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Prop 8 Upheld
May 26, 2009 10:07 AM   Subscribe

Proposition 8 Upheld by CA Supreme Court. In crushing blow to marriage equality, the California Supreme Court has affirmed the validity of Proposition 8 today's ruling (PDF).

Protests against the decision will be held in 96 cities. The court simultaneously decided that the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages performed prior to the passage of Prop 8 will remain valid.
posted by CaptApollo (419 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is very disappointing.
posted by elder18 at 10:10 AM on May 26, 2009


.

Fucking Mormons.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 AM on May 26, 2009 [47 favorites]


So sad.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:10 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fucking Californians.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:10 AM on May 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


WEAK.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:11 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fucking humans.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 10:13 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Read the decision. They had to rule on a narrow question of state constitutional law. Everyone expected this.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:13 AM on May 26, 2009 [19 favorites]


I disagree that this is a crushing blow to marriage equality. I think it's a crushing blow to people who try to use the courts to bypass the voters.

What the voters have done, the voters can undo, and now the advocates of marriage equality (I'm one of them) will have to play the democracy game the way it's supposed to be played.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:14 AM on May 26, 2009 [42 favorites]


Pricks.

So what, is there nothing that wouldn't be acceptable if passed by a referendum on an amendment? What if they pass a referendum that everyone has wear gorilla suits? Everybody has to buy gorilla suits?

Does anyone know what the opinion read, in essence?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:14 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


FYI, the court's website (linked above) is sluggish. If anybody can provide alternate links to the opinions, it would be appreciated.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:14 AM on May 26, 2009


Despite supporting "gay marriage" I didn't really get what this appeal was supposed to be about. The will of the people, as dumb as it was, was clear, right?
posted by DU at 10:14 AM on May 26, 2009


I feel like it should be noted that "...this is not a ruling about whether marriage equality is correct or just. This is a ruling about whether the California Constitution allows a measure like Proposition 8 to be voted into the Constitution by the people." (link)

That said, Proposition 8 is indeed a crushing blow to marriage equality. I hope it dies a quick death.
posted by prefpara at 10:14 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the CA Supreme Court made the right legal decision, even though I disagree with the consequences. In a democracy the people must be allowed to revise/amend their constitution. If I'm pissed at anyone, it's the people of CA for being so closed minded.

Hopefully that will all change in a couple years.
posted by sbutler at 10:15 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


disappointing but expected. :-(

I hope everyone is calling their own state representatives today to get it passed in THEIR state (assuming it isn't already)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:15 AM on May 26, 2009


fuck.

Seriously: now what? I've marched, voted, precinct walked, raised awareness & funds -what the hell do we need to do to have citizens treated as equals? And how do I go about invalidating Mormon marriages?

WTF California?
posted by Space Kitty at 10:15 AM on May 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Disheartening, but even though I support people's right to enter into a same sex marriage if they so choose, I'd be very uneasy to overturn a fair vote just because I don't like the result or the people championing their side. The right thing to do is to get a new Prop together and work to get that enacted. And on the bright side, the court did not dissolve existing marriages.

On preview, what others have said
posted by ElvisJesus at 10:16 AM on May 26, 2009


I think it's a crushing blow to people who try to use the courts to bypass the voters.

I thought it was horrifying to allow voters to decide whether *they* should allow people rights that should be fundamental, and I thought, wrongly, that the courts would agree with me.

I can't access the opinion itself right now, probably because everyone else is trying to at the same time.
posted by padraigin at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2009 [11 favorites]


I can't believe we're still protesting this shit.
posted by mattbucher at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2009 [21 favorites]


Well, New York Legislature... Time to get off your collective asses and one-up Cali...
posted by mikelieman at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Very disappointing. But time is on the side of marriage equality, as the bigots either die off or get smarter.
posted by Danf at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2009 [8 favorites]


The court simultaneously decided that the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages performed prior to the passage of Prop 8 will remain valid.

For now.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2009


I'm just glad they're keeping the current marriages valid. Legally, though, this was expected. And, I agree with sbutler - if it has been otherwise, we would have been in for lawsuit city out here in CA for each and every prop that ever goes on the ballot. Oh, wait a minute...
posted by redbeard at 10:18 AM on May 26, 2009


I think Chocolate Pickle has it.

Still ridiculous & disappointing, though.
posted by foodbedgospel at 10:18 AM on May 26, 2009


how do I go about invalidating Mormon marriages?

Apparently you run some ads, collect some signatures, and put it on the ballot in California.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:18 AM on May 26, 2009 [15 favorites]


Organize a referendum for the next election cycle.

Or, can you not beat the Mormons?
posted by Flood at 10:18 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Each and every supporter of Proposition 8 should suffer nothing less than a lifetime of loveless solitude. They don't deserve to have loving relationships with other human beings.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:19 AM on May 26, 2009 [36 favorites]


What a blow against equality, compassion and ethics. And so vehemently pushed as a religious debate, where groups of people who self-profess to respect life and family stability, use their voices instead to silence the rights of others.
posted by bunnycup at 10:19 AM on May 26, 2009


Expected, but very sad. I hope everyone is safe in California today.
posted by Craig at 10:21 AM on May 26, 2009


Finally got through and downloaded the opinion. Here's the first part that hit me:

"First ... our task in the present proceeding is not to determine whether the provision at issue is wise or sound as a matter of policy or whether we, as individuals, believe it should be a part of the California Constitution. Regardless of our views as individuals on this question of policy, we recognize as judges and as a court our responsibility to confine our consideration to a determination of the constitutional validity and legal effect of the measure in question. It bears emphasis in this regard that our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values."
posted by jabberjaw at 10:21 AM on May 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


If anyone has trouble accessing the PDF, memail me and I can send it to you.
posted by prefpara at 10:22 AM on May 26, 2009


Ugh. My first post and of course the most important links punk out. Sorry about that. Looking for alternative URLs.
posted by CaptApollo at 10:22 AM on May 26, 2009


If I remember correctly, wasn't the legal challenge based on the difference between two different methods of amending the state constitution, with a larger number of votes needed to "revise" the constitution than to merely "amend" it? Prop 8 was passed as an amendment, but the argument was that it violates the equal-protection clause, and therefore should really be a revision and requires a super-majority.

I can't confirm this very easily since I can't get to the decision either.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:22 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Between this decision and the disaster of California's budget, it's time to change the California Constitution.
posted by Nelson at 10:22 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fucking Californians.

Well it is really the type of fucking us Californians do that gets the rights knickers in a twist isn't it?

18,000 + very unique marriages also.
posted by pianomover at 10:23 AM on May 26, 2009


I hope everyone is safe in California today.

That's a weird thing to say.
posted by dhammond at 10:23 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Via "Revoke LDS Church 501(c)(3) Status":
The LDS church, through inciting its members to donate time and means to support Proposition 8 (resulting in millions of dollars of cash contributions from its members and countless volunteer hours), and in-kind campaign contributions to a group that supports Proposition 8, has now made a substantial part of its activities attempting to influence legislation.

You can help! Send the IRS an official complaint about the LDS Church’s activities, either by email, fax or US Mail.
  1. Prepare a copy of the Official LDS Prop. 8 Letter read in all LDS churches in California on 29 June 2008.
  2. Prepare one or more other articles of your choice (you can use these links, or do your own research) showing the LDS Church’s substantial activities attempting to influence this legislation.
  3. Prepare this Pre-Filled IRS Form 13909 and add your personal information, or fill out a Blank IRS Form 13909 from scratch with the information in the pre-filled form (these links and an alternative filled form are copied below in RESOURCES.)
  4. Don’t forget to date your referral at the top and include your submitter information. If you are a member of the Church, you may wish to check the box marked “I am concerned that I might face retaliation or retribution if my identity is disclosed.”
  5. Send it to the IRS, either by: * Email: Prepare your documents as PDF’s or web links, and send your complaint form with supporting documentation to eoclass@irs.gov. * Fax: fax your documents to (214) 413-5415 * Mail: mail your documents to IRS EO Classification Mail Code 4910DAL 1100 Commerce Street Dallas TX 75242-1198
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:23 AM on May 26, 2009 [101 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle: "I think it's a crushing blow to people who try to use the courts to bypass the voters."

This was a perfectly legitimate legal challenge. I'm sorry to see it fail - but I'm not going to pretend to have a better understanding of California constitutional law than the California Supreme Court.

So it's back to the polls again. I expect the bigots will have a tougher time of it in the next round.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:24 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


If it requires the courts to bring these kinds of rights, so be it. Fifty-one people voting that the other forty-nine cannot marry the consenting partner of their choice is not a shining example for democracy as a promoter of progress.
posted by adipocere at 10:24 AM on May 26, 2009 [12 favorites]


Yeah, what Chocolate Pickle said. Although I feel Prop 8 should never have been on the ballot anyway, but the SC did the best they could here, IMO, without being activist.

As for the above comment about Prop 8's supporters, I wish them lots of love but, moreover, even more wisdom. They need it, you know, and exclusionism has never accomplished anything.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:24 AM on May 26, 2009


The court simultaneously decided that the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages performed prior to the passage of Prop 8 will remain valid.

And, according to an NPR story this morning, many of the pro-prop-8 forces are planning to get another proposition on the next ballot to invalidate those marriages. Talk about bald-faced hate...
posted by Thorzdad at 10:25 AM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


It seems shameful that a simple majority vote is enough to enshrine bigotry into the California state constitution.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:25 AM on May 26, 2009 [12 favorites]


Someone indulge my lack of understanding here -- What's next? Another ballot initiative in 2010? Can this just go on election cycle after election cycle?
posted by lullaby at 10:27 AM on May 26, 2009


I hope everyone is safe in California today.

That's a weird thing to say.


How so? Can you even imagine what the soil is like out there nowadays??
posted by inigo2 at 10:27 AM on May 26, 2009 [10 favorites]


Here's another significant portion:

"Contrary to petitioners’ assertion, Proposition 8 does not entirely repeal or abrogate the aspect of a same-sex couple’s state constitutional right of privacy and due process that was analyzed [in our prior opinion] — that is, the constitutional right of same-sex couples to “choose one’s life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized, and protected family relationship that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents of marriage” ... Nor does Proposition 8 fundamentally alter the meaning and substance of state constitutional equal protection principles as articulated in that opinion. Instead, the measure carves out a narrow and limited exception to these state constitutional rights, reserving the official designation of the term “marriage” for the union of opposite-sex couples as a matter of state constitutional law, but leaving undisturbed all of the other extremely significant substantive aspects of a same-sex couple’s state constitutional right to establish an officially recognized and protected family relationship and the guarantee of equal protection of the laws."
posted by jabberjaw at 10:29 AM on May 26, 2009 [8 favorites]


I like to bone underage girls.
posted by Brigham Young at 10:21 AM on May 26 [+] [!]


Eponysterical.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 10:29 AM on May 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


What's next? Another ballot initiative in 2010? Can this just go on election cycle after election cycle?

Pretty much, yeah. The only hurdle is getting enough signatures to get in on the ballot. This happens with parental notification for abortions all the time in CA even though it never passes.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:29 AM on May 26, 2009


WORKING link to decision.
posted by CaptApollo at 10:29 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Like most documents that have been amended 485 times, the California Constitution isn't exactly a model of sanity. But maybe number 486 will be the charm.
posted by malocchio at 10:29 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


The working link for the opinion appears to be here.

I guess I can agree that a new proposition needs to get on the ballot, and it will, but I can't help thinking that the initiative process being permitted to determine whether I and my partner have the right to marry or not is singularly screwed up. I also can't help thinking that the next time around for the ballot measure is going to be even more fever-pitched with rage and intensity than the first go at this.

It's hard to imagine any of this ending well, at all.
posted by blucevalo at 10:29 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


It seems shameful that a simple majority vote is enough to enshrine bigotry into the California state constitution.

One way or another Prop 8 represents the will of the people. Either they voted for it or didn't bother to vote against it, in the majority. THAT's the shameful part.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:30 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


This ruling is dissapointing, but expected.

I hope that the next time around (2010, 2012?) the 'No on Prop 8' campaign will be better organized and mobilized to educate the general public about the real issues involved (e.g. it's not about religious marriage, it's about civil marriage; it's about equality and civil rights).

The advertising campaigns need to focus more on the impact of "separate, and not equal" on individuals, couples, families and friends. Take for example New York's Empire State Pride Agenda's two new ads: "Barb & Don" || "Luke."

FYI -- Day of Decision demonstrations -- this evening around the country (96 cities).
posted by ericb at 10:30 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


FYI -- Day of Decision demonstrations ...

Duh, I missed that in the "More Inside."
posted by ericb at 10:35 AM on May 26, 2009


Pretty much, yeah. The only hurdle is getting enough signatures to get in on the ballot.

So, it'd be possible to repeal Prop 8 in 2010, and then ... reinstate it in 2012? And so forth? That possibility of jerking everyone around just sounds even more fucked up.
posted by lullaby at 10:36 AM on May 26, 2009


The will of the people, as dumb as it was, was clear, right?

Which is why it is inhumane to put civil rights issues like this to a popular vote in the first place. Sometimes the will of the majority is simply the rule of the mob.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:37 AM on May 26, 2009 [19 favorites]


L.A. Times:
"The decision virtually ensures another fight at the ballot box over marriage rights for gays. Gay rights activists say they may ask voters to repeal the marriage ban as early as next year, and opponents have pledged to fight any such effort. Proposition 8 passed with 52% of the vote.

Although the court split 6-1 on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the justices were unanimous in deciding to keep intact the marriages of as many as 18,000 gay couples who exchanged vows before the election. The marriages began last June, after a 4-3 state high court ruling striking down the marriage ban last May.

In an opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, the state high court ruled today that the November initiative was not an illegal constitutional revision, as gay rights lawyers contended, nor unconstitutional because it took away an inalienable right, as Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown argued.

Only Justice Carlos R. Moreno, the court's sole Democrat, wanted Proposition 8 struck down as an illegal constitutional revision.

Justice Joyce L. Kennard, who voted with the majority last year to give gays marriage rights, joined George and the court's four other justices in voting to uphold Proposition 8.

The case for overturning the initiative was widely viewed as a long shot. Gay rights lawyers had no solid legal precedent on their side, and some of the court's earlier holdings on constitutional revisions mildly undercut their arguments.

But gay marriage advocates captured a wide array of support in the case, with civil rights groups, legal scholars and even some churches urging the court to overturn the measure. Supporters of the measure included many churches and religious organizations."
posted by ericb at 10:38 AM on May 26, 2009


*sigh* welcome to the joys of direct democracy. I suppose we can be thankful that Californians didn't bring back anti-miscegenation laws or the like. So far, anyway.

Between Prop. 13 (the direct cause of California's fiscal troubles) and Prop 8, more and more I think California is an object lesson in why the Founding Fathers were wary of direct democracy.
posted by happyroach at 10:39 AM on May 26, 2009 [12 favorites]


"I think it's a crushing blow to people who try to use the courts to bypass the voters."

THOMAS JEFFERSON, appearing from out of nowhere: You obviously know nothing of my work. You mean my whole concept of Constitutional rights guaranteed against the tyranny of the majority is wrong. How you ever got to teach a class in anything is beyond me.


Don't you wish life was like this?
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:39 AM on May 26, 2009 [31 favorites]


That possibility of jerking everyone around just sounds even more fucked up.

That's California politics, and California life, in a nutshell, not just around the issue of same-sex marriage, but around almost any other issue that can be put on the ballot, including state finances.
posted by blucevalo at 10:40 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this was expected and unfortunate.

There are two things going on here: One, California's constitution is ridiculously easy to amend. It's left us with all sorts of insane unfunded mandates and budgetary troubles, along with a shitload of bizarre laws that were popular at one point or another. Who was it that said democracy fails as soon as people vote themselves money from the public coffers?

Two, while the judges are bound by what the California constitution allows, no majority should ever be able to remove rights for a minority. It's the soul of majoritarianism and factionalism. California apparently does allow it, but to this non-lawyer all of the anti-gay marriage legislation and amendments around the country look like they violate the principle of equal protection enshrined in the federal constitution, which should supersede.
posted by klangklangston at 10:40 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]



WEAK.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:11 PM on May 26 [+] [!]


Epony...dang.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:41 AM on May 26, 2009


I disagree that this is a crushing blow to marriage equality. I think it's a crushing blow to people who try to use the courts to bypass the voters.

Yeah, I can't stand having those black kids in our schools either.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:42 AM on May 26, 2009 [20 favorites]


I can also mail the 185 page decision to anyone who can't get it otherwise
posted by crush-onastick at 10:43 AM on May 26, 2009


So, it'd be possible to repeal Prop 8 in 2010, and then ... reinstate it in 2012? And so forth? That possibility of jerking everyone around just sounds even more fucked up.

You're hitting the nail on the head here. The big difference between this and the parental notification clusterfucks we get is that this is a damn constitutional amendment! The fact that this state can amend its constitution by a vote of 51% of the voters is completely insane.

That said, the similarity I see between this and the parental notification clusterfucks is that demographically speaking, it eventually becomes a lost cause. It's highly likely that prop 8 will be undone in either 2010 or 2012, and after that I don't see it coming back again to be very likely. There will probably be only one or two more big fights about this in CA. The first will be when prop 8 gets overturned and the second (if it happens at all) will be when they try to reinstate it.

Right-thinking Cali residents out there are going to have to pay some attention in the years to come so we don't get fucked by underestimating our opponents again. Go to those demonstrations tonight. I'm sure there will be people there collecting signatures for the do-over initiative. I'm sure they'd love your help.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:44 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Prop 9 (2010) Overturns Prop 8.

Prop 10 (2012) Overturns Prop 9.

Prop 11 (2014) Overturns Prop 10 Times Infinity.

Prop 12 (2016) Overturns Prop 11 Times Infinity Plus One.
posted by ALongDecember at 10:44 AM on May 26, 2009 [18 favorites]


If my limited understanding is correct, the reason why the judges didn't consider Prop 8 to be a revision [as opposed to an amendment] of the California Consitution is because it didn't remove rights that were previously enjoyed. If that's so, the irony would be that it was because gays have always been silently discriminated against that Prop 8 supporters were able to get away with vocally discriminating against them now.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:45 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


ericb: "The advertising campaigns need to focus more on the impact of "separate, and not equal" on individuals, couples, families and friends..
"

Amen. I find that a lot of my friends who support gay marriage argue it as a self-evident truth. However obvious equal rights might be to all us intellec'shuls, starting from that position isn't likely to change minds. Remember, the folks who voted yes on prop 8 were moved to do so by deep-seated visceral reasons. Counteradvertising needs to be equally visceral to be more persuasive.
posted by The White Hat at 10:45 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


California apparently does allow it, but to this non-lawyer all of the anti-gay marriage legislation and amendments around the country look like they violate the principle of equal protection enshrined in the federal constitution, which should supersede.

The argument the Prop 8 supporters will make, though, is that although same-sex marriage is banned, it doesn't take away equal protections for same-sex couples, because same-sex civil unions in California still have all of the legal rights and protections that are given to heterosexual marriages under the state constitution. See jabberjaw's comment above.
posted by blucevalo at 10:46 AM on May 26, 2009


Look, folks. Whether it's how you think things should be or not, the reality is that no civil right has ever come into existence and been maintained when the majority of voters disagreed with it.

