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Gay Marriage Now Legal in California!
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Well, technically.  At any rate, trial Judge Richard Kramer ruled it that way in San Francisco on Monday.  I'm expecting an appeal.

Anyway, William Rubenstein writes an unintentionally hilarious piece in the New York Times today, defending Judge Kramer's decision. Professor  Rubenstein is a professor of law at U.C.L.A., and is chairman of its Williams Project on Sexual Orientation Law.

The decision itself is just the latest in a long line of recent cases recognizing the rights of same-sex couples. In 1993, Hawaii's Supreme Court ruled that discrimination against same-sex couples likely violated that state's Constitution. The court sent the case back to a trial court, and the judge struck down the marriage restrictions. Hawaii's voters then amended their Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman, but court cases continued to follow Hawaii's lead.

Translation, since the will of the people was an inconvenient guideline, courts have decided to pretty much ignore it.  The law is so much simpler when the will of the uneducated sheep can be blithely dismissed.  If only the people weren't such ignorant bigots.  Oh, well, they don't matter anyway, so why worry, right?

In subsequent years, judges in half a dozen other states - Alaska, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington - have recognized the rights of same-sex couples to marry, as have jurists in seven of Canada's 13 provinces. And cases are pending in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland and New Jersey.

It's easy to dismiss Monday's decision as that of an ultraliberal San Francisco judge. But if there's news here, it's that San Francisco's courts are following other courts on a gay rights issue, not leading them.

Courts in New Jersey though have the responsibility to interpret the law in...well...New Jersey.  Courts in California interpret that state's laws.  It's called federalism.  No, really, it is. You can look it up.  It might be fascinating to learn what the Courts in New Jersey have to say about New Jersey's law and state constitution.  That doesn't make it particularly relevant to California, though.

Even within California, Judge Richard A. Kramer of San Francisco County Superior Court, who issued the opinion, is following the political branches of state and local government, not leading them. He's no judicial activist. San Francisco's city council enacted ordinances recognizing same-sex couples decades ago, and its mayor famously wed same-sex couples a year ago. In the past few years, the California Legislature has enacted laws granting same-sex couples almost all of the same rights and responsibilities as married couples.

Conservatives denounce judges who get ahead of legislatures, alleging that they are trying to change the world with a stroke of the pen, but that's not the situation in San Francisco. Same-sex couples' rights came from its legislature first, its mayor second and the judiciary last.

Well, you know, that might really be a compelling argument, if the people of San Francisco had been given the power to speak mutatis mutandis ex cathedra about the laws of California. Unfortunately, they haven't.  So what the people of San Francisco, its city council, or its mayor think about the laws of the state of California is irrelevant.  Judges don't follow the whims of local city councils and officials.  Well, I mean, Judge Kramer apparently does, but that's not really the way this whole "judging" thing is supposed to work.

Because, you see, somehow, despite the enormous intellectual influence of San Francisco, 63% of Californians decided to write into the state law through ballot initiative that gay marriage was forbidden in this state.  They did that specifically to prevent the legislature from legalizing Gay Marriage. 

Now, Professor Rubenstein is arguing that, despite the fact that the court just declared unconstitutional a law passed directly by the people of California, in order to put the brakes on the state legislature in this regard, that, somehow, this decision is not a sign of judicial activism. No, no, Judge Kramer is in the mainstream.

I mean, not the mainstream of the people of California, but the mainstream of people that matter.  And that's really the important thing.  Besides, Superior Court judges are elected here in California, and so Judge Kramer knows what side his bread's buttered on as an elected official in San Francisco.

As for the 63% of Californians who voted to ban Gay Marriage?  Well, we can simply ignore those bigoted homophobes.

Besides, they're probably latent anyway.

UPDATE: My objection is to the process, not the result.  I do not object to gay marriage.  The proper place to approve it, however is through the legislature or ballot referendum.

 
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Comments

Aw, come on, have you even read Judge Kramer’s opinion? It’s based not on history, not on the Bible, not on polls, not on past elections, but on a series of legal precedents.

That means that, Stevens and O’Connor notwithstanding, yes, Lawrence v. Texas has to be considered.

