What? Prop 8 Threatens Existing Marriages? You Don’t Say

The Los Angeles Times catches up with a something I’ve been noting, like, oh, forever: That if California’s Proposition 8 passes, the thousands of already-married same sex couples will find their marriages thrown into legal limbo, because Prop 8 outlaws California’s recognition of same-sex marriages, and doesn’t make provision for already-existing marriages. Here’s one little tidbit:

New York University law professor Kenji Yoshino, who favors same-sex marriage, concluded that the U.S. Constitution would offer few protections to existing gay marriages if Proposition 8 passed.

“My hope going into this was that I would find a smoking gun case that would say those marriages would be protected,” Yoshino said. “I kept looking and looking and looking, and when I couldn’t find one, I was astonished.”

He said the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected due-process challenges to retroactive legislation. The Contracts Clause, which prevents states from passing laws that impair contracts, would also offer little protection because the court has ruled that “marriage is not a contract” protected by the clause, he said.

There are others, including Attorney General Jerry Brown, who suggest that the already-married same sex couples will be able to keep their marriage status, but with all due respect to Jerry Brown, he and these other people are high. The people who whomped up Prop 8 simply won’t allow that to happen, because their position is predicated on the notion that any same-sex marriage is a threat. If literally thousands of same-sex married couples continue to exist in California, then the state is still must recognize and protect same-sex marriage, even if no more are allowed to be created in the state. Which is, of course, explicitly against the newly-amended constitution of the state of California. Lawsuits to drive that point home would be imminent.

But more to the point, the continued existence of same-sex marriages would give absolute lie to the thinking behind Prop 8: That same-sex marriages in any way constitute a clear and present danger to the nature of marriage in general. Both the letter and spirit of Proposition 8 require the eradication of all same-sex marriages in California. To do any less destroys the whole point of Proposition 8. The people who thought up Proposition 8 will fight to wipe out every single marriage that doesn’t conform to their standard. Count on it.

This is why every single potential supporter of Proposition 8 should be looked square in the eye and asked if they are truly and seriously ready to say that that they personally are prepared to destroy already existing, already legal marriages — if they are truly and seriously ready to say that they know better than the people in a marriage whether that marriage should be allowed to exist — if they are truly and seriously ready to say to two married people, “you two don’t deserve to be married, and I intend to kill your marriage now.”

These people should not be allowed to squirm out of their moral quandary by suggesting that there will still be civil unions in California, or that the relationship two people have will continue to exist whether the marriage is invalidated or not — the fact they’re going to vote against these people’s marriages points out that they recognize there is something different and valuable about being married, as opposed to not. They shouldn’t be allowed to squirm out by making some argument that the government shouldn’t be in the marriage business anyway, because here in the real world, it is, and the theoretical must give way to the practical. Rights in the real world are on the line.

They need to recognize what it is that they’re doing, not to some potential marriage, but to a single, actual marriage that exists, now. I’m going to bold this next part, because I think it’s that important: If the people voting for Proposition 8 couldn’t stand personally in front of a married couple, tell that couple they shouldn’t be married, and say that it is their right and duty to destroy that marriage, they should not vote for Proposition 8. It’s really as simple as that.

Of course, there are people who could and would do such. The best one can feel for them is pity, and the hope that one day they will be ashamed to have done such a monstrous, horrible, hateful and bigoted thing. I suspect some of them will. I would feel further pity for those that won’t.

232 thoughts on “What? Prop 8 Threatens Existing Marriages? You Don’t Say

  1. I already threw out my solution on a much older thread:

    1) Get the state out of the “marrying” business altogether. Set up a sexuality-neutral legal device that provides all the same protections and benefits of an existing marriage license, but without the word MARRIAGE on it. Everybody gets one, and everybody’s legal status is the same. Straights. Gays. Poly people. Etc.

    2) Give the word “marriage” back to the churches. Since no church is required by law to recognize the marriage of any other church, just as no church is required by law to recognize the baptisms of any other church, those churches which oppose gay marriage don’t have to recognize the idea, and those churches which do perform gay marriage, can do so without interference from those that don’t.

    This would provide gays with identical legal protection and benefits, they’d get to be “married” by the spiritual method or institution of their choosing, and those opposed to gay marriage can’t complain because the state itself is in no way branding the word MARRIAGE on any legal document it issued. Be it to straights, or gays.

    If the opposition to gay marriage is a religious one — and I’d say 95% of everyone opposed to gay marriage, does so on more or less religious grounds — then there is no way anyone who is religiously opposed to gay marriage can complain about this system. Gays will have equal protection under the law, and straights opposed to homosexuality or gay marriage won’t have to acknowledge gay marriage from one church to the next.

    It’s not a perfect solution, but I think it’s the best compromise. Because this issue isn’t gonna go away. As long as we keep using MARRIAGE on state documents, one side or the other will keep attempting to overturn verdict, after ballot initiative, after legislative decree. Over and over and over. Gays will keep seeing their marriages legalized, then banned, then legalized, then banned, and straights opposed to gay marriages will keeping seeing gay marriage “forced upon them” by the government, etc.

    Doubtless lots of straights and gays would be scandalized by my proposed plan, but again, I see it as the best long-term compromise, to ensure gays have equal protection and to more or less get straights to shut up about the whole fucking thing.

  2. Sub-Odeon, I can’t even begin to tell you how fucking bored I am with listening to people offer up “solutions” to the whole marriage thing that

    a) have absolutely no chance of ever occurring in the real world;

    b) have absolutely no bearing on the immediate issue at hand.

    And more than that, I think the flight toward the theoretical “oh, well, the government shouldn’t be in the marriage business at all” argument is a cowardly and pernicious attempt to derail the actual, real-life fact that people’s marriages are at stake into some fantasy land where we talk about marriage like it’s a mathematical abstraction rather than something that really happens to real people who have real lives.

    Talking about marriage as an abstraction allows people to avoid the moral consequences of destroying marriages in the real world.

    The next person who tries to turn this thread into a theoretical disquisition on whether government should be in the marriage business/whether the term “marriage” should be the province of religion is going to get his comment deleted. This includes responding to Sub-Odeon’s initial post.

  3. [deleted -- Sub-Odeon, this is what happens when you keep trying to talk on a conversational line I already said I was going to delete any further postings on. Move on, already -- JS]

  4. Weirdly (and this really astonishes me now) I hadn’t thought of all the marriages that would simply disappear if prop8 becomes a political reality. That probably is because I firmly keep holding on to the belief that 5 days from now the majority of Californians will actually do the right thing and say no to this right-wing, fanatically religious BS. I wish I could actually DO something, but unfortunately my No-on-Prop8-activism won’t be worth much here in Austria, where I am btw still not allowed to get married. At least I know where I stand. I bet it’s even worse to first get the day you’ve been waiting for all your life and then have it take away from you again because SOMEONE ELSE decided to. How dare they.. it’s outrageous. It’s like telling women: “oh no, sorry, you’re not allowed to vote anymore…. yeah, we just decided”. stupid world. /rant

  5. mcC:

    Your post is on point to the discussion, so, no. It stays.

    “Weirdly (and this really astonishes me now) I hadn’t thought of all the marriages that would simply disappear if prop8 becomes a political reality.”

    It’s something I suspect the Prop 8 supporters would rather you not focus on, since I also suspect people would be less inclined to vote for it if they knew they were breaking up marriages that already exist.

  6. It’s all about the word, and who gets to use it. No anti same sex marriage person I’ve ever spoken to has provided an absolute list of rights related to “marriage” that can’t be provided to civil unions.

    It’s and a good indication of actual anti-gay animus hiding behind “I’m OK with civil unions but…” statements.

    Two of my dearest friends are married in CA, and raising a daughter. They’re both women. If they get “unmarried” they loose out. And their daughter will have to be told by her parents that the state, and a large portion of Californians, think that Mommy and Boo (her name for her non-bio parent) aren’t “really” married.

    I’ve known them since before their daughter was born, and while the bio-mom was pregnant. Anyone suggesting to my face that they’re somehow not exactly as fit, if not more fit parents than any same sex couple might want to duck if I’ve got a drink in my hand.

    I know what children will actually be affected by prop 8 if it passes. If it doesn’t pass, no children will be hurt. If it does pass, yes, children will actually be hurt. Actual real children I know personally will be hurt.

  7. I have to agree with you John. I am numb and tired of issues of social importance being put to vote because a) we are reducing complex, shaded issues to simplistic, binary choices that only harden already existing bigotries, b) without mentioning them by name, some sides refuse to accept the results as an answer and keep coming back and forcing us through the whole rigmarole over and over, and c) forcing issues in this way means that you can’t or won’t put forth your own arguments in the court of public opinion because they won’t stand, or you have already tried and failed.
    Imposed laws chafe, whereas laws recognizing and protecting the reality of situations are celebrated and accepted.

  8. Roger wilco, JS.

    I realized I was paddling upstream on this one, but I always have to try.

    Gays deserve better than they’ve gotten in the U.S. up to this point.

    It would be nice to arrive at a permanent solution that doesn’t constantly get challenged in the courts, because one side or the other feels like the state is overstepping its bounds.

    Movin’ on….

  9. Not only would it break up marriages, but also families.

    If a gay couple has a child that is the biological child of one partner, passing Prop 8 would also create ambiguities in the legal rights of the non-biological parent. What happens if the biological parent dies? Would the other parent lose the child to extended family or to the state? If the child was in an accident, would the non-biological parent have the right to make medical decisions?

    So. Let the supporters of Prop 8 also look parents in the eye and say, “You two don’t deserve to have children, and it is my right and duty to make it difficult for you to give them a safe and secure environment.” Then let them look the children in the eye and tell them the same thing.

  10. C. Rader:

    To be sure, whether Prop 8 passes or not, this is not likely to be the end of it. I would suspect that if Prop 8 passes there will be an attempt to remove it from the constitution; if it fails, there will be another attempt to put it back in. What I would really like is some sort of provision that makes it far more difficult to amend the state constitution; it seems like a constitution should be a) simple and b) hard to fiddle with. That’s the nice thing about the US Constitution.

    Sub-Odeon:

    “It would be nice to arrive at a permanent solution that doesn’t constantly get challenged in the courts, because one side or the other feels like the state is overstepping its bounds.”

    Short of a US Supreme Court ruling or a US Constitutional amendment, it’s not going to happen, alas. This particular topic will be with us for a while, regardless of what happens in California next Tuesday.

  11. Sub-Odeon, I don’t think that this is a situation of constant challenge, so much as a slow change, for exactly the reason that John puts forward in his post. Once we in Massachusetts had actual same-sex marriages in the state, the anti-same-sex-marriage movement collapsed. (In the state election following the beginning of marriages, almost every election between a supporter and critic of same-sex marriage went to the supporter.) It’s not even considered an issue anymore, and it’s because Bay Staters, at least, are unwilling to destroy existing marriages.

  12. This is why every single potential supporter of Proposition 8 should be looked square in the eye and asked if they are truly and seriously ready to say that that they personally are prepared to destroy already existing, already legal marriages — if they are truly and seriously ready to say that they know better than the people in a marriage whether that marriage should be allowed to exist — if they are truly and seriously ready to say to two married people, “you two don’t deserve to be married, and I intend to kill your marriage now.”

    John, do you seriously not understand that most – yes, most – people in the United States don’t believe those “marriages” are real anyhow? That is the democratic will of the people. You can attempt to play on emotions all you like, but it won’t have any more effect on the average Prop. 8 proponents than asking: “Are you really prepared to tell these two loving, committed individuals that they are not, in fact, fish?”

    So, yes, proponents are quite happy to take personal responsibility to destroy a bunch of fake “marriages” since they quite reasonably consider them to be an atrocity. You may certainly disagree, of course, but the weight of history is on their side, not yours. Are you unaware that Nero’s “marriage” to Sporus has been considered prime evidence of his depravity for most of Western history?

    Homogamy activists wanted the State involved, they got the State involved. But they shouldn’t have been surprised when its involvement didn’t exactly go the way they wanted. It seldom does.

  13. While not disagreeing with your point regarding why you disliked sub-Odeon’s unrealistic solution, I think your desire for pro-Prop 8 folks to recognize their culpability is equally unrealistic.

    You are dealing with folks who were taught that what they were doing is right by all the people they thought they should trust. These people will never believe that they have done wrong. Their parents tell them they are good for voting for Prop 8, their friends tell them they are good for voting for Prop 8, their preacher tells them that they’d be damned to hell if they didn’t vote for Prop 8.

    While I recognize that people can rise above their childhood (and adult) indoctrinations, there is no way the vast majority of the folks behind this travesty will ever understand the evil of what they do without some serious life changing event.

    The best you can do for this one is vote against it (if you live in CA) or try to get somebody you know who is in CA to vote against it.

  14. @mcC You can do something in Austria! Let people know, spread the word, call friends, post a message on a blog, donate. With much funding for 8 coming from outside California the last might be the most helpful!

    After debating for days I wrote up my feelings on Christianity (since I profess it) and 8, even though I don’t live in CA. It was nerve wracking (as family reads it on occasion) but in some small measure important–silence helps no one.

    I hope you are allowed to get married someday in Austria. Let everyone know if measures are introduced so we can provide moral/etc. support!

  15. Actual real children I know personally will be hurt.

    Wow, never heard a left-liberal making a “think of the children” argument before. That’s certainly new! I’ll have to completely rethink my position now.

  16. VD:

    “John, do you seriously not understand that most – yes, most – people in the United States don’t believe those ‘marriages’ are real anyhow?”

    By “marriages,” of course, you mean marriages — since the law of California currently recognizes them as equal and legal as any other sort of legal marriage in the state.

    Toward your point, the issue is not whether “most” people in the United States think this; aside from being a contentious statement, it’s completely irrelevant. It’s whether most voters in California next Tuesday think this and will vote so.

    As for the weight of history being on their side, well, no. In the countries where same-sex marriage has been made legal, it has yet to be made unlegal again, and as noted upthread, in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, there’s no real indication that such a right will be rolled back.

    Andy Smith:

    “I think your desire for pro-Prop 8 folks to recognize their culpability is equally unrealistic.”

    Well, this may be entirely true. This is why I suggest they imagine themselves explicitly saying those words in front of a married couple. The idea is get them to confront what they know, and how they feel about it.

    Bear in mind that while I think Prop 8 is hateful, bigoted and wrong, I believe that lots of people who don’t see themselves as hateful and bigoted can see themselves voting for it because they think it’s the right thing to do. As noted, I do feel sorry for them and I hope in the fullness of time they learn to regret their actions, because they are, at heart, good and loving people.

  17. I would ask why we should abandon the word ‘marriage’ to the church, but I don’t want to risk my comment being deleted. Suffice it to say that marriage has roots in the secular world — for example, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is the marriage of peanut butter and chocolate. Would Prop 8 denounce them as well?

  18. VD “John, do you seriously not understand that most – yes, most – people in the United States don’t believe those “marriages” are real anyhow? That is the democratic will of the people.”

    Well, no. You seriously do not understand that most – yes, most – people in the US really don’t care as it doesn’t affect them. That is the democratic will of the people. They may answer one way or another when sampled, but when you start asking the questions about things like, “Should we amend the US constitution to prohibit it, and should that be the primary focus of the next Congress” or “Would you give to an organization that supported such an amendment” or “Would you march” the numbers supporting the side opposed to gay marriage (which is really just marriage) go way, way down. Because it’s not important to them.

  19. Note: I am not a lawyer, and often have very dumb ideas. However, if someone with some constitutional gravitas could explain this to me, I would be very interested to hear how this works.

    I had an initial thought when I first heard that prop 8 would void already existing marriages, and that was that such an action would violate the constitutional provision against ex post facto law. (i.e. Making something illegal and prosecuting people for doing something before it was illegal to do it)

    Then I realized it was an imperfect fit and probably much more complicated than I realized, because prop 8 to my knowledge doesn’t prosecute couples for being married, their now illegal marriages will simply be dissolved. But it’s still murky in my mind because the argument could be made that the illegal action was the marriage itself, not the continuation of the marriage, and as the marriage occurred in the past I thought that might mean it was protected by the provision against ex post facto law. I’ve tried to wiki relevant cases involving ex post facto law and I’m still horribly confused.

