Judge Hands Victory to Proposition 8 Opponents, Gay-Marriage Ban Overruled

Of course it’s unconstitutional but some people don’t care.  They support the constitution when it suits their personal beliefs.  Bravo to the judge.  Next stop for the ban is the Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled on Wednesday that the California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative denying marriage rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional, in a case that will almost certainly go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Walker ruled that Proposition 8 is “unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses.” The court, therefore, “orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement.” Two key sentences from the ruling:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.

That’s what history sounds like.

SOURCE

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40 Responses to Judge Hands Victory to Proposition 8 Opponents, Gay-Marriage Ban Overruled

  1. timesr says:

    Bottom line, gays and lesbians can definitely show how prop 8 harms them while the other side can’t claim any actual harm other than it offends their sense of morality.

  2. Jay Jerome says:

    You left something out of your post:

    It was a GAY judge who overturned Prop 8, the law which reaffirmed marriage as a heterosexual ceremoney. How come you didn’t mention that?

    If an African American Judge ruled in favor of paying reparations to all American black descendants of slaves would you have failed to mention that too?

    How about if a Mormon Judge ruled to allow poligamy in his state, would that fact have been excluded from your comments as well?

    Regardless of the merits or demerits of Prop 8 the fact the judge didn’t recuse himself makes the ruling about as impartial as a pot-smoking judge voting to legalize marijuana.

    Sage Reply:

    I don’t care if the judge was gay, straight, purple or pink. It’s a constitutional issue. I didn’t leave it out on purpose, I actually didn’t know he was gay as there was no mention in the article of that. But now that I do know, I don’t care.

    And I can only dream about a pot smoking judge voting to legalize marijuana.

    2fewfactsaround Reply:

    @Jay Jerome,

    Your logic is wacko. If a straight judge had ruled to maintain the Prop. 8 restraints on gay citizens’ rights, wouldn’t you think it was an outrageous for gays then to say all straight judges should recuse themselves from such cases?

    Now, if any judge had any history of bias or lack of judicial impartiality in a given trial’s particulars, then he/she should recuse himself/herself, obviously, but the judge in this case had, if anything, a reputation for being conservative in his general views.

    timesr Reply:

    @2fewfactsaround, “If a straight judge had ruled to maintain the Prop. 8 restraints on gay citizens’ rights, wouldn’t you think it was an outrageous for gays then to say all straight judges should recuse themselves from such cases?”

    I guess we’d have to find a bi-sexual or asexual judge to hear the case.

    2fewfactsaround Reply:

    @timesr, Good one!

    It also occurred to me that any cases involving anything to do with abortion rights should be heard by women judges only, if we use this kind of logic.

    Sage Reply:

    Now that’s something I can agree with.

    Wizcon Reply:

    @Jay Jerome, Is that a hope that a straight judge wouldn’t see the discrimination if he or she never experienced it?
    You don’t have to be discriminated against to see discrimination.

    Tom Mayes Reply:

    @Jay Jerome, I’m old enough to remember these same type of comments when the Supreme Court overturned the law in 17 states that would not allow marriage between races in 1967. You, and those like you, should really try to get some new reasons to deny others the same rights you have.

    Sage Reply:

    This brings up a point I wanted to make. The argument has been made that being gay is a choice and gay marriage is a choice and therefore not a civil right. But, if having an interracial marriage is a civil right (it being a choice) then so is gay marriage. Just because something is a choice doesn’t mean it isn’t a civil right.

    AliSilver Reply:

    @Sage, You know what I say? I’ve been married 20 yrs this November and marriage is …………… Well.. if they want
    to be married so bad, I say let them. Why keep all this misery
    for ourselves :P HAHA

  3. Jay Jerome says:

    @sage: “I don’t care if the judge was gay, straight, purple or pink. It’s a constitutional issue.”

    But you don’t want constitutional issues decided by judges with ideological agendas… that’s what happened in the infamous Dread Scott Supreme Court decision, where the majority (7 to 2)found in favor of slavery. The majority opinion was delivered by Roger Brooke Taney, Fifth Chief Justice of the US, a proponent of slavery before he heard the case; same for Wayne and Campbell of Georgia, and Daniel of Virginia, all Southern Judges ideologically in favor of slavery.

    Those judges all presented well-reasoned legal arguments why slavery should continue to be the law of the land — because when you’re ideologically inclined to believe something you can always find ‘well-reasoned’ points of law to back you up.