So do Perez v. Sharp, Loving v. Virginia, Romer v. Evans. And so on. And so on. Even cases heard in other courts, since similar issues are likely to have similar answers (making allowences for differences in the wording of various state constitutions).

I’m always suspicious of legal decisons that have nothing to do with precedent. When judges start invoking success at the polls, the Bible, or tradition, these are the activist judges.

Sure, the opponents of same-sex marriage are going to call Kramer an "activist judge," but that means that can’t specifically rebut his conclusions. I’ve seen the decision called "irrational," but not with any specifics for why it might be so.

If I wanted to rebut it, I’d be talking about specific lines on specific pages. Take Bowers v. Hardwick. At the time, I said to a friend, "what legal precedence does the Bible have in a secular society" (yes, I’m afraid I do talk like that, but just to friends). I felt vindicated when Bowers was overturned.

As for Prop 22, the citizens of a state may not elect to violate its constitution. We keep trying. Every time I vote, I wonder if the proposition I’ve voted again would pass constitutional muster. Many do not. Conservatives have to learn that the "higher law" is Constitutional, not Biblical.

Prop 22 is a vile incursion on the civil rights of Californians. It violates the cherished standard of equal protection under the law. Arguments supporting it are either mean-spirited, word games, or just stupid. The same is true for arguments opposing marriage equality for same-sex couples.

 
Written By: JD
URL: http://www.qando.net

One judge, at his sole discretion, may not redefine a social institution that exists in over 99% of the world as woman/man.

Kramer conveniently ignored precedent, common-law, tradition, will of the people, and misinterpreted the Constitution as well.

Marriage may well be a fundamental right. The ability to redefine marriage is not.

Tom Farrel wrote:

""There’s a word for countries where "the will of the people" trumps constitutional rights. They’re called "communist".""

That is nonsensical. No one,  especially a single judge, has the "constitutional right" to redefine a basic social institution that has remained woman/man in definition for thousands of years. A change of that magnitude requires the approval of the people. I believe people are competent to govern themselves, why don’t you? 

 
Written By: paul
URL: http://www.qando.net
There’s a word for countries where "the will of the people" trumps constitutional rights. They’re called "communist".
Actually, they’re called pure democracies.  Communism is where the people own the means of production.

Odd, one notes, that the right to homosexual marriage went unrecognized for the first two centuries of the republic.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net

if racists had blogs back in the 1940s i’m sure their rants would have looked like dale’s on this topic of gay marriage.   all the 2nd semester law school language doesn’t hide the raw sentiment behind the rant, either. 

 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://www.qando.net
Dave, this may come as a surprise to you, but Dale is objecting to the process, not the result.  In a democracy, under the rule of law, it’s vitally important that the process remain in place. 

If I’m not mistaken, I believe Dale does not object to gay marriage.  Perhaps you should try reading again, but this time for comprehension.   Reading for strawmen doesn’t seem to be working out for you.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

If it makes the people happy, why are so many people appaled by it. It’s as natural as a man and a women, or at least I think so. It don’t affect the way we live our everyday lives and now more people in the United States will think that they are finally getting the rights that they have deserved for a long time. Where in  the constitution does it say that marriage is between a man and a women.

 
Written By: Melissa Jeske
URL: http://www.qando.net
What I don’t get is that people are using the bible as justification as to why gays, lesbians, transpeople, etc. cannot get married.  This would be all well and good, except for the fact we are a SECULAR nation, not Christian.  I’m an atheist and my girlfriend is a pagan. When we decide to get married, it’s not going to be in a Christian church. Rather, it’s going to be a pagan handfasting ceremony. My point, anyway, is that the bible cannot be used as justification for denying gays, lesbians, and transpeople the right to a CIVIL marriage.  In a religious ceremony, sure. Churces can decide who they want to marry and who they don’t.  And if people have a problem with the term "marriage", ALL civil marriages should be called civil unions, which would then make "marriage" a solely religious term.  Just my two cents.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
Where in  the constitution does it say that marriage is between a man and a women.
Where in the Constitution is marriage mentioned at all?  It isn’t.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
It seems to me that Dale is making the observation that mainstream=constitutional. if that were the case a constitution to protect the rights of minorities would be a waste of paper. Obviously that is not the case. As a conservative, a constitutionalist and a small "L" libertarian I can’t understand why public social institutions should discriminate against some citizens in order to protect the religious and traditionalist sensitivities of other. Lets get the government out of the "Marriage" business.
 
