be so much fun when the first lawsuit comes and the CA SCOTUS overturns Prop-8 just like that. Then watch the shitstorm! Fun times ahead.


Actually, the first three lawsuits have already hit. The California Supreme Court even nicely organized the three filings in a box on the main page of their site for easy access.

S168047
KAREN L. STRAUSS, et al., Petitioners v. MARK B. HORTON, et al.

S168066
ROBIN TYLER, et al., Petitioners v. STATE OF CALIFORNIA, et al.

S168078
CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO et al. Petitioners v. MARK B. HORTON, et al.

I do think you're right about the shitstorm. If the Supreme Court rules that Prop 8 should have been a revision or that it is inoperative because it conflicts with the equal protection clause, the supporters of Prop 8 will be howling mad.

I think the proponents of marriage equality should make no delay in getting people sympathetic to the justice of their cause.
11.12.2008 2:10pm
PubliusFL:
Vanhattan: The California Supreme Court addressed your argument directly. Calling this argument "Sophistic" because such a choice negates the persons sexual orientation.

This seems to me like arguing that equal protection requires the definition of "arms" in the Second Amendment to be understood as including protest signs, because otherwise pacifists would have little use for the "right to keep and bear arms." Equal protection doesn't mean that all rights have to interest all groups equally. The fact that some people have no interest in the relationship described by the traditional definition of marriage doesn't mean that that definition is unconstitutional.
11.12.2008 2:48pm
PubliusFL:
Ray Eckhart: MLK did not have to deal with open hostility on the part of most churches to his cause, just complacency, a far different thing.

MLK dealt with open hostility from plenty of churches. I'm not aware of his movement adopting the tactic of disrupting the services of those churches, etc., like the more radical of Proposition 8's opponents are doing.

A blast from the past:


"But the fact remains that right now the segregationist clergymen are the ones who are doing the loudest talking. In Little Rock, segregationist clergymen are doing their best to embarrass their opponents by taking newspaper ads to ask why the opponents' own churches are not integrated, if integration is what they believe in. . . . Throughout the Bible Belt only a handful of pulpits ring with talk about the brotherhood of man—if brotherhood implies sitting together in a schoolroom. Pro-segregation sentiment is strongest in the areas where the rooted religion is Baptist and where the pentecostal sects flourish."

-- Integration &the Churches, Time magazine, 1958
11.12.2008 2:53pm
PubliusFL:
Ken Arromdee: Because the parent could do something to the minor that isn't abuse, but which never happens for other kinds of medical procedures. Again, the social dynamics of abortion pretty much limit this to just abortion; you never see someone saying "now that you told me you want a hernia operation, I'm not letting you see your boyfriend any more."

. . . .

Because the decision to have an abortion affects the minor's entire life, including after she turns 18. This is pretty unique for any medical procedure that doesn't fix something life threatening.


These are arguments AGAINST parental notification? I'd like to see the pro-choice crowd use these arguments in its ads opposing the next attempt at a parental notification law:

"If Proposition __ passes, you might make your daughter stop dating the creep who got her pregnant! She would be less able to make decisions profoundly affecting the course of her entire life completely without your knowledge!"

I'm sure that'd win over a lot of parents.
11.12.2008 2:59pm
Perseus (mail):
You're wrong about Jefferson. He was very much a proponent of using the courts to protect fundamental rights. When he was urging Madison to support a Bill of Rights, he said, "In the arguments in favor of a declaration of rights, you omit one which has great weight with me, the legal check which it puts into the hands of the judiciary. This is a body, which if rendered independent, and kept strictly to their own department, merits great confidence for their learning and integrity."

Notice the qualifications. The rights must be declared (and are ultimately grounded in teleological laws of nature), not invented out of thin air by judges (e.g., "it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution can do what open force would not dare to attempt...") and the judiciary is to be kept strictly within its bounds (and when it exceeds those bounds, members should be removed a la Samuel Chase). Moreover, Jefferson in particular was one who believed that constitutional disputes should be referred to the people, and this issue has been.
11.12.2008 3:40pm
Ken Arromdee:
If Proposition __ passes, you might make your daughter stop dating the creep who got her pregnant!

That's a good thing with respect to keeping your daughter away from creeps, but a bad thing if it leads your daughter to avoid getting the abortion just so she can put off telling you about the creep.

Remember lots of rules have unintended consequences.
11.12.2008 3:56pm
FlimFlamSam:
Why can't gays just be happy with civil unions and the ability to privately describe their relationship as a marriage? I don't see why that's an unreasonable compromise.
11.12.2008 3:58pm
Ken Arromdee:
Stories like this suggest that "partnership agreements" don't really do the job.

What's to suggest that marriage would, either?

According to the article, the hospital pointed to Federal laws about the privacy of medical information in not giving information to non-relatives. However, also according to the article, Federal laws says that medical information may be disclosed to relatives or someone with power of attorney. And there was a power of attorney.

So if the hospital was willing to ignore the law when it related to gay powers of attorney, why wouldn't it be willing to ignore it with respect to gay marriages?
11.12.2008 4:03pm
MarkField (mail):
Perseus, your view of Jefferson is very strange indeed. Jefferson manifestly did NOT want to refer disputes to the people. His big dispute with Marshall was that Marshall refused to limit governmental power. Instead, Marshall "left it to the people" (as Madison had argued in Federalist 44. That's the focus of Jefferson's "sapping and mining" comment -- he was angry that the Court failed to enforce what Jefferson considered to be the limits of the Constitution.

Your argument about the rights being declared simply gets us back to the debate earlier, so I'll leave that alone insofar as it relates to gay marriage. But if it's your belief that Jefferson wanted enforced only those things expressly declared, you'll need to explain how he managed to argue for a restricted reading of the "necessary and proper" clause -- which he wanted the Court to enforce -- based on interpreting the word "necessary" as though it were prefaced with the word "strictly".
11.12.2008 4:03pm
PubliusFL:
Ken Arromdee: That's a good thing with respect to keeping your daughter away from creeps, but a bad thing if it leads your daughter to avoid getting the abortion just so she can put off telling you about the creep.

How does that work? A girl avoiding telling her parents that her boyfriend got her pregnant by NOT getting an abortion? What's her explanation when the baby shows up? "Hey Mom and Dad, this angel appeared to me. . ."

In any event, even such a tactic would be effective, it's only "a bad thing" if you assume that a minor getting an abortion is more likely than not to be a good thing.
11.12.2008 4:07pm
pauldom:

So if the hospital was willing to ignore the law when it related to gay powers of attorney, why wouldn't it be willing to ignore it with respect to gay marriages?

