Proposition 8 Overturned

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Proposition 8 Overturned

Postby Rei » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:43 pm

Federal judge strikes down California's ban on same-sex marriage
A San Francisco federal judge today struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage, concluding that it tramples on the equal rights of gay and lesbian couples and that they are entitled to be married throughout the state.
...
"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of marriage licenses," the judge wrote. "Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite sex couples."
Another link, this time to the BBC.

I had forgotten about this issue until yesterday. I am glad of the ruling, especially as I have yet to hear any good reason why same sex marriages should be banned constitutionally.
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Postby mr_thebrain » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:54 pm

you mean you're glaad of the ruling.
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Postby Graff^ » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:06 pm

I never really understood all the fuss. It's their life let them marry someone who loves them no matter if they are heterosexual or not.
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Postby megxers » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:40 pm

Woooo!

I'm kind of having difficulty expressing in words what this means to me on a political/personal note, because I know the fight ain't over yet, and it feels like it has been this huge background presence in my professional/friends/etc life.
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Postby starlooker » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:43 pm

I am SO happy!

I am not looking forward to the inevitable slog of appeals this is going to go through, but I'm thrilled to bits for the moment.
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Postby Rei » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:49 pm

I never really understood all the fuss. It's their life let them marry someone who loves them no matter if they are heterosexual or not.
It isn't quite so simple as that. And before I continue, please, everybody, be civil and don't let this become a flame war.

Laws largely, if not entirely, exist for the benefit of society. And religious laws are no different. Much of the time religious laws are very clearly beneficial for society (for example, don't steal) and so we don't fuss when a secular law which emulates it is made. Same-sex marriage is one of those points where it is not clearly beneficial for society, but because the law was once made, it must have been believed at that time to be a benefit. And for that reason, especially as in theory it is a law put in place by God, many people today feel we should emulate this also in secular law. This does not make them crazy or hateful or anything (although certainly many choose to be crazy and/or hateful anyway).

Either way, it is not a simple, "let people do what they want" situation.
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Postby starlooker » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:57 pm

It really is that simple, though. I've always, really, always thought it was.

Even when I was at the point in my life where I was pretty damn fundamentalist, totally believed that same-sex relationships were sinful, etc. (LONG TIME AGO, by the way.) I firmly believed in the separation of church and state and did support the legalization of same sex marriages. The government's laws should be clearly for the benefit of society. "My religion says God said to do this, therefore it should be the law of the land" is not good enough. If someday the government were run by people who believed God's rule, for the benefit of society, was that only same sex marriages were legitimate, I would not want it to be enshrined into law.
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Postby Graff^ » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:57 pm

Ahhh....you have shown me how shallow I am thinking. But this isn't a matter of ethics like do things that hurt others. Same-sex marriages do not hurt people around unless they get violent about it. And those who oppose just because the Bible said so well, let's just say that a couple were Aethists then they don't have to follow your realigion, and if you force you're realigious rules then you're just as bad as those terrorists.
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Postby Rei » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:10 pm

In terms of separation of Church and State, it definitely is that simple, I agree.

The difficulty is if you don't feel quite so strongly about that separation ;)

Either way, nobody has given any clear reason against same-sex marriage, religious or otherwise, aside from "I don't like it" or "It's wrong", so this ruling is a relief.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:16 pm

Civil rights should never be up to majority vote.

If Abrahamaic or other religious figures don't want to perform same-sex marriages, fine. If that's what your religion's about, cool. But you can't legislate that belief to anyone else. It's not just a matter of separation of church and state, it grinds the first amendment into the dust
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Postby Satya » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:22 pm

Government shouldn't be in the business of marriage - of any kind. Period. There. It's not a government institution like schools. It's personal. Marriage is, in fact, a religious institution. Marriage really is between a man and a woman. Relationships between two men or two women simply isn't marriage. But if the government got it's nosy..... nose out of the business of marriage altogether and entirely, it wouldn't matter. You have whatever relationship you want; your religious institution can perform a marriage - and if they're 'cool' with homosexual 'marriage' then whatever.
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Postby Wil » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:35 pm

The problem with that is that married couples receive tax "perks" and rights through government run institutions and laws that non-married couples don't. For example, next of kin laws. The government ruling against same-sex marriage is basically denying same-sex couples these rights.
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Postby Petra456 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:35 pm

Wow, maybe i'm really out of the loop, but I haven't seen anything on this lately.

