Gay Marriages Begin in California

Despite the contrary opinion of the Bush adminstration and conservatives, gay marriage is now legal in California. The state began issuing licenses today.

CA, MA and 48 more to go.

Update: Picture swapped for a more cheery one, at the suggestion of ByTheFault.

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    48 more to go! (5.00 / 9) (#1)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:24:28 PM EST
    The kind of "48 state strategy" that I like.

    Excellent news for human rights.  Excellent news for liberalism.

    Federal law is what has to change (none / 0) (#140)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 04:20:22 PM EST
    because many of the important marital benefits are neatly tucked away in IRS code.  :P

    See my post below.



    Cheers! (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by sociallybanned on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:27:07 PM EST
    Agree, Excellent news for Human Rights!

    Those ladies are soooooo cute!! (none / 0) (#138)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 03:13:53 PM EST
    Woohoo! (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:27:34 PM EST

    I know a couple in Des Moines (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by desmoinesdem on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:30:33 PM EST
    who are getting married in California next weekend. They were planning to be there for a conference anyway, but they decided to take advantage of the new law. I didn't realize that unlike the Massachusetts law, this one does not require that marrying LGBT couples reside in the state.

    I didn't realize that either (none / 0) (#19)
    by davnee on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:54:51 PM EST
    Interesting.  That actually implicates DOMA.  We'll see what happens down the line, though my gut is that the S.Ct. would consider DOMA constitutional as to full faith and credit.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#27)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:05:04 PM EST
    Granted, it's been a while since I looked into the legal particulars, but FFAC is constitutional, so it trumps any applicable part of DOMA.

    Although in practical terms, it's not very likely SCOTUS would see it that way.


    My understanding (none / 0) (#45)
    by davnee on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:25:20 PM EST
    with the caveat that I haven't researched this, is that the FFAC clause empowers Congress to prescribe the manner of its application.  It's a very grey area since we don't have much precedent to go on with this clause.  I think our conservative leaning court would be quite likely to read Congress' constitutional powers generously here.  And we know they aren't going to bite on a 14th Amendment claim a la Loving v. Virginia, so FFAC may be the only avenue to attack DOMA.

    I think it's almost more a strategic problem (none / 0) (#50)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:31:55 PM EST
    at this point.  Who dares bring a FFAC suit, with the SCOTUS we have now?

    I don't agree (none / 0) (#59)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:51:26 PM EST
    California can issue a marriage certificate to Iowa residents, but that doesn't compel Iowa to recognize the marriage.  Either with DOMA or without it, frankly.

    true--Iowa would not recognize it (none / 0) (#70)
    by desmoinesdem on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:04:00 PM EST
    But according to this couple, Massachusetts wouldn't even issue them a marriage certificate.

    This is true... (none / 0) (#77)
    by Alec82 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:09:26 PM EST
    ...although Iowa's DOMA is being litigated as we speak, and the state supreme court will decide this issue, as well.  Curiously, there are a few Iowa couples who were married before the trial court granted its stay. So for the moment we have three jurisdictions that recognize same-sex marriages. About 21% of the population lives in those states. You get to about 28% of the population when you include states that recognize domestic partnerships and civil unions.

     Alas, those state constitutional amendments will be difficult to overcome.


    After my initial elation at the Mass S.Ct.'s (none / 0) (#105)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:27:10 AM EST
    decision, my next thought was 'oh crap'.

    Not that gay couples should have to wait even a minute more, but strategically if the case had come up 10 years from now a lot of those state amendments would have been more easily defeated.


    Wonderful news (5.00 / 10) (#5)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:33:26 PM EST
    Interestingly, my heterosexual marriage does not seem to be weakening from this development just yet.

    Oh come on Steve M.... (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:02:32 PM EST
    can't you feel the gayness just washing over you?!

    LOL! :-)


    HAHAHAHAHA (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:50:32 PM EST
    [wipes eyes]

    give it 10 or 20 years, (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by cpinva on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:06:08 PM EST
    you'll see! lol

    Interestingly, my heterosexual marriage does not seem to be weakening from this development just yet.

    i did notice the world tilt on its axis though, and i believe western civilization just crashed as well.

    kind of makes you wonder about the strength of the marriages of all those who are so adamantly opposed, doesn't it?


    I always say (5.00 / 7) (#32)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:11:25 PM EST
    that the only people who don't want gays to get married are self-loathing gays themselves.

    As a straight person, I spend approximately 0% of my time wondering how someone else's marriage, gay or straight, will affect my own marriage. Because news flash - it won't!


    it's this kind of heretical thinking (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by cpinva on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:59:32 PM EST
    As a straight person, I spend approximately 0% of my time wondering how someone else's marriage, gay or straight, will affect my own marriage. Because news flash - it won't!

    that's causing the country to go to hell in a handbasket!

    clearly, you are someone that should be watched very closely by homeland security, with those types of unamerican views!

    ok, i need to get back to my vacuuming & dusting now.


