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Started by PPI Tracy, February 07, 2012, 04:09:00 PM

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PPI Tracy

San Francisco (CNN) -- A federal appeals court ruled against California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, arguing the ban unconstitutionally singles out gays and lesbians for discrimination.

In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the state's Proposition 8 "works a meaningful harm to gays and lesbians" by denying their right to civil marriage in violation of the 14th Amendment. Supporters of same-sex marriages cheered the decision when it was announced outside the courthouse Tuesday morning.

"Happy Valentine's Day, California," one man in the crowd shouted when the decision was released.

The 2-1 decision is expected to be appealed, to either the full court or to the U.S. Supreme Court, and a stay of the order remains in place as the appeal process continues, the court noted.

"We do not doubt the importance of the more general questions presented to us concerning the rights of same-sex couples to marry, nor do we doubt that these questions will likely be resolved in other states, and for the nation as a whole, by other courts," Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt and Michael Daly Hawkins wrote in the majority opinion.

"For now, it suffices to conclude that the people of California may not, consistent with the federal Constitution, add to their state constitution a provision that has no more practical effect than to strip gays and lesbians of the right to use the official designation that the state and society give to committed relationships, thereby adversely affecting the status and dignity of the members of a disfavored class."

In a part-concurring, part-dissenting opinion, Circuit Judge N. Randy Smith said he wasn't sure Proposition 8 "lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests" in terms of raising children. Previous rulings show an argument for "extreme judicial restraint" in such cases, he wrote.
But same-sex marriage activist Billy Bradford said Tuesday's ruling marks how Americans understand there's nothing wrong with allowing a same-sex couple to get married.

"For me, it's a beautiful day," Bradford told CNN outside the courthouse. "But it's a great day for the Constitution."

Proposition 8, which passed in 2009 with 52% of the vote. California's Supreme Court had allowed same-sex marriages in California before Proposition 8, but its passage brought an end to the practice.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian legal foundation that backed Proposition 8, said it was not surprised that "this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage -- tried in San Francisco -- turned out this way." But it said it was confident the Supreme Court would uphold "the expressed will of the American people."

"No court should presume to redefine marriage. No court should undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people," it said.
Opponents of same-sex marriage point out that they have won referenda in every state where the issue has been on the ballot. But a CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll in September found that public opinion has shifted nationwide since 2009, with 53% now saying same-sex marriages should be recognized as valid and 46% opposed.

Tuesday's decision also rejected arguments by supporters of the ban that now-retired federal judge Vaughn Walker -- who found Proposition 8 unconstitutional in 2010 -- should have stepped aside and let another judge hear the case. Walker disclosed after his retirement that he is gay and in a long-term relationship, leading Proposition 8 advocates to argue he should not have heard the case.
Prior to Walker's ruling, the California Supreme Court allowed Proposition 8 to stand, saying it represented the will of the people.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris hailed Tuesday's decision as "a victory for fairness, a victory for equality and a victory for justice," while Gov. Jerry Brown called it "a powerful affirmation of the right of same-sex couples to marry."

And Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had allowed same-sex marriages when he was mayor of San Francisco, called it "a historic milestone towards equality for all Americans."
"This is the biggest step that the American judicial system has taken to end the grievous discrimination against men and women in same-sex relationships and should be highly praised," Newsom said in a written statement.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said the decision appears to be tailored narrowly to California and Proposition 8, rather than finding a federal right for gay and lesbian couples to marry. But that might be an advantage when the Supreme Court considers any appeal, since the justices might decide against taking a case that has no impact beyond California."This might well be the last word on the case," Toobin said.

Six states currently grant same-sex marriage licenses -- New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire. The District of Columbia also does.
Five additional states recognize civil unions, providing state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples. They are Hawaii, Delaware, New Jersey, Illinois and Rhode Island.

PPI Karl

If you want to end your misery, start enjoying it, because there's nothing the universe begrudges more than our enjoyment.

PPI Debra

Banning gay marriage is unconstitutional because it's a religiously based decision.

I can't stomach the stupidity of the righteous.
"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer

PPI Brian

That's why Lady Justice is blindfolded, holding a sword and balancing the scales: the law must be objective, not subjective. No law can stand that discriminates against one group of people over another. The Supreme Court must obey the constitution of the state. This is a victory for all people.  ;D
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan

PPI Tracy

I was so angered by a section of an article on CNN this morning in reference to this ruling.  It said that when Prop 8 won, gay marriage was shot down and "the practice was stopped".  Excuse me?  "The Practice"? a practice a practice a practice
THE a tv show


(Moron journalism at it's finest)   >:[

PPI Jason

Great news, but what  roller coaster ride.

Decisions like this restore my faith, to a small degree, in the justice system. But it should not have been anything other than a unanimous decision. What is there to "partly dissent"?

"Will of the American people"?

I'm with Debra. I literally feel sick to my stomach whan I hear the religious conservative ignorance. It's like watching the Salem witch trials. It's like watching the Roman's crucify Jesus. It's like watching James Earl Ray shoot Martin Luther King Jr. and only being able to stand by and watch. It's just this sick feeling of, "How can you possibly be so stupid???"

