Same-sex marriage issue fast heading to a conclusion


In February, a three-judge panel of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision upheld the ruling of US District Court judge Vaughn Walker that Proposition 8 (that reversed the policy allowing same sex marriage in California) was unconstitutional.

Opponents appealed to the full Ninth Circuit but on Tuesday, a majority of the full court decided against reconsidering that decision.

This means that Proposition 8 has been overturned and same sex marriage is legal in California. But the Appeals Court stayed the ruling for ninety days to allow supporters to file an appeal with the US Supreme Court, as they seem certain to do.

If the Supreme Court decides to take the case, as seems likely, then a final decision won’t come until sometime in 2013. If they decline to hear the case, then same sex marriage immediately becomes legal (again) in California. This could happen as early as this fall.

Comments

  1. dan-o says

    So let me get this straight. The people voted in 2008 to ban same sex marriages but now the peoples vote does not matter?

  2. charleskellogg says

    When the people vote to violate the constitution, it is the job of the court system to void that vote. This is a country based on the rule of law, not mob rule. The majority should not be able to vote to take away the civil rights of any minority.

  3. 'Tis Himself says

    There’s this thing called “rights.” It’s considered ungood for the majority to deny rights to a minority, no matter how much the majority wants to do so. Before rights can be denied to people, there has to be a compelling reason to do so. So your right to murder your neighbor is denied because it’s felt society benefits by not allowing you to murder someone because his dog shit on your lawn. However there’s no compelling reason why two consenting adults who love each other shouldn’t be allowed to get married, no matter how icky the Mormon and Catholic hierarchies think same sex marriage is.

    But don’t worry. Your pastor won’t marry two men or two women in your church because the pastor thinks god thinks that what gays do in bed is icky. So it shouldn’t affect you and you can continue to be a brainless, godbotting homophobe.

  4. Mano Singham says

    As the article I linked to pointed out, in 1967 when US Supreme Court ruled that bans on inter-racial were unconstitutional, a majority of Americans disapproved of such marriages.

    The basic idea is that some basic freedoms cannot be restricted by a majority vote. The majority does not have the right to decide (say) that some minority group does not have the right to vote.

  5. schmeer says

    Mano,
    You’re too patient and kind with Dan-o. He has repeatedly shown himself to be a troll around FtB.

  6. dan-o says

    I can’t wait until I can marry one of my classic cars. Any idea when this will be legal and can I still keep my marriage with my wife? I will just hold my ground and get ready for another win in MN’s November election. I am still gloating from last nights victory in WI. Go Walker!

  7. dan-o says

    Funny thing is the people on left always want to silence the right similar to this vote in Cali. What gives you a little worried about some debate?

  8. Mano Singham says

    My attitude is that I am not writing in response to just the original questioner which, as you right point out, might be a waste of time with a troll. But some commenters, even if they are trolls, raise concerns that other people who are not trolls may share simply because they are uniformed.

    If I think the comment is something that someone who is not a troll might benefit from seeing a response to, then I respond. In other words, my responses are to the entire readership of the blog. So some trolls can actually serve a positive purpose and actually advance my own goals, which might come as a surprise to them. The trick is to not get into a repetitive mode, which is a true waste of time, and to ignore those comments that are not worthy of response because the answer is so obvious.

    It is a habit I picked up in my teaching. When a student asks a question, teachers should generalize it and address the response to the whole class. It is more educational that way.

  9. 'Tis Himself says

    Marriage is between two people who can give informed consent to the marriage. You can marry your car when it can give informed consent.

    Just because you’re a homophobe is no reason to deny rights to minorities, no matter how much you fear and hate them.

