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Judge rules gay marriage in California to resume next week

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  1. Excellent

  2. Stuart Neyton 12 Aug 2010, 9:34pm

    It all depends on how the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals rules. Opponents have until wednesday to get a ruling from them. They could rule to put it off indefinitely. Hopefully that won’t happen.

  3. Great news :)

  4. Simon.Murphy 12 Aug 2010, 10:08pm

    If equality comes into force on August 18th, and you live in California and want to get married, then DO IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    The anti-equality fascists will do everything their sordid little minds can think of to stop this.

  5. Though I’m a bit concerned abotu the ultimate fate of this case.

    It is certainly going to go to the US Supreme Court, where social conservatives have the edge. I just hope that by the time it goes to the US Supreme Court – it will take around 18 months i think – there is even more progress on this issue e.g. more states legalise gay marriage and public opinion becomes more pro-gay marriage. That may influence the decision of the court.

  6. john conner 13 Aug 2010, 12:23am

    It will most definately go to the Supreme Court which will be a very interesting outcome. I give it 50/50

  7. For a superb (& highly detailed) analysis of Judge Walker’s lifting of the stay of Prop H8 on Aug. 18th, see Ari Ezra Waldman’s discussion at:
    http://www.towleroad.com/2010/08/we-almost-have-marriage-equality.html.

  8. Looks as though those ‘nasty’ churches are going to have to spend more of their ‘discriminating’ loot!!!!!

  9. John Conner, its not automatic that it will end up in the Supreme Court which doesn’t have to hear the case if it so chooses. That said, the 9th circuit is one if not the most liberal of all and I would expect it to uphold Judge Walker’s decision making it harder for the Supreme Court to rule against precedent which is what Walker’s decision did. Even if it were brought before the Supreme Court and it rules to overturn Walker’s decision, the political repercussions for the republican party would be huge and the democrats would face a backlash from gay voters. If anything, it might just galvanize the democratic party enough to fight for full equality with or without President Obama. Without the gay vote, it would probably be difficult for any party to win by a landslide let alone get a mandate. Gay votes are important and they do count in any election. For example, if Cameron had supported marriage equality prior to the election, he would probably not have needed Nick Clegg to form a coalition because of a surge in gay voter support. Conversely, if Brown had been in that position, he might still be PM.

  10. Gene Touchet 13 Aug 2010, 2:24pm

    Headline is a bit misleading. The marriages can go forward next week IF the supporters of Prop 8 are NOT successful in getting a permanent stay from the higher Court of Appeals.

  11. I think the 9th Circuit Appeals Court would be hard pushed to re-instate the Prop 8 ban. Judge Walker was extremely meticulous in his handling of the case and in the opinions he expressed; the various religious groups get a fair hearing and still couldn’t advance one coherent argument to support their case; and for what it’s worth the State did not support Prop 8, in fact the Governor and the Attorney-General both asked for Prop 8 to be struck down. IF it goes to the US Supreme Court they may very well sidestep the issue and decide that it is up to each state to determine.
    Just my two pence/cents worth!

  12. Rev. Jana Drakka 13 Aug 2010, 6:49pm

    Remember, not all churches are “nasty”. As a Buddhist Monk, I’m part of an interfaith collective that’s been working for gay marriage for many years…we’ll be at SF City Hall on the 18th offering free weddings.

  13. Rev. Drakka, most religious cults are though with the exception of the Quakers, the Universal Church of Christ, and reformed Judaism. The rest are more than nasty including the C of E, the Roman and Islamic cults too, goes without saying of course. Good to know that you’re not.

  14. You forgot the Episcopalians & Desmond Tutu, Robert. Otherwise, broadly right ;-)

  15. My concern is that on one hand the voters of California voted for Proposition 8 “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” yet on the other a single judge has taken it upon himself to override voter’s wishes.

  16. California, like the rest of the USA, is a Constitutional Republic. A majority of voters CANNOT vote to take away the rights of a minority just because they want to or feel morally superior in some fashion. And there’s legal precedent in California election politics for this, that stretches back some 50 years. Nearly 50 years ago, the California Legislature passed the Rumford Fair Housing Act, which banned discrimination against “colored” (read black and latino) property renters or buyers.
    About 2/3 (!) of California voters overturned the Rumford Act when they passed Proposition 14, which, like Proposition 8, amended the California Constitution. Proposition 14 said Californians could refuse to sell or rent to anyone for any reason. The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled that Proposition 14 violated the 14th Amendment, and it didn’t matter how many Californians had voted for it — it was racial discrimination, and unconstitutional. The equal protection clause that Walker cited in his Proposition 8 ruling is part of that same 14th Amendment.

    Proponents for Prop 8 have a larger, more immediate obstacle in front of them. Since both the Governor and Attorney General of California have accepted Judge Vaughn’s ruling and have refused to appeal it, it’s likely that no defendant remains that can meet the standard for appeal on the Federal court level. It’s very possible that there will be no appeal, and Judge Walker’s decision will stand.

  17. Dear John, please don’t concern yourself overly just because seven million voters are not that collectively clever, or able to overcome their religious prejudices against perfectly ordinary people who have a right to live their lives just like anyone else can. Voters habitually are stupid. In this case Prop8 should never have been up for voting on in the first place, and the good Judge Vaughn Walker has given the law on why this is so. It’s the Constitution, and that’s what judges are sometimes for, upholding the Constitution. So rest easy. As Thomas Jefferson once said (a founding father of the United States of America) “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” In exactly the same way it does nobody any injury if two men or two women marry or one man or one woman, the Constition defends their unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The religionists are just going to have to accept that they have no right to deprive anyone of their Constitutional Rights just because they don’t like them or because they are different. They also need to get it through their thick skulls that the First Amendment actually reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.. In 1797 the ratified Treaty of Tripoli stated that “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion”. Judge Vaughn Walker although one man, has upheld the Constitution against the subversive attempts of the religionists to destroy it. They should be throughly ashamed of themselves and would be if they had one jot of decency in them which of course they don’t.

