While buried by the news of the Sotomayor nomination, yesterday was a disappointing day for many of us who favor same-sex marriage. The California Supreme Court voted 6-1 to uphold Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. The only good news for couples is that the Court ruled that the 18,000 unions licensed before the proposition would not be invalidated.
The ruling was no surprise. As noted in an earlier entry, the oral arguments showed a lack of support for striking down Proposition 8 despite the 4-3 vote in May 2008 finding that a law restricting marriage to a man and a woman was discriminatory and invalid.
Frankly, it would have been viewed as judicial activism for the Court to reject such a public vote. This was the first point that the justices raised in their decision:
In addressing the issues now presented in the third chapter of this narrative, it is important at the outset to emphasize a number of significant points. First, as explained in the Marriage Cases, supra, 43 Cal.4th at page 780, our task in the present proceeding is not to determine whether the provision at issue is wise or sound as a matter of policy or whether we, as individuals, believe it should be a part of the California Constitution. Regardless of our views as individuals on this question of policy, we recognize as judges and as a court our responsibility to confine our consideration to a determination of the constitutional validity and legal effect of the measure in question. It bears emphasis in this regard that our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.
It is nevertheless a blow to see California of all states fall back into its prior status as a state rejecting same-sex marriages. It was particularly shocking to see so many Obama voters flock to the support of this proposition. It shows that this is a hard struggle that crosses political and social lines.
It will create a curious situation with thousands of recognized gay and lesbian couples living in the state while other couples are denied the same status. There will also be lingering questions under the full faith and credit clause as such couples (as well as couples from states like Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and possibly D.C.) seek recognition in other states.
I have long supported doing away with the term “marriage” in favor of a uniform civil union standard for all couples regardless of gender. However, we are faced with a long struggle over same-sex marriage. I remain convinced that the law and society trends naturally towards greater pluralism and acceptance. Unless this trend is halted by a constitutional amendment, I believe that a majority of states will recognize same-sex marriage in our lifetime. For a prior column, click here.
For a copy of the opinion, click here.
For the full story, click here.
55 thoughts on “California Supreme Court Votes 6-1 To Uphold Proposition 8 and Ban on Same-Sex Marriage”
“I think it is all of the above, but then why do Japanese and German automakers open plants in the south?”
Easy answer. They were given Billion$ in incentive by those Southern States, whose “right to work laws” precluded unions.
Secondly, they could then make the “made in America” claim.
As a libertarian what do you think of “right to work laws?”
Shouldn’t workers have the right to organize to maximize their earning potential?
On this Thread,
As far as gay people go I worked in close contact with them for my entire career and many were in my social life. They are just people, some good, some bad, some in between, but human none the less. They deserve the same rights I do and having legal fictions like power of attorney still gets them challenged at hospitals when a mate is dying and her/his homophobic family, that made their own family member a cast off for most of their life, bars them. I’ve seen it happen.
By the way for those macho men out there who are so repelled by having a gay person come on to them….you’re worried about your own sexuality. I’ve been come on to more than a few times in a nice way and I was flattered that they thought I was hot, even though I wasn’t interested or stimulated. This fear of gay people is totally stupid and unjustified by even certain people’s religious texts. Those that would argue that it opens the way for bestiality, child sex, or plural marriages are just as stupid and craven as Rick Santorum. The one good thing about Prop * for me is that I’ve been in favor of gay rights for most of my life, this ridiculous vote, made me fully understand how this issue is just as important as any other civil rights issue.
You wrote: One problem with your friend working at the church is that they have just as much right to choose who will be teaching their children. I personally would not have a problem if she was a good teacher and cared about my childs learning.
Me: so you have no problem with a Lesbian spending 5 hrs a day in classroom educating your kid, you just don’t want her having children of her own that she can rear in a home like yours with two loving, married, parent???
You: Cant gays get powers of attorneys for hospital and other issues? Although civil unions would be the ideal.
Me: Why would they want to if marriage can solve jumping through those legal hoops? I’m no expert on powers of attorney but are they really as comprehensive as the rights and responsibilities I have and largely take for granted as a straight, married mother?
You: If a straight couple had issues gay couple jumps to front of line. Again I am saying all things being equal.
Me: all things being equal means there is no front of the line. if a straight couple is unsuitable and a gay couple is not then what we are talking about is adoption that considers the best interests of this child and here you are still focusing on adoption when most gay/lesbian parents have children where one partner is the biological parent. marriage allows both to be considered equally as parents.