Women didn't get the vote until the majority of men thought they should. Apartheid didn't end until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only happened because the majority of Americans thought it should.

Abortion is the big test case here; and the biggest reason it's been contentious for all these years is because a substantial percentage of the voters feel they were deprived of their ability to participate in the decision. That's why the issue has never gone to sleep.

Proponents of Gay Marriage have looked to abortion rights as a model and tried to ram their program through sympathetic courts, bypassing voter will. The result of that has been voter backlash, with something like 40 states now having anti-gay-marriage provisions in their state constitutions.

I honestly believe that the majority of voters don't really care all that much about gay marriage one way or the other. But they damned well do care about laws getting created without voter participation, and I think a lot of the support for those amendments was by people who resented the tactics used by advocates of gay marriage.

Whether you think that gays should have a right to marriage or not, they won't get it until you convince the majority of voters that they should. "Rights" created by courts in opposition to voter will are castles built on a foundation of sand.

So you're going to have to make your case to the voters. You're going to have to convince people who disagree with you that they should change their mind.

Screaming at them and calling them nasty names won't do that. Muttering "Damned Mormons" sure as hell won't help. Rioting is counter productive. Trying to punish your opponents is really counterproductive.

The last thing that proponents of gay marriage should be doing now is to make themselves look ugly, violent, and vindictive. That way lies defeat.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:46 AM on May 26, 2009 [17 favorites]


I can also mail the 185 page decision to anyone who can't get it otherwise
posted by crush-onastick


Won't that be a little...expensive? Unless you're offering it double-sided...
posted by rand at 10:47 AM on May 26, 2009


This is really fucked up.

San Franciscans should relocate en masse to Salt Lake City.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:47 AM on May 26, 2009


I've marched, voted, precinct walked, raised awareness & funds -what the hell do we need to do to have citizens treated as equals? And how do I go about invalidating Mormon marriages?

Change the minds of people who voted for Prop 8. Doing so won't be pleasant, because it'll involve figuring out why, exactly, so many people feel so threatened by homosexuality that they're willing to come out in droves to vote against gay marriage.

I think Prop 8 sucks, but I think the court ruled correctly from a legal standpoint (at least as far as I understand the issue at hand; their website is down). And I think, in the long run, the results might be better for everyone than if Prop 8 had been overturned and the gay-haters could have martyred themselves and had a (valid) claim that democracy was being subverted. That's the sort of thing that breeds hatred for generations.

The easy path to equality is now closed, and instead of using the courts to bludgeon compliance while sweeping the underlying issues under the rug, all the nastiness and bigotry driving the issue has to be brought out into the light and painstakingly defeated.

It's been my experience that a lot of equality advocates (whether they're focused on racial, gender, or sexual orientation) resist engaging with bigots because they feel to do so validates the bigoted position. It's easier and a lot more pleasant to tell them to go to hell, and then work for change using force multipliers like the court system or the legislature. That stance is no longer practical. People are going to have to really engage with the those who voted for Prop 8, even if they have to hold their noses to do it, and find out how to change their minds.

What's needed is recognition that some fairly bigoted views are quite mainstream in our society, and that those views need to actually change — that people need to be won over rather than just defeated — in order for equality to be achievable.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:48 AM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


What a load of crap. I'm really trying to be less cynical about society, but things like this make it so damn hard.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:48 AM on May 26, 2009


The really interesting thing to note is that civil rights can be stripped away with a simple majority vote. I'm actually surprised at this decision, because I was under the impression that an ballot measure could only change one part of the constitution at a time. This did two things: first, it eliminated equal protection under the law. That's gone now. Next, it enshrines gender-based discrimination under the law.

I look forward to a ballot measure which defines a woman's place as being in the home.
posted by mullingitover at 10:49 AM on May 26, 2009


Sys Rq: "San Franciscans should relocate en masse to Salt Lake City."

Speaking as a SLC resident, I ask that you start with your Chinese chefs.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:50 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


to this non-lawyer all of the anti-gay marriage legislation and amendments around the country look like they violate the principle of equal protection enshrined in the federal constitution, which should supersede.

I have no words for how strongly this law student agrees.

In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court wrote that

"The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."

I do not understand why this doesn't apply with equal force to the freedom to marry a person of any gender.

Until we have true marriage equality in every state (and at the federal level), the Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments are just paper promises.
posted by prefpara at 10:50 AM on May 26, 2009 [17 favorites]


> And how do I go about invalidating Mormon marriages?

The motherfucker of this is that 100 years ago my Mormon great-greats went to jail and to Mexico for their newly-illegal marriages. Mormons should have solidarity, but they're taking turn as oppressor instead. It breaks my heart.
posted by lumpley at 10:51 AM on May 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


.
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 10:51 AM on May 26, 2009


So, it'd be possible to repeal Prop 8 in 2010, and then ... reinstate it in 2012? And so forth? That possibility of jerking everyone around just sounds even more fucked up.

I think California is an object lesson in why the Founding Fathers were wary of direct democracy....

...California's constitution is ridiculously easy to amend....

The Missing Part of the Story of Proposition 8
"Perhaps the biggest reason that Proposition 8 was passed by California voters is the broken initiative system. I am in no way bemoaning the initiative process itself, because I am a huge supporter of it, I am pointing out the need to reform the process in California and many other states.

If you don't understand what I am saying, consider this - Prop 8 was a constitutional amendment. It passed with only about 52.3 percent of the vote. Voter turnout for the initiative was about 79.4 percent. Since 52.3 percent of 79.4 percent is about 41.5 percent, that means that only 41.5 percent of California voters approved this amendment to their state constitution.

Let me say that again - 8.5 percentage points less than a majority of registered voters passed Prop 8, a constitutional amendmnet.

That is outrageous. If you look at the United States Constitution, it is nearly impossible to amend it, because the Founding Fathers knew that it should not be amended without huge popular support. That is not the case in California, and the two dozen or so other states that have ballot initiatives. A minority of California voters amended their Constitution - Prop 8 did not have as much popular support as it should have in order to pass.

The threshold is too low in California for voters to amend their constitution. This, combined with other broken parts of their initiative system (eg, no campaign finance regulations and no deliberative process), is one of the biggest reasons why Prop 8 passed in November. That needs to change, and luckily there are a few options to reform this problem." [more...]
posted by ericb at 10:52 AM on May 26, 2009 [16 favorites]


Oh by the way, how long before we can stop with this fucktarded "activist judge" shit?

I was listening to NPR this morning, they were talking about the Sotomayor nomination. For some reason they feel the need to give "equal time' to the "opposing viewpoint." So of course upon being asked the first question, the guy they're talking to completely, utterly ignores it and launches into a monologue about her opinion in the NJ firefighter case. She's been the nominee for like an hour and they've already got their talking points laid out. It in no way resembled a conversation between two human beings. I would say these people resemble robots, except at this point I think IBM could build a robot with enough AI to pretend to be having a real conversation while disseminating its moronic agenda.

Which is all to say, JUDGES MAKE DECISIONS ON THE LAW. A PRE-SCHOOLER KNOWS THAT. You may as well call a peace officer who draws his gun to prevent a crime an "activist cop."

Fucking morons.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:54 AM on May 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


I think California's initiative system needs to be radically reformed. Prop 13 is bankrupting the state right now.
posted by empath at 10:55 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


all of the anti-gay marriage legislation and amendments around the country look like they violate the principle of equal protection enshrined in the federal constitution

Oh, for sure, and Loving v. Virginia will ultimately prevail and make gay marriage exist in every state. It's just going to take awhile. There's a deliberate nationally coordinated strategy to not push this legal argument too soon or too quickly, a strategic decision to let things evolve a bit before really shocking people. I know I've read articles about this, but I'm not able to provide a citation right now.
posted by Nelson at 10:55 AM on May 26, 2009


Oh and yeah:

Simple majority of voters to strip basic protections from a group of citizens.

2/3rds majority of the legislature to pass a budget.

I love California, but I will never claim our government is not fucktarded.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:56 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


“I disagree that this is a crushing blow to marriage equality. I think it's a crushing blow to people who try to use the courts to bypass the voters.”

I have to somewhat disagree with Chocolate Pickle. Although I respect his characterization of the issue viz democracy – I defer in terms of the judiciaries right to respect constitutionally guaranteed rights no matter what or how many asshats think or vote for.

If this ban was against inter“racial” marriage or interfaith marriage or some other such thing – it would be rightly viewed as a classic case of the tyranny of the majority marginalizing the rights of a minority group.

The voters of any state should have the right to vote down the rights of any group, or any individual (Schiavo comes to mind) for any reason. (XQUZYPHYR put it rather bluntly - but yeah, that's the alternative)

That said – that’s not really what happened here (apparently) re:
“It bears emphasis in this regard that our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values” and “…. reserving the official designation of the term “marriage” for the union of opposite-sex couples as a matter of state constitutional law, but leaving undisturbed all of the other extremely significant substantive aspects of a same-sex couple’s state constitutional right to establish an officially recognized and protected family relationship and the guarantee of equal protection of the laws."

It seems this was a very limited focus issue – so I have to agree with Chocolate Pickle on his take on sort of end running around the voters with legal gibberish. The court, rightfully*, didn’t buy it. But man, they’re practically begging to see it challenged on some other grounds.

* this doesn’t mean I don’t disagree with the ruling. On the contrary – I think the state should be blind concerning terminology – no faith or other organization can or should have the franchise on officiating marriage.

Sanctifying – whole other deal. A rabbi told me a bit ago at a marriage that he was officiating. I chuckled. In part because I immediately pictured him in black and white stripes with a whistle. But mostly because ‘official’ has no meaning unless there is power to enforce the monopoly. The state has that kind of power. Churches don’t. By design in the U.S.
So I disagree with the court, but that doesn’t mean their logic isn’t sound (or appears sound - IANAL) regarding their state’s constitutional details and legal mechanisms.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:56 AM on May 26, 2009


I don't know anything about the law beyond what I see on TV, but...I just don't get this. If A and B can get married, but C and D can't because of D's sex how is that legal? I can't deny D a job or apartment because of their sex, right?

Seriously, am I taking crazy pills?
posted by JoanArkham at 10:56 AM on May 26, 2009


It seems shameful that a simple majority vote is enough to enshrine bigotry into the California state constitution.

That's apparently all it takes. But don't try and raise taxes in CA--that requires a 2/3rds majority.
posted by donovan at 10:59 AM on May 26, 2009


There's another proposition coming down the pike in 2010 that offers to get the religiously loaded term "Marriage" out of the law books altogether.
posted by benzenedream at 10:59 AM on May 26, 2009


Regarding the "equal protection" argument:

The issue here is something called "disparate impact". For instance: the law against heroin usage applies equally to addicts and the non-addicted. No one is permitted to use heroin. But it certainly has a stronger effect on addicts than on the non-addicted.

The classic formulation is that "the law, in its infinite wisdom, forbids both rich men and paupers from sleeping under bridges."

Here's the kicker: disparate impact is not automatically a violation of the 14th Amendment "equal protection" clause. And a good thing, too; nearly every law has disparate impact.

A law that says that men may only marry women isn't a violation of equal protection as such. It applies exactly the same to all men: all of them may marry women; none of them may marry men. (and vice versa for women.) It's true that hetero men don't want to marry men, just as the non-addicted don't want to use heroin. Thus it's true that such a law has disparate impact. But disparate impact doesn't automatically mean the law is unequal.

"The law permits some to marry those they love and prevents others from doing the same." Unfortunately, that's a nice philosophical argument but it won't fly in court.

That's why no federal case on gay marriage based on 14th Amendment arguments has ever gotten an affirmative decision.

And the lawyers working in favor of gay rights know this. They'd much rather make arguments based on the US Constitution than on state constitutions, but arguments based on the US Constitution would lose in court.

And, as has become evident, trying to use state constitutional provisions was a losing tactic because of voter backlash.

My opinion has long been that trying to use the courts at all was a mistake. The right answer has always been to convince voters. Now, let's go out and do that.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:00 AM on May 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


If A and B can get married, but C and D can't because of D's sex how is that legal? I can't deny D a job or apartment because of their sex, right?

That's basically what the CA supreme court said last year that started this whole thing off in the first place. The authority for that holding came from the equal protection clause in the CA constitution. What prop 8 did was, in a nutshell, change the constitution so that you can't call a union between two men or two women a "marriage" in spite of the apparently obvious contradiction between that and the equal protection clause.

What the court did here was say that under the rules of how you change the CA constitution, that was an OK thing to do. The really weird thing is that it probably was which, as as been said many time already, says a ton about how crazy easy it is to change the constitution in this state.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:01 AM on May 26, 2009


Chocolate Pickle: I think it's a crushing blow to people who try to use the courts to bypass the voters.... Look, folks. Whether it's how you think things should be or not, the reality is that no civil right has ever come into existence and been maintained when the majority of voters disagreed with it.

Have you met President Truman's Executive Order 9981? Or, you know, Brown vs. the Board of Education?
posted by tzikeh at 11:03 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


At a crossroads on gay unions

By John Lewis, 10/25/2003

FROM TIME to time, America comes to a crossroads. With confusion and controversy, it's hard to spot that moment. We need cool heads, warm hearts, and America's core principles to cleanse away the distractions.

We are now at such a crossroads over same-sex couples' freedom to marry. It is time to say forthrightly that the government's exclusion of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters from civil marriage officially degrades them and their families. It denies them the basic human right to marry the person they love. It denies them numerous legal protections for their families.

This discrimination is wrong. We cannot keep turning our backs on gay and lesbian Americans. I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation. I've heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions, and they stink of the same fear, hatred, and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry.

Some say let's choose another route and give gay folks some legal rights but call it something other than marriage. We have been down that road before in this country. Separate is not equal. The rights to liberty and happiness belong to each of us and on the same terms, without regard to either skin color or sexual orientation.

Some say they are uncomfortable with the thought of gays and lesbians marrying. But our rights as Americans do not depend on the approval of others. Our rights depend on us being Americans.

Sometimes it takes courts to remind us of these basic principles. In 1948, when I was 8 years old, 30 states had bans on interracial marriage, courts had upheld the bans many times, and 90 percent of the public disapproved of those marriages, saying they were against the definition of marriage, against God's law. But that year, the California Supreme Court became the first court in America to strike down such a ban. Thank goodness some court finally had the courage to say that equal means equal, and others rightly followed, including the US Supreme Court 19 years later.

Some stand on the ground of religion, either demonizing gay people or suggesting that civil marriage is beyond the Constitution. But religious rites and civil rights are two separate entities. What's at stake here is legal marriage, not the freedom of every religion to decide on its own religious views and ceremonies.

I remember the words of John Kennedy when his presidential candidacy was challenged because of his faith: "I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish -- where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source -- where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials -- and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all."

Those words ring particularly true today. We hurt our fellow citizens and our community when we deny gay people civil marriage and its protections and responsibilities. Rather than divide and discriminate, let us come together and create one nation. We are all one people. We all live in the American house. We are all the American family. Let us recognize that the gay people living in our house share the same hopes, troubles, and dreams. It's time we treated them as equals, as family.

John Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia, was one of the original speakers at the 1963 March on Washington and is author of "Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement."
posted by robbyrobs at 11:03 AM on May 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


Hmmm...maybe licensing the CA constitution under Creative Commons wasn't such a great idea after all.
posted by malocchio at 11:05 AM on May 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


Apartheid didn't end until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only happened because the majority of Americans thought it should.

The 14th Amendment was ratified in the mid-1800s. We then had controversial Supreme Court rulings in Shelley vs. Kraemer (1948), Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) and Loving vs. Virginia (1967). If it were not for these court decisions, apartheid would still be enshrined in our laws.

The Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were not signed into law by a majority of Americans: in fact, the majority of Americans opposed them, and LBJ remarked over their passing that "We [the Democratic Party] have lost the South for a generation."

All that aside, it seems arguable that the Civil Rights Act came at the tail end of a couple decades of judicial affirmations of civil rights.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:05 AM on May 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


Kadin2048: "Change the minds of people who voted for Prop 8. Doing so won't be pleasant, because it'll involve figuring out why, exactly, so many people feel so threatened by homosexuality that they're willing to come out in droves to vote against gay marriage."

Serious question: Is it more complicated than fear of Jesus and/or butt-sex? Because I honestly don't see any evidence that it is.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:05 AM on May 26, 2009


This idiotic "Separate but Equal" crap will eventually be overturned federally, however, I"m very concerned about the long-term precedence of allowing the voters to take away fundamental rights from the minority. Very alarming precedence.

Also, it continues to feel pretty crappy to know that my fellow Californians hate me.
posted by serazin at 11:05 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


I hope it isn't a 'crushing blow', if it was we might as well give up neh?

It is a serious, expected, confirmation of a setback.

Now, we need a counter prop-8 referendum to pass.
posted by edgeways at 11:05 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can someone please invade California and set up a functioning democracy here? Maybe Iran.

Thanks.
posted by GuyZero at 11:08 AM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle, I am doing this out of all sincerity because you seem to know what you are talking about. But does anything make the following paragraph invalid? Is it because of race being a protected class? Can gays and lesbians get in on that?

A law that says that men may only marry same-race women isn't a violation of equal protection as such. It applies exactly the same to all men: all of them may marry same-race women women; none of them may marry opposite race women. (and vice versa for women.) It's true that some men don't want to marry opposite race women, just as the non-addicted don't want to use heroin. Thus it's true that such a law has disparate impact. But disparate impact doesn't automatically mean the law is unequal.
posted by ALongDecember at 11:08 AM on May 26, 2009


ALongDecember, the law you hypothesize would be invalidated not because it has a disparate impact but because it has an "invidious purpose," in this case to discriminate on the basis of race, which is a suspect classification.
posted by prefpara at 11:09 AM on May 26, 2009


no civil right has ever come into existence and been maintained when the majority of voters disagreed with it.

LBJ did serious short-term harm to the Democratic party with his near unilateral civil rights agenda. But, it was the correct thing to do, it kicked most of the blatant flaming racists out of the party. Keep in mind the Democratic party was the party of the KKK for quite awhile.

Indeed, as a recent Canadian leader once said, it is the responsibility of the majority to take care of the minority (no, not political parties).

Democracy is a fine thing, but it has it limits.
posted by edgeways at 11:10 AM on May 26, 2009


No one seem to note that putting a proposition on the ballot to overturn prop 8 would be a constitutional revision the next time around, meaning the bar for passage is way higher than that for prop 8. We won't see legal gay marriage in California for a long time.

Maybe sue the state for the contradiction between the equal rights clause and marriage clause in the constitution.

If marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, it is not valid under California law since it violates equal rights. Presto! All marriages in California are invalidated.
posted by dibblda at 11:11 AM on May 26, 2009


My right wing summer school prof brought this up this morning, "If they lose, the gays will burn San Francisco..." /mental image
posted by acro at 11:12 AM on May 26, 2009


"Rights" created by courts in opposition to voter will are castles built on a foundation of sand.

This is nonsense. There have been numerous unpopular but correct decisions. Civil rights is only the start.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:15 AM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


no civil right has ever come into existence and been maintained when the majority of voters disagreed with it.

