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Author Topic: Supreme Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage  (Read 44716 times)
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« on: May 15, 2008, 04:45:22 PM »

California Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage
By ADAM LIPTAK

Same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court’s 4-to-3 decision, striking down two state laws that had limited marriages to unions between a man and a woman, will make California only the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriages. The decision, which becomes effective in 30 days, is certain to be an issue in the presidential campaign.

“In view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship,” Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote of marriage for the majority, “the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.”

California already has a strong domestic partnership law that gives gay and lesbian couples nearly all of the benefits and burdens of heterosexual marriage. The majority said that is not enough.

Given the historic, cultural, symbolic and constitutional significance of the concept of marriage, Chief Justice George wrote, the state cannot limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. The court left open the possibility that the Legislature could use another term to denote state-sanctioned unions so long as that term was used across the board for all couples.

The state’s ban on same-sex marriage was based on a law enacted by the Legislature in 1977 and a statewide initiative approved by the voters in 2000, both defining marriage as limited to unions between a man and a woman. The question before the court was whether those laws violate provisions of the state Constitution protecting equality and fundamental rights.

Conservative groups have proposed a new initiative, this one to amend the state constitution, to ban same-sex marriage. If it is allowed onto the ballot and approved by the voters, Thursday’s decision would be overridden.

In 2004, San Francisco issued marriage licenses to thousands of same-sex couples until the courts put a halt to the practice. The state Supreme Court ultimately voided the licenses, saying that city officials had exceeded their authority. Thursday’s decision did not appear to affect the voided licenses.

Justice Marvin R. Baxter, dissenting, said the majority had should have deferred to the state Legislature on whether to allow same-sex marriage, particularly given the increased legal protections for same-sex couples enacted in recent years.

“But a bare majority of this court,” Justice Baxter wrote, “not satisfied with the pace of democratic change, now abruptly forestalls that process and substitutes, by judicial fiat, its own social policy views for those expressed by the people themselves.”

Justice Carol A. Corrigan, also dissenting, wrote that her personal sympathies were with the plaintiffs challenging the bans on same-sex marriage. But she said the courts should allow the political process to address the issue.

“We should allow the significant achievements embodied in the domestic partnership statutes to continue to take root,” Justice Corrigan wrote. “If there is to be a new understanding of the meaning of marriage in California, it should develop among the people of our state and find its expression at the ballot box.”

The California Supreme Court was the first state high court to strike down a law barring interracial marriage, in a 1948 decision called Perez v. Sharp. The United States Supreme Court did not follow suit until 1967.

Thursday’s decision was rooted in two rationales, and both drew on the Perez decision.


The first was that marriage is a fundamental constitutional right. “The right to marry,” Chief Justice George wrote, “represents the right of an individual to establish a legally recognized family with a person of one’s choice and, as such, is of fundamental significance both to society and to the individual.”

Chief Justice George conceded that “as an historical matter in this state marriage has always been restricted to a union between a man and a woman.” But “tradition alone,” the chief justice continued, does not justify the denial of a fundamental constitutional right. Bans on interracial marriage were, he wrote, sanctioned by the state for many years.

The court also struck down state laws banning same-sex marriage on equal protection grounds, adopting a new standard of review in the process.

With few exceptions, courts considering suits from gay men and lesbians claiming legal discrimination of all sorts have applied a relaxed standard of scrutiny under which the government must show only that the challenged law had a rational basis.

In Thursday’s decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the correct standard of review for plaintiffs claiming discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is “strict scrutiny,” the standard used in race-discrimination cases. Under that standard, the government must demonstrate that it has a compelling interest for the law it is defending and that the distinctions drawn by the law are necessary to protect the interest.

Lawyers for state identified two interests that they said justified reserving the term marriage for heterosexual unions: tradition and the will of the majority. Chief Justice George said neither was sufficient.

Chief Justice George took pains to emphasize the limits of the majority’s ruling. It does not require ministers, priests or rabbis to perform same-sex marriages, he said.

“No religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples,” Chief Justice George wrote, “and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

He added that the decision “does not affect the constitutional validity of the existing prohibitions against polygamy and the marriage of close relatives.”

Other state supreme courts to consider the question of same-sex marriage in recent years, including those in New York, New Jersey and Washington, have been closely divided but stopped short of striking down state laws forbidding it. A decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court is expected shortly.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/16/us/15cnd-marriage.html?hp
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008, 06:43:10 PM »

the best Court decision in a long time!
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2008, 06:56:37 PM »

Next on the list is humans and dogs... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008, 07:24:53 PM »

i just threw up in my mouth a little bit
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 01:38:39 AM »

The men in black strike again.  A 4 to 3 decision.  So in the two states where this is legal (CA and MA) and the one state where it was almost legal (HI) it was the result of a handful of judges overruling the will of the people. 

At least one of the California Supreme Court justices gets it:

In a dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Marvin Baxter wrote that although he agrees with some of the majority's conclusions, the court was overstepping its bounds in striking down the ban. Instead, he wrote, the issue should be left to the voters.