    Hah! (none / 0) (#69)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:03:31 PM EST
    I call the warrantless wiretapping the Democrat Surveillance Program. I'm convinced Bush only uses it to spy on Congressional Democrats, which could explain why they are such weenies.

    I am sure that Bush and his goons are far too incompetent to set up a Thought Police-type organization in a larger context. It's the only thing that staves off total paranoia.

    [shifts eyes back and forth, adjusts tinfoil chapeau]


    I gotta be honest (none / 0) (#84)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:21:31 PM EST
    I think Ms. Manners needs to write a whole new guidebook for this though...  

    Like how should invitations be addressed to Mr. Ben Johnson and Mr. Bill Iverson who have married?  Should it be:  Mr. & Mr. Ben Johnson or Mr. & Mr. Bill Iverson or Mr. & Mr. B. Iverson-Johnson...

    Or should it be Mr. & Mr. at all?!!  Maybe it should be "MrX2 B. Iverson-Johnson" or some other such thing?  

    Honestly!!  We need to have Miss Manners come down and explain how this should all be done properly!  

    Personally, I don't really like "Mr. & Mr."  


    You ask them how they would (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:42:20 PM EST
    like to be addressed.  Failing that, you write both names, one beneath the other, if they keep their own names, just like with straight couples.  If one has taken the other's last name, you write, John and George Smith.

    There's no longer any need to use Mr. & Mrs. with straight couples, definitely no need to try to force-fit it onto a gay couple.


    CA marriage licenses: Party A and Party B. (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:37:31 AM EST
    NPR interviewed a few hetero married couples to see how they would decide who was Party A as opposed to Party B.  One woman sd., my handwriting is better, so I would fill it out and would be Party A.  One guy sd., I'd be Party A.  That's how our marriage has always worked.

    My heterosexual non-marriage (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:54:01 PM EST
    isn't broken either!  I'm very glad, though that when Alan and I decide that we need to get married for medical purposes, other human beings can as well.

    It's a great day!


    Ah, but you may get the urge to marry Fido (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by angie on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:56:28 PM EST
    {rolls eyes}
    The one thing that keeps me from tracking down & pulling the hair out by the roots of each and every one of the homophobes is the solace that when they die they will finally discover how full of --it they are. In fact, I often wonder how hell is working out for Jerry Falwell.

    L'enfer, c'est les autres. (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:00:42 PM EST
    Who should Falwell be stuck in a room with for-evah?

    Maybe a bunch of gorgeous gay guys going at it 24-7? :-)


    But (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Nadai on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:56:06 PM EST
    what did those gorgeous gay guys do to deserve being stuck in a room with Falwell throughout eternity?  I mean, even He11 must have some limits.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#99)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:04:42 AM EST
    Maybe they could do one of those one-way mirror deals.

    I'm Buddhist so he is now a worm (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:04:22 PM EST
    He got demoted and now he keeps getting cut in half to only become more worms. When all the worms are deceased that he is maybe he'll be able to graduate to a maggot.  I'm not thinking rolly poly though.....too much of a jump ahead there.

    I dunno... (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:07:13 PM EST
    roly poly bug works for me. ;-)

    Oddly enough, (none / 0) (#136)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:24:47 PM EST
    I imagine your sentiments are very similar to those many in the anti-gay marriage camp have for you.

    That should make you stop and think.


    I find the criticisms curious (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:34:17 PM EST
    How do the religious leaders, the Republican Party, and others think their own lives are negatively impacted if the right to marriage is extended to gays and lesbians?

    The state of California deserves to be commended for showing respect for the rights of all its citizens.

    I have heard they got 1M signatures on petitions to put it on the ballot in November.

    Hope for the future (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Lil on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:34:22 PM EST
    is making a comeback. After the 2004 election, the fact that Americans elected a guy who basically tried to write discrimination into the Constitution, among other things, made me feel hopeless. Today I'm feeling like we can breath a little bit easier (Though I still worry what the right wing can do in the next few months). I hope NJ is next; we are a hair's breath away.

    Do you know if the folks who got "married" in 2004, if that gets reinstated or do they get married again?

    They have to marry again (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Alec82 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:38:52 PM EST
    Their marriages were dissolved by the state supreme court a while back.  

     The more interesting question now will be the legal problems for couples who are domestic partners but not yet married, and get married.  At east, interesting from a legal perspective, more of a nightmare from their perspective, if they ever get divorced.  


    Yay! (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:35:35 PM EST
    And it looks like California may be on its way to defeating the ballot measure in November.