What are you talking about? Many civil rights laws were passed in the face of massive public opposition. Have you ever heard of Ruby Bridges? Legal support for equal rights has been one part of what changes public attitudes about minority rights.
posted by serazin at 11:17 AM on May 26, 2009


Counteradvertising needs to be equally visceral to be more persuasive.

I think this group is off to a good start -- Equality California's "Real Families, Real Stories" campaign.
"The first ads -- Ruben & Hector || Cynthia & Frances -- are scheduled to air statewide starting Monday (May 11). Over the next hundred days, volunteer canvassers will knock on 40,000 doors in targeted communities as well as enlist 100,000 activists to serve as Equality Ambassadors, who will pledge to have conversations about marriage with at least 300,000 California residents. To help meet the campaign's ambitious goals, EQCA is currently hiring and placing 25 full-time field organizers throughout the state, including the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Six organizers have already been hired. 'This campaign is for every person in every community in every part of our state, and it will empower our diverse community and allies to win marriage back together,' said Andrea Shorter, EQCA coalition coordinator. 'We will also enlist 1,000 clergy in the next 100 days to help spread the word that marriage equality is a spiritual value as well as a civil right.' EQCA will also organize major outreach events with faith, grassroots and community leaders as part of the campaign specifically working with African American and Latino communities."
posted by ericb at 11:17 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Rights" created by courts in opposition to voter will are castles built on a foundation of sand.

This argument is also what is known as "bullshit", cf. Shelley vs. Kraemer, Brown vs. Board of Education and Loving vs. Virginia.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:18 AM on May 26, 2009 [8 favorites]


So, on the issue of fundamental rights, the California Supreme Court basically says that gay couples continue to have the same fundamental rights, but just can't use the term "marriage" to denote their union. Under California law, gay couples can still “choose one’s life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized, and protected family relationship that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents of marriage,” but just can't use the word "marriage."

A concurring opinion notes that "all three branches of state government continue to have the duty, within their respective spheres of operation, today as before the passage of Proposition 8, to eliminate the remaining important differences between marriage and domestic partnership, both in substance and perception."

This opinion confuses more than in enlightens. It on the one hand says that gay couples still have the same fundamental rights, but that implies that the government is not fully structured to support those rights because gay couples cannot enter into something termed "marriage." Basically, the 150-page opinion provides for separate-but-equal rights.

Additionally, the court says that gay couples cannot use the term "marriage." But can they still get married, or enter into matrimony, but just not call it a marriage? I conjecture that, under this ruling, same-sex couples can still go through the exact same civil process of getting married, with the exact same forms and rights, but just not term it a marriage - and the state of California has to legally recognize it.

Disclaimer:
I don't mean to minimize the term "marriage", or imply that gay couples should settle for anything less. I sincerely do not mean that at all. Also, I apologize for putting the term marriage in quotation marks - they are not meant to signify scare quotes.

posted by jabberjaw at 11:18 AM on May 26, 2009


It's not the Mormons, it's the Catholics.
posted by Lillitatiana at 11:18 AM on May 26, 2009


Protestors Block Traffic in SF Immediately After Prop 8 Ruling.
posted by ericb at 11:21 AM on May 26, 2009


Chocolate Pickle: You're only talking about arguments that the law has a disparate impact based on sexual orientation. What about the argument that it has a disparate impact based on gender?

You don't even need to bring up "disparate impact" or "The law in its infinite wisdom..." The law is discriminatory on its face.

If your response is that the law allows men and women to get married, I would just say that the Supreme Court rejected that reasoning in Loving v. Virginia.

The laws against interracial marriage didn't tell blacks, "You can't marry anyone," nor did it say this to whites. But it did say: if you want to know whether you're allowed to marry a white person, the test is whether you're white. Blacks aren't allowed. (And vice versa.) The text of the law allows one group of people to do something, while forbidding another group of people to do it. Similarly, California's law says: if you want to know whether you're allowed to marry a woman, the test is whether you're a man. Women aren't allowed. (And vice versa.) Again, the text of the law allows one group of people to do something while forbidding another group.

None of this requires asking what anyone's sexual orientation is. It's gender discrimination, pure and simple.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:22 AM on May 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


It's not the Mormons, it's the Catholics.

I don't know about that. I saw "Yes On 8" signs on the Baptist church lawn, and on the LDS stake house lawn, and "No On 8" signs on the lawns of the Unitarian Universalist, Methodist, and Episcopalian churches in my neighborhood, but the lawn of the neighborhood Catholic church was conspicuously apolitical.
posted by padraigin at 11:22 AM on May 26, 2009


Come to Canada. We still love you.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:24 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Civil rights shouldn't be subject to public vote. Chocolate Pickle, your first comment in this thread was wrong.

There are some problems with democracy, one of them being when the majority is composed of idiots.
posted by kldickson at 11:25 AM on May 26, 2009


I get to stay married, but it's a sad kinda happiness. I didn't care so much about gay marriage until the Republicans started pushing ballot measures; up to that point, I doubted I would see it in my lifetime; I tended more in favor of achieving equality by outlawing all legal recognition of marriage as basically an affirmative action program for straight people, but that wasn't really going anywhere. So the good thing is that it was the Republicans who got all this rolling, and within a couple years it is going to roll right over them. (Not to diminish the efforts of those who have fought for this over the years, of course; the right-wingers just seemed to escalate it to the point of wide debate.) I also hold a place in my heart for Mayor Gavin Newsom, who caught a lot of flack from both sides of the debate. I view him more as a patron saint of the many straight people who have had the kindness and courage to stand with us on this.

And also, I get that--like most high-profile court decisions that are poorly covered--the legal argument here had more to do with something separate from gay marriage itself, more in the procedural realm. And there's lots of important stuff going on right now. Still hurts, though, like on election day.
posted by troybob at 11:25 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle: "Regarding the "equal protection" argument:

A law that says that men may only marry women isn't a violation of equal protection as such. It applies exactly the same to all men: all of them may marry women; none of them may marry men. (and vice versa for women.) It's true that hetero men don't want to marry men, just as the non-addicted don't want to use heroin. Thus it's true that such a law has disparate impact. But disparate impact doesn't automatically mean the law is unequal.
"

Except: this law is saying that men can have heroin, and women can't. Christ, are you that dense?
posted by notsnot at 11:26 AM on May 26, 2009


I think it's a crushing blow to people who try to use the courts to bypass the voters.

Sometimes I forget just how many people are still demoralized by those goddam activist judges in Brown vs. Board of Education.
posted by troybob at 11:30 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Have hope. Our day will come. The 18,000's mere presence will change people's minds. In Mass. public opinion has swung from opposition to support in the few short years it has been legal there.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:33 AM on May 26, 2009


What the voters have done, the voters can undo, and now the advocates of marriage equality (I'm one of them) will have to play the democracy game the way it's supposed to be played.
...
The right thing to do is to get a new Prop together and work to get that enacted. And on the bright side, the court did not dissolve existing marriages
....
So, it'd be possible to repeal Prop 8 in 2010, and then ... reinstate it in 2012? And so forth? That possibility of jerking everyone around just sounds even more fucked up.
It might not be so simple. Remember a revision to the constitution requires a 66% vote, so in order to remove Prop 8 you now need 66% of the constitution to vote against it. At least that's my understanding, IANAL. I suppose the court could allow the constitution to be changed with a 50%+1 vote if they wanted too, in order to be fair, but we'll have to see.
posted by delmoi at 11:34 AM on May 26, 2009


Except: this law is saying that men can have heroin, and women can't. Christ, are you that dense?

It isn't saying anything of the kind. What the law says is that anyone can marry someone of the opposite sex and no one can marry someone of the same sex. That applies equally (in terms of the 14th Amendment) to men and women, gays and straights.

It has disparate impact on gays, but it isn't inherently unequal, constitutionally speaking.

Anyway, let's be clear that I'm not arguing this to say that it's how things should be. I think gay marriage should be legal. What I'm trying to say is that legally speaking, appeals to the 14th Amendment aren't going to get proponents of gay marriage anywhere.

And I'm expressing my opinion that we should be trying to win this in the voting booths, not in the courts.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:39 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


The bigger problem here is theocracy. People need to get their fucking imaginary friends out of my government.
posted by kldickson at 11:39 AM on May 26, 2009 [10 favorites]


no civil right has ever come into existence and been maintained when the majority of voters disagreed with it.

The Bill of Rights was enacted for the exact purpose of preserving rights in the face of majority opposition. The authors didn't trust the majority to protect the rights of the minority any more than I do. And over the last two hundred years, it has helped preserve the rights of lots of people who the majority of Americans would have happily oppressed.
posted by octothorpe at 11:41 AM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Seriously: now what? I've marched, voted, precinct walked, raised awareness & funds -what the hell do we need to do to have citizens treated as equals?

I tihnk that the biggest thing that could turn things around would be something only people living outside California can do.

Boycott visiting California.

Seriously. I see LOADS of ads for California tourism plastered all over the television, with The Governator appearing in each and every one. It's clearly a big, big concern, if the state's own governor is appearing in each one and, by default endorsing it.

So maybe what needs to happen is a similarly nationally-advertised counter-campaign, urging people to NOT visit California and NOT give them any tourism dollars as long as California prevents same-sex marriage.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:41 AM on May 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


My sense is that the court did just about everything they could to tell conservatives to fuck off on this without actually overturning the amendment as a matter of procedure. Responding to the Attorney General, they explicitly state that Prop8 does very little beyond changing the language, and that equal protection and privacy concerns still hold sway over most gay civil rights legislation. And again, in ruling on existing marriages they reject anything other than the strictest and most limited interpretation.

The court gives every indication that attempts to use Prop8 as a wedge against civil rights laws that don't use the word "marriage" will be considered with extreme skepticism, and equal protection and privacy concerns are likely to carry the day.

Which is ultimately damage control, but it puts California in a very different legal environment compared to other states where similar amendments have passed.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:42 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I tihnk that the biggest thing that could turn things around would be something only people living outside California can do.

Boycott visiting California.


This doesn't make sense to me. California is one of the most gay-friendly places in the world, much less the united states. I assume you're already boycotting the entire south, west, and much of the midwest?
posted by Justinian at 11:44 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth: ". The 18,000's mere presence will change people's minds. In Mass. public opinion has swung from opposition to support in the few short years it has been legal there."

Gay political blogger John Aravois at AmericaBlog strikes an optimistic note:

I believe that those marriages may, in the long run, make gay marriage inevitable in California. Sexual orientation already enjoys equal status with gender and race in California discrimination law, and, as the LA Times notes, today's court decision doesn't change that... The fact that 18,000 gay marriages will remain on the books means that, eventually, another case will go to the California Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of laws banning gay marriage, and the court will have to consider why those 18,000 marriages how not destroyed traditional marriage as we know it.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:44 AM on May 26, 2009


Woman plus man is intrinsic to the thing called marriage. You want to call a giraffe a refrigerator that's your business, but it doesn't make it so, and a court decreeing a giraffe to be a refrigerator doesn't make it so either. Eventually one will, and you'll dance in the street gleefully celebrating the giraffe-ness of refrigerators, and your collective insanity will have come into full bloom.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 11:45 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Chocolate Pickle, you didn't respond to the many people who pointed out the incorrectness of the idea that unpopular court decisions are never upheld and on the contrary, that the African-American Civil Rights Movement made enormous gains BECAUSE the court overruled the will of the majority.

Also, I think many constitutional experts believe your definition of equal protection is a bunch of poo-poo.
posted by serazin at 11:46 AM on May 26, 2009


In crushing blow to marriage equality, the California Supreme Court has affirmed the validity of Proposition 8 today's ruling

FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUU!
posted by shmegegge at 11:47 AM on May 26, 2009


Hovercraft Eel, either you're joking or you're a dumbass.
posted by kldickson at 11:48 AM on May 26, 2009


Hovercraft Eel, may I be the first to tell you, you are not only technically inaccurate, but also offensive?
posted by serazin at 11:48 AM on May 26, 2009


Woman plus man is intrinsic to the thing called marriage.

Not here in Massachusetts ... as well as in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine and Vermont, not to mention Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on May 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


Brown vs. Board of Education is widely misunderstood. The popular summation is that SCOTUS decided that "separate but equal" is unconstitutional. That isn't what they said. And "separate but equal" isn't necessarily unconstitional.

Sex-segregated restrooms in restaurants are separate but equal, and are perfectly legal. Yeah, men can't go into the women's room, and women can't go into the men's room, but that doesn't mean it's a violation of the 14th Amendment.

What Brown vs. Board of Education decided was that segregated schools weren't equal. In practice it always meant "separate and unequal" and that was a violation of the 14th Amendment.

A different point: a lot of people in this thread have been making arguments that this situation is "wrong" or "unfair". I fully agree. But that doesn't mean that it's unconstitutional. There are a lot of laws which are wrong and unfair and constitutionally valid.

We as voters can change them, if we convince the majority of our fellow voters to do so.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:49 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


HEY GUISE

California is going down the tubes. Maybe if they have to declare bankruptcy because of lost revenue from gay marriage, they'll relegalize gay marriage.
posted by kldickson at 11:49 AM on May 26, 2009


"Democracy is the worse form of goverment ever invented, except for all the others".
Churchill
posted by QueerAngel28 at 11:49 AM on May 26, 2009


Whether it's how you think things should be or not, the reality is that no civil right has ever come into existence and been maintained when the majority of voters disagreed with it. Women didn't get the vote until the majority of men thought they should. Apartheid didn't end until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only happened because the majority of Americans thought it should.

What the holy living fuck are you talking about? In the instance of the 19th Amendment, of course a majority of men had to agree to it- it was a constitutional amendment, and before it was passed only men could vote.

Of course, the 19th amendment example is ludicrous on its face since you're suddenly pointing out an actual voter-backed issue. How are you actually trying to compare that with court rulings? The point is that they went against what a majority opinion may have demanded. At the time of Brown v. Board, a majority of Americans, and most certainly Kansans, opposed school integration. At the time of Loving v. Virginia, a majority of Americans opposed mixed-race marriage. And I'm pretty sure there was popular dissent against emancipation what with half the country seceding and starting a war because they were worried slavery was going to be banned. Kansas governor Orval Faubus gained popularity by opposing the Brown v. Board decision (his primary opponent was an open segregationist) and was not stopped by "popular opinion" but by President Eisenhower ordering in the National Guard to let kids go to school.

And all of this- all of this- is laughable in the context of defending the California ballot initiative system- one of the most disgraceful and destructive legislative systems in American history that has caused the now 600-page-long constitution of the fifth largest economy in the world to be placed in constant flux by the whims of mob rule, while simultaneously preventing the actual legislative body of the state to pass any meaningful repairs to itself.

Time and time again the rulings of the court and both legislative and executive acts were in direct opposition to the "popular majority." It is in fact one of the most important factors in a system of checks and balances envisioned by the Framers. Good god, man. To actually say the exact opposite isn't even a matter of political opinions or left versus right. It's just a stunning level of ignorance to American history that I previously couldn't even fathom.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:49 AM on May 26, 2009 [20 favorites]


It might not be so simple. Remember a revision to the constitution requires a 66% vote, so in order to remove Prop 8 you now need 66% of the constitution to vote against it. At least that's my understanding, IANAL.

I don't think this understanding is correct. You can repeal an amendment with an amendment.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:50 AM on May 26, 2009


...same-sex couples can still go through the exact same civil process of getting married, with the exact same forms and rights, but just not term it a marriage...

As far as New Jersey is concerned...

Panel Finds That Civil Unions Are Not Equal To Marriage.

Full Report from the Office of the Attorney General/Department of Law & Public Safety/Civil Union Review Commission.
posted by ericb at 11:50 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is why smart people need to reproduce. Not because kids are cute. Not because they "complete" you. Not because they (might) take care of your sorry, drooling ass when you're older.

No. The reason you need to reproduce is because the nutjobs are doing so, and doing it way more than you. If smart people don't like being outnumbered in the polls, you need to have more children.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:50 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


It might not be so simple. Remember a revision to the constitution requires a 66% vote, so in order to remove Prop 8 you now need 66% of the constitution to vote against it. At least that's my understanding, IANAL. I suppose the court could allow the constitution to be changed with a 50%+1 vote if they wanted too, in order to be fair, but we'll have to see.

My sense is that amendment/revision are used in a very specific way in California. A revision fundamentally changes the structure of government, while an amendment changes government process or policy. Since the California Supreme Court just decided that Prop8 is highly limited in scope, it shouldn't count as a revision.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:51 AM on May 26, 2009


You have to give them credit for some old school jurisprudence for bringing Plessy 2.0. May the ghost of John Marshall Harlan show up in their chambers to give them a well-deserved naughty finger.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:52 AM on May 26, 2009


Chocolate Pickle, your analogy is fail. Sex-segregated restrooms aren't a question of civil rights. There are actual reasonable practical reasons for sex-segregated restrooms, such as, oh, I dunno, not getting raped while your pants are down and you're taking a shit.

Again, it's in the constitution, if I remember correctly, that civil rights shall not be constrained by law.
posted by kldickson at 11:53 AM on May 26, 2009


California is going down the tubes. Maybe if they have to declare bankruptcy because of lost revenue from gay marriage, they'll relegalize gay marriage.

Gay marriage equals money for states, new studies show.
posted by ericb at 11:53 AM on May 26, 2009


Protestors Block Traffic in SF Immediately After Prop 8 Ruling - before anyone gets worried, SF traffic gets blocked up all the time, by bike messengers, random parades, and the odd traveling city-destroying monster.

[EQCA] will also enlist 1,000 clergy in the next 100 days to help spread the word that marriage equality is a spiritual value as well as a civil right - this is pretty fantastic. Unfortunately, there have been hate crimes against a local church whose marquee sign stated "A family of faith for everyone" with a rainbow flag emblem.

As for fears of the back-and-forth battle of propositions, high school kids are more liberal than adults (2001 polls, on a homophobic religious website), as long as you don't ask them to shared locker room facilities or go to gay/straight parties. As long as the youth keep voting, the numbers should keep moving towards state-wide approval. After all, it was a difference of 599,602 votes between the Ayes and Nays, not some wacky pendulum swaying from side to side.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:54 AM on May 26, 2009


Chocolate Pickle, you still haven't responded to everyone's critique of your main argument.
posted by serazin at 11:54 AM on May 26, 2009


In Mass. public opinion has swung from opposition to support in the few short years it has been legal there.

Associated Press: 5 years on, gay marriage debate fades in Massachusetts.
posted by ericb at 11:55 AM on May 26, 2009


posted by Chocolate Pickle Sex-segregated restrooms in restaurants are separate but equal, and are perfectly legal. Yeah, men can't go into the women's room, and women can't go into the men's room, but that doesn't mean it's a violation of the 14th Amendment.

I think you're wrong. Men can use the women's room, and women can use the men's room. Most of my work involves ADA and Title 24 requirements and I'm not aware of a law which prohibits one gender using the other gender's restroom. If you know of such a law, please provide a cite. Thanks.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:57 AM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Brown vs. Board of Education is widely misunderstood. The popular summation is that SCOTUS decided that "separate but equal" is unconstitutional. That isn't what they said. And "separate but equal" isn't necessarily unconstitional.