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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 03:14:11 AM »

I like how righties want government out of their lives... unless they don't like what someone else is doing with their life. LOL...  yup, clearly this will lead to animal human marriage Roll Eyes
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2008, 05:30:35 AM »

I thought California was going to break off into the ocean...soon techtoic plates shifting.

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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2008, 08:01:52 AM »

I like how righties want government out of their lives... unless they don't like what someone else is doing with their life. LOL...  yup, clearly this will lead to animal human marriage Roll Eyes



Thats the next stop on the train to sodom and gamorah.......    "But my dog is really commited to me, its a validating relationship"!!!    "Its not about the dirty sex...really"!!!! Roll Eyes
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2008, 08:21:03 AM »

The men in black strike again.  A 4 to 3 decision.  So in the two states where this is legal (CA and MA) and the one state where it was almost legal (HI) it was the result of a handful of judges overruling the will of the people. 

At least one of the California Supreme Court justices gets it:

In a dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Marvin Baxter wrote that although he agrees with some of the majority's conclusions, the court was overstepping its bounds in striking down the ban. Instead, he wrote, the issue should be left to the voters.
When the State Congress--I guess it's an approximtaion of the will of the people--makes a law, it is the job of the Judiciary to say what that law is.

Beach Bum isn't this the very essence of "States Rights" where each state is permitted to do as it pleases?

Isn't the court preserving the civil rights of the 110,000 gay couples living as married in California? 

Are civil rights open for removal by popular or unpopular decision?

Is it not tyrannical to impose on those couples the will of the public--whether a noisy minority or a suffocating majority?

Stay tuned for answers to these questions and more coming up after the break.


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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2008, 09:01:58 AM »

When the State Congress--I guess it's an approximtaion of the will of the people--makes a law, it is the job of the Judiciary to say what that law is.

Beach Bum isn't this the very essence of "States Rights" where each state is permitted to do as it pleases?

Isn't the court preserving the civil rights of the 110,000 gay couples living as married in California? 

Are civil rights open for removal by popular or unpopular decision?

Is it not tyrannical to impose on those couples the will of the public--whether a noisy minority or a suffocating majority?

Stay tuned for answers to these questions and more coming up after the break.




Yes states rights is about the people deciding to do as they please, not a handful of judges legislating from the bench. 

Homosexuals don't have a civil right to marry each other, so no the four judges in California aren't preserving civil rights.

Yes civil rights can be removed by popular decision if the people amend the Constitution.  In any event, homosexual marriage isn't a civil right.  Homosexual behavior is not a protected class like race, religion, national origin.

Lifestyle choices are, always have been, and always should be subject to popular vote. 

Looks like I just hit for the cycle.  Next softball?   Cheesy 

 

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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 09:28:45 AM »


Marriage is a 'behavior'?

Where do you people learn this stuff?
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 09:46:46 AM »

Yes states rights is about the people deciding to do as they please, not a handful of judges legislating from the bench. 

Homosexuals don't have a civil right to marry each other, so no the four judges in California aren't preserving civil rights.

Yes civil rights can be removed by popular decision if the people amend the Constitution.  In any event, homosexual marriage isn't a civil right.  Homosexual behavior is not a protected class like race, religion, national origin.

Lifestyle choices are, always have been, and always should be subject to popular vote. 

Looks like I just hit for the cycle.  Next softball?   Cheesy 
It appears that homosexuals have a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to marry and start a family.

The distinction of "protected class" melts away under the weight of a US citizen's fundamental right.

I, for one, am glad that government is being restrained from interfering in the private lives of citizens.  Aren't you?
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2008, 09:53:52 AM »

Marriage is a 'behavior'?

Where do you people learn this stuff?

Yes.  A very foolish behavior Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2008, 10:23:31 AM »

When did fundamentalist christianity stop being a lifestyle choice?

I think Beach Bum's concern is that it will snuff out the reason for people marrying in general. This has not been born out in any study worldwide where gay marriage is accepted.  Heterosexual people still marry.

Beach Bum also thinks abortion should be outlawed, but he has as yet not adopted a single unwanted child. Nor does he want to pay for anyone else to do so as he can't afford it.

Must feel good to want to go back to the 1950's, with no plan whatsoever, but count on God to take care of everything.
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2008, 10:28:24 AM »

It appears that homosexuals have a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to marry and start a family.

The distinction of "protected class" melts away under the weight of a US citizen's fundamental right.

I, for one, am glad that government is being restrained from interfering in the private lives of citizens.  Aren't you?

Yes, any man has a right to marry a woman and any woman has a right to marry a man. 

Homosexuals are not a protected class under the Constitution and I think you know that Decker. 

I am not glad that four judges overruled the will of the people.  They should put this on the November ballot and let the people decide. 
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« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2008, 10:34:28 AM »

When did fundamentalist christianity stop being a lifestyle choice?

I think Beach Bum's concern is that it will snuff out the reason for people marrying in general. This has not been born out in any study worldwide where gay marriage is accepted.  Heterosexual people still marry.

Beach Bum also thinks abortion should be outlawed, but he has as yet not adopted a single unwanted child. Nor does he want to pay for anyone else to do so as he can't afford it.

Must feel good to want to go back to the 1950's, with no plan whatsoever, but count on God to take care of everything.