I'm beyond happy though!
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Postby ValentineNicole » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:56 pm

I'm really happy about this too! Now if only the rest of the country would legalize gay marriage..

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Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:30 pm

Too bad a district court can't overrule Supreme Court precedent or the gay community might actually have something to celebrate.

ETA (because I didn't really explain myself last night):

The Minnesota Supreme Court held that state prohibition of same-sex marriages does not violate the 1st, 8th, 9th, or 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn. 1971)

The Supreme Court of the United States dismissed the appeal "for want of a substantial federal question." Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810, (1972).

Such a dismissal is an adjudication on the merits, affirming the lower court, and binding all future lower courts to such adjudication. Hicks v. Miranda, 422 U.S. 332 (1975).

Until the Supreme Court rules otherwise, Baker is binding. Which means the Ninth Circuit doesn't even have to touch on the multitude of other problems, of which there are many, with the Perry decision.


Overall, I'm pretty apathetic to the whole SSM debate. If it were up to me, the government wouldn't be involved with marriage whatsoever and everybody could get a set of benefits by filling out the paperwork for a "civil union" or whatever you want to call it.

But it's not up to me and, believe it or not, it's not up to a gay district court judge in San Francisco who decided it was okay to completely ignore the only SCOTUS decision that was on point, either. There's no federal issue and if the Ninth Circuit is doing its job, it will reverse and let them appeal to the Supreme Court, as the Supreme Court is the only body with the authority to overturn Baker. But I don't have a lot of confidence in the most reversed circuit in the U.S., so who knows how it'll rule.

It's a state issue that has been decided by both the people of the state (in amending their constitution) and the highest court of the state (in upholding the amendment). Opponents are free to use the political process to repeal it. Supports are free to use the political process to keep it. But until there is a federal question, the federal courts shouldn't be involved.
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:25 pm

For those interested:

Yesterday, the 9th Circuit issued a stay of Walker's decision pending appeal, which I sort of expected after Walker refused to issue the stay himself.
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Postby Yebra » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:14 pm

How constitutional would a ban on people being dicks be? That would seem to solve a lot of problems at the root.
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Postby starlooker » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:14 pm

Not very, I'm afraid. People being dicks is another important example of how, as Americans, we firmly believe that autonomy trumps stupidity. You may be a moron, but you have every right to be that way and there's not a hell of a whole lot anyone can do to stop you.
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Postby Psudo » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:24 am

On separation of church and state, why isn't it worded "separation of religion and state? Church refers to the institution and religion to the cultural expression; rites, stories, doctrines, etc. It seems to me that there is no attempt here to associate any church institution with the state; no church offices being state-controlled, no church authority given state recognition, etc. It's just religious people following their religious traditions as protected by the first amendment.

That puts the burden on the gay marriage advocates to prove that some constitutionally-protected right is being denied them, doesn't it?