That's a valid point, Ken. Still there's the issue of the death certificate denial. Can a power of attorney or other legal document require the state to consider someone "next of kin" for that purpose, too?

One important argument against SSM is that because gay people can already create an equivalent legal arrangement, they need the state to change the definition of marriage. I wonder to what extent that argument is true.
11.12.2008 4:17pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
FlimFlamSam, it's not unreasonable. The thing is, they want all the rights of marriage, and if it has all the rights, it has to be called marriage. They want to be allowed to attempt to create genetically related offspring if they so choose, using whatever genetic tricks they need to get it to work. Oh, they might claim, like Arne, that he doesn't demand same-sex conception rights, but he does demand equal rights and he'll refuses to agree that people should only be allowed to conceive with someone of the other sex.

California should be the first state to enact Recognition-Ready Civil Unions that are defined as "marriage minus conception rights", that prohibit the couple from attempting to join their genes to create a child, but give all the other rights. That way marriage continues to protect the couple's right to use their own genes to create children.

Those Civil Unions, if they are defined that way, could be federally recognized in Obama's first ten days if the Act were to also end gay marriage in Massachusetts and Connecticut and turn them into CU's, and preserve marriage.
11.12.2008 4:18pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
gay people can already create an equivalent legal arrangement

No, not any more than a brother and sister can. They can't just decide for themselves that it's OK to start having children together. That's what marriage licenses.

Well, it's not the same, because currently there is no prohibition on same-sex conception like there is on incest, so a same-sex couple could just decide whenever they like to attempt it (probably using an eager doctor like Richard Scott of New Jersey). But if there was a ban, then they'd be like siblings and could not just decide for themselves that it's OK to start having children together. The state (or the Feds, since the ban would be federal) would not let them.
11.12.2008 4:29pm
pauldom:
aargh. What I meant to say:

One important argument against SSM is that because gay people can already create an equivalent legal arrangement, they don't need the state to change the definition of marriage. I wonder to what extent that argument is true.

sorry. iow, I wonder to what extent people can, indeed, create an equivalent legal arrangement that serves all the many purposes of a marriage license.
11.12.2008 4:43pm
PubliusFL:
pauldom: I wonder to what extent people can, indeed, create an equivalent legal arrangement that serves all the many purposes of a marriage license.

To a pretty great extent, if they have the cooperation of a sympathetic legislature. As is the case in California.
11.12.2008 4:48pm
Perseus (mail):
Jefferson manifestly did NOT want to refer disputes to the people. It depends on which disputes you are talking about.

But if it's your belief that Jefferson wanted enforced only those things expressly declared, you'll need to explain how he managed to argue for a restricted reading of the "necessary and proper" clause -- which he wanted the Court to enforce -- based on interpreting the word "necessary" as though it were prefaced with the word "strictly".

The Bill of Rights and Jefferson's emphasis on enumerated/delegated powers were both designed to limit the government's powers. The right being asserted in this case, however, is not a negative right to marry whose exercise the government is somehow interfering with, but rather a positive right to civil marriage that entails a large bundle of government-supplied benefits--which means expanding the scope and powers of government, not limiting them.
11.12.2008 5:01pm
Anatid:
Happyshooter:
so that they could get teens hooked on birth control and abortions early when it will take better.

Oh man, after the first time she hurried past the hateful protesters into the clinic so a doctor could subject her to a painful and unpleasant procedure she felt she had to lie about to family and friends, she said, "Man, I gotta get me some more of that!"

Randy R.:
I don't believe I ever said that I speak for everyone. Gays are not a monolithic organization, we don't exchange memos on the gay agenda. We are individuals.

In other threads you've made claims along the lines of "I can almost guarantee that if you were to ask all gay people whether their sexual orientation was a choice, 100% would say no." Considering the vast, vast array of human opinion among homosexuals and heterosexuals alike, how can you reconcile these two claims?

There are some people with three chromosomes, XXY. Are they man or woman?

Good point but bad analogy. XXY individuals present as large males with a higher than average rate of mental retardation. An extra X chromosome doesn't make you any more female. (Unless there's some weird disorder where DAX-1 manages to outcompete SRY if there's two copies? I don't think that's possible.)

John Howard:
Basically these are defined by the likelihood of being able to conceive with someone else. If you would be more likely to successfully conceive with a random woman than a random ma, then you are a man.

So what are sterile people, genderless? Since a woman is more likely to conceive with a fertile woman than a sterile man, using the appropriate technology, does that make her a man?

Matteo:
I did not vote against your marriage rights, since at present they do not yet legitimately exist. I voted against an egregious error on the part of the court. The rule of law is more important to me than any particular issue.

I think that, right there, is why you're getting such a bad response. In the act of trying to shoot down a questionable court decision, you are helping accomplish the removal/prohibition of a desired right to a particular group. Members of the group (and millions of straight allies) feel that being granted this right is more important than rigidly adhering to a legal system, among whose many purposes is to correctly govern rights and freedoms.

Compare this to the parental-notification debate. Which is more important: the desired outcome of having parental involvement in their daughters' lives, or the actual outcome of increased rates of child abuse? There's a side effect to your decision to vote to punish the courts, and that's the evaporation of 18,000 marriages that would prefer to stay intact.

mischief:
So can having an abortion without parental notification. Girls have died from bleeding and from post-operation infections because to get their parents to take them to the ER, they would have had to tell them they were having complications from the procedure.

I am under the impression that back-alley abortions have a higher rate of life-threatening complications than do legal abortions performed by licensed physicians in state-inspected facilities.

PubliusFL:
These are arguments AGAINST parental notification? [...]
I'm sure that'd win over a lot of parents.

No, the argument against parental notification is that we want to protect the small minority of girls who do not choose to tell their parents anyway (unlike the majority of girls, who do, I just wanted to repeat that fact) for fear of abuse or other repercussions. If you're worried that your daughter will get an abortion and not tell you, instead of voting for a law that will put other teens in less stable households at risk, consider making sure she knows that she can come to you without fear if she's ever in trouble and needs your help.
11.12.2008 5:14pm
Brian Mac:
Elephant in the room = marriage is pretty dire, by most accounts.
11.12.2008 5:21pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
So what are sterile people, genderless? Since a woman is more likely to conceive with a fertile woman than a sterile man, using the appropriate technology, does that make her a man?

No, it's how that person would be most likely to be able to contribute their genes to create offspring. The key is "their genes". If a person's genes would more likely work when combined with a woman's, then it's a man. Another way to see it is, if this person were healthy, would they more likely be able to mother or father a child.
11.12.2008 5:25pm
Perseus (mail):
Compare this to the parental-notification debate. Which is more important: the desired outcome of having parental involvement in their daughters' lives, or the actual outcome of increased rates of child abuse? There's a side effect to your decision to vote to punish the courts, and that's the evaporation of 18,000 marriages that would prefer to stay intact.

