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  1. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Prop 8 struck down in California

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by erik martin, Aug 5, 2010.

    This afternoon, Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state was unconstitutional, reopening the opportunity for gay and lesbian couples to wed in the State of California. Here is a link to the story that MSN ran.

    Prop 8 was voted on and passed with 52% of the vote a few years back. Critics are accusing Judge Walker of 'Judicial Activism' and ignoring the will of the voters.

    Supporters of the decision agree with Walker's opinion that just because a majority vote for it, it still isn't legal to trample the Constitutional rights of the minority.

    I recently moved to California so I have watched this with some interest. Personally, I support Walker's decision. I am a straight man who is married to a woman, but we have more friends who are gay and lesbian married couples than straight couples. (Not every couple's marriage is recognized by the state in which they live.) I would not wish to deprive these people the chance to enjoy the same rights that I do. To me it seems like outright discrimination.

    Also, I'd like to comment on Walker being accused of activism. It seems to me that whenever a judge issues a ruling unpopular with the right, he or she is suddenly an 'activist' when generally it appears to me that they are just doing the jobs they were appointed or elected to do.

    I open the floor for feedback. (And lets stay civil, so we don't get angry red warnings from moderators.)
     
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  2. FoxyMomma
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    FoxyMomma Contributing Member

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    I completely agree that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Why shouldn't gay, lesbian or otherwise be allowed to be as miserable as I......er.....I mean married?!?!?! They deserve to have every right that a married man and woman have. I support Judge Walker's decision and just wish I could do more to show my support.
     
  3. LadyLazarus
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    LadyLazarus Senior Member

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    All I can say is - about darn time!

    I'll admit, my knowledge of the American constitution is shakey at best. But, marry the gays! Will always be my stance on the matter. Marry anyone who wants to make that commitment to each other.

    Simon Hughes, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats says the UK Government plans to allow civil marriage for same-sex couples before the next general election. I hope they do.
     
  4. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    That would be great. Thanks for responding. I'd love to get more feedback from members outside of the US. Let us know what the opinions on this are elsewhere in the world.
     
  5. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    'Activism' is pretty much just politic speak for 'someone in a position of power arrived at an opinion I disagree with.'

    I'm glad to see this ruling, but I'm not optimistic it will endure past a Supreme Court decision.
     
  6. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is why I need to be the worlds dictator. Because we wouldn't have to go through such a process to allow something that should be a garuntee. If anyone was in favor of denying such rights then I'd have to say Off With their Arms!!(heads seemed unoriginal. Can't be an unoriginal dictator now. :( )

    Anyways.

    While I don't think this is necessarily the end of it. Isn't there a process where they can appeal this decision? My understanding of the law and how it works is uh... limited. :(

    But its about time. I hate how people are so dead set against this. I also hate it when people bring up some argument about this will force the Churches and priests and whatever to marry them(yes I actually saw this complaint on a different forum discussing this decision) '

    I also hate that no one can seem to put up a real arguement against Gay Marriage(as I find all of the ones I have heard to be garbage) I hate it because it just seems to me they want to deny these people these rights for no good reason at all except they are uncomfortable with it and have bigoted view on it.

    Which just angers me further because I would like to think that most people would be above this kind of crap.

    ok I am done rambling in an almost incoherent manner. :D
     
  7. Chudz
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    Chudz Contributing Member

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    Personally, I feel that a fair amount of politicians on both sides are just going to milk this issue for all it's worth. Why? Because it gets voters in their corner, just like a number of other hot topics. Indeed, demagoguery is alive and well in America. Now, I also believe that there are politicians who have deep-seated beliefs one way or the other, but they are outnumbered, their opinions watered-down by those seeking to take advantage of the situation. (Okay, maybe I'm a bit cynical. ;) )

    Anyway, I believe that within the next decade or two we will see the legalization of gay marriage in the United States. Now, why do I believe that? Look back over the last three decades and notice the increasing frequency with which LGBT relationships have been showing up in popular media. To me, this points to a growing awareness and acceptance of such portrayals by the average American. It's taking what many once thought of as a taboo subject and diluting it, effectively removing it from that category. (Note: As I stated, the aforementioned pertains to the average American who probably doesn't care too much either way.) This exposure will continue, gaining momentum, and we will eventually end up with a small bloc of those who ardently oppose it; a small bloc of those who fervently support it; a larger portion that don't care either way, or agree to a lesser extent; and a general consensus among the rest that think, “I may not agree or be comfortable with it, but who am I to say that this is wrong.” And so, public opinion will eventually sway to the supporting side. At that point, those politicians who were tied more to this issue through the thought of votes than actual beliefs will conform to public opinion, in order to maintain those votes. And thus, it will be legalized after a long struggle and at great cost.

    Of course, this is just the opinion of one Midwesterner.
     
  8. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Civil PARTNERSHIP is already legal in the UK. Civil MARRIAGE is not, but it is really a question of semantics, since a civil partnership gives exactly the same rights and responsibilities as marriage. However, it seems to be much more straightforward to dissolve i.e. getting a 'divorce', which takes ages for a married couple in the UK, is very quick. This may or may not be fair.

    I don't personally see why gays need anything more than a civil partnership. The traditional concept of marriage is all about the family, not the couple--and before people leap in and say some couples can't/don't have children, I stress that I'm talking about marriage in the traditional sense. If you are a straight western couple who are marrying but not thinking of having a family, or that marriage is a form of sacrament, then you might chose to have a civil ceremony instead of the full wedding do anyway.

    The idea of a 'Wedding' and marriage is very influenced by culture anyway. Weddings here in Turkey are just a two-minute legal ceremony, and people have a party if they want to celebrate the wedding as a separate thing, not always on the same day. Gays can safeguard their joint belongings with a contract something like a business agreement, or the older man can adopt the other as his heir (some foriegners do this and of course are sadly taken for a ride) but there's no public call for gay marriages because marriage between two people of the same sex does not make any sense to anyone here. Even gays prefer to marry and have children because the idea of family is so important, and they keep their gay lovers separate. There are quite a few openly gay men (not women) here (although NO public figures), but they do not live openly as a couple--they tend in fact to flout a pretty promiscuous lifestyle.

    It takes many, many years to discard centruries-old patterns of behaviour, and I shouldn't think that anything will change much in the near future. Even with changed legislation, I doubt that gay marriage will affect anything more than a tiny minority of the world population. As a close gay friend of mine said when the Civil Partnership law came in, Why would we want to give up the one advantage of our lifestyle? I don't want my relatives constantly on at me to tie the knot.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Fair warning - please read

    As with every thread dealing with controversial subjects, this one will be closely watched. As long as everyone remains respectful toward everyone else's beliefs, the thread may continue.

    FAIR WARNING! In the past, we have simply closed the thread when it gets too heated. This time, whoever takes it to the point that requires it to be closed will also be subject to an infraction.

    We have had a very poor track record with contraversial threads in the past, and this is why we will follow a zero-tolerance policy on this one.

    So please keep the tone respectful at all times.
     
  10. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am so glad prop 8 was shot down. It was bad news from the start.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    And now that I have properly warned people to keep the discussion civil (See Post #9), I will say it's about damned time.

    I have written about this before, both here and on my own web site. I'm a Republican, and straight, and (ahem) not young - all the things associated with those who oppose gay marriage. But I am not a stereotype. I was disgusted by Prop 8, which in my opinion is the most bigoted piece of US legislation of this decade.

    Civil unions sound like a reasonable compromise, until you realize that every relevant benefit of marriage has to be individually assigned to civil unions, which generally involves someone having to take a test case to the Supreme Court for each benefit that was not already attached by statute.

    That is not equality. That is forcing gays to fight, at great expenditure of both money and time, for every benefit of marriage that hetero couples can take for granted. That extends to areas like custody of dependent children, survivorship insurance benefits, medical proxy designation, spousal privilege against having to testify against one's spouse, etc.

    Allowing gay unions to be classified as marriage caises literally hundreds of state and federal laws to immediately and automatically apply.

    So - bravo to Judge Walker for dragging California at least partway back out of the Dark ages.

    Now we can turn more of our attention to Arizona...
     
  12. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^ @ Cogito: 'Civil unions sound like a reasonable compromise, until you realize that every relevant benefit of marriage has to be individually assigned to civil unions, which generally involves someone having to take a test case to the Supreme Court for each benefit that was not already attached by statute.

    That is not equality.'

    No, it isn't. But as a non-American this makes no sense to me at all. Why can't the US have civil partnerships like they do in the UK (and several countries in Europe) which carry the full rights given to a married couple? And why can't a ruling on something which seems to be a matter of basic human rights apply nationwide? Just puzzled, people.

    The only thing I have against this issue, and I say this with all respect, is that I dislike the word 'marriage' being used, and I can't agree that a religious service is appropriate. I'm not speaking here from an anti-gay stance (I am not in the least anti-gay), it is just that for me the word 'marriage' has a specific meaning which does not apply to couples who are the same sex. 'Partnership' I have no problems with.
     
  13. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Please, God, do.

