NOM BLOG

Putting Christianity on Trial

 

Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

What do Olson and Boies think they are doing? Watching accounts of this trial unfold this week  I had a big "aha" moment. It's now clear:    Ted and David think they are conducting the Scopes trial!  

When this trial began I told you: gay marriage activists were putting 7 million Californians on trial.  (Ed Whelan over at National Review has a brilliant series "Judge Walker's Witch Hunt" . . . explaining how intellectually absurd it is to conduct a "trial" into the subjective motivations of 7 million voters, constitutionally speaking.). But this week it got worse:  They are clearly putting Christianity itself on trial.  Why else have an expert read statements of Catholic and Southern Baptist doctrines into the record?

And why put a Stanford Prof. named Gary Segura on the stand to testify ""religion is the chief obstacle for gays' and lesbians' political progress."

Could the zero-sum nature of the game be any clear?  Rights for gays and lesbians, in their minds, depends on invalidating the voting rights of religious people when it comes to gay marriage, because their votes are influenced by their religion--i.e. bigotry.  

Here's their brilliant legal strategy: Ted and David want  the Supreme Court to rule that Catholicism and Southern Baptism and related Christian denominations are bigotry.  

(That's why their next move is to subpoena --i.e. drag into court against their will--two San Diego Christian pastors who emerged as leaders in the Prop 8 fight, Pastor Jim Garlow and Pastor Miles MacPherson.  Why should participating in democracy give somebody a right to drag you to Sacramento to court?)  

I know many  gay people do not agree with this anti-religion strategy. And I also know  many gay rights activists  are getting increasingly worried about the legal strategy and tactics employed by these two  legal eagles may backfire.  (See the Jan. 17 Los Angeles Times story, "Gay Marriage Supporters fear Supreme Court's Ruling was an Omen," and also Dale Carpenter's comment about the "bad start" for pro-gay marriage advocates.)

Ted Olson and David Boies think they can persuade the Supreme Court that Science with a capital "S" proves the voters are wrong about the natural family.  Then they want to pit Science with a capital "S" against "Big Religion," 

I bet Ted and David lay awake late at night think "Hey!, maybe someday someone will make a movie about us!"

Oh wait, somebody is.

Frustrated by the fact that Supreme Court intervened to block the televising of this trial, according to the gay press one gay marriage advocate is planning to film daily "re-enactments" of the trial, based on anti-Prop 8 bloggers accounts, and post them on you tube.  No, I am not making that up.

180 Comments

  1. Kevinn
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Ridiculous! It is inaccurate to say that Christianity is a major obstacle to achieving marriage equality. A more accurate statement is to say that homophobes are using biblical statements to support public policy with regards to marriage. They are hiding behind a Christian belief that God wants only one man/one woman marriage. Of course, this is an excuse or rationalization, not a genuine belief. How do we know? Because God also wants sex limited to married couples and He forbids divorce. But American Christians are only too happy to have pre-marital sex, commit adultery and get divorced. All are legal. No “defenders of marriage” appear to have any interest in changing that, either. So why single out God’s wish for one aspect of marriage but not three other aspects?

    Very suspicious!

  2. JoeyG
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Actually, Kevin, one of the biggest advocacy groups for defending marriage is the Roman Catholic Church, which consistently condemns pre-marital sex, adultery, and divorce.

    And by the way, Christ himself, speaking of the Pharisees, told his followers to do as they say and not as they do. The point is that even if you find hypocrisy on the opposing side, it is illogical to think that that constitutes an effective argument against the idea your opponent propounds.

  3. Adam
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    This new term Bigotry started showing up after prop 8. I don't know which group started it, but it clear now they are trying to get the courts to put their seal of approval on calling Christians bigots because Christians do not agree with homosexuals based on their moral guidance. Pure Genius!

  4. kim
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    As a Christian and a lesbian, I find it offensive to suggest that the two are mutually exclusive based on archaic translations of a language nobody speaks anymore. Do the HISTORY, and Biblical history proves that what the English versions of the Bible say against homosexuality are INCORRECT interpretations. Nobody wants to hear that, because then they can't defend their bigotry and hypocrisy with the supposed "word of God" anymore.

    Be a real Christian and learn to love thy neighbor as thyself.

  5. Rich
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    What's the problem? Scared of the truth?

  6. Transsami
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    "

    Actually, Kevin, one of the biggest advocacy groups for defending marriage is the Roman Catholic Church, which consistently condemns pre-marital sex, adultery, and divorce."

    yeah thats why they spend several hundred thousand dollars on political campaigns to take rights away from people who do all those things? RIGHT? I mean, it's not like they've never made any attempt whatsoever to legally discriminate against them like they have homosexuals.

  7. Dwane
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    While that Catholic church consistently condemns pre-marital sex, adultery, and divorce, has never
    worked to make these the law of the land of the United Statest of America.

    There in lies the hypocrisy. People who engage in pre-marital sex, adultery and divorce are never prevent from getting a civil marriage. They may be prevented from having a "religious" marriage performed in the church, but they are never prevented from being married by the state.

  8. Richard Cortijo
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with this statement: "(That’s why their next move is to subpoena –i.e. drag into court against their will–two San Diego Christian pastors who emerged as leaders in the Prop 8 fight, Pastor Jim Garlow and Pastor Miles MacPherson. Why should participating in democracy give somebody a right to drag you to Sacramento to court?) " the reason i disagree is that if you are participating in the secular democratic process in the public square than you are very very easily subject to subpoena. On an even bigger note...why would those 2 pastors think they are above the law or immune from it or the process? anddd If they are so right as they say they are and presume to be on th right side of the subject with soooo many people backing them...what fear do they or any of you NOMers have being brought into the light. I say again as I have said before...you do not see the Pro Equality side hiding their identity.

  9. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Kim:

    Fascinating. So the Bible doesn't actually say what the Church thought it says. We apparently got it all wrong, until Kim came along to straighten us out about a language nobody speaks any more.

    Do you speak this "language", Kim? Do you even know what "language" you do not speak, that you insist means the opposite of what it in fact says?

    Stalin did say the Big Lie is easier to sell than the little lie, and to that extent the hilarious "nobody knew what the Bible said until the SSM movement came along" gambit certainly qualifies as a Big Lie.

    Just to set the record straight, the arguments in favor of marriage derive from reason and natural law, and do not depend for their force or effectiveness upon religious revelation.

    But to claim that the Bible supports SSM is worse than erroneous.

    It is grotesquely dishonest.

  10. L. Marie
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    "While that Catholic church consistently condemns pre-marital sex, adultery, and divorce, has never
    worked to make these the law of the land of the United Statest of America."

    Who is it that is trying to change the law in America to reflect homosexualist views that strip children and families from the core of marriage? The reason they're forced to fight the marriage fight in the legislatures is because gay activists are not content to simply live and let live. They are intent on legally repressing all moral dissent to homosexual behavior. Gay activist Chai Feldblum openly advocates that that society should ‘not tolerate’ any ‘private beliefs,’ including religious beliefs, that may negatively affect homosexual ‘equality.’

    I have to agree with Rick. Those who bleat that this fight is all about "love" and "equality" are not being honest.

  11. L. Marie
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    "If they are so right as they say they are and presume to be on th right side of the subject with soooo many people backing them…what fear do they or any of you NOMers have being brought into the light. I say again as I have said before…you do not see the Pro Equality side hiding their identity."

    That's because, as the U.S. Supreme Court so aptly noted, the pro-SSM side is not being threatened. They have nothing to fear, yet those who support marriage do. Or did you forget all that "No More Mr. Nice Gay" persecution that came to marriage supporters after the votes in California and Maine? The anthrax threats, the jobs threats, the death threats and vandalism all came home to roost in a big way with the high court. Gay activists have proven themselves unstable and untrustworthy.

    http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/06/pride-predjudice-prop8-rage/
    http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/prop-8-who-has-the-hate/

  12. John M
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    After Canada legalized SSM the statistics revealed a lack of interest by gays in becoming married. In Scandinavia since SSM legalization there has become a growing disinterest in all marriage since younger people now see the institution as meaningless.

    If traditional marriage were a perfect institution, the homosexual ...agenda would not exist. Gays fighting to throw out the American voters wishes say that because traditional marriage is not entirely healthy - homosexuals who deliberately choose to forgo any bloodline heritage should have a chance at marriage and family. Idiotic.

    SSM is not a private matter. Gay states get gay foster parents. Children deserve an upbringing according to social norms not per the biased research of failed Pediatricians. Vote against the homosexual agenda every chance you get.

  13. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    That's true. I was just reading something about that: "Capitol Resource Institute described the unanticipated uproar over the mayor’s comments as “a teachable moment for the Vallejo faith community,” noting that “many pastors are bristling at the suggestion that they should keep their religious and moral beliefs to themselves. They see more than a little hypocrisy in the idea that some can literally talk about what they do in their bedroom while demanding that others not be able to discuss their deeply held religious beliefs.”

    Said Pacific Justice Institute’s Snider, “The hypocrisy is pretty thick. Some are asking that Vallejo formally celebrate their views on sexuality while punishing the mayor for stating his views on sexuality. They seem to be saying, ‘we’re out of the closet, now Christians need to go into the closet.’” "

  14. Richard Cortijo
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    You are right L Marie...it may not be just about Love and Equality..it may also be about anit-bigotry. The NOMers OBVIOUS sole focus on the anti gay rights issue while ignoring all the other marriage teachings in the NOMers bible is a prime example of bigotry...almost a perfect dictionary definition actually. Additionally the law would not be changed to strip any children or families of core marriage..it would only strengthen the families with(and without) children by protecting those children by giving them married parents and strengthening the commitment in that relationship in so many aspects. The people not approving or wanting to be in those marriages can simply chose not to..and suprisingly, they would still be able to marry the one they love and create their own family...crazy hu?

  15. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    and Richard, how would neutering marriage, denying children a mom or a dad by design actually help children?

    Aren't you rather putting your own personal preferences above that of children, at their expense?

    Your claims that this fight is also about anti-bigotry fit right in with the prop 8 trial lawyers advocating the elimination of freedom of religion. Keep it up. These are exactly the sorts of failed arguments that open the eyes of truth every time this issue comes up.

  16. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I also want to commend NOM and the entire Prop 8 defense team for the superlative job they are doing in the trial so far. It is true that this disgraceful attempt to haul the decision of 7,000,000 voters before the docket of a biased judge, in order to argue for the suppression of their right to vote according to their beliefs, is doomed at the Supreme Court level.

    But the leadership of the SSM movement must know this, especially after the extremely unusual and forceful reversal of Judge Walker's media circus plans by the Supreme Court.

    I think the consolation prize for the SSM movement here is to make the supporters of marriage pay a heavy price for the exercise of their constitutional rights.

    This is the real agenda now, and I again wish to thank NOM and the defense team in San Francisco for bearing the brunt.

  17. Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Your rights to Freedom of Religion and the free exercise thereof means:

    * The Freedom of Religion is an inalienable right.
    * The First Amendment provides for the Freedom of Religion for all Americans.
    * The Free Exercise Clause provides that government will neither control nor prohibit the free exercise of one’s religion.
    * The government will remain neutral.

  18. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    "The NOMers OBVIOUS sole focus on the anti gay rights issue while ignoring all the other marriage teachings in the NOMers bible is a prime example of bigotry…"

    So, does that mean that Equality California is bigoted because they don't support animal rights? I mean, there's no such thing as focus right? If you're for equality, you should be spending equal amounts of time and energy on all issues of equality, all the time.

  19. Richard Cortijo
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    L Marie....not all religions are against marriage equality...so doesn't that mean that marriage equality should be protected by the "freedom of Religion" rights?? If my religions condons or endoreses marrriage equality why is my religion being silenced?

  20. John
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Kevin. The crux of the trial arguements are that religious beleifs should never be used to enforce public policy. We live in a pluralist society with buddists, diests, agnostics, atheists, and taoist too. It's a myth and delusional to think that America has nothing but christians in it.

  21. Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    John, no one said America was one religion. In fact just the opposite. America is all religions. No one religion can be squashed for the benefit of another the way SSMers are advocating. You can't put Christians in the closet just because you don't like what they believe, and you can't dismiss their votes or their views simply because they align with a religious viewpoint. All people have the same right to participate in the national conversation.

    SSMers are just flummoxed because their tired old arguments aren't convincing. They can't accept that people don't want to live the way homosexualist belief dictates.

    Kids deserve parents, and freedom to believe and act on your beliefs is guaranteed by the constitution. Like it or not. It's a free country.

  22. Richard Cortijo
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Raynd....that is just riduculous...NOMers are there to "protect" marriage right (while quoting the bible)? you agree? then why are they not advocationg for making divorce illigal as acccording to the teachings...or adultry?...what I was refering to is that they are bigoted because they are only picking one aspect of marriage protection and ignoring the others simply based on prejudice and discrimination against gay Americans and have no interest in protecting marriage because marriage does not need protdction from inclusion as inclusion only grwos marrriage it does nothing to take it away. While on the other hand divorcce and adultry are the things that marriage do need protection from. Equality Califoirnia is a gay equality organization.....are you implying (or admitting) that NOM is a anti gay organization?.