The alleged harms are not comparable since California domestic partnerships afford virtually all the legal benefits of marriage.
11.12.2008 5:35pm
John D (mail):
Anatid,

Was the court's decision really "questionable"? Certainly there are those who have questioned it, but have they done so reasonably?

The opponents of same-sex marriage, for all their claims to the contrary, seem to be interested in results only. They're fond of judicial activism, as long as it goes their way.

And so there's no complaint from the anti-marriage crowd when a court says that marriage is for procreation, even though they know that opposite-sex couples will not be held to that standard.

The objection people have to Marriage Cases is that the Court found for the plaintiffs. (And if it had gone against them, these same people would have been telling the gay community to "suck it up and move on.")

If the decision is questionable, then what are its flaws?

Gay people are certainly victims of discrimination and the preponderance of evidence is that sexuality is immutable. It looks like the suspect class consideration should hold.

If there's nothing about gender roles in the marriage laws and gay people ought not be discriminated against, how can one make a case against granting marriage rights to same-sex couples?

For that matter, to return to Mateo's comment, he claims that he's interested in the rule of law. Isn't protection of minority rights by the courts part of the rule of law?
11.12.2008 5:36pm
PubliusFL:
John D: The opponents of same-sex marriage, for all their claims to the contrary, seem to be interested in results only. They're fond of judicial activism, as long as it goes their way.

And so there's no complaint from the anti-marriage crowd when a court says that marriage is for procreation, even though they know that opposite-sex couples will not be held to that standard.


Only if the court says marriage is for procreation as the result of deferring to a judgment to that effect made by the people or their legislative representatives. If 1) a law making same-sex marriage legal had been approved by the voters, and 2) the courts had struck THAT law down on the basis that "marriage is for procreation," I bet you a lot of the people who supported Prop 8 would have been just as mad about judicial overreaching. If Prop 8 had failed, what would have been the argument for judicial activism advanced by its proponents? I can't imagine it.
11.12.2008 5:46pm
John D (mail):
PubliusFL,

I must disagree with you.

First, several courts have found that marriage is for procreation, without imposing a procreation requirement on heterosexual couples. Margaret "Maggie Gallagher" Srivastav has championed the procreation argument, but says that it would be intrusive to ask heterosexual couples if they are fertile or have the intention to procreate.

In these cases, the procreation argument was advanced in a court case, and not through the legislature or by a vote of the people.

Schwarzenegger vetoed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act, which would have allowed same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses (the "religious freedom" part of the bill was a provision that members of the clergy could refuse to officiate on religious grounds, a right they already had).

Let's say he had signed it and the court tossed it out because "marriage is for procreation" (in the real world, they took great amusement poking holes in that argument when it was presented by the private parties).

I suspect that the vast bulk of the people who voted for Prop 8 would be satisfied. They'd be happy with any result that lead to a ban on same-sex marriage. Can we expect Srivastav to complain about judicial overreaching if they use her pet theory? No way.

I think the actual number of people who voted for Prop 8 because the felt that judges shouldn't overturn voter initiatives is a small one. And once again, it's an unreasonable claim. The California constitution puts initiative statutes outside the reach of the Legislatures. It does not put them outside the reach of the courts.

Those who say that the California court "overreached" in Marriage Cases needs to deliver an argument based on the appropriate activities of a court, as derived from California law, and not based on their unhappiness with the result.
11.12.2008 6:18pm
Perseus (mail):
Was the court's decision really "questionable"? Certainly there are those who have questioned it, but have they done so reasonably?

No less reasonably than your defense of the one-vote majority on the California Supreme Court.

The opponents of same-sex marriage, for all their claims to the contrary, seem to be interested in results only. They're fond of judicial activism, as long as it goes their way.

That's rich coming from the pro-SSM side. Were they out protesting against the state legislature for violating the California constitution when it sought to do an end run around Prop. 22? Of course not because they are even more intensely intent on achieving the desired result.
11.12.2008 6:19pm
Ken Arromdee:
How does that work? A girl avoiding telling her parents that her boyfriend got her pregnant by NOT getting an abortion? What's her explanation when the baby shows up? "Hey Mom and Dad, this angel appeared to me. . ."

Notice the words "put off" I used. She'll probably tell the parent eventually; but it'll be at a later stage.

Alternatively, she'll run away from home to be with the boyfriend, rather than hiding the abortion and staying at home.
11.12.2008 6:21pm
PubliusFL:
John D: First, several courts have found that marriage is for procreation, without imposing a procreation requirement on heterosexual couples.

What's your basis for describing this as "judicial activism"? Such a finding made in the course of upholding a statute enacted by the legislature or the people would not be judicial activism at all. It'd be deference to the political process. Have the courts ever struck down a statute on the basis that "marriage is for procreation"?
11.12.2008 6:26pm
Ken Arromdee:
Still there's the issue of the death certificate denial.

Interestingly, that article reads a bit differently; the first one implies that they couldn't see her even after faxing in the power of attorney, while the second says that the power of attorney was accepted, but she died before that. But the same question still arises--they could treat a married couple equally badly (just demand that proof of marriage be faxed in).

As for the death certificate, well, there is a lawsuit. If the lawsuit is legitimate and the hospital's conduct is illegal anyway, then marriage wouldn't have made any difference, except to increase by 1 the number of laws the hospital would have to violate.
11.12.2008 6:36pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
maybe a Massachusetts court would strike down a statute that prohibited genetic engineering and required people to procreate with someone of the other sex because "marriage is for procreation" and you cannot prohibit a married couple from attempting to procreate? The Mass laws allowing stem cell research while prohibiting implanting embryos not from fertilization of an egg by a sperm are notably silent on whether the egg and sperm have to come from a woman and man, like Missouri's 2006 amendment does. If Mass had Missouri's cloning law, or Missouri had Massachusetts's marriage law, then we could see what happens with that "marriage is for procreation" argument.

This is why we need to be looking at the same-sex conception issue right now, even though it might never actually happen. We need to be able to address it without some judge saying that we have to allow it because seven same-sex couples got married already.
11.12.2008 6:49pm
John D (mail):
Perseus,

Sometimes, court decisions are delivered by a split court. SCOTUS has had many 5/4 decisions. It would never occur to me to argue that a 5/4 decision is somehow less proper than a 6/3, a 7/2, or a unanimous decision.

I think we need to look at each opinion by how they are written, and not actually by the number of justices who have signed them.

If the California court had a 4/3 split, but the opinion read,

Same-sex couples get to marry, because we the black-robed tyrants say so.


then I would be open to calling that a questionable. I would be attacking it not on its one-vote majority, but the thinness of its legal reasoning.