  10. dan-o says

    Tis, believe it or not I fear no one except perhaps someone with a gun in my face and even then it is more pity for them than for me. I may disagree with the lifestyle of some but that is the life they choose. What I disagree with is people using the term marriage when you have the word civil union. I have not been kicked out of any FTB threads, although that could happen any day, probably due to the fact that I will not belittle or swear at my opponents. I see no need in calling others names due to my Christian upbringing no matter how bad everyone on here thinks it was or how it brainwashed me. I have a college degree in economics and and am Director of Sales for a large company based in MN. What I am saying is that for someone who was brainwashed and not allowed to see the light (pun intended) I seem to be fairly succesful and happy with my life. I do not wish to bash anyone but rather want to keep the word marriage as it was intended to be used and that is state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

  11. slc1 says

    I think that dan-o, who apparently posts under a number of sockpuppets was just given the heave ho on Ed Brayton’s blog.

  12. Mano Singham says

    I see your point about keeping the word marriage separate from civil unions. I too used to think that as long as both unions have the same legal rights, then there would be no harm in having civil unions as the basic legal institution in a country and let the word marriage be used by that subset of civil unions that consist of a man and a woman who want to use that word to describe their union. My focus is on equal rights, not on what things are named.

    But as I discovered recently, equal rights is not possible unless there is a global agreement that couples in civil unions will have the same rights as those in a marriage. We need a system in which people in unions have the same rights globally irrespective of the gender of the couples. Right now, the word ‘marriage’ attached to a couple is the only thing that gives such equal rights. Can you suggest an alternative?

  13. says

    It is a habit I picked up in my teaching. When a student asks a question, teachers should generalize it and address the response to the whole class. It is more educational that way.

    I respect your attitude, there. +1

  14. says

    So, if it were called, say, “Fred” then you’d have no problem at all with it? If a couple who were “fredded” had the same rights, privileges, advantages and disadvantages under the law as married couples – you’d be OK with that?

  15. dan-o says

    I would. I have no problem with all people getting civil unionized and everyone having the same rights. For those who wish to go a step further in indictaing their union is a marriage meaning between two people of the opposite sex. I believe this would end the debate at least from the conservative side.

  16. Steve says

    Also take a look at New Jersey and Illinois. There was a commission that studied the NJ CU law and unanimously concluded that it didn’t work. Same in the recent marriage equality case that was filed in Illinois. The court brief contains numerous examples where people were still denied rights by employers, realtors or hospitals because they didn’t know what to make of Civil Unions. A third status besides “single” and “married” is also a huge problem when filling out forms, which usually don’t contain the necessary checkboxes.

  17. Steve says

    “Fast” is a bit of an overstatement. If the Supremes decide to take the case, it will be another year before a decision is due. Justice is slow

  18. Tony says

    dan-o:

    So let me get this straight. The people voted in 2008 to ban same sex marriages but now the peoples vote does not matter?

    Marriage can easily fall under ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. If one segment of the US population (black or gay) is prevented from getting married by the majority (despite interracial or same sex marriage not affecting the majority), then that segment doesn’t have the same rights as the majority. They are second class citizens. Your views show you to be a bigot who *wants* some people in this country to be second class citizens. Yet you’ve never explained this fear of same sex marriage you have. Since it won’t affect you one whit (unless you have someone holding a gun to your head ordering you to marry a man), an infinitely better opinion for you to hold (versus your infantile religious one) would be: “Their marriage doesn’t affect me any more than my marriage affects them. Why should I be opposed to same sex marriage? Now that I think about it, there is no reason to be opposed to same sex marriage. Even the bible doesn’t have a position on it.”

  19. Tony says

    dan-o:

    Funny thing is the people on left always want to silence the right similar to this vote in Cali. What gives you a little worried about some debate?

    How can you be so agreeable to laws that result in a portion of the population becoming second class citizens?
    How can you be so ignorant not to do a simple Google search and see that civil unions are *NOT* the same as marriage (if you’re not old enough to have lived through the Civil Rights Movement, Google “separate but equal”)?
    How can you not understand that basic human rights should *NOT* be up for a vote?
    Also, please research the history of marriage. Perhaps you’ll learn that there’s no such thing as “traditional marriage”. Even today, people across the world marry for a variety of reasons.

