I called my 71 year old mother in California last night to see how the election was going. She told me she voted against Prop 8-- which surprised me because we have not always seen eye-to-eye on gay marriage. She told me that the pastor in her church, Los Altos United Methodist Church, presided over a same-sex marriage. Some members left the congregation over that, but my mom had a chance to talk to the couple. She asked them how long they had been together, they told her 17 years. My mom's marriage lasted 14 years. She decided then that if two people wanted to get married and a church was willing to marry them, why should the government be allowed to step in and deny them? Where is the freedom? Where is the equality? Where is the right to pursuit happiness? I am outraged and so is she. Fuck you, California, for doing the WRONG thing.
"Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
Creating a 'family partnership' under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse -- that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse’s behalf.
Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
Receiving public assistance benefits.
Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies.
Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
Making burial or other final arrangements.
Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
Applying for joint foster care rights.
Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
Living in neighborhoods zoned for 'families only.'
Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family."*
The California Constitution itself sets out two ways to alter the document that sets the most basic rules about how state government works. Through the initiative process, voters can make relatively small changes to the constitution. But any measure that would change the underlying principles of the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters. That didn't happen with Proposition 8, and that's why it's invalid.
I've stated my opposition to this. I think [Prop 8 is] unnecessary. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that's not what America's about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don't contract them.
Mr. Obama opposes amending state constitutions to define marriage as a heterosexual institution, describing such proposals as discriminatory. Mr. McCain, however, has been active in such efforts: On the most expensive and heated battle to ban same-sex marriage this year, a proposed constitutional amendment in California known as Proposition 8, he has endorsed the measure and sharply criticized a State Supreme Court ruling that granted same-sex couples the right to marry.
Hilary McLean, a spokeswoman for state Superintendent Jack O’Connell, said the decision to teach gay marriage lies with local communities and school boards.
“Schools are not required to talk about marriage at all,” McLean said. “It’s up to local school districts to decide.”
The state Education Code will be unaffected by passage or failure of Prop. 8.
The code only instructs schools to “teach respect for marriage and committed relationships” as part of health and sex education curriculum. The code allows districts to decide against teaching health and sex education, and allows parents to pull their children from those classes or others dealing with sensitive subject matters.
"[a]s one of the largest providers of social services in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities responds to the needs of the poor and working poor, provides supportive services to children and families, and assists refugees and immigrants as they become active participants in their communities. We offer approximately 140 programs and services in 40 locations across Eastern Massachusetts, which allows us to help nearly 200,000 people each year. This work accomplishes our mission of building a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people."
"On May 15, 2008, after we waged a four year long legal battle we finally won a landmark victory in the California Supreme Court for same gender couples who wished to marry in California.
Last night, opponents sought to reverse that decision with Proposition 8 in which they once again sought to restrict legal marriage to a man and a woman. That Proposition appears to have passed by a narrow margin.
As a result, today we will file a writ with the California Supreme Court on behalf of Robin Tyler and her spouse, Diane Olson, challenging its constitutionality on several grounds. In our case in May, the California Supreme Court ruled that the Equal protection clause in our California Constitution protects the rights of lesbians and gays to marry the person of their choice and the court, for the first time, recognized homosexuality as a "suspect classification" under the equal protection clause of our state constitution, thereby requiring a strict scrutiny test which test was not and cannot be met (the court so held) in marriages limited to a man and a woman. Prop 8, if it passes, conflicts with the equal protection clause. If marriage is now limited to straight couples and excludes gay couples then it is inconsistent and in conflict with the equal protection clause. We will argue to the court that Prop 8 is a disguised revision to the constitution which cannot be imposed by the ordinary amendment process, which only requires a simple majority. We believe that then the court must hold that California may not issue marriage licenses to non-gay couples because if it does it would be violating the equal protection clause as straight couples would have more rights by being allowed to marry than gay couples.
If Prop 8 had said that the California constitution was amended to limit marriage to people of the same race only, would that be constitutional under our state constitution? Of course not as it would violate the equal protection clause and the seminal case of Perez v. Sharp which the Supreme court decided sixty years ago.
We will also argue that Prop 8 improperly revises the Supreme Court’s recent opinion defining the constitutional fundamental right of marriage The state constitution provides that revisions to the constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the legislature or the convening of a state constitutional convention, and a proposition requiring only 50% is not available to the electorate to accomplish the revision to our equal protection clause.
Lastly, the constitutional requirement of separation of powers, we will argue, does not permit the use of the Proposition format to remove and /or circumvent the judiciary in determining the interpretation of what is or is not a fundamental liberty right and who is and who is not protected by the equal protection clause.
The apparent passage of Prop 8 in California has been a heartbreaking experience for our clients, Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, and millions of other same gender couples who have married or wish to marry in California and throughout the nation. All they have asked for is equal rights under the law and equal respect and dignity for their families and their committed relationships.
Our law firm is honored to continue this great civil rights battle for them. We will never give in and we will never give up. We will continue to be the change we wish to see in the world and we will never have another season of silence until same gender couples enjoy the same rights as non-gay couples on this green earth."
"Leading supporters of marriage equality will hold a news conference at 2 pm today in front of the Mormon Temple in the Westwood area of Los Angeles (at the corner of Selby and Santa Monica Blvd) in response to the Mormon church’s leading role in the deceptive advertising campaign for Proposition 8. Lorri L. Jean, CEO, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Jorge Valencia, Executive Director, Point Foundation , and Rev. Neil Thomas, Metropolitan Community Church will speak.
In related news, another group has begun an online petition to Arnold Schwarzenegger over the issue. Over 60,000 have signed as of this posting."