Feel free to rebut the Marriage Cases opinion. Take it line by line and point out how the Court is wrong on every point. Be my guest.

As for protesting the Legislatures attempted pre-emption of Prop 22, I didn't protest, but I also didn't protest when Arnold vetoed it (I felt his justification was reasonable, later the court said that Arnold was right).

However, an assertion that the marriage proponents are also results oriented (which I think true) does not rebut my assertion that the marriage opponents are results oriented. Yes, the proponents of same-sex marriage are results oriented. I personally felt that Prop 22 left us only the court as a possible remedy.

The claim was made that the supporters of Prop 8 were motivated by their disdain for judicial activism. I haven't seen any evidence of this. They seem to be motivated by their opposition to same-sex marriage. They're entitled to be opposed, but let's not pretend that they're more high-minded than they really are.
11.12.2008 7:07pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
Can anyone name a married couple from history that were publicly prohibited from procreating before? Like, where a statute rules out them trying, and that they are prohibited from trying is known to the public, but yet were allowed to be married? I can sure name lots of unmarried couples that are prohibited from procreating together but they're all unmarriable. If they're publicly prohibited from procreating, they're not eligible to be married. But every couple that has ever been married has been allowed to attempt to conceive. Same-sex couples want to be allowed to conceive too. But they shouldn't be allowed to sneak the right in by asking for hospital visitation, and we shouldn't let them bring every marriage down to their lack of conception rights by making it possible for the state to prohibit married couples from conceiving together.

To protect a married couples claim to be allowed to attempt to conceive with their own genes, we cannot have same-sex marriage. Even if we maintain the right of marriage by allowing unregulated same-sex conception, it would open the door to all forms of genetic engineering and that would erode the right to use one's own genes by coercing people.
11.12.2008 7:09pm
KWC (mail):
Smokey:

I guess you are aware that the 70% of blacks who voted YES account for a small fraction of the total voters. You see, there are more white and hispanic voters than black voters in California.
11.12.2008 7:26pm
KWC (mail):
John Howard,

You have failed to persuasively address why infertile, elderly, or intersexed individuals should be allowed to marry, where same-sex couples should not. You fail to recognize that, with or without same-sex marriage, same-sex couples (or even single people) can adopt and/or engage in artificial insemination.

You don't make much sense. I can't tell if you are crazy or just not so bright...
11.12.2008 7:31pm
PubliusFL:
John Howard: Can anyone name a married couple from history that were publicly prohibited from procreating before? Like, where a statute rules out them trying, and that they are prohibited from trying is known to the public, but yet were allowed to be married?

Yes. I am aware of laws in at least Japan and China that required sterilization as a precondition for marriage for certain people believed at risk for passing on diseases or genetic defects to their offspring.
11.12.2008 7:36pm
John D (mail):
John Howard,

I've forgotten the state, but one state allows first cousins to marry if the woman has gone through menopause (so much for Margaret Srivastav's claim that asking would be too intrusive).

Moreover, I'm sure people have given you responses to that question before.

There was also discussion of a case where a woman's parole requirements included that stipulation that she not become pregnant. I'm sure you commented on it.

You can drop the question of whether a heterosexual couple has ever been prohibited from procreating, because it's been established that the answer is yes.

Next thread on same-sex marriage, you'll raise the question again.
11.12.2008 7:42pm
Heh:

Members of the group (and millions of straight allies) feel that being granted this right is more important than rigidly adhering to a legal system, among whose many purposes is to correctly govern rights and freedoms.


Well there you go. The laws are only important when they're advantageous to them.

But I guess that means that if it turns out Bush broke any laws, it was cool because it was more important to him to protect the US than rigidly adhering to a legal system, among whose many purposes is to correctly govern rights and freedoms. Right?

I mean, that gay community is just a bunch of random people. He's the President. If the first is OK, the second must certainly be :)
11.12.2008 7:46pm
MarkField (mail):

It depends on which disputes you are talking about.


Agreed, but in fairness, that could be said of everyone AFAIK. There may be a few people who favor majority rule in all cases whatsoever, but I know of none who favor judicial rule in all cases.


The right being asserted in this case, however, is not a negative right to marry whose exercise the government is somehow interfering with, but rather a positive right to civil marriage that entails a large bundle of government-supplied benefits--which means expanding the scope and powers of government, not limiting them.


Under the strict wording of Prop 8, the government is interfering with the right. It reads "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Taken literally, if Randy R. were to get married in a Unitarian Church, Prop. 8 would render that marriage "invalid" regardless of Randy's intent or the recognition of the marriage by a valid religion.

Moreover, it's a little bit too easy to call this a positive right (I'm not much on the distinction in any case). It's more accurate to say that this is a question of government extending the same benefits to everyone on an equal basis. Jefferson fully supported equality.

Now, if you want to get the government out of the marriage business, I'm with you. But to claim the recognition of gay marriages as any significant expansion of governmental power, given how relatively small the pool of gay marriages is, strikes me as reaching.
11.12.2008 7:54pm
Greg Q (mail) (www):
Matteo:
I did not vote against your marriage rights, since at present they do not yet legitimately exist. I voted against an egregious error on the part of the court. The rule of law is more important to me than any particular issue.

Anatid:
I think that, right there, is why you're getting such a bad response. In the act of trying to shoot down a questionable court decision, you are helping accomplish the removal/prohibition of a desired right to a particular group. Members of the group (and millions of straight allies) feel that being granted this right is more important than rigidly adhering to a legal system, among whose many purposes is to correctly govern rights and freedoms.

Well Anatid, you , and they, are wrong. You are wrong because it is through that legal system (that you wish to sabotage) that we determine what are the appropriate rights and freedoms. You are wrong because once you've eliminated the rule of law, and replaced it with the rule of men, you've just destroyed all rights and freedoms.

Do you want the other side to accept decisions that go against them, and for you? Then you must accept decisions that go the opposite way, and the way of getting those decisions must be legitimate. Four judges imposing their personal desires over the opinions of four million voters is not legitimate.
11.12.2008 8:16pm
Greg Q (mail) (www):
MarkField

But to claim the recognition of gay marriages as any significant expansion of governmental power, given how relatively small the pool of gay marriages is, strikes me as reaching.

Only because you're deliberately ignoring the point of SSM. SSM does not gain its practitioners even one legal benefit over what a Civil Union gets them. Everything that CA can give them, they've got with a Civil Union, and the Federal DoMA keeps them from getting any of the Federal Benefits of marriage, regardless of whether or not they have a marriage license.