  20. Tony says

    Dan-O:

    I do not wish to bash anyone but rather want to keep the word marriage as it was intended to be used and that is state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

    Citation please.
    No, the Bible doesn’t count (IIRC, it doesn’t even *say* this). That may be *your* puerile definition, but it’s hardly universal. And again, why does it matter to you who gets married when it doesn’t affect you?

  21. Tony says

    Dan-O :
    Hello Mr. Bigot. How goes the Hate Pride?

    I would. I have no problem with all people getting civil unionized and everyone having the same rights. For those who wish to go a step further in indictaing their union is a marriage meaning between two people of the opposite sex.

    Emphasis mine.
    So marriage is a step beyond civil unions. So they’re not equal. Thanks for clearing that up.
    It’s so wonderful to know that you would deign to allow me to get civil unioned to another guy. I wouldn’t want to trample on the definition of marriage (which has changed over the course of human history) by seeking a marriage. I’ll just be content to have the few rights afforded to civil unions. I’ll just be content not having my relationship recognized by law. I’ll just be content to face discrimination and bigotry in the work force. All because the will of the majority trumps human rights.

  22. Greg says

    Tony,

    I think Dan-0 is right, but let’s kick it really old school. We could go the Solomon or David way, with hundreds of wives and concubines, but you the down side of that? Hundreds of mothers-in-law.

    We could conceive children they way Lot’s daughters did. Or, we could write into law that if a man dies, his brother must impregnate the widow to carry on his brother’s line, like Onan.

    The Bible–lots of sex and bad zoology to boot!

  23. 'Tis Himself says

    So you express your hate for homosexuals by playing a semantic game. Damn, you conservatives are getting weirder by the day.

    Tell me, hating Dan-O, what’s the difference between “marriage” and “civil union” other than your hatred of homosexuals makes you want to deny them “marriage?” Is your hatred so overpowering you can’t even let two human beings be married?

  24. 'Tis Himself says

    I see, while you claim not to fear homosexuals, you don’t deny your hatred for them. This hatred is so strong you’d deny them the right to marriage, the same right you and your wife have.

    I see no need in calling others names due to my Christian upbringing no matter how bad everyone on here thinks it was or how it brainwashed me.

    Pardon me, sir, you must have mistaken me for someone who gives a fuck about whether or not you call people names.

    I have a college degree in economics and and am Director of Sales for a large company based in MN.

    I know a place where that and a buck seventy-five will get you a cup of coffee.

    I’ve made no secret about my Harvard MA in economics nor my position as a senior executive at a large Connecticut company. If you want to play the game of degrees and jobs, you’ll have to try harder.

    I do not wish to bash anyone but rather want to keep the word marriage as it was intended to be used and that is state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

    Since “marriage” has changed over time and from society to society, it appears that you’re not really interested in keeping the word as you want it defined but rather you want to deny two consenting adults the right to marriage because of your hatred. That’s really “Christian” of you.

  25. Frank says

    dan-o,

    Would you be OK with a definition of marriage as either between “one man and one woman” or among “one man and some women”, as it appears to have been in the Bible?

  26. Frank says

    I like that Mano continues to allow dan-o to comment on this blog. It allow his assertions to be rebutted by argument.

  27. says

    Since “marriage” has changed over time and from society to society

    That was the part I was going to hammer on, next. :) “Marriage” existed before christianity was invented. And it wasn’t always a simple 1:1 either, nor was it male:female. There were “same sex marriages” in ancient China, predating christianity by almost 1000 years. So, while we may appreciate christians’ attempt to re-interpret traditional “marriage” perhaps the Zhou and Ming-period Chinese definition takes precedence?

    Rook takes queen; checkmate.