Facts v. Fiction:
Fiction: Prop 8 doesn’t discriminate against gay people.
Fact: Prop 8 is simple: it eliminates the rights for same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 would deny equal protections and write discrimination against one group of people—lesbian and gay people—into our state constitution.
Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.
Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education. And no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it. California’s top educators including Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell and California Teachers all agree: Prop 8 has nothing to do with education.
Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.
Fact: The court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”
Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.
Fact: California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.
Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…
Fact: Prop 8 is about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren’t supposed to protect rights and freedoms. Prop 8 is about whether Californians are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.
Fiction: If Prop 8 isn’t passed, people can be sued over personal beliefs.
Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.
Fiction: Pepperdine University supports the Yes on 8 campaign.
Fact: The University has publicly disassociated itself from Professor Richard Peterson of Pepperdine University, who is featured in the ad, and has asked to not be identified in the Yes on 8 advertisements.
Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, California parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.
Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
A woman who supported the proposition faced off with an opponent, apparently calling him names.
When she walked away, another man chased after her, yelling "Hater, hater."
The woman, by then talking on a cellphone, burst into tears.
A petition drive has begun to the IRS to strip the Mormon church of its tax exempt status:"Section 501(c)(3) describes corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literacy, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in section (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."
"Section 501(c)(3) describes corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literacy, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in section (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."
1. One option is that they may remain valid, whether because the initiative is construed as not applying to existing marriages, or because the courts conclude such an interpretation is constitutionally mandated by the Contracts Clause ("No state shall ... pass any ... Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts ....").
I highly doubt that this will happen. According to the text of the amendment, as soon as the amendment takes effect, only male-female marriages are valid or recognized. (Nor is there any language in the initiative summary, or the supporters' arguments, that purports to interpret this text as not applying to existing marriages.) Future marriages, preexisting marriages, in-state marriages, out-of-state marriages — all are valid and recognized only so long as they are between a man and a woman. And the Contracts Clause likely won't affect it, since it's been held not to apply to marriage contracts (see Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888); Home Bldg. & Loan Ass'n v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398 (1934)), which is why statutes authorizing divorces have been allowed even as to marriages that had been entered into when divorces were not available.
"Neither the state of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of, or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self-executing."
"In the seven months since Amendment 2's passage, the Colorado Boycott has garnered national attention and support. As of June 1993, more than 60 companies have canceled conventions or meetings in Colorado, and more than 110 groups have called for a boycott of Colorado to protest Amendment 2. Some 20 U.S. municipalities have severed ties with Colorado because of the anti-gay initiative. New York City has divested its stock holdings in any Colorado companies, and canceled a contract for new municipal buses. Ziff-Davis Publishing had planned to relocate their operations to Colorado; in the wake of Amendment 2, they reconsidered, costing the state $1 billion dollars in revenue over a five-year period had they chosen to operate in the state. Good snow and papal visits notwithstanding, the Colorado Boycott is resulting in long-term fiscal consequences for the state that voted against civil rights....more than 62 businesses report conventions or business cancelled in Colorado, and more than 100 New York City restaurants will not serve products from the state."
…the amendment imposes a special disability upon those persons alone. Homosexuals are forbidden the safeguards that others enjoy or may seek without constraint…
…Its sheer breadth is so discontinuous with the reasons offered for it that the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests.
The Romer v. Evans decision was instrumental in Lawrence v. Texas. This decision struck down the sodomy laws in Texas and other states. It struck down Bowers v. Hardwick. If you were in Texas in 2003, and applauded Lawrence v. Texas, you should thank some people in Colorado."*
“Utah's growing tourism industry and the star-studded Sundance Film Festival are being targeted for a boycott by bloggers, gay rights activists and others seeking to punish the Mormon church for its aggressive promotion of California's ban on gay marriage.
It could be a heavy price to pay. Tourism brings in $6 billion a year to Utah, with world-class skiing, a spectacular red rock country and the film festival founded by Robert Redford, among other popular tourist draws.
…Salt Lake City is the world headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which counts about 62 percent of Utah residents as members.
The church encouraged its members to work to pass California's Proposition 8 by volunteering their time and money for the campaign. Thousands of Mormons worked as grassroots volunteers and gave tens of millions of dollars to the campaign.
The ballot measure passed Tuesday. It amends the California Constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual act, overriding a state Supreme Court ruling that briefly gave same-sex couples the right to wed.
The backlash against the church — and by extension Utah — has been immediate. Protests erupted outside Mormon temples, Facebook groups formed telling people to boycott Utah, and Web sites such as mormonsstoleourrights.com began popping up, calling for an end to the church's tax-exempt status.”
Let's see if I get this right. Fear makes you angry and anger makes you evil, right?
Now I'll concede at once that fear has been a major motivator of intolerance in human history. I can picture knightly adepts being taught to control fear and anger, as we saw credibly in "The Empire Strikes Back." Calmness makes you a better warrior and prevents mistakes. Persistent wrath can cloud judgment. That part is completely believable.
But then, in "Return of the Jedi," Lucas takes this basic wisdom and perverts it, saying -- "If you get angry -- even at injustice and murder -- it will automatically and immediately transform you into an unalloyedly evil person! All of your opinions and political beliefs will suddenly and magically reverse. Every loyalty will be forsaken and your friends won't be able to draw you back. You will instantly join your sworn enemy as his close pal or apprentice. All because you let yourself get angry at his crimes."
Uh, say what? Could you repeat that again, slowly?
In other words, getting angry at Adolf Hitler will cause you to rush right out and join the Nazi Party? Excuse me, George. Could you come up with a single example of that happening? Ever?
That contention is, in itself, a pretty darn evil thing to preach. Above all, it is just plain dumb.
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