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Postby jotabe » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:40 am

That puts the burden on the gay marriage advocates to prove that some constitutionally-protected right is being denied them, doesn't it?
I was trying to find in the US constitution, ammendments or bill of rights, the place where it ensures that noone will be discriminated against on basis of race, sex, gender, religion or beliefs. But i didn't found it, so since the constitution doesn't protect gender equality, you have a point.
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Postby Satya » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:30 am

I was trying to find in the US constitution, ammendments or bill of rights, the place where it ensures that noone will be discriminated against on basis of race, sex, gender, religion or beliefs. But i didn't found it, so since the constitution doesn't protect gender equality, you have a point.
You may be a moron, but you have every right to be that way and there's not a hell of a whole lot anyone can do to stop you.
Bingo and bingo. Marriage is a cultural institution recognized by the government, not a government institution mandated by human rights. Sure, when the culture changes enough that will allow gay marriage, then it will happen. Until then, it remains in the cultural status quo.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:52 pm

That puts the burden on the gay marriage advocates to prove that some constitutionally-protected right is being denied them, doesn't it?
The Ninth Amendment in particular was written to make it clear that the Constitution is not the source of people's rights. The basic foundation of this republic is that you're free to do as you like, so long as it doesn't infringe on another person's ability to do as they like. That is the rationale behind our laws - unless someone can provide a strong argument for why people shouldn't be allowed to do something based solely on the harm that action does to others, and a law is signed compelling to government to act accordingly, you are assumed to have the right to do it.

Gay marriage opponents have yet to provide, to my knowledge, a strong, supported argument against gay marriage on that basis. However, because the laws regarding taxes and social security and all the other parts of the code pertaining to two people living together as spouses was written with men and women in mind, the argument becomes one about the definition of marriage. And since that concept has strong (but not fundamental) ties to the Church, the issue of Church and State comes up.

Now, as far as I see it, though, marriage is anything but fundamentally a religious union. My parents and tons of other couples were married by judges, or boat captains or by their friend Steve who got ordained online a week ago. Marriage is an important part of society, mainly meant to foster stable environments to raise children in, and there's no evidence that gay couples are in any way dangerous to society or anyone in particular, least of all any children they raise.
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:38 pm

The Ninth Amendment in particular was written to make it clear that the Constitution is not the source of people's rights.
The Ninth Amendment was written to make clear that the enumeration of rights in the first eight amendments did not limit rights already held because they were omitted. Moreover, it was written to protect citizens from only the federal government, whereas marriage was (and remains) a traditionally state concern.

Of course, if you want to argue that the right to marry, in the sense of obtaining state recognition and benefits for the marriage, whomever you choose was firmly rooted at the time and thus incorporated as a "natural right," that's a discussion we can have.
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Postby jotabe » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:04 pm

Of course, if you want to argue that the right to marry, in the sense of obtaining state recognition and benefits for the marriage, whomever you choose was firmly rooted at the time and thus incorporated as a "natural right," that's a discussion we can have.
So... this fabled "natural right" is just... consuetudinal right?
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Postby Psudo » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:19 pm

Americans were promised that they were "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" before there was a Constitution or Bill of Rights. It makes sense that they exist already, and that it is the purpose of the Bill of Rights (and laws generally) is to describe rights as they already exist rather than create rights ex nihilo.
The basic foundation of this republic is that you're free to do as you like, so long as it doesn't infringe on another person's ability to do as they like.
That's a good general rule of thumb, but I don't think it's ratified anywhere in US law or universally, infallibly right. Is cannibalism only properly illegal when the cannibal doesn't have his meal's permission? I'd say no, it should be illegal regardless of permission, but your principle begs the question "Who's will is being defied?"

Or, for a less radical example, what person's will is harmed when a non-human species goes extinct? Yet it seems proper to protect wildlife from extinction.
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Postby megxers » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:23 pm

So don't go worrying about me
It's not like I think about you constantly
So maybe I do, but that shouldn't affect
Your life anymore

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Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:43 pm

So... this fabled "natural right" is just... consuetudinal right?
The Ninth Amendment ensured that natural rights had the same force after the Constitution as before. So, when we're talking about those natural rights that are incorporated into the Constitution via the Ninth Amendment, I guess it does only mean customary rights from that era. The Founders did not seek to create a way to surreptitiously amend the Constitution without going through the amendment process by adopting a constantly-changing view of "natural rights" (which a significant portion of society now believes includes things like high-speed internet access).
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