Reaction to CA Court's Overturning Gay Marriage Ban

As Big Tent wrote earlier ,the California Supreme Court Thursday overturned a law banning gay marriage (opinion here, pdf). Glenn Greenwald has some terrific analysis on what the decision means and doesn't mean. In a nutshell, from the Washington Post,

Marriage is a "basic civil right" guaranteed to all Californians, "whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples," Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote in a 121-page ruling. He repeatedly said the ruling was based on the California court's first-in-the-nation decision in 1948 to end the state's prohibition on interracial marriage, nearly 20 years before the U.S. Supreme Court took the same action.

The ruling becomes effective in 30 days unless a stay is granted.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama issued similar bland statements on today's decision: [More...]

Hillary's statement:

"Hillary Clinton believes that gay and lesbian couples in committed relationships should have the same rights and responsibilities as all Americans and believes that civil unions are the best way to achieve this goal. As President, Hillary Clinton will work to ensure that same sex couples have access to these rights and responsibilities at the federal level. She has said and continues to believe that the issue of marriage should be left to the states."

Obama's statement:

"Barack Obama has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions as President. He respects the decision of the California Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage."

The radical right in California is geared for a fight, having already gathered 1 million signatures for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage that could be on the ballot in November. You can read it here (pdf.)

The court's decision could be overturned in November, when Californians are likely to vote on a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. Conservative religious organizations have submitted more than 1.1 million signatures on initiative petitions, and officials are working to determine if at least 694,354 of them are valid.

If the measure qualifies for the ballot and voters approve it, it will supersede today's ruling. The initiative does not say whether it would apply retroactively to annul marriages performed before November, an omission that would wind up before the courts.

The politician with the better response, go figure, was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The governor issued a statement today saying, "I respect the court's decision and as governor, I will uphold its ruling." He also reiterated his opposition to the constitutional amendment that is likely to be on the November ballot.

As for the predictable response from John McCain:

Sen. John McCain's campaign said the Arizona Republican "supports the right of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution sanctioning the union between a man and a woman." McCain, who last week decried judicial activism, "doesn't believe judges should be making these decisions," a spokesman added.

Update: Here's Libertarian candidate Bob Barr:

Regardless of whether one supports or opposes same sex marriage, the decision to recognize such unions or not ought to be a power each state exercises on its own, rather than imposition of a one-size-fits-all mandate by the federal government (as would be required by a Federal Marriage Amendment which has been previously proposed and considered by the Congress).
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    And SurveyUSA says (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by andgarden on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:26:20 AM EST
    that Californians are prepared to amend their constituion. This is going to be a big and unpleasant fight, that I hope but don't expect we can win.

    such idiocy (none / 0) (#5)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:28:21 AM EST
    they agree with the court decision but would amend the constitution.  Ahhh.  

    Has this failed in any state? (none / 0) (#12)
    by SueBonnetSue on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:19:12 AM EST
    I'm just wondering if any of our liberal states have shot down such an amendment?  If they have, then it will fail in CA too.  

    How many states have tried an amendment and how many have failed?  It can fail again!  


    Ironically... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Alec82 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 02:40:54 AM EST
    ...it has only failed in AZ, and the closest it came to failing after AZ was SD.

     So-called "liberal" states have a bad track record on gay rights issues when subjected to a popular vote, not that their conservative cousins are much better.


    Letting the states decide (none / 0) (#68)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat May 17, 2008 at 04:18:39 AM EST
    Sounds like a good idea, but the reality is, people vote against it.  I guess we have to let judges make it law.  The people won't do it.  

    Am I missing something? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by NWHiker on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:32:40 AM EST
    Similar bland statements from BO and HRC, but Clinton's says: "As President, Hillary Clinton will work to ensure that same sex couples have access to these rights and responsibilities at the federal level."

    Does this mean she is planning, if elected (yeah, well...) on allowing stuff like immigration rights, social security benefits, IRS filing etc? That would be progress, wouldn't it?