    (BTW, creepy picture)

    That's a big "may" (none / 0) (#90)
    by SoCalLiberal on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:40:14 PM EST
    I have a feeling the ammendment will pass unless a really good campaign against it is waged.  These ammendments typically fare much better in actual elections.  Arizona was the first state to reject such an ammendment.  But in that case, the polls showed the no position with a wide lead.  On election day, it just narrowly failed.  

    My wish is that Hillary would get involved and campaign against it.  She could do a lot of good.  She probably won't do it though.


    Your governor and first lady are the ones who (none / 0) (#129)
    by Joelarama on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 06:36:45 AM EST
    need to get out there and campaign against the Amendment.

    He needs to as well (none / 0) (#133)
    by SoCalLiberal on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:40:25 AM EST
    I am thrilled he has come out in support of same sex marriage.  Really in these social values campaigns, we need to understand that there are plenty of Republicans who will vote "no" and plenty of Democrats who will vote "yes".  Arnold could deliver a big chunk of the Republican votes.  

    Excellent news! (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by OrangeFur on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:36:55 PM EST
    There's equality in the air tonight in California.

    How ironic that it took a California Supreme Court comprised almost entirely of Republican nominees to bring us to this point.

    I did see on the news that the (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:11:10 PM EST
    wedding industry is enjoying a big surge in business right now. The Republicans should like that element :)

    Finally! (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by MisterPleasant on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:37:07 PM EST
    I consider this a consolation prize for the day my partner and I waited in the rain with 1200 other couples at the Multnomah County offices to obtain our marriage license in March, 2004.  We took part in a group wedding at our local MCC church that evening, with full knowledge that the brave decision by our county commissioners would likely be overturned in the courts.  The county refunded the license fee when it all came crashing down.

    I hope this one holds, because we hope to do it all over again in sunny California later this summer.

    When SF authorized the initial round (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by riddlerandy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:34:38 PM EST
    of gay marriages back in 2004, I was working on the 14th floor of the state building, across from SF City Hall.  Watching hundreds of loving couples lined up in the cold, rain and dark for hours on end for their chance to finally have their relationships recognized was once of the most moving experiences of my life.  Today is a great day.  And a hurray for my friend Terry Stewart who argued the case for SF.

    I remember (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by echinopsia on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:32:52 PM EST
    people sent flowers to anonymous couples waiting in line for licenses. They just called SF florists and told them to put together a bouquet and deliver it to any couple outside city hall.

    Things like this restore my faith in human nature.

    A little.


    Mine too (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:39:15 PM EST
    That's way cool (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:07:35 AM EST
    I wish I'd thought of it.

    On the first week in Mass. (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:50:19 PM EST
    towns were actually vying to hold gay marriages, and in many, many places, supportive townspeople just came and stood on the steps of the town halls and applauded and threw rice and flowers as each couple came through the door.  It was really fantastic.  And the opposition to gay marriage has really melted away since it's become a reality, which is really encouraging.

    I looked out side my window to see (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:45:07 PM EST
    if the sky was falling.  Isn;'t that what the right has been telling us?  Well nothing happened.  

    Time for the national Democrats to step up (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by OrangeFur on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:45:26 PM EST
    I'll be a huge fan of whichever leading Democrats step up and wholeheartedly endorse gay marriage.

    Al Gore has done it.
    Hillary Clinton?
    Barack Obama? (In 2004, he avoided Gavin Newsom like the plague. If he comes out in support of gay marriage this year, that really will be change we can believe in.)
    All those people being considered for VP?

    It's time to be a leader.

    I have to say (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:57:26 PM EST
    I am proud of Gavin Newsom.  As a County Supervisor he always came out to the neighborhood events in the Tenderloin, even though he was an up town kind of person.  He is brilliant.  I hope he becomes our governor and then President.  Now as far as I am concerned, he is new politics.  I know lots of people quibble, but he cuts through the muck and gets things done.  Atta boy Gavin.

    If he runs for governor in 2010 (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by SoCalLiberal on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:44:55 PM EST
    I'm going to have a very difficult choice between him and Antonio Villaraigosa.  Gavin has done great things for SF and he's shown an ability to get elected in a hostile environment.  

    Hilariously... (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:15:35 AM EST
    Only in San Francisco, a city that I love, can someone give out marriage licenses to same sex couples and then face a hostile environment for being too conservative.

    I'm in LA (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by otherlisa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:32:20 AM EST
    Right now I'd pick Gavin Newsome over Antonio Villaraigosa. Antonio's been kind of disappointing.

    I saw the pictures of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin today and got very teary-eyed.

    Today was a great day for humankind.