SSM is not about legal rights or benefits for same sex couples. It's about using the power of the State to force "acceptance" on all the people who don't believe that a gay couple can ever be married to each other, or who acknowledge that homosexuality isn't normal (when you're < 3% of the population, you're, by definition, not normal), or who believe that homosexual behavior is wrong.

It is, in short, about advancing intolerance. About telling people "you're not allowed to think that, or to teach your children that, or to keep the public schools from teaching your children the opposite of what you believe."

That is a significant expansion of government action.
11.12.2008 8:25pm
John D (mail):
Greg Q,

Is it the 4/3 thing or the judges thing that gets to you? Would you have been happy if this were not a split decision, or are you holding that an initiative statute cannot, under any circumstances be found in violation of the California Constitution?

Is there actually a section of California law that reserves the determination of appropriate rights and freedoms to the people? And, in that case, ought the judges simply stop declaring anything a suspect class, since the majority can void their rights anyway? Further, is the judiciary independent if all of their decisions must be ratified by the people?

How do you guard against tyranny of the majority in the circumstances you are proposing?

Do not your suggestions substitute the rule of the mob for the rule of law?

In California we have a constitutional clause guaranteeing equal protection to all people. How should that be interpreted if a majority does not wish to see that group receive equal protection?
11.12.2008 8:25pm
Anatid:
No, it's how that person would be most likely to be able to contribute their genes to create offspring. The key is "their genes". If a person's genes would more likely work when combined with a woman's, then it's a man. Another way to see it is, if this person were healthy, would they more likely be able to mother or father a child.

Are you trying to describe genetics, or is this some grand metaphor? The success of the conjunction of two haploid cells to produce a viable zygote, if you ignore the indirect effects of genetics on the enzyme cocktail that allows two cells to fuse membranes in the first place, has much more to do with the strength of the other 22 chromosomes than with that final X or Y.

I think you're trying to talk about cell types that fuse naturally, not on the genetic content of each cell. Or maybe not, I can't actually tell.

To protect a married couples claim to be allowed to attempt to conceive with their own genes, we cannot have same-sex marriage. Even if we maintain the right of marriage by allowing unregulated same-sex conception, it would open the door to all forms of genetic engineering and that would erode the right to use one's own genes by coercing people.

What is currently stopping straight couples from genetically engineering their children, other than a shortage of technology? The early stages are already being observed in parents who undergo genetic testing early in a pregnancy or in vitro to avoid having a child with Tay-Sachs or thalassemia, or even to select for a child of a particular gender. Using artificial techniques to create a child out of the genetic material of a sterile man to impregnate a woman is not, when you go to the petri dish, any different than using the genetic material of another woman.

What sort of Gattaca-eqsue society are you envisioning that will come about only if we permit gay couples to marry?

It is, in short, about advancing intolerance. About telling people "you're not allowed to think that, or to teach your children that, or to keep the public schools from teaching your children the opposite of what you believe."

Is this necessarily a bad thing? If I want to teach my children that African-Americans are inherently inferior to Caucasians, and insist that the school allow me to pull my children from classes where African-American authors/scientists/social activists/etc are discussed, should the state be allowed to stop me?

Also, please don't forget that parents ARE entitled to pull their children from Sex Ed or virtually any class they choose if they object to its content.
11.12.2008 9:08pm
Perseus (mail):
Take it line by line and point out how the Court is wrong on every point. Be my guest.

That's what the dissenting opinions did quite well (I would go further and deny that civil marriage is a fundamental right).

It's more accurate to say that this is a question of government extending the same benefits to everyone on an equal basis. Jefferson fully supported equality.

I'm not so sure that even Jefferson was as enamored with abstract equality as modern day egalitarians, but we do have a pretty good idea of his views regarding same sex relations.
11.12.2008 9:44pm
pauldom:
Ken Arromdee:

As for the death certificate, well, there is a lawsuit. If the lawsuit is legitimate and the hospital's conduct is illegal anyway, then marriage wouldn't have made any difference, except to increase by 1 the number of laws the hospital would have to violate.

But the death certificate was denied by the state and the county, not the hospital. I don't see how suing the hospital solves that problem.
11.12.2008 10:39pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
You have failed to persuasively address why infertile, elderly, or intersexed individuals should be allowed to marry, where same-sex couples should not.

Because the infertile or elderly individual has a right to attempt to procreate, they aren't prohibited from attempting to procreate. Intersexed people should be publicly allowed to procreate as their legal sex with someone of the other sex. But privately, if their legal sex doesn't match the sex they are most likely to conceive as without any modification or genetic engineering, then they would be prohibited from attempting what is essentially same-sex conception. But that would be a private condition, not a public prohibition, similar to just being infertile. So you see, they have the right to try, we approve of them trying. We should not approve of anyone trying same-sex conception, it should be prohibited.

You fail to recognize that, with or without same-sex marriage, same-sex couples (or even single people) can adopt and/or engage in artificial insemination.

Right, that seems to have nothing to do with marriage.

You don't make much sense. I can't tell if you are crazy or just not so bright...

It makes sense. Let me ask you, first of all, do you agree that people should only be allowed to conceive with someone of the other sex? And, do you believe marriages can be prohibited form procreating? Apparently that's John D's position, that same-sex couples can be prohibited from conceiving and still be married. I think that is better than allowing same-sex conception, but still very dangerous, to bring every couple down to the level of same-sex couples that can be prohibited from conceiving.
11.12.2008 10:44pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
I've forgotten the state, but one state allows first cousins to marry if the woman has gone through menopause (so much for Margaret Srivastav's claim that asking would be too intrusive).

Yes, and I've noted before that their marriage is still allowed to attempt to conceive, it is only assumed that it won't. It was a clumsy and, yes, intrusive attempt at a compassionate response to old cousins that other states would have allowed to marry anyhow. They are not a couple that might want to procreate and might be able to procreate (with a lab) but is being prohibited from procreating. They are a couple that has given up on procreating, back in the day when that meant they couldn't. We don't know how that state handles IVF, but I've looked, and nothing in the law actually prohibits that first cousin marriage from attempting to conceive somehow. What they need, if they really intend to prohibit them from conceiving rather than just assuming they won't, is a Civil Union that doesn't grant conception rights. Giving them marriage gives them conception rights, look at the law. They aren't prohibited form trying.

Moreover, I'm sure people have given you responses to that question before.

Yes, and then they don't have a response to my point about them not actually being prohibited from conceiving. Also, they don't respond to the other obvious implication of that law: they don't let first cousins marry if they aren't infertile, because that would give them the right to conceive children, and that is what is prohibited.

There was also discussion of a case where a woman's parole requirements included that stipulation that she not become pregnant. I'm sure you commented on it.