    IIRC from an interview she did, (none / 0) (#18)
    by eleanora on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:36:46 AM EST
    Hillary wants to leave part of DOMA intact and only repeal the part that says the federal government will not recognize same-sex marriages. If she can do that, then the states will allow marriages or civil unions or not as they please, and the federal gov't will have to grant them all the rights accruing to married couples. If you just repeal DOMA outright as Obama wants to do, she thinks that will bring a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriages or unions completely, no matter what the states want.

    Thank you... (none / 0) (#21)
    by NWHiker on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:51:29 AM EST
    ... for the explanation.

    Alas, I see her point about a constitutional amendment. That would truly be revolting. I wonder if it would pass, though?

    I really wish we could just move to civil ceremonies  for everyone and let marriage be performed, for those who want it, by the clergy person of their choice.


    Agreed, Hillary is out in front on this. (none / 0) (#27)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri May 16, 2008 at 03:05:20 AM EST
    Protection of civil rights at a federal level trumps the uneven or non-existent protections that may, or may not, be enacted at a state level. This holds true whether we're talking about reproductive choice or marriage/civil unions for people in the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender - that's the most accurate and inclusive term).

    The GOP poses the issue as a threat to the values of the people who are the "back-bone" of the country: down-home average Joes, hard-working Americans. The kind of folks who are now Hillary's base; which is, incidentally, inclusive of the full spectrum of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and age.

    Hillary may be uniquely positioned to lay the whole gay-baiting issue to rest once and for all. She could make a populist case to her base; about how the GOP uses this kind of wedge issue to detract from the socio-economic issues that most afflict working class folks and the middle class.

    The GOP talks about a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage so that they don't have to address, or remedy, the problems of health care, job loss, crumbling infrastructure, deficiencies in the educational system, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.

    The bottom line, restricting the civil rights of folks in the LGBT community is a ruse that enables the GOP to perpetuate the real problems that affect a majority of 'average' Americans. Call this realization enlightened self-interest. In the GE, it could pay dividends for all concerned.


    Normally would agree.. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Alec82 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 03:13:55 AM EST
    ...but she says she is opposed to marriage rights for religious reasons.  As does Obama.  I'm not giving either one a free pass on this.  And this is coming from someone who doesn't care if you call it marriage or civil unions or anything else.  

     Gay and lesbian voters are less reliable than African-American or (if I remember correctly) Jewish voters.  There's a reason for that.  

     BTW, arguing about Senator Clinton's base is probably not going to get you anywhere with LGBT donors.  Maybe in the GE it makes sense to decry "SF Democrat elitist politicians," but to a lot of those voters that amounts to gay baiting.  I'm not convinced they'll back Clinton over McCain, given the chance to influence the GOP.  


    Gay Support for Hillary (none / 0) (#30)
    by Beth on Fri May 16, 2008 at 03:54:08 AM EST
    I'm not convinced they'll back Clinton over McCain, given the chance to influence the GOP.

    You aren't certain gay people will vote for Clinton over McCain?!?

    She's gotten support from orgs like HRC and endorsements from major gay newspapers. At least within the lesbian community, I'd say she's much more popular than Obama these days (though I may be biased). I wouldn't worry too much about this...

    You're right... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Alec82 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 04:04:57 AM EST
    ...stupid comment.  I don't think those voters would respond more favorably to either Democratic candidate, if they are running against McCain.

     Sorry, my comment was ill-informed.  I think that Senator Clinton enjoys a higher and more pervasive gay support network than Obama is likely to see.  This primary is depriving me of sleep and reason.

     The only issue I take exception to: HRC support.  HRC has proved itself to be one of the most ineffectual orgnanizations out there, particularly with what happened at the CA supreme court today.  And Jim Neal.  Still very bitter about what they did.

     That being said, McCain is really attractive to a lot of gay white men.  You know, the self-hating ones that number in the thousands.  


    Well (none / 0) (#32)
    by facta non verba on Fri May 16, 2008 at 04:31:06 AM EST
    I don't vote my sexuality, do you vote yours?

    Gay issues are important to me and yes they have an influence on my decision but there is so much more than I have to consider.

    On your larger point, however, I think you are correct. It is not that they are not reliable, it is more than they don't vote. I would say at least half of gay men don't vote nor participate in the political process. It is an eternal frustration for me. I tell than politics matters and that they should care about politics even only if that means voting because if they don't pay attention to politics then politics can happen to them.