    And in the case of Judge Walker, as a homosexual not only was he ideologically predisposed to be in favor of overturning the California gay-marriage ban, but if his decision is left to stand he will be eligible to receive financial benefits from his decision: money from IRS taxes, social security, inheritance benefits, etc.

    Ethically, judges are supposed to recuse themselves from cases where they may benefit financially from their legal rulings. That’s the law: in 2009 the Supreme Court, in CAPERTON et al. v. A. T. MASSEY COAL CO, overturned a Federal Judge’s decision in a case he had decided because he had received a prior campaign contribution from the company in whose favor he had decided.

    There, the Supreme Court said that no matter how honestly or impartially a judge may think he is when evaluating the evidence, if personal financial rewards are involved in the process, “human weakness” (the tendency to capitulate to self-interest) puts a judge’s subjective impartiality in question, jeopardizing the Due Process clause of the Constitution.

    @Sage “I actually didn’t know he was gay as there was no mention in the article of that. But now that I do know, I don’t care.”

    You didn’t know it because the liberal media tried to keep it a secret, before the trial started, and after.

    @2fewfactsaround: “Your logic is wacko. If a straight judge had ruled to maintain the Prop. 8 restraints on gay citizens’ rights, wouldn’t you think it was an outrageous for gays then to say all straight judges should recuse themselves from such cases?”

    If the Judge trying the case was a straight Born Again Christian don’t you think the media would be obligated to mention that? And if after the trial if he found in favor of the gay ban are you saying you wouldn’t care? No, you’d be screaming and bitching about prejudiced bigoted right-wing Christians… and you know it.

    @Tom Mayes: “@Jay Jerome, I’m old enough to remember these same type of comments when the Supreme Court overturned the law in 17 states that would not allow marriage between races in 1967. You, and those like you, should really try to get some new reasons to deny others the same rights you have.”

    And I’m old enough to have been arrested in Albany NY in the 1970s for protesting too loudly in front of the courthouse when I (and others) were fighting to overturn the Sodomy Laws so that gays weren’t arrested and imprisoned for putting their penises and tongues where-ever they wanted them — So don’t preach to me about civil rights because in my lifetime I’m willing to bet I did more to improve the lives of gays and blacks then you did.

    Also, equating civil right issues of the miscegenation laws with Homosexual rights is a red herring. The overturned miscegenation law you’re talking about “Loving v. Virginia” was about race, not gender. This was reiterated by the New York Court of Appeals in Hernandez v. Robles (2006), which decided there was no constitutional right to same-sex marriage in that state, rejecting the Loving case, and stating that:

    “[T]he historical background of Loving is different from the history underlying this case. [...] But the traditional definition of marriage is not merely a by-product of historical injustice. Its history is of a different kind. The idea that same-sex marriage is even possible is a relatively new one. Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude.”

    I don’t have any problem with gays sharing their lives together, and receiving the same benefits married people have — those same benefits should be offered to any two people in long term relationships, and the way to accomplish that is to extend the domestic partnership laws. Two straight men, for instance, who have been friends and roommates for twenty years, should qualify for the same Social Security, and inheritance, and tax breaks married people are granted under law, without having to get ‘married.’ There are, in fact, more heterosexual same-sex domestic partnerships in the US than there are gays in the population.

    ‘Marriage’ has an ancient, universal significance — it it, and always has been, a ceremony to celebrate the joining of the Masculine and Feminine, the Yin and Yang of our species. If gays want to celebrate the joining of the male with the male or the female with the female, let them come up with their own ceremony –

    Sage Reply:

    Loving v. Virginia – yes I know what it’s about. You obviously didn’t really read what I said.

    Sage Reply:

    There is no liberal media. So who should decide the case? Aren’t heterosexual judges predisposed to not overturn it? See, there’s no winning on this one. Get over it. Yin and Yang? Oh, good grief! Whose to say two yangs aren’t superior?

    timesr Reply:

    @Sage, “Yin and Yang? Oh, good grief! Whose to say two yangs aren’t superior?”

    Apparently same sex marriage was accepted in Native American culture before missionaries put a stop to it. Homosexuals were considered to be a gift to the tribe from God and were often healers and prophets.

    timesr Reply:

    @Jay Jerome, “Also, equating civil right issues of the miscegenation laws with Homosexual rights is a red herring. The overturned miscegenation law you’re talking about “Loving v. Virginia” was about race, not gender.”

    Freed male slaves got the right to vote (race) before women (gender). I’d say your argument is a red herring.