No I don't recall that one. I don't think that's constitutional if she is married. I've seen cases where unmarried people were told not to get pregnant as a stipulation, and even in those cases there are lawyers arguing that it's unconstitutional.

You can drop the question of whether a heterosexual couple has ever been prohibited from procreating, because it's been established that the answer is yes.

A married couple? Not those cousins, who are allowed to procreate but probably will not, and I'm waiting to hear about the marital status on the parole case.

Next thread on same-sex marriage, you'll raise the question again.

Indeed, because it's true, and even if there have been exceptions (which I still doubt), there should not be any exceptions any more, not in this day of eugenic coercion to use substitute gametes. We really need to assert that all people have a right to marry and attempt to conceive with their spouse, using their own genes. What you are asserting is the precise opposite, it is the position of the eugenicists, and against basic human rights.

At any rate, the point I am trying to make is that same-sex couples shouldn't be allowed to procreate. That needs to be dealt with first of all.
11.12.2008 11:14pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
Yes. I am aware of laws in at least Japan and China that required sterilization as a precondition for marriage for certain people believed at risk for passing on diseases or genetic defects to their offspring.

Ha, but they'd let them procreate if they don't get married, then? And that's a totally unacceptable result of gay marriage, for it to impose a Eugenic sterilization program on all people and subject every person to a genetic test, with no right to use their own genes. I'm glad it's out on the table though. Because gay couples can't procreate, everyone will have to be subject to eugenic sterilization, so that gays can have the same rights. It's so clear.

Can we have a little poll here? Are all the people for SSM also for subjecting every person or couple to eugenic sterilization? None of you believe that a person has a right to procreate?
11.12.2008 11:22pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
Anatid, it's not just the X and Y that are different, the whole genome has male or female imprinting all over every chromosome, so that only one copy of every gene is "on". When the haploid gametes are created in meiosis, each chromosome is reprogrammed to be the sex of the person, whether that chromosome came from their mother or father, with their imprinting, in the person's diploid cells. Joining same-sex haploid cells fails not because of the cell type, but because of the imprinting. At any rate, it doesn't work without fiddling with the genes. So without fiddling, every person has one sex they are most likely able to reproduce as.

What is currently stopping straight couples from genetically engineering their children, other than a shortage of technology?

Nothing! That's exactly right. The law I am pushing for would stop them too. But it would affirm, rather than take away, their right to procreate with their own genes. If gay marriage is allowed, it will be impossible to stop genetic engineering, because either we will have declared it a right, or we will have denied the right to use your own genes.

Using artificial techniques to create a child out of the genetic material of a sterile man to impregnate a woman is not, when you go to the petri dish, any different than using the genetic material of another woman.

no, a sterile man wouldn't need any changing or modification of his genes, he'd only need gametes containing his actual genes. No reprogramming necessary. Also, one is clearly medicine, and the other unrelated to medicine, since it is perfectly healthy for a woman to not being able to impregnate another woman.

What sort of Gattaca-eqsue society are you envisioning that will come about only if we permit gay couples to marry?

One where people don't use their own genes to have children with their chosen spouse. Where there is a eugenic test if you don't want to be sterilized.
11.12.2008 11:40pm
Randy R. (mail):
Anatid: "In other threads you've made claims along the lines of "I can almost guarantee that if you were to ask all gay people whether their sexual orientation was a choice, 100% would say no." Considering the vast, vast array of human opinion among homosexuals and heterosexuals alike, how can you reconcile these two claims? "

Very easily. One is fact, the other opinion. I can't speak regarding the opinions of all gays. we don't speak with a monolithic voice on taxes, marriage, the Iraq war, or silver patterns.

However, with regards to biological issues, there are facts that we not indispute. For instance: I can confidently say that all men have penises. Of course not every single man the world has a penis — some were not born with one, some had their removed involuntarily, and so on. But it's not really a fact in dispute.

With regards to sexual orientation I rely on two things: first, the medical evidence. There is no credible evidence that sexual orientation is a choice. I have asked many times for any actual peer reviewed research that claims otherwise, and so far no one has presented any except the occasional rants from some strange religious group or half baked theories they found on the internet somewhere.
Second, I rely upon my experience and the experience of every single gay person I have ever brought up the topic, which again is uniform that none of us have a choice. I have yet to meet any person who says otherwise.

When the evidence is so overwhelming for one side, you can be pretty darn confident about it.
11.13.2008 12:07am
Randy R. (mail):
Greg Q: "SSM is not about legal rights or benefits for same sex couples. It's about using the power of the State to force "acceptance" on all the people who don't believe that a gay couple can ever be married to each other, or who acknowledge that homosexuality isn't normal (when you're < 3% of the population, you're, by definition, not normal), or who believe that homosexual behavior is wrong. "

Strange. All along you have been adamantly stating that the only reason you voted for Prop 8 is because you are angry that the Court made a decision that you think is reserved for the people. Now we find out that, despite your earlier denials, you really dont' like gays or gay marriage.

I guess since we are only 3% of the population that makes us not normal. I'm sure you believe that left handed people are not normal, and believe that their behavior is wrong as well. Perhaps you will next want to ban them from getting married.

Furthermore, if you are the definiation of 'normal' then count me out! I don't judge people quite so quickly and easily as you normal people. You probably have never heard of Debussy or seen a Sondheim musical either, and I would rather be abnormal and know them both than to be 'normal' like you.

(Oddly enough, about 48% of the people of CA voted against Prop 8. I guess half of the population is abnormal too. But these abnormals are able to deal with gays better than you. I wonder why!)

For your information, gay people have been getting married in Mass. since 2002, and every thing is fine over there. Somehow people still make it to work on time, and civilization hasn't collsapsed, nor is there any evidence that it will. Furthermore, the majority of citizens of that states now have no problem with gay marriage.

I suggest that you treat gay marriage as you would eating caviar. Sure, it takes a little getting used to, but afterall, you realize it's not that bad. And if you still don't like it, just avoid it when it is served. Eat the pretzels instead.
11.13.2008 12:15am
John D (mail):
Randy,

Great analogy, especially because I love "fishberry jam," and I can't stand pretzels.
11.13.2008 1:11am
The General:
New Protester Sign: Fags hate God
11.13.2008 2:59am
Hoosier:
Randy R.

1) Debussy's music doesn't really go anywhere. It's just kind of . . . there;

2) I'm happy for you and your love of Sondheim. But I'm also happy that I don't like him, since if I did I'd listen to him. And that would be stupid, since I don't like him;

3) Caviar is, from what I can tell, as sodium-delivery device. Go easy on it.
11.13.2008 6:39am
mischief (mail):

Can anyone name a married couple from history that were publicly prohibited from procreating before?