    I have a good friend, Jeremy, here in SF from Iowa originally. He owns two homes there. He is early 30s now. He has won a Grammy. He is a tenor in a choral group. He has never voted in his life. Well-educated, articulate, well-travelled. Not one vote.


    So............. (none / 0) (#69)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat May 17, 2008 at 04:20:23 AM EST
    Gays are just like everyone else.  Younger people don't vote, regardless of who they take to bed with them.

    I missed something-- (none / 0) (#41)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 16, 2008 at 07:26:21 AM EST
    I thought she had said pretty much what CA did--no church or preacher could be forced to ordain a gay marriege.  So far as I know, neither of those entities can be forced to perform any marriage, not should they be.  Enlightened churches can be found if gay marriage is not forbidden (UCC, actually, for one).  It would just be needful for other churches to not go around loudly proclaiming that a certain is couple is not really married, just evil.

    Foxhole, well said (none / 0) (#48)
    by Kathy on Fri May 16, 2008 at 08:59:50 AM EST
    I would only add that desegregation was successfully pushed through by the federal government vis-a-vis the military and federal hiring practices as well.  I don't think the fed gov should mess with states rights (what a nightmare that would be) but I think they can make sure that they serve as an example.  Last I checked, the fed gov was one of if not the largest employer.

    Hey, do y'all remember when America used to serve as a shining example of freedom and democracy to the world?


    The federal extension is very (none / 0) (#40)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 16, 2008 at 07:19:43 AM EST
    important.  Altho' my son is legally married in MA, the couple cannot file joint tax returns.  And since the federal return is basic to other legalities, that is major.  And I am sure there are other federal issues as well--maybe school loans, who knows what else.

    The cruelest impact is upon binational gay couples (none / 0) (#54)
    by Mark Woods on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:32:41 AM EST
    Not having federal 'married' status forces numerous gay couples to be separated or to live in a third country that is friendly to gays, often Canada or in Europe.  

    This means gays often have to choose between caring for aging parents in the U.S. and seldom seeing family OR being ripped apart as a couple because their only choice is to flee the U.S. in order to remain together:

    "A preliminary study of the 2000 census by demographer Gary Gates at the Williams Project on gay studies at the UCLA, found that 6 percent of the 594, 391 same-sex unmarried partners that were counted included one citizen and one non-citizen."

    "That would indicate more than 35,000 same-sex bi-national couples living in the United States at the time of the census." (SF Chronicle -- Wednesday, June 22, 2005)


    Contrast the two statements (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by daryl herbert on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:02:31 AM EST
    Sen. Obama refuses to use the word "gay"

    He sounds like a conservative with hangups

    Eh... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Beth on Fri May 16, 2008 at 03:50:23 AM EST
    I'm gay, and not at all shy about using "gay" or "dyke" or "queer" to self describe, and yet I often call it same-sex marriage myself. Technically, it would allow non-gay same-sex couples to get married too (which might appeal to some older women with a close girlfriend with whom they have a strong, non-sexual bond).

    I'm much more concerned with Obama's pandering to the homophobic black Christian demographic than I am about this.

    pandering? (none / 0) (#65)
    by BethanyAnne on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:05:54 PM EST
    He had a bigot on stage once.  Besides that, what has he done to pander?  Last time I was listening to him, he brought the issue of full inclusion up at a Black church.  Or does that one incident make everything else he has done null and void?

    What word does he use? (none / 0) (#10)
    by SueBonnetSue on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:12:02 AM EST
    He uses the same term as the majority (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:30:12 AM EST
    opinion:  "same-sex"

    He has done (none / 0) (#35)
    by facta non verba on Fri May 16, 2008 at 05:35:15 AM EST
    that before. It's rather odd. Very calculating.

    if you want to read into it (none / 0) (#49)
    by Kathy on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:02:56 AM EST
    I really hate the word "enjoy."  It makes it sound like a luxury.  Y'all know I'm no fan of Obama to begin with, and I've certainly heard the phrase, "enjoy" with regards to LGBT civil rights, but coupled with the Advocate interview wherein he said that certain rights were off the table, this just tells me he views this issue as a "boutique" issue.  "We'll try to get that right for you if and when we have time," sort of thinking.