    It was a great day for humankind (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by SoCalLiberal on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 03:16:43 AM EST
    Antonio once really captivated me.  I cried the night he lost, June 5th, 2001.  I think he's done a good job as mayor though I have to say that I am disappointed in him in some areas.  I think what Antonio does is tries to be mayor for everyone, to all people for all purposes.  Well that sounds nice but it leads to confused leadership.  He's going to be the environmental mayor, the public safety mayor, the race relations healer mayor, the downtown revitalizer mayor, the traffic solving mayor, the mass transit mayor, the biotech mayor, the industrial mayor, the union's best friend working man mayor, the Rotary Club's business mayor, the tourist mayor, the entertainment mayor.  And really it just doesn't work.  Pick a project, pick a theme, go with it.  But don't try and do everything.  That's his problem and he has lost a lot of respect from people around the city who don't feel that the mayor is truly following their issues.

    When I supported Antonio back in 01' and when I voted for him in 05', I was expecting a visionary mayor.  Someone who could transform LA.  Antonio has a lot of good ideas but he hasn't really seen them through.  

    I do give him credit on some issues though.  I think overall he has been good.  I understand that he has higher ambitions and I really like him and thus I'm inclined to vote for him.  That said, Newsom is someone I really like and could very well vote for.  


    Yeah (none / 0) (#134)
    by otherlisa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:43:55 AM EST
    Antonio is just kind of all over the place. It's not that he's done a bad job, and I think governing LA in an effective way is just really really tough. But I can't really point to anything specific that he's done that's really been a positive step forward. Maybe there are a lot of incremental things going on behind the scenes that I don't know about.

    I just want my damn Subway to the Sea....well, actually, I think a light rail would be better. But something.  Lack of mass transit is going to kill this city.


    He didn't! (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:58:30 PM EST
    In an interveiw today, Obama restated his stand that this is a state issue, not federal. He did go along with civil unions though. (I wonder would they offer the same legal protection and benefits? I don't think the gay/lesbian community should be looking to Obama for any support.

    Civil unions not as good (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 02:03:20 AM EST
    When the New Jersey instituted civil unions, part of the law required that a study be done after one year to determine if, in fact, civil unions were equal to marriage. That report came out earlier this year. (I don't have a link.) The report concluded that, for a number of reasons, civil unions just do not measure up.

    For instance, the study found that many employers insisted that employees be MARRIED to qualify for benefits like health insurance. Neither they, nor their insurance companies, would accept that civil unions qualified. And the law does not require businesses to offer benefits to domestic partners.


    after feeling the (none / 0) (#135)
    by OldCoastie on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:24:10 PM EST
    absolute JOY of yesterday here in CA, Obama's little "I don't approve of gay marriage, but civil unions are just fine" kinda made me sick to my stomach.

    Obama does not support same-sex marriage (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 02:12:35 AM EST
    While Obama said that he thinks this is a state issue, he said he believes marriage is between a man and a woman. He supports civil unions.

    Does that differ from Hillary's position? (none / 0) (#53)
    by riddlerandy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:36:16 PM EST
    The primary is over (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:54:21 PM EST
    Not when deriding Clinton is your goal (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by dws3665 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:00:21 AM EST
    It's always primary season if you have CDS!

    What does (none / 0) (#127)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 06:25:33 AM EST
    Hilary's position have to do with it? Obama is the Democratic candidate. (But for the record she has stated that she would have fought for federal rights for gays and lesbians).

    Legally, I agree with Obama and Hillary (none / 0) (#75)
    by angie on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:07:48 PM EST
    on this. The federal govt. has no business regulating marriage same-sex or "one man one woman" or otherwise (which is why DOMA is an especially egregious, although ultimately meaningless, act).  Let me be clear: I am for recognition of same-sex marriage, but my point is, legally I think the proper way for nationwide recognition of same-sex marriages would be similar to nationwide recognition of inter-racial marriages (Loving v. VA). Some states allowing it, a couple married in a state like CA that allows it moving to a state that doesn't & that state not recognizing it. Appeal to the USSC and a ruling under the 14th Amendment that the non-recognizing state has to recognize it. (obviously, this is my attempt to explain my position briefly, so I hope it is clear, because I know what I mean).

    Well, great. (none / 0) (#102)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:13:19 AM EST
    I didn't see that. Very disappointing on a day like today.

    Just curious (none / 0) (#17)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:52:37 PM EST
    What do the feds have to do with marriage laws?

    Isn't it governed at the state level?

    I honestly don't know, so hope you, or someone can answer.


    Congress did start up all that talk (none / 0) (#26)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:02:59 PM EST
    about trying to get a one-man-one-woman amendment added to the Constitution.  And then there was DOMA.

    Aside from that, it's mostly the (significant) moral  leadership.


    If I understand correctly, (none / 0) (#29)
    by MisterPleasant on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:08:46 PM EST
    the Federal angle relates to income tax filing status.  For me that is not such an important matter compared to local and state level legal issues, which marriage simplifies.