    This might be irrelevant to the discussion but it seemed an interesting side note to me and might merit further thought.

  20. By “marriages,” of course, you mean marriages — since the law of California currently recognizes them as equal and legal as any other sort of legal marriage in the state.

    No, John, I mean “marriages” because the Law and the State only define legality, not reality. This is just one more example of the fundamental divide between those who seriously believe that Joe the Plumber is not a plumber because he does not have a state-issued license stating that he is, and those who seriously believe that Joe the Plumber is a plumber because he fixes pipes that have water running through them for a living.

    Do you intend to cease referring to your “married” gay friends as being married if their “marriages” are destroyed by Proposition 8? You’re an intelligent man, so I tend to doubt that your perception of reality is really dictated by California law.

  21. VD: This is just one more example of the fundamental divide between those who seriously believe that Joe the Plumber is not a plumber because he does not have a state-issued license stating that he is, and those who seriously believe that Joe the Plumber is a plumber because he fixes pipes that have water running through them for a living.

    Substitute the word ‘doctor’ or ‘lawyer’ for plumber in your argument and then ask if you really believe what you’re implying there…

  22. Hey, I already have a friend from another state who married their partner of long standing, only to have their state retroactively kill off their marriage. My friend then said, wait, I paid for my marriage license! And when the state sent, without asking for it, a refund, she then said to me, if I cash this, am I agreeing with them?

    California is going to have to refund a lot of marriage license fees if Prop 8 passes. What, they thought they could keep the money in a bait-and-switch? I wish I thought those who get invalided would have a case to sue the state for recovery of wedding expenses… California always seems to vote with the money. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  23. You seriously do not understand that most – yes, most – people in the US really don’t care as it doesn’t affect them.

    No doubt that’s why there are homogamy bans in 27 states and why bans went 11-11 in 2004. Because people really don’t care.

  24. Substitute the word ‘doctor’ or ‘lawyer’ for plumber in your argument and then ask if you really believe what you’re implying there…

    Of course I do. Do you really think a Swiss doctor without AMA certification isn’t a doctor? Or that a Russian nurse isn’t a nurse simply because she doesn’t have the appropriate U.S. license and isn’t allowed to work in a U.S. hospital?

    As for lawyers, well, Thomas Jefferson was considered “an accurate, painstaking and laborious lawyer”. The Virginia State Bar Association was established in 1888. Do the math.

  25. VD @ 27: I would assume that the Swiss doctor is licensed in the country of Switzerland, and that if he decided to come here he would go through the process of getting the appropriate license here as well. Same for the Russian nurse.

    The state and its people have an interest in seeing that those who claim to work in certain professions are actually qualified to do so. Thus the purpose behind professional licenses. It’s not uncommon to see someone represent themselves in court — that does not make them a lawyer. And just because I can fix my own toilet doesn’t make me a plumber.

  26. That the Supreme Court is saying that marriage is not a legal contract is what pisses me off. If marriage weren’t a legal contract, then divorce would mean just walking out the door. We treat marriages as a legal unit, for taxes, benefits, and property. We require legal action to dissolve such partnerships. We require marriage licenses for such marriages to be recognized by the state — a legal contract.

    The religious people against this — and right now the Mormons seem to be in the forefront — have two main problems with state/national legalized gay marriage. The first is that they fear it is the first step to their churches being forced to perform these marriages or face discrimination lawsuits. And the second is that legalized gay marriage legitimizes homosexuality in society. It means that homosexuals will not have to surpress their “urges,” that opponents’ children will have to deal with children in homosexual families, will be taught in schools and elsewhere that homosexuality and families with homosexual parents are normal and right, and forced to accept them.

    If gay marriage is legalized, these people feel that they will have to crawl into a bunker of compounds and private religious schools to hide their kids from what they see as perverted and wrong culture. They will not be able to live in America the way that they wish to live. That is the threat that they feel gay marriage poses to children, heterosexual marriage and American society in general. And when people are perceived as a threat to you, you try to take steps to stop them.

    If Prop 8 passes because Californians are distracted by the presidential election, it’s going to do more than upset the lives of those who already got married. They knew when they did marry that it was going to be challenged. They’ve been fighting this war for their civil rights for a long time. If it passes, this amendment is going to do major damage to every part of California — to its economy, its industry, its government, its school systems and its court system. The fall-out will either be a huge progressive step forward for civil rights, or a protracted war that, given what’s already going on in the country, is going to cripple California for a really long time.

    There’s more than biogtry going on here. This is a fight about who gets to control the government and how much control the government gets over ideas. Sounds a little grandiose, I know, but that’s what is going on.

  27. VD, I’m intrigued by your claim that you can personally nullify laws by putting them in quotation marks. Does this technique work with “speed limits” or “taxes”?

  28. VD:

    “No, John, I mean ‘marriages’ because the Law and the State only define legality, not reality.”

    Well, then, you mean marriages because those marriages really do exist, your continued attempts at sophistry aside. They exist because law exists and the law allows for their existence. If you do not believe law truly exists, by all means go out and break a really big one — a felony will do — and see how real the results are. Likewise, if you don’t believe that the law means anything to reality, as regards to marriage, I invite you to divorce your wife and then argue to her that, in reality, nothing has changed in the nature of your relationship.

    You’ve gone down this path before and it’s no more convincing now than it was before.

    Moreover, it’s an entirely irrelevant discussion at the moment, since what is at stake in this particular case is the legal status of marriages in California. Attempts to meander away from this fact via handwaving about the difference between “legal” and “reality” with the hope of avoiding the issue that real and legal (and real because they are legal) marriages are at stake here are likely, per previous warnings, to cause me to invoke my deletion powers.

  29. My wife and I can’t wait to vote No on 8! We even donated a little bit of money.

    We got married in March. Some friends in attendance have been together for longer than my wife and I have known each other. It really fries my circuits that their relationship doesn’t get the same recognition mine does.

    No on 8! I can’t wait!

  30. One of the most annoying arguments that I see is the ‘teachers will have to teach gay marriage. My reply to that is – Yes, teachers should teach their students to obey the laws of the state.

    I am a Californian who will be happily casting a big fat NO on Prop 8 on Tuesday.

  31. I don’t think this is really tangential…

    …I was rather pleasantly shocked by this statement from members of my former church (15 years erstwhile):

    http://adventistsagainstprop8.org/

    “We believe that this Proposition, which would amend the California State Constitution to define marriage as only “between a man and a woman,” breaches the spirit of religious liberty, separation of church and state, and non-establishment of religion [...]. By supporting this Proposition to define marriage from a religious perspective, many, including the Church State Council, are in danger of imposing their particular religious, theological convictions upon the general public.”

    It’s not outright support, really, but it’s so much more than I would have expected from an essentially fundamentalist institution! (And I wonder if I’m maybe a bit too cynical — they’ve always been big pushers for the separation of church and state.)

    So I signed. I’m not one to have huge amounts of faith in Internet petitions, I don’t live in CA, and I’m not really “one of the flock” at this point, but it did feel rather good.

    In terms of this: “If the people voting for Proposition 8 couldn’t stand personally in front of a married couple, tell that couple they shouldn’t be married, and say that it is their right and duty to destroy that marriage, they should not vote for Proposition 8″

    … John, I’m sad to say that I firmly believe the number of people who would be shamed by that is very nearly insignificant. I never underestimate the human capacity for viciousness. I’m inclined to think that the people who intend to vote for Prop 8 would not only be perfectly willing to destroy aforesaid marriages, they would consider it a spiritual favor to those in the erstwhile marriages. Rather like setting witches on fire was meant to be a favor to their immortal soul — less immediately dire, but in the same category. Mortify the flesh, save the spirit, and all that. But again, I could be too cynical. This whole year has been a learning curve for me…

  32. Mac:

    “… John, I’m sad to say that I firmly believe the number of people who would be shamed by that is very nearly insignificant.”

    Possibly now. Maybe later they’ll come around.

  33. John,

    Whenever this topic comes up you always appeal to Moral authority. In your expressed opinions this is a bright line, black and white, obvious moral decision. Your position is morally correct and the other side is morally wrong.

    May I ask what your source for your morality is?

  34. VD: If you’re arguing that the state cannot define marriage (theoretically because such definition is the province of religion), then why would you be arguing for a constitutional amendment to do exactly that?

  35. BTW,

    Does anyone really give a shit if Joe’s a plumber or not? He’s pretty irrelevant to this conversation whatever you call him. Or did he marry a man while I wasn’t looking.

  36. I don’t know if he’s a plumber (the state says no), but I do think he was a plant…

    As to his relevance — he isn’t…

  37. Well, then, you mean marriages because those marriages really do exist, your continued attempts at sophistry aside. They exist because law exists and the law allows for their existence.

    It’s not sophistry, John. And since you want to focus on the legalities, let me point out that because those “marriages” aren’t recognized in your state, you should be describing them as “marriages” too, since you’re not a California resident.

    Unless you personally agree to not recognize those “marriages” if Proposition 8 passes, your position is hopelessly inconsistent. Do you agree that you will no longer personally recognize those marriage if the measure passes?

    I’m intrigued by your claim that you can personally nullify laws by putting them in quotation marks.

    I’m impressed by your implication that if the government passes a law declaring 2+2 to equal 5, you will henceforth reject the heretical idea that 2+2=4. I never said anything about nullifying the law, I merely pointed out that the mere act of a legislative body does not, cannot, dictate material reality.

    It’s most strange how left-liberals reject Papal authority, then turn around and embrace it in the form of Parliament.

  38. It’s most strange how left-liberals reject Papal authority, then turn around and embrace it in the form of Parliament.

    Really? You can’t understand why non-Catholics would not bend to the ‘authority’ of the Pope? (See, I can use those quote-marks too…)

  39. why would you be arguing for a constitutional amendment to do exactly that?

    I’m not. But I have no problem with those people who do support it, and I understand why they do.

    Personally, I think it’s all fiddling while Sacramento burns, or rather, goes bankrupt. From a socionomic perspective, gay marriage is already a dead issue. The pendulum peaked back around 2000 because homogamy is pretty clearly a short skirt-style bull market phenomenon.

  40. Furthermore, if some knucklehead in the government tried to pass a law suggesting 2+2=5, we would vote him out of office as quickly as possible. See — that’s the difference between democracy and theocracy; the people get to decide how and by whom they will be governed…

  41. “The state and its people have an interest…”

    That’s a dangerous line of reasoning to take. It is, after all, the same line of reasoning employed by proponents of Prop. 8, “The state and its people have an interest in preserving the institution of marriage….”

    The relevant interests are the interests of the people involved. Just as I should have no interest in any marriage but my own, I rightly reject the idea that anyone else should presume to have an interest in my marriage. For the same reasons, I reject the idea that anyone should presume to have an interest in my relationship with my doctor or my lawyer.

    As John S. has taken pains to point out, these issues involve real people with real lives. We do them a disservice by presuming that we have a right to intrude in their relationship.

    No matter how earnest some people are in their belief that the state and its people have a compelling interest in meddling in the personal lives of their neighbors, they are almost always entirely wrong.

    That said, I do wonder about the fate of bans like these. California’s ban would almost certainly prompt a challenge in federal court, not as a violation of the prohibition of the ex-post facto prohibition (that applies only to criminal law), but as violation of the 14th amendment. Precedent is murky, bu I think it’s entirely possible that the current court would extend Loving v. Virginia to same-sex couples.

  42. VD:

    “It’s not sophistry, John.”

    It most certainly is. And your side argument about whether Ohio recognizes a same-sex marriage from California is both irrelevant (since we’re talking about the legality of marriage in the state of California, not whether that marriage is recognized by another state) and bolsters my earlier point, which is that what is marriage is defined by law — in this case, state law, since marriages in the US is generally defined at the state level (except in such cases where definitions impinge on US Constitutional rights; see Loving v. Virginia).

    Likewise, the question of whether I personally recognize a marriage as valid or not is totally irrelevant as well. I am not the state; my sanction or approval confers no legal right or standing before the law. What matters is if the state recognizes the marriage as legal and valid.

  43. @35″Possibly now. Maybe later they’ll come around.”

    Cynics like me are well-served by optimists like you, I think. We need to keep you guys around!

    Thank you.

  44. Furthermore, if some knucklehead in the government tried to pass a law suggesting 2+2=5, we would vote him out of office as quickly as possible.

    I wish I could agree. I mean, we have all kind of knuckleheads in office who think inflating the paper money supply is the way to create wealth rather than destroy it. It’s just a question of how obvious the error is to the average individual in the electorate.

    Likewise, the question of whether I personally recognize a marriage as valid or not is totally irrelevant as well. I am not the state; my sanction or approval confers no legal right or standing before the law.

    It’s no more irrelevant than my referring to “marriage”, John, and you didn’t answer the question. You said I should not use scare quotes in reference to gay marriages currently recognized by California state law. Hence I ask you: will you cease to refer to those relationships as marriages should they cease to be recognized by California law?

  45. Sure VD, like I said, ask people Yes or No and you’ll get a yes or no. Ask people how committed they are to it and you get much different numbers.

    If I asked people in my village if they wanted all their fire trucks red or white, I’d get a definite answer. Then ask them if I should spend $75,000 of their tax money and either raise a new levy, or not pave their streets, to change the fire trucks to their preferred color, support evaporates. There is a vocal minority, however, that believes all the fire trucks should all be red. And they don’t care if we pave roads or not (until the road collapses).

    The same is true with Prop 8 and those other state initiatives. Most people who voted against gay marriage, if the vote went the other way would just shrug their shoulders and go back to work. There is that vocal minority that doesn’t normally vote at any other time, because they don’t care, that will come out to pass such a ban.

  46. In church last Sunday, one of the members stood up and said something that really touched me. I don’t have a prayer (sorry…) of remembering her exact wording, but it was pretty much, “Vote no on Prop 8 not just for us (her and her wife), but for our son. Do it for all of the children.” Because this would be destroying families, and deeply hurting children. Children aren’t stupid. They don’t live in a vacuum. If this passes, they will know that by law their parents aren’t married, and that will hurt, deeply. It’s nice to see that other people recognize this.

  47. VD:

    “It’s no more irrelevant than my referring to ‘marriage’, John.”

    Well, I certainly agree that you’re making an irrelevant distinction when you try to define “marriage” separate from marriage, VD. And I did answer your question: I said it was irrelevant. It’s not the answer you wanted, I concede.

  48. VD, the point you are glossing over is that the legal state of marriage carries with it a suite of rights and privileges, all of which will be forfeit if Prop 8 annuls these existing marriages as recognized under the law. Whether John, or I, or you, or Governor Schwarzenegger personally recognizes the marriage is less important than whether the state of California recognizes it and grants that marriage the same rights as an opposite-sex marriage. Proposition 8 will remove those rights from same-sex couples. It’s not just about a word.

  49. Are there any serious arguments on the “yes” side that don’t essentially come back to “the bible says its wrong”?

    As far as I can tell in most western democracies marriage is state administered act. Even if you’re married in a church it isn’t official until you have a piece of paper from the state. So, if Prop 8 is removing a right for essentially religious reasons doesn’t that cause some constitutional issues in regards to the separation of church and state? I know that it says “Congress shall make no…etc” but it appears there is some interference going on here one way or another?

  50. Are there any serious arguments on the “yes” side that don’t essentially come back to “the bible says its wrong”?

    Yes. There is a strong case to be made for Prop 8 by those who believe in democracy and the rule by the will of the people. Judges overthrowing referendum results aren’t exactly a trivial matter, for all that this aspect is usually overlooked.

    The fact that the U.S. is not actually a democracy tends to escape the attention of most people on both sides of the D/R divide.