    But, like I said, my knee jerks so high now when Obama's name is mentioned that I've virtually got two black eyes and a nasty cut on my forehead.


    Same sex marriage is an issue not only (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by felizarte on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:36:23 AM EST
    for gays and lesbians.  It can actually benefit older people with no contact with family and the closest thing they have to family is a friend perhaps living in the same retirement home; people whose needs are basically for a friend or a companion in their later years. They can avail of rights of survivorship, joint accounts. But benefits also breed other problems.  In the case of older people, perhaps the children will be concerned about property rights which invest spouses with special claims.

    Ah well, they better write some laws to clarify things or the courts will be clogged with cases of first impressions.

    Hilary's statement is clearly more substantial (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Newt on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:43:29 AM EST
    than Obama's.  He says same-sex couples, she says gays and the L word.  But the fact is, both our candidates need to be careful with their words because our opponents already have attack videos of them decrying their support of gays, including one of Hillary saying the word gay over and over in different contexts and locations.  For political reasons, both candidates have to say they're for civil unions, not marriage, and they respect states' rights, but Hillary bravely commits to working for access to these rights and responsibilities at the federal level. Then again, Bill Clinton courted the gay vote for his reelection, then turned around and signed DOMA, betraying gays and their supporters.  

    Anyone have insight on how Hillary's promise is more valid than her husbands words of support before DOMA?

    Thank you (none / 0) (#66)
    by BethanyAnne on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:07:49 PM EST
    so much for remembering that Bill C was for us having rights before he voted for DOMA.

    Honestly, I could forgive the DOMA vote if he had explained it to us as Hillary explains it now.  But he had to purchase advertising on right wing radio bragging about passing it.  I'll not forgive him for that.


    I never chose to be heterosexual (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by nellre on Fri May 16, 2008 at 02:05:08 AM EST
    So I must (and I mean must) assume gays did not chose to be homosexual.

    So are we going to blame diabetics for chosing to be diabetic?

    Denying somebody basic rights because they were born with a certain skin color, or height, or gender, or sexual orientation is ok how?

    Might have screwed up here (none / 0) (#23)
    by nellre on Fri May 16, 2008 at 02:08:34 AM EST
    I didn't mean to imply being born gay was like a disease.
    I was trying to emphasis that one might have challenges in life one did not chose.
    My diabetic diatribe was borrowed from my rants that depression is not a character flaw.

    Please forgive if I gave offense.


    No offense at all! (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 16, 2008 at 07:05:42 AM EST
    I know extremely well my son did not choose his orientation.  One of the basic tenants of those who oppose gay marriage is that gays choose to be evil or even just different.  Once you get to the point that it is not a choice, those people (even in a southern church) become open to revising their views.  

    I am totally happy my son lives in MA and is married (to another southern guy he met there).  But heaven-on-earth to me is for their rights to be portable whereever they travel or live.

    Oh, aloha to our friend from Hawaii, who was presented with a very hard life lesson and has earned his A+.


    again with the south! (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Kathy on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:12:17 AM EST
    Atlanta is very gay, has partnership laws, city council members who are openly gay, a mayor who told the state to f-off when they wanted to restrict gay rights...We aren't MA, but you can walk down the street holding hands and people smile and think it's sweet.  (And we also have Baton Bob)

    But, I don't disagree with the church part of your statement (don't disagree with you at all, really, except to defend my region!)  

    The issue is portability.  If you son and his lover go to Florida, and his lover (God forbid) is in a car accident, based on what has happened in FL before, he won't have access to him at the hospital.  He won't have any say in medical decisions.  If they have children, he could very well see social services take them away.  If your son's lover is on your son's work insurance policy, there could be problems, too.

    I just spent a zillion bucks on a LGBT legal expert to get my will as tight as it can be, make sure all my property passes outside the will, setting up a trust, etc, to make sure my partner of almost 16 years gets everything.  And, still, it can be contested.  And taxed, which is just about the worst part.  