Written By: Donald O’Shei
URL: www.QanO.net
Jumping off Dale’s comments- I think the Michael Jackson case should be settled by public referendum as well. Everyone knows about the case, everyone has an opinion; lets just vote on it. The majority will be happy with the outcome and that, according to Dale, matters more than justice or legality. Hey, why not throw out our entire Constitutional Republic and just have a system of Popular Sovereignty. That would be fun!!
 
Written By: H. Bergwall
URL: http://www.qando.net
It seems to me that Dale is making the observation that mainstream=constitutional
Then your reading is superficial.  My true meaning is that unchallenged judidical supremacy is tryanny.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
The majority will be happy with the outcome and that, according to Dale, matters more than justice or legality.
No.  i’m saying that absent a specific constitutional provision, these are legislative, not judicial matters.

Criminal matter, on the other hand, are almost exclusively judicial matters.  That you seem unable to discriminate between the two should be a source of concern for you.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
My point is that if our county allows any referendum that the public thinks up to stand- we will inevitable have inconsistancies between our Constitution and our law. It is the judiciary’s job to protect us from those inconsistencies. I understand perfectly well that a criminal case, such as Michael Jackson’s, is an unfit topic for public referendum, and I know everyone else does too, which is why I used it as an example. However, I think it is a fair analogy. If the public did decide to stick its fingers in a criminal case, a judge would rule it an unconsititutional act. It is the judges job to decide when the public has transgressed the bounds of the law. When Kramer made his ruling, we were watching constitutional democracy work.
 
Written By: H. Bergwall
URL: http://www.qando.net
My point is that if our county allows any referendum that the public thinks up to stand- we will inevitable have inconsistancies between our Constitution and our law. It is the judiciary’s job to protect us from those inconsistencies.

Correct.  And the actual text of the Constitution, not a judge’s preferred outcome, or some silly notion of a "living Constitution" should determine the outcome of such judgements.

 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net

Oh, Dale, what law school did you flunk out of?

If all we’re talking about is the process, then we have to consider that the judiciary exists to protect minorities from tyranny of the majority.  Saying that federalism means that state judges cannot consider the reasoning of alternate jurisdictions when interpreting their own state’s laws is specious.

At the time of Loving v. Virginia, most people were opposed to interracial marriage.  Now, most people are opposed to gay marriage.  There is no difference between the two concepts.  Most judiciaries will reach this conclusion, for the same reasons.

 

 
Written By: Thom413
URL: http://www.qando.net
If all we’re talking about is the process, then we have to consider that the judiciary exists to protect minorities from tyranny of the majority. 

No, it does not.  The Judiciary exists to apply the law as written to the controversies that arise therefrom.  One is reminded of the story of Justice Holmes, who, after a lunch with Judge Learned Hand, was climbing into his carriage to return to the Court when Judge Hand, in a fit of enthusiasm, said to him, "Do justice, sir!  Do justice!"  Justice Holmes replied, "That is not my job, sir.  My job is to apply the law."

 Saying that federalism means that state judges cannot consider the reasoning of alternate jurisdictions when interpreting their own state’s laws is specious.

Since I didn’t say that, I’m wondering what your point might be.

At the time of Loving v. Virginia, most people were opposed to interracial marriage.  Now, most people are opposed to gay marriage.  There is no difference between the two concepts. 

I presume you mean, apart from the difference that interracial marriage has been practiced at all times in human history by all human groups, while homosexual marriage has not been practiced by any human society of which I am aware.

 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Read "Same-Sex Unions In Premodern Europe" by John Boswell, a well respected historian, and you will find that same sex couples, and provisions for them has been an issue for a very long time. "Human histroy" isn’t completely on your side, sorry. Furthermore, when you say you don’t believe in a "living constitution" does that mean you don’t believe words like "freedom" and "equality" can have any legal weight? I think that idea is downright scary, if so, it isn’t better process you want, but stasis.
 