    Of course, the morality argument for the proposition is no sillier than the morality argument against it, and certainly has the weight of precedence on its side. It’s just a question of the basis for your morality, the Judeo-Christian ethic or… well, your personal cafeteria.

  51. I wonder what Ellen Degeneres will do if her marriage gets destroyed by Prop. 8?

    Y’know, seeing as how she has one of the most popular TV shows in America right now.

    Also, couldn’t there be some kind of class-action damages lawsuit against the creators and promoters of Prop. 8 should it pass? The class in question being those whose legal marriages are destroyed by it?

  52. VD:

    “Judges overthrowing referendum results aren’t exactly a trivial matter, for all that this aspect is usually overlooked.”

    Neither are unconstitutional referendums, which is another oft-overlooked aspect.

    Also not to be overlooked: The fact that in California, the legislature (popularly-elected!) twice passed bills to legalize same-sex marriage, only to have them vetoed by the governor, who said he wanted to wait for the judicial ruling on said referendum.

    Also overlooked: California is a republic, not a direct democracy (save for the initiative process, which is nevertheless accountable to the constitution of the state, which allows for judicial review). So that argument is not a particularly serious one, either.

  53. So that argument is not a particularly serious one, either.

    I completely agree that it’s not intellectually justifiable. But my understanding is that pragmatism is the order of the day here, so it’s quite serious indeed. I doubt ten percent of the California electorate knows the difference between a republic and a democracy and understands that they don’t live in the latter. I recall no shortage of Democrats being very upset in 2000 upon discovering that America isn’t a democracy after all.

    My point was only that those who believe in the sacrosanct Will of the People will tend to support Proposition 8.

  54. A news story from 2001:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1395079.stm

    “A court in Egypt has started hearing an apostasy case against a leading feminist activist and author, Dr Nawal el-Saadawi. The case was brought by a lawyer, Nabih el-Wahsh, who wants the court to separate Dr el-Saadawi from her husband on the grounds that she has abandoned Islam and cannot remain married to a Muslim.”

    If you don’t support this zealot’s right to end someone else’s marriage when it does not meet his religious standards, than you cannot reasonably support Prop 8.

  55. VD:

    “My point was only that those who believe in the sacrosanct Will of the People will tend to support Proposition 8.”

    I concede this is certainly possible, with the notation that I find the “this is a serious argument to the people who don’t actually understand what kind of government the live under” argument wholly depressing.

    Note to self: Make sure spawn understands the difference between republic and democracy.

  56. VD: Since you seem to suggest we should accede to Judeo-Christian ethics and Papal authority, I wonder: In what way should state or federal laws be amended to discourage or prevent idolatry and adultery, and to enforce the observance of the Sabbath? Should we also impose sanctions against blasphemers and witches?

  57. Just a point here. The California Supreme Court did not legislate this from the bench. They looked at the referendum and declared it unconstitutional based on our own existing equal protection clause.

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but every extension of rights to a minority (with the exception of women’s suffrage) has been extended to said minority through Judicial Decision or executive order. Why is the whole of California deciding the rights of 3-7% of the population?

    Any arguments involving religion, IMHO, are invalid, because we are then writing religious bias into our State Constitution.

    I fear for the rights of my best friend, my brother.

  58. Wow, never heard a left-liberal making a “think of the children” argument before. That’s certainly new! I’ll have to completely rethink my position now.

    And you should, VD, rethink your dismissive kneejerk statement that is. While I agree that the cliched ideal ‘for the children’ is used far to often when it’s not appropriate, in this case it is – and it’s being used by a hell of a lot of right-leaning conservatives too.

    The most outspoken opponents to same-sex marriage specifically state that marriage is about family values and about protecting children. They specifically use ‘for the children’ as a moral imperative to justify their position.

    They have yet, however, to prove either empirically or by example specifically how, outside of their own moral framework, same-sex marriage is demonstratively damaging children, emotionally, physically, financially, developmentally, mentally or otherwise. However, it can be demonstrated that children have benefited from same-sex marriage in California and elsewhere and that they will be harmed if Prop 8 passes – because children of same-sex unions will be denied the rights and benefits enjoyed by the children of traditional marriage, i.e. a loss of health coverage, loss of rights with regard to bio-parent’s civil partner, loss of right to inherit, loss of stability, loss of recognition in society as an equal, and etc et al ad nauseum.

    The arguement ‘for the children’ may not be the only reason to vote down this idiotic proposition, but it is certainly a valid criteria.

    So, yeah, go back and rethink your position instead of sarcastically dismissing your fellow commenters out of hand.

  59. shane,

    There are serious secular arguments against same-sex-marriage. Well, serious in a very attenuated sense; they’re not very robust. Or correct.

    They generally have to do with notions of legal traditionalism and a supposed process of social normalization that depends upon the existence of clear social cues.

    The idea is essentially that marriage is a primarily social institution, rather than a primarily private institution. Whatever the private relationship that exists between two people, a legal marriage exists to define that relationship in a social and legal context. Since a marriage creates certain legal and social presumptions (regarding the disposition of property, the custody of children, etc…) the argument is that must also make certain presumptions regarding the structure of that marriage. If marriage has been traditionally held as the union of a man and a woman, then the presumptions that are codified into law must necessarily reflect that structure. Any change to the traditional structure of marriage undermines the legal presumptions and entitlements that marriage confers.

    Those presumptions and entitlements are granted, the argument goes, because the state has an interest in (there’s that phrase again!) supporting procreation and stable families.

    Or something like that. Like I said, the arguments aren’t very good.

    A legal marriage is certainly a social and legal instrument, but that only argues against the exclusion of some groups, in as much as we want the law to applied with bias or prejudice.

    As for the whole legal traditionalist argument, it’s mostly crap. The legal history of marriage goes back thousands of years and is far too disjointed and discontinuous for any single interpretation to dominate. Besides, it’s always seemed odd to argue that American legal institutions need to be directly bound to precedents set in 4th century Greece or 12th century France (which were entirely sectarian anyway).

    As for the kids, I’ve never really understood the whole, “babies with a mommy and a daddy smell nice, but babies with two mommies smell icky” argument.

    So, that’s a serious secular argument. It’s just not any good.

  60. There is a strong case to be made for Prop 8 by those who believe in democracy and the rule by the will of the people.

    Would those be people who believe that Marbury v. Madison was wrongly decided? Or are those simply people who believe that if a court makes any ruling that less than 50% of the people agree with, that the court’s ruling is automatically incorrect?

    I’m continually amazed at those who think that “judicial activism” means “a court reached a decision I don’t like and is therefore wrong”.

  61. VD,

    Thanks for reminding the readers that this was a recognition by four judges, which overturned the will of the people. The people have never approved it. Our representatives (from gerrymandered districts) may have passed it twice, but it has never been signed.
    John, Arnold’s motives for not signing gay marriage bills are trivium. The facts remain: gay marriage has not been made legal in California, but for the removal of the people’s voice.
    There are certainly strong arguments to be made against California’s initiative process, which is often abused. However, we (Californian’s) tend to get cranky when we sound off and are then ignored.

    John – to what do you refer by “unconstitutional” referendums?

  62. sorry,

    “…in as much as we want the law to applied with bias or prejudice.”

    should have read.

    “…in as much as we want the law to applied without bias or prejudice.”

  63. Æ:

    “Gay marriage has not been made legal in California, but for the removal of the people’s voice.”

    Ah, so I see you’re one of the appalling ignorant people who being discussed earlier, i.e., the ones who don’t have that good of a grasp on the actual mechanisms of their state government. I do so get very tired of people who are under the impression that anything other than the direct will of the people is somehow illegitimate. If you really believe that, Æ, then by all means float a constitutional amendment that dissolves any government in California except my direct will of the people, and see where that gets you.

    Until such time, please understand that I consider “will of the people” arguments patently idiotic, and also note that same-sex marriage is currently legal in California, whether by direct will of the people or not. However, I do not doubt that if the direct will of the people votes “no” on Prop 8, you’ll find some other rationalization to suggest they are not real marriages.

  64. Mr. Scalzi, California is not a republic but a democracy. A republic is mixed government which has a mixed society, ie. Aristocracy, Royalty, commons. Without a true bicameral legislature with a true Aristocracy with distinctions of rank, you can’t have a republic.

    America is a democracy and all the 50 states are democracies. Governments are defined by the class that controls it. There is no classes in America other than the Vulgar class, the demos, hence the government of America is a democracy. Always was, always will be; regardless of the moniker you attach to it.

  65. It is very hard to understand how there can be legitimate children to a homogamous marriage? For two males or two females can not NATURALLY produce children.

    How can there be children in a homosexual marriage? It is ludicrous.

    Furthermore, philosophy would also dictate the impossiblity of homogamous unions being marriages. The Natural law is the unity of different elements. The whole cosmos is that way. Atoms are made up of positive and negative and nuetral elements. Living things are a mixture of body and soul. The family is made up of a male and a female. A family can not be made up of two females or two males. That is an impossiblity and against the Natural Law.

    The proof? They can’t reproduce. Why would the state sanction unions that are infertile to begin with? They can never consumate their union.

  66. WLindsayWheeler@68: It is very hard to understand how there can be legitimate children to a homogamous marriage? For two males or two females can not NATURALLY produce children.

    If being able to reproduce were a criteria for marriage, there would be a lot of heterosexual marriages denied as well. Since it isn’t, your argument is rather specious…

  67. It is very hard to understand how there can be legitimate children to a homogamous marriage? For two males or two females can not NATURALLY produce children.

    Good grief. For all the blathering these people do about The Law, you’d think that they might spend two minutes to find out what The Law actually says about parenthood and paternity.

  68. WLindsayWheeler:

    “Mr. Scalzi, California is not a republic but a democracy.”

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph, how the ignorant do test me so.

    At the risk of citing Wikipedia, simply because it is convenient (and correct in this case), a note of the governance of California:

    California is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: the executive branch consisting of the Governor of California and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the Assembly and Senate; and the judicial branch consisting of the Supreme Court of California and lower courts. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.

    Your silly assertion that there is no republic without an aristocracy suggests you’re one of those people who tried to suggest that a court is not legitimate if the flag in the courtroom has a fringe on it, because that’s a flag of the admiralty. You are welcome to such feculent ignorance, but I am not required to give it credence.

    Your second comment is likewise full of stupid. Please go away and don’t come back until you have fixed your dumb.

  69. Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Sir Thomas Smyth, the author of De Republica Anglorum, state specifically, that mixed government is what a republic is. Even though Thomas Cromwell destroyed the British monarchy and the House of Lords and called his government a commonwealth, it was not a commonwealth but a democracy. When the restoration happened in England, when the monarch and the House of Lords was returned to power, it was then that the commonwealth was re-established.

    The FFofA did not create a true classical republic and many people are ignorant of its true meaning. America and California are not republics in any sense of the term.

  70. It’s “Natural Law,” mythago. That has nothing to do with any piddling ink scratches that people have put on paper since 1215 (or clay tablets Pre C.E. in Mesopotamia).

    It’s all-natural! Like orange juice.

  71. It’s just a question of the basis for your morality, the Judeo-Christian ethic or… well, your personal cafeteria.

    Wow. It’s one or the other, is it?

  72. Mr. Scalzi,

    From Sir Thomas Smyth:
    “Now although the governements of common wealthes be thus divided into three, and cutting ech into two, so into sixe: yet you must not take that ye shall finde any common wealth or governement simple, pure and absolute in his sort and kinde, but as wise men have divided for understandinges sake and fantasied iiij. simple bodies which they call elementes, as fire, ayre, water, earth, and in a mans bodie foure complexions or temperatures, as cholericke, sanguine, phlegmatique, and melancolique: not that ye shall finde the one utterly perfect without mixtion of the other, for that nature almost will not suffer, but understanding doth discerne ech nature as in his sinceritie: so seldome or never shall you finde any common wealthe[1] or governement which is absolutely and sincerely made of the one[2] above named, but alwayes mixed with an other, and hath the name of that which is more and overruleth alwayes or for the most part the other.[3]

    In order to understand what a true republic is Mr. Scalzi, you have to understand the First Republics of Western Civlization and that would be the Spartan Republic:

    http://www.sparta.markoulakispublications.org.uk/index.php?id=105

    Now, unless you have read Paul A. Rahe’s “Republics, Ancient and Modern”, you would understand that the Enlightenment changed the meaning of the term. It is explained here in short version:
    Classical definition of a republic:
    http://www.wikinfo.org/index.php/Classical_definition_of_republic

    The FFofA did not create a true classical republic. It is a democracy pure and simple.

  73. Perhaps there’s a distinction between a “classical republic” and a “modern republic.”

    History is not a monolithic stasis. Cultures and societies evolve, and definitions change.

  74. @ Jeff Zugale

    Mr. Zugale, the Natural Law is the primal basis of Western Thought, Culture and Civilization. Where have you been and what is your education? The Natural Law is an integral part of Western philosophy and thought.

    If you are not cognizant of the Natural Law, then you are not in Western Culture.

  75. Jeff@72: “…I didn’t realize the 18th Century had an internet connection!”

    Yup. There’s a whole subculture grown up around it, called “MulePunk.” Occasionally, you might see their gear featured on Boing Boing.

  76. WLindsayWheeler@80: You know, it would be more convincing if you didn’t link to definitions written by you elsewhere on the Internet…

  77. If you are not cognizant of the Natural Law, then you are not in Western Culture.

    That’s logic, folks. And I for one am humbled before it, in a completely circular fashion.

    Is it just me? Or did this part of the Internet just get a whole lot more stupid?

  78. “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”.

    Socrates is right: The world hates Truth. The mass of the people do not know the Truth and rather hate it.

    If you don’t know the Truth in one matter and rather hate it, how can you speak truth on other matters as well. If you hate the truth, you can’t speak the truth.

  79. “Would those be people who believe that Marbury v. Madison was wrongly decided?”

    Yeah that’s me. Right here. Branches of Government don’t get to grant themselves power… for all power flows from the people. Therefore any branch which assigns a given power to itself, it has stolen that power from the people.

    I don’t care how nicely they stole it. I don’t care what good they claim to have done with it since they stole it.

  80. “Would those be people who believe that Marbury v. Madison was wrongly decided?”

    Yeah that’s me. Right here. Branches of Government don’t get to grant themselves power… for all power flows from the people. Therefore any branch which assigns a given power to itself, it has stolen that power from the people.

    I don’t care how nicely they stole it. I don’t care what good they claim to have done with it since they stole it.

  81. We’ve had 200 years in which to pass a Constitutional amendment specifically disallowing judicial review. That it hasn’t happened tells me that most people don’t have a problem with it, which is a de facto grant of that power to the Supreme Court.

  82. WLindsayWheeler:

    “Socrates is right: The world hates Truth.”

    Socrates was also not fond of fatuous people, and took a big fat plank to them at every opportunity.

    You don’t speak Truth, WLindsayWheeler, if such is your implication. What you speak is a gibberish that suggests you read some books one day and didn’t understand them well at all. Just because you name check Socrates doesn’t make you smart, or right.

    Incidentally, you’re being moderated. If your subsequent posts are too full of dumb, they won’t get out.

  83. 1) Why in the blue hell would we amend the constitution to deny a power that was never granted in the first place?

    2) Since when does a failure to retrieve stolen property erase the crime? I mean… if I steal your lawn mower… and you don’t come and take it back from me… does that mean I can say that you really gave it to me?

    By the way… we’re getting pretty far afield here.

    Folks like me were called out so I spoke up.

    And for the record… if something akin to Prop 8 were to ever come up in my home state.. I would have no problem telling a couple that their marriage was not only invalid… but abomination. I would happily explain that they were living a self destructive lifestyle that cannot be sanctioned by the State.

    California? Who knows.

  84. Nate @ 97 “I would happily explain that they were living a self destructive lifestyle that cannot be sanctioned by the State.”

    So, you’re in favor of Prohibition then?

    How do you come up with monogamous marriage as being a “self-destructive lifestyle?” Are you using a religious basis for that?