    I think socail security benefits are (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:19:07 PM EST
    controlled by federal law so that a gay marriage does not entitle you to the usual benefits as a "spouse."

    Federal (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:20:54 PM EST
    Acceptance would also cover pensions, healthcare benefits and social security.

    Private health insurance (none / 0) (#56)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:45:14 PM EST
    in WA State, anyway, most large employers allow "significant others" to be carried on health policies. Microsoft started that more than 10 years ago.

    You can cover any live-in partner whether same or opposite sex.


    It covers (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:58:23 PM EST
    you and your partner provided you aren't transferred to another state that doesn't recognize domestic partners. Federal acceptance would prevent this.

    Actually, yes, you're right (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:24:18 PM EST
    I can't believe I forgot.  There's like a million federal benefits and laws and such that would be affected by the feds recognizing gay marriage as legitimate, like Soc Sec benefits, immigration, Medicare, Medicaid, etc., in addition to tax benefits.

    This GAO report lists a lot of them.


    Thanks to all for the updated information (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by MisterPleasant on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:43:34 PM EST
    about the Federal aspect.  I am covered through my partner's state sponsored retirement but I had never thought about social security.  Here in Oregon many companies (including my employer) offer health insurance that covers partners the same as spouses.  And here in Multnomah County, domestic partnerships are granted county licenses. As far as I know, the license is just a piece of paper with no legal benefits.

    There are many other federal situations, (none / 0) (#34)
    by Calvados on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:17:01 PM EST
    such as Social Security benefits, Medicare benefits, and spousal benefits for federal workers, that are also relatively important.  The DOMA (which defends marriage by denying constitutional full faith and credit protection to some marriages) is, as has been mentioned, another federal incursion that should be rectified.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#36)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:19:04 PM EST
    I thought married couples filing jointly paid the highest in taxes. (Another area I have no expertise in is taxes.)

    It must be by SSN they would pick them out 'cause too many names are either boy or girl. My mom was really young when she and my dad got married. It never dawned on her to change her name on her SSN. A few years ago they got a letter from the IRS asking who (her maiden name) was. It took them some 54 years to notice the difference between the tax return and the name on her SSN file.


    OMG (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Jgarza on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:50:51 PM EST
    that is the best graphic ever KUDOS

    Did everyone see 87 & 84 couple? (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:53:49 PM EST
    In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom, who helped launch the series of lawsuits that led the court to strike down California's one-man-one-woman marriage laws, presided at the wedding of Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 84. yahoo

    They have been together for decades and it is great that they can finally get married.

    Truly amazing (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by SoCalLiberal on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:18:09 PM EST
    I remember their 2004 wedding.  Hopefully this one will stick.

    I flipped through the slide show until (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:20:25 PM EST
    I found them.   Those are some photos of some really happy people and the couple you wrote of is really something else to see.  To have been together for that long and dedicated to each other that long and go tie the knot like that.....it isn't precious, it is something else entirely that I can't even define because these people are my elders and my keepers of a deeper wisdom than I possess.

    I'm really enjoying seeing some of (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:57:20 PM EST
    these older gay couples on TV.  Good for them!  I have gay friends who have been together since forever and other gay friends who've lost partners with the AIDS virus, and all I can say is that it is high time their relationships were recognized legally.  

    I had heard something about the first marriage which was supposed to be between a couple that had been together for 50+ years, but now I'm hearing that the couple who won the lawsuit are going to be first?  Does anyone know what the real scoop is?  Who gets to go first?  

    Mr Sulu from Star Trek (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:20:36 PM EST
    was on last night with his 20+ year partner. They were like a couple of kids they were so thrilled they were getting married.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Nadai on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:02:54 AM EST
    I read their book, Lesbian/Woman, back in the 70's.  I'm so glad they got this chance after all those years together.

    One couple was first in San Francisco (none / 0) (#72)
    by akaEloise on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:04:30 PM EST
    and the other in Los Angeles.

    Was that it? (none / 0) (#79)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:11:11 PM EST
    So the couple who had been together forever was going to get married in one city and the couple that won the lawsuit were going to get married in the other city?  That makes sense.  

    Anyway, I'm thrilled for them.  This was a long time in coming.  

    Which city had the old couple?  LA?  


    The old couple (none / 0) (#107)
    by akaEloise on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:38:58 AM EST
    Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, were married in San Francisco, where they live.  They were also the first couple married during the brief period in 2004 when San Francisco was issuing licenses to same-sex couples.  Diane Olson and Robin Taylor, the original plaintiffs in the suit, were married in Los Angeles, where they live.  

    Look, the world did not end!!!! (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:58:24 PM EST

    We may have a hurricane though (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:24:54 PM EST
    over this :)

    Hurricanes are so... (5.00 / 3) (#111)
    by dws3665 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:05:02 AM EST
    2005 in terms of punishment for too much gayness. I am totally thinking earthquake.