You: I pretty much take all people as people whatever their origin or religion. We all bleed red and have a common ancestor in the maternal lineage if you believe the science.
me: sounds pretty but really? its a cover up for conservative talking points. If we all bleed red shouldn’t we all have access to everything the other has? if we are really all related then your gay and lesbian relatives are not so very proud of you
One problem with your friend working at the church is that they have just as much right to choose who will be teaching their children. I personally would not have a problem if she was a good teacher and cared about my childs learning.
Cant gays get powers of attorneys for hospital and other issues? Although civil unions would be the ideal.
If a straight couple had issues gay couple jumps to front of line. Again I am saying all things being equal.
I pretty much take all people as people whatever their origin or religion. We all bleed red and have a common ancestor in the maternal lineage if you believe the science.
Every HomoPhobe needs a real life so they don’t have time to worry who is with who.
That is all I have to say.
If I were gay I would not work at a church school. It would be like being black at a KKK school. You would have to wear the white sheet all the time.
Me: you get to work where you get to work. This school pays well — much better than the local public schools and its a really good school with a waiting list about a mile long. My friend is a dedicated educator. But there is a whole part of her life that is a fiction and if the school were ever to find out she is lesbian she would be fired on the spot regardless of her ability and the fact that the kids and parents love her.
Imagine that you had to pass for something you are not.
I am a Jew. There was a time, and I’m not proud of this, when I passed because I was working in a place where there were a few Jew haters. I hid behind the fact that being white and having a pretty generic name got me a job I really wanted and was really good at. I listened to anti Jewish stuff every day. And a day came when I came out. You cannot imagine the commotion that this caused.
You: Personally I think your sexual orientation is neither here nor there, as a citizen of the US you should have whatever rights are afforded you by the constitution.
Me: sexual orientation is central to one’s being. Could you,would you, sacrifice your sexuality? Who we are in an intimate relationship is definitely here and there. Who we love and how we express that love is the core question. If straight people have the ability to pair bond legally so should gay people. Not because they are gay but because they are citizens.
Women’s suffrage was about the same thing. Civil rights was about the same thing. The right to live in any neighborhood that you choose is about the same thing. After WW2 my dad could not get into medical school. Not because he wasn’t bright enough but because of quotas. There were neighborhoods that were in good school districts but were restricted. One might ask,why would you want to live somewhere where you are not wanted? The larger question is what makes you unwanted? being black? Jewish? Irish? Catholic? Gay?
You: People are people whatever their proclivities or race. It is a small mind indeed that would disalow a persons natural rights on as specious an argument as sexual orientation or skin pigmentation.
Me: and yet separate but equal is being applied to gay couples the way it was applied to people of color just a generation ago. I remember when a white person who married a black person could be arrested and even if they were not, their lives were made unbearably difficult in certain communities. People are people but when laws are created that make some second class citizens, or 3/5 of a human or completely inhuman forced to wear a yellow star or pink triangle or submit to physical ownership that’s racist. I’m not accusing you of racism. I would like you to consider what your life might be like if you had everything you have today but were gay and could not enjoy the same access to things that straight folks take for granted.
You: I dont think I ever said that a gay couple should not be allowed to adopt children, I just said that if I was an agent at an adoption agency I would consider heterosexual couples to have first priority all things being equal.
Me: that is biased. Gay couples don’t just adopt. They procreate much the same way straight couples do. Gay men impregnate female donors and women have artificial insemination and carry fetuses to term,giving birth the exact same way I did. Gay couples being relegated to second place is just about the same as being prohibited from adoption.
What gay marriage affords these couples is the right for both parents to be considered parents without one having to adopt the child of the other partner. It gives them all the rights and responsibilities that you and I enjoy and oftentimes take for granted. LIke being able to make medical decisions. My squeeze used to travel for work. Imagine my kid is sick and I can’t take her to the doctor because I’m not the legal parent. Or go to parent teacher conference or be her legal guardian if my partner dies. This notion of first choice and being moved to the head of the line is based on your particular bias that a gay couple is not as ideal or suitable as a straight couple. This is what I like to call In The Perfect World. In yor Perfect World,all parents would be mommies and daddies, who are loving and motivated by goodness. Something like 1 in 5 children in this country are born into homes that are much less than perfect, into backbreaking gut-wrenching poverty with little access to decent schools and medical care. 1 in 10 will be homeless at sometime in their lives. Imagine a loving gay couple who could provide and love and nurture, but because they are gay they go to the back of the wait list? what does this say about our basic humanity?