    Here’s what Ted Olsen, the Conservative lawyer who argued the case to overturn prop 8, said in an interview on FOX:

    “Wallace asked Olson to identify the right to same-sex marriage in the constitution and wondered why ‘seven million Californians’ ‘don’t get to say that marriage is between a man and a woman.’ Olson replied that the Supreme Court has ruled that marriage was a fundamental right and pointed out that the constitution made no explicit mention of interracial marriage either. He stressed that under our system of government, voters can’t deprive minority groups of their constitutionally guaranteed protections and reminded Wallace that in the 1960s, ‘Californians voted to change their constitution to say that you could discriminate on the basis of race in the sale of your home; the United States Supreme Court struck that down.’”

    “…Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the denial of our citizens of the equal rights to equal access to justice under the law, is a violation of our fundamental rights. Yes, it’s encouraging that many states are moving towards equality on the basis of sexual orientation, and I’m very, very pleased about that. … We can’t wait for the voters to decide that that immeasurable harm, that is unconstitutional, must be eliminated.”

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/08/08/wallace-olson/

    The Declaration of Independence says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” When that was written it was accepted that those words applied to white men, but “the words had power beyond their intended meaning” (wish I could remember who said that). So is it with the concepts of equal justice, protections, and rights under the law – we are all human regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation (justice stands blindfolded) and those words apply to all of us.

    Whose rights would you deny in the name of upholding tradition?

    AliSilver Reply:

    @timesr, You bring up a point I like to make :) …. about the ‘pursuit of happiness’. Some people today think that means HAPPINESS. It merely means you are free to PURSUE happiness if you choose. Lets face it many people in this country are NOT happy because of various reasons. But it’s not the governments’ fault that they are not happy. Happiness is a state of mind,, no constitution or government can PROVIDE it. I would argue that gay marriage is more of a ‘liberty’ issue than a happiness issue. Being married won’t make them happy…unless they are happy people and marry a good partner,e tc. See what I mean ! :)

    timesr Reply:

    @AliSilver, “I would argue that gay marriage is more of a ‘liberty’ issue than a happiness issue. Being married won’t make them happy…unless they are happy people and marry a good partner,e tc. See what I mean !”

    I do see what you mean.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this older sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics.”

    2fewfactsaround Reply:

    @timesr, Thank you for your informed, intelligent comments about the reasons Prop, 8 must be overturned.

    The fact that two lawyers of the caliber of Ted Olson and David Boies, who disagree on many policies and just plain politics, agreed to be co-counsels in this case to right the wrong that was done by Prop. 8 cuts directly to the salient point that this was an attempt by the overwrought, under-informed majority to discriminate against some citizens based on religious prejudices.

    Wizcon Reply:

    @Jay Jerome, Masculine and feminine. You are talking about physical appearances. There is so much more to being masculine or femine than what you see at first meeting.

  4. Sage says:

    Hey guys! We had to take my dad to the hospital today and I was gone most of the day. Now I’m just wiped out. I’ll be back later today.

  5. Jay Jerome says:

    @Sage: “There is no liberal media”

    As someone who was once part of the ‘liberal’ media, I disagree.

    Almost all the media in the US is ideologically skewed, one way or the other. They’re skewed in who they hire to write and produce for them and who they don’t; and in what subjects and stories they choose to discuss, and those they choose to omit (like the fact that the judge who was to decide the gay marriage case was gay; and the fact that the rumored gay Attorney General of the State of California, now running for Governor, refused to defend the case at trial — thereby breaking his sworn oath of office, requiring him to defend the laws of the state, a dereliction of duty no prior AG has been guilty of in modern times — conveniently overlooked and unremarked by the MSM).

    Some are more overtly skewed then others (Fox is blatantly conservative; MSNBC blatantly liberal. Some are more objective in their news reporting, but slanted in their editorial policies and columnists (Wall Street Journal – conservative) or the reporters and guests they invited for interviews (PBS News Hour – liberal).

    There’s liberal media (and liberal blogs like this one), and conservative media — but hardly any independent media (the fastest growing segment of the electorate) to represent my point of view.

    @sage: “Oh, good grief! Whose to say two yangs aren’t superior?”

    Good grief, Charley Brown –you need to forget Lucy and pal up with Schroeder!

    @timesr “Apparently same sex marriage was accepted in Native American culture before missionaries put a stop to it. Homosexuals were considered to be a gift to the tribe from God and were often healers and prophets.”