Certain Polynesian cultures allowed misalliances on the condition that the couple produced no children.
11.13.2008 1:09pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
John D, see, I answer your objections, but you don't acknowledge my response, you wait until most people have forgotten, and then just make the same objections again, as if they somehow make my concerns moot. The concern is still there: people should have a right to marry and procreate with their own genes, and people should not have a right to conceive with modified genes, and therefore with someone of their same sex.

Marriages have always allowed the couple to conceive together, and it would be an unacceptable result of gay marriage for it to impose genetic screening and sterilization on every individual that isn't fit enough.

Stop demanding equal conception rights. If you want to conceive, you should have to do it with unmodified genes, which means, with a woman. Do not impose eugenic sterilization and genetic engineering on us because you childishly refuse to concede. Conceding conception rights would break the impasse and lead to federal recognition for CU's possibly in all 50 states. Isn't equal protections more important than equal conception rights?
11.13.2008 1:18pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
What do you mean "misalliances", mischief? Were they called the same thing as what a man and a woman would get that were allowed to produce children? Or a separate thing, like Civil Unions defined as marriage minus conception rights would be?
11.13.2008 1:25pm
Randy R. (mail):
The General: "New Protester Sign: Fags hate God"

Better Sign: "Montezuma was Right!"

(For the slower readers, it's a reference to King Montezuma who was supposedly asked why he doesn't convert to Christianity, and he replied that when Christian start following the principles that they espouse, he would do so. Now long afterwards, the Christians slaughtered the Incas. Nor sure if God approved, so you'll have to ask him his opinion).
11.13.2008 1:31pm
Randy R. (mail):
John Howard: "it would be an unacceptable result of gay marriage for it to impose genetic screening and sterilization on every individual that isn't fit enough. Stop demanding equal conception rights"

Thank goodness we have John Howard to take on the powerful gay sterilizers groups! They were marching down our street just this afternoon demanding that all straight people be sterilized. (You should read the leftist blogs!) And the gay cloning groups have taken over the entire US media!

Without you, John, the 3% of the population that is gay would force it's way to end all reproduction except through cloning, and good people like Greg Q wouldn't be able to procreate the pretzel-eating he-men that this country desparately needs!
11.13.2008 1:35pm
Randy R. (mail):
Prof. Carpenter: Please put us out of our misery and close this thread! I think I'm going insane, and Sondheim just isn't working any more for me.....
11.13.2008 1:36pm
MarkField (mail):
Randy, I don't know if your anecdote about Montezuma is true or not, but he wasn't Inca, he was Aztec.
11.13.2008 1:45pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
Randy, note that it wasn't I that brought up eugenic sterilization this last time, it was offered by PubliusFL and John D as a way to allow same-sex marriage without necessarily legalizing same-sex conception at the same time. Not that they agreed that same-sex conception should not be legal, no they want both: same-sex conception legal AND eugenic sterilization. That's what gay marriage means, even if most people just think it means more Sondheim musicals.
11.13.2008 1:58pm
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):
It is a very long shot for the Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8 on the grounds that it is a revision. Aside from the political consequences, it would have to set aside all the case law up to date. Note that the Court, under Chief Justice Rose Bird, refused to rule that an initiative constitutionalizing the death penalty was a revision, and we know how the Court at the time ruled on death penalty cases.

What is more likely to happen is that the state Supreme Court holds a narrow interpretation of Prop. 8, ruling that it does not deny any substantive legal benefits to same-sex couples.
11.13.2008 3:17pm
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):

the referendum was close, and the next steps should be to try to convince a couple % more voters to your side; but the tactics and arguments put forth so far are not winning any more support for the cause.

They framed it as a civil rights issue, forgetting that the black civil rights movement was deeply rooted in predominantly black churches.

They could have framed it as a personal freedom issue (the freedom to organize families as they see fit). This would not have the connotation of equating homosexual relationships with normal relationships.
11.13.2008 3:25pm
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):


Why do you want the government to regulate your pesonal living arrangements? A marriage is an agreement between two people to share their lives. The couple can create a partneship agreement and place all the conditions they agree to in that agreement , include property rights and have that agreemnt enforced by the courts.

Why limit it to two people? Since you are basing your stance on the concept that people should be free to form families however they wish?
11.13.2008 3:28pm
Chimaxx (mail):
I was curious how Professor Carpenter's mention of "picketing churches" (and, if you follow his link, this refers to the picketing of the Mormon Church, which represents 2-3% of the population of California and by most accounts gave close to half the funds to the "Yes on 8" movement, thus making them a legitimate political target) morphed into nummerous references to "disrupting services"

A Google search turned up one instance last weekend of a service disrupted over this, in Lansing, Michigan, which, as far as I can tell, was wildly denounced even by other activsts in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples.

This made me wonder even more why several commentators were blithely throwing around the plural construction "disrupting services" for a single event, as if it were some widespread phenomenon. And I'm afraid I'm flummoxed.

Can any of you who used the phrase "disrupting services" explain why you used the term in the plural, given that it wasn't referred to in the original post and there seems to have been only one instance of this?
11.13.2008 3:36pm
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):

Is it the 4/3 thing or the judges thing that gets to you? Would you have been happy if this were not a split decision, or are you holding that an initiative statute cannot, under any circumstances be found in violation of the California Constitution?

Only if there is a clear constitutional violation. A law prohibiting criticism of elected officials would be in violation of both the California constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

There was no clear constitutional violation regarding Prop 22. Neither the phrases "homosexual" nor "gay" nor "orientation" appear in the document.

Furthermore, since the Court ruled that sexual orientation is a suspect class, it should have extended this to bigamists to be consistent. It did not. Claiming that equal protection applies to homosexuals but not bigamists is akin to claiming that equal protection applies to people of black descent but not of Asian descent.

Is there actually a section of California law that reserves the determination of appropriate rights and freedoms to the people? And, in that case, ought the judges simply stop declaring anything a suspect class, since the majority can void their rights anyway? Further, is the judiciary independent if all of their decisions must be ratified by the people?

The amendment process, the same process that constitutionalized the death penalty after the Supreme Court ruled it to be in violation of the state constitution's cruel and unusual punishment clause.
11.13.2008 3:38pm
John D (mail):
Michael Ejercito,

There was no clear constitutional violation regarding Prop 22. Neither the phrases "homosexual" nor "gay" nor "orientation" appear in the document.


So you believe that for suspect classes to receive protection, they need an explicit mention in the Constitution? This would mean that the courts have no ability to declare a group a suspect class, even though they have been given that power under California law.


Claiming that equal protection applies to homosexuals but not bigamists is akin to claiming that equal protection applies to people of black descent but not of Asian descent.