  23. James R.
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    "If my religions condons or endoreses marrriage equality why is my religion being silenced?"

    If your religion condones or endorses murdering people it will be silenced as well. There ARE limits.

  24. Richard Cortijo
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Right L Marie...NOMers should realize that freedom to belive and act on your beliefs is guarenteed in the contitution...and my and many others beliefs are of equality for all...and that is protected by the constitution as my religion believes in marriage and family equality and that children are best raised in a family with married parents and does not discriminate on the sex of the parents. I am glad we can agree in freedom to believe and freedom of religion and that this is a free country..now if the rest of the NOMers would come to that conclusion this could be a much happier time.

  25. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    NOM is fighting for the definition of marriage, between a man and a woman. They aren't anti-gay, anti-single mom, or anti-anythingelse.

    Marriage is between a man and a woman for so many more reasons than the gay agenda admits. It's all so much easier to cry that it's some personal vendetta just because nobody likes you. This isn't elementary school. Good grief.

  26. Richard Cortijo
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    James R..I hardly think that you can equate marriage equality to freedom to murder....very very bad example. But goes with the usual NOMers retoric.

  27. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I think it's interesting Richard that you would admit your efforts are to fight freedom of religion on the one hand and then still claim our position can't be rooted in the desire to maintain our freedoms because we just don't like gay people. You're admitting the validity of religious concern in one breath and denying it in the next.

  28. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    While there ARE limits to freedom of religion, one of them isn't denying people who believe differently from you the opportunity to vote and be heard in a constitutionally approved process.

    The anti-religious prop 8 trial is a circus. Judge Walker is running a kangaroo court trying to deny people a right to vote simply because of their religious belief. No one is being fooled. The 9th circuit and the Supreme Court have both slapped Walker down for trying to put his thumb on the scales.

    America is watching. Is this the kind of judicial joke you want representing the gay movement?

  29. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I must confess to a warm fuzzy feeling as the true, fanatical face of anti-Christian intolerance is revealed as the ground upon which SSM rests.

    It must feel grand to advance such hormone-inducing condemnations of religion....

    Please, carry on.

    The strategy is- how shall I put this- not calibrated to likely produce a victory in the Supreme Court.

    The strategy involves a catastrophic error, which can be best expressed as:

    the inability to count to five.

  30. Dwane
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    " no one said America was one religion. In fact just the opposite. America is all religions. No one religion can be squashed for the benefit of another the way SSMers are advocating"

    Okay work with me here - if you can get a marriage liscense from the state and have a religious organization perform the marriage by the power granted by the state.

    Then by denying my religion the ability to marry samesex couples is an afront to religious freedom is it not?

  31. John
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    By the way - I don't think bigot is an appropriate term anymore for this issue. Many people against SSM are VERY nice people. I won't even say homophobes anymore. But I will say opponents of SSM have views that are prejudiced.

  32. Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I admit Rick, it is nice to finally have the face of hate exposed. Marriage supporters have been maligned and falsely accused for too long. We knew all along this was about silencing religious freedom. It's good to have them just come out and say it.

  33. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Duane, you're falling into the same trap Richard did. You admit the variety of reasons to support marriage between a man and a woman, yet then simply forget and we're all back to "everyone who disagrees with me is a hateful bigot" again.

  34. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Dwane:

    You can perform any religious right you wish. What you cannot do, is claim that a same sex ceremony solemnizes a civil marriage.

    The reason is that marriage, by its very nature, involves the union of the two complementary genders of our species.

    This has not been a controversial observation throughout all of human history, all ages, all races, all cultures, all languages, all peoples......

    Until now.

    Therefore the burden of proof for such a radical redefinition of humanity's most ancient and widely-recognized institution is very great indeed, and rests entirely upon you.

    You have failed to meet this burden of proof every time your neighbors have been given the opportunity to assess your arguments.

    Now you have decided to have recourse to the Federal courts, where we see your real agenda is to impose your religious beliefs upon your neighbors, by redefining civil marriage against their will and against the totality of human experience.

    Gotta hand it to ya, you do not lack chutzpah.

    What you do lack is the votes.

  35. Sally
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    marriage is not between a man and a woman ONLY because the bible says so. The bible simply backs up natural law and many people happen to believe in both the bible and mother nature.

    Personally, I find the argument that any number of dads can somehow equal a mom to be less than convincing. Moms and dads are different. They have unique qualities that no random number of other adults can ever fully replace. You may think it's about equality, but it's not equal. Not for the kids.

  36. wister
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Marriage is a civil not a religious institution. It was co-opted by the church but one marries under license from the state not the other way round. The Primitive Church did not conduct marriages which they considered pagan. The pilgrims of Plymouth did not conduct marriages for the same reason. Marriage is and always has been about property.

    Jesus told anyone who would follow him to leave their husbands or wives, children or parents and to give away all their possessions.

    If you are going to claim Genesis as the model for marriage then you have to say which version of the Adam and Eve story: the one which has them both made at the same time from dust or the one which Adam created first and then has Eve created from his rib. No they are not the same story and one does not modify the other. They contradict each other.

    It is very distressing to see all these same vile slanders and lies repeated over and over. This piece by Ms. Gallagher would be laughable if it didn't do so much damage. No one has ever yet been able to show any harm done by same sex marriage. But it seems all of you here will go on believing these fantasies no matter how much one might try to help you to learn.

    I recently had to endure robocalls to my home from NOM. Nothing I could do would make them stop. As a man who has lived with his husband for 40 years and who was finally able to get married 6 years ago in Canada you can no doubt imagine my distress.

    Clearly this 'dispute', for all its ridiculousness, is a big money maker. I can think of no other reason that it should still be continuing.

  37. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Wister, misquoting scripture doesn't earn you any points.

  38. Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Wister,

    First it's about hate, then it's about misunderstanding the bible, now it's about money? When is it going to be about kids, families and religious rights? No wonder you're losing. You can't address the issues.

  39. Marty
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Mother Nature is heterosexist. Take it up with her, or get over it.

  40. James R.
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Great Article!

    Religion in the Proposition 8 Trial [William C. Duncan]

    Perhaps one must be a partner in a law firm to understand these things, but the religion strategy of the Proposition 8 opponents is somewhat mystifying to me. The question of religious support for the amendment seems to come up often in the testimony, but to what purpose?

    Surely the plaintiffs must be aware of the vociferous opposition to Proposition 8, premised on explicitly religious grounds by some churches. Statements were issued by, among many others, a Conference of the United Church of Christ (“We believe that the Bible affirms and celebrates human expressions of love and partnership, calling us to live out fully that gift of God in responsible, faithful, committed relationships that recognize and respect the image of God in all people.”) and the Episcopal Diocesan Bishops of California (“We believe that continued access to civil marriage for all, regardless of sexual orientation, is consistent with the best principles of our constitutional rights. We believe that this continued access promotes Jesus’ ethic of love, giving, and hope.”).

    Yet, the plaintiffs seem to think they are presenting important information when they “reveal” what everyone has known — that some churches and religious groups supported Proposition 8. A vaguely unsettling possibility is that the plaintiffs and their attorneys believe that they are tarring the amendment just by showing that churches favored it. That would be, of course, rank religious bigotry. As unseemly as that explanation seems, it is the only one that now seems plausible. That is yet one more reason for concern.

  41. James R.
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    And from the Prop 8 Defense:

    "Religion Put on the Stand
    by Andy Pugno - General Counsel on January 20th, 2010

    Today, the legal challenge to Prop 8 took an ugly turn as religion itself was put on trial. Plaintiffs’ witness Gary Segura, a Stanford University political science professor with expertise in the area of the political power of minorities including homosexuals, summed it up when he said “religion is the chief obstacle for gays’ and lesbians’ political progress.”

    In trying to make the case that homosexuals are a vulnerable minority with no ability to achieve and secure success in the political system for their interests, Professor Segura blamed hostility, political opposition and even violence towards gays and lesbians on the teachings of major religious denominations. He further testified that there is no more powerful organization in the United States – save the government – than the church. Particular scrutiny was given to the official religious doctrines of the Catholic Church and Southern Baptists about marriage, family and sexual relationships. Therefore, according to his logic, gays and lesbians must be given special legal protection by the U.S. Constitution against religion itself.

    If it weren’t such a serious and troubling matter, their line of attack against people of faith would be laughable. To suggest that the people of California cannot consider their own political, moral and religious views when casting their vote on Prop 8 is preposterous. Every election, many issues are presented to voters that involve moral issues, including stem-cell research, the treatment of animals, assisted suicide, the death penalty, health care reform and so on."

    http://www.protectmarriage.com/blog/2010/01/religion-put-on-the-stand/

  42. Dave
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Yes Maggie allowing gays to marry will totally destroy all the rights to religious liberty in this country, end sarcasm. This case is not about "putting seven million Californians on trial" what this is really about is ending religiously based discrimination against gay people. I also find it hilarious you presume to speak for all Christians when there are plenty of gay affirming churches and Christians who support marriage equality. Stop trying to play the part of the persecuted when its your side trying to put the civil rights of a minority up for a popular vote. Also I don't recall any gay people trying to limit the rights of Christians through the ballot box.

  43. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Dave, how do you explain your side's actions in the prop 8 trial if you're so pro religion? Apparently you didn't get the memo?

  44. Dave
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    And those specific actions were?

  45. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Did you read the thread?

  46. Dave
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Yes the article not all the comments, I was asking for what you think is particularly anti-religious about Olson and Boies stating that religion has served as the primary tool to deny rights to and promote bigotry of homosexuals. This is of course true, all attacks directed at the glbt community always starts as a religious objection. This is just a statement of fact.

  47. James R.
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Dave, do you find it convenient to mischaracterize the opposition? Your statement from 3:34 is full of rhetorical holes....especially since the last day and a half of the prop 8 trial has been aimed at just that, trying to limit the rights of the religious at the ballot box.

  48. Dave
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    So James R you think its a religious liberty to vote on the rights of a minority? We as a people have never before used the voting booth to decide what rights our neighbors should enjoy until this particular debate. This is wrong and not what our country was founded on. The civil rights of any group of people should never be subjected to a public vote.

  49. Ryan
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Maggie, while the only thing I can applaud you for is leaving the comments open on the blog, I disagree with everything else...

    You wrote: "When this trial began I told you: gay marriage activists were putting 7 million Californians on trial...But this week it got worse: They are clearly putting Christianity itself on trial. Why else have an expert read statements of Catholic and Southern Baptist doctrines into the record?"

    Not all Catholics and perhaps "some" Southern Baptists hold your views. You forget to mention other denominations like the United Methodists, Episcopals, et al do not take the same stand, so please do not lump everyone under the cover of "Christianity."

    Second of 7 million people are on trial? I think not. It's the Governor and AG of California, who ultimately chose not defend themselves on the ground that Prop 8 flies in the face of the 14th Amendment.

    You simply cannot put the rights of a minority up to a popular vote, and when you do, the judicial system gets involved.

    People seem to forget that there are 3 branches of government at work, and not 2. When any of the branches overstep the bounds, then one of them must step in to put the other branch back in line, which is happening right here.

    Call it what you will, i.e. "judicial activism, legislating from the bench" etc. but it's simply the system of checks and balances at work. The US Constitution guarantees this check and balance.

    The whole point of reading "statements of Catholic and Southern Baptist doctrines into the record" is to show when organizations (being general) chose to become involved in politics, they open themselves up to public scrutiny as has been witnessed. They have to own up to their position and can't hide.

  50. Karen Grube
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Putting religion on trial is precisely what the plaintiffs are trying to do. It is the basis of their case. But what this case really should be about is the right of the voters of California to amend their State Constitution. Their vote was totally legal, the amended constitution is completely legal, and the court will ultimately uphold our right to modify it. Marriage was one of the responsibilities left to the states in the US Constitution, and the courts are completely unlikely to change that, nor are they likely to interfere in the laws states create to amend their constitution, as long as their laws and consitution don't directly violate federal laws, which defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman does not. Sorry, but this trial is completely moot. The court - even if it is the Supreme Court - will uphold the right of California voters to amend their state constitution. In the end, this trial will be a repudiation of these irrelevant arguments.

  51. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Ryan, your point is irrelevant since you and I have exactly the same, identical rights. We can both choose, or not choose, to enter into marriage as defined.

  52. James R.
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Dave, your rights are not subject to a vote. We have the same rights. Your right to marry is the same as mine. You may not like the choices available to you, but that is your choice. It has nothing to do with rights. That's a red herring.

  53. Dave
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    James its not a red herring at all, if same sex marriage became legal you would be similarly allowed to enter into it. Of course you wouldn't want to, hence the problem gays have with current marriage laws.