    Or locusts. That might punish the environmentalists, too.


    sigh (none / 0) (#113)
    by boredmpa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:25:09 AM EST
    Well, if the earthquake prediction (>80% in the next 20 years?) hits san francisco instead of the other fault (hayward?) you can bet we'll have whackos calling it an act of god/judgment. :/

    i just hope it happens while dems have the presidency or congressional majority, otherwise i don't trust remotely enough $$ assistance compared to other disaster areas.  But maybe I'm a cynic.


    Woooohoooooo! (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:01:38 PM EST
    New York recently passed a law that recognizes couples that have been married in other states. We've had "civil unions" for LGBT folks for quite some time. We should just take that final step...come on NY!

    Paterson (none / 0) (#112)
    by OldCoastie on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:21:02 AM EST
    was really quite clever when he got that little law through... cracks open the door.

    Gavin and Hillary (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:09:36 PM EST
    What  a team they would have made:

    Wow, he is handsome. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:14:29 PM EST
    Just sayin'. :-)

    Yeah, also straight. (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:19:52 PM EST
    He grew up with the Getty's.  Guess what, he even has worked on a health care program for the city and has done lots for permanent affordable housing, the only ones who complain are the professional "community organizers", the tourists.  Us who worked in these communities for decades, are making the programs work.  

    That is so cool. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:28:02 PM EST
    Good for him!

    Doesn't he own a winery or a wine bar (none / 0) (#116)
    by otherlisa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:35:00 AM EST
    or something really cool like that too?

    Yeah, I heart Gavin Newsom.


    well (none / 0) (#120)
    by boredmpa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:48:40 AM EST
    He finally got a park bond passed, but overall he's had a hard time.  My personal opinion is that the city's reputation for mismanagement has gotten worse and accountability is still non-existent. That is partly gavin's fault imho.   As a result, to pay for programs and work the city has repeatedly adopted an on the backs of the working poor approach.  Though at least gavin said it was coming after the bonds failed.

    So, I will complain that he's greatly increased DPT fines and late fees as a way for paying for services... and thereby pushing the working poor/underemployed onto buses and limiting their employment options.  It's a regressive tax, and if I recall, tickets/tow are now ~1.6% of the city's budget.  In addition, MUNI service has gotten worse in my experience and routes have been cut despite the rate hikes.  And that prop that passed last year?  It's sure did the opposite of helping accountability...nine people for planning bike lanes?  And this crap:

    MTA could continue to bargain collectively to set wages for
    Muni transit operators, but the current wage cap would
    become a guaranteed base wage

    It was a giveaway, with no real accountability and a permanent positive feedback loop for MTA to raise fares, fines, and fees.

    I'm waiting for gavin to try some civil service and administrative reform (he's talked about it), but I'm not holding my breath if he's got his eye on the governor's office and certainly not after that muni prop.  Eventually you hit a wall when you expand, expand, expand and don't put enough pressure to control bloat.  Bureaucracy gets larger and more entrenched, and it takes a lot of work to cut it back down even a tad bit.


    Look, cities/counties are the hostages (none / 0) (#131)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 08:55:30 AM EST
    of the Federal and State budget problems.  They still have to have county hospitals they still have to have public transit at times when all the money from above is drying up.  Of course they have to increase income where they can and parking fees is one of them.  Muni is and will be a problem for decades.  Considering, he is not doing a bad job.  

    Where Is The Picture Of Gavin And Obama? (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:53:44 PM EST
    After all he is the nominee and you should be featuring Obama's picture with Gavin. <snark>

    Looking...looking (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:41:13 AM EST

    It's here somewhere...


    I live in California (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by mexboy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:17:50 PM EST
    All three networks carried the entire wedding live  from Beverly HIlls. Of course the haters carrying "christian" signs were there as well. One welcomed the women to HELL.

    Why do certain people insist on prohibiting others, who are in love, from having the same rights and responsibilities under the law they enjoy in their marriages.  

    those fighting the initiative in November need to educate the public about   a civil and religious marriage.

    Oh yeah, the networks are saying California expects to earn 700 million dollars in the next three years from gay people marrying.

    Now that's an economic boost this anorexic economy needs!

    Now we just to make sure (none / 0) (#55)
    by riddlerandy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:40:02 PM EST
    that the hateful RW constitutional amendment initiative does not pass in November.

    Yay! (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Esme on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:19:28 PM EST
    CA, MA, the rest of the USA, and one day the world =)

    On another note, I have to say, that graphic is pretty scary!

    I am in Mass. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:22:20 PM EST
    Despite all the hoopla when our highest court ruled that it was an equal protection violation of the Mass. Constitution to prohibit gay marriage, gay people did not go out in droves and get married.  It is hardly noticed anymore.  The sky did not fall.