    Hey, I'm from SC! (none / 0) (#58)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:02:36 AM EST
    And so are my son and son-in-law.  They went to MA for school/work and then met each other.  I know what you are saying.  I also know they might like to be in SC again sometime--aging parents, you know.  I do know about Atlanta--my son dated there years ago.  But at this moment, if I hear talk of their moving out of MA, I say 'no.'  Too much to lose.  (And for Pete's sake, please--voters, don't make them move to Canada!)

    A disease? (none / 0) (#70)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat May 17, 2008 at 04:23:17 AM EST
    I don't much like gays being compared to having a disease.  Especially diabetes which can often be controlled with life style choices.  Not good.  

    i used to be closed minded about (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by snucky on Fri May 16, 2008 at 02:35:50 AM EST
    the idea of gay marriage. but as i go older and wiser i see gays can be loving parents too and must enjoy the same rights i have as a hetrosexual married male.

    Gay rights advocates... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Alec82 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 02:52:50 AM EST
    ...are on their own on this one.  That is how it must be this year.

     Speaking as one half of a California gay male couple, the decision was nice, even unexpected, but not without problems.  We're still worried about the initiative that is likely to be on the ballot in November, I still don't trust any of the candidates on this issue and (on a more pragmatic level) there are still a hell of a lot of issues to consider before getting hitched, whether you get the M-word or a functional equivalent.  

     I'm pretty much resigned to gay rights reversals when they're subjected to a popular vote (I campaigned in Michigan heavily in 2004; I've learned to cope with disappointment), so I take this "victory" with a grain of salt.  Still, whatever happens, a good day for the progressive movement, even if it proves short-lived.

    aren't we usually on our own? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Kathy on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:19:54 AM EST
    I mean--seriously.  I think one of the reasons I feel such loyalty to the Clintons, and HRC especially, is her long track record of supporting LGBT rights.  Remember when that staff member of hers was outted by the GOP, and he tried to resign and she would not take his resignation?  Remember when she became the first first lady to march in a gay pride parade?  I remember standing in the audience at a Bill Clinton rally in Atlanta, and he started talking about Stonewall, and what an important moment in our history it was, and how next month marked the anniversary of the uprising, and we were all, like, "what?  The anniversary is next month?"

    I know it was op research, but that is when I joined his campaign.  He was the first presidential candidate to have a LGBT liaison.  Hundreds of thousands of people died while Reagan never said the words "AIDS," and Hillary Clinton went into AID Atlanta and held folks' hands and talked to them like they were human beings.

    Some in the community have forgotten how bad it was, and what a beacon they were.  I will not.


    Yeah, each victory is (none / 0) (#53)
    by ahazydelirium on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:29:07 AM EST

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 06:46:08 AM EST
    In a recent article in a gay newspaper Obama made the following statements. He wants ro scrap DADT and leave the decision to the military. Well that puts everything back to 1950. On marriage, he believes that progress must come from the bottom up. He doesn't think the federal gov should mandate these rights. If we had used that same thinking with racial issues, he never would have been able to realize the life he is living today. There are things that the Fed has to mandate. Equality for all should be one of these things.

    A great day for civil rights! (1.00 / 1) (#56)
    by sarissa on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:36:59 AM EST
    Next up: plural marriage

    Why do people think (none / 0) (#1)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:22:18 AM EST
    CA is liberal?  We have a ridiculous time getting things passed here.   We're a bunch of hypocrites.  It's not a matter of just the repubs going after this.  When these votes happen, in some cities the vote is so bad, it's apparent Dems vote against them also.

    30 days, but marriage certs could be given out now (none / 0) (#2)
    by jerry on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:23:01 AM EST
    On Talk of the Nation today, one of the attorneys that brought it before the court said that the 30 day period is when it must go into effect, but cities that wanted to could allow people to apply right now.

    I think this is a great decision, and congratulations to California.

    The politician with the better response, go figure, was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Ahnuld probably has many many gay friends, from weight lifting, from Hollywood, and from big closeted Republican donors....

    Those ridiculous initiatives (none / 0) (#3)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:25:45 AM EST
    I never sign any of them anymore.  How aggravating.  

    Whatever became of the GOP (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:33:28 AM EST
    deference to states's rights?