  54. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Dave (and other readers), in a discussion like this where previous contributions remain on the record for newcomers to read, it is good form -- politeness if nothing else -- to read through the comments that precede your own entry.

    I think that readers on either side of a dispute can agree to read the discussion before jumping in. And certainly, to not announce that you are jumping and have NOT read the previous comments of the person two whom you are supposedly responding.

    A good rule of thumb: imagine yourself in a face-to-face convesation with a group of friends. Interuptions without listening is a sure way to derail such a conversation.

    I'm not a moderator here, but I think we all can show greater civility in public discourse.

  55. Ryan
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Raynd, let me ask you when you chose to be heterosexual (as inferred from your reply to my comment)?

    Let's suppose same-sex marriage is legal but heterosexual marriage not.

    You want to marry the opposite sex, but "we can both choose, or not choose, to enter into marriage as defined" (in my hypothetical of course).

  56. kim
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    If you would read more than just the things that confirm your bigoted viewpoints, you might be surprised at how clear the theology actually is on homosexuality. I doubt any of you will read it, but here is a great source.

    http://www.theturning.org/folder/samesex.html

  57. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Ryan, I choose how I act every day, and would encourage you to as well. It's part of being a member of the human race instead of the animal kingdom that we are endowed with the ability to act by choice, not only raw instinct.

  58. Dave
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Chairm I wasn't so much jumping in on a previous discussion between posters, just what Maggie Gallagher said above.

  59. Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Kim, have you read the threads here? Have you digested the full discussion before spouting off in ignorance? Your assumption that everyone who disagrees with you is an ignoramus and a bigot is simply indicative of your own brazen arrogance.

  60. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Dave said: "We as a people have never before used the voting booth to decide what rights our neighbors should enjoy until this particular debate."

    That contradicts the history of the US Constitution, and the history of the CA state constitution.

    Anyway, when this case is appealed, as it is likely to be no matter what Judge Walker decides, it will be voted on by a panel of jurists. Majority vote is the basis for decisions made through-out our form of governance.

    This discussion shows that there are policy issues that SSMers would thrust upon the judiciary.

    Maggie's observations show how the anti-8 litigators are twisting the "rights" based arguments into such a contorted shape that even prominent SSM supporters are dismayed.

    So if you want to criticize those who disagree with you, Dave (and other SSMers here), what would you say to your fellow SSMers who are thus dismayed with the Olson team?

  61. Adam
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Let me ask openly to any gay person. If I am a Christian and I believe Gay marriage is wrong, are you calling me a bigot? Can a Christian who doesn't agree with gay marriage not be considered a bigot???

  62. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Let's highlight two parts from Maggie's blogpost:

    1.
    I know many gay people do not agree with this anti-religion strategy. And I also know many gay rights activists are getting increasingly worried about the legal strategy and tactics employed by these two legal eagles may backfire. (See the Jan. 17 Los Angeles Times story, “Gay Marriage Supporters fear Supreme Court’s Ruling was an Omen,” and also Dale Carpenter’s comment about the “bad start” for pro-gay marriage advocates.)

    * * *

    Are SSMers here in disagreement with gay people who disagree with the anti-religion strategy of the anti-8 litigators?

    * * *

    2.

    Ted Olson and David Boies think they can persuade the Supreme Court that Science with a capital “S” proves the voters are wrong about the natural family. Then they want to pit Science with a capital “S” against “Big Religion,”

    * * *

    Do SSMers here want the anti-8's suite to stand or fall on pitting Science against Big Religion?

    What do you say to fellow SSMers who are dismayed by 1 or 2, or 1 and 2?

  63. kim
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    L.Marie - I "digest" this discussion on a daily basis. I live it. My wife lives it. You and your religion have no basis being in my house or my bedroom. And yes, someone who believes stereotypes and falsehoods about a subset of the population born of prejudice and fear is a bigot. Own it.

  64. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Kim, how convenient for you that everyone who disagrees with your socio-political stance is a hateful bigot. Do you not see the irony?

  65. kim
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    No, anyone who disagrees with me is not a hateful bigot. But when your "disagreement" is based on prejudice, lies, and misinformation, then yes. Provide me a non-religious, non-prejudice based argument against SSM. You can't do it.

  66. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    That is an excellent set of questions, Adam. There were letters to editors from openly gay people who supported people they knew who would vote in favor of the amendment; and some who also said they'd vote Yes, as well.

    Based on the largest exit polls, the margin of victory for the marriage amendment was delivered by that part of the electorate that identified as openly gay.

    The problem for SSMers is that their arguments are utterly dependant on gay identity politics. And that is how they hope to herd members of "the gay community". The anti-religious tactic is fundamentally at odds with those few congregations which spoke out and financially supported the anti-8 side during the election -- and even now during the expensive legal wrangling.

    The city of San Francisco is up to its eyeballs in pro-SSM expenses on litigation alone. That injects a peculair sectarianism into the pro-SSM argumentation -- somethng that Olson's team is doing well, inadvertently, to illustrate on the court record.

  67. kim
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Correction - a non religious, non prejudiced, historically accurate argument against SSM.

  68. Bill
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Just a respectful thought for the Christians:

    If you are tired of being punched, STOP PUNCHING PEOPLE.

  69. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Kim said: "You and your religion have no basis being in my house or my bedroom."

    L. Marie will speak for herself.

    In my view, if there is no societal reason to license your private arrangement, then, you have just disowned the SSM campaign's goal of licensing your private arrangement.

    Disown it, as you will.

    * * *

    If you say that not everyone who disagrees with you on this issue is not a hateful bigot (how very kind of you, by the way), then, you must know the answer to your own question.

    So I ask it of you, Kim:

    "Provide me a non-religious, non-prejudice based argument against SSM."

    If you cannot provide what you ask of others, then, what is the meaning of your statement that not everyone who disagrees is a hateful bigot?

  70. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Correction noted, Kim. The request you made of others is asked of you.

  71. Karen Grube
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I know the conventional wisdom is that whatever side loses this case, it will be appealed to the Supreme Court. BUT, if Boies and Olson lose, my feeling is that they are unlikely to press this to the Supreme Court. If they can't even win with Judge Walker, the odds of winning in the Supreme Court would be so small and losing would be such an embarrassement and such a blow to the supprters of gay marriage that they would be unlikely to take it that far. At least, they would be smarter NOT to allow the Supreme Court to rule in favor of states rights and voter rights than to leave it at the district court level so they can try again later.

    On the other hand, should Judge Walker rule in favor of the plaintiffs (as unlikely as that is) and the defense were to appeal to the Supreme Court, they would be almost guaranteed of a decision that would support states rights and voter rights, so their appeal would be a good strategy.

    No, I'm not an attorney, but I do watch Supreme Court trends and follow their decisions. Boies and Olson would be foolish to appeal if they lose. That's just my theory, though.

  72. kim
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Marriage is an institution that solidifies familial and financial relationships and responsibilities. It provides permanence where there exists none in a non-married household. Married spouses retain rights to inheritance, hospital visitation, tax benefits and responsibilities, and solidifies parental responsibilities to children in and of the relationship. Marriage is a civil right conferred upon consenting non-related adults who seek to share a household, responsibilities, finances, and a family.

  73. Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I agree Karen. At this point it would be hard to imagine even Judge Walker being able to reason a way out of this. All they've given him is non factual emotion to work with. That's just not going to cut it with the high court, but I'm wondering if it's even going to cut it in Walker's court.

  74. Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Kim, your definition is mighty narrow if it includes the separation of children and families from marriage. The words are there in your definition, but not the means. I see lots of government goodies in there, but gender? parental roles and responsibilities? not so much.

    Marriage is more than a rubber stamp on your chosen sexual relationship.

  75. Chuck
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Adam, of course being a Christian and not believing in same sex marriage does not make you a bigot. However, when you take your beliefs and try to force everyone else by law to bow to your beliefs, that's when you cross a line into being a bigot. The reason religion is being brought up is because that's what the pro prop-8'ers used to convice everyone to vote for it. And the 1st amendment says that government shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, so to base a law on anyone's religious beliefs is unconstitutional. If you don't like same sex marriage, then don't get one. Seems pretty simple.

  76. Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Chuck, How about this, if you don't like marriage, don't enter into it? If you can't find a nice girl to settle down with.....dont! If you'd prefer a guy, great! But then you can't call it marriage because it's not. Two guys can only fill half the role that a man and a woman can. It's not equal.

  77. kim
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    L. Marie - Really? Gender is at issue? Shouldn't we be beyond gender roles? Parental roles and responsibilities are not gender based, they are love based. Roles and responsibilities in relationships are not gender based.
    Marriage confers over 1100 legal rights and responsibilities, most of which are financial in nature. They cover everything from visitation to child support to social security and inheritance. Nowhere does it say the woman has to clean house and be barefoot and pregnant while the man goes to work and provides for the household. You're right, marriage is MUCH MORE than a rubber stamp. Thank you for making our argument for us. Marriage IS a civil right, and right will win here.

  78. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    "Just a respectful thought for the Christians:

    If you are tired of being punched, STOP PUNCHING PEOPLE."

    Bill, is this how you justify the post prop 8 violence? Nazis did the same thing. Justify your hate with pretended victimhood. In their case they blamed the religious jews. In your case you blame the religious christians?

  79. Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Kim, Is mother nature "beyond" gender?

  80. Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    barefoot? You lost me there.

  81. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I always loved the idea that we ought to "evolve" beyond gender, as if the human race would even exist without it.

  82. Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    btw Kim, isn't this statement "No, anyone who disagrees with me is not a hateful bigot. But when your “disagreement” is based on prejudice, lies, and misinformation, then yes."

    actually an affirmation since the judgment of what is "prejudice, lies or misinformation" is entirely up to you?

    i.e. whoever disagrees with you is a hateful bigot period?

  83. Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    In fact Kim, couldn't I turn it around based on what you said and have us switch shoes? Since in my view, a mom and a dad, married together, committed to each other and their family for life, is the best, safest, most secure place for a child to be raised----

    doesn't that make your beliefs bigoted since they disagree with mine?

  84. Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Aren't your beliefs based on lies, misrepresentations and prejudice?

    See, I don't call you a bigot. I say we simply disagree. That shows tolerance for the differences in our views. You and I are free to disagree Kim, and I will never, ever, call you names because of it.

  85. Karen Grube
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I'm sorry Kim, but the State of California and the voters of this state have the right to define marriage as long as that definition doesn't violate federal law, which defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman does not. The courts are unlikely to open the door to challenges like those in Massachusetts to allow multiple 'marriages' or child marriage, and that is precisly what a final decision in favor of the plaintiffs would do. That simply will not happen.

  86. Karen Grube
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Sorry . . I meant to add that this is one reason some of the states where gay 'marriage' is allowed are working on repealing it or amending their state constitution to support traditional marriage, like New Hampshire and Iowa. They are both likely to overturn their current law at the first opportunity, and others are likely to follow suit.

  87. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Well said Marie.

  88. Joanne
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Chuck, Kim et al., I think people ought to be free to disagree without being called ugly names. Even in the healthcare debate, there were some on the other side of the isle who were adamant that anyone who disagreed with them was hateful and bigoted, and "on the wrong side of history". I thought it was a cheap shot then and it's still a cheap shot now. People will disagree, and it's just plain not good policy to go around calling names and trying to intimidate people from speaking their minds.

  89. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Man, I'd pay to see Marie on the stand, schooling Ted Olson.......

    Marie, you are *dynamite*!

  90. Dwane
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    L Marie - we can all agree to disagree - but please explain to me how a same-sex parent (like myself) can protect his family (and yes i have have children) like you on an equal basis? Assuming you are married.

    Especially with the full faith and credit clause has been violated between states. Where I can be married in one state but not another.

  91. Marci
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Seven million voters took away my right to happiness. What makes their beliefs more important than me and my family's security, right to happiness, and well-being?

    Your religious beliefs are not being quashed, they are being challenged. They are being challenged by the people whose rights have been quashed by you. People who live an honest life, have an honest love for someone else and just want to be protected and happy.

    Last I checked, being a homosexual doesn't hurt anyone. It doesn't take away anyone's right to procreate. In fact, my family was built by adopting a child the heterosexual parents made by accident and didn't want.

    The best parents to raise children are the parents who want them, put them first and have the ways and means to provide everything for them, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual.

    Let me ask all the previous commentors: In your opinion, what are the three things should a child have to be able to grow up to be a loving, hardworking, compassionate adult?

  92. Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Dwane,

    Your family issues are your own. I support marriage between a man and a woman. There are other ways to raise children, but they are less than ideal. If you have chosen a less than ideal situation for your children out of sheer preference, I feel for you, but I especially feel for your children who had no choice in that decision, yet will be affected by it all of their lives.

  93. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Marci,

    I feel for you. The House and Senate several times voted on legislation I disagreed with as well, but however unhappy I felt about it, I was always able to find a proper outlet. THANK YOU SCOTT BROWN@@@!!!!!