How can these people be so parochial as to think that it is their god-given right to deny an entire group of human beings the right to be who they are just because it bothers them. Just because a few pages out of a book with an untraceable background brought to us today after a variety of inaccurate translations and open to a variety of interpretations written by a group of unknown heterosexual men with a variety of agendas over 2,000 years ago says that homosexuality is wrong?

Bodhichitta don't leave me because I just want to smack these butt-heads!  ;)
Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.
-Jack Handey

PPI Karl

You all make me weep, in a profoundly good way.  How did I get so lucky to have you as my friends.

I love you all.
If you want to end your misery, start enjoying it, because there's nothing the universe begrudges more than our enjoyment.

PPI Tracy

PPI Debra

I adore you!

We are blessed for knowing you!
"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer

PPI Brian

We love you too, Karl. That's why we are all so happy to hear the ruling today!

But as Jason said, it shouldn't have taken this long to reach a decision and it should have been unanimous. What is there to disagree with? Absolutely nothing. The constitution is clear - no law can stand that discriminates against one group of people while granting a right to another group of people. This is no different than the laws that have already been struck down that denied interracial couples the right to marry. People today may not realize it, but up until the US Supreme Court ruled in 1967 interracial marriage was forbidden by law and punishable by imprisonment in 24 of the 48 states. The focal point of this landmark Supreme Court case was Mildred and Richard Loving. In 1958 the couple was awakened in the middle of the night when police broke into their house and arrested them for being an interracial married couple in the state of Virginia. Marriage is not exclusively a religious contract, otherwise atheists would not be allowed to marry.  :)  
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan


This is one of those times when Christian beliefs and I part ways.  Love can be misguided, but as a general rule, love is considered righteous behavior in the bible. It seems rather odd that God, who is all knowing and sits outside time, would create free willed humans with an inherit disposition of love, sin.  Now some would argue that just because God is precognitive of the sin you will make, doesn't renege  your free will. In most cases I would agree. It is clear that sexual disposition, is usually present from birth. The exception is those that learned the behavior from an outside source. I have known Gays, and Lesbians from both sides. Sexual desire is nearly impossible to change. unfortunately this fact is more obvious in it's extreme misguided forms such as child abusers, Charlie Sheen (lol) , and other sex addicts. It is clear that choosing a partner to spend your life time with, involves love and a sexual interest.  So why would God create persons who are nearly impossible to change? From Birth? It simply doesn't add up.  I knew Bruce from the time I was in kindergarten. I remember in 2nd grade he gave me a rose for Valentines day. By seventh grade it was obvious Bruce didn't have much interest in girls. I ended up running into Bruce recently at a job interview. He was living with a football player from our Alma Matter of all places! It never surprised me Bruce was going to grow up interested in Men. The predisposition existed all the way back to kindergarten. Bruce was born Gay. Christians often lump Homosexuality into, alcoholism, drug addiction, as sins that can be cured from prayer and repentance of Sin. Love is an addiction but, Homosexuals do not need or want to be fixed. This hearkens to a movie called "But I'm a Cheerleader"

Homosexuals deserve the same rights afforded heterosexuals with regards to marriage / civil unions.  I can think of many persons who were married in a church under God, and were not practicing Christians in any sense.  I think those types marriages are more defunct.  In any case as cliche as it sounds, Everyone has a right to be miserable not just heterosexuals!

PPI Karl

Ha!  I've seen this a couple of times.  Cute, and at times poignant, little film.

Thanks for your insights and your commentary on the so-called scriptural sanctions on homosexuality, Dan.  My longtime partner and husband was actually tortured (physically, for several months) in the Battle Creek Sanitarium (yep, the one in that movie) at sixteen years of age in his parents' misguided attempt to bring him in line with the scriptural values of the Assemblies of God.  If I were a different kind of man, this would be enough to merit an act of payback from me.  The historical pattern in Christianity, of inflicting torment and pain in the name of mercy and the King of Peace, was enough to make me turn away from organized Christian religions by the time I was eighteen, but to know someone intimately who wears the physical scars of this--and in this day and age--makes me believe that there is something fundamentally and inherently evil about the religious institution of Christianity, itself.  I know it can't be the teachings of Jesus Christ, or the Buddhist teachings they kind of resemble.  So, it has to be the influence of political power structures within churches that transform a belief in a philosophy of "Doing unto others as you would have done to yourself" into a dogma of "Undoing others for the sake of yourself." 

Fortunately, individuals can choose to be better than their institutions.  They can always face the light, and step back out of darkness when the choice is given them, and there are spiritually true Christians to find among us, who see the value in using their own God-given minds, and their hearts, to see their way through to the truth.   I know the pressure from institutions to tow the line and "keep the faith" is great, but people need to learn sometimes that "keeping the faith" is not the same thing as "keeping the dogma."  Just my jaded opinion.

It feels good to know that there is a kindred intellect here on this issue.  Again, thanks for your welcome commentary.
If you want to end your misery, start enjoying it, because there's nothing the universe begrudges more than our enjoyment.


Valentine's Day will be extra special this year :D
Sounds interesting...Go on.

PPI Debra

"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer