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Author Topic: Supreme Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage  (Read 77520 times)
tonymctones
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« Reply #850 on: March 21, 2011, 04:04:01 PM »

doesnt say anything about asians, Ive known a lot of violent asian ppl in my day.

Ive also seen studies about testosterone production and violent tendencies as well.
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« Reply #851 on: March 21, 2011, 04:24:41 PM »

doesnt say anything about asians, Ive known a lot of violent asian ppl in my day.

Ive also seen studies about testosterone production and violent tendencies as well.

You asked, I provided...

For as many violent asians as you say you've met, I know a ton of asians and I can't think of a single one I consider "violent".

Don't know where you meet your asians, but my empirical evidence does not support yours I suppose.
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« Reply #852 on: March 21, 2011, 04:57:32 PM »

No offense there Beach, but I'm sure your extremely right leaning christian view might have a little bias on the subject, so you'll forgive me if I ignore your thoughts on the matter.

None taken.  Nothing said on this board offends me, not even your obsession with my faith.   Smiley  And I don't care if you don't address my point.  This is only a message board. 

But what I said is completely factual:  there is no credible scientific proof that homosexuality is genetic.  People can have opinions about whether it's genetic, which is fine, but those opinions are supported by anecdotes, not science. 

And what I said about people choosing to become gay and then straight is also factual.  Lots of examples. 
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« Reply #853 on: March 21, 2011, 05:01:40 PM »

You asked, I provided...

For as many violent asians as you say you've met, I know a ton of asians and I can't think of a single one I consider "violent".

Don't know where you meet your asians, but my empirical evidence does not support yours I suppose.


Tony is right.  I live in a state where Asians make up about 60 percent of the population and there are plenty of violent Asians.  Not sure what that has to do with homosexuality. 
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« Reply #854 on: March 21, 2011, 05:22:37 PM »

There has been a lot of studies on the human brain and how homosexuality is not a choice, it's genetic... There are people on both sides of the equation.

Personally though... I do believe it's genetic.

I have 2 gay uncles... My dad's brothers... It may be a recessive gene, but I firmly believe it's genetic. Do I have some scientific evidence... Well, as much as you may have that it's not. Like I said, there's arguments on both sides... but my own empirical evidence is that it is genetic.

It may not be good enough for you, but it is for me.



Then let me throw my opinion out there, it is not PC and gays won't like it but oh well. I believe that the whole marriage thing has nothing to do with gay rights, it is simply a way for gays to prove to themselves that their life style is completely normal. When in reality it is not, there is a reason there is a male and female of the species, to procreate and continue on said species. People want to attach love or emotion to it, when in the most basic sense it is to breed.
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« Reply #855 on: March 21, 2011, 05:24:24 PM »

Tony is right.  I live in a state where Asians make up about 60 percent of the population and there are plenty of violent Asians.  Not sure what that has to do with homosexuality. 

it doesn't

I'm sure you know that

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« Reply #856 on: March 21, 2011, 05:45:04 PM »

Then let me throw my opinion out there, it is not PC and gays won't like it but oh well. I believe that the whole marriage thing has nothing to do with gay rights, it is simply a way for gays to prove to themselves that their life style is completely normal. When in reality it is not, there is a reason there is a male and female of the species, to procreate and continue on said species. People want to attach love or emotion to it, when in the most basic sense it is to breed.

I think this is true for the most part.  The fairly recent homosexual marriage push is more about legitimizing the lifestyle than equal protection.  
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tonymctones
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« Reply #857 on: March 21, 2011, 07:01:20 PM »

You asked, I provided...

For as many violent asians as you say you've met, I know a ton of asians and I can't think of a single one I consider "violent".

Don't know where you meet your asians, but my empirical evidence does not support yours I suppose.
Im half japanese, hung out with plenty of asians in high school and still do trust me my man there is no shortage of violent asians. Ive seen a couple of ppl shot, sliced with knifes, beaten with pool cues etc...all by the passive little asian guys you wouldnt give a second look walking down the street.
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« Reply #858 on: March 22, 2011, 04:46:33 AM »

tony, lets update our play here and simplify our comments.
you always fall back on the 'locker room right to look' argument and I resort to 'equal rights vs special rights'.
so, to make all this repetitive typing easier, let's assign a number to our most used / repeated arguments to make it streamlined.