Which of course does absolutely nothing to counter your wildly ridiculous statement that the civil rights granted by the ruling had popular opinion first. It is, however, a classic internet example of trying to say something smart that sounds like part of your original argument but is just a diversion to cover your own ass.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:58 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


California is one of the most gay-friendly places in the world, much less the united states.

Not necessarily, in my experience (and I'm a native Californian), unless you're talking about limited sections of the coastal counties, which the rest of California doesn't consider Real California anyway. Of course it may feel relatively okay to be openly gay in Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, Mill Valley, and Palo Alto. But it's not so easy to be openly gay in Riverside, Visalia, Fresno, or Stockton.

Go to Tuolumne or Colusa or Imperial County and consider whether those parts of California are truly "gay-friendly" or not. San Francisco is the only city in the world where I've ever been hit with the "faggot" epithet by a stranger. I saw more pro-Prop 8 signs in Manhattan Beach and El Segundo than I saw anywhere else in the state.
posted by blucevalo at 11:58 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]



How can it be legal for gay couple A to be legally married but gay couple B next door can't go get hitched? Isn't that what this decision comes down to?
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:59 AM on May 26, 2009


The reason you need to reproduce is because the nutjobs are doing so, and doing it way more than you. If smart people don't like being outnumbered in the polls, you need to have more children.

No way. My parents are crazy and their political views are pretty damned opposite of mine. Plus, my vasectomy guarantees me moral highground on any environmental issue. The worst thing you can do for the environment is add another person to it.
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 12:01 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is why smart people need to reproduce. Not because kids are cute. Not because they "complete" you. Not because they (might) take care of your sorry, drooling ass when you're older.

No. The reason you need to reproduce is because the nutjobs are doing so, and doing it way more than you. If smart people don't like being outnumbered in the polls, you need to have more children.


Ah, Civil_Disobedient, but here's the problem:

1) That's not going to solve the problem of idiots reproducing. Besides, there are WAY more idiots than smart people, if one classes smart at minimum as 'above one standard deviation from average', and the percentage drops if you discount those individuals who have problems with, uh, being nice people. Cripes, the average IQ in some backwater third-world countries is in the 70s. (There is a treatise somewhere which divides people into four groups: well-intentioned smart, malevolent smart, well-intentioned stupid, and malevolent stupid. The most dangerous is well-intentioned stupid, because it is fucking hard to make sense of an irrational individual.)

2) It takes a considerable deal of time and money to invest properly in a child to make them a smart person who also is well-disciplined, compassionate, and has a bachelor's degree at the very least.

3) Nobody should have unwanted children.
posted by kldickson at 12:03 PM on May 26, 2009


It has disparate impact on gays, but it isn't inherently unequal, constitutionally speaking.

This isn't exactly right. What the CA did in the first case, and this is something that prop 8 didn't undo, is designate homosexuals as a protected class for purposes of anti-discrimination law. Had prop 8 not only restricted use of the word marriage, but also stripped away access to the rights gay Californians already enjoyed, that would almost certainly have been struck down by the court today. That's all academic to a certain extent at this point. However, the fact that the whole basis for protecting homosexuals through anti-discrimination law is so that their loving relationships are recognized means that denying them the right to marriage is constitutionally unequal. Although the US supreme court hasn't said it yet, that will be the gist of the equal protection argument once it gets to the federal level.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 12:04 PM on May 26, 2009


How can it be legal for gay couple A to be legally married but gay couple B next door can't go get hitched? Isn't that what this decision comes down to?

Yes, that Alice in Wonderland element struck me as crazy too. If you got married between this date and that date you are legit. If you got married before or after those dates you're not. Bizarre. Talk about the letter of the law and the spirit of the law!
posted by binturong at 12:06 PM on May 26, 2009


President Obama publicly stated his policy position on this issue. He does not support equal rights in marriage. He is a constitutional scholar. The President has great sway over the public and the courts. People, it will be necessary to start at the top. You cannot ignore this. Obama must admit he was wrong and lead the way to the same civil rights that he enjoys, for all Americans. - Daily Kos commenter
posted by Joe Beese at 12:07 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


First reaction: like I said last week in relation to a different issue, referenda are bullshit. I don't understand why people can't use the fricking legislative process in place to advance their agendas. There are good reasons we structured our governments this way, and to avoid tyranny of factions is exactly one of them.

As to the legal opinion: predictable, and appears on first read to be correct vis-a-vis California law.

As to other comments in this thread, Chocolate Pickle is generally correct. I'd quibble with some things on the margins. But at the end of the day this needs to be done legislatively.

And, as to the advancement of Loving v. Virginia as a counter-argument to Chocolate Pickle's point, I would note that Loving v. Virginia came out the way it did because of a legislative enactment: the 14th Amendment, and Virgina law was subsequently legislatively repealed. The problem with pursuing a federal 14th Amendment claim is that the issue is going to come up whether there is a legitimate state purpose in distinguishing between homosexual and heterosexual unions. That's going to open that ugly can of worms about families, procreation, etc. The Court in Loving noted there was no legitimate purpose behind anti-miscegenation laws other than racial segregation which was not a legitimate state purpose, as the primary purpose of the 14th Amendment was to end racial discrimination. Moreover, you get into the argument whether a protected class exists, what standard of review to utilize, and whether issues of disparate impact. It's a constitutional mine field that may result into constitutionally mandated civil unions but not marriages.

Legislatively is the way to go. Cleaner and has more moral authority.

prefpara said:
Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."
I do not understand why this [line from Loving v. Virginia]doesn't apply with equal force to the freedom to marry a person of any gender.


I bolded the wiggle room in the quote. Is classifying same sex unions as marriages fundamental to our very existence and survival? That's the ugly argument you are going to have if you press a 14th Amendment claim.
posted by dios at 12:07 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


How can it be legal for gay couple A to be legally married but gay couple B next door can't go get hitched? Isn't that what this decision comes down to?

In simplest terms, because the marriages performed at the time were legal per the CA Supreme Court's ruling. No new ruling invalidated that ruling, nor did Prop 8 render the legal marriages illegal ex post facto. The net result is that the California Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a legal right for gay couples in the state, but has now declared a precedent that the ballot initiative process can legally strip those declared rights from people by a simple 50.1% majority.

Which is pretty much the greatest evidence for why it should be eliminated immediately.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:08 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


My sense is that amendment/revision are used in a very specific way in California. A revision fundamentally changes the structure of government, while an amendment changes government process or policy. Since the California Supreme Court just decided that Prop8 is highly limited in scope, it shouldn't count as a revision.

Fair enough. But read on at 8-9, where they discuss the equal protection argument under the California Constitution, and the limits (or lack thereof) that California voters have in limiting their own state constitutional rights by amendment/referendum.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:09 PM on May 26, 2009


Serious question: Is it more complicated than fear of Jesus and/or butt-sex? Because I honestly don't see any evidence that it is.

Well, I can't claim to be authoritative on this or anything, but based on family members I'm suck talking to a few times a year, I think it's more than that.

The Jesus and OMGBUTTSECKS things are related, in that Jesus and the Bible seem to get called out a lot to justify a revulsion for male sodomy. (Because you can use the Bible to justify anything, and it's considered impolite to question people's supposed faith.) For some people, that may be the beginning and the end of it; anyone who wants to put his penis in another guy's pooper is subhuman. Period. I don't know if you can really argue around that. But I don't know if it's really the dominant sticking-point, for a couple of reasons: first, heterosexual anal sex is pretty popular, so it's not the "BUTTSECKS" part that's really setting people off; second, a lot of people who get resistant to gay marriage really and truly have ceded the issue of gay people and gay sex in general. It's tough to untangle the people who are just saying that versus the people who really are willing to let what happens in the bedroom stay there, but at least in my experience I think a lot of non-rabid but still conservative people don't care about the bedroom issue. It's icky, but they're willing to write it off.

The real resistance, and again this is just me extrapolating from a relatively small sample, seems to be cultural. In the same way that some racists will rail about "niggers" but then defend black people they actually know, a lot of anti-gay bigots build their opposition to gay people around a mental image that's completely disconnected from reality. They really do believe that there is a "gay agenda" with culturally subversive goals far beyond equal rights, that "the gays" go around actively recruiting or converting people to homosexuality, and that their culture is under attack and rapidly becoming or destined to become an oppressed minority. (A whole lot of far-Right rhetoric is built around this; they have the culture of victimization down pat, the more extreme elements thrive on it really, which is why I think it would have been very bad in the long run if the court case had gone the other way.)

I think the people whose objection to homosexuality is absolute, who would condemn someone from their own culture who was otherwise familiar and non-threatening, simply for being gay is actually low. Those people probably aren't going to get talked out of their opposition. But there's a big segment of people who hear the word "gay" and don't think of the couple down the street, the ones who look like them, at all; they think of "we're here, we're queer, get used to it," of guys in drag and assless chaps, of bathhouses and casual sex and AIDS. That's the bogeyman.

If you can convince people that that's not "gay culture," that in fact "gay culture" isn't really any different from their culture, then I think you can defuse a lot of the fear that gets people up and voting against gay marriage. In particular, I think you could sell gay marriage pretty easily to a lot of on-the-fence social conservatives as gay people basically wanting to live a committed lifestyle, and that allowing it is striking a blow against bathhouse culture. I don't know if that line of argument would appeal to many gay-rights groups, but I think it'd probably work.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:11 PM on May 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


I believe this is a disappointing bump in the long road to marital equality. As Martin Luther King said, "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice."

Marital equality will be much more common the next time this comes up on the ballot in California. Iowa, Vermont, and Maine have legalized same-sex marriage since Prop 8 passed, and a couple others are likely to join them before November 2010.

Eventually I believe this will go to the US Supreme Court and it will rule in favor of marital equality based on Lawrence v. Texas and Loving v. Virginia.

the court says that gay couples cannot use the term 'marriage'

"Mawwaige" is OK, though, Princess Bride-style.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:13 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


How can it be legal for gay couple A to be legally married but gay couple B next door can't go get hitched? Isn't that what this decision comes down to?


In simplest terms, because the marriages performed at the time were legal per the CA Supreme Court's ruling.


XQ _ I know why....just noting what seems to be a glaring unfairness in the whole business and grounds for a public campaign.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:15 PM on May 26, 2009


Also, gay marriage is fundamental to our very existence and survival. Gay individuals also serve as adoptive parents for children who are put up for adoption and children born to a gay parent (yes, there are children born to gay parents by various circumstances), and they also serve as important fixtures in society - politicians, professors, physicians. Marriage has some interesting effects on death rates and other measures of health, for the most part.
posted by kldickson at 12:20 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


"So what, is there nothing that wouldn't be acceptable if passed by a referendum on an amendment? What if they pass a referendum that everyone has wear gorilla suits? Everybody has to buy gorilla suits?"

Anyone? I'm actually interested. Are there basically no limits on what we can amend the state constitution to? We took away existing civil rights with Prop 8. That seems like a biggie. Assuming it's not against federal law, can we in fact make it the law that everyone is California must have a monkey suit?
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:21 PM on May 26, 2009


Er, gay individuals can serve as parents of children of one member of the gay couple.
posted by kldickson at 12:23 PM on May 26, 2009


I assume you're already boycotting the entire south, west, and much of the midwest?

The entire south, west, and much of the Midwest have not yet as such put the issue of same-sex marriage to a public vote on the part of its citizens. Nor are the entire south, west, and much of the Midwest engaging in a public and highly-visible campaign to encourage tourism in their states.

It's one thing when someone hasn't said anything either way about an issue. It's another when they have expressed an opinion. I don't like the opinion the majority of the people in California expressed, so I'm choosing to not visit that state. Other states haven't said anything either way.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:23 PM on May 26, 2009


I, for one, am eagerly anticipating the rise to power of the Gorilla Suit Industrial Complex.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:24 PM on May 26, 2009


I bolded the wiggle room in the quote. Is classifying same sex unions as marriages fundamental to our very existence and survival? That's the ugly argument you are going to have if you press a 14th Amendment claim.

dios: go back and look at the language from Skinner that the Loving Court is quoting there. The Court didn't just say "procreation." It said "marriage and procreation." Thus, marriage between non-procreating couples is just as much a fundamental right as marriage between procreating couples.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:24 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


What really bugs me is that a) this "amendment vs. revision" shit is self evidently insane and, like so many genuinely insane legal ideas ("State's Rights" for example) seems to exist only to empower the most evil and vile members of society at the expense of everyone else, and also b) getting rid of the insanity so that basic civil liberties were not threatened by a 50%+1 majority would be a "revision" and therefore couldn't be rammed through in the same stupid manner. And I thought the Texas constitution was fucked up.

I also hope that those of us enraged by the decision, and the situation, won't resort to violence or vandalism. Burning a Mormon church (or, better, the giant Tabernacle in SLC) to the ground would feel **REALLY** good right now, but would ultimately be a self-defeating action. Ditto any sort of attack on well known Prop 8 supporters. It ain't even that we're better than that, its a simple matter of effective: such actions would be anti-effective.

I do wonder about the decision on the subject of already married homosexuals in California. I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how the court could rule that Prop 8 is valid, and simultaneously rule that pre-existing gay marriages are valid. The wording in the Proposition doesn't seem to allow that.
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
It doesn't look like there's any wiggle room there for "except for people married before the pro-bigot measure was passed". I'm not a lawyer, of course, but it seems odd (of course, it seems odd that despite the plain and simple language of the 1st Amendment on the Federal level that the SCOTUS keeps upholding bans on pornography, I don't see an "except for pornography and obscenity" clause there)

And, I've got to admit that from a cold blooded tactical standpoint it'd be better in the fight for marriage equality next election if the California supreme court had invalidated the pre-existing gay marriages. It'd make for some really great anti-Prop 8 ads. In the personal sense, of course, I'm glad those who were lucky enough to marry before the godshouters enshrined bigotry get to stay married.
posted by sotonohito at 12:26 PM on May 26, 2009


ALongDecember, the law you hypothesize would be invalidated not because it has a disparate impact but because it has an "invidious purpose," in this case to discriminate on the basis of race, which is a suspect classification.

Sex is a suspect classification, under intermediate scrutiny if not strict, and this is clearly sex-based discrimination. The test for whether person A is allowed to marry person B is whether person B has been officially designated as having the same or opposite sex as person A. No one is asked to provide an affadavit or evidence or even a statement on a form regarding sexual orientation at any point to enter into marriage, and gays and lesbians and bisexuals marry people of the opposite sex all the time without any legal issues (until it comes time for the child custody hearings at the time of divorce). This is sex-based discrimination.

Additionally, this state-by-state fight, while culturally appropriate (we do so much better accepting change through evolution than revolution, generally), is in violation of the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution, and Obama knows that perfectly well, even if he can't see it through his invisible friend.

Woman plus man is intrinsic to the thing called marriage. You want to call a giraffe a refrigerator that's your business, but it doesn't make it so, and a court decreeing a giraffe to be a refrigerator doesn't make it so either. Eventually one will, and you'll dance in the street gleefully celebrating the giraffe-ness of refrigerators, and your collective insanity will have come into full bloom.

Yeah, yeah, and we'll all be forced to marry hamsters and donkeys and your children will be forced into plural marriage with animals and same-sex partners and it'll be chaos and all us queers will be rubbing ourhands gleefully like evil masterminds or mad scientists because we've destroyed all your beautiful wickedness. That's how the slippery slope thing works here, right? Because all humans, without laws and religion to constrain them and provide a moral framework, are inherently wicked and lustful and incapable of refraining from non-consensual relations, bestiality, pedophilia, et cetera?
posted by notashroom at 12:27 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Blazecock.

I have to say that I have mixed feelings about 501(c)(3) status for churches. It might seem unfair that houses of worship can be tax exempt, but keep in mind it doesn't just apply to megagroups like the Mormons - it goes for any religious group, down to the tiniest temple. President Johnson's intention with the statute was to take the political bite out of the churches. The fact that this hasn't been working out is a failure of enforcement. It sickens me that a religious group can play both ends of the democracy game like this - drawing in tax-free dollars like a church and then behaving like a political lobby. If you want to behave like a lobby, expect to get taxed like one. Don't want to get taxed like one? Stay the hell out of politics.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:29 PM on May 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


I am not strongly opinionated on gay marriage, but am disgusted by all the cursing and spite displayed by its proponents, especially in the news after Prop 8 was passed, and here this afternoon. I thought California was pretty clear in passing Proponent 8, and just as you're entitled to your opinion, the other side is entitled to theirs.

As much as I dislike missionaries on my doorstep, I hate people yelling at, name-calling, and slandering others just because they happen to hold opposing beliefs:

"F*ng Mormons"
"Each and every supporter of Proposition 8 should suffer nothing less than a lifetime of loveless solitude."
"Burning a Mormon church to the ground would feel really good right now"

What has gotten into you people? Comments like the ones above are completely out of line, and not at all the hallmark of open & tolerant individuals. Honestly it even makes me want to reconsider the other side's arguments. Why don't you learn how to communicate properly, get some decency, and maybe you'll win some people's ears, and more importantly, their respect.
posted by gushn at 12:30 PM on May 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Idea:

Let's exploit the Shakers.

We could give some money to the Shakers, who are idiots themselves, to get them to proselytize to idiots, and then the idiots, who are susceptible to proselytism, stop reproducing because they think their imaginary friend will smite them if they have sex.

The Shakers will eventually die out, thus ridding the world of both their idiocy and the other idiots' idiocies.

Problem solved.
posted by kldickson at 12:34 PM on May 26, 2009


dios: go back and look at the language from Skinner that the Loving Court is quoting there. The Court didn't just say "procreation." It said "marriage and procreation." Thus, marriage between non-procreating couples is just as much a fundamental right as marriage between procreating couples.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:24 PM on May 26


Thanks, but I don't need to re-read it. I'm telling you where the wiggle room is. It is written the way it was because the issue of same-sex marriage was not on the table. But the fundamental rights aspect of it was that marriage was fundamental because it is related to the family, the family being an important state interest for purposes of survival of man and the country. That's the argument that is going to happen. Marriage is not fundamental because it makes the two people who are getting married happy. So when the issue of Loving v. Virginia gets pushed, the issue is going to ABSOLUTELY turn on whether same-sex marriages are as fundamental as opposite-sex marriage when same-sex marriages are un-related to procreation. I'm not saying that it is right, I'm just saying the argument that is going to occur.


Are there basically no limits on what we can amend the state constitution to?

A state constitution cannot be amended to violate the US Constitution. It can be amended to violate a former provision of the state constitution insofar as by amending, the presumably violated provision is being amended/revoked/revised/mooted. The one limitation is procedural with respect to voting (e.g., a state amendment may be invalid if the procedure was not followed, as opposed to a substantive violation).
posted by dios at 12:34 PM on May 26, 2009


gushn, call me crazy, but actively stripping fellow citizens of fundamental rights disgusts me far more than (shudder) cursing and name-calling.
posted by prefpara at 12:35 PM on May 26, 2009 [22 favorites]


I'm sure this is a coincidence, but since the passage of prop. 8, I have not seen any Mormon missionaries around here (West Hollywood). I still get and the religious freaks ring my doorbell despite this neat sticker on my door:

http://www.stickergiant.com/no-preaching_b5520.html

however, no Mormons - and if they did, they'd get an earful... they deserve to know how their church is seen by many - as a bastion of modern day bigotry.