  85. Nate, “self-destructive lifestyle”? Do you know any gay people?

    Seriously, the “self-destructive lifestyle” of gay people isn’t any worse (or better) than the self-destructive lifestyle of het people. I fail to discern much of a difference besides who they’re screwing and I certainly couldn’t care less about who people have sex with or love. Why do you care?

    I’m definitely in the school of thought that cannot see any basis for the anti-gay marriage movement beyond their own religious motivations. In a secular society, why should I have to coddle their religion? I’m a Buddhist and you don’t see me trying to enshrine my religious values in the law.

    As a Californian, you can be sure I’m voting down this amendment (as is my wife).

    Oh, as an aside, my wife and I have no plans of children. I have a daughter from a previous marriage and am getting the snip soon (at my wife’s suggestion, in fact) in order to guarantee no further children. Does that mean that certain parties here think that my marriage should be annulled by legal decree? After all, we’re not going to procreate. If not, what is the difference between my marriage and that of two of our lesbian friends?

  86. I live in California, and my husband, parents, and I will be voting against Prop 8 because we believe (and rightly so) that every human being has the basic human right to marry whomever they want, providing the potential spouse grants consent. My parents are very religious and are not threatened by homosexuality. I also have a Mormon friend and he and his wife will both be voting against Prop 8. Yes, that’s right, a Mormon man and his wife are socially liberal and understand that their marriage is not affected in any way by any other marriage that may or may not exist.

    My boss and carpool buddy is NOT religious and he voted FOR Prop 8 (absentee ballot) because it’s “not normal” for gay people to get married. It’s also “not normal” for men to die of breast cancer, but it still happens. (Not that I’m trying to put a negative spin on gay marriage.) He’s also worried that schools will start “teaching his sons about homosexuality and gay marriage” and he doesn’t want that. Because, I guess, somehow learning about gay marriage and homosexuality would mess his kids up. (Unless of course they’re gay…) Please understand that this man is extraordinarily intelligent; he is in fact one of the smartest people I know, and I typically surround myself with smart people. Yet he continues to rail against gay marriage. We’ve had many heated discussions about this and his willful ignorance is a cause of great frustration for me.

    Gay marriage will become legal. When, I don’t know. But this is our generation’s civil rights issue to tackle. 40 years ago people were up in arms about legalizing interracial marriage. This is just the next step, and it will be painful for some of us. For the rest, it’ll be a cause for celebration. (And even my carpool buddy agrees that gay marriage will eventually become legal, he just wants it to happen later rather than sooner.)

  87. I forgot to mention that my husband and I will not be having kids. Should our marriage be anulled as well, WLindsayWheeler?

  88. Keri:

    WLindsayWheeler can’t come out to play; he’s in moderation. Don’t poke at him.

    Al Billings:

    Please don’t feed the troll (that’s Lamont, not Nate).

  89. John Scalzi: Keri:WLindsayWheeler can’t come out to play; he’s in moderation. Don’t poke at him.

    Whoopsie, I didn’t realize he was in a time out. Sorry!

  90. Nate, to be more direct, rather than playing some game with statistics and harm or whatever direction you were going to go with your question, why not address what I actually wrote?

  91. Jeff
    I’m not at all in favor of prohibition. You see the state doesn’t license drinkers. As for my reasoning… its pretty simple. There are mountains of medical evidence that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a practicing homosexual will suffer for his choice. They are more likely to suffer from depression. They are more likely to attempt suicide… and their life expectancy is significantly shorter.

    In short… its bad for them.

    And practicly… their selfish practice affects all of us. Every single one of us pays more for insurance because of the needless risks homosexuals take.

  92. VD wrote : “No, John, I mean “marriages” because the Law and the State only define legality, not reality.”

    As opposed to the really real reality, where a cup of wine is really truly a cup of the blood of Jesus, and gay marriage isn’t marriage.

  93. Nate wrote: “There are mountains of medical evidence that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a practicing homosexual will suffer for his choice.”

    No there isn’t. There’s a fundamentalist anti-gay crank who churns that stuff out, but nothing much of any scientific merit.

  94. Nate, when they start banning the eating of red meat and processed food because of the healthcare costs, your argument *might* be worth something (but I doubt it since I think your basic premise is wrong *and* your evidence is non-existent).

    Why should I, as a vegetarian, have my healthcare costs right because of all of the people who eat horrible food and have heart attacks. Let’s legislate against it!

    (That was sarcasm…)

  95. Al
    Its a pretty simple matter to me. The homosexual lifestyle is inherently more risky than the hetro lifestyle as evidenced by the fact that homosexual life expectancy is shorter.

    Now… If I were arguing for a banning homosexuality you and Jeff would have a point… but I’m not.

    I’m just saying that the state shouldn’t advocate such behavior… and yes… by licensing it… you are advocating it… you are legitimizing it. I believe therefore that you are on some level encouraging it.

  96. Unless there’s a cogent and immediate argument to be made as to why alleged lifestyle choices should impinge on one’s existing right to marry whomever one chooses, I’m going to declare the “Teh Gayz is gonsa die erly” conversational thread to be pointless and tell people to stop having it. And Nate, your last comment wasn’t it.

  97. Al
    I agree with you 100%. Seatbelt laws infuriate me… as do smoking bans and all such nonsense. I would disband the DEA if I had the power. Sadly I do not.

    But again.. I am not arguing for a ban on homosexuality. I couldn’t care less who sleeps with who, or what. Beastiality is perfectly ok with me so long as I don’t have to see it.. or hear it.. or hear about it.

    I’m simply saying the state shouldn’t license it.

  98. Nate @112: There are mountains of medical evidence that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a practicing homosexual will suffer for his choice. They are more likely to suffer from depression. They are more likely to attempt suicide… and their life expectancy is significantly shorter.

    In short… its bad for them.

    Nate, given that this medical evidence says that gay people are more likely to suffer for it, have you ever considered that maybe it’s not caused by them being gay, but the brutal societal oppression under which they live, and the stress that causes?

    Dude, I used to have stress and depression because of how people treated me when I was a nerd in high school, when my stepdad beat me up, and later because I was a long-haired rocker. I still have some issues from 20+ years ago that I deal with because of it. I’m sure I can’t truly understand what kind of overhead being gay must carry, but I’m sure I’ve had a taste of it, and even that little bit really, really sucked.

    I wonder if equivalent studies were done on oppressed minorities of all kinds around the world, that they wouldn’t say the same thing?

    Perhaps gay people would have better, longer, healthier lives if everyone else stopped treating them like shit. But no, you don’t want to maybe try that.

    Correlation is not causation, sir.

  99. Nate,

    Not to derail your train of thought, but if our argument against homosexuality rests, in part, on the collective burden we must share due to risk-taking… Yikes. I’m not sure I’d want to go there, because the total number of gays engaging in “risky” behavior that is a net drag on the U.S. is far smaller than the total number of hetero folk who engage in similarly risky behavior.

    Yes, promiscuity and drug use — along with HIV and STDs — are a problem among gays.

    But to be fair, these things are an even WORSE problem among straights. Maybe not per capita, but certainly by volume.

    JMHO.

  100. People actually thought that existing marriages would be safe if Prop 8 passes? I assumed those marriages would be dissolved under that arrangement. That’s kind of strange people would think differently.

    By the way, it isn’t just the Judeo-Christian ethic that has a problem with homosexuality. Atheistic governments are historically just as, if not, far more radical in their disdain for homosexuals; just check out China, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union. Homosexuals are/were harassed, imprisoned, and murdered by these states that also have very little tolerance for the Christian religion. (Vietnam, another atheistic government, uses their state-run media to call homosexuality a social evil.)

    By and large, this “Judeo-Christian” nation exercises quite a bit of tolerance for homosexuals. Because the majority has an issue with same-sex marriage as an affront to the will of their deity does not make them bigots, haters, or murderers. Indeed, some who worship that deity are all for it. So you people should calm down a little and cut these Christians some slack. A fringe minority cries out for the blood of homosexuals; the rest are pretty much okay with whatever goes on behind closed doors. That isn’t puritan; that’s just common sense.

    Rather, you should blame an irresponsible state Supreme Court that had no right to make the decision it did. Assuming Prop 8 passes, and I don’t think it will, it will be the court that should be blamed for destroying marriages and splitting up families because they had no right to subvert the will of the people and legalize by fiat gay marriages. Besides, given time, the tide of California liberalism would have fostered a people with the will to confer the rights of marriage to same-sex couples.

    From one commentator:

    “In order to make such a radical change in human behavior and custom, the proponents of gay marriage should have followed constitutional, democratic process and persuaded people to support it until a majority was achieved.

    “That’s what the U.S. Constitution and every state constitution require. And that has not happened anywhere in the U.S. …

    “What was the public emergency that made it so the New Puritans could not wait to persuade people to vote for what they wanted? The only emergency was that they knew that they could not do it. They knew democracy would not choose what they wanted.

    “Therefore small groups of dictators have simply taken it upon themselves to deny universal human practice and remake the law as they saw fit, without waiting for democratic process.

    Their pretexts are laughable, their authority nonexistent. No constitution declares that any court has such a right. ”

    (Source: http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2008-10-12-1.html)

    Finally, this undemocratic maneuvering by the courts actually sets up a greater danger to homosexual rights. Because the same subversion that is being used to prop up gay marriage is exactly the same subversion that will knock it down at a later time.

    I would hope that reason would prevail such that instead of trying to vote in people who will enforce your particular moral ideology, whether right or left, by whatever means necessary, you vote in people who will ensure that the Constitution can continue to work as it was intended to work. Fascism is a tool of the extremist on either side of the political spectrum. Fascism is exactly what we are seeing from the extreme left and this campaign to destroy the voice of dissent. (Don’t preach to me about the extreme right; I don’t like them either.)

    As for me, I think the Federal government has no sufficient reason to keep homosexuals from getting married, but they also have no sufficient reason to enforce same-sex marriage either. They should, however, protect the right of states to decide, democratically, whether same-sex marriages are valid in their states. Like the federal judges who propped up Roe v. Wade, these Californian judges are an abomination to our constitution. Shame on them … and you … for your blindness to what’s really at stake.

  101. Just so I’m clear Mr Scalzi, you asked a direct question about the willingness of a group of people to make a certain statement.

    I pointed out that I was perfectly happy to make that statement and explained why.

    Apart from that I’ve attempted to answer direct questions as to why. I’m not looking to hijack any thread or advocate any ban on any behavior what-so-ever.

    You don’t like reasoning. I really don’t have a problem with that. Particularly since you gave nothing more than an emotional reaction in support of your disdain.

    You may not like my logic.. but its pretty clear.

    X=dangerous behavior
    Licensing = advocacy

    The state shouldn’t advocate dangerous behavior, nor should the state ban it.

  102. Um, Nate @ 122, so we shouldn’t license driving? That’s one of the most dangerous things that most Americans do, far more dangerous on a per capita basis than most behaviors. I think that perhaps your argument has some holes in it.

  103. “The homosexual lifestyle is inherently more risky than the hetro lifestyle as evidenced by the fact that homosexual life expectancy is shorter.”

    Therefore, motorcyclists ought to be prevented from marrying anyone.

  104. “Unless there’s a cogent and immediate argument to be made as to why alleged lifestyle choices should impinge on one’s existing right to marry whomever one chooses, I’m going to declare the “Teh Gayz is gonsa die erly” conversational thread to be pointless and tell people to stop having it. And Nate, your last comment wasn’t it.”

    In your use, “cogent” is a meaningless word. It merely means an argument with which you agree. However, arguments can be cogent whether you agree with them or not … so stop using these bait words as if you use them with any actual meaning. They aren’t words that help you prove your point; you using them just insinuates you can’t debate rationally.

    Before we can debate, let’s define what you mean “marry whomever one chooses” … is there some limitation to that?

  105. Anthony, my fellow Californians voted to allow gay marriage twice now. Did you miss that. The will of the people here is clear.

    I suggest that we should get on with it and start worrying about things like the economy more than the pink menace or similar BS.

  106. Nate:

    “You may not like my logic.. but it’s pretty clear.”

    The logical construction is fine, so far as it goes; the data you put into it, however, is complete nonsense, as others have pointed out, so your rationale for your potential action is likewise complete nonsense.

    “You don’t like reasoning.”

    I like my reasoning to have reason in it. You’re failing that.

    Now, let’s end this particular line of discussion, as it relates to the destructiveness of being gay.

  107. Al, what particular votes conferred the rights of marriage to same-sex couples? My understanding is that the last vote said they don’t have the right, which is why judges decided to step in and say voting doesn’t really matter. (Indeed, I wouldn’t be too shocked that if California did vote for gay marriage, and judges stepped in and said, “You can’t do that,” then you would be talking about judicial tyranny. That’s what I am trying to tell you, Al.

    I don’t think homosexuality is a menace, by the way. Being gay is a tough place to be sometimes, and I have a great amount of sympathy for those who struggle with bigotry of any kind. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean I support judicial tyranny either.

    With regard to what we should put our minds too, You mean to tell me that the our minds cannot deal with these two issues simultaneously?

    I think I can have an opinion on the economy and judicial tyranny at the same time. I think I can probably discuss them at the same time too. I think both are equally valid concerns. What do I care if this nations prospers economically if I have to worry about out-of-control judges … I’d rather be impoverished an have the checks against the judicial branch as outlined in both the state and federal constitutions.

  108. Because the same subversion that is being used to prop up gay marriage is exactly the same subversion that will knock it down at a later time

    I find it very interesting that you think the judicial review – a function of the courts that is unquestioned, and was established in the very early days of our Republic – is “subversive”. If you truly believe this, then you don’t believe in the American system of government at all, and your views on the correctness of Proposition 8 are meaningless.

    Nate, while your ‘reams of research’ on homosexuals’ life spans are frankly imaginary – look up STD rates among lesbians sometime – you do realize that if The People disagreed with Marbury v. Madison, then The People were, and are, free to amend the Constitution to make it clear that judicial review is not a function of the judicial system. They did not, and have not. For someone who fetishizes the Will of said People, that pretty much says all you need to know about the idea that there should be no checks on the legislative branch.

  109. Kelly @ 123,

    Ofcourse not, should the state license professional football or require a test to allow you to go to Vegas and gamble, how about childbirth? When the state institutes planning in any form, competition and what’s left of the free market take the hit. I am willing to bet you are one of those people who trust the state to train your children to drive, and then think your kids are good safe drivers.

  110. In this thread I see so many echoes from the previous long proposition 8 thread. Mind you, I notice more the echoes of people who are arguing against proposition 8 or are trying to dance arcs around what-is-law-what-is-not-law. They change the least.

    I scooted by a comment, in fact, that was almost word for word from the previous thread.

    It makes me despair, especially since the same arguments about shared risk can be made against people of different races. And have been.

    So, you know, kick out all the chinks and niggers and spics.

    – AJ, bi chink (although I’m a virgin, so dunno how that plays against people who think that everybody in the LGBT category is sexually promiscuous)

  111. “Judicial tyranny” = a judge made a decision that I don’t like.

    Al,

    Are you so foolish, so narrow-minded, so blind to this problem of “by any means necessary”? It applies to you. If you would only think of the larger repercussions.

    For example, if a state has a vote where the will of the people is to allow gay marriage, and a judge stepped in and said votes like that don’t count. You would be calling it “Judicial tyranny” — and so would I.

    And that’s the difference between you and me. I don’t want tyranny even if that tyranny would be in step with my religious or moral views. But you would have tyranny if it gave you what you wanted.

    This country has never been perfect, but it doesn’t deserve that kind of mindset either.

  112. “Sphincter-neck.” Can I swipe that? That’s dead useful, that is.

    Also, since we’re talking phrases: from whence comes the term “homogamy?” It strikes me as bizarre.

  113. I should demonstrate my point about advocacy and licensing.

    I have a good friend that is what we right wing extremists refer to as a “gun grabber”. She abhores private firearm ownership and has an emotional reaction to any firearm she sees in private hands.