Your locker room argument is now number 14 ( my favorite locker in the locker room )
my statement is now number 69 ( for obvious reasons ).
you like the words moron, idiot, brain child; all personal insults can now be #$.

This should make our posts shorter and easier to read.

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« Reply #859 on: March 22, 2011, 09:23:29 AM »

tony, lets update our play here and simplify our comments.
you always fall back on the 'locker room right to look' argument and I resort to 'equal rights vs special rights'.
so, to make all this repetitive typing easier, let's assign a number to our most used / repeated arguments to make it streamlined.

Your locker room argument is now number 14 ( my favorite locker in the locker room )
my statement is now number 69 ( for obvious reasons ).
you like the words moron, idiot, brain child; all personal insults can now be #$.

This should make our posts shorter and easier to read.



I like this.  Except it's incomplete.  Since 99 percent of your posts consist of silly comments, you should just post the number 99.  Will make your posts shorter and easier to read.   Smiley
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chadstallion
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« Reply #860 on: March 22, 2011, 10:52:53 AM »

I like this.  Except it's incomplete.  Since 99 percent of your posts consist of silly comments, you should just post the number 99.  Will make your posts shorter and easier to read.   Smiley

i agree.
who would want to post something serious on a steroid/bodybuilding site; would really want the thoughts of the 18-25 crowd.
after all, we're just killin' time here til the republican debates start..
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w
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« Reply #861 on: March 22, 2011, 11:22:51 AM »

doesnt say anything about asians, Ive known a lot of violent asian ppl in my day.

Ive also seen studies about testosterone production and violent tendencies as well.

boom


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tonymctones
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« Reply #862 on: March 22, 2011, 04:32:47 PM »

tony, lets update our play here and simplify our comments.
you always fall back on the 'locker room right to look' argument and I resort to 'equal rights vs special rights'.
so, to make all this repetitive typing easier, let's assign a number to our most used / repeated arguments to make it streamlined.

Your locker room argument is now number 14 ( my favorite locker in the locker room )
my statement is now number 69 ( for obvious reasons ).
you like the words moron, idiot, brain child; all personal insults can now be #$.

This should make our posts shorter and easier to read.


k #$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$$#$#$#$#$#$#$ Wink
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tonymctones
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« Reply #863 on: March 22, 2011, 04:33:37 PM »

boom
LOL the one squating has a nasty streak, you can tell by looking at his face.

LMFAO at the pic name LOL
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« Reply #864 on: March 23, 2011, 07:15:31 AM »

LOL the one squating has a nasty streak, you can tell by looking at his face.

LMFAO at the pic name LOL

He has done some killing.. thats for sure
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chadstallion
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« Reply #865 on: March 23, 2011, 11:14:59 AM »

k #$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$$#$#$#$#$#$#$ Wink
see, we play well together.
took 333386 a while butt he's game sometimes.
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w
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« Reply #866 on: March 28, 2011, 08:22:15 AM »

For some, gay marriage battle is a race against time
Judges last week extended a stay on same-sex marriage until higher courts rule on Prop. 8. Derence Kernek and Ed Watson hope that process will move faster than the advance of Watson's Alzheimer's disease.
By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times

Derence Kernek and Ed Watson live together each day in fear that they won't be able to pledge "till death do us part" before it's too late.

Watson, 78, is in rapidly failing health, afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

A federal appeals court ruled last week that same-sex marriage will remain on hold in California until a judge's ruling striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional makes its way through the higher courts — reviews expected to take a year or more.

"We don't have the money to travel to a state where it's legal," said Kernek, 80, observing dejectedly that the travel would probably be too grueling for his partner of 40 years. "Besides, we wanted to do it in California, where our friends are, where we live. Now I don't think we'll be able to, not while Ed can still remember."

The ticking clock on Watson's awareness was one of a chronicle of arguments presented to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in an unsuccessful bid to convey the urgency of letting same-sex marriage resume during the protracted appeals process.

A 9th Circuit panel made up of Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Daly Hawkins and N. Randy Smith denied the request Wednesday without explanation.

Proposition 8 proponents had argued that the voter initiative's restriction of marriage to one man and one woman should remain in place pending the appeal. They said the stay was necessary to avert social chaos if, as they insist is likely, the courts decide that the voters of California had the right to outlaw same-sex marriage.

The Aug. 4 ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker in San Francisco striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional buoyed hopes across the national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities that their rights to marry and raise families would eventually earn full legal recognition.

But for some, including Kernek and Watson, "eventually" could come too late.

In response to an online appeal by the Hollywood-based Courage Campaign for testimony to back the legal challenge of Proposition 8 and other gay-rights litigation, more than 3,000 couples came forward with their stories about why they believe marriage can't wait.

"Life is not eternal — sometimes it is tragically short — and courts should not act as if it were otherwise," said Chad Griffin, board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and a key strategist in the legal campaign to scuttle Proposition 8.

The anecdotes of fatal illness and faltering minds were intended to put human faces on gay- and lesbian-rights advocates' arguments that continuing to prohibit same-sex marriage after Walker's ruling inflicts irreparable harm on many.

The Proposition 8 opponents argued that Walker's ruling recognized marriage as a fundamental right for all Americans, and their veteran lawyers, David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, cited case law dictating that a court should suspend a judge's ruling only when the party seeking that stay shows that it is likely to win on appeal and be irreparably harmed in the meantime.

"Each day plaintiffs, and gay men and lesbians like them, are denied the right to marry — denied the full blessings of citizenship — is a day that never can be returned to them," two same-sex couples who brought the successful lawsuit against Proposition 8 argued in their motion.

Those who will be harmed, Courage Campaign chairman Rick Jacobs argued in an accompanying letter to the court, are couples like Kernek and Watson and San Diego residents Jerry Peterson and Bob Smith, both in their 70s and longing to marry before the end of an appeals process that could outlive them. Shane Mayer and John Quintana, 28-year-olds from San Francisco, want to marry while Mayer's cancer-stricken father can still take part, the friend-of-the-court letter testified.

Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for Proposition 8 backers, hailed the panel's ruling as "a victory for Proposition 8 supporters and the initiative process as a whole."

In his appeals court filings, Pugno had argued that the same-sex couples' claim of urgency "rings hollow." He pointed out that they waited six months after the initiative passed to bring their lawsuit and failed to challenge the stay when the 9th Circuit first decided last fall to keep the ban in place while the appeal was being expedited.

Pugno's opponents say they didn't make an issue of the stay when Walker imposed it or when the 9th Circuit agreed it should remain in place because the appeals court said the case would be fast-tracked, Jacobs said. But when the 9th Circuit on Jan. 4 asked the California Supreme Court to decide whether the Proposition 8 architects have the legal right to appeal Walker's ruling, it became clear that the process would drag on until the end of this year, if not longer, Jacobs said.

That outlook is dispiriting for Kernek and Watson, who don't like to contemplate their prospects for surviving the appeals process intact.

"I can't even say how many times I've had to call 911 when he falls or gets into a position where I can't lift him," Kernek says of his partner.

The two retired to this gay-friendly desert oasis five years ago, after their eclectic college pursuits — horticulture, social work and engineering — took them from the Bay Area to Kansas City, then an Oregon farm that was their home and livelihood for a decade.

They registered as domestic partners when they arrived in California, and after the state legalized same-sex marriage three years ago, they thought they could make the ultimate commitment to each other when the time was right. The passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008 shocked them, as did Watson's diagnosis of Alzheimer's a few months later.

Kernek is more confused than bitter about the legal obstacles preventing them from taking vows before Watson's memory recedes to a point of no return.

"Why is it important to anybody else who you are devoted to?" Kernek asks. "I just don't see how who I love hurts anybody else's marriage."


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« Reply #867 on: March 29, 2011, 05:45:42 AM »

For some, gay marriage battle is a race against time
Judges last week extended a stay on same-sex marriage until higher courts rule on Prop. 8. Derence Kernek and Ed Watson hope that process will move faster than the advance of Watson's Alzheimer's disease.
By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times

Derence Kernek and Ed Watson live together each day in fear that they won't be able to pledge "till death do us part" before it's too late.

Watson, 78, is in rapidly failing health, afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

A federal appeals court ruled last week that same-sex marriage will remain on hold in California until a judge's ruling striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional makes its way through the higher courts — reviews expected to take a year or more.

"We don't have the money to travel to a state where it's legal," said Kernek, 80, observing dejectedly that the travel would probably be too grueling for his partner of 40 years. "Besides, we wanted to do it in California, where our friends are, where we live. Now I don't think we'll be able to, not while Ed can still remember."

The ticking clock on Watson's awareness was one of a chronicle of arguments presented to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in an unsuccessful bid to convey the urgency of letting same-sex marriage resume during the protracted appeals process.

A 9th Circuit panel made up of Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Daly Hawkins and N. Randy Smith denied the request Wednesday without explanation.

Proposition 8 proponents had argued that the voter initiative's restriction of marriage to one man and one woman should remain in place pending the appeal. They said the stay was necessary to avert social chaos if, as they insist is likely, the courts decide that the voters of California had the right to outlaw same-sex marriage.

The Aug. 4 ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker in San Francisco striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional buoyed hopes across the national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities that their rights to marry and raise families would eventually earn full legal recognition.

But for some, including Kernek and Watson, "eventually" could come too late.

In response to an online appeal by the Hollywood-based Courage Campaign for testimony to back the legal challenge of Proposition 8 and other gay-rights litigation, more than 3,000 couples came forward with their stories about why they believe marriage can't wait.

"Life is not eternal — sometimes it is tragically short — and courts should not act as if it were otherwise," said Chad Griffin, board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and a key strategist in the legal campaign to scuttle Proposition 8.

The anecdotes of fatal illness and faltering minds were intended to put human faces on gay- and lesbian-rights advocates' arguments that continuing to prohibit same-sex marriage after Walker's ruling inflicts irreparable harm on many.

The Proposition 8 opponents argued that Walker's ruling recognized marriage as a fundamental right for all Americans, and their veteran lawyers, David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, cited case law dictating that a court should suspend a judge's ruling only when the party seeking that stay shows that it is likely to win on appeal and be irreparably harmed in the meantime.

"Each day plaintiffs, and gay men and lesbians like them, are denied the right to marry — denied the full blessings of citizenship — is a day that never can be returned to them," two same-sex couples who brought the successful lawsuit against Proposition 8 argued in their motion.

Those who will be harmed, Courage Campaign chairman Rick Jacobs argued in an accompanying letter to the court, are couples like Kernek and Watson and San Diego residents Jerry Peterson and Bob Smith, both in their 70s and longing to marry before the end of an appeals process that could outlive them. Shane Mayer and John Quintana, 28-year-olds from San Francisco, want to marry while Mayer's cancer-stricken father can still take part, the friend-of-the-court letter testified.

Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for Proposition 8 backers, hailed the panel's ruling as "a victory for Proposition 8 supporters and the initiative process as a whole."

In his appeals court filings, Pugno had argued that the same-sex couples' claim of urgency "rings hollow." He pointed out that they waited six months after the initiative passed to bring their lawsuit and failed to challenge the stay when the 9th Circuit first decided last fall to keep the ban in place while the appeal was being expedited.

Pugno's opponents say they didn't make an issue of the stay when Walker imposed it or when the 9th Circuit agreed it should remain in place because the appeals court said the case would be fast-tracked, Jacobs said. But when the 9th Circuit on Jan. 4 asked the California Supreme Court to decide whether the Proposition 8 architects have the legal right to appeal Walker's ruling, it became clear that the process would drag on until the end of this year, if not longer, Jacobs said.

That outlook is dispiriting for Kernek and Watson, who don't like to contemplate their prospects for surviving the appeals process intact.

"I can't even say how many times I've had to call 911 when he falls or gets into a position where I can't lift him," Kernek says of his partner.

The two retired to this gay-friendly desert oasis five years ago, after their eclectic college pursuits — horticulture, social work and engineering — took them from the Bay Area to Kansas City, then an Oregon farm that was their home and livelihood for a decade.

They registered as domestic partners when they arrived in California, and after the state legalized same-sex marriage three years ago, they thought they could make the ultimate commitment to each other when the time was right. The passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008 shocked them, as did Watson's diagnosis of Alzheimer's a few months later.

Kernek is more confused than bitter about the legal obstacles preventing them from taking vows before Watson's memory recedes to a point of no return.

"Why is it important to anybody else who you are devoted to?" Kernek asks. "I just don't see how who I love hurts anybody else's marriage."

Ummm, exactly why was this couple "shocked" that Prop. 8 passed, given that 8 marriage amendments passed just two years prior, and considering that Florida and Arizona easily* passed their respective amendments?

Prop. 8 would have been on the ballot, regardless of how the CA Supreme Court ruled. I guess all the bally-hoo and hype by the LA and SF papers, citing bogus polls gave these folks the impression that Prop. 8 was as good as dead.

*: I say "easily" in Florida's case because of the margin (62-38). However, per Florida's constitution as of 2007, all amendments must pass by a 60% supermajority.

I think the 9th Circuit Court will take a look at the aforementioned (some time ago) Baker v. Nelson case, which declared that defining marriage as one-man-one-woman DOES NOT violate the US Constitution. If that's the case, the 9th could reverse Judge Walker's ruling, just as the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Joseph F. Bataillon's ruling that Nebraska's marriage amendment was unconstitutional.
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« Reply #868 on: April 07, 2011, 06:37:14 AM »

Vaughn Walker, retired judge, reflects on Prop. 8
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

The now-retired federal judge who struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage shared his reflections with reporters for the first time Wednesday, saying that the trial should have been televised and that he never considered stepping aside because he is gay.

"If you thought a judge's sexuality, ethnicity, national origin (or) gender would prevent the judge from handling a case, that's a very slippery slope," former Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker told reporters in a conference room at the San Francisco courthouse where he served for 21 years.

"I don't think it's relevant," he said.

Independent thinker
Walker, 67, who retired from the bench at the end of February, also said he thinks his ruling was correct and he hopes higher courts review the case on its merits.

He discussed the case in his first meeting with reporters since he announced his retirement in September.

A former corporate lawyer who was appointed to the bench by President George H.W. Bush, Walker proved to be an independent thinker - a libertarian who advocated decriminalization of drugs and issued groundbreaking rulings limiting government power and expanding individual rights.

His most prominent ruling was his August decision overturning Proposition 8, the November 2008 initiative that amended the state Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Same-sex-marriage ruling
After a 12-day trial that included testimony by gay and lesbian couples and experts on the history and purpose of marriage, Walker ruled that Prop. 8 discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation and gender and did not benefit heterosexual spouses or the marital institution.

The measure's sponsors have asked a federal appeals court to overturn the ruling, but the court has questioned whether the sponsors have legal standing - the right to represent the state's interests - after then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown declined to appeal.

Walker first raised that issue in August, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision that expressed doubt about whether sponsors of an initiative can stand in for state officials. But he said Wednesday he'd prefer to see the appeals court decide whether Prop. 8 is unconstitutional.

If Prop. 8 is invalidated because no one has the standing to defend it, he said, it will leave "a sense of the issue not having been resolved."

The Chronicle first disclosed Walker's sexual orientation during the trial, a fact he had neither discussed publicly nor tried to conceal. He said Wednesday he'd been surprised that it hadn't surfaced earlier and had surmised that "every journalist had decided it was not news."

The disclosure prompted some opponents of same-sex marriage to accuse Walker of bias and demand that he disqualify himself. Walker noted Wednesday that no parties in the case, including Prop. 8's sponsors, ever made such a request, and said, "I never thought it was appropriate to recuse from that case."

Television coverage
Walker also tried to have the trial televised as part of a pilot project approved by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the Supreme Court intervened at the request of the measure's sponsors, who said their witnesses might back out for fear of retribution if they knew a large audience would be watching.

The high court said Walker had failed to give enough advance public notice and also questioned whether such a high-profile case should be telecast. But Walker said Wednesday that trials of great public interest - Prop. 8, or the current Barry Bonds perjury trial - are the ones that should be most visible outside the courtroom.

"We are supposed to have public trials in this country," he said, and the only way that can happen now is "to admit the public by their eyes and ears."

Walker said the Supreme Court may have been motivated by its unwillingness to televise its own proceedings - a stance he called "very hard to understand." Camera coverage would expose Americans to a range of arguments and the high quality of lawyers and the court system, he said.

Walker is returning to private law practice as head of a San Francisco firm that will specialize in mediation, arbitration and other alternatives to litigating complex civil cases. Those were his most satisfying cases as a judge, he said.

He was also the judge who ruled the George W. Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorists illegal and rejected Apple Computer's claim that Microsoft Corp. had illicitly copied Apple Macintosh features in the Windows operating system.

But Walker said his favorite trial was the 2000 case in which he approved Hearst Corp.'s purchase of The Chronicle. It had everything, he said - local color, meaty antitrust issues, surprising testimony, and political and journalistic intrigue.

"If every trial were like that, I'd stay forever," he said.
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« Reply #869 on: April 27, 2011, 09:14:54 AM »

Prop. 8: Who's fit to judge?
Proposition 8 backers say Judge Walker should have recused himself because he's gay. That's absurd.
April 27, 2011

Married judges rule on divorce cases all the time. So do single judges. And divorced ones. Their rulings aren't challenged on the grounds of their marital status; that would obviously be ridiculous.

Yet ProtectMarriage, the group that sponsored Proposition 8, is challenging last year's ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker that declared the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The group's lawyers argue that because Walker has a longtime male partner, he was unfit to render a decision on Proposition 8. If one day he should want to marry, the argument goes, he might benefit from his own decision, assuming it survives the scrutiny of higher courts.

This claim is absurd on many levels, especially when you remember that ProtectMarriage's case against same-sex marriage is that it threatens the institution of heterosexual marriage. In fact, the group says, that damage gives it the legal status to challenge the initiative, because any married heterosexual is allegedly harmed by same-sex unions. But if that's the case, then by the group's own logic, married heterosexual judges would also be forced to recuse themselves; the integrity of their own marriages could be damaged by the matter before them.

According to this line of argument, former Chief Justice Ronald M. George, a married heterosexual, would not have been able to preside over the California Supreme Court case in which same-sex couples sued to overturn an earlier ban on same-sex marriage. George wrote the majority opinion setting out the reasons why the ban violated the state Constitution.

So then, perhaps, only an unmarried judge who has sworn never to wed could hear cases about same-sex marriage. Or any marriage at all. An African American judge could never hear a race-discrimination case. And no female judge could decide a lawsuit on gender discrimination. Or a male one either.

The guidelines for judicial recusal can be unclear at times, but generally the bar is a high one. The rules call for judges to disqualify themselves when their impartiality might reasonably be questioned, but they are not supposed to back away from cases because of who they are — their ethnicity, gender, marital status, affluence, political leanings or, yes, sexual orientation. It's another matter if they are directly and materially affected, or if they have previously displayed a deep-seated bias on the issue at hand. A judge who drives a gas guzzler can still hear a lawsuit against an oil company, but not if his or her spouse works for the oil company.

Had Walker been one of the activists fighting Proposition 8, or if he had repeatedly sought a marriage license and been rejected, ProtectMarriage would have valid claims of conflict of interest. The group's assertion that a gay judge in a relationship is less able than a heterosexual married judge to render a fair decision on a sexual-orientation case says more about the pervasiveness of discrimination against homosexuals than it does about Walker's fitness to hear the matter.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times
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« Reply #870 on: April 27, 2011, 09:29:25 AM »

Prop. 8: Who's fit to judge?
Proposition 8 backers say Judge Walker should have recused himself because he's gay. That's absurd.
April 27, 2011

Married judges rule on divorce cases all the time. So do single judges. And divorced ones. Their rulings aren't challenged on the grounds of their marital status; that would obviously be ridiculous.

Yet ProtectMarriage, the group that sponsored Proposition 8, is challenging last year's ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker that declared the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The group's lawyers argue that because Walker has a longtime male partner, he was unfit to render a decision on Proposition 8. If one day he should want to marry, the argument goes, he might benefit from his own decision, assuming it survives the scrutiny of higher courts.

This claim is absurd on many levels, especially when you remember that ProtectMarriage's case against same-sex marriage is that it threatens the institution of heterosexual marriage. In fact, the group says, that damage gives it the legal status to challenge the initiative, because any married heterosexual is allegedly harmed by same-sex unions. But if that's the case, then by the group's own logic, married heterosexual judges would also be forced to recuse themselves; the integrity of their own marriages could be damaged by the matter before them.

According to this line of argument, former Chief Justice Ronald M. George, a married heterosexual, would not have been able to preside over the California Supreme Court case in which same-sex couples sued to overturn an earlier ban on same-sex marriage. George wrote the majority opinion setting out the reasons why the ban violated the state Constitution.

So then, perhaps, only an unmarried judge who has sworn never to wed could hear cases about same-sex marriage. Or any marriage at all. An African American judge could never hear a race-discrimination case. And no female judge could decide a lawsuit on gender discrimination. Or a male one either.

The guidelines for judicial recusal can be unclear at times, but generally the bar is a high one. The rules call for judges to disqualify themselves when their impartiality might reasonably be questioned, but they are not supposed to back away from cases because of who they are — their ethnicity, gender, marital status, affluence, political leanings or, yes, sexual orientation. It's another matter if they are directly and materially affected, or if they have previously displayed a deep-seated bias on the issue at hand. A judge who drives a gas guzzler can still hear a lawsuit against an oil company, but not if his or her spouse works for the oil company.

Had Walker been one of the activists fighting Proposition 8, or if he had repeatedly sought a marriage license and been rejected, ProtectMarriage would have valid claims of conflict of interest. The group's assertion that a gay judge in a relationship is less able than a heterosexual married judge to render a fair decision on a sexual-orientation case says more about the pervasiveness of discrimination against homosexuals than it does about Walker's fitness to hear the matter.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

No, they aren't saying he should have reclused himself because he's gay. It's because he had a vested interest in the outcome of this case.

If a crackhead rules that outlawing cocaine is unconstitutional, that would also be a conflict of interest.
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« Reply #871 on: May 09, 2011, 05:41:02 PM »

Virginians are almost evenly split on gay marriage, Post poll finds
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Jon Cohen

Virginians are closely divided over whether gay marriage should be legal, according to a new Washington Post poll, a striking result in a state that overwhelmingly agreed to amend its constitution to ban gay marriage just five years ago.

Forty-seven percent of Virginians say gay couples should be allowed to legally wed and 43 percent are opposed, according to the poll. Fifty-five percent of Virginians say gay couples should be able to legally adopt children.

The results mirror a dramatic and rapid shift in national public opinion about gay rights in recent years. The evolving public opinion could create a challenge in the key political battleground for the commonwealth’s Republicans, who are almost universally opposed to gay marriage, if voters think the GOP is falling out of sync with the electorate. But the results also present complications for Virginia Democrats, who have moved more slowly than their national counterparts to embrace liberal social stands for fear of alienating independent voters.

In 2006, 57 percent of voters agreed that Virginia should add language to the state constitution prohibiting marriage — or any approximation of the institution, including civil unions — between same-sex couples.

Changing the constitution in Virginia is cumbersome, requiring two votes by the General Assembly and a statewide referendum. The legislature, which overwhelming agreed to send the issue to voters in 2006, has shown no appetite to explore repealing it since.

Poll results are unlikely to prompt repeal, said advocates on both sides of the issue.

Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, a spokeswoman for the gay rights group Equality Virginia, said the political establishment’s views lag behind those of the public on the issue. “We knew that public opinion was evolving,” she said of opposition to the 2006 vote. “You end up leaving us in a posture where the public has moved and the policymakers haven’t and won’t.”

Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, countered that Virginians speak more clearly at the ballot box than in polls.