Written By: H. Bergwall
URL: http://www.qando.net
At the time of Loving v. Virginia, most people were opposed to interracial marriage.  Now, most people are opposed to gay marriage.  There is no difference between the two concepts.
Then you are being willfully stupid. 
 
Written By: Mark
URL: http://

Dale, you wrote "It might be fascinating to learn what the Courts in New Jersey have to say about New Jersey’s law and state constitution.  That doesn’t make it particularly relevant to California, though."

Ah, but it does.  Because we keep circling back to the will of the majority as applied to the rights of the minority.  Marbury v. Madison discussed the court’s role in this at length.  The California decision on the rights of gays to marry as well as the New York decision addressed this in detail. 

You clearly don’t view the right to choose whom one marries as a fundamental one.  But it’s plain that even those opposed to gay marriage think of it as valuable and important; they just want to deprive gays of the rights and responsibilities that attend the marital state.

There is no reasonable justification for this.  It all boils down to "I think gays are icky." or "My Bible says it’s wrong." 

Dale, on the subject of homosexuality, many people ARE ignorant bigots.  This makes it doubly important that the rights of ANY minority are protected.  Equal protection means exactly that.

 

 

 

 

 
Written By: Thom413
URL: http://www.qando.net
Dale, on the subject of homosexuality, many people ARE ignorant bigots.  This makes it doubly important that the rights of ANY minority are protected.  Equal protection means exactly that.

I can understand that argument, with respect to gay marriage. However, you have to understand that the clear implication of such a stance would be the recognition of polygamy and incestuous marriage, too.   I mean, if marriage is not defined as 1 man/1 woman, then *any* restriction against consenting adults represents a violation of "equal rights".  

I actually don’t have a problem with that.  But a lot of people seem to think that polygamy and incestuous marriage are categorically different.   With the judicial "equal rights" argument as a premise, that’s just not the case.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

Doesn’t it trouble you in the least to call someone stupid who is simply advocating granting equal rights to a minority which (conservatively) contains millions of Americans?  And please, please don’t tell me that there are probably millions of pedophiles out there too, or millions of people who want to have sex with animals, or their siblings.  Surely in 2005 you know at least 1 gay person who is in a relationship that you feel ought to be valued by society in the same way any straight relationship is valued. And if you don’t, then please just say so loud and clear, because the "swing voters"  on this issue deserve to understand the motives of that group of people (I suspect many writers to this site are in it, but I’d like to be proven wrong) who try their damndest to appear to make arguments solely on the basis of principle, who in realty are simply acting out of (at best) a lack of respect for or (at worst) fundamental hatred of their neighbors (and yes we are your neighbors).   

The vehemence with which some people argue against gay marriage—as if they were opining on where our tax dollars should be spent or whether Martha Stewart got what she deserved—makes me think they have forgetten there are real, oppressed people on the other side of this issue.

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
Polygamy and incest ARE categorically different.  What we are talking about here are monogamous relationships between two individuals.  Spare me the slippery slope argument. 
 
Written By: Thom413
URL: http://www.qando.net

Doesn’t it trouble you in the least to call someone stupid who is simply advocating granting equal rights to a minority which (conservatively) contains millions of Americans?  And please, please don’t tell me that there are probably millions of pedophiles out there too, or millions of people who want to have sex with animals, or their siblings.  Surely in 2005 you know at least 1 gay person who is in a relationship that you feel ought to be valued by society in the same way any straight relationship is valued. And if you don’t, then please just say so loud and clear, because the "swing voters"  on this issue deserve to understand the motives of that group of people (I suspect many writers to this site are in it, but I’d like to be proven wrong) who try their damndest to appear to make arguments solely on the basis of principle, who in realty are simply acting out of (at best) a lack of respect for or (at worst) fundamental hatred of their neighbors (and yes we are your neighbors).   

The vehemence with which some people argue against gay marriage—as if they were opining on where our tax dollars should be spent or whether Martha Stewart got what she deserved—makes me think they have forgetten there are real, oppressed people on the other side of this issue.

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
Sorry, but you can’t do that.  If it’s immoral to limit marriage to the man/woman definition, because that excludes people, then there’s no more justification for the exclusion of polygamy and incestuous marriages.