    She saw that I was wearing a handgun on my hip once and flew off the handle.

    I immediately produced my concealed carry license and pointed out that I was trained and approved by the state to responsibly carry the weapon.

    This changed her entire attitude about the weapon.

    Now… no it certainly didn’t make her run out and buy a gun. Nor did it make her less of a gun grabber. But it did completely disarm her in a fascinating way.

    I believe what is moral and what is legal is becoming increasingly clouded these days. As anyone that’s spent 10 minutes on the web can attest… you cannot have a discussion about right and wrong without illegal and legal sticking their big butts into the equation and causing confusion.

    But again… that’s probably a topic for a different day.

  114. For example, if a state has a vote where the will of the people is to allow gay marriage, and a judge stepped in and said votes like that don’t count.

    Good thing that’s not what happened in California. What happened in California was that the judges upheld the will of the people as expressed in the California State Constitution, because that is the strongest expression of the will of the people.

  115. Mythago writes,

    “I find it very interesting that you think the judicial review – a function of the courts that is unquestioned, and was established in the very early days of our Republic – is “subversive”. If you truly believe this, then you don’t believe in the American system of government at all, and your views on the correctness of Proposition 8 are meaningless.”

    Judicial review isn’t unquestioned, and it has been contested. However, to the point, I would argue that your use of judicial review, in this case, to subvert the will of the people pretty much makes the constitution meaningless. So we’re probably at an impasse.

    Perhaps we could have a chat about judicial review and where it has been successful and where it has not. I would find that very interesting. It certainly has not been successful here.

    And again, as with Al, if judicial review worked against your core beliefs, would you see it tossed in the trash as invalid? I contend that you are hiding behind the term because it serves your beliefs.

    I would never have these courts determine what is right and wrong when it comes to homosexuality, abortion, and a host of other morally charged social issues.

  116. “Good thing that’s not what happened in California. What happened in California was that the judges upheld the will of the people as expressed in the California State Constitution, because that is the strongest expression of the will of the people.”

    We wouldn’t be having this argument if the judges upheld the will of the people. Apparently, Californian voters banned gay marriage … and a court said that vote was invalid.

    The arguments they used for their split decision — that is, equal protection — are probably the next step in this discussion.

    I don’t know if I have made this clear, but I don’t think, in this day and age, that amending the state constitution to strictly limit the definition of marriage is in the best interest of California. So, had I a vote, I would vote No to prop 8. But I don’t have a vote.

    People are too hot headed, including the judges under the auspice of judicial review. :)

  117. I found this useful summary for people who might be confused about how this whole thing got started and why the process is so messed up:

    San Francisco tested California’s gay marriage laws in 2004 when the city began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Although the licenses were revoked, the San Francisco gay marriage action heated up the California gay marriage debate. Judge Richard Kramer of San Francisco’s Superior Court ruled that California’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional and likened the ban to racial segregation in schools.

    In 2005 the California Assembly passed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, which defines marriage as between ‘two persons.’ Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.

    Opponents called the Assembly’s voluntary move arrogant and in defiance of a voter-approved law limiting marriage rights to male-female couples. In 2000, California voters affirmed the definition of marriage as a union between two members of the opposite sex.

    The law preventing gay marriage is a 1977 law defining marriage as ‘between a man and a woman.’

  118. We wouldn’t be having this argument if the judges upheld the will of the people. Apparently, Californian voters banned gay marriage … and a court said that vote was invalid.

    Anthony: using the word “apparently” to lie about what actually happened is not much of a fig leaf.

    Do you think the California Constitution fell out of the sky one day? Do you believe it was crafted in secret by judges? Do you also believe that the laws passed in California granting same-sex couples the right to adopt, to become domestic partners, and to raise children together were inflicted at gunpoint on Californians by a shadowy judicial cabal?

    The people of California made it very clear – through laws that they approved – that they were OK with same-sex couples having many rights that heterosexual married couples had. Therefore, when the California Supreme Court compared the will of the people as expressed in the Constitution vs. Proposition 22, they found that the will of the people as expressed in the Constitution overrode the will of the people as expressed in Prop 22. They also found that the arguments claiming a “compelling interest” in banning same-sex marriage were directly contradicted by the will of the people, as expressed in all those other laws giving same-sex couples rights.

    Really, this would all be cleared up if you’d go read the court decision, instead of spewing lies about it. You won’t, though, so I’ll just point them out for the audience at home.

  119. I would never have these courts determine what is right and wrong when it comes to homosexuality, abortion, and a host of other morally charged social issues.

    That is why, as you’d know if you read the case, the California Supreme Court explicitly said it was not deciding whether there should or should not be same-sex marriage; it was deciding only whether Prop 22 was unconstitutional.

    Judicial review is not “correct”; it is, despite Nate’s objections, an old and established legal principle. One of the checks on the legislative branch is the judicial system’s review of what it does.

    Sometimes this means that courts will achieve a result I, personally, don’t like. If they did so honestly, by following the law, then my job is not to hop up and down and whine about judicial activism; it is to try and effect a change in the law, and/or the Constitution.

    So what the Prop 8 bigots are doing is certainly the legally correct response. The Constitution prevented them from getting what they wanted; therefore they seek to amend the Constitution.

  120. I’m happy to let everyone know that I just turned in my mail-based ballot at the post office. In it, I voted against Prop 8. My wife did the same today as well.

    We’ll find out within a week whether more than half of my fellow Californians feel the way I do about injecting religion into politics and invalidating marriages.

    As an aside, I have friends who are married and were only able to be so because of the court decision that allowed same sex couples to marry. I blogged about their wedding at http://www.arcanology.com/2008/07/25/california-wedding/. I’m glad that I can look them in the eye and say I support their life together.

  121. mythago,

    (I’m not spewing lies, and you ought to calm down … and you ought to stop calling people names. I could very well be wrong in the events that led us where we are today … but I certainly think you ought to afford me some respect. Your use of “bigots” certainly appears hypocritical.)

    I don’t think you should be lecturing me about the Constitution and how it came to be. It was written long before gay marriage was an issue … and whoever sat down to write it probably would have written in something about marriage between a man and woman only if they had perceived that a minority of people in the distant future would challenge that notion.

    Regarding the constitution, it certainly says nothing about gay marriage Of course, I’m not aware of any amendment to that constitution that directly deals with gay marriage. If the state constitution does directly address gay marriage, I would be glad to say I was wrong.

    Rather, you see, what happened is that, during a lawsuit, judges one day decided that the constitution, especially in regard to equal protection and privacy, extended to gay marriage. Now we can agree or disagree about their conclusions, but the last time I checked, voters in California decided they’d like to keep marriage between a man and a woman only. Then 4 judges said, “Not so fast.” Thus, they subverted the will of the people as made clear in the voting record.

    The voting record of the people has been clear. No gay marriage. The judges and legislators have attempted several times to work against the people of California. They are doing it again … and it is judicial activism. And you should be whining about it, because it is an affront to your rights as an American citizen.

  122. Anthony, your record is broken.

    willofthepeople-click-willofthepeople-click-
    willofthepeople-click-willofthepeople-click-
    willofthepeople-click-willofthepeople-click-
    willofthepeople-click-willofthepeople-click-

    mythago has already defeated that, with cites from actual law. Did you know mythago is an actual lawyer in California, and thus might just know a lot more about California law than you, me, or anyone else here?

    If mythago says your argument is without legal basis, you probably ought to listen.

  123. Anthony, you are asserting as fact things that are false, even after it has been pointed out to you that they are false. For example, pretending that the Constitution is not “the will of the people”. You’ve also made it perfectly clear that while you have never read In Re Marriage Cases, you are more than willing to pretend you know what actually happened in the case, but attempt to cover your rhetorical rear by using weasel words like “apparently”. How does calling you out on that make me a bigot?

    Here is what actually happened: the people of the State of California have a constitution that has strong equal-protection guarantees. The people of the State of California have also passed numerous laws giving same-sex couples rights, and protecting people based on their sexual orientation. The people, through their elected legislators, twice passed laws permitting same-sex marriage, but these laws were vetoed unilaterally by the Governor.

    Therefore, when people not allowed to marry challenged Proposition 22 as being in violation of the Constitution, the California Supreme Court had to determine whether or not this was correct, and determined it was. They did not determine that it is mean and hateful to oppose same-sex marriage. They did not determine that there is no fundamental right to marry but they were going to invent one. They quite reasonably ruled that the will of the people, as expressed in many, many other laws, including in the state Constitution, did not give any reason to deny the fundamental right of marriage based on sexual orientation.

    I’m happy for you to point to anything in the decision you feel is wrong.

  124. t was written long before gay marriage was an issue … and whoever sat down to write it probably would have written in something about marriage between a man and woman only if they had perceived that a minority of people in the distant future would challenge that notion.

    If only the framers had know of Teh Evul!! that was about to appear. Sigh.

  125. “mythago has already defeated that, with cites from actual law. Did you know mythago is an actual lawyer in California, and thus might just know a lot more about California law than you, me, or anyone else here?”

    Jeff,

    So if I go get a California attorney (or even 10 of them) that says these judges acted in bad faith, you’d be ready to submit to that? We’re discussing ideas in this marketplace of ideas; so please, let me discuss them, even if that means that I have to repeat myself.

    I’m surprised you’re so eager to write off “will of the people” as if that is somehow meaningless.. Say, what kind of attorney is mythago … a constitutional attorney, a criminal attorney. Has he ever argued before the state supreme court? Perhaps if you could clarify what kind of attorney he is, your appeal to authority might be validated.

    What did I say that doesn’t have legal basis? Somehow my opinions about judicial tyranny have no legal basis? We don’t have a legal basis to disagree with judges acting in bad faith, flashing around judicial review as if it actually hands them the authority to overturn the clear and time-tested will of the people?

  126. Anthony, the problem, as others have pointed out, is that your assertions do not match the actual facts, which Mythago, with some knowledge of the actual law and process, has made clear in abundant fashion through her familiarity to actual things relevant to the discussion.

    If you have facts, please bring them to bear. Otherwise, it might be wise to admit you’re simply pulling your argument out of your own ass.

  127. My understanding (and I defer to mythago for any corrections on this) is the state already had gay marriage on the books in all but name. Someone brought suit arguing that it was the equivalent of ‘separate but equal’ laws from the Jim Crow era. The CSC decided this was the case and ruled that the state could not force same-sex couples to settle for ‘civil unions’ while allowing opposite-sex couples the use the word ‘marriage’ — the state has to use the same word for all couples.

    In other words, same-sex couples already had all the rights and privileges of marriage but without the word marriage. The ruling was about the use of one word.

  128. But John, it’s the WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

    Of course, apparently, what your elected officials do is *not* (somehow) the will of the people since the legislators passed same sex laws.

  129. You notice they don’t argue with one person (Gov. Gröppenator) having the right to overturn legislation on a whim, but judicial review — can’t have that!

  130. Yeah because it isn’t like we want a system with designed in checks and balances. Let’s just have direct democracy then we can have a nice tyranny of the majority.

  131. Mythgo,

    I agree on how the events happened as you stated them above. I have said nothing that would suggest otherwise. I think you are doing a lot of dancing around to try to suggest otherwise. Indeed, I already brought up equal protection (and privacy, another justification for gay marriage) as the justification used by judges to apply the constitution to gay marriage … all before you decided to lecture me about it. I know what happened.

    But answer this: If the will of the people was to legalize same-sex marriage, as you say, why did they vote on a proposition that would make it illegal? Why, with his political position at stake, would the governor somehow annoy the majority of his constituency by vetoing legislation that they demanded be passed through their legislator? Indeed, I would argue that the latest vote by the people of California shows quite clearly that they are against gay marriage. I would argue that the governor knew that the California legislature was acting in bad faith … as proved when the people voted by an overwhelming majority (61%) that gay marriage would not be valid in the state.

    The constitution is not “the will of the people” in the way you are using it. Rather, it is a document that provides the basis of government and affords people their inalienable rights. Yes, it’s the will of the people in the since that the people want the constitution to protect their voice and their rights.

    But it was judges, and not the people, who decided that the equal protection and privacy extended the right of gay marriage. Stop dancing around as if judges and the legislature are the will of the people. They are representative of the people, and sometimes they screw up. It was the interpretation, not a vote of the people, that made gay marriage legal. Now,Californians certainly want homosexuals to be afforded certain protections … but they haven’t, up until now, extended the right of marriage. They proved that in a vote that literally stunned the media in its margin of passage — Prop 22.

    Then four judges decided that wasn’t good enough, and they subverted the will of the people with judicial review.

  132. John H. @156: “You notice they don’t argue with one person (Gov. Gröppenator) having the right to overturn legislation on a whim, but judicial review — can’t have that!”

    Well, in point of fact, the Governor does have that right and power. So the vetos are perfectly in accordance with law, and nobody should have a problem with it.

    Judicial Review is one of the checks/balances on that power, as well as the legislature overriding the veto with some kind of majority, depending on the state.

  133. JS — Don’t have much to add that isn’t already said above (and I have spent more than enough time arguing against Prop 8 in various other forums, so I’m not inclined to repeat myself here). I just wanted to say that your post above is outstanding. I have allowed Prop 8 supporters to drag me into theoretical debate after theoretical debate about morality, the proper role of government, etc…(I’m not gay, so I’m sure that helps)…and, of course, I dominate every one of those debates (battles of wits with unarmed opponents), but that isn’t the point. The bottom line is, if the majority of Californians are willing to look a married, gay person in the eye and tell them that their marriage is a moral abomination that should be destroyed, then fine. But I would hazard a guess that no more than 10% of Californians are willing to do that…which means that if Prop 8 passes, it will have been pushed almost entirely by cowards.

    I also love the way that you govern over your comment thread. Serious authority. Right off the bat, some joker posts something that basically makes your point — “here’s my abstract, stupid solution to what I perceive as a problem, because I want to avoid taking any responsibility for my bigotry” — and you just brought the hammer down. Great work.

  134. John Scalzi,

    I’m not pulling anything out of my ass. Mythago, who doesn’t sound or write anything like any attorney I’ve ever known or debated, much less an expert on the California State Constitution, is dancing around the point and counting for appeals to authority to come to her rescue.

    Well, forget it. What a waste. As if this is a forum with any merit now, defending such a silly argument like that.

    You know, some guy I respect posted your link in a forum and I came here to check it out. After I read your juvenile post, I decided to point out that there are indeed better ways for gay marriage proponents to get what they want … something I think they should have.

    To answer your silly morally ambiguous question … I would stand in front of a gay couple and say, “I’m really sorry that you were lied to and given something to which the persons giving it had no right to give. But don’t despair. Because the tide is changing. The people have come so far, and they will go the rest of the way in the next few years when they are convinced that the time is right and the cause is just. All I ask is that you use democracy, and not judicial tyranny, to get what you want. Because when you rely on tyranny to get what you want, it will be used against you later … and everything you have worked for will be lost because you decided that “by any means necessary” is more important than the rule of law and the constitution. So keep the faith. Keep patient. Sacrifice so that your children now can live in the freedom that the rest of America stands with them on this issue and will not let it go by a judge who thinks he or she knows better. You shall overcome, and if you do it right, the rest of America and the world will stand with you.”

  135. Jeff @ 159: I realize that the veto is a proper right and power, and I certainly wasn’t saying he shouldn’t have that right. It just seems incongruous to decry judicial review as tyranny (wherein four judges agreed with the ruling) while saying nothing of the governor’s vetoes (wherein one person decided he didn’t like the legislation)…

  136. Shorter Anthony:

    “Waaah, I can’t argue so I will pretend it’s everyone else who has a problem, including that lawyer who I bet is totally fake. Also, you suck.”

    Thanks for coming by, Anthony. You take care, now.