What astonishes me about Mormons, is that it wasn't so long ago, when they had to revise their teachings on black people. When they now hide their bigotry with "but that's what our religion teaches", I wonder why they don't connect the dots - they'll just have to revise what their religion teaches about gay people, as they did in the case of black people. May as well do it now, it's inevitable, unless they want to join the likes of the KKK.
posted by VikingSword at 12:37 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Additionally, this state-by-state fight, while culturally appropriate is in violation of the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution, and Obama knows that perfectly well.

I don't see how states handling this could violate the full faith and credit clause, per se. The unclear part is the Defense of Marriage Act which exempts the issue of marriage from application of the full faith and credit clause. Whether that act is constitutional is different question. But passing these laws in state legislatures does not violate the full faith and credit clause.
posted by dios at 12:40 PM on May 26, 2009


I hate people yelling at, name-calling, and slandering others just because they happen to hold opposing beliefs

Hi there. Welcome to the internet. Your emergency exits are here, here, here and here.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:40 PM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Honestly it even makes me want to reconsider the other side's arguments.

I love it when I hear this argument. Reminds me of how my grandparents in Georgia used to argue that they weren't racist, but those nigras didn't deserve equal rights if they were just going to act like animals.

I think the response to the anti-gay crowd is unfortunate, even when I participate in it; but I think you too easily dismiss how demoralizing it is to be surrounded by people who have no problem buying into the idea that you are less than they are--less natural, less entitled, less deserving. Bigots have no reasonable expectation that we should politely accept the role they have assigned us.
posted by troybob at 12:42 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is classifying same sex unions as marriages fundamental to our very existence and survival?

It sure seems like the opposition argument is that same sex unions being classified as marriage threatens their very existence and survival.
posted by padraigin at 12:42 PM on May 26, 2009


gushn Because being rightfully outraged when vile, evil minded, religious loonies vote to deny our friends and family basic human rights is totally beyond the pale, right?

Are you on crack?

The offensive part, the hate filled part, the out of line part, was all from the people who have tried to deny basic human rights to gay people. Being angry and outraged at such intrinsic evil is hardly wrong.

You seem to have an interesting double standard here. You are taking the position that its not at all "completely out of line" for the evil religious lunatics to deny people basic human rights, but complaining about the same is? Interesting....
posted by sotonohito at 12:46 PM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think there is a difference between saying "You are bigots" and saying "I'd like to burn your church to the ground" but I also don't think wishing loneliness on someone could in any way be considered hate speech or fighting words. I do think that the Mormons should consider their tax exempt status in jeopardy and it would be too bad if this issue was the one they decided was their hill to die on only because there are many crazier and more offensive parts to their general belief system as I understand it.

That said, I'm someone who would probably like to marry my refrigerator, so my opinions are suspect.

My last note is that while Obama has said that he's not in favor of same sex marriage per se, he is in favor of gay couples having (sometime, somehow) the exact same rights as married straight couples. I think now is a good time to ask him how he plans to sort that one out.
posted by jessamyn at 12:46 PM on May 26, 2009 [11 favorites]


Why don't you learn how to communicate properly, get some decency, and maybe you'll win some people's ears, and more importantly, their respect.

I neither expect nor desire the respect of the Mormon Church. I just want them to stay the hell out of the political process, along with every other church.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:47 PM on May 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


Also, gushn, this isn't about "opposing beliefs". At all. Period. Mormons can go ahead and believe whatever the fuck they want to believe, and no one's suggesting otherwise. When those beliefs spread into government, however, that's fucking fucked up.

To crassly quote a movie: "This is our lives we're fighting for."
posted by Sys Rq at 12:47 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honestly it even makes me want to reconsider the other side's arguments.

Here's what happens when you entertain the other side's "argument".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:47 PM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle,

You seem like you've had a little legal education, so it would be really nice if you'd stop dodging the question you've been repeatedly asked: your argument regarding disparate impact was rejected in Loving v. Virginia. That exact same argument was made by Virginia: the law prevented both blacks and whites from marrying each other, and provided identical penalties to both races for violating the law. It was struck down. Importantly, it said this:

"There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy."

It seems that beyond just the Equal Protection violation, there is also the argument, outlined in detail in the recent Iowa SC decision, that there is no "legitimate overriding purpose" for a same-sex marriage ban. So as per Loving, 1. your Equal Protection argument fails and 2. I can't see any overriding purpose that would allow such a violation.

Can you explain why you think this would not not apply, especially given the Lawrence* opinion?

*Yes, Kennedy did say that they weren't addressing gay marriage, but given the wording and spirit of the opinion, and the fact that the majority who passed it are still there, I'd be surprised if Kennedy went back on that. O'Connor in her concurrence did say that she felt that there were non-moral bases for banning same-sex marriage, but O'Connor's gone, it was just a concurrence, and as noted above the Lawrence majority is still there.

On Preview:
dios
That can of worms was opened and examined in Iowa. As noted above, they very thoroughly went through the arguments about procreation and the like, and dismissed them all. Of course the Iowa ruling has no control over SCOTUS, but it provides a blueprint for what an argument about that issue would be like, a successful argument. As for standard of review, it's somewhat tied with up with the legitimate state purpose question, which as explained seems to be a win for gay marriage. It will be ugly, yes, but it's inevitable that such a case will come.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:47 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Honestly it even makes me want to reconsider the other side's arguments.

Oh, and you know what else is disgusting? This passive-aggressive bullshit where you make sure the minorities know that they'd better behave if they want you to play nice. It works on so many levels! You get to remind them that they don't have enough power to protect themselves, you get to pretend that you have some moral high ground based on farcically irrelevant standards of politeness that you get to set from the comfort of own your privilege, and they get to choose between further suppressing their authentic selves in exchange for absolutely nothing or getting more lectures from smug donkeys with neither empathy nor wisdom. Me, I choose rudeness over that poison.
posted by prefpara at 12:48 PM on May 26, 2009 [49 favorites]


posted by sotonohito You seem to have an interesting double standard here. You are taking the position that its not at all "completely out of line" for the evil religious lunatics to deny people basic human rights, but complaining about the same is?

No. Just because someone has been the subject of bigotry and hate does not give him or her license to make bigoted and hateful remarks, despite however satisfying it may be to his or her schoolyard urges to whine and cry, "but they started it!" and "have a taste of your own medicine!" that he or she has obviously never outgrown.
posted by mattdidthat at 12:52 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "My last note is that while Obama has said that he's not in favor of same sex marriage per se, he is in favor of gay couples having (sometime, somehow) the exact same rights as married straight couples. I think now is a good time to ask him how he plans to sort that one out."

Andrew Sullivan:

I have a sickeningly familiar feeling in my stomach, and the feeling deepens with every interaction with the Obama team on these issues. They want them to go away. They want us to go away.

Here we are, in the summer of 2009, with gay servicemembers still being fired for the fact of their orientation. Here we are, with marriage rights spreading through the country and world and a president who cannot bring himself even to acknowledge these breakthroughs in civil rights, and having no plan in any distant future to do anything about it at a federal level. Here I am, facing a looming deadline to be forced to leave my American husband for good, and relocate abroad because the HIV travel and immigration ban remains in force and I have slowly run out of options (unlike most non-Americans with HIV who have no options at all).

And what is Obama doing about any of these things? What is he even intending at some point to do about these things? So far as I can read the administration, the answer is: nada. We're firing Arab linguists? So sorry. We won't recognize in any way a tiny minority of legally married couples in several states because they're, ugh, gay? We had no idea. There's a ban on HIV-positive tourists and immigrants? Really? Thanks for letting us know.

posted by Joe Beese at 12:53 PM on May 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


just as you're entitled to your opinion, the other side is entitled to theirs.

So true! The problem is that not all opinions are valid and good, no matter what today's media standards would have us believe. And no one is required to be vocally tolerant of opinions. The same rights that entitle all of us to our individual opinions also entitle other people to call us out when those opinions are ridiculous, mean spirited, bigoted, or otherwise just plain wrong.
posted by Never teh Bride at 12:54 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey, if any Californians (gay or straight) are fed up with their state and want to come out to Massachusetts, we'd love to have you.
posted by Legomancer at 12:54 PM on May 26, 2009


I don't see how states handling this could violate the full faith and credit clause, per se. The unclear part is the Defense of Marriage Act which exempts the issue of marriage from application of the full faith and credit clause. Whether that act is constitutional is different question. But passing these laws in state legislatures does not violate the full faith and credit clause.

I phrased that poorly. DOMA is a violation of the full faith and credit clause. That is its entire purpose, since otherwise it is clear that marriage has traditionally been one of the core types of transactions covered by the clause. Because of DOMA, the fight has had to stay at the state level, and numerous states have enacted legislation or constitutional amendments which are in violation of the full faith and credit clause, though appear to be valid under DOMA. When DOMA is (eventually) overturned, full faith and credit can be restored.
posted by notashroom at 12:54 PM on May 26, 2009


CunningLinguist: I think it goes beyond that. To me, it looks as if the justices are doing all they can to undermine Prop8 while upholding the procedural process that created it. The decision clearly telegraphs that the Court will interpret Prop8 in the most limited and literal way possible, in relationship to equal protection and privacy rights, and the decision applying to previously created marriages is a part of that.

To the Attorney General: The specific wording of Prop8 changes the "designation" of marriage but no other substantial rights.

To the Conservative Claimants: If you had wanted Prop8 to apply retroactively, you should have said so in the amendment. We are not obliged to entertain "plain language" claims of intent.

So while this is a victory for the religious right, it's certainly not the kind of victory they were hoping for. What they wanted was a legal wedge they could use to attack civil unions, benefits and anti-discrimination laws. Conservatives kept chanting that this was about, "preserving the definition of marriage." The court spits that rhetoric right back at them. Prop8 is neutered to be just about definitions.
Accordingly, although Proposition 8 eliminates the ability of same-sex
couples to enter into an official relationship designated “marriage,” in all other
respects those couples continue to possess, under the state constitutional privacy
and due process clauses, “the core set of basic substantive legal rights and
attributes traditionally associated with marriage,” including, “most fundamentally,
the opportunity of an individual to establish — with the person with whom the
individual has chosen to share his or her life — an officially recognized and
protected family possessing mutual rights and responsibilities and entitled to the
same respect and dignity accorded a union traditionally designated as marriage.”

This exception (Proposition 8) — although constituting the
governing state constitutional rule with regard to the specific matter it
addresses — does not alter the general equal protection principles set forth in the
Marriage Cases and in other California decisions interpreting and applying the
state constitutional equal protection clause. Those principles continue to apply in
all other contexts.
sotonohito: The court's argument on that is very clear. If you want for a measure to be retroactive, you need to explicitly put retroactive language into the measure.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:55 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


The entire south, west, and much of the Midwest have not yet as such put the issue of same-sex marriage to a public vote on the part of its citizens.

What?

South
Alabama: 81%
Arkansas: 75%
Florida: 61.9%
Georgia: 76%
Kentucky: 75%
Louisiana: 78%
Mississippi: 86%
South Carolina: 78%
Tennessee: 81%
Texas: 76%
Virginia: 57%

West
Alaska: 68%
Arizona: 56%
California: 52.24%
Colorado: 53.4%
Idaho: 63%
Montana: 67%
Nevada: 70%
Oregon: 57%

Midwest
Michigan: 59%
Missouri: 71%
Ohio: 62%
Wisconsin: 59%
posted by oaf at 12:57 PM on May 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


I neither expect nor desire the respect of the Mormon Church. I just want them to stay the hell out of the political process, along with every other church.

Please, let's not advocate excluding people from the political process based on their beliefs. (no matter how fucked their beliefs are)
posted by HumanComplex at 12:58 PM on May 26, 2009


I'm someone who would probably like to marry my refrigerator, so my opinions are suspect.

As long as giraffes and refrigerators are barred from marrying.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:00 PM on May 26, 2009


My last note is that while Obama has said that he's not in favor of same sex marriage per se, he is in favor of gay couples having (sometime, somehow) the exact same rights as married straight couples. I think now is a good time to ask him how he plans to sort that one out.

Separate is unequal when it comes to access to legal status. If Obama (or anyone else) wants to recognize only "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships" under the law for all parties and reserve the word "marriage" to be conferred in a religious or social, non-civil context, that's fine, but it's only fine if it applies equally to all persons without regard to sex or gender.
posted by notashroom at 1:01 PM on May 26, 2009


"I thought California was pretty clear in passing Proponent 8"

You'd be wrong. It was a tiny margin, and the only reason it got that many votes was due to tons of out-of-state ad money. In addition, I suspect lots of people were misled my the text of the Prop. It was a gay marriage amendment, but voting for it meant voting against gay marriage. Far from clear.

Californians are pissed. A civil right was taken away. Two adults can't get married. Frickin' Iowa has more sensable marriage laws than we do.

Bigotry is bigotry. And it pisses people off. If it bothers you when people are mad as hell over laws promoting bigotry, I suggest that the U.S.A. might not be the right country for you.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:01 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Please, let's not advocate excluding people from the political process based on their beliefs.

No one was doing that. I believe they were suggesting that churches be excluded. Based on their status as churches. And the Constitution.
posted by prefpara at 1:01 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Woman plus man is intrinsic to the thing called marriage. You want to call a giraffe a refrigerator that's your business, but it doesn't make it so, and a court decreeing a giraffe to be a refrigerator doesn't make it so either. Eventually one will, and you'll dance in the street gleefully celebrating the giraffe-ness of refrigerators, and your collective insanity will have come into full bloom.

Where does your royal manatee-ness fit in to this picture? And whats with all that straw? Did your mattress explode again?

The only thing intrinsic to marriage and any relationship is love. Even Jesus kind of talked about this a little, even went so far as to rise from the dead and come back and tell some people about it, apparently. But it seems like most of his followers have conveniently forgotten about that part.
posted by loquacious at 1:02 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


when vile, evil minded, religious loonies vote to deny...

Except that isn't what happened. If you want to paint the people who funded the opposition as evil, mustache-twisting Hollywood caricatures, so be it. But the people actually casting votes are normal, everyday Americans. They're not evil; many aren't religious; and irrespective of your framing of the issue, they don't think you are "less" than them. They just happen to disagree with you.

Chocolate Pickle and Gushn are right, both about the smart tack being to change people's minds and about how to do so.
posted by cribcage at 1:03 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


HumanComplex, I think we were talking about them injecting their bullshit into laws, not excluding them from voting. People have the right to vote, but no person has the right to make this country a theocracy.
posted by kldickson at 1:04 PM on May 26, 2009


cribcage, cite your claims.
posted by kldickson at 1:05 PM on May 26, 2009


I just like that no-one has marked the FPP as a favorite.
posted by now i'm piste at 1:05 PM on May 26, 2009


they don't think you are "less" than them. They just happen to disagree with you.

Disagree about what, if not the former?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:06 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


And they are fucking evil if they're going to take away a civil right.
posted by kldickson at 1:06 PM on May 26, 2009


Please, let's not advocate excluding people from the political process based on their beliefs.

Of course not, but churches receive non-profit status (saving them incredible amounts of money) which has legal strings attached one of which is, loosely speaking, "no lobbying." It's been pretty clear watching this whole mess unfold that churches were involved with this, not just individual church-goers. That's not legal, not if you wantot keep your non-profit status.

So, go to BPs link, learn more, and work through channels to get the point across that this is not at all okay.
posted by jessamyn at 1:06 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


call me crazy, but actively stripping fellow citizens of fundamental rights
Because being rightfully outraged when vile, evil minded, religious loonies vote to deny our friends and family basic human rights is totally beyond the pale, right?

I'm not arguing one side or the other here, but just because you personally believe that something is a "fundamental right" does not mean it is one, as clearly most of California doesn't agree with you, and has made it known democratically. What makes your opinion better than theirs? Why do you need to disrespect them so? Obviously if everyone agreed then this would be easy, but when people as high as our president are not even ready to make a concrete stand on this, I don't think civil discourse has exhausted its options yet.

my grandparents in Georgia used to argue that they weren't racist, but those nigras didn't deserve equal rights if they were just going to act like animals... but I think you too easily dismiss how demoralizing it is to be surrounded by people who have no problem buying into the idea that you are less than they are

I am not stating that I agree with either faction, but there's a reason Martin Luther King Jr is remembered as an orator, and it isn't because he went out and advocated firebombing people's houses and calling them idiots for not believing in his dream.

I've been discriminated against many times but I am not going to use that as a reason to stoop to hate myself.
posted by gushn at 1:06 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just like that no-one has marked the FPP as a favorite.

first psot
posted by oaf at 1:06 PM on May 26, 2009


...they don't think you are "less" than them. They just happen to disagree with you.

The fact that they feel they can withhold from me something that they possess themselves, based (supposedly) on a belief system I don't subscribe to, would indicate otherwise. The assumption of moral superiority does define the non-adherent as "less."
posted by troybob at 1:08 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Though I support gay marriage, I think co9mments here ought not blame Mormons for what the court ruled. True, the Mormons used lots of money to campaign against gay marriage but the court action had ruling was a different decision made by a court and not by an electorate.
posted by Postroad at 1:09 PM on May 26, 2009


HumanComplex: "Please, let's not advocate excluding people from the political process based on their beliefs. (no matter how fucked their beliefs are)"

I don't want them excluded on the basis of their beliefs. I want them excluded on the basis of their tax-exempt status.

Give the LDS Church a plain choice: Keep your institutional mouth shut about political issues or start paying corporate income tax on all your property holdings and all those tithes you collect. We'll see double-quick how much their beliefs are worth to them.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:09 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle,
If Prop 8 has a discriminatory intent, then it would run afoul of equal protection, would it not? Or does this only apply to protected classes?
posted by jewzilla at 1:12 PM on May 26, 2009


irrespective of your framing of the issue, they don't think you are "less" than them.

If that's so, I'm really confused as to why they'd want to deny an adult the right to marry another consenting adult!

We know the 'destroys marriage' argument is bullshit. Straights are doing way more to destroy straight marriage, what with the current divorce rate. The 'it's tradition' argument' is similarly bullshit. Lots of dastardly practices and ideologies were grounded in tradition -- should we bring them back? The 'it's a sin' argument shouldn't even be on the table, even though we all know it is.

What's left, as I see it, is the 'we don't want to let you use our word [marriage] because you're different' argument, which truly does translate as 'you are less than us. you do not deserve the same rights we enjoy.'

All the Prop 8 folks need to do to convince me that I'm wrong is offer up a logical argument as to why a (wo)man shouldn't be able to marry a (wo)man. I've been waiting to hear one for a long time, and I think I'm going to be waiting a long time.
posted by Never teh Bride at 1:12 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been discriminated against many times but I am not going to use that as a reason to stoop to hate myself.

Well, except that you seem to indicate that you might be willing to turn on your fellow oppressed if their discourse were not to meet your standards.
posted by troybob at 1:12 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Please, let's not advocate excluding people from the political process based on their beliefs. (no matter how fucked their beliefs are)

We're not talking about excluding Mormons. Just the Church, and then only if it wants to remain tax-exempt. It's a crucial distinction.