This isn’t a slipper slope argument.   Your premise for allowing gay marriage—a legal status I would support, by the way — is that we’re not legally allowed to exclude people from this contractual legal status, because it would violate their constitution rights.

Why, then, would it not violate the constitutional rights of a polygamist to marry as many women as he liked?   Or the rights of a brother and sister to get married?   If marriage is a legal status available to all, then how can you demand inclusion for one group on the basis of "equal rights", but insist on exclusion for other groups?  
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
(I suspect many writers to this site are in it, but I’d like to be proven wrong) who try their damndest to appear to make arguments solely on the basis of principle, who in realty are simply acting out of (at best) a lack of respect for or (at worst) fundamental hatred of their neighbors (and yes we are your neighbors).  

We get a lot of this.  In fact, the Right in general gets a lot of this.  Disagree with the process, and people think you’re a bigot at heart.   In fact, 2 of the authors of this blog are in favor of gay marriage.   I’m not sure of McQs stance on it.  


 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

Gosh darn.  You got me there.  If I support gay marriage, I’ve got to support incest.  There would just be no way to differentiate the 2.

Can you just elaorate a little more?  What else MUST I support in order to be in favor of gay marriage?  You didn’t mention marriage with animals or marriage with children.  MUST I also be in favor of them to support gay marriage?  How far into a corner have I automatically painted myself by supporting gay marriage?

Or maybe, possibly, just possibly,  this is your effort to make me appear irrational and immoral? 

For the record, I do not support incest, sex or marriage between adults and children, sex or marriage with animals, polygamy.  But, by all means, keep bringing on the examples.  If I ultimately win on this issue, I’m only too happy to risk appearing hopelessly intellectually dishonest to you.

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
Can you just elaorate a little more?  What else MUST I support in order to be in favor of gay marriage?

Actually, nothing...provided you do it through the legislatures, in a democratic way.   But if you want to find a Equal Right to marriage in the Constitution, then you can’t restrict it.  You simply cannot rationally state that everybody has an equal right to marriage....and that there are people who do not have an equal right to marriage.

Or maybe, possibly, just possibly,  this is your effort to make me appear irrational and immoral? 

I doubt it.   If you look back at what I wrote earlier, you might note that I support the expansion of marriage to every consenting adult, or group of adults. Now, you were saying?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Read "Same-Sex Unions In Premodern Europe" by John Boswell, a well respected historian, and you will find that same sex couples, and provisions for them has been an issue for a very long time.

Actually, consiering the lengths Boswell went through to provide a revisionist history that supported his personal political beliefs, no, I wouldn’t find that at all. 
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net

I wasn’t persuaded by what I found in the Boswell link, as it just constituted an opposing interpretation of the text.   However, the use of the words ’gay agenda’ to describe Boswell’s work and ’healthy horror’ to describe what Boswell’s work was striving to ’suppress’ lead me to believe that the author had an anti-gay agenda of his own.

 
Written By: Thom413
URL: http://www.qando.net
The review you selected, critical of John Boswell, is sponsered by the organization, "tradition in action". This group describes itself as, " committed to defend the perennial Magisterium of Holy Mother Church and Catholic traditions. TIA also works for a restoration of Christian civilization, adapted to contemporary historical circumstances." Of course, the bias inherent in this groups mission, makes it unfit to review a controversial work that is critical of the Catholic Church. It is the equivalent of me posting an alternative review from an GLBT website. Don’t try to pull a fast one on us, Dale. John Boswell’s work is contraversial because of his thesis, but grapple with his evidence, not a clearly biased review.
 
Written By: H. Bergwall
URL: http://www.qando.net
John Boswell’s work is contraversial because of his thesis, but grapple with his evidence, not a clearly biased review.

Professor Boswell’s work is, by the same token clearly biased by his own political and personal inclinations.  That, however, doesn’t bother you.

Presumably because your own bias inclines you to want to beleive it. 

I note, however, that you make no attempt to refute the actual content of the review.

Nice try.