  137. (and by “agreed with the ruling” I meant the judges agreed the state was discriminating by not allowing same-sex unions to be called ‘marriage’)

  138. Scalzi,

    My goodness. Do you realize how ridiculous … I’m not the only one saying judicial tyranny is a problem. I’m just the only one here. And yes, I’m bold enough to say you have a problem … and instead of refuting it like an intelligent human being, you smack out a silly insult.

    Well, we all can do that. Heck, I could write,

    “Waaah! Someone who can’t be insulted away from my precious blog and I can’t admit he has a point so I will appeal to authority, perhaps even ban him if I have to … so I can feel good about myself and not have to feel threatened!”

    You see how easy that is? We all can do it. I ask you to grow up, realize that we both think homosexuals should be able to marry, as I have made clear … but your blind bigotry has been unable to grasp … but that something is seriously wrong with the process in which activists are going about it.

    You know what? Prop 8 is exactly the kind of knee-jerk extremist reaction that happens when irrational people like you start using your voices to praise tyranny and coming up with cry-baby arguments that don’t apply in nation like this one. Instead of letting democracy do its job, you want to subvert it for your cause. You aren’t doing homosexuals any favors … they poor people have enough to deal with than you noobs.

  139. Anthony, I think what John is saying in his own gentle and indirect way is that your arguments may look successful from the inside, but that from the outside you are not covering yourself in debating glory so much as debating cream pie.

  140. “I realize that the veto is a proper right and power, and I certainly wasn’t saying he shouldn’t have that right. It just seems incongruous to decry judicial review as tyranny (wherein four judges agreed with the ruling) while saying nothing of the governor’s vetoes (wherein one person decided he didn’t like the legislation)…”

    Except that, the judges were clearly overriding the will of the people … and the governor was acting in good faith toward his constituency — as shown by every vote ever taken on the issue.

  141. Anthony, I don’t care how you justify removing peoples’ rights. Homosexuals have the right to marry in California NOW. Telling them that they received the right incorrectly and that they should give it up in the hopes of doing it the right way someday are an insult and, I’m afraid to say, completely full of shit.

  142. Anthony:

    “You see how easy that is? We all can do it.”

    Well, no. You, for example, just did it poorly. It needs to be shorter and punchier, and it needs not to be surrounded by all the other extraneous blah blah blah. You suck at snark, basically.

    It’s nice we both want gays and lesbians in California to have the rights they already have, Anthony. Here’s a shiny penny for you. Nevertheless, your “judicial tyranny” argument is craptacular, and it was rather efficiently refuted by people who actually know things, and like many people who appear to think they know more than they do, you don’t seem to realize you’re getting your ass handed to you. Then you did the patented “I’m flouncing out of here because you people can’t handle intelligent discussion” maneuver, which of course, you’ve just totally blown by responding again.

    At this point, snark is actually better than you deserve.

    Now, shoo.

  143. So will churches be able to refuse to marry homosexuals and will they be immune to lawsuits for refusing?

    Will the courts declare churches “public accommodations” and force them into it or will there be a exception?

  144. Voting is a choice and an explicit act. Anyone who votes “yes” on Prop 8 is making a decision to strip existing rights from gay couples. You can pretend it is nothing personal and that you really support gay rights but no one is going to buy it when you engage in the act of voting their rights away.

  145. Anthony: No, what the judges did was take stupid out of the equation — calling a set of rights afforded gays one thing and calling THE EXACT SAME RIGHTS afforded heteros something else. ‘Separate but equal’ was shot down more than half a century ago by the SCOTUS, so how is this in any way controversial?

  146. Kelly,

    I would suggest that comments like that will also be directed at any one else you disagree with. I’m not afraid of these sly insults, and they certainly don’t make me wonder where I went wrong in my argument. They only make me wonder why you and your friends have to resort to these self-serving comments instead of refuting the idea that a massive majority vote somehow doesn’t measure up to the “will of the people” … and why judicial interpretation of the constitution and a subsequent judicial review somehow stands in place for the will of the people.

    Well, expert attorney says the will of the people is the constitution and that overrode the vote of the will of the people. Except that, the constitution doesn’t say a thing about gay marriage … and that expert attorney’s so-called will of the people is actually an interpretation by judges who are acting under their own moral judgments. Have you people dared read the dissenting opinions of the judges who voted against judicial tyranny. It’s a good read. You won’t need me to make the argument …

    By the way, I could easily say your friends are also wallowing in cream pie. All we’ve said is that we disagree. They haven’t shown where I am wrong. In fact, I have said I agree with their sequence of events. I even said before they did that equal protection and privacy are the reasons gay marriage has been defended as constitutional by judges. Then expert attorney lectured me on it as if it was novel. No, I think I have shown I have a good grasp on the occasion. Of course, being human, I admit I could be wrong. I’m glad to be wrong … just give me someone who can show me I am wrong instead of resorting to insults.

    What I am saying is that the will of the people is clear. It was shown in a vote. And it is the congress and judicial branch of California that is acting in bad faith.

  147. Al Billingson 30 Oct 2008 at 7:34 pm

    “Anthony, I don’t care how you justify removing peoples’ rights. Homosexuals have the right to marry in California NOW. Telling them that they received the right incorrectly and that they should give it up in the hopes of doing it the right way someday are an insult and, I’m afraid to say, completely full of shit”

    It’s completely “full of shit” for fascists … and it’s an insult for people who can’t think about anything but themselves.

  148. Anthony:

    “What I am saying is that the will of the people is clear. It was shown in a vote. And it is the congress and judicial branch of California that is acting in bad faith.”

    What you’re really saying is that you have very little understanding of how the government actually works in a republic, such as California is. Which is apparently endemic to people who want gays and lesbians to be patient about getting rights that they in fact already have, or who want to take away those rights altogether.

  149. John Scalzion,

    “You suck at snark, basically.”

    Thanks. That’s okay. I’m glad to be bad at it, because I don’t want it to be my crutch when I can’t make an argument. I was merely suggesting that it was easier to do than making an argument. I suggest you continue to prove the point.

    “Nevertheless, your “judicial tyranny” argument is craptacular, and it was rather efficiently refuted by people who actually know things …”

    No. It hasn’t. Oh, you keep saying it … but that doesn’t make it so. How is what you are doing intelligent? Aren’t you the one who keeps telling me to go away? I don’t think mythago, appeal to authority, has shown anything by that she knows how to dance.

    How about you tell me that “the will of the people” in a vote is somehow less applicable to “the will of the people” as interpreted by judges and a congress that apparently creates “the will of the people” by trying to pass laws that clearly aren’t “the will of voting public.”

    Try me. I can take a good argument.

  150. Anthony —

    I get it. It seems anti-democratic for a panel of judges to essentially overrule a majority vote. Particularly so when what they are overruling is a ballot initiative — DIRECT democracy, not just “the will of the People” as reflected by their elected representatives’ votes. It seems even stranger to do this when the subject matter at issue is essentially moral in nature, and fundamentally is a question regarding how we define ourselves as a culture. If we can’t vote on such things, what in the world can we vote on? Sure. I hear you.

    Let me see if I can help. Yes, voters a while back did get together and approve Prop 22. But Californians have done some other things as well. For example, when this state was founded, it was founded upon a Constitution, which sets forth the basic principles guiding who we are and how we govern ourselves. And we now continue to consent to the concept that our Constitution is the ultimate authority on who we are and how we govern ourselves. The Constitution is the ultimate authority on the basic principles of who we are as a culture, and how we will govern ourselves. The entire point of having such an authority is to prevent ourselves from later doing something that is inconsistent with those basic principles. And regardless of what we approve or do not approve in our ballot initiatives, we all agree to adhere to those basic principles, and we agree that those basic principles trump other legal authority within the state, INCLUDING ballot initiatives. We also all agreed (and continue to agree) that the governing body charged with the responsibility of interpreting that Constitution is our state’s Supreme Court. They don’t change the Constitution…but when we are in doubt about what it says, we have all agreed that the California Supreme Court gets the final say. We agreed on how those judges will be selected, and we agreed on the principles by which they do their work in interpreting the state’s Constitution.

    The point is this: looking at the “will of the People” with respect to a single ballot initiative is far too narrow. The “will of the People” is inclusive of the concept that the Constitution of the state is the supreme authority with respect to the basic principles of who we are and how we govern ourselves. The “will of the People” is inclusive of the concept that when we have a dispute over what the Constitution says, our California Supreme Court will resolve that dispute, and we abide by that resolution, whether we agree with it from a policy perspective or not. Thus, by reviewing Prop 22 against the Constitution and determining that it was not consistent with our basic principles, the California Supreme Court did EXACTLY what the “will of the People” demanded…consistent with our collective decision, made WAY before Prop 22 ever existed, that we would abide by the basic principles set forth in our Constitution, as interpreted by our Supreme Court. That IS the will of the People…not necessarily with respect to the specific subject matter of Prop 22, but with respect to the larger and more important issue: who we are as a culture, and how we choose to govern ourselves.

  151. I’m at the point where I pretty much skim these threads for mythago’s comments.

    Sorry, other commenters.

  152. A friend of mine who is campaigning against prop 8 actually goes to the houses of people with “Yes on 8″ signs on their property. He stands outside with his “No on 8″ sign and waits to see if they’ll have the guts to come talk to him. It affects him quite personally, he was married to his longtime boyfriend about a month ago. He hopes that if people try to look him in the eye and tell him he shouldn’t be married, they won’t be able to do it. 3 of my coworkers got married in the past few months, one in the past week. All of these marriages will be void if prop 8 passes. One of these couples has been together 30 years, yet people want to deny them the right to be married. It makes me sick.

  153. “What you’re really saying is that you have very little understanding of how the government actually works in a republic, such as California is. Which is apparently endemic to people who want gays and lesbians to be patient about getting rights that they in fact already have, or who want to take away those rights altogether.”

    No. Don’t think I have said that I have very little understanding how the government works. I know that we all live in a democratic republic, with three branches of government.

    But sometimes, the clearly stated will of the people is subverted by one or more of the three branches of government. And people, like me, have to speak up, lest the constitution becomes a useless piece of paper.

  154. Anthony:

    “Thanks. That’s okay. I’m glad to be bad at it, because I don’t want it to be my crutch when I can’t make an argument.”

    Evidently, your crutch when you can’t make an argument is to continue making the argument.

    “No. It hasn’t. Oh, you keep saying it … but that doesn’t make it so.”

    Yes. It has. I know because I can both read and evaluate rhetoric, and your ass keeps piling up in front of you, and one wonders how much ass you could possibly have left, or if it is, in fact, some sort of renewable resource.

    “I don’t think mythago, appeal to authority, has shown anything by that she knows how to dance.”

    Inasmuch as you’ve not generally shown here you can understand a cogent argument when it is presented to you, this is not at all surprising.

    “How about you tell me that ‘the will of the people’ in a vote is somehow less applicable to ‘the will of the people’ as interpreted by judges and a congress that apparently creates ‘the will of the people’ by trying to pass laws that clearly aren’t ‘the will of voting public.'”

    See, this is the magic of the site: Other people here are willing to do it, and do a pretty good job. I get to watch and make comments. Which is what I’m doing now.

    “Don’t think I have said that I have very little understanding how the government works.”

    You haven’t said it. Your arguments have. Otherwise your understanding of “the will of the people,” as it relates to how the government does its work, would be somewhat more substantial. As others here have already noted.

  155. the judges were clearly overriding the will of the people

    Dude, what do you think ‘judicial review’ means? I mean, Christ, what do they teach in the schools these days?

    It means “Hey, majority rule’s a pretty good idea, except every so often the majority goes off and does something batshit insane, so we’re going to have an independent body to review new laws, who will be immune to external pressure and can evaluate them evenhandedly.”

    This is also known as the “if Grandma tells you to put your jacket on before going outside, put your jacket on before going outside” clause.

    Complaining that judges abrogate the will of the people is like complaining about them keeping order in the courtroom. No shit, Sherlock. That’s one of the things the position is designed for.

  156. Anthony says: “But sometimes, the clearly stated will of the people is subverted by one or more of the three branches of government. And people, like me, have to speak up, lest the constitution becomes a useless piece of paper.”

    With all due respect, that is an incoherent statement. Your argument throughout this thread has been that the Constitution should not have been used by the Supreme Court to overrule the “will of the People” expressed vis a vis Prop 22. If the Constitution is not used by the Supreme Court to overrule laws that it finds inconsistent with the principles set forth in the Constitution, the Constitution then becomes a “useless piece of paper.”

    The clearly stated “will of the People” is that the Constitution is the ultimate authority in California with respect to what the law is, and how we govern ourselves. The clearly stated “will of the People” is that our Supreme Court is charged with the authority to resolve disputes concerning what the Constitution says. Thankfully, that’s what they did. (And I commend them for it — it’s getting harder and harder for judges to do their job, with people like you screaming about “judicial activism” whenever judges do anything controversial, and with people in the executive and legislative branch consistently making frightening comments that threaten the independence of the judicial branch of government).

    You have also made some statements about the decision being “in bad faith.” That’s a very, very strong statement to make about a judge. I have had the privilege to meet with Chief Justice George, who wrote the opinion you callously state was made in “bad faith.” I assure you, Ron George does not do anything “in bad faith.” And you have no basis whatsoever for such an accusation. Whether you agree with the In re Marriage Cases decision or not, you have absolutely no basis for stating that anything about the decision was dishonest.

    It’s also worth noting that most of the California Supreme Court consists of conservative judges appointed by conservative governors. Chief Justice George is one of them. So this notion that the California Supreme Court is made up of “activist” judges who are pushing some sort of personal agenda is ignorant and ridiculous.

  157. Re: David & LB:

    And, note well that in the case of the California Supreme Court, the judges, once appointed, have to stand for re-election after a certain span of years, which I believe most if not all on the bench already have. So it’s the “will of the people” that the judges were there to issue this ruling.

    Anthony, do you still have any ass left?

  158. Anthony, that was me being very gentle with the snark because this is Scalzi’s blog and to hit any harder seems rude. The goal was to alert you that your intent and your effect have long since parted ways. People have already pointed out your factual errors and tried to show you how the legal system actually works as opposed to how you might like to believe it works. I was hoping that said gentle snark might penetrate where all else has failed. Clearly I was wrong in that. Oh well. Flail away.

  159. I am increasingly wondering if the time may come soon to re-examine the possibility of resurrecting the ERA. At least on the state level.

    We can look at this from a ground level, where we see the conflict of same-sex marriage. But same-sex marriage is merely one issue in a much larger scheme of things.

    That issue is that the constitution of both the states and the nation as a whole allow sex to be a discriminatory factor.

    No on Prop 8 is a battle that is vital to win, but it is, at best, a defensive action in what really needs to be a much larger campaign.

    Laws that discriminate based on sex or gender at all are at their cores just as unfair as laws that discriminate based on race. This includes, by nature, all attempts to define legal marriage based on the sex of the partners. I am increasingly wondering if the way to take the offensive is to start looking at implementing the basic concept of the ERA on a state by state level.

    I am not really sure if I am going anywhere with this, just really throwing out the idea that perhaps the next step, regardless of what happens with prop 8 (though I truely hope that the injustice of amendments like prop 8 is not allowed to pass) is to start hitting hard and aiming at the heart of the problem.

  160. JS — “And, note well that in the case of the California Supreme Court, the judges, once appointed, have to stand for re-election after a certain span of years, which I believe most if not all on the bench already have. So it’s the “will of the people” that the judges were there.”

    Excellent point. First election cycle after appointment, and every 12 years thereafter.

  161. Prop 8 unsure:

    When in doubt, vote for the thing which will give the most freedom to all, and against the things which do the opposite. It’s a simple guideline which I find comes in handy.

  162. Prop 8 unsure:

    Aside from what JS says above (which is great advice), it is also generally advisable to vote against ballot initiatives that you are unsure about. When in doubt, keep the status quo. And also, don’t forget that Prop 8 is an amendment to our Constitution — when we amend our Constitution, we ought to be really, really sure about it. Just on general principle, regardless of what you think about homosexuality or marriage, amending our Constitution ought to be a big deal, and not something we do lightly. (As a side note: am I the only one who finds it outrageous that California can amend its Constitution by simple majority ballot initiative vote?)