  28. says

    (I don’t think it’s necessary to point out that polygyny and polyandry were common in ancient times, before christianity was invented. Therefore, again, modern christians are attempting to re-define “marriage” to mean “one man, one woman.” That’s a relatively recent change.)

    I haven’t found any historical references to “marriage” being defined as between man and badger, though. So I do think we should respect the limits of traditional “marriage” and not let men marry badgers. Men:men, women:women, men:bunch of women, bunch of women:man, all are “traditional” unless you’re one of those johnny-come-latelies who want to redefine the term narrowly to suit their particular creed.

  29. says

    I was almost wrong about the badgers. Apparently in druidic Ireland there were men who married horses. But I bet it was just mares; a stallion would be going a bit too far.

    I’m glad you’re in favor of traditional “marriage”! Bucephalus is looking forward to the honeymoon.

    Personally, I’d prefer to see it as a cultural artifact of our current time. Which is to say it’s whatever is generally accepted.

  30. dan0 says

    Marcus, does that mean since you are using the term “Marriage” and you stated it has chnaged, that you will allow someone to marry a horse? When I say you can take a step further I do not mean with additional rights but rather to state you are hetero.

  31. says

    “I do not wish to bash anyone but rather want to keep the word marriage as it was intended to be used…”

    Intended by whom? Please be specific.

  32. David Hart says

    Dan-o: “I do not wish to bash anyone but rather want to keep the word marriage as it was intended to be used and that is state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. “

    What if I want to use the word marriage to refer to the state of being united to a person of either sex as husband(s) and/or wife(s) in a consensual and contractual relationship recognised by law?

    Think about this: you’ve just stated that some of the important things about marriage are that it is consensual, contractual and recognised by law. Why should the sex of the participants override this? Why does it matter to you what sex they are, as long as they are in a consensual, contractual, legally recognised union?

  33. dan0 says

    David, as a Christian it means quite a bit to me. My solution would be to call it a civil union for everyone and everyone would have the same rights. For those that are Christians we can still use the word marriage as meaning a union between a man and woman but with no more rights than those of same sex couples. This is as frank as I can be on this subject.

  34. dan0 says

    As a side note PZ finally kicked me off his site today & lists me as a spammer. It is always nice when people on the other side can discuss their thoughts in an open forum without being censored. Apparently this is not the case for Christians on his site. I wish him well & will not post hurtful things about him or his site other than I disagree with most of his views on religion, government and civil rights.

  35. Mano Singham says

    But it is not the issue of what you or I call it. The problem is that countries the world over need to give the same rights to everyone and right now they do that only for the institution associated with the word ‘marriage’. As long as that label carries with it special rights and is also restricted to just some people, it cannot serve the function we are looking for. Either the meaning of the word has to be expanded or a new label that has all the same rights is recognized globally.

  36. Mojave66 says

    Except not all Christians agree with you. The Congregationalists, Quakers, Christian Unitarian Universalists, Swedenborgians and tons of smaller Christian sects happily embrace same sex marriage as “marriage”, as does Reform and Conservative Judaism. So, as a Christian, why do you claim this privilege of narrowly defining marriage in the name of Christianity when not all Christians agree?

    Second, this is marriage in a secular state, with secular laws that will only acknowledge a secular marriage. Civil union rights and responsibilities vary widely from state to state, whereas “marriage” has a long-standing legal and social track record. It would seem to me that if you want “civil unions” then that is what the contract should be for ALL couples, and let whatever sects define marriage any way they want. So while your sect doesn’t recognize my marriage, my UUs do. As would secular law, even if they adopt the semantic trick of “civil union” for all couples.

    Third, I assume you’re a fiscal conservative. Have you ever considered the added amount of bureaucracy that a state that has to administer both marriage AND civil unions must obtain? That’s tax dollars best spent somewhere else. The answer is to either open marriage to everyone, or call it “civil union”, which really is de facto marriage.

    To sum it up, what strikes me about these types of arguments, so explain your point of view about this, if you don’t mind, is that it isn’t you find the concept of “marriage between one man and one woman” holy; rather, you find the idea that “marriage between one man and one woman” is sullied by letting those icky sinners get to indulge in those same holy vows. The fact that any secular government has no say about what’s holy or not to any individual sect seems to be irrelevant to your argument. And this type of argument seems to willfully ignore the fact that “holiness” is not a universal constant anywhere.

  37. dan0 says

    I understand what you are saying but as both a Methodist and Baptist neither of my churches (was a Methodist until my wife & decided to join a Baptist church…visited several) here in MN allow for a marriage between two people of the same sex whether legal or not. This has been discussed at great lengths by the church’s senior members of whom I was a part of both. I do not see this change ever happening. Both churches also sponsor a boy scout troop/cub scout pack and they will also never change. Now “never” is a strong word but I would say I am 99.9% sure of this will not occur. For this reason I am suggesting the word civil union as the universal word here in the U.S. or what ever word we as a country decide.

    You mentioned earlier that the word marriage has been around for years before christians but really that is an extremely weak argument as we live in 21st century and not 1000BC.

  38. schmeer says

    Nor do we live in 1000 AD, so we can dispense with your definition of traditional.

  39. Steve says

    Given that it is Christianity that has usurped marriage some time around the 12th or 13th century, it’s Christianity that needs to let go off the word. There were secular marriage rites before Christianity and the church was perfectly happy to keep them for many centuries. It was only later that priests became involved and even latter that it officially became a “sacrament”. Religion doesn’t deserve to be the sole owner of the label and letting it have it would be to concede defeat.

  40. Frank says

    dano (or dan-o),

    I regularly read PZ’s blog, but I find the comments to his posts to be a bit nasty at times. Mano’s commenters seem to be more inquisitive, and as I’ve written, I’m glad that you still comment here.

    That said, I notice that you don’t often respond directly to critical questions. So I will repeat my last:

    Would you be OK with a definition of marriage as either between “one man and one woman” or among “one man and some women”, as it appears to have been in the Bible?

    Another question, based on your comment above: “For those that are Christians we can still use the word marriage as meaning a union between a man and woman but with no more rights than those of same sex couples.”

    In your view, is marriage as “a union between a man and a woman” legitimate for non-Christians?

  41. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    We don’t need an alternative.

    Separate but equal worked so well in the past there’s no reason not to use it now!

    [/snark]

  42. dano says

    Sorry Frank. here are my answers below to your questions.

    Frank-“Would you be OK with a definition of marriage as either between “one man and one woman” or among “one man and some women”, as it appears to have been in the Bible?”
    I personally believe it should only be between one man and one woman but I know there are Mormons that beleive and abide by the other.

    Frank-In your view, is marriage as “a union between a man and a woman” legitimate for non-Christians?”
    I am suggesting the word Civil union be used for ALL couples and they would all have the same rights. The word marriage would hold no additional or fewer rights but would be a word used when a civil union is created/performed between a man and woman of Christian belief. This would be done most times in or through a church.

  43. dano says

    Tony, but in the bible it says per Leviticus 18:22 “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
    I have stated many times before what people do in there own home is their business. God only knows the crazy things I do you may not agree with based on your background. I would not choose the lifestyle for myself but what ever floats your boat is fine by me. I hope that clarifys my stance.

  44. schmeer says

    Oh, I see. You want a “separate but equal” system where all non-christians and homosexual Christians would be denied marriage. I didn’t realize that you wanted to tale rights away from an even larger group of people. Do you even think these things through before you write them?

  45. Frank says

    So your definition of marriage is personal, and not based on Biblical guidance. Then we agree–the Bible is not a good source on this issue.

    On your second point, how would your proposal pass First Amendment criticism, as it would specify marriage as belonging to a single religion? (Or group of religions–who gets to decide what churches are legitimately Christian?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>