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Old 03-05-2008, 07:12 PM   #1
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marriage equality in California

so, here's the gist of it:


[q]The court's extraordinary hearing regarding In re Marriage Cases, S14799, is the culmination of a long legal fight that began when San Francisco issued marriage licenses to nearly 4,000 same-sex couples in February and March 2004. San Francisco's extraordinary move came at a time of intensifying national debate over same-sex marriages after Massachusetts, as result of a historic 2003 court decision, became the only state to legalize same-sex unions.

The court is deciding four lawsuits brought on behalf of nearly two dozen same-sex couples. A trial judge here ruled in favor of same-sex marriages, but a Court of Appeal rejected that decision on a 2-1 vote. Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger argued in favor of keeping marriage an opposite-sex union, and Christian-affiliated groups joined them.

The California high court invalidated the San Francisco marriage licenses in August 2004, but will decide within 90 days whether gay men and lesbians should be permitted to marry in the future.

The hearing attracted an overflow crowd in the courtroom and protesters outside who carried signs, including one that read "Sodomy Is Sin." Hundreds watched the televised hearing from various venues across San Francisco and at City Hall in West Hollywood, with many cheering the lawyers for same-sex couples and booing justices who asked critical questions.

Justice Marvin R. Baxter reminded lawyers that the initiative limiting marriage to unions between a man and a woman was ratified by the voters, and that the state Legislature has given same-sex couples "virtually equal rights except the title" of marriage.

San Francisco Chief Deputy City Atty. Therese M. Stewart told the court that "the name 'marriage' matters." But Justice Ming W. Chin chided: "Doesn't that place rhetoric over reality?"

Chief Justice Ronald M. George and Justice Carlos R. Moreno suggested that the state might have a rational basis for limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples because the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages.

"Doesn't this just boil down to the use of the 'M-word' -- marriage?" Moreno asked.

"That symbol," Stewart replied, "has deep meaning."

George seemed skeptical of the argument that a ban on same-sex marriages amounted to sex discrimination because the ban "seems to treat males and females equally." But he also peppered the opponents of same-sex marriages with skeptical questions and stressed that the court had the authority to overturn long-established laws and voter initiatives.

Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, one of the more liberal members of the court, asked Stewart if the concept of equal protection under the law evolves. Stewart replied that it did.

"Why is this the moment of truth as opposed to 10 years from now?" Werdegar asked.

"We're here today," Stewart told her.[/q]



and, today, a poll was released showing that 49% of Californians support marriage equality, and 46% against. more significantly, a full 64% support at least civil union rights.

this is now a mainstream political position. there is nothing radical about incorporating committed gay relationships into the larger framework of society.

it remains to be see what the Court will do. but it's quite a moment, nonetheless.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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Would you be opposed to a law allowing civil unions which would give gay couples the same legal rights as hetero couples but it not be called marriage? Just curious.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:26 PM   #3
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I would.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abomb-baby
Would you be opposed to a law allowing civil unions which would give gay couples the same legal rights as hetero couples but it not be called marriage? Just curious.


it's hard to say.

practically, it is about rights.

but ideologically, it's about respect.

and i can't think of a more "separate but equal" institution than civil unions.

i also am baffled as to the fierce territorialness some have with the M-word. why?
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:24 AM   #5
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Somehow what we all do individually on a domestic front impinges/impacts on others/society at large/the sanctity of one's own domestic arrangement.

It's all nothing but illogical.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:17 AM   #6
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I'm for gay marriage...........
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abomb-baby
Would you be opposed to a law allowing civil unions which would give gay couples the same legal rights as hetero couples but it not be called marriage? Just curious.
I might support that if it came to that, but as a straight man I don't really think I'm qualified to say (if I would or wouldn't support that). From a practical perspective I suppose why not, if the rights & privileges are the same as marriage why wouldn't people just call it marriage? I mean, if I'm entering a civil union with a guy, and legally it's the same as getting married except the government doesn't call it marriage, wouldn't we/people we know/our families etc call us "married"?

It still sounds like "separate but equal" all over agian though. If I did support that I'd probably have to hold my nose to do it.

But getting back on topic...I'm thinking Cali will eventually allow same-sex marriage; how long can a state deny something that the majority of its citizens support? Maybe Arnold should get busy making Last Action Hero 2 and let somebody with a 21st century mentality be Governor.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan
Maybe Arnold should get busy making Last Action Hero 2 and let somebody with a 21st century mentality be Governor.

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Old 03-06-2008, 11:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abomb-baby
Would you be opposed to a law allowing civil unions which would give gay couples the same legal rights as hetero couples but it not be called marriage? Just curious.
To me that depends. Many people think of "marriage" only in the religious sense, in which case it cannot be mandated by law anyway.

I support two people of any gender being espoused and all espoused peoples having the SAME rights....whatever term an individual wants to use is fine with me.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:58 PM   #10
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I have a hard time believing that marriage is a "right". A privilege, certainly, but a right...not sure on that one.

IMHO, marriage laws across the country should be tightened, not loosened. Given the rate of divorce, it seems like people need more education about healthy marriages and healthy relationships in general.

If, let's say, you applied for a marriage license, but then had to take a six-week class on "Life and Choices", for example -- a class or small group that talks about things like finances, sexuality, family-planning, children etc -- designed to get you and your potential mate/spouse/partner/etc talking about core issues involved in marriage, I think that would go a long way towards making sure that people who have hooked up in a moment of passion don't wind up making a decision they'll regret while walking back up the aisle.