    Well, there was an intitial drove (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:29:32 PM EST
    That first night was a huge celebration, with hundreds (maybe thousands across the state) waiting in line until the clock struck midnight so they could start the marrying asap.  It was very exciting!

    However, I can confirm befuddedvoter's assertion (:checking:) that there is indeed still sky over Massachusetts.


    Every day and every way (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:59:30 PM EST
    something is bound to get better :)

    I am so happy... (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Marco21 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:45:00 PM EST
    for those couples who've waited to get married for so long.

    Personally, it's nice to know the option may come to my state one day. If it takes one-hundred years to hit Illinois, I may finally be dating a guy I don't want to runn from 5 minutes into the first date.

    About time. (4.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Jake Left on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:36:21 PM EST
    But am I the only one to see this as rnp trick? It was republican judges who set this up. Do we really believe that they came to understand and decided to rule decently? I think this was ordered by rnp to get the initiative on the ballot so they can get out the vote for the right wing nuts who are so tired of their president that they would have stayed home in November. Now they will show up to defend "God's Way" and just happen to vote republican at the same time. Plus it makes an issue to divide the heavily Catholic Hispanic community.

    We can still defeat the initiative, but it will be an uphill battle. The neocons will use this as a wedge issue. How strongly can Obama be  against the initiative if he says it is a state issue? He will be asked.

    Not even I'm this paranoid! (none / 0) (#104)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:22:43 AM EST
    No offense.  :)

    I don't know anything about the CA judges, are they particularly conservative?  I clerked for a Republican judge who was totally cool on many levels, so Republican alone doesn't mean much.

    It's interesting to me that the first 2 states to so rule were ones where judges are appointed for life (like fed courts).  They are not subject to the same election pressures as judges in other states.  It is easier for them to make correct but unpopular decisions.

    The timing of the case is only partly under the court's control.  They don't control when plaintiffs bring cases, or the appeals schedule (except their own).

    And California's just not in play this year, for President, no matter how many anti-gay-marriage people turn out.


    Actually, (none / 0) (#110)
    by Alec82 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:02:46 AM EST
    CA judges are a mixed bag.  They're ultraright on criminal issues (I would much rather be a defendant in federal court), and they do face retention elections.  

     On the other hand, as a rule in other areas they're moderates.

     CA isn't in play, but other battleground states without amendments and with pending litigation (like IA and PA) are.


    I don't think so (none / 0) (#117)
    by otherlisa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:36:28 AM EST
    I'm not an expert but it's my understanding that they ruled purely according to their interpretation of the California constitution.

    just as a point of information: (3.00 / 2) (#125)
    by cpinva on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 06:19:16 AM EST
    marital status, for fed tax purposes, is determined at the state level, DOMA notwithstanding. the same goes for all other fed. programs: if the state you are domiciled in says you're married, you're married for fed. purposes as well.

    i don't believe any fed. agency has ever used DOMA as the basis for denying status or benefits, with good reason; it's unconstitutional on its face, and i suspect the various agency legal counsel's have so advised them.

    with the CA issue, that all may change.

    Really? (none / 0) (#128)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 06:36:25 AM EST
    I haven't heard that before. Gay couples in Mass and CA can get social security benefits? and medicare? If so it might be worth moving!

    Yes they have (none / 0) (#130)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 07:30:44 AM EST
    We (if married) cannot file Federal taxes, collect Social Security, have inheritance rights etc. DOMA says specifically that we can't be married in the eyes of the Federal Government no matter what our state says.
    Unconstitutional laws are followed all the time: it is why there is a Supreme Court and why eventually unconstitutional laws might get struck down. There would be Federal lawsuits already (and some may already be winding along) but I don't trust this court to strike down DOMA.

    Hey, wait a minute, that's not true! (none / 0) (#139)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 04:12:34 PM EST
    Getting married in CA or MA does NOT confer federal tax advantages to gay families.  In fact, if you get health insurance for your spouse, the government taxes you on the cost to the company as if it were your own earned income!

    Same with the rest of the IRS rules.  If I put my partner on the deed to our house, she (and therefore, we) have to pay taxes on my equity.  She can't receive my retirement package, she can only be a beneficiary, which means she'll get only about a fifth of the entire package (including employer percentages & interest) and she'll get taxed on that.

    In fact, if I'm married in CA and get health insurance for my gay spouse, I get taxed on the cost of the insurance as if it's money I'm earning in my job.  So I'd get taxed on more than just my paycheck!  If I put my co-parent on the deed to our house, she (and therefore, we) have to pay taxes on my equity!  And I can't give my kids my $500.000 retirement package that they'd get if I were married to a man.  Instead, all I can do is put my co-mom on as a beneficiary, which means she and the kids only get about $100,000 minus $25-30,000 in taxes.  That's all under current federal IRS law.  