I don't think you can support this argument. Yes, all four groups have been subject to scorn from the general population, but bigamy is not an immutable characteristic. No one is born married to more than one person (actually, no one is born married to anyone). Bigamy is an acquired characteristic.

In order to be considered a suspect class, the classification must be most likely immutable. Clearly we can make all bigamists into monogamists by declaring their second marriages void by reason that the license was obtained fraudulently.

There's no way of turning black people into white people or gay people in straight people. You analogy does not hold.

Finally,

The amendment process, the same process that constitutionalized the death penalty after the Supreme Court ruled it to be in violation of the state constitution's cruel and unusual punishment clause


Ah, but murderers aren't a suspect class. Sure, they're despised (and with good reason, they've killed someone), but "murderer" is not an immutable trait. They didn't have to go out and kill someone.

The reinstatement of the death penalty did not deny anyone a fundamental right. It simply said that it wasn't a cruel or unusual punishment.
11.13.2008 4:18pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
Why would someone choose to be a murderer, John? I mean, I can see that they choose to commit the murder, but wouldn't they have to be a murderer before, inclination-wise, in order to make that choice? What causes some people to murder and others not to, in the same sorts of situations? One's a murderer, and one isn't.

And I'm still waiting for you to address my response to you. No couples that are prohibited from attempting to procreate are allowed to marry, ever. Every person should have a right to marry, and every marriage should have a right to procreate with the marriage's own genes.
11.13.2008 4:30pm
John D (mail):
John Howard,

I should, by this point, know better than to respond to you. I'm going to take this line by line.


John D, see, I answer your objections, but you don't acknowledge my response, you wait until most people have forgotten, and then just make the same objections again, as if they somehow make my concerns moot.


The objections you raise never have anything to do with the actual goals of the marriage equality movement.

The concern is still there: people should have a right to marry and procreate with their own genes, and people should not have a right to conceive with modified genes, and therefore with someone of their same sex.


I have said this before, I will say it again: people have a broad right to procreation. Though there have been cases where the law has insisted that individuals not procreate, I think this is an assault on human dignity.

I would also be wary of any fertility technology that went so far as to modify genes or gametes. Though there has been some discussion of doing this to eliminate inherited diseases, but I suspect the risks are high.

Now, I know that there has been some work done with moving gametes about. In theory, someone could combine the genetic material of a same-sex couple. This would not be a modification of the gametes. You're conflating things here. I mean, would you be okay with the a man's genetic material placed into a donor egg, if the gametes themselves weren't modified? (And once again, I think that would be a dreadful idea.)

Marriages have always allowed the couple to conceive together, and it would be an unacceptable result of gay marriage for it to impose genetic screening and sterilization on every individual that isn't fit enough.


Marriages do not, per se, allow couples to conceive together. You can get your marriage blessed by a team of clergy but if you're infertile, you won't conceive. The lack of marriage does not disallow conception, though it would be a benefit to unmarried women if being single were a form of contraception.

The rest of your sentence doesn't flow from this. Why would same-sex marriage require genetic screening and sterilization of the "unfit"? This makes no sense. I would be opposed of a genetic screening requirement for marriage.


Stop demanding equal conception rights.


I have never demanded equal conception rights. I am stating that same-sex couples should have the right to marry. For you, "the right to marry" equals "the right to conceive." This is not actually so, as some couples are not able to conceive. Marriage is not tied to procreation.


If you want to conceive, you should have to do it with unmodified genes, which means, with a woman.


Yeah, if I wanted to have a child, I'd do it with the assistance of a woman. And a turkey baster. Technically, she would be conceiving. I wouldn't be the one bearing a child.

Do not impose eugenic sterilization and genetic engineering on us because you childishly refuse to concede. Conceding conception rights would break the impasse and lead to federal recognition for CU's possibly in all 50 states. Isn't equal protections more important than equal conception rights?


Once again, conception rights have nothing to do with marriage. Allowing same-sex marriage would not impose "eugenic sterilization and genetic engineering." Could you be so kind as to provide even the slightest bit of evidence that any of this is underway in any of the jurisdictions where same-sex couples may marry?

Why ought I concede my conception rights, especially as I've indicated that if I wanted to pass my genetic material along, I would do so with the assistance of some woman's genetic material in one of her egg cells?

You keep making the same assertions about same-sex marriage. None of them are true.
11.13.2008 4:43pm
Randy R. (mail):
Michael: " This would not have the connotation of equating homosexual relationships with normal relationships."

Gosh! I never thought of that! How stupid of us, to think that my relationship with my boyfriend is equal to that of straight relationships! We should have stuck with our original plan, which was to argue that our relationships are far superior to yours.

Afterall, we don't fight over who washes the dishes, we don't beat up each other when we get drunk, and we don't have babies by accident. If you notice, we are the ones who rehab the nicest houses in the oldest parts of town, (the places you straight stay away from), and we always have the best gardens.

I'm sure this makes you straights feel very uncomfortable -- men doing the wash, women fixing electrical problems -- so gender roles can be very confusing for you. But the secret reality is that of course you are correct, our relationships are far superior to yours. We just were hoping you wouldn't notice, because then you might get jealous and vote against gay marriages out of spite. And you straights have far too much integrity to ever do such a thing.
11.13.2008 4:45pm
John D (mail):
John Howard,

Why would someone choose to be a murderer, John?

I have no idea why someone would choose to be a murderer. I'm just saying that there is no indication that it is innate.


And I'm still waiting for you to address my response to you. No couples that are prohibited from attempting to procreate are allowed to marry, ever. Every person should have a right to marry, and every marriage should have a right to procreate with the marriage's own genes.


You got your response, above. I took the easier one first.

You say that "every marriage should have a right to procreate with the marriage's own genes," but you don't think that same-sex couples should have that right.
11.13.2008 4:47pm
Randy R. (mail):
" I'm just saying that there is no indication that it is innate. "

Sorry - but this is one of the great lies you folks like to perpetrate. But there is quite a bit of evidence that all sexual orientation, like yours, it innate. If you have any evidence to the contrary, please cite it. But you won't be able to.

And it's certianly innate for me, and I never choose my sexual orientation. So I must be lying, right?
11.13.2008 4:59pm
Anatid:
John Howard, can you please define "public prohibition" in terms of procreation? I'm not even touch the rest of your claims about eugenics.

On a sidenote, there is some emerging evidence that murderers may not be as completely responsible as we previous guessed. A study found that people who commit violent crimes tend to have a smaller orbitofrontal cortex, which is the region of the brain associated with social judgment and impulse control.

The problem is that there's no socially-applicable way to excuse someone for their actions based on brain variation without creating an automatic bias against anyone who shares that variation, whether or not they've committed a crime.
11.13.2008 5:27pm