    BTW:  whose statement came out first?  Clinton's or Obama's?  Sounds as if each sd.:  what s/he sd.

    Obama was first (none / 0) (#8)
    by mbuchel on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:44:00 AM EST
    Gop wants the state to decide? (none / 0) (#11)
    by SueBonnetSue on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:14:25 AM EST
    Does John McCain want the people of the state of CA to decide?  Is that what you are saying?  He wants to let the people decide, over the 4 Justices?  Did he say that?  Or are you saying that republican used to support letting the people of the state decide but now they want judges to decide?  

    Sorry.  I'm confused.  Who should decide these things for a state?  


    A prime GOP talking point used to (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by oculus on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:20:46 AM EST
    be that the federal government should be smaller and leave matters to the state governments which were not specifically assigned to the feds by the U.S. Constitution. But, the GOP's tune has changed.  Any judge, state or federal, who makes a decision a federalist doesn't like, is still a "judicial activist."

    The Constitution (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by madamab on Fri May 16, 2008 at 08:32:48 AM EST
    used to be a chief plank in the GOP platform. Principled GOPers were quite concerned with keeping it intact.

    Now, their judges approve of torture and deny habeas corpus, while their attorneys push legal opinions that eviscerate the Bill of Rights and their elected officials pass legislation that allows U.S. citizens to be termed "enemy combatants" if Dear Leader deems it so.

    Republicans have come a long way down a very scary extremist road.


    Let THE PEOPLE of the state decide (none / 0) (#72)
    by SueBonnetSue on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:47:10 AM EST
    Like they just did.  Republicans like to let the people vote and decide, rather than a few judges deciding.  

    McCain said today (none / 0) (#71)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat May 17, 2008 at 04:25:55 AM EST
    That he wants the states to decide.  Let each state vote, but no Constitutional amendment.  States rights.

    same-sex (none / 0) (#14)
    by diplomatic on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:28:50 AM EST

    "Barack Obama has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions as President. He respects the decision of the California Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage."

    responding to suebonnet (none / 0) (#15)
    by diplomatic on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:29:31 AM EST
    I have no problem with the wording, but she asked.

    Odd that Mayor Newsom (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edgar08 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:49:51 AM EST
    Posted to the ObamaBlog today despite the No Pic rule with Obama.

    I didn't know Tosca had wireless.  Stands to reason I guess.

    A Principled Step for CA (none / 0) (#34)
    by Niffari on Fri May 16, 2008 at 05:19:08 AM EST
    I really hope that this legal ruling sets the stage for other challenges to inherently unconstitutional (IMO) laws in other states. The right of marriage is one that should be accorded to all Americans. If I have one criticism of Both Obama and Clinton, it's that they don't support marriage for gay/lesbian couples. Civil unions should not be sufficient. These people are American citizens too.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#38)
    by jarober on Fri May 16, 2008 at 07:12:59 AM EST
    I would much rather see these kinds of fights happen in the legislature - part of the reason that abortion fights are still going on is that the Court put a stop to all legislative action, and forced all activists (of any stripe) to view the Presidency as a proxy for court appointments.  If nothing else, that's a hugely inefficient way to have civil rights battles.  

    Legislation (none / 0) (#42)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 07:30:31 AM EST
    I don't think these issues can be handled through legislation. It would create a see saw effect everytime there was an election. The law would be repealed by the next administration. (Or at the least it would be an option out there).

    Seems appropriate (none / 0) (#62)
    by coigue on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:09:02 AM EST
    considering it is a constitutional issue.

    Well (none / 0) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 16, 2008 at 07:16:06 AM EST
    it looks like it's shaping up to be 2004 all over again. I'm glad for the couples that this helps in CA but it motivates the Republicans to come out and vote. If Obama's the nominee, he'll probably have to fight to keep CA blue.

    It will happen every year (none / 0) (#61)
    by coigue on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:08:18 AM EST
    if we don't tackle it forcefully and make the GOP's opposition an example of their mean spirited, nosy neighbor tendencies.

    The answer to this achilles heel is not bland comments, it is strong condemnation of those who would deny happiness and equality on the basis of bigotry.

    Take what they think is a strength, make it their weakness.