    Fighting for gay marriage at this point is about the money and whether or not my kids get equal rights.  But many of my straight friends still say stuff like, "You don't have equal rights without marriage?" Or, "I can't believe we haven't given you guys equality yet."  They mean well, and they'd support equality, but no one realizes it takes making a deliberate demand before anything changes.  It took white Americans to end slavery.  It took men to decide to give women the right to vote.  It took whites to vote for black suffrage.  There's only so much an oppressed group can do for itself.  At some point the majority of Americans has to do the rest of the demanding.  At least a lot of people are now realizing that until gays have equal rights, the right wing will continue to use it as a wedge issue.  That'll probably the final motivator for change.  


    lol (none / 0) (#12)
    by boredmpa on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:38:49 PM EST
    that pic is beyond disturbing. ahhh no bush at MY wedding.  and certainly not a knife-wielding one!

    speaking of which, i watched Teeth with some friends of mine.  Hilarious, if you can make it past the first 20 minutes (and don't mind a little umm snipping).


    I'm still annoyed that the first thing I think about when I hear about gay weddings is that obnoxious political mailer from Carol Migden that was designed to look like a wedding invitation. grr.

    I walked in the federal courthouse today (none / 0) (#114)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:27:58 AM EST
    and was kind of startled to see W's picture w/that glib, superior grin.  Scary.

    The picture (none / 0) (#43)
    by Emma on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:23:08 PM EST
    is hilarious.

    I'm with andgarden (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:58:06 PM EST
    I think it's sort of creepy.  Jeralyn likes kitchenish photoshopping.  People popping out of toasters and wielding big knives headed for food products :)

    I was instantly reminded of the words ... (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by cymro on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:05:11 AM EST
    ... of the traditional marriage service:

    What God has joined together let no man put asunder.

    I don't know if this is what the artist had in mind, but art works when it makes you think, and it worked for me.


    those aren't photoshopped pictures (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:37:30 AM EST
    If you see the copyright TL/cl logo, they were made especially for TalkLeft by CL, "our man in Hollywood" -- a professional illustrator and artist, who wishes to remain anonymous.

    His art is wonderful. The gay marriage photo is one he made when Bush proposed a constitutional ban on gay marriage.


    clarifcation (none / 0) (#119)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:43:35 AM EST
    He assembles them from photos and graphics available elsewhere but it's far beyond photo-shopping.

    I always thought they were (none / 0) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 02:51:42 AM EST
    very original, but now that you bring it up they do look more professional than photoshop work.  I do like the photo change for the post better though.  It's more celebratory, definitely more loving.

    This was interesting (none / 0) (#48)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:29:21 PM EST
    In the May 15 ruling, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The ruling surprised legal experts because the court has a conservative reputation. Six of its seven judges are Republican appointees.

    Now, let's see if Dems can spurt it on more.

    An interesting (none / 0) (#52)
    by Alec82 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:35:23 PM EST
    And unresolved issue is the application of strict scrutiny to laws that classify people according to sexual orientation.  This puts the restrictions on the domestic partnership statute at risk.  It is limited to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples who qualify for SS benefits.  

    OMG (none / 0) (#74)
    by MikeDitto on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:07:14 PM EST
    That graphic is frightening.

    Too bad... (none / 0) (#80)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:13:06 PM EST
    but most male politicos seem to have downsides to their personal lives. Republican or Democrat, the outsized egos involved seem to translate into outsized appetites.

    I just couldn't care less about that stuff unless they are breaking the law. If he did, then why is he still mayor? If he didn't, then who cares?

    That's my philosophy. :-)

    I'm with you! (none / 0) (#87)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:29:18 PM EST
    Although some of them do not choose to play out their personal melodramas that way...they are, instead, exposed by political operatives working for the other side. Like Eliot Spitzer, Jim McGreevey, Bill Clinton...

    It sounds like Mayor Newsom was less than discreet about his own affairs, however. I remember hearing something about it, but I'm not big on paying attention to that stuff. Obviously. :-)


    Vermont's working on it (none / 0) (#96)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:55:50 PM EST
    There will still be opposition, but I think it will pass.

    um.................................... (none / 0) (#126)
    by cpinva on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 06:21:20 AM EST
    Now, let's see if Dems can spurt it on more.

    could they just spur it on instead? lol

    Question for the lawyers (none / 0) (#132)
    by just victory on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:19:09 AM EST
    I live in California. If I marry my partner of 17 years next year--which we both want to do---will she become automatically responsible for my outstanding federal student loan debt?

    sorry (none / 0) (#137)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:58:40 PM EST
    TalkLeft does not give legal advice. It would get us in trouble.