“Typically, people elect the officials they want to implement the policy they believe in,” she said, noting that despite shifting poll results, voters in 31 states have agreed to prohibit same-sex marriage.

The views contrast with those on another hot-button social issue — abortion. Opinions on abortion in Virginia have remained similar in recent years. Fifty-three percent of Virginians say abortion should be legal in all or most cases; 40 percent say it should be illegal in all or most instances.

No matter where Virginians come down on gay marriage this year, views on the subject tend to be strongly held: About two-thirds of Virginians feel “strongly” on one side or the other. Some 30 percent of all Virginians “strongly” support gay marriage, and 35 percent oppose it just as adamantly.

The Post poll numbers on gay marriage also reflect a big age gap, with broad support of gay rights among young adults potentially shaping policy on the issue for years to come.

The survey shows that nearly three-quarters of those ages 18 to 29 say gays should be able to legally wed. Only 22 percent of those ages 65 and older agree. Between the ages of 30 and 65, residents are split, with 44 percent saying same-sex marriage should be legal and 43 percent saying it should illegal.

Those results suggest a possible shift in recent years, even among young people. Exit polling conducted after the 2006 vote to amend the constitution indicated that a majority of voters in every age group supported the proposal.

Howard Racsid, 47, a retired Internet consultant from Fredericksburg, said that just a few years ago he opposed gay marriage. But he said his views have changed. Despite feeling uncomfortable with the notion, he says gays should be able to legally marry and adopt.

“My overarching theme is equal rights for everyone, and within that context, I have to support it,” he said. “It’s funny, life, as you go along, things aren’t always what they seemed even a year ago.”

The poll also indicates that majorities of Democrats (56 percent) and independents (53 percent) favor gay marriage, but 60 percent of Republicans are opposed.

Chris Mason, 43, an auto dealership employee who lives in Winchester, said his opposition to gay marriage is based on his belief in the traditional family structure.

But he said he agrees with gay couples receiving new recognition under the law.

“I am totally fine with homosexual couples having a civil union in which they’re recognized as a couple and have every legal right — but it should never be called marriage,” he said. “Words have meaning.”

The poll also finds that 35 percent of Virginians say it should be illegal for gay couples to adopt. Virginia is one of 34 states where only married couples and single adults, whether gay or straight, can adopt. Virginia law bars adoptions by all unmarried couples, regardless of sexual orientation. And some private adoption agencies, including religious institutions, have their own rules regarding gay adoptions by single people.

Despite emotional pleas from gay-rights groups, the State Board of Social Services, which regulates adoptions in Virginia, recently declined to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by adoption agencies.

Virginia’s shift on gay marriage reflects the nation’s. In 2006, nearly six in 10 Americans opposed same-sex marriage, but by spring of this year, a majority for the first time supported it. A mid-March Post-ABC News poll found support for gay marriage at 53 percent nationally.

The survey also reflects strong regional differences on same-sex marriage. In the D.C. suburbs, 64 percent support gay marriage. Elsewhere in the state, that number falls to 43 percent.

In contrast to four years ago, about as many Virginians consider themselves to be liberal on social matters as call themselves conservative. Fiscal conservatism is on the rise, but on these social issues, it’s liberalism that’s ticked higher.

The poll was conducted by conventional phones and cellphones from April 28 to May 4 and included interviews with 1,180 adults. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
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« Reply #872 on: May 09, 2011, 06:43:03 PM »

I'm not shocked... I knew one guy vote down gay marriage on the ballot one time with the explanation of... I just don't want every gay person running to Virginia to get married... If it was every state, then it wouldn't be a big deal to him.

Why that's a reason, I don't know... but that's what he used.
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« Reply #873 on: May 09, 2011, 06:55:46 PM »

at the very least hopefully the obnoxious gay rights movement will get some groups to realize the hypocrisey of yelling for equal rights but really wanting special rights...

if this gets women to stop asking to be treated equal while at the same time still insisting to be treated like ladies when it suits them then im all for it.
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« Reply #874 on: May 10, 2011, 03:33:33 AM »

Gay divorce is going to be a real carnival act. 
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