  94. Adam
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    How about this question? If I believe that gay marriage is wrong because its unnatural. Is that an okay reason to vote for traditional marriage? Tell me one reason I could possibly vote for traditional marriage and not be a bigot please oh please.

    Also its ironic that gays will not even let someone who thinks they are x gay say they could change. According to the gays. any x gay was never really a gay in the first place. Interesting that you can tell x gays how they are, but we heterosexuals can't tell you what you really are.

  95. Adam
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    When I go down to the ballot box, do I have to list all the reasons that I would vote no against gay marriage??? Do I have to sign off on a list of approved reasons that I don't believe in gay marriage???

  96. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    What I want to know is, How does losing your freedom of religion affect YOUR marriage?

  97. Marci
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Raynd, it goes way beyond me 'disagreeing' with legislature passed that I didn't 'like'. This is where I always run against a brick wall with people who hold your beliefs about gay people.

    You have no understanding, no empathy and no compassion. How does one find 'a proper outlet' to not being able to marry the person you fell in love with and have been with for over 10 years? Been through deaths in the family, job changes, major illnesses, raising a child with?

  98. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Kim asked:

    "what are the three things should a child have to be able to grow up to be a loving, hardworking, compassionate adult?"

    1. Her mother.
    2. Her father.
    3. Both, united, responsible for her well-being and education and formation of her moral character.

    And 4: affirmation of the social institution of marriage which is the most pro-child social institution we have.

    And 5: a society that bestows special for special reason -- see the core meaning of marriage.

    And 6: a tolerant and just society that is not governed by the Government imposed assertion of supremacy via gay identity politics -- or any other form of identity politics.

    And 7: protections available on the basis of vulnerabilities experienced by children in families that exist outside the bounds of marriage. These protections are due to the lack of (or the diminishment of) the core meaning of marriage in their circumstances.

    Read the rest of this blogsite. Read the comment sections. All of this has been discussed, at length, between those who defend marriage and those who advocate the merger of SSM with marriage.

  99. Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    "Your religious beliefs are not being quashed, they are being challenged. "

    Marci, the challenging happened before the vote. Everyone put their ideas on the table and the voters chose what they thought was best for families in California.

    Those who didn't like the results are now taking them to court. That is long past challenging ideas with ideas. This is now strong arming the electorate.

    No matter how deeply you hurt, no matter how strongly you feel, other people's voices have to also be heard and accepted, even when you disagree with them. That is how the system works. Olsen and Boies are trying to thwart that system, and invalidate the twice expressed view of the people. Everyone is watching, and judging the ability of the gay activists in this nation to play by the rules. I have to say, so far it doesn't look so good for you guys.

  100. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    typo correction:

    And 5: a society that bestows special status for special reason — see the core meaning of marriage.

    I'll add that Kim's question asked "should a child have" and not what is the bare minimum a child needs outside of an intact home of married mom and dad.

  101. Marci
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Gay and lesbian couples constitute 4-7% of the population, according to census polls.

    Being gay is not a choice. Any reputable, non-biased research will tell you that. Denying us the right you all have to get married is cruel-minded, no matter what your reasons.

  102. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Marci, science does not bear out your opinion that there is a gay gene or that homosexuality is something you're born with. Convenient, yes. True? no.

  103. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Marci, we have the same rights. You just choose not to use yours. That's the difference between you and me. There is no animosity in that. Redefining marriage is a big change. You have not made the case that it would be good and healthy for society to change what nature and nurture already provide.

  104. Marci
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm... Well, it wasn't Kim who asked those questions, chairm. It was me.

    The things that made me into a loving, hardworking, compassionate adult were:

    1. Love- My adopted dad came into my life at 11 and saved my life by showing me unconditional love.
    2. Discipline- My grandma showed me what it was to be hardworking and the consequences of bad behavior and actions.
    3. Understanding- My aunt. No matter how my mother would withhold contact with her for mean-spirited reasons, she never blamed me for not coming to visit her. She helped me accept who I am too.

    Notice non of my biological parents were in there. I just didn't have the luxury of having them be 'ideal'. Would I change my upbringing? No way. Am I upset that they didn't stay together, stay out of jail to raise me? I would have been if I hadn't had a lot of people care and love me enough to make sure I was the best person I could be.

  105. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I'd like to draw attention to a comment by John posted January 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm:

    "By the way - I don’t think bigot is an appropriate term anymore for this issue. Many people against SSM are VERY nice people. I won’t even say homophobes anymore. But I will say opponents of SSM have views that are prejudiced."

    John, first, I appreciate the civility in your comments.

    I also think it raises the bar when people refrain from namecalling based on disagreement alone.

    My view is discriminatory -- I am in favor of discriminating between marriage and other stuff that is not marriage.

    This is the start of the disagreement. But this is not driven by prejudice, in my views, since I do not pre-judge the SSMer's opinions and assertions.

    First, I seek to understand. Then, I hope the obstacles will be removed so that I, too, may be understood.

    SSM argumentation, it appears to me, begins with a pre-judgement: that to man-woman basis of the social institution of marriage, indeed its core meaning, is unjust and bigoted -- and supposedly hateful to boot.

    That is the start for SSM argumentation; it is prejudicial. That is to say, it is prejudiced.

    John, with respect, I'd like to read that your view the marriage issue is not based on such a pre-drawn conclusion.

    Where do you begin when figuring out your view of marriage and of SSM?

  106. Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    "How does one find ‘a proper outlet’ to not being able to marry the person you fell in love with and have been with for over 10 years?"

    Marci, What do you mean by a "proper" outlet?

  107. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    "Raynd, it goes way beyond me ‘disagreeing’ with legislature passed that I didn’t ‘like’. This is where I always run against a brick wall with people who hold your beliefs about gay people."

    Marci, your view is equally dismissive of the deeply held feelings I have for marriage and family, society and God. People who worked for the passage of proposition 8 worked hard, they gave their time, means, talents and efforts into passing legislation they believe in with all their hearts. It is cruel and unjust to have those efforts continually dragged before the courts to be nullified.

    Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is sacred. There is nothing more sacred than God, Home and Family.

  108. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Marci, please cite the primary source for that statistic.

    Better yet, please link to the Census report that provides the basis for what you just said the census polls show.

    The HRC's own analysis is 5% of the adult population but that is their guesstimate and is not an estimate drawn from Census polls. You may have misread something or you have misspoken in your comment.

  109. Marci
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    When two people man and woman, bring a child into the world, stick around, devote their lives to the child(ren) and raise happy, healthy adults it is a wonderful thing.

    When I see parents, gay or straight, devoted to their kids and to each other, it is a wonderful thing.

    Anyone can make babies. It takes responsible, loving, compassionate adults to raise them, keep them from harm and give them a good foundation to live by. Whether it be by the two who made them or the people who came into their lives by choice, the best thing children can have is love.

  110. Dwane
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    "There are other ways to raise children, but they are less than ideal. If you have chosen a less than ideal situation for your children out of sheer preference, I feel for you, but I especially feel for your children who had no choice in that decision, yet will be affected by it all of their lives."

    Are we being a little self righteous here? Please do not feel for me or my family, we do not require it. My children are happy, healthy , selfsufficent, and very well adjusted. Yes they will be affected all thier lives by knowing that gender is not a requirement to be a good parent. What is require is:

    Love
    Compasion
    Discipline
    Honesty
    Support
    Commitment
    and Faith

  111. Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Dwane, if those were all that were required, the idea that "it takes a village" would truly have meaning. But it doesn't, and your list, though impressive, is lacking two things: A mom and a dad.

  112. Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    "Anyone can make babies. It takes responsible, loving, compassionate adults to raise them, keep them from harm and give them a good foundation to live by. Whether it be by the two who made them or the people who came into their lives by choice, the best thing children can have is love."

    I doubt you would say this to a child raised in an orphanage, no matter how kind and loving the establishment.

    Do you not see that there is something missing?

  113. James R.
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    "I know loving homosexual couples with children who have been together for years."

    Key Questions: Are children usually better off with a mom and a dad or is parenting irrelevant to their development? What is more beneficial to a society—endorsing homosexuality or endorsing good parenting? Should the government endorse behavior that is usually harmful, but in rare exceptions is not?

    Family structure is the most important factor in a child’s development. As we saw in point 1, having a mom and a dad is the best structure. Conversely, according to the American College of Pediatricians, the research shows that homosexual couples provide a far less safe and stable environment for children. They note that violence among homosexual partners is two to three times more common than among married heterosexual couples, and homosexual partnerships are significantly more prone to dissolution than heterosexual marriages, with the average homosexual relationship lasting only two to three years. Homosexuals are also more likely than heterosexuals to experience mental illness, substance abuse, suicidal tendencies, and shortened life spans. They conclude, “Given the current body of research, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available science.”

    Yet even if one could cite cases of homosexuals living long, healthy, monogamous lives and providing well for children, the research shows that such people are the exception rather than the rule, and laws must be based on what usually happens, not exceptions.

    For example, we should not stop warning people about the dangers of smoking just because some smokers outlive non-smokers. Nor should we stop warning people about the dangers of homosexual behavior or parenting just because some homosexuals outlive heterosexuals or parent better. (If we’re not going to warn them, at the very least, we ought not to endorse homosexual behavior through government-backed same-sex marriage.)

    If laws were based on exceptions, we would have to do away with virtually every law we have. It would require that we do away with all laws against running red lights because sometimes running a red light will not hurt anyone. It would also require that we do away with all laws against theft because a starving man may need to steal a loaf of bread to feed his family. In fact, it would require that we do away with marriage itself because spouses in some marriages abuse one another and their children. But in doing that we’d be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Natural marriage, as a whole, is great for society. We cannot let its exceptions prevent us from experiencing the overall benefits it produces. Natural marriage must remain our legal norm despite any exceptions to the rule.

    http://www.allaboutlove.org/gay-marriage-arguments.htm

  114. Marci
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    No problem, Chairm. I'll double-check my source. Is that all you are going to respond to?

    And Raynd, whose deeply held belief, yours or mine, had the most immediate direct effect on Prop 8 passing?

    You see, I cannot change my mind. To do so would cause my family harm and emotional damage. Not having the right to marry hurts me and my family.

    You not having the right to define marriage for EVERYONE else does not hurt you and your family. NOTHING will change for you if I can get married. It will not diminish the sacredness of what you have with your wife, just as it would not diminish your commitment to her.

  115. Adam
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    New Ballot Box Rules

    1. When entering the building please leave your personal views at the doorway.
    2. Please select from the following list of reasons you are voting today.
    3. If you are a Christian, please sign here and state your name, social security number, reason for voting today and a valid affidavit from your lawyer.
    4. Please note all votes are subject to Judge approval and may be recorded for monitoring purposes.
    5. All votes are subject to science analysis and can be changed after proper review.
    6. Make sure you put a Sticker on that says " I voted today and I am going to like it"

  116. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Marci, you've repeated several ideas that are not true. First, you and I have the same rights. We are equal. You have simply made different choices. That is your choice and no you probably can't take it back and yes your family will suffer the consequences.

    However, assuming that redefining marriage won't hurt me, my family or the society we live in is false. You need look no further than the prop 8 hearing today to see the attacks on democracy, religion and marriage.

  117. Raynd
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Right on Adam. lol.

  118. Dwane
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I HOPE ALL YOUR KIDS GROW UP GAY

  119. Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Ok.............................

  120. Jasper Jones
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    I guess Dwane doesn't feel a need to defend his freedom of speech or religion. If I were to say that, they'd accuse me of hate speech.

  121. kim
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    All you have to do is read "Dr." Tam's testimony to see that the entire campaign against SSM is built on lies and is a sham. Even if you win, the damage is done and the truth is out. Hate, lies, and bigotry drove this campaign. Don't believe me? Read the testimony. Any thinking person, whether for or against SSM, can see the truth.

  122. Denise
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Kim, you're only showing your bias again. The health and welfare of the public are obviously higher values than allowing individuals to do whatever they want.

  123. Ryder Samuels
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree. We don’t discriminate in favor of natural marriage and against same-sex marriage out of bigotry or bias, but because we are sensible human beings who draw on thousands of years of evidence to conclude that one sexual relationship is more beneficial than any other. Some behaviors are better than others. That’s not bigotry; it’s wisdom.

  124. Ryder Samuels
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Of course, some proponents of same-sex marriage may continue to call us bigots, which could be considered evidence that their case is flawed. Since they cannot win on the merits, their only recourse is to divert attention through name-calling.

  125. Marty
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Legal recognition of SSM will mean that more children -- not less -- will be deliberately deprived of either a mother or a father, depending on the particular bias of their remaining parent.

    "Mommy, why don't I have a Daddy like everyone else?"

    "Johnny, your Nana and I love you very much. We just don't really like boys. Not run along and play."

    "Ummm... okay mom"

    Talk to me about bias.

  126. Marty
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    If gay and lesbian want to do such a cruel and unusual thing to a kid, so be it. It's not illegal.

    But we as a society DON'T have to reward it, or encourage it, and We The People DON'T have to put a government "seal of approval" on it by calling it "marriage".