  163. Mythago, who doesn’t sound or write anything like any attorney I’ve ever known or debated

    Given how badly most lawyers write when they are trying to communicate with people instead of other lawyers, I am going to take that as high praise.

    But really, you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand this stuff, so please don’t take my comments as “ha ha, I’m a lawyer and you’re not”. All you have to do is have a rudimentary understanding of how constitutional analysis works and the function of the courts, and actually have read In Re Marriage Cases, the California Supreme Court’s ruling. (WARNING: link is a honkin’ huge PDF.)

    Here’s a simple example of why the court’s decision was correct and not a destruction of the Will of the People:

    Let’s assume that San Francisco’s ballot has a measure, Proposition X, which will establish Wicca as the official religion of San Francisco; require all public officials to be sworn in on a copy of The Chalice and the Blade; and will give city contracts in preference to Wicca-owned businesses. Proposition X passes with 66% of the vote. A group of Christians brings suit, claiming that Prop. X violates their civil rights. How should the court rule?

    a) Overturn Proposition X, as it flat-out, clearly, no-foolin’-junior violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, not to mention Article I of the California Constitution.

    b) Uphold Proposition X, since it was supported by two-thirds of San Francisco voters and, thus, embodies the will of the people.

    c) Refuse to hear the case because judicial review is improper and it’s high time Marbury v. Madison was overturned.

  164. VD @ 18 – Wow, never heard a left-liberal making a “think of the children” argument before. That’s certainly new! I’ll have to completely rethink my position now.

    It wasn’t an argument. It was a statement of fact. People like you get to troll around and play ha ha, isn’t this all such a fun game?

    It’s not. It never has been.

  165. John, I may be not only skirting by, but driving straight through a subthread you have ended by fiat. I don’t think so, but if I am wrong, please delete this before it causes more problems.

    I would just like to echo #119, especially where it points out the lethality of clinical depression. I never expected to make 35; with luck, and more health care than I would ever have been able to pay for in the U.S. (see, there’s a correlation between depression and being able to hold a job that will pay benefits, especially when one’s speciality requires day-long concentration), I have, and actually expect to retire in the traditional sense of the word.

    Oh, by the way, I’m straight, monogamous, and in an opposite-sex marriage that has as much chance of producing children as any same-sex marriage – and we both knew that going in. I literally can’t see any reason gays should not marry that doesn’t apply to my marriage, and you aren’t taking that away from me.

  166. “We also all agreed (and continue to agree) that the governing body charged with the responsibility of interpreting that Constitution is our state’s Supreme Court. They don’t change the Constitution…but when we are in doubt about what it says, we have all agreed that the California Supreme Court gets the final say. We agreed on how those judges will be selected, and we agreed on the principles by which they do their work in interpreting the state’s Constitution.”

    LT,

    Holy cow … now we are getting somewhere. This is perfect, and I applaud you. This is where the debate gets fun and interesting, really. See, all it took was a rational difference of opinion …

    However, of course, I disagree with your view that the supreme court has ultimate authority. Ultimate authority is the people’s, who elected the representative to appoint those judges. And in this case, the representatives acted in bad faith. The judicial branch indeed given the power to interpret the constitution, but the California Supreme Court, in its split decision, granted what it is not empowered to grant, as the minority opinion of that decision pointed out:

    “Nothing in our Constitution, express or implicit, compels the majority’s startling conclusion that the age-old understanding of marriage — an understanding recently confirmed by an initiative law [Prop 22] — is no longer valid … [thus] … the majority’s mode of analysis is particularly troubling. The majority relies heavily on the Legislature’s adoption of progressive civil rights protections for gays and lesbians to find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. In effect, the majority [now] gives the Legislature indirectly power that body does not directly possess to amend the Constitution and repeal an initiative”

    So the supreme court ordered the legislative branch to subvert the stated will of the very populace that elected it to office … a populace that told them not to allow same-sex marriage. So the people aren’t being represented, despite an overwhelming vote stating their will. And, as the minority opinion pointed out, this wasn’t just some ballot initiative being subverted, but a common historical representation of the people of that state, regardless of the layers of rights being granted to homosexuals.

    So in my view, it is an error to say that just because the supreme court has been given the power to interpret the constitution, it thereby could not have acted in bad faith by overturning prop 22 … instead, it set up a precedent that will encourage the suppression of the majority will, which might one day be pro-gay marriage, by subverting the will of the people and appealing directly to the judicial branch, foregoing democratic principals for the sake of arbitrary moral tyranny.

    Someday, the extreme right might have a majority in the supreme court that favors its argument, and they will act on it in the same subversive way. And all they have to do is say we have precedent to behave in this way. And when gay marriage is overturned, nothing will have been accomplished except two moral powers canceling each other out. It is, in effect, a dictatorship of the minority … and we don’t want that. Yes, it’s hard to change the constitution, but that’s the way to do it. Not to jump on the slippery-slope of court interpretations as if they represent the people of California more than the people’s own voting voice.

    And Prop 8 is exactly a knee-jerk reaction to judicial tyranny. And if it passes, you can blame those judges who acted in bad faith. Because eventually, gay marriage would be easy to pass when the majority swung in its favor… but if Prop 8 passes because people feared an out-of-control court dictating beyond its power, then homosexuals will have to overcome the constitution itself to get rights that, to me anyway, the government has no power to even speak on. And as long as we keep letting judges and legislators and executive branches keeping speaking on rights that, by nature, God granted to individuals, homosexual marriage will always be at the whim of the government in power, and it will never be a resolved issued.

    If Prop 8 passes, it will be as if homosexual activists shot themselves in the foot. Wouldn’t it be better, my friends, for a proposition that ordered the constitution to be changed defining marriage between any two human persons, so that no future government could strike back against it — rather than facing, as we do now, an amendment that could potentially reverse the tide of homosexual rights in California?

  167. I would add, by the way, that even if Prop 8 does not pass … the issue is not resolved. Instead, one day, someone against gay marriage will find a court that will give it an ear, and this whole process will start all over and even more damage will be done.

  168. Anthony:

    “And Prop 8 is exactly a knee-jerk reaction to judicial tyranny.”

    No, it’s not. The California Attorney General prepared a title and summary for the signature-gathering petition in November of 2007, long before the ruling came down. Moreover, given that the California Supreme Court had earlier voided marriage licenses to same-sex married couples and was composed largely of Republicans, there was no assurance the ruling would go as it did.

    Your arguments would be better if they were rooted in actual fact, Anthony.

    Here. Have another slice of your own ass.

  169. Anthony,
    Your argument appears to be based on a belief that given the choice between a simple majority of the electorate and the reasoned decision of a panel of judges, it’s the panel of judges that is fickle and untrustworthy. Is that correct?

  170. Hello, Al.

    I don’t have a vote to cast, as I don’t live in that state. But I would vote “No.” I think we will see a deterioration of tolerance and common sense toward the homosexual community if it passes.

  171. “Your argument appears to be based on a belief that given the choice between a simple majority of the electorate and the reasoned decision of a panel of judges, it’s the panel of judges that is fickle and untrustworthy. Is that correct?”

    In this issue, absolutely. So tell me how you think the people of California, in any vote they have ever voted on about gay marriage, has been fickle about gay marriage. The tide is certainly shifting, but it isn’t in any way fickle or untrustworthy to this point.

    And that reasoned decision of judges was split 4-3, hardly a statement of certainty when a judge can be replaced by an angry populace demanding it … thus reversing the last decision by perhaps another 4-3 split decision the next time around.

  172. “The California Attorney General prepared a title and summary for the signature-gathering petition in November of 2007, long before the ruling came down.”

    “Here. Have another slice of your own ass.”

    Thanks for that slice. I wish you had a better mind, but at least I can say oops …

    In that, because activists are so ready to subvert the voting will of the public through judicial tyranny and a legislative branch acting in bad faith, it certainly is a knee-jerk reaction.

    Tell me, had your activism not acted so disgustingly against the constitution of your state, would we be seeing Prop 8 now? Absolutely not.

  173. Sure, we would. The proposition was already prepared and in the pipe, Anthony. People with an anti-gay marriage agenda have been getting money in many states for actions like this all over the country for several years now. Even if the judges hadn’t made the decision, these idiots would still be trying to amend our constitution.

  174. “John Scalzion, writes:

    “See, and that’s a smart and sensible thing to say, Anthony.”

    You know what’s so disturbing is that your reaction here is unintelligent and irrational. You only say that because you agree with my belief that Prop 8 is dangerous. Yet, you’re ready to call me names and become irrational because we don’t see eye to eye on something else.

    It’s that mindset, that irrational discourse, that unwillingness to converse and hammer out compromise, that desire to enforce your will on others by any means necessary … that signals the death of this nation and the constitution.

    I might have been wrong here or there on a particular statement, and I should have the chance to clarify without you cussing and behaving like a child. I think you need to go away.

  175. Anthony said: “However, of course, I disagree with your view that the supreme court has ultimate authority. Ultimate authority is the people’s, who elected the representative to appoint those judges. And in this case, the representatives acted in bad faith.”

    The problem, of course, is that you can disagree all you want about where the “ultimate authority” to interpret the Constitution rests. The fact of the matter is that it rests with the Supreme Court. And, as I articulated before, that power rests with the Supreme Court BECAUSE OF (not in spite of) the will of the People. Hardly tyrrany. You might think that the ultimate authority to interpret the Constitution SHOULD rest somewhere else — but it currently doesn’t, and it doesn’t because our Constitution, the undisputed ultimate authority on the manner in which we govern ourselves in this state, says it doesn’t.

    And there you go again, using that term “bad faith.” You know, I would love to see you accuse Ron George of acting in “bad faith” in writing his decision in In re Marriage Cases to his face. That would be good for a laugh.

    Again — there is absolutely nothing dishonest about Supreme Court judges reading and interpreting the Constitution. That is their job. Other judges on the Supreme Court disagreed with that reading of the Constitution, and wrote a minority opinion. That’s their job. Note that nobody in the minority accused anyone on the majority of acting “in bad faith.” They know better than that. And again — it’s getting harder and harder for judges to do their jobs and maintain appropriate judicial independence when the public insists on reacting in this manner whenever a decision comes down that they don’t agree with.

    “And Prop 8 is exactly a knee-jerk reaction to judicial tyranny. And if it passes, you can blame those judges who acted in bad faith. Because eventually, gay marriage would be easy to pass when the majority swung in its favor… but if Prop 8 passes because people feared an out-of-control court dictating beyond its power, then homosexuals will have to overcome the constitution itself to get rights that, to me anyway, the government has no power to even speak on.”

    Knee-jerk reaction? Not really. It’s an effort to overrule the Supreme Court’s decision through the proper channel — amending the Constitution such that it indisputably says that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think that effort is misguided from a policy perspective, but procedurally it is precisely what they should be doing. And if it does pass, “homosexuals will have to overcome the constitution itself” — which is precisely what the Prop 8 people are trying to do now, and which gay rights supporters can just as easily do with an amendment of their own. (Which, of course, is why it makes no sense to be able to amend our Constitution with a simple majority).

    Ultimately, the fact that Prop 8 is on the ballot isn’t an altogether bad result. If Prop 8 does not pass, then people like you, who support gay rights but worry that grant of those rights by the judicial branch was inappropriate, can rest assured that the will of the majority has not been trampled. And if it does pass, then the people will have spoken, and that will be that unless/until the Constitution is changed again. (Unfortunate that this can be done by simple majority…but that’s another story).

    “Someday, the extreme right might have a majority in the supreme court that favors its argument, and they will act on it in the same subversive way. And all they have to do is say we have precedent to behave in this way. And when gay marriage is overturned, nothing will have been accomplished except two moral powers canceling each other out.”

    You’re acting like this decision was pulled out of thin air. Read it. It wasn’t. You’re worried that at some point in the future gay marriage will be “overturned.” I think that evidences a basic misunderstanding of the way the judicial system works, which frankly I think is the source of the anxiety you are expressing. The notion that another set of judges will be able to make gay marriage illegal on the basis of the constitution is absolutely ridiculous (absent the Prop 8 amendment, of course). The California Constitution, at least arguably, protects the right of gay people to get married. The majority of the Supreme Court found as such. The California Constitution, as currently written, does not arguably prohibit gay marriage. So, absent an absolutely outrageous, transparently ridiculous decision by the California Supreme Court that would be unprecedented in the history of jurisprudence, there is just no way that could happen. At most, a future court could overrule In re Marriage Cases, which would merely have the effect of saying that the Constitution does not protect gay people’s right to marry — and would obviously not have the effect of saying that the Constitution prohibits gay marriage.

    “So in my view, it is an error to say that just because the supreme court has been given the power to interpret the constitution, it thereby could not have acted in bad faith by overturning prop 22 … ”

    Yeah…I didn’t say that. I said that it wasn’t. Is it possible that a court could act in “bad faith” by interpreting a Constitution in a way that clearly isn’t supported by the text in an effort to push an agenda? Sure. It could happen. It rarely has in the history of jurisprudence (although I think one could argue Bush v. Gore was such a case), but it’s certainly not impossible. I’m just saying that’s not what happened here. I know the minority opinion said that there isn’t a basis in the Constitution for the majority opinion’s finding — of course they are going to say that. That’s their opinion. But I guarantee that if you asked any of the minority opinion judges if they thought Chief Justice George’s opinion was in “bad faith” or if they thought any of the judges in the majority did not honestly believe in the Constitutional basis behind the In re Marriage Cases decision, they would tell you unequivocally that all of the judges’ decisions reflected their honest interpretation of the California Constitution.

    BTW, it’s LB, not LT. And I’m also a lawyer in California.

  176. “People with an anti-gay marriage agenda have been getting money in many states for actions like this all over the country for several years now. Even if the judges hadn’t made the decision, these idiots would still be trying to amend our constitution.”

    Go to their websites are read for ten seconds … and they will spell out why this must be done … judicial activism. They say judges are out of control and they have to change the constitution so judges and legislatures can’t touch the topic anymore.

    Instead of giving them the power to screw you in the future, how about we petition that the constitution be changed. Because they would not have done it.

  177. “In that, because activists are so ready to subvert the voting will of the public through judicial tyranny and a legislative branch acting in bad faith, it certainly is a knee-jerk reaction.”

    No, it’s not. The legislature was duly elected (by the will of the people!) and passing laws is what it’s supposed to do. To suggest that the legislature was “acting in bad faith” by introducing legislation is to misapprehend what it is the legislature does. Likewise, your increasingly lame “judicial tyranny” argument does not apply, inasmuch as — as previously noted — to that point the Supreme Court judicial track record was against same-sex marriage.

    Your problem, Anthony, is that you have this one idea of yours and you are determined to jam it into every hole you possibly can, whether or not it actually fits. It’s very tiresome.

  178. “Go to their websites are read for ten seconds … and they will spell out why this must be done … judicial activism. ”

    and it is a bullshit cover for their religiously motivated political agenda. I don’t buy it.

    “judicial activism” is what people like you call judicial decisions they don’t like. What I call it is the judges doing their job per the state constitution and following the model set forth in the federal constitution. Sorry if you don’t believe in one of the three legs of our republic but this is how it is supposed to work even when you don’t like their decisions.

  179. Anthony:

    “You only say that because you agree with my belief that Prop 8 is dangerous. Yet, you’re ready to call me names and become irrational because we don’t see eye to eye on something else. ”

    When you say sensible things, I note them. When you say jackassed stupid things that reveal you haven’t the slightest idea what you’re actually talking about, I note them, too. Rather unfortunately for you, the number of times you’ve said jackassed stupid things on this site is significantly higher than when you’ve said sensible things.