What??  lol.  You smoking the ganja today?  My concern is judges legislating from the bench and trampling on the will of the people to use the government to force a lifestyle choice on people who have already voted against it. 

Deedee quit making stuff up.  When have I ever said abortion should be outlawed?  Quote me. 

No, I have never adopted an unwanted child.  I have my hands full with four of my own at the moment.  How many kids do you have? 

And where did I say I didn't want to pay for anyone else to adopt an unwanted child?  Good grief woman.  I don't recall ever even discussing that subject.   

And why are you focusing on me and not the issues?   
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2008, 10:55:40 AM »

Yes, any man has a right to marry a woman and any woman has a right to marry a man. 

Homosexuals are not a protected class under the Constitution and I think you know that Decker. 

I am not glad that five judges overruled the will of the people.  They should put this on the November ballot and let the people decide. 
Is that what this is about?  The level of judicial scrutiny of gov. legislation is lower for protected classes under a 14th A analysis.

What is the judicial scrutiny for (14A) fundemantal rights violated by gov. legislation?  Isn't that judicial scrutiny strict scrutiny?  The same as for protected classes?  If homos enjoy a fundamental right to marriage then they enjoy a fundamental right to marriage.

Aside from all that, aren't you glad that big gov. is removed from the private affairs of people?
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2008, 10:57:50 AM »

My concern is judges legislating from the bench and trampling on the will of the people to use the government to force a lifestyle choice on people who have already voted against it. 

Who is being forced to be gay??

Christ almighty, man, you're taking direct quotes from la-la-land today. 
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2008, 10:59:51 AM »

Is that what this is about?  The level of judicial scrutiny of gov. legislation is lower for protected classes under a 14th A analysis.

What is the judicial scrutiny for (14A) fundemantal rights violated by gov. legislation?  Isn't that judicial scrutiny strict scrutiny?  The same as for protected classes?  If homos enjoy a fundamental right to marriage then they enjoy a fundamental right to marriage.

Aside from all that, aren't you glad that big gov. is removed from the private affairs of people?

Are you saying homosexuals are a protected class under the U.S. Constitution? 
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2008, 11:04:29 AM »

Who is being forced to be gay??

Christ almighty, man, you're taking direct quotes from la-la-land today. 

What on earth are you talking about?  I didn't say anyone was forced to be gay.  I said they are attempting to use the government to force people to accept a lifestyle choice. 

Do you need a civics lesson or something?  Marriage is a contract with the state.  It's in part a state funded institution.  In other words, we the people help pay for it.  People advocating homosexual marriage are attempting to use the government to force the people to accept this behavior as a state-endorsed concept.  What happened in California is four judges just said to the millions of voters:  screw you.  They are attempting to use the government to legitimize a lifestyle choice.     
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« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2008, 11:05:05 AM »

Who is being forced to be gay??

Christ almighty, man, you're taking direct quotes from la-la-land today. 

beach Bum = high school dropout, college professor, and business owner.

He lies a lot, so take what he says with a grain of salt.
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« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2008, 11:13:00 AM »

What on earth are you talking about?  I didn't say anyone was forced to be gay.  I said they are attempting to use the government to force people to accept a lifestyle choice. 

Do you need a civics lesson or something?  Marriage is a contract with the state.  It's in part a state funded institution.  In other words, we the people help pay for it.  People advocating homosexual marriage are attempting to use the government to force the people to accept this behavior as a state-endorsed concept.  What happened in California is five judges just said to the millions of voters:  screw you.  They are attempting to use the government to legitimize a lifestyle choice.     

I've been 'forced to accept' marriage in order to save money, so now the shoe is on a different foot. 

Gays do not choose to be gay.  Sure, there are people who are in situations that warrant same-sex sexual activity, but they are not, by definition, gay.

Homosexuals are people who happen to be wired differently than non-homosexuals...but that doesn't make them NOT people. 

So-called 'Christians' shoot themselves in the foot every time they open their mouths on this issue.
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« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2008, 11:21:30 AM »

Are you saying homosexuals are a protected class under the U.S. Constitution? 
No, I'm saying the court has extended a fundamental right to marriage to homosexuals.
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« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2008, 11:23:13 AM »

I've been 'forced to accept' marriage in order to save money, so now the shoe is on a different foot. 

Gays do not choose to be gay.  Sure, there are people who are in situations that warrant same-sex sexual activity, but they are not, by definition, gay.

Homosexuals are people who happen to be wired differently than non-homosexuals...but that doesn't make them NOT people. 

So-called 'Christians' shoot themselves in the foot every time they open their mouths on this issue.

Homosexuals choose to be homosexual and there is no science that proves otherwise.

This isn't a "Christian" issue.  Check the numbers.  Voters overwhelming reject homosexual marriage whenever it's put on the ballot.
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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2008, 11:32:59 AM »

No, I'm saying the court has extended a fundamental right to marriage to homosexuals.

They enjoy a right to marry a person of the opposite sex. 

Using your logic, laws banning polygamy should be unconstitutional. 

What do you think will happen when a homosexual marriage meets the Defense of Marriage Act? 
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