 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Dale, The "content" you refer to in that review amounts to an opinion piece that rejects half of the modern discipline of history. I don’t reject the discipline of history. In my opinion, if you want to cite "human history" as evidence for your views, you shouldn’t reject the discipline of history either. On another note, your comment that you object to the process of Judicial branch weighing in on same-sex-marriage- rather than same-sex marriage itself, was clearly disengenuous. You have revealed yourself as a stick-your-head-in-the-sand consevative that rejects the modern discourse of history. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were a creationist too.
 
Written By: H. Bergwall
URL: http://www.qando.net
I don’t reject the discipline of history.

No.  Just those bits you don’t like.

On another note, your comment that you object to the process of Judicial branch weighing in on same-sex-marriage- rather than same-sex marriage itself, was clearly disengenuous.

Ah.  So I’m just a liar then?  Well, thanks for releiving me of the necessity of addressing you any further, ass.

 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net

Let me press a little further Jon, since my intellectual irrationality seems to bother you.  Can I find a right in the equal protection clause to VOTE, but think that it’s just fine to limit that right to people above the age of 18?  (Or must toddlers have the franchise before I can find some fundamendtal right to vote for, say, racial minorities?)

Does the equal protection clause say there can be no exceptions, no way, no how, never? (I went to law school, I should know the answer to this......I’ll go out on a limb here..... it doesn’t mean ANYTHING of the sort.)

But OK, so I started out with the wacky (somebody I think said "stupid") notion that gay people should have the same right under the law to marry granted to straight people and that such a notion has constituional merit.  But you’ve now convinced me that to support gay marriage in that fashion I also—to be consistent (apparently a notion to be prized above all else)—have to believe in equal marriage rights for all human beings, no matter the facts, no matter the circumstances.  Alright already, I’ll get on the consistency bandwagon with you:  the equal protection clause requires that the government grant marriage rights to gay people, pedophiles, polygamists and incest-people (or whatever the noun is).  All courts should so rule immediately.  Consistency for everyone.  Yippee!  Now let the states backfill by amending their constitutions to rule OUT all the people society has a legitimate interest in making sure don’t marry.  Are we happy now?

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
Would all of the people on this site who say they support gay marriage, but, darn it all, it’s just not in the constitution, do the gay community an enormous favor and get permanently off our side?  We don’t need you or want you.  In fact, you sort of sicken us.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
Does the equal protection clause say there can be no exceptions, no way, no how, never?

No, but to make an exception for a fundamental right, which the purported right of privacy is, the standard is strict scrutiny, as you well know.  So I’m interested in a Constitutional theory in which a homosexual marriage doesn’t pass strict scrutiny, but polygamy does.

Because you certainly haven’t provided one.

Alright already, I’ll get on the consistency bandwagon with you:  the equal protection clause requires that the government grant marriage rights to gay people, pedophiles, polygamists and incest-people (or whatever the noun is).

Since children cannot consent, you’ve already inserted a straw man.  Perhaps that’s easier than creating a strict scrutiny standard for adult privacy rights that passes muster in the manner you suggest.

Now let the states backfill by amending their constitutions to rule OUT all the people society has a legitimate interest in making sure don’t marry. 

Apparently you missed the bit in law school where they talked about incorporating the bill of rights into state law via the 14th Amendment.  If it offends the Federal Constitution, state constitutions cannot contradict it, which you should know. If you can’t pass strict scrutiny muster for the suspect classifications, the states can do nothing.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Would all of the people on this site who say they support gay marriage, but, darn it all, it’s just not in the constitution, do the gay community an enormous favor and get permanently off our side?  We don’t need you or want you.  In fact, you sort of sicken us.

Of course we do.  It’s far more important to you that you get what you want without all that tedious mucking about with legislatures, than it is to preserve the Constitution.

Sorry.  You’ve got my vote on a ballot amendment, or my help in making calls to state legislatures.  But not on creating new rights in the Constitution that have remained undiscovered for two centuries.

 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I think Dale has addressed most of this, but....

Would all of the people on this site who say they support gay marriage, but, darn it all, it’s just not in the constitution, do the gay community an enormous favor and get permanently off our side?  We don’t need you or want you.  In fact, you sort of sicken us.
...I’m not on your side.   We may agree on the outcome, but we differ sharply on the process. 