    If you don’t want me to point out when you say stupid, ignorant things, try not to say stupid, ignorant things. I recognize it’s something you’re not good at. I also recognize you seem to think you’re saying saying intelligent, valuable things when in fact you’re saying stupid, ignorant things. I can’t help you there. I also can’t help you that when it’s pointed out to you that you make no sense and are saying jackassed stupid things, your best response is to be convinced it’s the other person who is irrational.

    As for your suggestion that I go away: It’s my site, moron.

  180. as the minority opinion of that decision pointed out

    Anthony, that is not the “minority opinion”. There is no such thing as a “minority opinion”. You are quoting from Justice Baxter’s concurring and dissenting opinion. Which is to say, his opinion is not the holding of the Court.

    So back to my question – do you agree that a court should overturn the hypothetical Proposition X? Or do you think that the court should leave Proposition X alone?

  181. LB,

    I think Prop 8 is the right channel as well, whether I call it knee-jerk or not. My argument is that it is the same channel that gay marriage proponents should have used to force this issue to a close (perhaps in the next 5 years) … instead of petitioning the supreme court to force its minority will on the majority. Because that is the same tactic that will be used against it. It’s as much the principle of the idea as it is being pragmatic.

    I think we have every reason to believe this is not a dead issue, regardless of Prop 8. Who are we dealing with? People who walk away when they have been beaten by activists? Or people who take up arms and invade countries and impose their morals on another nation.

    You have to understand that the constitution gives the final say to the people of that state, right? If the people are dissatisfied with a judge who has acted in bad faith, they can have him removed. And you read that full minority opinion, or just that quote I inserted, and you will see that those minority judges are angry and say the majority overstepped their bounds as judges, and thus acted in bad faith.

    Obviously, you agree with the majority opinion. And I agree with the minority … so I understand and respect your position. My voice is only that is runs afoul of what the founders intended and that it does not protect gay marriage in the least. It simply goes, like Roe V. Wade, a little while longer until the tide turns.

    Let me put it this way. The man who started wars and made our nation imperialistic, is of the same moral page of those who are angry that activist judges have acted in bad faith. And they are acting on that fear and on that revenge, and they will get there way … by tyranny, if they have to. And now our side, who is so willing to use tyranny to get our way, have nothing to stand on legally or morally to stop them from rampaging their way through this country to ensure their vision for America.

  182. Oh, and apologies for the double-post, but:

    So if I go get a California attorney (or even 10 of them) that says these judges acted in bad faith, you’d be ready to submit to that?

    I doubt you are going to find a California attorney – at least an honest one – who would accuse ANY of the justices in ruling “in bad faith”. I happen to think the dissenting opinions were driven by poor logic, but I don’t think that any of the dissenting justices acted “in bad faith” or because they hate gays. I agree entirely with LB’s point that “bad faith” is a very strong and very nasty accusation to make against a judge. You’re not just saying they’re wrong; you’re saying they refuse to follow their oaths. Is that really what you are saying?

    I remember when Judge Kramer issued the underlying trial court decision in In Re Marriage Cases. He’s a very moderate judge, and I don’t mean “on a San Francisco scale”. After his decision came out he had to have a 24/7 security detail and wear body armor to court because he was receiving so many death threats. I guess some people felt rather strongly about that “bad faith” argument.

  183. Anthony:

    “And you read that full minority opinion, or just that quote I inserted, and you will see that those minority judges are angry and say the majority overstepped their bounds as judges, and thus acted in bad faith.”

    Please. Every time Antonin Scalia writes a dissenting opinion, he lays into the judges in the majority opinion with a plank. It does not mean a) that his interpretation of the law was the correct one, b) that the judges in the majority acted in “bad faith.”

    Your definition of “bad faith” seems to be similar to the common definition of “judicial activism,” i.e., “what happens when judges make a ruling I disagree with.”

  184. Dave, I apologize because I think your questions got a little buried in there:

    So will churches be able to refuse to marry homosexuals and will they be immune to lawsuits for refusing?

    Will the courts declare churches “public accommodations” and force them into it or will there be a exception?

    1) Yes. Marriages do not have to be performed by a religious official. Therefore, nobody can claim that their priest, rabbi or imam is preventing them from getting married; if your religious official says “no”, find one who says “yes”, or hie thee to City Hall. The right to marry is the right to have a legal marriage in the eyes of the State.

    2) No. A “public accomodation” is something like a restaurant, theater or library. A definition under the EEOC is provided here. If your church runs a restaurant, it may have to serve gays there, just as it could not exclude black people from sitting at its lunch counter. But churches are not required to extend their religious rituals or sacraments in conformity with non-discrimination laws.

  185. Having read enough Science Fiction it was through reasoning that I have come to realize that what somebody does with their plumbing in the privacy of their home is none of my business. Despite the fact the my girlfriend is a flaming liberal and I am more conservative in my beliefs we will both be voting against Prop 8, and against every other proposition on California’s ballot except Prop 11. I still haven’t decided whether to vote for McCain but am extremely disappointed with Sarah Palin as his VP choice. I speaks to his willingness to roll over to the conservative side of the party. I really would have like to have seen Lieberman get the VP shot. Okay, I’m off topic and will end it here.

  186. instead of petitioning the supreme court to force its minority will on the majority.

    I can’t stand it. Too…stupid…for…words.

    The California Supreme Court had a case come before it. They ruled on that case (4-3, not an overwhelming majority, but a majority nonetheless). They carried out their role in the California state government.

    If you must simply parrot rightwing talking points, couldn’t you do them a bit more intelligently, please?

  187. I’m responding without completely making it through the giant comment thread of doom here, so I apologize if I’m repeating something already said.

    however, in response to the whole “homosexuality is risky behavior” sort of thing, has anyone pointed out we’re talking about homosexual MARRIAGE? so far as I know, married people in general are less likely to contract sexual diseases, live longer lives (especially the men), have more money, and rate their happiness higher than unmarried folks. how the hell does allowing people in committed relationships the same civil benefits as other people in committed relationships condone risky behavior? if anything marriage for everyone advocates for happier, healthier, safer lives.

    anecdotal evidence: my mother is gay (or bi, depending how you look at it.) she was married to one man (her second lover ever) for 30 years and has now been with her partner (who is her third lover ever) for 10 years. she’s not exactly engaging in behavior that is any riskier than me being with my husband. in fact, since I’ve had over three times the number of lovers in my life that my mother has, I’ve definitely engaged in more risky sexual behavior than she has (and yet was told that my insurance wouldn’t pay for the herpes vaccination because I’m married and over 26 and therefore considered ‘low risk’).

    Encouraging stable, long-term relationships seems like a good plan to me.

  188. “You have to understand that the constitution gives the final say to the people of that state, right? If the people are dissatisfied with a judge who has acted in bad faith, they can have him removed.”

    We were talking about “the final say” in terms of who interprets the Constitution. The Supreme Court does. “The People” do have some influence over who is on that Supreme Court (particularly here in California, where each member of the Supreme Court is subject to vote every 12 years), but you’re taking the phrase “final say” out of the context in which we were using it.

    “And you read that full minority opinion, or just that quote I inserted, and you will see that those minority judges are angry and say the majority overstepped their bounds as judges, and thus acted in bad faith.”

    I have, of course, read the entirety of the dissenting opinions. I think you are reading things into those opinions that aren’t there. It’s not that hard to make a mistake of that nature. The dissent essentially says “The majority says the Constitution says X. It doesn’t. Therefore, the majority doesn’t have a basis for its decision.” (Obviously that’s an enormous oversimplification, but for our purposes, it will do). You need to understand that the dissent is expressing its OPINION on what the Constitution says. Judges don’t say “I think the Constitution says X” or “I don’t think the Constitution says X.” They say “The Constitution says X.” The “I think” or “I don’t think” is implied…which is why judicial decisions are called OPINIONS. None of the dissenters said anything remotely suggesting that they doubted that the majority honestly believed their own opinion. They absolutely did not accuse the majority of “bad faith.” Frankly, I don’t think you really understand what you are saying when you say that the majority “acted in bad faith.” What you are saying is that you think the majority does not honestly believe that the California Constitution can be interpreted in the manner in which they interpret it. There is absolutely no way that is true.

    “My voice is only that is runs afoul of what the founders intended and that it does not protect gay marriage in the least. It simply goes, like Roe V. Wade, a little while longer until the tide turns.”

    Well, it does protect gay marriage in that it announces that the California Constitution currently guarantees the right to marriage, including same-sex marriage. It’s possible that a future court, addressing the same issue, could overturn In re Marriage Cases…though that would be unlikely. Judges operate by a doctrine called “stare decisis,” which essentially provides (note: this is a dumbed down explanation) that previous decisions should not be overturned unless they are very obviously wrong. The reason people talk about Roe v. Wade being endangered is because there are currently four justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who believe that Roe v. Wade was very obviously wrong. But most moderate conservative judges, while they may disagree with Roe v. Wade, would not overturn Roe v. Wade because they do not believe the decision was so clearly erroneous to merit such a drastic measure. Contrary to popular belief, virtually every legal principle ever announced by any Supreme Court in the United States has never been overturned, and never will be. So it’s not like there’s just a constant back and forth about every issue whenever the political makeup of the court changes. And there won’t be with respect to marriage in California.

    “Let me put it this way. The man who started wars and made our nation imperialistic, is of the same moral page of those who are angry that activist judges have acted in bad faith.”

    Let me put it this way. You are apparently on that same “moral page.” The people you are describing are morons who are ruining our nation. You are siding with them. And this is an argument for your position how?

    “And they are acting on that fear and on that revenge, and they will get there way … by tyranny, if they have to. And now our side, who is so willing to use tyranny to get our way, have nothing to stand on legally or morally to stop them from rampaging their way through this country to ensure their vision for America.”

    Well, I have news for you. Corrupt people will use corrupt means to get what they want. The California Supreme Court is not corrupt. It’s really not even clear that legalizing gay marriage was a result that they wanted — it is, after all, a conservative court. But I, for one, will not tolerate the judicial branch of government being held hostage by the moral majority’s stupidity. What you seem to be suggesting is that high courts should not do their job — protecting people’s constitutional rights — because it might piss off the very people who seek to violate those rights. Up until now, I kinda felt bad that people on this thread have been so mean to you — I didn’t really regard your opinions as outrageously stupid (except for maybe your constant “bad faith” allegations), and I didn’t think it was quite fair for people to characterize your arguments as completely off the deep end. But this one is pretty dumb. I, for one, am proud that the California Supreme Court stood up to the asinine “activist judges” chant coming from the idiot right, and did their jobs the way they are supposed to. Unlike you, I am not afraid of the backlash. Of course there will be a backlash. These people don’t understand the fundamental principles on which our nation is based. But if we tailor our policies and our governmental practices around avoiding upsetting morons, we aren’t going to make much progress.

  189. Within the scope of natural law philosophy and broadly conservative thinking, there are at least two things advocates of 8 aren’t dealing with.

    #1. There’s a long-standing recognition of the difference between someone’s deeply rooted, firmly held, and long-lasting convictions and the passions of the moment. “Crime of passion” is a meaningful category precisely because of this, for instance – we recognize that what a person really very much wants right now may not be in accord with their overall commitments, let alone their best interests. We also recognize that people may repeatedly and in a sustained way want things that aren’t good for them. This isn’t just paternalism – we rightly talk about the clash between desire and interests with the drunkard, the workaholic neglecting their family, and the like.

    When talking, therefore, about “the will of the people”, it’s entirely appropriate to make the same distinction. For instance, a lynch mob has a strong will that is nonetheless entirely illegitimate and rightly suppressed by lawful authorities. Ditto for when the masses want to commit genocide, or enshrine torture as standard operating procedure. The deeper will of the people is, as Mythago’s been explaining, expressed in constitutions, and referring to them is exactly like reminding our co-workers of how they’ve said they want to spend more time with their families and standing up to the mobs.

    #2. Since, in the natural-law approach, the world has an entirely objective existence, and the only subjective part is our reactions to it, things are true even if nobody knows it. The Marianas Trench was seven miles deep before anyone went down there. If I rob you, I’ve still robbed you even if you never realize it. And this is true in law, too, according to expositors of the natural law. That is, there are rights, grants of power, restrictions, and other facts of civil life that nobody yet knows about, because nobody thought to ask.

    This is what’s going on with judges basing rulings on equal-protection clauses and such. They’ve asked for the first time, “Never mind what we think of homosexuality and homosexuals, does the law provide a basis for denying them rights and services available to others?” What they found was that it doesn’t. This was a real surprise to many of the judges so ruling – like a lot of others, they’d assumed that traditional views on the proper position of homosexuals in society was reflected in the law somewhere. But they found otherwise and they properly deferred to the overarching will of the people expressed in enduring form, against whims of the moment.

    The challenge for people who believe that non-straight people ought not be equal participants in social institutions and public life is to accept that they were wrong about what the law allows and commands. Then they should think really, really carefully about just how much they want to try restricting a minority’s equal standing, considering the long-term demographic and cultural evolution of the union. Christians in particular should be asking themselves if this is the measure by which they wish God’s mercy and judgment measured out to them, about whether they’re actually denying their neighbors, and about what they are doing to the least of these. Others can simply consider precedent and payback as social and legal forces.

    (I believe in a universal moral law myself, but not that one. Nonetheless, I’ve read in the theory, and found a lot I agree with despite my very different premises and priorities, and think it deserves better than being the foundation of tawdry bigotry.)

  190. It’s kind of amusing that one of the major forces pushing Prop 8, the Mormon Church, has a different “age-old understanding of marriage” than the one cited in that dissenting opinion.

  191. He’s clearly doing it as intelligently as he can, David.

    That’s kind of what I thought…hope springs eternal, I guess.

  192. In case anyone is actually wondering, the courts will not force the Catholic church to perform same-sex marriages any more than they will force a Catholic priest to get married or to perform a marriage between two divorced people, or between non-Christians.

    That there are religions that would not recognize my marriage because my husband and I do not share a religion doesn’t mean they get to tell us we aren’t legally married. And that some religious people wouldn’t recognize our marriage, for that reason or because it was performed by a city official rather than a minister, doesn’t make a difference to my life.

  193. Nate writes:

    “I would have no problem telling a couple that their marriage was not only invalid… but abomination.”

    And we know that not by our own accord, we know that because Almighty God has told mankind what sin is as recorded through Scripture. God is the Judge.

    You either believe God or you do not. If you believe God you understand that God calls sexual immorality a sin and homosexuality an abomination. If you do not believe God it is because you reject His authority in your life. Thank goodness for His grace and mercy that saves us wretched sinners from ourselves if we come to Him and repent, turn from our wickedness, and confess the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

  194. Wes, so if you believe in God you hate gays, and if you don’t believe in God you are wrong and should hate gays?

    Well, with logic like this to fight it is no surprise Prop 8 passed.

    What a crock of shit. Wes, go away.

  195. Corby, a reminder that you do not get to tell people to “go away” around here. That’s my gig.

    Wes Hazlett:

    “You either believe God or you do not.”

    Well, there’s also a third option of believing in God, just not the sort of bigoted, jackassed God of the sort who celebrates having equally bigoted, jackassed followers. Beyond that there are lots of other options, some involving God and some not, including some that involve saying to a person reading scripture such as you have, “Dude, you’re reading it wrong.”

  196. Never mind the fact that the Biblical proscription of homosexuality specifically calls for putting gays to death…which means that even folks like Wes Hazlett know to not read the thing literally when it’s socially inconvenient.

    There is, of course, the dreadful possibility that maybe he doesn’t. Do you support capital punishment for homosexuals, Wes?

  197. Yes, John, well, if there had been a Preview button (HA) I could have stopped myself. (Which I actually would have done because I realized after I hit the “submit” button I should not have done that.)

    I guess I just let my emotions get away from me for a second. This topic is pretty near and dear to my heart because a majority of my friends, as well as my brother, are gay, are in relationships, and live in California, and I’m so fucking sick of bigoted assholes using a book to tell them they are second class citizens.

    Which is all to say, sorry about that, and I’ll keep it in mind.

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