We all have areas of bias based on how we regard people of color or people from other countries or gender or ability or something. Something that makes us stare and get itchy. I admit to having my areas of bias and when I am aware of it I try to consider just what it is that makes me feel uncomfortable.
You: I hope your hubby finds a job soon, I have been there and done that and it is not pleasant.
Me: thank you.
Turley: “I have long supported doing away with the term “marriage” in favor of a uniform civil union standard for all couples regardless of gender.”
I’ve been reading the opinion, and it seems to me that the court has effectively granted exactly that. The opinions are very clear that in the view of the court the *only* thing that Prop 8 accomplishes is to reserve the *name* “marriage” to opposite-sex unions, and that the substance of the Marriage Cases decision is untouched.
It’s easy, it seems to this non-lawyer, to read the opinion as expressly inviting an action to forbid the state to use the term “marriage” to make any civil distinction *at all*.
Here’s an example of the opinion language: “Nor does Proposition 8 fundamentally alter the meaning and substance of state constitutional equal protection principles as articulated in that opinion. Instead, the measure carves out a narrow and limited exception to these state constitutional rights, reserving the official designation of the term “marriage” for the union of opposite-sex couples as a matter of state constitutional law, but leaving undisturbed all of the other extremely significant substantive aspects of a same-sex couple’s state constitutional right to establish an officially recognized and protected family relationship and the guarantee of equal protection of the laws.”
They’re not being subtle about it at all. If the state reserves any substantive right or privilege to marriage, Prop 8 says (according to the opinion) that the state may no longer use the term “marriage” in connection that right or privilege.
I’m not disputing the fact that many of us would like to have the term “marriage” back. But in the meantime, the state of affairs in California is profoundly different than it was before Marriage Cases, and Prop 8 has not touched the substance of that difference–or so says the court.
“Don’t really want to rile the entire conservative community but isn’t strange that conservatives go ballistic when it is suggested that mortgage interest they deduct on their homes should be eliminated. I just can’t resists this. If conservatives are to lazy to work hard enough to pay the interest on their home loan themselves instead of depending on the government to do it for them, then they shouldn’t be allowed to own a home. LOL”
That is actually a good point about mortgage interest deductions and there is talk in the conservative community to do away with it. It probably is somehow artificialy effecting the interest rates. Whenever government uses tax breaks you know there has to be some sort of negative effect somewhere else.
If I were gay I would not work at a church school. It would be like being black at a KKK school. You would have to wear the white sheet all the time.
Personally I think your sexual orientation is neither here nor there, as a citizen of the US you should have whatever rights are afforded you by the constitution.
People are people whatever their proclivities or race. It is a small mind indeed that would disalow a persons natural rights on as specious an argument as sexual orientation or skin pigmentation.
**The real truth is that you don’t know any gay couples rearing children, do you? If you did, I think you’d have a different opinion.**
I dont think I ever said that a gay couple should not be allowed to adopt children, I just said that if I was an agent at an adoption agency I would consider heterosexual couples to have first priority all things being equal.
I hope your hubby finds a job soon, I have been there and done that and it is not pleasant.
That was well said.
There are some people that should not raise children in any sense of the word. We have Juvenile Detention Facilities full of children whose parents Broke them for life. I do not care what race, creed, sexual orientation or whatever criteria. I have assisted parent of the same sex and regular civil unions in adoption of these children. Some of these were happy some were nightmares
The one common problem was an absent parent and a parent that did not function well or parents that lived together that did not function either. These are some of the hardest cases to deal with. You want to put a band aide on all of the problems that they have.
The point that I am trying to make is anyone can be a sperm donor or seed producer, it takes a special person that you can call, Mom or Dad.
Don’t know enough about the car industry to tell you, but I’d imagine it’s probably a matter of infrastructure\skilled work force and the fact that they’d still have some of the cost for importing the cars. It doesn’t really matter, what I’m saying is that unless the company just moves their “headquarters” to a tax shelter (which would save them money unless they don’t pay ANY taxes in the U.S.), the reason for the moves is much more likely to be labor.
You wrote: good thoughts, thank you. And GWLSM great line by the way-“What it did give me was a healthy sense of autonomy and some really interesting stuff to talk about in therapy.”
Please don’t think I am anti-gay, I am not and my thoughts on this have nothing to do with gay or straight. I don’t think 2 straight women or 2 straight men could do as well as a female/male combination. Three men and a baby not withstanding.