    I'm really excited about the prop 8 decision. Marriage has been evolving since it first came about, and it's about time that steps are taken toward accepting gay marriage in the US.
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I never thought that Prop 8 would last. I truly believe the fact that it passed had less to do with true, general public opinion and more to do with who votes and who doesn't. We've known for decades now that voting in the U.S. is on the decline and being a Gen X-er myself, I can safely profess that my generation is utterly uninterested in the process which is a painful shame given that my generation is the first generation to benefit from its parent generation being more socially progressive.
     
  15. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    What happens will be interesting to watch as this is the first one of these marriage laws that have found their way into the federal courts. Previous challenges have not risen beyond the state level. So now, for the first time, the US Supreme Court will have the option of having a crack at this, with nationwide implications.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I agree that this does add a new facet to the dynamic. It will be a difficult decision on the part of the Supreme Court to weigh the the opposing sides of the argument.

    But, hey. I truly believed that I would not live to see a person of color in the White House. I was wrong.

    A change of this ruling by the Supreme Court would also have impact within the gay community from more than one angle. I am a member of the community, happily living with my hubby now for four years. If there were suddenly the true and equal opportunity for a legally sanctioned relationship for us, I have to wonder what kind of sociopolitical pressures I would feel from within the community. Truly. I wonder.
     
  17. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's what I thought. Minus the whole thing about Gen-X because that didn't cross my mind, since I'm generally not aware of such things.
     
  18. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ha!

    What was the point of the warning regarding controversial threads and heated debate? Everybody on here seems to be agreeing.

    Either the whole world has suddenly evolved to embrace the concept of gay marriage, or all its opponents around here are keeping their heads down.

    I could express a contrary opinion, but I'm not Chuck Norris, and I don't feel like standing alone and attempting to repel wave upon wave of denigrators. I'm a great believer in choosing my fights carefully, and making life easy for myself. I can't even go down the whole "God wouldn't approve" route either, since I don't believe in the existence of the Big Guy .

    But that's a whole new thread. And gives me an idea... ;)
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The point was, and is, to make sure everyone who contributes to this thread remembers to do so respectfully.

    Don't even think of opening a debate on religions.
     
  20. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cogito

    You have many powers around here, but even you are unable to exercise control over what I think. So, as for the religious thread, I've already thought about it.

    I won't commit it to the screen though. :)
     
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  21. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Personally, I'm conflicted...

    I support gay marriage, for obvious reasons. What I do not support, however, is a single judge looking at 52% of California and informing them that while their vote is important, it does not count because they did not vote correctly. Mind you, it's hard for me to say this. If I wanted to and if I had a boyfriend, which much to my chagrin I do not, I could go down and get married. Yet, it feels like we stole it...

    Every major advancement in the rights of men and women, no matter what makes them difference, was done in America through logic and patience. We, whoever we are, teach those willing to learn what the truth is and convince them to help us. We don't force them to accept us, we ask that they tolerate us and eventually, if they find the decency, they will accept us. As soon as we start yelling at them and calling them bigots or homophobes, we lose the people in the middle; the intelligent ones who are deciding on merit and not stereotype. Yes, this is a long process; at times unending. Blacks are still fighting for equality in much of America, but that doesn't mean things haven't changed. Sure, it requires you to become monk-like in your patience, but all good things are hard to accomplish.

    I should be happy. I can get married now, but it's not because society has accepted me. Instead, some impatient little judge thought so poorly of his own kind that he's putting a pistol against the head of society and forcing them to accept us. It'll never work, not because people are bigots, but because when we are told we are wrong and that we shouldn't do things, it's the first thing we do.
     
  22. Zieki
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    Zieki Member

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    Just because the majority voted for it doesn't make it Constitutional... I understand where you're coming from but I don't think that the judge shot it down because he's trying to force people to accept gays, he shot it down because Prop 8 takes away some of the Constitutional rights that all US citizens should have.
     
  23. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is pretty much exactly what I was going to say. I don't think it's one judge saying "I know you guys voted for this, but I really don't care what you think." It's one judge saying "you may have voted for this, but it's unconstitutional to treat a group of people as second-class citizens simply because they have a different sexual preference than you do." Which it is. The Declaration of Independence doesn't say "All men are created equal, as long as the dudes like chicks and the chicks like dudes."
     
  24. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm pleased this has happened. Hopefully it'll happen in Australia too. At least then my friends won't have to fly all the way to Canada or California to simply get married.

    Of course there's heaps more I'd like to say about this but none of it is necessary and all of it is inflammatory.
     
  25. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha I'm right there with you. I have to tread so carefully with subjects like these...
     
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