The whole point of tax-exempt status is that the State doesn't interfere with them (ie, no taxes) and they don't interfere with the State (eg, by making political statements/actions.)

Individuals can and should take any position on any issue. But organizations shouldn't violate the rules they've agreed to function by.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:14 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


dios
That can of worms was opened and examined in Iowa. As noted above, they very thoroughly went through the arguments about procreation and the like, and dismissed them all. Of course the Iowa ruling has no control over SCOTUS, but it provides a blueprint for what an argument about that issue would be like, a successful argument.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:47 PM on May 26


Actually, not it did not. Because it found it violated the Iowa Constitution, not the federal constitution. That's an entirely different ball of wax. But beyond that, I could just as easily point to, say, Hernandez v. Robles out of New York and say that it provides a blueprint for why that argument fails.
posted by dios at 1:16 PM on May 26, 2009


Joe Beese: Give the LDS Church a plain choice: Keep your institutional mouth shut about political issues or start paying corporate income tax on all your property holdings and all those tithes you collect. We'll see double-quick how much their beliefs are worth to them.


But what about those religious organizations that support marriage equality, and fought against Prop 8? Wouldn't that be setting a dangerous precedent for forcing allies out of the debate?
posted by magstheaxe at 1:17 PM on May 26, 2009


I am not stating that I agree with either faction

You seem to be arguing against one faction in defense of the other. Anyway, if you want to know what the pro-bigotry opinion really represents, just read about what happened in Florida. Or don't read it. It's up to you to inform yourself.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:19 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't that be setting a dangerous precedent for forcing allies out of the debate?

If so, then so be it. Fair is fair.
posted by aramaic at 1:20 PM on May 26, 2009


We're not talking about excluding Mormons. Just the Church, and then only if it wants to remain tax-exempt.

That's all I needed to hear.
posted by HumanComplex at 1:21 PM on May 26, 2009


Please, let's not advocate excluding people from the political process based on their beliefs. (no matter how fucked their beliefs are)
--
Though I support gay marriage, I think co9mments here ought not blame Mormons for what the court ruled. True, the Mormons used lots of money to campaign against gay marriage but the court action had ruling was a different decision made by a court and not by an electorate.


The point isn't that Mormons voted, or which way they voted. The point is that the Mormon Church -- the entity itself, not its adherents -- provided a substantial portion, possibly a majority, of the support for a political agenda, in violation of the rules established for churches with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. They should either surrender their tax-exempt status or stop violating the terms that allow them to hold it, one or the other.
posted by notashroom at 1:22 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


But what about those religious organizations that support marriage equality, and fought against Prop 8? Wouldn't that be setting a dangerous precedent for forcing allies out of the debate?

What about them? They should also not be allowed to be both tax-exempt and politically active. This is a non-issue.
posted by odinsdream at 1:25 PM on May 26, 2009


Wouldn't that be setting a dangerous precedent for forcing allies out of the debate?

I was on the governing council of an organization that was left-leaning and perpetually worried about losing their 501c3 status, so I am sort of attuned to how we interpreted the rules.

In short, using organization money to lobby was against the rules as was telling our members how to vote on any particular issue (i.e. with a preferred slate of candidates, etc). Expressing an opinion or statement about the topic was decent, as was explaining how Mr. W politician's record was as far as Topic X [the savviest way to do this was to show all the candidates opinions on the topic and note that Mr. W had a piss poor record]. The biggest issue, basically is that we were worried that as a left-leaning organization, we'd get in trouble coming out against our right-wing president who was doing all he could to thwart many of the programs we were working on.

So the biggest deal was talking a lot about the TOPICS and a lot less about how people need to VOTE (and assuming people will know what you're talking about generally).

So saying "Our church believes in marriage equality" is a decent move, saying "Our church says no on Prop 8" is in dodgier territory.

The way our organization dealt with this was that we created a non-501c3 sort of partner organization that was allowed to lobby and do other things or supported groups that supported our goals without trying to influence legislation directly. It's a scary dance because for many organizations losing 501c3 would literally cause them to not exist and this is a favorite threat (to my previous org) from right wing people trying to shut down left-wing organizations. It's a big deal for AmeriCorps and VISTA, for example, who are forbidden even from registering people to vote because they want to be 100% certain they're not being political, even though the bulk of their anti-poverty work is about protecting and helping people who have been ignored or overlooked by the current government.
posted by jessamyn at 1:27 PM on May 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


mattdidthat See, here's the thing. I don't care about hateful and bigoted remarks. If the Mormons, or the Catholics, or anyone else, wants to say that gay people are subhuman vermin I'm down with that. Its called free speech, I believe in it. I'll disagree with their speech, but I generally won't even become outraged by it, much less go on the attack.

But this wasn't bigoted and hateful remarks, this was the non-Californian Mormons (and to a lesser extent non-Californian Catholics) spending a metric shitload of money to deny people basic human rights.

While I'll agree that cries of "FUCK THE MORMONS" aren't exactly productive, I don't think they're particularly horrifying, or remotely comparable to what those evil slimeballs did either. The period of shocked rage will pass, and the forces of goodness, morality, and American values will regroup and fight this evil effectively. The existence of a brief period of outrage, and even a longer period of distrust and dislike towards the evil groups which worked so hard to deny basic human rights not only does not invalidate the cause, but is not even regretable.

People's lives are involved in this. Same sex marriage is not an abstract idea, it is a deeply and intensely personal issue. To the forces of evil its merely a convenient hook for their latest Culture War book, a way to get butts in pews, and (of course) a very abstract way to lord it over the nasty faggots.

If people were (seriously) talking about banning Mormon marriage then we'd be getting into the "how do you like them apples" territory, and I'd be opposed to that. The majority of Mormons are obviously evil little shits who really hate the faggots, but that's no cause to deny them marriage.

But, contrary to the nonsense in your comment, that isn't what's happening. We're seeing perfectly understandable and justified outrage at an intrinsic evil, which will be following by rather focused and directed political action, not aimed at harming the evil little shits who brought this evil law about, but at changing the law.

It is possible a few of the people deeply and personally affected by the evil will turn to violence or vandalism. I can understand such emotions and desires, but I sincerely hope that they don't. Not, I should add, because I have any particular sympathy for the pro-Prop 8 forces, but purely on the grounds that it would be harmful to the larger cause.
posted by sotonohito at 1:28 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Mormon Church should be investigated if they did anything in violation of their 501(c)(3) status.

But there does seem to be a lot of scapegoating here. It's not as if the Mormon Church kept quiet, none of this would happen. The polling is pretty clear that a clear majority of the people in this country oppose same sex marriages. To say that that opinion is any way caused by the Mormon church smacks of scapegoating. As I recall, African Americans voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 8, but I (rightfully) don't see any calls for vendettas against blacks or black organizations. Same, to a lesser extent, with Hispanics. And union members.

I guess the Mormons are just an easy target for the rage.
posted by dios at 1:29 PM on May 26, 2009


>>first psot

Contrarinians!
posted by now i'm piste at 1:35 PM on May 26, 2009


As I recall, African Americans voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 8, but I (rightfully) don't see any calls for vendettas against blacks or black organizations.

The numbers do not support Dios' strawman. Probably best not to let this individual take the discussion in this direction.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:38 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Boycott California.

Yeah. Becuase there are no gay business owners in California.

I guess you won't be eating about 65% of your produce, watching any movies, or buying any computers or software either, huh?

Boycott California? God damn that was a stupid ass thing to say.

If your gonna boycott things at least be somewhat accurate, responsible, and intelligent in using the tactic for fuck sake. You may as well say "Boycott America, HurfDurf!"

At least boycotting Utah might actually be slightly more accurate but the problem is outside of Park City and the National Parks there is absolutely nothing in Utah worth a shit (And yes. I have live there and it's where my MORMON family is from).

No. Boycott Mormon owned business. Boycott the business owned by INDIVIDUALS that gave money to Prop 8.
posted by tkchrist at 1:41 PM on May 26, 2009


Sys Rq: "San Franciscans should relocate en masse to Salt Lake City."

Speaking as a SLC resident, I ask that you start with your Chinese chefs.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:50 AM on May 26 [+] [!]

You can have our Chinese chefs. But you can have our taquerias when you pry them from our cold, dead, pudgy hands.
posted by chairface at 1:42 PM on May 26, 2009


trying to untangle the bits... it seems to me that this ruling was a very narrow ruling that essentially said that Prop 8 forbid the State of CA from defining gay marriage by using the word "marriage", that indeed all rights (State) should be extended to domestic partners.

"Justice Werdegar: ...emphasizes that "all three branches of state government continue to have the duty, within their respective spheres today as before the passage of Proposition 8, to eliminate the remaining important differences between marriage and domestic partnership, both in substance and perception."

It feel emotionally draining, but I don't think it is as HUGE a setback as the headlines make it out to be.
posted by edgeways at 1:42 PM on May 26, 2009


So. Dios is seriously proposing that black people have a genetic predisposition to being homophobic?
posted by tkchrist at 1:43 PM on May 26, 2009


Just the Church, and then only if it wants to remain tax-exempt.

Church tax-exemption is itself a direct violation of the separation of church and state.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:43 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not as if the Mormon Church kept quiet, none of this would happen. The polling is pretty clear that a clear majority of the people in this country oppose same sex marriages. To say that that opinion is any way caused by the Mormon church smacks of scapegoating.

Eh... If you look at the Prop 8 polling numbers last year, it was losing until the pro-8 groups, funded largely with Mormon money, started a (deeply dishonest) ad blitz. I think it's fair to put a large share of the blame on the LDS church.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:43 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Prop 8 donors + Google Maps
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:44 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Guys, the battle for marriage equality just lost an important battle. Even if the California Supreme Court did a hell of a lot of minimize the actual impact of Proposition 8, the decision is highly emotional, politically important, and it just happened this morning.

We can explore the emotional needs of poor little leaders within the LDS another time. Perhaps next Monday. Right now the anger and frustration is more than reasonable.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:47 PM on May 26, 2009


So. Dios is seriously proposing that black people have a genetic predisposition to being homophobic?
posted by tkchrist at 3:43 PM on May 26


Of course not. And no even-remotely fair reading of what I said could possibly lead you to that conclusion. Don't be so willfully disingenuous. It unnecessarily poisons the conversation.

All I said is that there was support across all demographics for the proposition, so it seems a bit unseemly to pick to one and scapegoat it.
posted by dios at 1:49 PM on May 26, 2009


The only thing intrinsic to marriage and any relationship is love. Even Jesus kind of talked about this a little...

Newsweek cover story from this past December:
The Religious Case for Gay Marriage
"Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side."
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on May 26, 2009


Well, except that you seem to indicate that you might be willing to turn on your fellow oppressed if their discourse were not to meet your standards.

Yes, I would be more inclined to listening to the other side of the story when the alternative is a ranting zealot, in any issue. I'd rather form my own judgment, thanks.

You seem to be arguing against one faction in defense of the other.

You are mistaken. I am arguing against name-calling, death threats, depriving others of the right to hold their own beliefs, and other craziness. And I've only seen one faction doing that on this page. If someone were to advocate violence against gays, I would launch a tirade against them as well.
posted by gushn at 1:50 PM on May 26, 2009


And, as to the advancement of Loving v. Virginia as a counter-argument to Chocolate Pickle's point, I would note that Loving v. Virginia came out the way it did because of a legislative enactment: the 14th Amendment...

That doesn't really distinguish the equal protection arguments made here, since the 14th Amendment has already been enacted now! The 14th Amendment isn't just about race -- it's about "equal protection."
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:52 PM on May 26, 2009


I am not strongly opinionated on gay marriage, but am disgusted by all the cursing and spite displayed by its proponents, especially in the news after Prop 8 was passed, and here this afternoon. I thought California was pretty clear in passing Proponent 8, and just as you're entitled to your opinion, the other side is entitled to theirs.

There is
offensive language coming from gay marriage's opponents as well. Why are you chastising it on the one instance but overlooking it on the other?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:54 PM on May 26, 2009


All I said is that there was support across all demographics for the proposition, so it seems a bit unseemly to pick to one and scapegoat it.

Oh. Innocent little you?

All you were doing... Fuck if you were. You were race baiting.

And support may have been across several demographics of various. Yeah. Great. So. Bigots are everywhere. Bigotry is a big tent.

The point, as you damn well know, is that financial support and the ring leaders in organizing Prop 8 was disproportionally from LDS sources.

The Mormon Church has been dying to throw it's weight around on the national stage for the last twenty years so they can get a Bigot Seat and the big kids table in the Republican Party culture wars. This was a test case for that - which gave the the shoulders to get Romney into the GOP presidential primaries. Fortunately their imbecilic presidential candidate crashed and burned.
posted by tkchrist at 1:59 PM on May 26, 2009


I guess you won't be eating about 65% of your produce, watching any movies, or buying any computers or software either, huh?

Please read the ENTIRETY what I said, tkchrist -- I was referring strictly to California tourism.

And the only reason I suggested California tourism expressly was BECAUSE California is engaging in a very heavy national ad campaign designed to PROMOTE California tourism (nodding to oaf). Other states have expressed similarly unsavory opinions on gay marriage, but those states are not simultaneously on my television once a week urging me to come visit them.

Only California has tried to give me the double message of "we are outlawing gay marriage" and "but come visit us anyway!" I just think I should be very vocal about letting them know why I am NOT going to come visit. That's all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:01 PM on May 26, 2009


It's been pretty clear watching this whole mess unfold that churches were involved with this, not just individual church-goers. That's not legal, not if you wantot keep your non-profit status.

Just last week: Gay rights group: Maine diocese violating tax law.
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on May 26, 2009


posted by sotonohito The majority of Mormons are obviously evil little shits who really hate the faggots, but that's no cause to deny them marriage.

Unfortunately, the passage of Proposition 8 cannot be blamed on Mormons, or Christians, or African-Americans, or Jews, or union members, or any one group except one: California voters. Proposition 8 passed because the majority of Californians voted for it. That majority is comprised of people young and old, male and female, all of whom belong to a wide variety of different groups. Singling out the Mormons is engaging in the same scapegoating and bigotry of which the opponents of Proposition 8 feel victimized.

I do think if the Mormon church should be investigated if they've violated their tax-exempt status, but then, so should every church that supported Proposition 8. As far as the Mormons are concerned, you can boycott Mormon-owned businesses and refuse to talk to Mormons and say Mormons are evil disgusting unAmerican shits, but if you swap "Mormons" for "gays", well, now who's the bigot?

I certainly understand the rage and frustration, but saying "Fucking Mormons!" does absolutely nothing to change people's minds--in fact, those remarks drive away the very people we need on our side: moderates, centrists, undecideds, apathetic voters, some of whom may be, be related to, or have friends who are--guess what? Mormon. I doubt we're going to win this at the ballot box; we're probably going to win it in the Supreme Court, most likely in the same way we won Loving v. Virginia as dios noted above.

We don't need to preach to the converted by ostracizing and demonizing Mormons. We need to bring people to our side, and get them to support our cause. We won't get that support with hatred and bigotry; we'll get it with reasoned, intelligent discussion and patience. The hatred and bigotry does nothing except divide us, and that's the opposite of what we're trying to do: get married.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:03 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


In Canada, by and large it was the judges who decided to permit gay marriage. There was a small (by American standards) uproar by conservatives over judges making law blah blah.

Up here in Canada, the main reason that gay marriage is now legal across the country is a simple one. Gay marriage is not a religious issue, it's a human rights issue.

Sorry, but this let's-amend-our-constitution-by-brute-force-majority-vote never works in granting human rights to minority groups. When our previous Conservative party leader, Stockwell Day, proposed such a scheme, the Canadian comedy show This Hour Has 22 Minutes launched a website soliciting votes for renaming Stockwell Day to Doris Day. Millions of votes later, the point was made.

I am no expert in California government, but I get the feeling that among the reasons that California is such a basket case right now is the mis/use of voter initiatives such as this.
posted by Quiplash at 2:08 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


[comment removed - there's metatalk if you need to keep on this.]
posted by jessamyn at 2:09 PM on May 26, 2009


I just think I should be very vocal about letting them know why I am NOT going to come visit. That's all.

Which will accomplish exactly nothing.
posted by tkchrist at 2:10 PM on May 26, 2009


Well. 18,000K marriages isn't a lot, but it's a start.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:10 PM on May 26, 2009


Plus, my vasectomy guarantees me moral highground on any environmental issue. The worst thing you can do for the environment is add another person to it.

So, then, what's the best thing you can do for the environment?
posted by The World Famous at 2:16 PM on May 26, 2009


The point is that the Mormon Church -- the entity itself, not its adherents -- provided a substantial portion, possibly a majority, of the support for a political agenda...

"...the LDS Church mobilized in favor of California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that bans gay marriage. Mormons donated $19 million to the cause -- nearly four out of five dollars [80%] raised."

According to IRS law:
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.
From IRS Publication 1828 Page 5 [PDF]:
Substantial Lobbying Activity
In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.
Mormons Stole Our Rights [official site and petition].The 'Yes on 8 Campaign' -- which indeed was primarily funded by Mormon dollars spewed misinformation in television advertisements, pamphelts, blog postings, etc. Many folks went into the voting booth believing some of the "fiction" laid out by the misleading campaign.
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.
posted by ericb at 2:17 PM on May 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


There is offensive language coming from gay marriage's opponents as well. Why are you chastising it on the one instance but overlooking it on the other?

Um, because I am here and not there. In all due respect I'm sure I can find extremist language for either side for any conflict, I was just hoping I wouldn't see it on metafilter.

those remarks drive away the very people we need on our side: moderates, centrists, undecideds, apathetic voters, some of whom may be, be related to, or have friends who are--guess what? Mormon.

Exactly right; I wholeheartedly concur.
posted by gushn at 2:17 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Quite ironic, huh?
"Marriage is a civil contract. You might as well make a law to say how many children a man shall have, as to make a law to say how many wives he shall have."

-- Mormon Prophet Brigham Young | Journal of Discourses, 11:268-9.
posted by ericb at 2:17 PM on May 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


"I honestly believe that the majority of voters don't really care all that much about gay marriage one way or the other. But they damned well do care about laws getting created without voter participation"

That's funny, because that's how laws are typically passed, you know, in the legislature.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:18 PM on May 26, 2009


Guys, the battle for marriage equality just lost an important battle.

It really didn't. This decision was a state-level constitutional law decision, not about marriage.

Indeed, I would argue that the galvanizing effect of the upholding of Prop 8 nationally, coupled with the blatant ludicrousness of older gay marriages being recognized while new ones are barred, will end up helping the push for marriage equality.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:19 PM on May 26, 2009


I am no expert in California government, but I get the feeling that among the reasons that California is such a basket case right now is the mis/use of voter initiatives such as this.

Pretty much. CA is a living, wheezing experiment in how bad direct democracy can get. Between this and Prop 13, the state is almost ungovernable. The CA constitution is like a bad renovation done by a weekend handyman - covered with patches and all sorts of jury-rigged shit that seemed like a good idea at the time. The state needs a constitutional convention at the very minimum. I would love to see an example of a worse-run government of similar size. I doubt one exists. Prop 8, to me, has nothing to do with gay people at all but is about a massively broken political process that destroys anything it touches.
posted by GuyZero at 2:24 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Whether you think that gays should have a right to marriage or not, they won't get it until you convince the majority of voters that they should. 'Rights' created by courts in opposition to voter will are castles built on a foundation of sand."