  18. Dr Robin Guthrie 14 Aug 2010, 12:34am

    Johnny……………

    A big round of applause here. Well said.

    Although I’m in the UK, I have been watching the “so called “”Land of the Free”” and the abuses these people have been making of it.

    IE: Free for me and mine, but not for you.

    These idiots would not know their own perceived belief system if it slapped them on the face.

    As an athiest, I have no truck whatsoever with anyone wishing to believe whatever they wish, that is their life and it is not my or anyone else place to prevent that.

    What bothers me, is that these individuals, who have aligned themselves with these clearly organized sects, wish to impose their perceived reality on everyone who is not like them.

    Thankfully, the USA is no longer worthy of international consideration given its religiosity that has no bearing whatsoever
    in what religion actually was meant to be.

    It’s bankruptcy, and $4.6 trillion debt to China also removes this pathetic nut gun obsessed violent country of idiots from the face of the planet.

  19. John in Calif. 14 Aug 2010, 5:00am

    A referendum certainly would’ve ended disastrously in South Africa (where 65-75% of the population supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage). And don’t be so sure such a vote would have gone well in Argentina, Canada, or Portugal either. Public support is fickle and unreliable when it comes to LGBT issues. It can plunge double digits overnight due to misleading advertising or last minute pronouncements from some religious figure.

    Pre-election polls in California had marriage equality leading by several percentage points and Prop. 8 going down in defeat. A lot of people changed their minds at the last minute. Many lied to the pollsters because they didn’t want to publicly endorse bigotry. Even though, of course, they were more than happy to practice it behind the safety of a voting booth curtain.

    This is why you should never, ever hold a referendum on civil rights. It was a terrible idea when segregationists in America used it to enact racist laws in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And it is still a terrible idea now.

  20. Very excellent decision

  21. marjangles 14 Aug 2010, 7:06pm

    It’s looking less and less likely that this will be appealed because it looks as though there isn’t anyone with legal standing to appeal it. The main people who could challenge the ruling are the governor and his attorney general both of whom have said they won’t. That only leave the anti-gay marriage groups who will struggle to show that they have been injured by this ruling and therefore have the right to appeal.

    Indeed, I have read that many non-Californian groups who are against gay marriage are begging the Californian groups not to take this any further because the judegment by Walker is pretty sound and most analysts cannot see how the Supreme Court could overturn it. As such, if this goes to the Supreme Court and the overruling is upheld then all the other states with bans will have to repeal them. As it stands, this only applies to California.

    In any event, whether or not this is appealed (and if the Supreme Court chicken out and limit this decision to California or throw the decisions back to individual states) this will give impetus to gay rights groups in other states to challenge the constitutionality of their gay marriage bans and although they don’t have to follow Judge Walker’s precedent, many if not most judges will. However, watch the Republicans really start to push for an amendment to the entire US constitution which of course would not be challengeable before the Supreme Court. The chances of them getting one are slim to negligable but they will be using this as a wedge issue in the future.

  22. Marjangles: “I have read that many non-Californian groups who are against gay marriage are begging the Californian groups not to take this any further because the judegment by Walker is pretty sound and most analysts cannot see how the Supreme Court could overturn it. As such, if this goes to the Supreme Court and the overruling is upheld then all the other states with bans will have to repeal them.”…So I wonder then if it would be a good idea for the pro-gay marriage proponents to take it to the Supreme Court, if the religionists aren’t stupid enough to do so?…Would that be permissable?..

  23. marjangles 14 Aug 2010, 9:08pm

    Unfortunately Mark, the only people who can have standing to appeal the case are those who have been damaged as a result of the ruling. The AG and governor of California could appeal but they won’t because they didn’t want Proposition 8 to pass in the first place. As for NOM and their ilk, it’s difficult to see how they could claim to have been injured in order to gain the standing that they require. Simply being ideologically against something is not enough and Judge Walker has indicated in his judgement very clearly that same sex marriage poses no threat to heterosexual marriage.

    Sadly, although it would be great for this to go to the Supreme Court, if no one on the losing side can or does appeal then that’s as far as it goes. It’s a shame because my boyfriend is from a state where both same sex marriage and civil unions are banned by constitutional amendment, we were hoping this would go all the way.

    I would suspect that the Supreme Court and the other courts are probably quite relieved since I can imagine that they don’t want to deal with this issue at all!

  24. For a detailed explanation of the point marjangles is making about the process, see the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chemerinsky-gay-marriage-20100815,0,6839883.story

    Personally, I think more SS marriages are likely to occur in the US if the bigots on the Supreme Court stay out of it. See another excellent piece in the LA Times on this topic: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-klarman-gay-marriage-20100815,0,7054903.story

  25. “please don’t concern yourself overly just because seven million voters are not that collectively clever …”

    But I am concerned Johnny. As Winston Churchill once said: “democracy is a bad form of government” but added it is still “better than any other form of government”. For an activist judge to legislate from the bench is an abuse of power. As for upholding the constitution, that is balony. One of the reasons why a definition of marriage was never included in the US constitution was because everyone around at the time understood it to be the union of a man and a woman. It seems to me that it is the gay activists are trying to change the constitution. And as for the first amendment – it works two ways you know – because this issue has not been resolved at a federal level (perhaps it should be?) but rather at state level, indivdual states should be free to decide whether or not they should be able to decide what they recognise as marriage.

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