You want to throw the process out the window in favor of an outcome.   I’d rather the government just got out of the marriage business altogether, but so long as they’re in it, I think it needs to be regarded as a legal contract, and such a contract should be available to any person or group of persons that wish to enter it.   Just like buying a house, starting a business, etc. 

 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

Sorry, Dale, I should have been clearer— I’m not a very GOOD lawyer.  I cut Constitutional Law on "strict scrutiny" day.  I think it coincided with gay pride week and I was out exercising my (apparently unprotected—-who knew??) right to parade around holding hands with my boyfriend and kiss in front of St. Patricks.  Talk about strict scrutiny—you should have seen some of the looks. So I won’t be able to anwer your questions specifically—unless I quit my day job and spend the requisite time researching and preparing the perfect opposition brief.  I feel reasonably certain that strong opposing arguments exist, however.  I think the California court articulated many of them this week.  But I may be wrong—you did cut me to the quick with your strawman remarks.  (Just so I’m clear...the bigamist IS NOT a strawman, but the pedophile IS?? Is that accurate?)

Out of curiousity, how many of those phone calls in support of the gay marriage cause have you actually made?  What, if anything, have you done to prevent the passage of anti-gay marriage constituional amendments?  Have you been to a commitment ceremony?  An actual gay wedding?  Did you know anyone who was in jeopardy after 9/11 of losing their deceased partner’s benefits? Do you have any friends who are involved in horribly messy custody situations simply because they’re gay and can’t get married?  Know any victims of gay bashing?  You have no idea how disappointing it is to me personally to hear obviously intelligent people who profess to care about the merits of the marriage issue on behalf of gay people making impassioned legal arguments against our interest.  Isn’t the issue important enough for you to expend the energy making the opposite impassioned argument?  Surely you could if you tried.  How  trampled on would the rights of gay people have to get before you’d really weigh in on our side?   You have to know that when you get on a bully pulpit and say "I’m a supporter of gay marriage but gays don’t deserve equal protection under the constituion", you embolden everyone on the far right to continue the hate campaign. 

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
Out of curiousity, how many of those phone calls in support of the gay marriage cause have you actually made?  What, if anything, have you done to prevent the passage of anti-gay marriage constituional amendments? 

I have written in favor of it publicly on several occasions, including during the california debates over gay marriage.

Have you been to a commitment ceremony? 

As an ordained "minister" in the Universal Life Church, I’ve performed them.

So, you know, you can tuck that moral superiority card right back up your sleeve, sparky.

 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net

Did your "parishoners" fully appreciate your moral ambiguity on this issue? Or were they so thankful to find an acceptable venue in which to practice a ritual that most of the population takes for granted that they didn’t ask pesky questions?

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
Did your "parishoners" fully appreciate your moral ambiguity on this issue?
I don’t have any moral ambuguity on the issue.  I am perfectly comfortable in believing a) that homosexuals should be allowed to marry, and b) they have no particular right to do so. I also believe that a) drugs should be legalized and b) I don’t have a constitutional right to smoke crack. I find nothing at all inconsistent in holding both beleifs simultaneously/

Why do you?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net

I’m sorry Reverend Dale.  I’m so caught up in the image of your waiving your internet credentials as a Universal Life Minister in front of unsuspecting gay couples seeking to be wed, blessing them with your fingers crossed behind your back, and then running home to sell them out on your website by proclaiming their non-status under the constitution that I missed that last point about your crack habit. 

I think it’s safe to say that you and I pray in different pews.

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net

The Constitution, as any document made by human hands, has its flaws.  However I might prefer the Articles of Confederation, the Constitition is the supreme law of the land, and we should at least try not to let its imperfections be used to subvert its original intent, which was almost entirely for the good.  I am strongly in favor of legal recognition of SSM, but not at the cost of such subversion when there are other means of attaining that end.  I think the denial of equal protection under the law argument has considerable merit, and also think it would have to apply to group marriages as well as incestuous ones (though there might well be grounds to forbid reproduction in the latter case: they could always be allowed to adopt).  Certainly the key concept is consent, which would make it inapplicable to marriages involving animals or small children (age-of-consent being still a  controversial issue, IMO).  And I also would have no problem with government just getting out of the marriage business entirely, though it’s hard to see how that could be expected to be accomplished. 