That's not how it's designed. The majority is not supposed to be a tyranny over the minority, especially when it comes to rights and laws. In fact, the court is designed to hear cases relating to legislation and constitutional rights. If we have to convince voters first, then we need to rethink how much the way the wind blows affects our inalienable rights, because it shouldn't.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:25 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


CunningLinguist: This decision was a state-level constitutional law decision, not about marriage.

Except that state-level constitutional law decision has a very real impact on the lives of millions of GLBT people in the state of California. I agree that marriage equality will happen eventually, but that's cold comfort for someone needing access to those rights tomorrow, and is blocked because some administrator read the news and not the full court decision.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:28 PM on May 26, 2009


I assume you're already boycotting the entire south, west, and much of the midwest?

Hell, yeah! And then some!
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:29 PM on May 26, 2009


no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation

Has someone actually done some analysis as to the total global activity of the Mormon church, and then concluded that the amount of money spent by the Mormon church itself, or even the amount spent by its members, on supporting Prop 8 constitutes a "substantial part" of the church's total, ongoing, activities? Because that argument seems preposterous to me.
posted by The World Famous at 2:30 PM on May 26, 2009


But what about those religious organizations that support marriage equality, and fought against Prop 8? Wouldn't that be setting a dangerous precedent for forcing allies out of the debate?

If they fund one side or another to influence politics, they shouldn't be doing it and keeping their tax-exempt status. Whether they happen to agree with me or not is irrelevant.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:30 PM on May 26, 2009


Church tax-exemption is itself a direct violation of the separation of church and state.

Refusing to give charities a tax exemption because they happen to be churches is a direct violation of the separation of church and state.
posted by oaf at 2:31 PM on May 26, 2009


oaf, no it isn't.
posted by kldickson at 2:35 PM on May 26, 2009


mattdidthat Except, of course, for the minor little detail you are overlooking: prior to the LDS spending an awful lot of money Prop 8 was dead. Yes, many Californians (52.8 percent of voting Californians) are directly responsible for being mislead by Mormon propaganda.

But, again, prior to that wave of Mormon funded propaganda the polling showed that Prop 8 would fail.

So, yeah, it pretty much is their fault. Others, non-LDS, helped too. Rick "Obama luves him some evil little bigots" Warren, for example. But prior to the involvement of those evil little shits things were looking good.

but if you swap "Mormons" for "gays", well, now who's the bigot?

Oh. My. God. I'm such a fool! How could I be so wrong! I'm a word substitution bigot!

Or, you know, not.

Lessee here. I oppose group X and dislike because they work actively to make life worse for everyone, specifically by seeking to deny group Y equal rights. Therefore I'm a bigot! Yay! Maybe (dramatic pause, camera pans across stricken looking group), maybe we're all bigots....

Meanwhile, back in the real world where actions have consequences, where individuals and groups are held accountable for their actions, a backlash against Mormon owned businesses seems perfectly logical and reasonable.

Individual Mormons, and the LDS as a whole, are free to do as they wish. But actions have consequences. When they moved from saying "gay people are nasty and I don't like them", to throwing their economic might behind an effort to harm gay people that can't be left unaddressed.

The ironic thing is that I wasn't even proposing a boycott of Mormon business, simply stating that a) Mormons were insturmental in getting Prop 8 passed, and b) I thought those of them who were involved in that were evil little shits.

But that, apparently, is too much in your world. By daring to voice a contrary opinion, by daring to say "these people have done wrong" I've magically become a bigot in your eyes, and therefore the cause of gay marriage is lost until I, and all the other horrible people who called the nice Mormons names, castigate ourselves.

The fact that you've not merely equated the use of foul language with denying an entire category of people human rights, but said that foul language is worse is rather amazing.
posted by sotonohito at 2:37 PM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


If it's constitutional for CA to make same-sex marriage illegal, then let's hope it's constitutional for Maine to make it legal, when the inevitable court challenge is mounted.

I'm sorry, all you Californians, this is a miserable situation, but I think it will change in another election cycle. People are not going back to closet days.
posted by theora55 at 2:43 PM on May 26, 2009


If we have to convince voters first, then we need to rethink how much the way the wind blows affects our inalienable rights, because it shouldn't.

That's the terrifying and infuriating thing about the law: Sometimes judges actually make decisions based upon which way the wind blows. As an example here's a bit of language from the NY state case which dios referenced in an earlier comment:

"In deciding the validity of legislation under the Due Process Clause, courts first inquire whether the legislation restricts the exercise of a fundamental right, one that is 'deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’.' In this case, whether the right in question is ‘‘fundamental’’ depends on how it is defined. The right to marry is unquestionably a fundamental right. The right to marry someone of the same sex, however, is not ‘‘deeply rooted’’; it has not even been asserted until relatively recent times. The issue then becomes whether the right to marry must be defined to include a right to same-sex marriage...

Plaintiffs here do not, as the petitioners in Lawrence did, seek protection against state intrusion on intimate, private activity. They seek from the courts access to a state-conferred benefit that the Legislature has rationally limited to opposite-sex couples. We conclude that, by defining marriage as it has, the New York Legislature has not restricted the exercise of a fundamental right."
Hernandez v. Robles, 855 N.E.2d 1 (N.Y. 2006).

This court is telling us that to prove gay marriage is a fundamental right, you'd have to demonstrate that gay marriage is "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition."
Best. Billable research hours. Ever.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:43 PM on May 26, 2009


oaf, no it isn't.

Neither is tax-exempt status for churches.
posted by oaf at 2:44 PM on May 26, 2009


Or, to phrase that better: if giving churches a charitable tax exemption is a violation of the separation of church and state because they're churches, then refusing churches a charitable tax exemption simply because they're churches is also a violation of the separation of church and state.
posted by oaf at 2:48 PM on May 26, 2009


"...the LDS Church mobilized in favor of California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that bans gay marriage. Mormons donated $19 million to the cause -- nearly four out of five dollars [80%] raised."

But if you replace the word "Mormons" with "gay", it sounds like a refrigerator and a giraffe making out! Ewwwww!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:49 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


gushn: "I am not strongly opinionated on gay marriage, but am disgusted by all the cursing and spite displayed by its proponents, especially in the news after Prop 8 was passed, and here this afternoon. "

"If you can't use profanity to describe an obscenity, when the fuck can you use it?"
(blue girl, red state)
posted by notsnot at 2:50 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Comments like the ones above are completely out of line, and not at all the hallmark of open & tolerant individuals

New Berkeley Bumpersticker: Tolerate Intolerance
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 2:52 PM on May 26, 2009


What the voters have done, the voters can undo, and now the advocates of marriage equality (I'm one of them) will have to play the democracy game the way it's supposed to be played.

I agree it's not for the CA state supreme court to overturn a CA constitutional amendment by the voters. However I think it is entirely proper for the US supreme court to find this entire situation a violation of equal protection under the federal constitution, and kill prop 8. Thank god the US constitution cannot be amended with a 50.1% vote by the American public.

I don't think that "the democracy game the way it's supposed to be played" includes majority persecution of a minority. Democracy is often falsely equated with "majority rule," when in fact it is "rule by the people," that's ALL the people now, even minorities that the hateful, undereducated majority would like to shit upon.
posted by scarabic at 2:53 PM on May 26, 2009


Threads like this one go a long way in proving a thesis that most people on Metafilter just hate each other and are all too glad when a contentious topic comes their way so they can rain down urine and bile on their internet enemies.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:54 PM on May 26, 2009


I'm gay. I live in San Diego. My husband and I got married during the small window of time when it was legal here.

Many of the comments here are educated, thoughtful commentaries on the situation.

I know that logically.

But here's what I took from Prop 8 passing, and today's ruling: Many people hate me. They want me to lose basic human rights, and be a second-class citizen.

So the time for logic and clear-headedness is past. I am not a violent person, but this situation makes me want to be violent.

Why does someone who is not gay have ANY RIGHT to be involved in my marriage? How does my being married in any way affect someone else's marriage? I can't understand the opposing points of view. I have tried, but I just can't.
posted by Futurehouse at 2:55 PM on May 26, 2009 [15 favorites]


How does my being married in any way affect someone else's marriage?

Futurehouse, objectively, there's probably little if any evidence that it would. But attacking the gays is a much easier way to go about solving perceived "problems" than say, cleaning up or even giving a moment's thought to giant vortexes of plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean or something.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:59 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why does someone who is not gay have ANY RIGHT to be involved in my marriage? How does my being married in any way affect someone else's marriage? I can't understand the opposing points of view. I have tried, but I just can't.

They don't want you to be in their club. I think that's really all it boils down to.
posted by oaf at 2:59 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whichever dipshit was on the fundie side in the Hernandez v. Robles case needs to go back in time and be a nonwhite person during the civil rights era.
posted by kldickson at 3:02 PM on May 26, 2009


The polling is pretty clear that a clear majority of the people in this country oppose same sex marriages.

But, the times they are a-changing!

CBS News | May 26, 2009: Support Grows For Same-Sex Marriage
"Support for same-sex marriage has increased among nearly all demographic groups over the last five years. Support for same-sex marriage has increased among nearly all demographic groups over the last five years. Today liberals are one of the strongest backers of same-sex marriage, with 69 percent in favor of permitting it. In March 2004, just 41 percent of liberals supported the idea.

Fifty-two percent of Democrats now think gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, compared to 28 percent five years ago. There has even been an uptick in support among Republicans and conservatives, with about twice as many supporting the idea now (18 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of conservatives) than five years ago (10 percent of both Republicans and conservatives)."
Nate Silver | April 30, 2009: Two National Polls, for First Time, Show Plurality Support for Gay Marriage

Newsweek | December 5, 2008: A Gay Marriage Surge
"When voters in California, Florida and Arizona approved measures banning same-sex marriage last month, opponents lamented that the country appeared to be turning increasingly intolerant toward gay and lesbian rights. But the latest NEWSWEEK Poll finds growing public support for gay marriage and civil unions—and strong backing for the granting of certain rights associated with marriage, to same-sex couples.

(Click here to see the full poll [PDF])."
And, related is Nate Silver's model which predicts when each of the 50 states will vote against same-sex marriage bans.
"The model predicts that by 2012, almost half of the 50 states would vote against a marriage ban, including several states that had previously voted to ban it. In fact, voters in Oregon, Nevada and Alaska (which Sarah Palin aside, is far more libertarian than culturally conservative) might already have second thoughts about the marriage bans that they'd previously passed.

By 2016, only a handful of states in the Deep South would vote to ban gay marriage, with Mississippi being the last one to come around in 2024.

It is entirely possible, of course, that past trends will not be predictive of future results. There could be a backlash against gay marriage, somewhat as there was a backlash against drug legalization in the 1980s. Alternatively, there could be a paradigmatic shift in favor of permitting gay marriage, which might make these projections too conservative.

Overall, however, marriage bans appear unlikely to be an electoral winner for very much longer, and soon the opposite may prove to be true."
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


On a more positive note, Phyllis Lyon reassures us that "It will be OK."
posted by Morrigan at 3:04 PM on May 26, 2009


And ericb FTW.

Ericb. It's really soooooo unfair to single out the Mormon Church with your pesky facts.

After all it's their god given right to concoct their own little bought-and-paid-for culture war, isn't it. Says so right in the Constitution—that piece of paper the Republicans use to wipe their asses with every chance they get.

And Lordee! Don't call the poor put upon Mormon church names! It might hurt their poor Billionaire feelings.

Bad 'ol us.
posted by tkchrist at 3:04 PM on May 26, 2009


sotonohito prior to the LDS spending an awful lot of money Prop 8 was dead. Yes, many Californians (52.8 percent of voting Californians) are directly responsible for being mislead by Mormon propaganda. But, again, prior to that wave of Mormon funded propaganda the polling showed that Prop 8 would fail. So, yeah, it pretty much is their fault.

Nope, sorry, wrong, it's not their fault, because it's not a question of fault. Mormons did not pass Proposition 8. The majority of California voters (some of whom were Mormon, along with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, union members, and lots of other folks) passed Proposition 8. You cannot determine how many Mormons voted for Proposition 8, so blaming them for its passage is just plain bigotry.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:08 PM on May 26, 2009


Indeed, I would argue that the galvanizing effect of the upholding of Prop 8 nationally, coupled with the blatant ludicrousness of older gay marriages being recognized while new ones are barred, will end up helping the push for marriage equality.

I agree. There was some complacency on the part of the 'No on Prop 8' before last November's election. Having lost by a narrow margin, the shock propelled its supporters to organize there and elsewhere in the country. Momentum continues to build. And with the recent movements forward in Iowa, Maine and Vermont and the seemingly positive movement forward in New Hampshire, New York, etc., it's only time until more states (and, possibly the federal government) will realize what side of history is the proper and right one.
posted by ericb at 3:11 PM on May 26, 2009


You cannot determine how many Mormons voted for Proposition 8, so blaming them for its passage is just plain bigotry.

Oh god. PLEASE.

So you can seriously claim with a straight face that the funders and organizers of a successful smear and propaganda political campaign do not share in the brunt of the culpability of the outcomes they contrive to happen?

So you've just every regressive movement organizers who capitalize on the predictable demons of human nature completely off the hook. Cool. When can we guiltlessly slaughter them Ay-rabs again?
posted by tkchrist at 3:17 PM on May 26, 2009


"Rights" created by courts in opposition to voter will are castles built on a foundation of sand.

Yeah, like the right of Blacks and Whites to marry one another. There is a giant battle over that.

Seriously, read Loving v. Virginia.

Also that pesky Brown v. Board of Education.

Huge swaths of our rights have been the result of court decisions. The tired old canard you're trotting out has no basis in reality and is just a smokescreen to hide actual opposition to marriage equality.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:19 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


...the amount spent by its members, on supporting Prop 8...
"This measure [Prop. 8] was losing resoundingly just before the election.

Yet for the past decade, the Mormon Church has been planning to outlaw marriage equality. The church hoped to conceal its efforts in a broad-based coalition.

For the past six months, Mormon volunteers, directed by the Church, misled Californians about the effects of the Supreme Court ruling by tapping into a war chest of Mormon cash and contributing up to 70% of Prop 8 financing, in spite of being a mere 4% of the voting population."*
New York Times | November 14, 2008: Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage
"...the extraordinary role Mormons played in helping to pass [Prop 8] with money, institutional support and dedicated volunteers"
posted by ericb at 3:21 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


You cannot determine how many Mormons voted for Proposition 8, so blaming them for its passage is just plain bigotry.

We can, however, clearly determine how much money Mormons contributed to the pro-8 campaign. Unless you think that political contributions don't affect political outcomes, it's a common-sense conclusion to blame those contributors for the outcomes they sought. I can blame them without knowing anything about LDS other than that; if you define that as bigotry, your definition is so broad as to be useless.

And if you do, in fact, think that contributions don't affect outcomes, it's pointless to argue with someone so disconnected from reality as you.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:21 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


All I said is that there was support across all demographics for the proposition, so it seems a bit unseemly to pick to one and scapegoat it.

This is a spectacularly misguided thing to say, because only one of those "demographics" had an official organization representing every single member of that demographic, and which organization was directly involved in the passage of Prop 8.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:27 PM on May 26, 2009


Woman plus man is intrinsic to the thing called marriage. You want to call a giraffe a refrigerator that's your business, but it doesn't make it so, and a court decreeing a giraffe to be a refrigerator doesn't make it so either.

Why is woman plus man intrinsic to marriage?

"It just is?" What? Huh? Nope, not an answer.

Oooooh! Oooh! Tell me it's because of religious beliefs! (Which, you may recall, are not supposed to be the basis of our laws.)

/Supports refrigerated giraffes! Or something!
posted by desuetude at 3:34 PM on May 26, 2009


As I recall, African Americans voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 8, but I (rightfully) don't see any calls for vendettas against blacks or black organizations.

Don't forget the Hispanics! Oh, wait.

Hispanics Back Gay Marriage at Same Rates as Whites.
posted by ericb at 3:35 PM on May 26, 2009


posted by me & my monkey We can, however, clearly determine how much money Mormons contributed to the pro-8 campaign. Unless you think that political contributions don't affect political outcomes, it's a common-sense conclusion to blame those contributors for the outcomes they sought. I can blame them without knowing anything about LDS other than that; if you define that as bigotry, your definition is so broad as to be useless. And if you do, in fact, think that contributions don't affect outcomes, it's pointless to argue with someone so disconnected from reality as you.

I agree. But the fact remains the Mormon church is not responsible for passing Proposition 8. I do not in any way dispute the fact the Mormon church ran ads and fueled campaigns and whatnot in the interests of passing Proposition 8 and I certainly agree their contributions influenced the outcome, but when all is said and done it was not the Mormons who passed Proposition 8--52.8% of California voters did.

If, as others have said, Proposition 8 was dead in the water until the Mormon church began funding it, and you're looking for someone at whose feet you can lay the blame for its passage, perhaps you need to explain where our anti-Proposition 8 ads and our anti-Proposition 8 campaigns were, and why the ones we had weren't as effective as the Mormon-funded campaign that kicked our ass.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:36 PM on May 26, 2009


You'd better get a separate fridge for all that giraffe meat unless you want to stink up the rest of your food. It's gamey. [not giraffeophobic]
posted by Burhanistan at 3:36 PM on May 26, 2009


"New study shows party, ideology, frequency of religious service attendance and age drove vote on Proposition 8. Precinct-by-precinct analysis and other data debunk myths about
African-American voting on marriage equality. Support for freedom to marry grows across nearly all demographics....The study [PDF] was written by Patrick J. Egan, Ph.D., assistant professor of politics and public policy at New York University, and Kenneth Sherrill, Ph.D., professor of political science at Hunter College, CUNY."
posted by ericb at 3:39 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pretty much. CA is a living, wheezing experiment in how bad direct democracy can get. Between this and Prop 13, the state is almost ungovernable.

Exactly! I'm gonna create a sock puppet just to favorite this again!
posted by cjets at 3:43 PM on May 26, 2009


I do not in any way dispute the fact the Mormon church ran ads and fueled campaigns and whatnot in the interests of passing Proposition 8 and I certainly agree their contributions influenced the outcome, but when all is said and done it was not the Mormons who passed Proposition 8--52.8% of California voters did.

I still don't get why you think the LDS bears no blame for this. It clearly looks to me that their involvement passes the "but for" test, and a lot of their ads were clearly inaccurate about the nature of Prop 8. When all is said and done, an out-of-state tax-exempt organization appears to have broken the law in order to influence voters. I may blame the voters of California for being dumb-asses - like almost everyone everywhere - but I blame the LDS for its illegal, misleading campaign.

perhaps you need to explain where our anti-Proposition 8 ads and our anti-Proposition 8 campaigns were, and why the ones we had weren't as effective as the Mormon-funded campaign that kicked our ass

I had no idea that criticizing the LDS for breaking the law and criticizing the anti-8 campaign's shortcomings were mutually exclusive. But I do know that if the LDS is taught an expensive lesson about its misbehavior, that will be quite effective in future campaigns.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:49 PM on May 26, 2009


Tell me it's because of religious beliefs! (Which, you may recall, are not supposed to be the basis of our laws.)