    I’m running late for my hook-up at the Local Pub where sanity reigns and Happy Hour Miller Lites are only $3.75, so I’ll try to make this fast:

    Same sex marriages in Native North American tribes was the exception, not the rule. There were at least 500 tribes (with different recognizable languages) and the historical record indicates at most 100 to 125 instances of Indian homosexuality — and of those, far fewer reports of homosexual indian marriage.

    In other words, you’ve over-stated the historical record. Some tribes ‘accepted’ gays and showed tolerance toward them. Others did not. The customs and practices of North American Indian tribes varied greatly. This was true of their sexual behaviors. Algonquians, for example, were monogamous and stayed married for life; their Iroquois neighbors, however, were as adulterous and divorce-prone as the Housewives and Husbands of Orange County.

    The same goes for homosexuality. Some tribes respected homosexuals, others disparaged them. Some, like the Aztecs in Mexico, publicly executed them.

    And in those tribes where ‘gay marriages’ were acceptable, they generally weren’t between two homosexuals. Where survival is an issue, practically trumps sex. Widowed male Indians with children often married homosexual males to do traditional woman’s chores: gather wood and water, and cook food, and scrub clothes, and care for the children of their dead wives. And gender roles were rigid: gay male Indians weren’t spiffed up in macho male headdress and leather like some Carson Kressley Tonto in buckskin. They wore woman’s clothing, and were often ritually sequestered with menstruating squaws so that the female spirit residing in their body could symbolically fulfill its feminine bodily function.

    And a Hi-o Silver, it’s off to the heterosexual pub, where men like their whiskey and their women — straight….

    timesr Reply:

    @Jay Jerome, “…and the fact that the rumored gay Attorney General of the State of California, now running for Governor, refused to defend the case at trial — thereby breaking his sworn oath of office, requiring him to defend the laws of the state, a dereliction of duty no prior AG has been guilty of in modern times — conveniently overlooked and unremarked by the MSM).”

    If Jerry Brown followed the Republican model, he would’ve married much earlier in life, had children and been caught in a public restroom soliciting sex from the man in the next stall.

    Brown is not the only AG in recent times to refuse to defend a state law. Odd that you don’t know that.

    “In other words, you’ve over-stated the historical record. Some tribes ‘accepted’ gays and showed tolerance toward them. Others did not.”

    Unfortunately the historical record where Native American culture is concerned is somewhat vague because our government and the dominant WASP culture it represented, did its best to wipe it out, language, religion, and all.

    Sage Reply:

    You make me wonder just what it is you are afraid of. It’s not catching you know.

  6. AliSilver says:

    Here’s a problem with current society. If someone disagrees with homosexuality, why must they be afraid or homophobic? I mean, I made my thoughts on gays pretty clear in the post about Christianity. But to say someone is homophobic because they choose to disagree with it is overkill imho.
    I dislike junkies…but am not afraid of drugs.

    LMAO, But I am afraid of them stealing my stuff ;)
    See?

    timesr Reply:

    @AliSilver, “But to say someone is homophobic because they choose to disagree with it is overkill imho.”

    Jay crosses the line when he choses to taint Jerry Brown with the gay label, imply the judge is tainted because he is gay, then he goes on to attack the MSM for not reporting that the judge is gay. (I’m kind of wondering why the MSM isn’t making a big deal out of the flooding in Pakistan (16% of the country is under water) and China where thousands of people have already died)

    BTW, Jerry Brown married a woman while mayor of Oakland.

    It is not that Jay disagrees that makes him homophobic, its that he selectively sees the homosexual hand everywhere that gives the impression that he is homophobic.

    Sage Reply:

    Here is the definition of homophobic: : irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

    He wants to discriminate against homosexuals; therefore he is homophobic. He made a big deal about going to his straight bar like somehow that makes him more sane…..that’s pretty offensive and makes me wonder what he’s afraid of.

    Anonymous Reply:

    @Sage, I ‘ll have to agree that this is the definition since it says it is , but whoever wrote the definition is stupid! Because discriminating against someone and being afraid of them are two different things. When you add the term PHOBIC , it implies that there is a FEAR , as in fear of it can harm you. So , I disagree with the definition, even though that’s what it is ! LOL

    Sage Reply:

    But there is a reason behind discrimination and usually that is fear.

    AliSilver Reply:

    @, I agree it can be fear, it can be hate, it can be ignorance. There are probably other reasons. So to label it all as a phobia is inaccurate imho.

    AliSilver Reply:

    @AliSilver, LIKE do you think a manager who does not hire a 63 year old and instead hires a 28 year old , because he thinks the younger person can work harder or longer hours, is guilty of discrimination? YES…clearly. Is that manager afraid of senior citizens? Probably not.