 
Written By: Aristomedes
URL: http://

I’m going to move on after this one folks.  I’m frankly tired of hearing my right to marry compared/contrasted to that of  pedophiles and those who practice incest and to Rev. Dale’s right to smoke his bong.    If that kind of thought process and the tidiness of making all of those arguments line up in that neat fashion makes life make sense for you at the end of the day, then, by all means, have at it.  For me, the right of gay people to marry is categorically different.

 I’ll leave all of you well intentioned whole-hearted supporters of SSM (I needed to read that one 3 times before I realized I wasn’t now being lumped in with sadomasochists!!) with the following thought.  The parallels between gay people moving toward marriage rights and other rights to participate fully in society and blacks moving out of Jim Crow 60 years ago are so striking that I am blown away by it at times.   I know, Rev. Dale will cry "but what about slavery??"  and I’ll have to respond "what about pink stars of David in Nazi Germany??" and "what about Matthew Shepherd??".    As a people (to paraphrase MLK) we’ll get there someday. And we’ll get there because of a combination of "activist" judges (your "activist" is my "enlightened"), progressive legislatures, and people leading their lives with dignity in the face of horrible, pervasive homophobia.  And we’ll get there IN SPITE of the Rev. Dales and Jons and others I’ve met today on this page who purport to be on the right side of this issue while crucifying any judge who reads the constitution differently than they do.  You all just seem to protest way too much for me to continue to swim in your pool.  I just ask that you all please don’t hog the stage looking to take credit when we do arrive.  Make way for the people who are doing the heavy lifting on this issue.

 

 

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
"Then your reading is superficial.  My true meaning is that unchallenged judidical supremacy is tryanny" Maybe my reading isn’t "superficial you pompous individual. maybe your analysis is inartful or possibly specious. Perhaps you are too focused on your own navel to consider the possibility. And, by the way, judidical is not a word in modern English.
 
Written By: Donald O’Shei
URL: www.QanO.net
I’m going to move on after this one folks.  I’m frankly tired of hearing my right to marry compared/contrasted to that of  pedophiles

Since neither of us has compared gay marriage to pedophilia, perhaps we’ve discovered the problem.   You’re responding to something written elsewhere. 

Our difference is not in outcome, but in process.   You believe the ends justify the means.   We don’t.  That’s fine, but remember...if you’re willing to destroy the process in pursuit of a goal, you shouldn’t be surprised when there’s no process to protect you when you need it.  After all, you’ve already decided that the end justifies the means....and your opponents will, as well.

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
I don’t understand why there is such controversy with this issue.  Gay marriage advocates only want the gay community to have equal, LEGAL protection.  Some say that marriage is a sacrament?  Oh!  Please!  I am tired of all the religious fanatics in this country.
 
Written By: LCP
URL: http://www.GayMarriageNOW.net
I don’t understand why there is such controversy with this issue.  Gay marriage advocates only want the gay community to have equal, LEGAL protection.  Some say that marriage is a sacrament?  Oh!  Please!  I am tired of all the religious fanatics in this country.
 
Written By: LCP
URL: http://www.GayMarriageNOW.net
Here’s the thing, I have been in my relationship for 2 years, I am not classified as gay. Seriously I am not happy all the time! That was the original meaning of the word,right? Does anyone have a dictionary left with that definition in it, probley not every flippin book has been rewritten for some other benifit.I am not a political person, never been to law school, not in some high paying job.I live in Arkansas of all places so I will never have a legal marriage, if you know anything about this state you know it is probley true. On average most people hate change, or something different. Really if you go backwards start with lets see the native americans. Boy did they really get the shit, then the african americans they really got it too, farther back the Jews, how about mexicans, asians, black and whites marring, anyway I am sure you get my point.Americans are the only ones I know that are this greedy.All this political shit hell they have nothing to gain from us. Why would they want us happy? I know that most people think the world is changing, yeah as if. What was done to my brothers and sisters with the taking of their freedom is being done today. They are just finding another way to do it.
 
Written By: A Miller
URL: http://www.

 
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