  127. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Marci, others have responded to your various comments. Have you, or any other SSMer, responded to my various comments?

    Marty, Raynd, Adam, L. Marie, and a host of other articulate commenters have responded to your remarks, Marci.

    I asked you about something you asserted as fact. The rest of your commentary is pure opinion, it appears to me.

  128. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    The difference, Marci, between my list and your list -- in response to your question (sorry for misattribution earlier), is that I described marriage and you described something else.

    And, as your comment indicated, you did so deliberately. The list was taylored to your own personal experience. We could share anecdotes and we could introduce each other to examples of hardships experienced by children who rose above that to become "loving, hardworking, compassionate adults".

    The difference, again, is that those stories demonstrate the need for a family structure that ensures, as best as humanely possible, that a child's birthright is not denied by design.

    The marital presumption of paternity is the obvious default for the union of husband and wife. We do not presume that every married couple will go outside of their relationship to attain children. We legally presume (and with great accuracy it turns out) that the husband is the father of the children born to his wife during their marriage. The husband and wife are presumed to be co-equal parents because of the public-sexual aspect of the conjugal type of relationship.

    Adoptive parents are often heroes. They save children who are in need. Adoption is not the only solution and sometimes is not the best solution, however, it is modelled directly on the example of marriage. For each child, a mom and a dad.

    Yes, adoption has become more flexible but the presence of children, even adopted children, does not bestow marital status. On the contrary, marital status is a legitimate criterion for prioritizing prospective adoptors.

    This is well-illustrated by the way in which society facilitates step-parent adoption, which is based on the parent being married and the couple providing restoring for the child the unity of fatherhood and motherhood.

    However, adoption, like third party procreation, comes with at least two pre-requisites: 1) parental relinquishment or loss, and 2) government intervention to assign a substitutiion. This is the virtual inverse of the legal marital presumption of paternity and its sexual basis.

  129. Kevinn
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem with religions continuing to have the courtesy of being able to perform marriage, or even getting to decide to whom they will or will not perform a wedding. As long as they don’t get to decide that also for other religions, or especially for the secular government.

  130. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Please note, Marci, that I list three items and added another seven, the last of which is as follows:

    This item is about children in the vulnerable families outside of marriage - i.e. in the nonmarriage category.

    There is a moral obligation, I believe, that requies of society certain protections made available on the basis of vulnerabilities experienced by children in families that exist outside the bounds of marriage.

    These protections are due to the lack of (or the diminishment of) the core meaning of marriage in their circumstances.

    The provisons for designated beneficiaries has long-existed and are not to be confused with marriage. Society does not need to enact a special new relationship status; this provisions are already well-utilitzed outside of marriage by a much wider range of scenarios that the gaycentric scenario that SSMers emphasize.

    The justification for these protections is found in the shortfall, and the social ills, that society experiences with rising nonmarital trends. So the solution is not to transform those nonmarital trends into a merger of nonmarriage with marriage. Quite the contrary.

    The social institution needs affirmation and strengthening, during each generation, because we bequeath this onto the future generations just as we inherited the social institution from past generations. The core meaning of marriage makes all the difference between marriage and nonmarriage -- no matter how prevalent nonmarriage might become. Indeed, the contrast between marraige and nonmarriage becomes more stark as the nonmarital trends rise.

    Anyway, my list described marriage while yours described something else. Apart from dire circumstances or tragedy, most people would readily agree that a child is entitled to be born into and raised within the loving home of their mom and dad's intact, low-conflict, conjugal relationship.

    Indeed, something like 2/3rds of registered voters agree with that even in the state of Massachusetts, according to the most recent opinon survey on SSM in that state.

  131. Chairm
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Kevin if a congregation's belief, or a group's philosophy, include rituals for one-sexed arrangements, these can be performed, and are performed, without molestation from the marriage laws' man-woman criterion.

    Under the status quo, those relatively few congregations and groups are not denied religous liberty or freedom of association and expression.

    On the other hand, if people base their anti-8 votes on those beliefs, they are not dragged into court as to defend their pro-gay bigotry.

  132. Kevinn
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Chairm

    Marriage is an institution of the secular government. Religions may not conduct marriage ceremonies without permission from the state. That’s why they have to say “from the power vested in me from the state of …..” Many religions currently are denied the power to perform marriage ceremonies to some of their congregants, because of discriminatory marriage statutes.

    Government can’t favor one religion over another in the US. That’s a requirement of the Constitution’s First Amendment and settled law.

    “Pro-gay bigotry”? I know of no one who wants only same-sex couples to be legally permitted to marry? Is this something new? I’m pretty knowledgeable about the marriage discrimination issue and I haven’t come across anyone advocating marriage for gay couples only. Gimme a minute to Google it, and I’ll post my thoughts on the phenomenon later.

  133. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Kevin says:

    "Government can’t favor one religion over another in the US. That’s a requirement of the Constitution’s First Amendment and settled law."

    So it seems you are saying that the First Amendment requires that your neighbors be enjoined from enacting laws which uphold the notion that marriage is essentially characterized by the formal union of the two complementary genders of our species.

    You seem to say that this is because this notion is unique to "one religion over another".

    It seems to me, to the contrary, that every human religion-indeed every human culture which did not profess any specific religion- for as far back as we possess historical record, has universally recognized precisely this characteristic of marriage.

    Forgive me if your argument does not strike me as persuasive, or one likely to prove persuasive to the Supreme Court.

  134. Kevinn
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Rick,

    You’re forgiven. The fatal flaw for the marriage discrimination crowd is that they appear to think the issue is whether there will be opposite-sex marriage OR same-sex marriage. If you read their arguments in various media, the case they present implies that same-sex marriage is going to replace opposite-sex marriage which, of course, is not the case. I don’t know if it’s a purposeful deceit or a genuine misunderstanding of the issue. Chairm has referred to a “pro-gay bigotry” which suggests to me that he is one of the people that thinks same-sex couples want to do away with opposite-sex marriage. I highly doubt that’s the case; discrimination against opposite-sex couples is as unlikely to pass constitutional muster as the current discrimination against same-sex couples.

    So far as religion, there is not a uniform position for or against same-sex marriage within any religion and its practitioners, nor among religions. Forget for a moment that we don’t makes laws in this country based on religious belief, outlawing same-sex marriage favors a religious belief: it forces everyone to practice what the anti-same-sex marriage believers want. Making same-sex marriage legal favors no religious belief, because believers are then free to practice their faith as they see fit: to marry, or not marry, a person of the same sex.

    It is most peculiar, indeed, that so many Americans believe their religious beliefs should drive laws prohibiting the rights of others. The great irony, to me, is that faith believers have no problem with legal pre-marital sex, legal adultery and legal divorce. Somehow the biblical prohibitions relating to heterosexuals have not been legally prohibited in this country, but the biblical prohibition relating to homosexuals has. I find that very odd and suspicious. I don’t know how people and groups can say they are just “defending” marriage when they are content to see divorce, of all things, be legal, and in fact, practice it widely themselves.

  135. Kevinn
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Rick,

    Further, the courts are going to look at the primary drivers of the crusade against same-sex marriage and see two things: religious belief and personal animosity towards gays (often disguised as religious belief). In both cases, any laws or state constitutional amendments driven by these two motivators will have a hard time withstanding legal scrutiny: the state is prohibited from enacting law based on religious belief, or which support animus toward a group. It is not a state interest to further religious beliefs nor to support dislike of a segment of society. Given that gay people are already identified in federal law as a disfavored group, the bar is raised even further in terms of maintaining marriage discrimination.

    I can’t find too many other laws that have withstood constitutional scrutiny that were driven by religious beliefs and/or majority dislike for a minority, rather than a state interest. If you or other readers here know of any, I’d like to hear about them.

  136. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Kevin: Thank you for your forgiveness!

    But it appears your arguments again rest upon assumptions which don't stand up to examination.

    First off, you contradict your earlier allusion to a First Amendment basis for tossing out Prop 8:

    "So far as religion, there is not a uniform position for or against same-sex marriage within any religion and its practitioners, nor among religions"

    Notice that if this were true, then you couldn't simultaneously claim any First Amendment establishment of religion basis for overturning Prop 8, given your claim that "it is not a uniform position....within any religion".

    Second, let us notice that your statement above is false, since the largest single religious group in the world, and in the United States, teaches explicitly that:

    "Marriage, as instituted by God, is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love. They commit themselves completely to each other and to the wondrous responsibility of bringing children into the world and caring for them. The call to marriage is woven deeply into the human spirit. Man and woman are equal. However, as created, they are different from but made for each other. This complementarity, including sexual difference, draws them together in a mutually loving union that should be always open to the procreation of children (see Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], nos. 1602-1605)."

    Can't have it both ways, Kevin.

    I have already pointed out above that not one religion, but the entire array of religions, with universal agreement from the beginning of history right up to the initiation of the present controversy, have all practiced and legislated precisely what Prop 8 defines.

    So that refutes your First Amendment argument.

    Next, we have your claim that "(t)he fatal flaw for the marriage discrimination crowd is that they appear to think the issue is whether there will be opposite-sex marriage OR same-sex marriage."

    The problem here is that the real "marriage discrimination" going is that targeting the majority of California citizens who, after a free and fair election, are having their votes subjected to an inquisition for the specific reason that those votes failed to express the preferred verdict of their opposition.

    We are under no obligation to redefine marriage so as to accommodate the wishes of dissidents who think it ought to involve gay couples, or multiple couples, or any other definition in contradiction to our Constitution.

    The dissidents, instead, are under the obligation to make their case to their neighbors, and they have failed resoundingly to do so.

    So we see that your argument here boils down to a suggestion that justice somehow involves delivering to the opponents of Prop 8 what they were unable to obtain in two free and fair elections.

    How convenient.

    But this does not seem to represent justice for the 7,000,000 California voters who do not agree with you, does it?

    Next, you suggest that "(s)omehow the biblical prohibitions relating to heterosexuals have not been legally prohibited in this country, but the biblical prohibition relating to homosexuals has."

    But this is laughable, since the 'biblical prohibition' relating to homosexuals involves death by stoning.

    That would seem to be a pretty clear case of a swing and a miss on your part as well, Kevin.

    Finally, we have this claim: "the courts are going to look at the primary drivers of the crusade against same-sex marriage and see two things: religious belief and personal animosity towards gays (often disguised as religious belief).

    Well, we have already established that there is no question of religious establishment here, so it appears you mean to suggest that certain religious beliefs cannot be employed by voters in election booths.

    This is certainly a novel take on the First Amendment.

    I think the most important aspect of this trial, however, is that for the very first time the religious beliefs of the citizenry are being put on trial in the specific context of their right to employ these beliefs when determining their vote.

    If indeed a court is prepared to find that I am required to vote against my religious beliefs, when a judge determines that they do not please him sufficiently, then I would say we have indeed got a real First Amendment issue on our hands.

    I remain very confident that none of your claims here will withstand the scrutiny of the Supreme Court.

  137. Kevin
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Good point.

  138. Kevin
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Marriage is between a man and a woman. There isn't any question about that. What is amazing to me is the prop 8 opposition's focus on religion as the source of all their problems. That's more than a little alarming.

  139. bethanie
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Kevin "marriage is between a man and a woman" is not quite accurate, at least not today (state and country dependent) and depending which snapshot of history one uses, not accurate there either (polygamy was a biblically accepted practice). You have to look at the Prop 8 religion discussion in terms of finding of fact.. Did religious organizations play a small part in the Prop 8 effort? That is what some find alarming, not the discovery of documentation and oral evidence.

  140. Kevin
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Prove to me that marriage is NOT between a man and a woman.
    Prove that marriage SHOULDN'T be between a man and a woman.

    You can't.

  141. Kevin
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    "Did religious organizations play a small part in the Prop 8 effort? That is what some find alarming"

    Why does the exercise of freedom of religion alarm you?

  142. Dwane
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    No one is denying that a man an a woman can be married. No one is denying that there are those who believe it is a religious institution. No one is denying there are those who believe it is a civil institution.

    What is being said is that a man and a woman are the only place where a child can be raised - yet noone has explain exactly what a mon and dad can give a child that a same sex couple could not. To say "a mom and a dad" fine say it - but what about a mom and a dad can they give that a same sex couple cannot - the words mom and dad - are just titles - nothing more. You can have stay at home dads just like you have stay at home moms - what is the that they can give that the others cannot.

  143. bethanie
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Rick,

    Your religious freedoms are protected you can vote any way you wish in the comfort of your voting booth.
    First your tradition argument below is not sufficient constitutional justification in and by itself:

    "universal agreement from the beginning of history right up to the initiation of the present controversy, have all practiced and legislated precisely what Prop 8 defines."

    Traditional slavery and polygamy are just two examples where tradition arguments fail as sufficient constitutional justification to continue the practice.

    We have this pesky thing cal the Bill of Rights that limits your mob rule voting argumentation. Not to mention due process and equal protection. OSM'ers have been unable to show how their argumentation passes rational basis, or heightened scrutiny standards. Perhaps we will see an attempt to do so next week in the Prop H8 trial, but I dunno.

    OSMer's procreation arguments are hollow cries from the grave of a dying amendment. Procreation is not not a rational reason when you allow prison felons, and child molesters the right to marry as long as they appear to be opposite sex.

    Mom and Dad are best parents arguments cannot be supported by fact, see the USA today article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-01-21-parentgender21_ST_N.htm

    Even if this were true you would need a law to also stop felons, alcoholics, child molesters and others similarly situated from marriage. In short, you cannot "rationally" although you can try, target just one group because of prejudice and animus. This would be like passing a law to preserve home heat by mandating that the front door be kept closed while keeping the windows and back door open. Its not a rational law. So your "we are under no obligation" argumentation fails flat, when tested against due process and equal protection. Sexual orientation most like will be determined to be a protected class as other courts have determined. We are laying the foundation for that determination at the federal level with Prop 8. That is pretty much key argumentation for which you need to pay attention.

    All we have to do is count to 5 at the supreme court. Based on the misguided Prop H8 arguments from the OSM only folks, I think we are off to a great start. I encourage you to read the transcripts and make your own determination.

  144. Samantha
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Anti-Prop. 8 Legal Team: 1st Amendment? What's That?
    By Matthew Cunningham

    Andy Pugno, a member of the ProtectMarriage.com legal team defending Prop. 8 in federal court, re-caps the day's action every evening on group's blog.

    Yesterday, he described the legal strategies of the pro-same-sex "marriage" team -- I think they're from Torquemada Associates -- which inlcude the patently absurd claim that gays are politcally powerless, and that an initiative can be thrown out because the losing side thinks the winner's had impure motives:

    Over the last couple of days, we have been treated by the plaintiffs to astonishing intrusions into areas supposedly protected by the First Amendment, including religious freedoms and the political rights of free speech and association.

    It started Wednesday when a Stanford political science professor testified that, in his opinion, organized religion in the United States is such an overwhelming threat to gays and lesbians that they should be declared a vulnerable “minority” entitled to extraordinary legal protections under the US Constitution. In short, he concluded, “religion is the problem.”

    As a result of this “problem,” the witness testified, gays and lesbians in the United States are “politically powerless,” a legal term of art meaning that they are at such a disadvantage so as to be incapable of defending themselves in the political process. Of course, the notion that the gay and lesbian community is politically feeble should sound backward to anyone, especially living in California. Common knowledge tells us that gays and lesbians wield substantial political power in our state, both in passing major gay rights legislation and in amassing opposition to Prop 8. Just one example: While the California Teachers Association and other labor unions gave millions to the No on 8 campaign, not a single labor union ever contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign.

    Of particular concern to the witness was the “breathtaking” numbers of people who volunteered their time in the campaign to help carry Prop 8 to victory. The volunteer effort was so strong, he said, that it was impossible for gays and lesbians to defeat Prop 8. And so Prop 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. Really? So let me get this straight. If you lose a campaign because you can’t persuade the majority of people to rally behind you, then you have a constitutional right to nullify the votes of the majority. Hmm.

    It boggles the mind, truly.

    Later Wednesday, lawyers for the plaintiffs started submitting evidence of the “improper” influence of Catholics, Baptists, and other major religious communities in support of the traditional definition of marriage. As though the First Amendment itself had disappeared, the court allowed their lawyers—over the strenuous objections of our legal defense team—to pry into the internal records of churches, communications between church members and church leaders, and other similar documents revealing these religious organizations’ commitment to protecting traditional marriage.

    For anyone who values the right to associate with others in a church community and freely exercise the tenants of their faith without fear of being dragged into court because of their beliefs, yesterday afternoon’s blitzkrieg by the plaintiffs into our previously protected religious and political freedoms was terrifying to behold.

  145. Duane
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    "Dwane, if those were all that were required, the idea that “it takes a village” would truly have meaning. But it doesn’t, and your list, though impressive, is lacking two things: A mom and a dad."

    L Marie - What I love is when you say we deny a child a mother and a father - Exactly what is so intrinsically given by either of them beyond the "physical gender attributes"

    I am all ears.

  146. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    bethany: It does not appear, according to the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 trial, that I have any rights whatever in the privacy of the voting booth, since I am a Christian, and apparently the "religious influence" upon my vote somehow renders it unconstitutional.

    This is, as I have said, a novel interpretation of the liberties guaranteed me under both the Federal and State constitutions.

    In fact it strikes me as something rather darker than that.

    It strikes me as the most shocking and egregious assault upon religious liberty, the freedom of association, and upon the right to vote ever mounted in the history of this nation.

    I think it is time to stand up rise to the occasion here.

    See you in San Francisco.

    You point to slavery and polygamy, which of course were not on the ballot in Prop 8, nor are they on the docket in San Francisco.

    It is worth noting that your choice of analogy is extremely telling, however.

    Marriage, in your view, must be analogous to slavery.

    I do not think that your neighbors, or the Supreme Court, are likely to find that a compelling "argument".

    But you were clearly just getting warmed up, because the next claim is that the retention of marriage as the formal union of the two complementary genders is in fact an instance of "mob rule".

    Permit me to suggest that it is instead the outcome of a free, and fair election, which you lost.

    You talk about "scrutiny standards"; precisely the chillingly fascist talking point which has sprung up like a poisonous mushroom all over the net since the shocking events in the San Francisco trial yesterday.

    Where, please, do you find that their exists a "scrutiny standard" attached to the right of religious freedom, of freedom of association, of the right to vote?

    Is it perhaps in the same place you discovered that elections that don't go your way can be tossed out as instances of "mob rule"?

    Again:

    How convenient.

    Now the rest of your post is not really relevant, since parenting, procreation, alcoholism, or any of the other assorted red herrings catalogued there were not on the ballot in Prop 8, and are not relevant to the question of whether we the People enjoy the sovereign right to amend our Constitution.

    The answer is: we do enjoy that right.

    The backlash against the shocking attempt to put religion on trial in SF is now building very rapidly.

    I think you guys are very very seriously overplaying your hand.

  147. Samantha
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    http://www.adfmedia.org/News/PRDetail/3618

    January 21, 2010
    ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks:

    Thursday revealed a staggering amount of anti-Christian sentiments put forth in the plaintiffs’ case, in addition to their continued attack against the democratic process. Completing the cross-examination of Dr. Gary M. Segura, the professor of political science from Stanford, was the first order of the day. While Dr. Segura continued his own theme that religion is standing in the way of those who want to redefine marriage from gaining political power, he was also required to make several concessions which were damaging to the plaintiffs’ case.

    Among these admissions were several about the reactionary behavior of those who opposed Proposition 8, which resulted in a self-inflicted loss of their own political clout. Though Dr. Segura attempted to diminish the severity of the wound, something already known by those who supported Proposition 8 became abundantly clear for everyone else during the discussion: many who opposed Proposition 8 used threats, harassment, intimidation, violence, and property damage to carry their message, while those who supported Proposition 8 employed lawful means to make their points.

    This entire trial has been little more than an attempt by activists advancing the homosexual legal agenda to use emotion and sympathy in order to convince the court that marriage is unconstitutional. But when presented with a real victim, a young girl assaulted by a Castro mob, the mask fell off. The video played, and as the girl described the attack, jeers, scoffs, and giggles filled the courtroom.

    Before leaving the witness stand, Dr. Segura made an astounding statement. One of his opinions was that the “gay and lesbian community” possessed no “reliable allies” in the political world. This includes, in his opinion, President Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Rep. Barney Frank, and others whom he dismisses as not being true political allies of those who want to redefine marriage. This was quite an interesting statement because, as Dr. Segura was giving that testimony, I could not ignore that I was sitting at the counsel table, occupying chairs that are supposed to be occupied by attorneys for both the governor and attorney general of the State of California. Both Gov. Schwarzenegger and General Brown took solemn oaths to uphold, protect, and defend the constitution and laws of the State of California. Yet, here the plaintiffs are, attacking the constitution of the State of California, and both Gov. Schwarzenegger and General Brown, as we all know, are refusing to defend the case. Other examples could be given as well. Nonetheless, Dr. Segura had the audacity to testify, under oath, that in California, the “gay and lesbian community” has no “reliable allies” in politics.

    Following the testimony of Dr. Segura, in a desperate attempt to continue to paint the over 7 million Californians who voted “yes” on Proposition 8 as bigots, the plaintiffs called to the stand Dr. Hak-Shing Tam, one of the official proponents of Proposition 8. In the courtroom, Dr. Tam represented many of us who are concerned about attempts to redefine marriage in our country. Dr. Tam is a chemical engineer who cares about his family, his community, and his state. He decided, like so many others, to get involved and make a difference, so he used his contacts with the Chinese press and Chinese churches to help support Proposition 8.

    Like millions of Californians, Dr. Tam shared with the court his belief that the redefinition of of marriage in our society will take a grave toll on our communities and children. There is a lot of evidence to prove this fact. Adultery, no-fault divorce, and fatherlessness are just a few of the large problems associated with the erosion of the marriage culture in our country already. Yet, the plaintiffs today possessed no shame in their efforts to mock Dr. Tam for holding these beliefs. Dr. Tam was questioned about his affiliations, his associations, who he knew (and who the plaintiffs demanded that he knew, even though he didn’t know them), and what he believed. In other words, Dr. Tam had his religious and political views placed under a judicial microscope to determine whether they were “correct” in the eyes of the law. Yes, you heard me right. The plaintiffs are trying hard to cast as legally wrong the political and religious beliefs of those who do not agree with them.

    As the day lingered on, and the assault on Dr. Tam continued, I couldn’t help but think of a famous moment from the past involving Sen. Joseph McCarthy during his grilling of several American citizens during committee hearings. At a critical moment, when Sen. McCarthy breached an agreement regarding the hearings, Army attorney Joseph Welch came down on him saying, “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator…. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” Had someone stood up and said this today during the cross-examination of Dr. Tam, it wouldn’t have come a moment too soon.

  148. Marci
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    14th Amendment, What's That?

  149. Jennifer S
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Some seem to take joy stating that in every vote by the people, the people have spoken no on SSM. Are they failing to see a more fundamental issue concerning the restrictions on SSM? Based on our constitution, can the beliefs of a majority limit or eliminate the rights of a minority?

    And if we are willing to restrict the rights of minority by a simple majority vote, do we believe each side of the issue should "play fair"? Did some religious groups use only the beliefs of their religions or did they also use lies, misstatements and unproved allegations? It appears part of the trial is to show what one side was willing to do to win the vote of the people..

    Do we believe, to paraphrase Barry Goldwater, that extremism in defense of a religious belief is no vice?

    Also, I was wondering when someone would bring up the ‘biblical prohibition’ relating to homosexuals involves death by stoning. Well, we are not discussing stoning to death homosexuals are we? I submit that it is very dangerous to use ONLY the Bible as the argument against SSM, because each side can use the Bible. For example, the punishment for an unruly child could also be death by stoning. But who among us today would agree with that punishment? What does it say about a society that provides death to an unruly child?

  150. Marci
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I am a citizen, who desires nothing more than any other citizen. I want children for the exact same reasons any heterosexual does. I want to be married for the exact same reasons any heterosexual does.

    I can't change who I am, or who I fall in love with any more than you can, and I should just accept I'll never have the same thing as my sister or brother, who are heterosexual?

    And because of people like you, my partner and I will probably have a harder time raising our son than you would your children.

    The only reason a child would think any less of his or her family would be because people like you do.

    Good night, and I really hope none of your children are gay. If they are, make sure and tell them early on why they shouldn't ever be able to marry. It'll be easier on them in the long-run.

  151. Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Jennifer, if the people are failing to see your point of view perhaps you haven't made your case loud enough. OR perhaps it's just not convincing.

    Consider these facts: You are not a minority because of your choice of behavior or group association any more than I am a minority for belonging to the sewing guild. You have every right I have to marry.

    Social policy is dictated by the beliefs and values of the people who make up that society. You may not believe all that everyone else believes, but that does not give you the right to silence them for that belief. 1st Amendment.

  152. Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Marci, the 14th amendment does not say what you intimate it does. There is no equality between behaviors. Our jails are full of people who can attest to the differences between life choices.

  153. Jennifer S
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    L. Marie, you seem to make conclusions or assumptions not based on fact, just like many like to do with this issue.

    But, you are absolutely correct in one way. I do have the same right to marry as you do. Now before you jump to any more conclusions I am not now nor have I ever been a citizen of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine or New Hampshire.

    And I certainly do not want to silence you and where do you think I implied that. I hope you continue to speak loudly and firmly just like many of the religious groups did prior to the latest vote in California.

  154. Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Jennifer, it seems then that we are in complete agreement. Thank you.

  155. James R.
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    "L Marie - What I love is when you say we deny a child a mother and a father - Exactly what is so intrinsically given by either of them beyond the “physical gender attributes” I'm all ears."