    Sage Reply:

    Sorry, but I didn’t make up the definition. I think phobia might be a misnomer, although fear is a root emotion of many other emotions.

  7. Jay Jerome says:

    @timesr: Brown is not the only AG in recent times to refuse to defend a state law. Odd that you don’t know that.”

    The only CALIFORNIA AG in recent time to refuse to defend a state law. Odd that you didn’t realize California was the state under discussion.

    And he’s been a hypocritical AG, picking and choosing what he defends and refuses to defend: A politician who has vociferously spoken out against the death penalty his entire career, he changed his tune when running for the AG job, stating he would represent the State against any death penalty appeals and follow the law, regardless of his personal beliefs.

    And that’s what he was required to do with Prop 8 – defend the seven million voters of the state who enacted the law, regardless of his personal views.

    @timesr: “Olson replied that the Supreme Court has ruled that marriage was a fundamental right”

    Again, he’s referring to a Supreme Court case about ‘interracial marriage’ — not about ‘gay marriage.’ And the fundamental right to marriage in the US is not universal — fathers (of any race) cannot marry their daughters; mothers can’t marry their sons; in half the states first cousins can’t marry either. And if the states have the rights to refuse to allow those heterosexual marriages, they have the right to refuse to allow homosexual marriages as well.

    And when the case reaches the Supreme Court, they will reaffirm the State Of California’s right to do so.

    timesr Reply:

    @Jay Jerome, “And that’s what he was required to do with Prop 8 – defend the seven million voters of the state who enacted the law, regardless of his personal views.”

    Brown is not obligated to defend the 7 million voters who wish to deprive their fellow gay citizens the right to marry, he is obligated to defend the Constitution. He declined to defend prop 8 because the amendment conflicts with the state Constitution as well as the US Constitution.

    Again, he’s referring to a Supreme Court case about ‘interracial marriage’ — not about ‘gay marriage.’

    The Court decided “marriage”, itself, is a fundamental right.

    Why the gratuitous attack on Brown’s sexuality?

    Sage Reply:

    Thank you, timesr. The Loving case decision did just that…it addressed the fundamental right to marry, not just for interracial couples.
    There were precedents for that ruling as indicated below:

    The United States Supreme Court heard Loving v. Virginia and it’s ruling stated:

    These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888).

    I wrote a post about the Defense of Marriage Act and Loving vs. Virginia in this post in July, 2009: http://mountainsageblog.com/2009/06/01/opinion-doma-loving-v-virginia-and-anti-gay-marriage-laws/

    Here is an excerpt from a statement Mildred Loving made in 2007 on the 40th anniversary of the Loving case:

    I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.”

    “I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

  8. Jay Jerome says:

    @sage: “You make me wonder just what it is you are afraid of.”

    I’m afraid of narrowly drawn stubborn views of issues based on illogical ideology that perverts the law and nullifies the votes of seven million Californians.

    Also, I have a Rosie O’Donnell Phobia — I’m scared as hell someday during a power failure I’ll end up stuck in an elevator with her, twenty stories high, and my screams of fear will echo up and down the shaft for hours, unanswered…

    Sage Reply:

    You’re afraid that the vote of seven million bigoted Californians won’t stand to continue to deny the minority it’s rights. I get it. I bet you are upset that Americans can’t vote to keep women and people of color in their place, but that’s just not the way it works. Proposition 8 should never have been on the ballot because civil rights aren’t a matter of citizens voting on who gets them and who doesn’t.

    You aren’t clever or funny, by the way, you’re just one more bigot in a country full of them.

    timesr Reply:

    @Sage, “Proposition 8 should never have been on the ballot because civil rights aren’t a matter of citizens voting on who gets them and who doesn’t.”

    A lot of Californians agree with you on that; unfortunately all that’s required to get an issue on the ballot is enough signatures.

    This afternoon the judge lifted the stay on gay marriage to go into effect next Wed. According to the opinion issued today, the voters don’t have standing to appeal to the 9th circuit, only the governor does. Arnold has already said he’s happy with the decision (waiting for rumors that the terminator is gay).

    Of course the 9th circuit could have a different opinion.

    Sage Reply:

    I’m afraid of bigots who base their ideology on hate, fear and their own likes and dislikes, disregarding the civil rights of others. In other words, people like you who have no respect for the Constitution or others who are different from you.

  9. AliSilver says:

    ARRGGGH, not signed in, sorry :$

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