I don't think it's crazy to do that. We have sex ed classes and driver's ed classes, and while you can't equate marriage with a five-thousand pound automobile, the financial and emotional cost of a divorce is oftentimes higher and longer-lasting than that of a car accident.

If we were willing to do that, I would probably be more in favor of gay marriage outright, and certainly civil unions. There are some couples (like my former boss and former theater owner) who have been together for 30 years -- they've taken advantage of legal means to protect themselves and don't need the "M" word to validate their relationship. So there's different ways to look at this on all sides.

But right now, civil unions only opens the door for couples (regardless of sexual orientation) to equate a three-month relationship with something more, shack up, and then regret it later on -- a picture that grows only more complicated with cohabitation, children, etc.

The divorce rate is high enough; I don't think we need to come up with new ways for people to split up.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan


It still sounds like "separate but equal" all over agian though. If I did support that I'd probably have to hold my nose to do it.

separate but equal

usually comes after

separate and not equal

and before

not separate and equal
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977
I have a hard time believing that marriage is a "right". A privilege, certainly, but a right...not sure on that one.

IMHO, marriage laws across the country should be tightened, not loosened. Given the rate of divorce, it seems like people need more education about healthy marriages and healthy relationships in general.

If, let's say, you applied for a marriage license, but then had to take a six-week class on "Life and Choices", for example -- a class or small group that talks about things like finances, sexuality, family-planning, children etc -- designed to get you and your potential mate/spouse/partner/etc talking about core issues involved in marriage, I think that would go a long way towards making sure that people who have hooked up in a moment of passion don't wind up making a decision they'll regret while walking back up the aisle.

I don't think it's crazy to do that. We have sex ed classes and driver's ed classes, and while you can't equate marriage with a five-thousand pound automobile, the financial and emotional cost of a divorce is oftentimes higher and longer-lasting than that of a car accident.

If we were willing to do that, I would probably be more in favor of gay marriage outright, and certainly civil unions. There are some couples (like my former boss and former theater owner) who have been together for 30 years -- they've taken advantage of legal means to protect themselves and don't need the "M" word to validate their relationship. So there's different ways to look at this on all sides.

But right now, civil unions only opens the door for couples (regardless of sexual orientation) to equate a three-month relationship with something more, shack up, and then regret it later on -- a picture that grows only more complicated with cohabitation, children, etc.

The divorce rate is high enough; I don't think we need to come up with new ways for people to split up.
What an ass-backwards way to say you don't think men should be allowed to marry each other.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:52 PM   #13
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I don't think the rate of miserable marriages was all that different 50 years ago, or 100 years ago. It just wasn't accepted to get divorced, and especially not so if the woman took action. They were often excluded by the neighbourhood, and in rural areas that meant the whole village. Hence, many stayed in marriages though both would have loved to get out of that.
They also didn't necessarily get married out of sheer love and passion for each other, but rather because the parents thought it was a good match, and especially for women the pressure was high to get married. Otherwise they were "old spinsters" and had a hard standing in the community as well.
To get divorced became more accepted and you don't have to fear any great disadvantages anymore, and I think that contributed more to the rising divorce rate.
And might not the 1,000 plus legal incentives to get married might also contribute to a couple getting married prematurely? For many it's a financial question whether they just live together, or get married.

And there are some rights a married couple has that are even more important than the financial benefits gay or lesbian couples get barred from, like visiting the partner in the hospital and being with them in their last moments.

Marriage is much more than just validating the relationship.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:59 PM   #14
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The thought of having to share my and my future wife's (hah!) personal lives with a complete stranger and then wait for the government to approve of our marriage makes my stomach turn.
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977
I have a hard time believing that marriage is a "right". A privilege, certainly, but a right...not sure on that one.

IMHO, marriage laws across the country should be tightened, not loosened. Given the rate of divorce, it seems like people need more education about healthy marriages and healthy relationships in general.

If, let's say, you applied for a marriage license, but then had to take a six-week class on "Life and Choices", for example -- a class or small group that talks about things like finances, sexuality, family-planning, children etc -- designed to get you and your potential mate/spouse/partner/etc talking about core issues involved in marriage, I think that would go a long way towards making sure that people who have hooked up in a moment of passion don't wind up making a decision they'll regret while walking back up the aisle.

I don't think it's crazy to do that. We have sex ed classes and driver's ed classes, and while you can't equate marriage with a five-thousand pound automobile, the financial and emotional cost of a divorce is oftentimes higher and longer-lasting than that of a car accident.

If we were willing to do that, I would probably be more in favor of gay marriage outright, and certainly civil unions. There are some couples (like my former boss and former theater owner) who have been together for 30 years -- they've taken advantage of legal means to protect themselves and don't need the "M" word to validate their relationship. So there's different ways to look at this on all sides.

But right now, civil unions only opens the door for couples (regardless of sexual orientation) to equate a three-month relationship with something more, shack up, and then regret it later on -- a picture that grows only more complicated with cohabitation, children, etc.

The divorce rate is high enough; I don't think we need to come up with new ways for people to split up.


i think you've given a great reason why civil unions are truly a "marriage lite" option, and why gay people should be included in the institution of marriage. i see no reason why any of the "tightening" you described would be inapplicable for gay people, and certainly gay people benefit from stable, strong relationships as much as anyone else, especially the children of gay couples.



i'd also argue that the misty romance surrounding the idea of marriage has much to do with the divorce rate. marriage and weddings are as much an industry as anything else, and like any industry, they know they'll be able to increase their sales if they create a feeling of dissatisfaction within the minds of their potential customers, that you are less complete, that you are no one, if you aren't married.
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