    Dwane, this came up on another thread, but you asked, so I'm posting it again here:

    October 22, 2007 - The Fatherhood Foundation in New South Wales (NSW) has recently published 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters.

    The study is based upon four foundational principles: 1. Gender differences exist; 2. Acknowledging gender differences is the only intellectually honest response to this reality; 3. Gender differences are complementary; 4. Gender disorientation exists in a small minority of individuals. It is not normative and should not drive social policies.

    The 21 reasons are summarized below:

    1. Gender uniqueness and complementarity means that each gender has a unique contribution that can’t be filled by the other.
    2. Acknowledging gender differences helps children learn more effectively.
    3. Men and women are happier when they recognize these gender differences.
    4. The masculine gender is an essential ingredient for fatherhood.
    5. The feminine gender is an essential ingredient for motherhood.
    6. Marriage is the best way for men and women to enjoy complementarity.
    7. Gender complementarity in a life-long marriage is essential for the continuation of humanity.
    8. Gender complementarity in marriage is needed for a healthy, stable society.
    9. Gender complementarity in marriage between a man and woman is good for the economy.
    10. Marriage between a man and woman is the foundation of a successful family and best way to protect children.
    11. Gender complementarity in marriage is the best way to teach children about the value of gender.
    12. Gender is important in understanding the significance of manhood.
    13. Gender is important in understanding the significance of womanhood.
    14. In healthy societies, gender complementarity is celebrated; societies rejecting this face harmful consequences.
    15. Healthy gender development prevents individuals from developing compulsive obsessive disorders leading to sexual addiction and other pathologies.
    16. Gender disorientation pathology is a symptom of family dysfunction, personality disorder, father absence, health malfunction or sexual abuse.
    17. Gender disorientation pathology will lead to increased levels of drug abuse and partner violence.
    18. Gender disorientation pathology will increase the risk of communicable disease and bad health.
    19. Gender disorientation pathology will decrease life expectancy.
    20. Gender disorientation pathology is preventable and treatable.
    21. Gender disorientation pathology encourages the sexual and psychological exploitation of children.

    The study concludes with a list of 20 public policy responses to gender disorientation pathology.

    The authors note: “Given the importance of the two genders, it is imperative to promote heterosexual marriage and the biological two-parent family. The evidence makes it clear that these two institutions provide the best environment for individuals, for societies, and for children.”

    21 Reasons Why Gender Matters can be ordered from the Fatherhood Foundation, P.O. Box 542, Unanderra, NSW 2520; http://www.fatherhood.org.au. For ordering information, contact the Fatherhood Foundation: [email protected].

  156. Sandee
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Marci,

    When I dated, I chose who I made relationships with. I chose who I would live my life with. No one took those choices from me. Because of my choices, my children will have a mom and a dad, and I will work every day to make sure it stays that way because my children need a mom and a dad. I would never deny a child what they are entitled to simply because of my own selfish wants and desires. Children have rights too, rights that can't be denied simply because they don't fit a certain parent's sexual desires. I am prepared to teach my children by example what a family is, and You can bet I will make sure that they know, if they are not prepared to give a child the things they need in life, they ought not be bringing those children into the world. I am a mom, and because I'm a mom, the needs of my children surpass my petty wants. That is a sacrifice I'm willing to make a thousand times over, and one we should comit to as a society. Every child needs a mom and a dad. Death and divorce aside, we should do everything we can to give them the best chance possible to have that in their lives.

  157. Karen Grube
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to point out something recently reported in the news. Even President Obama said that if he had had the support of both parents in a strong, loving home as he was growing up, he wouldn't have gotten into the trouble he did get into as a child.

    "I was raised by a single mom who struggled at times to provide for me and my sister. And while I was lucky to have loving grandparents who poured everything they had into helping my mother take care of us, I still felt the weight of my father's absence throughout my childhood," said Obama, who has written about his early life in a best-selling memoir.

    "So I wasn't always focused in school the way I should have been. I did some things I'm not proud of. I got in more trouble than I should have. Without a bunch of second chances and a whole lot of luck, my life could have taken easily a turn for the worse," the president said.

    Now, I realize this is more about his experience with being the child of a single mom and equally as much about 'absent' fathers, but I still think it's telling that he spoke of the need for both parents as he was growing up.

    Judge Walker, I hope you're listening!

  158. Chairm
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Keving said: "Religions may not conduct marriage ceremonies without permission from the state."

    False. The Government does not govern a religious ceremony. That's the point I made upthread. It is the basis of the religious liberty expressly listed in the US Constitution.

    You want the religious, or philosophic, belief of relatively few and relatively minor organizations to dictate to all of society. You favor a peculair sectarianism that is gaycentric.

    That is pro-gay bigotry in that it is gaycentric and intolerantly sectarian. It is laden with emotion and scarce on rationality. It is not open to reasonable standards and the balancing of goods in conflict. It goes against the principles of good governance. It simply favors gay identity politics over an above all other considerations.

    It is gaycentric. It is bigoted. It is pro-gay bigotry.

  159. Chairm
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    The SSM campaign seeks to replace the core meaning of marriage with a specious substitution.

    SSM argumentation, as exemplified by SSMers who comment here such as Kevin, openly demands that society -- not just the Government -- abandon the special reason for the special status of the social institution of marriage.

    More, they demand that the core meaning of marriage be marginalized as hateful and bigoted.

    Meanwhile they offer nothing special about so-called "same-sex marriage" but instead emphasize gay identity politics as a trump card. They do this not for the sake of marriage, not for the sake of children, but for the nonmarriage purpose of asserting the supremacy of gay identity politics over marriage, over the law, and over the constitution.

    And underlying all of that is the openly promoted demand that this assertion of supremacy will innoculate their brand of identity politics from opposition and dissent.

    It has been pointed out, repeatedly, that SSM argumentation boils down to a plea for protections -- that is, if that argumentation is stripped of its hyper-emphasis on gay identity politics. Protection equality means that the families in the nonmarriage category are NOT classified by sexual orientation, much less by identity politics. Gayness does not merit special treatment among the much broader category of nonmarital families -- much of which is one-sexed while NOT gay or homosexual. SSMer don't want equality. They argue for special status with no justification for special treatment.

    Marriage has a preferential status. It is more than a merely protective status. This is due to its core meaning. That is the special reason for this special treatment. The social institution is accorded special status. The license and the status is not a license and status for straightness nor for heterosexuality. SSMers are looking at marriage through a gaycentric identity filter. That is their profound mistake which they would inject into the discussion of marriage.

    SSMers are confused by that mistake and in their arguments they would rather than marriage be demoted to a protective status; and worse, they demand that the core meaning be demoted to a barely tolerative status -- and those who defend that core be ostracized for no other reason than their affirmation of the special reason for the special status of marriage.

    If SSMers would stop and think about this they would realize that attacking that special reason makes no sense if your goal is to "extend" the special status to SSM. The SSM campaign is stuck on stupid because their rhetoric is self-defeating.

    If there is something special about SSM, something of societal significance that merits licensing and a special status, then, SSMers carry the burden of showing what that is, precisely.

    They don't bother. They runaway from this. They prefer to attack marriage -- to list a bunch of falsehoods and weak arguments with the goal of attacking the core of the very social institution they imagine themselves expanding.

    Instead they ought to show the courage of their conviction: make the independent claim for a gaycentric type of relationship. Make SSM stand on its own two feet.

    You know, instead of hoisting it up onto the back of the social institution of marriage for a free ride. SSMers are like the scorpion riding the back of the frog across the river. They can't seem to help themselves from killing what they hope to ride to safety.

  160. Chairm
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Bethanie, the core meaning of marriage is not merely a tradition.

    In terms of the constitutional arguments, a fundamental right is deeply rooted. SSM does not qualify on that basis.

    But the sexual basis for consummation, annulment provisons, adultery-divorce, and the marital presumption of paternity is very, very, very deeply rooted.

    Before you take the position that the US Constitution demands that this be uprooted, you need to begin with what make the type of relationship you have in mind, when you talk of "gay marriage", from the broad range of relationship types and living arrangements which are also in the nonmarriage category.

    Before licensing, marriage existed as a social institution. Foundational, in fact, to civil society, as per the principles of good governance embedded inour form of government. SSM was not, and still is not, foundational to civil society.

    However, before licesning, you need to show how this type of relationship you have in mind is different. And how that difference merits licesning. Surely you are not demanding that the Government license gayness, right? And, that license signifies a special status. What would be the special reason for according a special status for the type of relationship you have in mind?

    It can'be possibly be the same sexual basis as the union of husband and wife. It can't be sex integration; it can't be responsible procreation; it cannot be these combined as a coherent whole -- because SSMers say none of that is essential.

    So what is essential, for the type of relationship you have in mind, and how does that translate into legal requirements and eligibility criteria?

    Don't invoke some mystical quasi-religious faith in identity politics, please, for your fellow SSMers have derided that sort of thing as anti-constitutional and, indeed, anti-SSM.

  161. Marci
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Sandee, of course I make choices on who I am with. I chose to make my life with someone whom I fell in love with. The falling in love part I didn't have a choice in. Building a life with her? That was a choice. A damn good choice, 10 years later and counting.

    The fact that you single out sexual desire as the only determinant for me being in love with a woman shows your ignorance of what it is to be gay. I too made a choice who to build a life with, it was someone who I fell deeply in love with on all levels. I know you don't understand that, don't want to and never will.

    As much as you want to purport on my 'selfish-ness' I am no more selfish than anyone else who wants to be a parent. Being gay does not preclude anyone from being a parent, nor does it make them less likely to be good parents. The unbiased research is out there, you all just choose to ignore it.

    I bet you've never spent more than 5 minutes with a gay or lesbian family. I suspect your answer will be that you don't need to.

    Whatever, I'll just keep living my life how I see fit and raise my child how I see fit. Just like you will.

  162. Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Marci,

    Actually what Sandee was talking about has less to do with you, your feelings etc. and more about the responsibility of a mother to provide the safest, most stable place to raise her children.

    Your lifestyle and personal angst aside, children fare best in study after study, when they are raised in a stable, loving home with their mother and father.

    I appreciate Sandee's post. Motherhood isn't about you. It's about them.

  163. Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    "Gender uniqueness and complementarity means that each gender has a unique contribution that can’t be filled by the other."

    Can you be specific, please?

  164. Sean
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    This trial will expose the real hate behind NOM and their ilk. Good Luck - and God loves you... and me too.

  165. Karen Grube
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    If this is the wrong place to talk about this, please forgive me, but it seems relevant.

    I know NOM support the efforts of the voters of Washington DC to have their voices heard at the ballot box on the issue of gay marriage, despite the fact that Mayor Fenty and the DC City Council passed a bill allowing gay marriage. When the voters asked to have this put on the ballot, their requestt was improperly rejected by the Board of Elections, in direct violation of the DC City Charter.

    That bill is currently waiting Congressional review. Right now - through late February - the House Oversight Commitee - specifically Workforce and DC Subcommitee - has the ability to add the review of this law to its schedule, determine for themselves if the rejection of the voters request violated the City Charter, and then hopefully send this reprehensible back to the Mayor and tell him he needs to let the people vote. But, unless the members of these committees hear from us, they'll do nothing, the law will go into effect by default.

    The other wrinkle in this is the current Appeals Court hearing underway right now where the court could say the people have the right to vote. But, what could happen if Congress does nothing is that gay marriage could potentially be allowed, then the court could rule that the people should have been allowed to vote, and then the people could wind up repealing that law. In other words, if Congress does nothing, and the Court sides with the voters, Washington DC could wind up in the same chaotic condition California did after the State Supreme Court struck down Prop 22 and permitted gay marriage for a few months, though they knew full well this questions was going to be settled at the ballot box in November. That time was complete chaos, with some county clerks refusing to issue marriage licenses any longer, and other county clerks trying to force employees who strongly objected to gay marriage. to issue marriage licenses to gay couples or be transferred to other jobs. I'd hate to see this happen in Washington DC.

    So, I'm asking everyone who reads this and are so inclined to call the House Oversight Committee, it's Chairman Ed Towns, and the Workforce and DC Subcommittee and its chairman Stephen Lynch and as many of the members of these committees as you have time to call, and ask them to either stop the clock on their 30-day review until the court has made its decision, or to put the review of this law on their schedule and evaluate it in light of the DC City Charter.

    When I call, they tell me they are aware of the law, but they don't talk about the rejection of the voters' request to get this on the ballot being a violation of the DC City Charter. It is THAT issue they need to discuss. It is their job to do so. Situations like this are precisely why Congress was given oversight over the laws and policies of Washington DC, to prevent things like attempts like this to silence the voters for purely political reasons.

    Whew! That was a mouthful. But I hope no one minds me taking up the space here. It's just that this is a not that dissimilar from the Prop 8 situation, and I'm not seeing anyone else asking people to call Congress. Personally, I won't let them get away with not doing their job.