Any way as usual a lot to think about
Thanks. Let me ask you this: how can you possibly think of yourself as not being anti-gay if you would deny a gay person the exact same rights that you have? This has everything to do with gay and straight. straight people carry a certain bag of privilege for no other reason than we are straight. Just like white people do because they are white, and we really don’t spend much time thinking about it. I have a friend, an elementary school teacher, who has a framed photograph of a guy friend of hers on her desk because she is afraid to have a photo of her partner of 23 years. She avoids social stuff among the other teachers and while she is not closeted anywhere else, she is at her job. And she thinks she needs to be because she teaches kindergarden in a church school. how is this not discrimination?
Ho wis it not discriminatory to deny people who laugh and love and plan exactly as you do the right to marry and procreate and live their lives out loud exactly as you do?
The real truth is that you don’t know any gay couples rearing children, do you? If you did, I think you’d have a different opinion.
you seem like a compassionate person.
You wrote: As a believer in low taxes as a spur for economic growth, I think you are wrong about conservatives on this issue.
Me: Oh yeah?
You: I may be unusual in my beliefs on this subject, but I don’t disagree that some level of taxation is necessary to provide for infrastructure, defense or public safety. The question is how much? Why do the companies go offshore in the first place? To avoid paying taxes or to avoid paying taxes that are too high? There is a limit to the amount of taxes that a business or an individual can pay both financially and psychologically.
Me: How much? As much as it takes. I want safe highways and bridges and public access to libraries that are open on weekends. Our public schools should be palaces that compete for the best teachers who should make moe than the average garbage collector. Our communities should be safe from crime. And where do our tax dollars go? to the ever expanding and largely ineffective TSA administration. You have no idea the stuff I’ve been able to get on airplanes, but I get frisked, publicly and intimately every time I fly.
Companies go off shore to avoid taxes. By establishing headquarters in the Cayman Islands they avoid the 35% tax rate. In real dollars you probably pay more in taxes than the multi-billion dollar corporations in your state who file their incorporation papers overseas. Those profits do not go to pay workers or to make the workplace safer. They go into the pockets of the corporate elite.
You: For example Maryland passed an extra tax on millionaires not much an additional 3-6% for state taxes, they thought they were going to raise an additional 100 million dollars. They had around 3,000 millionaires last year and this year they have 2,000. Many moved out of the state and some probably just declined due to the economy. But the point is a large number said no to new taxes and the state lost. Why wouldn’t the state of Maryland try to cut spending, you do it I do it.
Me: what would you folks in Maryland like to do without? If the corporate loopholes were closed to all corporations then business would stay where they are and learn to be more fiscally responsible. Why should the government be blamed for financial irresponsibility and not big business? The only solution to cost savings that companies seem to rely on with any regularity is workforce reduction. This means that 1000 workers do the work of 5000 and that formerly high paying jobs get sent to India and China so that CEO’s can continue to make 200-500% more than the average employee.
As for me, cutting spending? my husband was on the wrong end of a workforce reduction and we have not had an income for the past 7 months. You can ask me anything about cutting spending.I am an expert now.
You: Why cant governments cut spending, they spend money on marketing orange juice or studying the mating habits of kangaroo rats. Programs like these along with farm subsidies and other government give a ways are a waste of our tax dollars.
Me: that stuff like studies of orange juice marketing comes from congress. your elected representatives load appropriations bills with it.
You: I want my tax dollars spent on things like defense and infrastructure and police and fire. Things that promote industry and protect lives and property. I don’t care about a kangaroo rat or marketing OJ or rich farmers getting paid to not plant peanuts. Cut these types of programs and reduce our taxes so we can have some real economic growth.
Me: then vote with your feet. follow up with your congressional reps and your senators and your state reps and ask them how they vote on bills and the kinds of things that they attach to bills in order to bring dollars to your state and your district.
“I want my tax dollars spent on things like defense and infrastructure and police and fire. Things that promote industry and protect lives and property. I don’t care about a kangaroo rat or marketing OJ or rich farmers getting paid to not plant peanuts. Cut these types of programs and reduce our taxes so we can have some real economic growth.”
Don’t really want to rile the entire conservative community but isn’t strange that conservatives go ballistic when it is suggested that mortgage interest they deduct on their homes should be eliminated. I just can’t resists this. If conservatives are to lazy to work hard enough to pay the interest on their home loan themselves instead of depending on the government to do it for them, then they shouldn’t be allowed to own a home. LOL
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