    It takes courage.


    Civil Rights (none / 0) (#43)
    by Katherine Graham Cracker on Fri May 16, 2008 at 07:30:34 AM EST
    If there is some religious objection then move the word "marriage" out of the civil codes and make marriage a private matter and have the state only sanction civil unions

    There should not be "separate but equal" unions under the law.

    Marriage or Civil Union (none / 0) (#45)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 07:50:04 AM EST
    My partner's mother asked me if I would marry her son if it was legal in Illinois. I told her no. Until it has federal backing it really doesn't matter. Neither of us would have any of the financial protections that are available to a straight couple. (Social security and pension to name two big one!)

    The history predates CA Constitution (none / 0) (#51)
    by wurman on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:18:41 AM EST
    In the olden days, Europe, a couple would start living together, the Church would publish "banns" 3 Sundays in a row & the new 2-some was then married in the eyes of the community.  The couple, might, at a later date, actually have a wedding ceremony & mass.

    The notion of government (along with the church, not in opposition to) "licensing" marriages came into being for tax purposes: property (inheritance & probate, etc.), joint incomes & assessments per person instead of per household or per land holding ("head" taxes) & other forms of apportionment based on a changed family unit--from extended to nuclear.

    The CA ruling cannot affect IRS decisions about federal income tax, but may have a huge impact on the state processes.  It will affect insurances--accident & health, auto & property, as well as liability stuff.

    The CA decision cannot affect Social Security, but may have a huge impact on in-state retirement accounts (think CA teachers benefits & city, county & state programs!!!), the interpretations of IRA & 401k assignments & the many forms of annuities (insurances, again).

    This is not a small change, even without any developments at the Federal level.  Should keep the legal profession busy for a couple of decades.

    Do these conservative groups (none / 0) (#55)
    by ahazydelirium on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:35:48 AM EST
    have millions of signatures filed away so they can just whip them out every time someone else gets some human rights?

    strangely enough, (none / 0) (#57)
    by cpinva on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:11:10 AM EST
    i've never had anyone opposed to same-sex unions provide a rational basis for that opposition, it always come down to religion. further, i've never had anyone explain to me exactly how this would "destroy" traditional man-on-top, woman-on-the-bottom, get it over with quick, roll over and go to sleep marriage.

    if two married gays or lesbians moved in next door, i'm at a loss as to how my marriage would be threatened (unless i wanted to go watch the two lesbians have sex!), so could someone please enlighten me?

    i suspect this decision will be overturned, with the argument that people can't decide what race they want to be, but are able to decide whether or not to be LGBT. idiotic i grant you, but just you wait.

    hmmmmmmmmmmm, maybe i can go find two unmarrie lesbians to watch! :)

    If it comes down to religion (none / 0) (#60)
    by coigue on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:05:03 AM EST
    then religions that believe in gay marriage can perform them, no?

    The fear is palpable. (none / 0) (#59)
    by coigue on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:04:07 AM EST
    And the reaction is the same as what John Kerry did.

    Stronger reactions for what is right is what is prescribed here, a change of tactics.

    We should put this to bed as our achilles heel and make it the GOP's achilles heel. Afterall, they have a reputation of "mean-spiritedness" - why can't we push that meme here?

    Impact on Election (none / 0) (#63)
    by Paladin on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:33:41 AM EST
    Since this will most likely be on the ballot, it should motivate many right-wingers to vote which of course will be to McCain's advantage.  I live in CA and am among those who don't believe CA is an automatic lock for Obama.

    I remember 2004 (none / 0) (#64)
    by coigue on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:42:15 AM EST
    I understand how that works.

    My point is that if we LET it work by not adressing their bigotry head-on....it will continue to work for the GOP.

    It's the new southern strategy.

    We have two choices. Try to pretend it will go away or meet it head on.


    love this legal approach (none / 0) (#67)
    by DandyTIger on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:21:34 PM EST
    to turn the issue into a basic civil rights issue. Well done. I think this approach should do well even with our crazy SCOTUS. Then again, they can be a bit off. We'll see how it plays out. But I think if that approach is taken with PR, I think a surprising number of Americans will actually be more favorable.