  166. Kevinn
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Karen,

    Very few voters in DC have expressed an interest in voting on gay marriage. It appears to be driven by a few very vocal people. Two courts and the city council have ruled that DC law forbids withholding rights, including licenses, from any group based on sexual orientation. Therefore, the people can’t vote on denying marriage equality to gay couples because one of the two possible outcomes of such a vote would violate the law.

    If religious leaders in DC really want have a popular vote on the rights of gay people, they need to first get DC’s Human Rights law repealed. That’s the only way for the people to be able to vote on same-sex marriage. These people calling for a vote have made no effort to get the HR law repealed, a necessary first step. It makes me wonder if they are serious about creating the circumstances necessary for the people to vote on same-sex marriage.

  167. Karen Grube
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Kevin, you're just wrong about that. It wasn't just a few vocal leaders who wanted to allow the people to vote, it was a large number of voters who filed the request to get this on the ballot and who filled the council chambers asking to have their voices heard. This attempt to silence them is shameful! I'm glad they are appealing.

    The DC Charter makes only one exemption to the provision allowing voters to put a matter on the ballot: they are not allowed to include appropriateions matters. The Charter provides no other exemption.

    The Board of Elections had absolutely no right to stop the people's request to vote on this issue, and doing so absolutely, unquestionably violated the DC Charter. I am confident the court will find that to be the case.

    The only question is how long that will take and whether or not Congress will do their job and act now in order to prevent the same situation from happening there as happened in California, where gay marriage was allowed for a time and then taken away by the voters, when the State Supreme Court could have - and should have - stayed the implementation of their decision until after the election. The chaos that caused isn't something one would ever want to see happen again. It's going to be difficult enough when New Hampshire and Iowa repeal their gay marriage laws (or modify their state constitutions to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman), but then they had no clear provision for putting this on the ballot. It's just taking them a little longer to go through their processes.

    Another thing: it really doesn't matter who or how many people made the request to have this on the ballot. Those making the proposal followed all the proper procedures and their request was valid. The rejection of this request is what is in question, and there were simply no legal grounds on which the Board of Elections could legitimately reject it.

    Congress shouldn't just shrug their shoulders about this violation, but instead should take their responsibility seriously and investigate the situation on their own and make their own determination about the legitimacy of the Board of Election's actions. They just don't get to do nothing and let this go into effect without their overt statement that such a violation is okay with them as long as it's done in the name of 'diversity' or 'political correctness.' Voters from all over the country expect their Members of Congress - in this case those on these two committees - to take their jobs seriously and not allow the voices of the people of the District to be silenced like that for no legitimate reason. Call them and tell them that, please!!!!

  168. Lacy
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I am confused by the notion that the same sex advocates think it is only Christians and Catholics fighting against same sex marriage. The Muslim religion is a huge force in California. I spoke with a few of my Muslim friends and in their country the(homosexual) person would be killed. The issue behind same sex marriage is many families are against having the school system teach their children sex Ed that includes touching and having sex with the same sex. The issue is not just about marriage. If Prop 8 is overturned the schools will have to include that this is all just a natural process for everyone. Bi Sexuality will be the norm.

  169. Chairm
    Posted January 24, 2010 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Karen, at Opine Editorials I took the liberty of quoting a bit of your recent comment about DC; and I linked back to here.

    See:
    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2010/01/tell-congress-to-protect-peoples-vote.html

  170. Karen Grube
    Posted January 24, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Chairm. I appreciae that. And if anyone does make those calls to the Oversight Committee and/or the Workforce and DC Subcommittee, it would be nice if someone could please let us know here what they said.

  171. Karen Grube
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I just found out that as of yet, the Alliance Defense Fund hasn't filed an appeal to the DC Superior Court's decision that denying the voters the right to put the question of gay marriage on the ballot.

    I also learned that if Congress does nothing on this matter, this law will go into effect the day the 30 legislative day review period runs out, whether or not the case is under appeal.

    I am appalled at the possibility that gay marriage would be allowed for a short time and then be taken away once the court rightfully decides that silencing the voters on this issue violated the DC Charter, and then the voters decide to support traditional marriage instead.

    Please tell Congress that they must not let this happen. There was absolute chaos in California because of the rash decision on the part of the State Supreme Court to allow gay marriage for a short time knowing full well that the question was up for a vote in a few months. Their lack of common sense and judicial responsibility was reprehensible, and I'm seeing the same situation with Congress right now.

    Assuming ADF files its appeal in a timely manner, Congress has to stop this law from going into effect until the court has made its decision. I'd hate for ADF to have to file an injunction to stop it from going into effect while it's under litigation, I'd prefer that Congress did its job and told the DC Council they just don't get to silence the voters like that. But if an injunction is what it takes I hope the ADF attorneys will do that.

    In the meantime, please call Congress and tell them to boot this law back to Mayor Fenty and the Council.

  172. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I am sorry to say that both Congressman Towns and Congressman Lynch's office indicated that there are no plans whatever at present to act to prevent the travesty in DC from moving forward.

    I suggest that NOM might indicate to us here on the blog what we can most effectively do to mobilize and support opposition to the elitist's intention to redefine marriage without the consent of the governed in DC.

  173. AggieCowboy
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    "Frustrated by the fact that Supreme Court intervened to block the televising of this trial, according to the gay press one gay marriage advocate is planning to film daily “re-enactments” of the trial, based on anti-Prop 8 bloggers accounts, and post them on you tube. No, I am not making that up."

    Yes, you are making that up. They're using the actual transcripts which are available 1 to 2 days after testimony. Please do your homework before posting.

    Oh...and you didn't have an "Aha" moment, the link to the Scopes trial has been making the rounds since the trial started. Thus, NOT your original idea, so don't try to claim that.

  174. Jessica
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    All of u ppl are igorant gay marriage is not going to "take away you freedom" tht is the stupiest thing I have ever heard. I mean we havent done anything to you we just want the same rights as everybody else. And last time I checked tht wasent a bad thing. So why don't you all go and use the money your making for something more giving like a cancer charitey or if you want to change yourselfs from being homophobic then how about the AIDS foundaition. Well thts all and I hope this makes you all a little bit more accpecting. So have a good life and stop haiting ppl just bc who they love is not your beliefs. Peace and love <333

  175. Rick DeLano
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Jessica, you can love anyone you want.

    But you can't necessarily marry anyone you love.

    For example, I bet you love your brothers and sisters.

    But you can't marry them.

    Same with your Dad, your Mom, and your nearest relations.

    You also might love some cute little baby next door but guess what?

    You can't marry the baby either.

    You might love six or seven other people, and all of them might love you back.

    Guess what? You can't marry them all.

    And you might love a female, but guess what?

    You can't marry someone of the same sex either.

    The reason, Jennifer, is that marriage by its nature involves the union of the two complementary genders of our species.

    Society has always given special recogniition and benefits to marriage that it has *not* given to other very heart-felt relationships, and do you know why?

    Because society has recognized *its own interest* in marriage.

    It unites the two genders, both for mutual support, and also for the benefit and nurture of the children who are the common result of these unions.

    Society has always recognized and preferred marriage because society knows that marriage creates and nurtures the next generation, Jennifer.

    And we both know that no next generation will ever arise from any same sex union.

  176. lightcomingon
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Rick, the comments on marrying siblings, parents and babies are unbelievably ignorant. The issue at stake here is when two people fall in love. I don't know how you feel about your family, but ALL would call it incest.

    Being gay is not a choice. Falling in love is not a choice. Can my partner and I procreate? No. Can older hetero (50s and up) couples procreate? No. Can couples with infertility procreate? No. Can all adopt? Yep.

    Raising children is not just done by bio parents. If that were the case, here, in modern society, there would be a lot of neglected, abandoned, abused and unwanted kids. More than there are now.

    Adoption is nature's answer to caring for kids whose bio parents can't, for whatever reason.

    Additionally, marriage strengthens families, whether they be gay or straight, especially if there are kids involved.

  177. Chairm
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    lightcomingon,

    You acknowledged, then, that not all man-woman combinations are eligible to marry.

    However, related people can and do marry. Not all related people. The line that is drawn varies from place to place -- across cultures and so forth -- but the lines is drawn and justified based on the core meaning of the social institution.

    By "love" you probably meant something sexual, given your talk of incest. However, close relatives would be ineligible even if they did not touch each other. And, yes, even if they did love each other. How do you explain that, given your comment above?

    If you are declaring that "gay" is the new old, or that "gay" is a physicial disability like infertility, then, you need to explain yourself much better on those two points.

    The lack of the other sex is not infertility -- it is nonfertility. It is not a physical disability. On the other hand, fertility, like infertility, is two-sexed since no individual can procreate without the other sex. Sure, it is the nature of human fertility that we start as children -- pre-fertile -- and mature through fertility, subfertility, and eventually infertility. A couple becomes infertile. So, sure human fertility is variable, in the normal course of things.

    But no one-sexed arrangement -- regardless of love (what kind of love is irrelevant) and regardless of sexual behavior within that arrangement -- no one-sexed arrangement is anything but nonfertile. That is one of its defining characteristics. It is not a disability nor a physical problem that can be repair; it is not a condition that people become through the normal course of things.

    If you want to base your claim on homosexual feelings, then, you are on the brink of declaring the homosexual orientation to be a disability. Perhaps you are ready to declare that the fix is to restore heterosexuality? I doubt it. But that's were your assertions would take you.

    Adoption is a social construct. A noble institution. But adoption does not bestow marital status. However, providing a child in need is not dictated by the neediness of adults. It is legitimate to prioritize homes that can provide a child with the unity of motherhood and fatherhood. That is a first principle of marriage.

    There are millions of families outside of marriage. A significant subset is comprised of people in same-sex arrangements of mutual caretaking. But the vast majority of such arrangements are not sexualized but include related people.

    That brings you full circle. Not all related people are eligible to marry even if they have children. Adoption does not change that.

    Turn the light on and let it come in. Reason will help you see the profound flaws in your thinking.

  178. Joseph
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Just so you all know...'Kim's view on Christianity is incorrect, her facts are incorrect as well. Haven't read all the posts, by a long shot, but don't get caught up in her "New Age" crap. Yes, no one has Christianity 100% correct, you can have a more accurate understanding of it than others, and some are just 100% wrong.

    But in the day we live in, it is hateful to say someone is wrong.

    BTW kim, learn how Bible translation actually works, not just from some interview with a nut.

  179. Eric and Erica
    Posted January 30, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Rick can continue to define marriage as narrowly as he wants, but that is just not a very persuasive argument.

    The premise of this blog was whether the Prop 8 was putting Christianity on trial. Well of course it was, at least in part.

    The Christian faithful as well as the believers of any mono-theistic religion think only their religion is the one true religion and the way to heaven or their equivalent of heaven. And in the US they have the right to their faith and freedom of speech. They certainly have the right to use the Bible to support their religious beliefs.

    But here is the rub. When religions step outside their use of their holy books and use what they claim is scientific proof that there should be no marriage between the races, there should be laws against sodomy and there should be no same-sex marriages, then others in society have every right to challenge their allegations.

    Rick tells us that you can not marry your brother or sister, mother or father. True, and there are very scientific reasons why. Procreation between close relatives has a higher chance of birth deformities and this was proved by science, not the Bible. We do not marry children, because by law we have said they do not have the capacity to give consent. Rick has already agreed that consent is needed for marriage. Sometimes it is just best to use our brains and try to put aside emotions.

    The Prop 8 trial was certainly more complex than just this singular issue.

    So how did the defendants do in their defense during the Prop 8 trial? An objective answer will not likely be found here, but it is sure fun to read some of these opinions.

  180. Chairm
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Eric,

    You said: "Procreation between close relatives has a higher chance of birth deformities and this was proved by science, not the Bible."

    Well, let's take at face value what you just said.

    1. You acknowledged that the Bible and science both point to procreation as central to the lines of eligiblity for marry.

    2. Your point about procreation is irrelevant to one-sexed arrangements between relatives.

    3. SSM argumentation denounces the very idea that procreation justifies the boundaries around marriage.

    4. So SSM is different from marriage; and a merger would logically destroy the eligiblity lines based on your scientific assertion.

    You said: "We do not marry children, because by law we have said they do not have the capacity to give consent."

    But you have acknowledged that not all consenting adults may marry. So consent is not a trump card.

    Also, some underaged people can marry but they are treated as exceptions not as the basis for a general rule.

    As for underaged people, explain what you mean by capacity to consent. If you are using chronological age as a proxy for maturity, then, you would be breaking your own implied rule about defining too narrowly.

    Anyway, the real point about capacity to consent, when you get right down to it, is consent to what?

    Underaged people have the capacity to consent to lots of stuff. But when you suggest there is a limit on their capacity to consent to marraige, you really need to begin with what marriage actually is, at its core, before pinning a license on it and according special status. Then you can say why you'd deny that license and status based on age.

    Defenders of marriage can do this. But SSMers seem to not have the capacity.

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