I don't think people should try to legislate in a way that forces their religion on others. But where do you get the idea that religious beliefs "are not supposed to be the basis of our laws?" I think there is a significant difference between legislating religious adherence and legislating according to deeply-held belief. If, for example, President Obama were to support tax deductions for charitable contributions based on his personal religious convictions regarding charitable giving, I would not think there was anything wrong with that. Would you? If a member of congress were to support the legalization of same-sex marriage based on a religious belief in marriage equality, would you reject that support because of its basis?
posted by The World Famous at 3:50 PM on May 26, 2009


appears to have broken the law in order to influence voters.

I asked this above already and I have not seen any response, but can you explain, in terms of actual numbers, how it is that you think the LDS church broke the law? How do you figure that the amount contributed either by the church itself or by its members constitute a "substantial" portion of the total activities of the church, and how do you differentiate that from other churches whose members routinely donate much larger amounts on an ongoing basis to various political issues? (Or am I mistaken in thinking that there are other churches who encourage their members on a regular basis to be politically active in support of, for example, pro-life issues?)
posted by The World Famous at 3:54 PM on May 26, 2009


I may blame the voters of California for being dumb-asses - like almost everyone everywhere - but I blame the LDS for its illegal, misleading campaign.

Pay no attention to the Mormons' significant organizational and monetary contribution in disseminating lies about gay people that led up to the vote. We must remember that it is reverse bigotry to factually point out their key role in passing hate legislation, and that it is reverse hatred to question why a non-profit religious organization from Utah is playing an active and influential role in another state's politics. Silence is critical.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:55 PM on May 26, 2009 [10 favorites]


What the voters have done, the voters can undo, and now the advocates of marriage equality (I'm one of them) will have to play the democracy game the way it's supposed to be played.

So if 50.0009% of Californians decided blacks can't marry whites, that's cool with you?
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:58 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


But here's what I took from Prop 8 passing, and today's ruling: Many people hate me. They want me to lose basic human rights, and be a second-class citizen.

While you have lost a basic human right, and while you have become a second-class citizen, I just can't believe that this was really what most pro-8 voters were thinking about when they cast their votes. But I know where you're coming from -- it's hard not to feel that way, and it's even harder to explain to someone how awful it feels to wake up one morning to discover that you're now less equal than everyone else. For me, it's like someone ripped out a piece of my inner peace, joy, and sense of self-worth and locked it up in a box so I can't access it.

But I can't imagine that this is how the majority of prop 8 voters were thinking of it. You'd have to be really fucking evil to intend to do that someone, and while there are certainly some monsters out there, I'm not prepared consider that 51% of all Californians are monsters. My guess is that the majority of pro prop 8 voters were only dimly and vaguely aware, at best, that their vote would have the effect of stripping people of rights and creating a second class of citizens. I suspect all they were thinking was something like "I'm not comfortable with the idea of gay marriage, and what if those TV commercials are right about my church being forced to perform gay weddings, that's just not right . . ."

So I guess I'd accuse the majority of pro prop 8 voters of staggering stupidity and ignorance before I'd accuse them of hate.
posted by treepour at 4:05 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I guess I'd accuse the majority of pro prop 8 voters of staggering stupidity and ignorance before I'd accuse them of hate.

I think the former is worse, and the cause of more evil in the world, than the latter.
posted by prefpara at 4:09 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


If it makes you feel any better Futurehouse, CA voters hate children too, as the school budgets will be slashed because they can't balance the budget. The simple truth is that you can get enough CA voters together to hate anything which is why no other sane government in the western world has a similar voter proposition system. True, they didn't outlaw children, but if that was the wording of the next proposition it would probably pass.
posted by GuyZero at 4:12 PM on May 26, 2009


I don't think people should try to legislate in a way that forces their religion on others. But where do you get the idea that religious beliefs "are not supposed to be the basis of our laws?"

People vote for different reasons. Some vote for candidates they'd have a beer with. Some vote for measures that will benefit their pocketbooks. And many, many people vote for legislation that fall in line with their religious beliefs. There's no doubt about that. The Mormon Church is welcome to say "We consider gay marriage to be a sin and we don't think it should be legal". What they cannot do - if they want to maintain their tax-exempt status - is actively and aggressively lobby for a particular piece of legislation. There is a reason for the conditions of the tax-exempt statute, and the Mormon Church needs to decide what they are: a religious body or a political lobby. It cannot be both and enjoy tax-free donations. That's what the issue here is.

Everyone expects religious conservatives to oppose gay marriage. And they're welcome to lobby against it. What they cannot do, by law, is enjoy tax-exempt revenues while engaging in said lobbying, and I think it's not too much to ask that the Mormon Church obey the laws of the land.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:21 PM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


posted by me & my monkey I still don't get why you think the LDS bears no blame for this.

Because the Mormon church did not pass Proposition 8; 52.8% of California voters did. The CoLDS is not responsible for getting Proposition 8 passed any more than Shepard Fairey is responsible for getting Barack Obama elected president.

posted by me & my monkey I had no idea that criticizing the LDS for breaking the law and criticizing the anti-8 campaign's shortcomings were mutually exclusive.

As I said upthread, if the Mormon church has broken the law, they--along with every other church that supported Proposition 8--should be investigated. But if 52.8% of Californians voted based on stupidity and ignorance, I don't think you can attribute all of that to the Mormon church. Clearly, we didn't do enough to sway them to our side, probably because we thought we had it in the bag before well-organized church groups began funding the opposition. As a result, we had to play catch-up, our campaigns were disorganized, our messaging lacked clarity and cohesiveness, and we didn't do enough to bring moderates, centrists, undecideds, apathetic voters, and Mormons to our side. At the end of the day, the Yes-on-8 folks ran a better campaign.
posted by mattdidthat at 4:23 PM on May 26, 2009


BTW, any designer folks out there willing to make some sharp-looking "2nd Class Citizen" t-shirts? I'm planning on wearing as many of these possible in the foreseeable future. However, the majority of designs I've seen so far are a little bland . . .
posted by treepour at 4:25 PM on May 26, 2009


What they cannot do - if they want to maintain their tax-exempt status - is actively and aggressively lobby for a particular piece of legislation.

If that advocacy constitutes a "substantial portion" of the activities of the church, no?

I'm having a hard time understanding why the whole "the church broke the law" thing keeps being repeated, but nobody seems willing to back up that assertion by explaining how it is they think that the LDS church's involvement with Prop 8 constitutes a substantial portion of the church's activity. I mean, unless you all agree with me that such an assertion would be preposterous.
posted by The World Famous at 4:31 PM on May 26, 2009


posted by treepour BTW, any designer folks out there willing to make some sharp-looking "2nd Class Citizen" t-shirts? I'm planning on wearing as many of these possible in the foreseeable future. However, the majority of designs I've seen so far are a little bland . . .

I'll get to work on it. They'll be available here.
posted by mattdidthat at 4:32 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


In other news, the governor of Nevada vetoed a domestic partnership bill today.
“I believe that the voters have determined that the rights of marriage should apply only to married couples, only the voters should determine whether those rights equally apply to domestic partners,” [Gov. Jim Gibbons] said in a statement....

It wasn’t immediately clear if the Legislature would seek to override Gibbons’ veto. Harrah’s Entertainment has called for an override if Gibbons vetoed the measure. The casino giant pointed to an estimated $700 billion in buying power among potential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:33 PM on May 26, 2009


I lost track of who's saying what regarding conversion strategies, but I come bearing anecdata. My first ever internet flamewar was on the subject of gay... ness (not rights exactly, as it was religious, not political). Not knowing what was in store for me, I did my brave little soldier thing, whereupon every single person in the place except one absolutely let me have it. It lasted about three days and ended well-- for very large values of 'end.' Coming up on ten years later, I know I could have ignored all the touching, sweet commercials and pamphlets and posters in the world and never have had my change of heart at all if not for that one epic (semi-)public shaming. I didn't believe a word they were saying to me at the time. I felt deeply abused by the fact that they were so unhappy about it. I was not convinced. I was not 'won over' by any means. But I learned one thing, and I learned it very, very well: I could not go on like I was and hope to have anything good come from it. I could not agree to disagree. I could not "have gay friends." Beyond the walls of my church-- out where it mattered-- all the lines I'd learned about how my position was the truly loving one were worth exactly jack.

Faced with this clearer understanding of the choice in front of me, I eventually came down on the side of good. Yes, technically it could have gone either way. I guess that's what makes it an "unwise" approach according to some. But there's something to be said for letting people know that they do in fact have to choose. Consider me a success story for screaming.
posted by jinjo at 4:41 PM on May 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


I don't think people should try to legislate in a way that forces their religion on others. But where do you get the idea that religious beliefs "are not supposed to be the basis of our laws?" I think there is a significant difference between legislating religious adherence and legislating according to deeply-held belief. If, for example, President Obama were to support tax deductions for charitable contributions based on his personal religious convictions regarding charitable giving, I would not think there was anything wrong with that. Would you? If a member of congress were to support the legalization of same-sex marriage based on a religious belief in marriage equality, would you reject that support because of its basis?

Our personal beliefs can influence how we vote, certainly. But if the primary reason that the civil institution of marriage is defined as man+woman only is a particular religious teaching, then I would characterize this legislation as forcing religion on others.
posted by desuetude at 4:41 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I asked this above already and I have not seen any response, but can you explain, in terms of actual numbers, how it is that you think the LDS church broke the law?

I think you should check some of ericb's links above. While it's not completely clear exactly what happened inside LDS, I do think it's likely that there was a centralized response by the LDS to mobilize its members to act in this specific campaign - as demonstrated by the 1997 memo - and I think there's enough reason to warrant further investigation. Which is, of course, why we have investigative bodies that do exactly this.

As for whether that's "substantial," I would expect that any centrally-managed action by the church hierarchy would be a demonstration of substance.

But if 52.8% of Californians voted based on stupidity and ignorance, I don't think you can attribute all of that to the Mormon church.

I don't attribute all of that to the LDS church. But I don't hold them blameless, either, and would like to see them punished; legally, if they've broken the law, and in the court of public opinion in any case. I would like to see more people ashamed of being Mormons, or even just ashamed to admit they're Mormons, because of the position their church has taken. I would like to see the LDS church broken forever as a political force.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:44 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


nobody seems willing to back up that assertion by explaining how it is they think that the LDS church's involvement with Prop 8 constitutes a substantial portion of the church's activity

How much is enough?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:44 PM on May 26, 2009


I've been watching the LDS church fight this battle for a long time. Here's a document that takes the chronology all the way back to 1988. It only goes up to 1997 and mostly deals with their fight in Hawaii through their lobbying organization, Hawaii's Future Today, so here's a reprint of a 1998 story about the LDS church's involvement in Alaska over the same issue. One of the reasons why their Prop 8 propoganda was so effectively executed is because they've had a lot of practice. But it hasn't gone unnoticed.
posted by effwerd at 4:44 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Our personal beliefs can influence how we vote, certainly. But if the primary reason that the civil institution of marriage is defined as man+woman only is a particular religious teaching, then I would characterize this legislation as forcing religion on others.

I agree.

How much is enough?

That's a very good question. Setting aside for the moment whatever the actual legal standard for "substantial portion" might be, what percentage of the church's total activity would you consider to be a "substantial portion?" Do you have some reason to believe that, in the context of political advocacy by other religions who have not lost their tax exempt status, the Mormon church's involvement in Prop 8 is conduct consistent with a loss of tax exempt status?
posted by The World Famous at 4:52 PM on May 26, 2009


I don't like the decision, but it is the proper, ethical one, as the lawsuit was about an election in relation to state constitution law, not a piece of legislation that violates the constitution.

To be honest, I prefer if states to legalize gay marriage through real bills, rather than court decisions. Court precedents are easily turned over, and don't always reflect the will of the people; just one court's interpretation of the law (no, I'm not accusing anyone of being an activist judge for either side, that's just nonsense). It's also not what courts are designed to do. Hopefully this leads to the state legislature properly legalizing gay marriage someday.

I also think it's odd that Evangelicals think the state should impose their views on morality for them. I was always under the impression that Christianity wanted people to choose, via free will, to lead a life in line with the teachings of Jesus. A big theme is that God gave humans free will so that they could choose between salvation or being separate from God, so creating a society that forces people to live like fundamentalist Christians seems rather counter-intuitive to getting people "saved." Further, this seems remarkably contrary to the "small government" that many Evangelical right wingers promote as well. A government that forces you to make no moral choices seems like a nanny-state on steroids in my view.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:58 PM on May 26, 2009


I was always under the impression that Christianity wanted people to choose, via free will, to lead a life in line with the teachings of Jesus.

The history of Christianity has not exactly been in line with its doctrinal professings.
posted by The World Famous at 5:06 PM on May 26, 2009


Oh dear, the sky must be falling, I've agreed with Andrew Sullivan twice in the same month.
Opponents of gay civil union rights could try another ballot initiative to expressly amend the constitution to ban such rights, but under the Court's ruling, that proposed amendment would have to ban such rights expressly to be effective. The Court's opinion makes clear that generally, amendments will not be interpreted to repeal constitutional rights by implication. The disfavor of repeal by implication is a longstanding legal principle, and the Court's use of it here is a deft way of sending this issue back to the political process while upholding gay civil union rights for the foreseeable future. Under this approach by the Court, opponents of gay civil union rights would have to word any future proposed amendments in such a way as to expressly ban gay civil union rights, and as a result, their ability to secure a sufficient number of petition signatures to get the amendment on the ballot, and then a majority of votes at the polls, will be all the more difficult.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:08 PM on May 26, 2009


Do you have some reason to believe that, in the context of political advocacy by other religions who have not lost their tax exempt status, the Mormon church's involvement in Prop 8 is conduct consistent with a loss of tax exempt status?

The facts on the table are that the Mormons have been planning, funding and coordinating multiple political advocacy efforts for years. The financial aspect must be substantial (leaving aside what percentage of expenditure lends legal culpability) -- it must be at least in the tens of millions of dollars, if not hundreds by now, all requested and coming from donors within the church, if not allocated out of tithing.

But since you don't propose a dollar amount and are just shooting the breeze, that really seems irrelevant, if you really think about it. The Mormons are organized and have cash on hand to lobby the political processes that are presently evaluating marriage equality.

The dollar amount is significant enough that they are equipped, ready and have set up organizations in various states, some of which have been successful at affecting major, Constitution-level political and legal changes. Some of their organizational efforts have been clandestine, in an attempt to evade government scrutiny.

The level of organized political activity the Mormon Church has demonstrated is an outright, blatant violation of the spirit if not letter of tax exemption law. Their deceitful practices show further bad faith on their part.

While the IRS will decide whether or not it can afford to go after a politically influential cult, I don't see the point in splitting hairs further. There's enough reliable information out there for other folks to make an informed decision for themselves about the illegal activities of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:14 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


But since you don't propose a dollar amount and are just shooting the breeze, that really seems irrelevant, if you really think about it.

I'm asking you for a percentage, not a dollar amount. "Substantial portion" is the legal requirement, right?

If you're going to assert that the church broke the law, and the law is only violated if a "substantial portion" of the church's total activity is legislative advocacy, then I assume that, before you made your assertion, you at least had some vague notion of what portion of the church's total activity you believed the Prop 8 thing encompassed. Did you?

The level of organized political activity the Mormon Church has demonstrated is an outright, blatant violation of the spirit if not letter of tax exemption law.

Again, what portion of the church's total activity would you estimate has been dedicated to support of Prop 8? Can you give me a ball park estimate of what percentage of the Church's total activity you believe has been dedicated to that legislation?

I don't see the point in splitting hairs further.

No hairs are being split. You said above that the LDS church "has now made a substantial part of its activities attempting to influence legislation." I'm asking whether you have any reason to believe that this is true, because I think your assertion is preposterous. What portion of the church's activiies do you think has been dedicated to an attempt to influence Prop 8? Can you give any estimate at all? A percentage range? And, given that you think that the LDS church made a substantial part of its activities attempting to influence legislation, what is the source of your information regarding the total non-legislative activities of the LDS church?
posted by The World Famous at 5:24 PM on May 26, 2009


posted by The World Famous Do you have some reason to believe that, in the context of political advocacy by other religions who have not lost their tax exempt status, the Mormon church's involvement in Prop 8 is conduct consistent with a loss of tax exempt status?

He doesn't need reason, his mind's made up!
posted by mattdidthat at 5:27 PM on May 26, 2009


I'm asking you for a percentage, not a dollar amount. "Substantial portion" is the legal requirement, right?

I was actually asking you to define what is enough, but no matter.

It's enough for me that they are devoting resources to the project in the first place, to the point where there are memos and several millions of dollars shuffling around. That's substantial -- they're not really doing religious stuff, at that point, but conducting a political activity committee.

It's up to the IRS to decide if their behavior is legally actionable, but it seems pretty damn obvious their efforts have been substantial. Look at what happened today.

Again, what portion of the church's total activity would you estimate has been dedicated to support of Prop 8?

Factually: Enough to demonstrably affect changes. Enough that they are trying to cover their tracks with shelter organizations like NOM. Enough of their time and energy devoted to fuck with my friends in California and elsewhere in the country. That's enough for me.

Honestly, it's kind of like arguing with a child whose hand is in the cookie jar, and defends his actions by saying the cookies in his hand don't have many chocolate chips, and they weren't very big cookies to begin with.

It's kind of beside the point, if you really think hard about it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:37 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


He doesn't need reason, his mind's made up!

Hope you're giving away those t-shirts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:38 PM on May 26, 2009


Tyranny of the Masses.

I am ever so grateful that Canadian courts have typically taken a least-harms approach to social law: it seems to me that more often than not, they decide in favour of greater freedom and greater personal responsibility.

Fuck the pea-brained social troglodyte rat bastards who continue to promote a society in which one class of people has rights and opportunities far in excess of another class.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:40 PM on May 26, 2009


"Substantial" doesn't necessarily refer to the ratio of legislative activity to non-legislative activity at any given moment, does it? Couldn't their ongoing efforts over 21 years just as easily be judged as substantial? If that's an angle to exploit then I say go for it. The point of challenging the LDS church's 501(c)(3) status over their history of lobbying against same sex marriage isn't necessarily to revoke their tax-exempt status, though that would certainly be a bonus. It's about hardball politics. It's about putting them in the spotlight and making them sweat. Of course, if you're a part of filing any such motion, don't admit that.
posted by effwerd at 5:53 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


You said above that the LDS church "has now made a substantial part of its activities attempting to influence legislation." I'm asking whether you have any reason to believe that this is true, because I think your assertion is preposterous. What portion of the church's activiies do you think has been dedicated to an attempt to influence Prop 8?

I think your attempt to define substance solely by a dollar amount is a mistake. According to the documenting links in this thread alone, the core of the church hierarchy has spent considerable time and effort planning a response to gay marriage initiatives. That is substantial on its face.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:54 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


All churches should lose tax exempt status. We weren't a cash society when they were originally given the benefit of doubt, in good faith. Now it's mostly politicized idolatry, disguised as charities.
posted by Brian B. at 6:03 PM on May 26, 2009


I was actually asking you to define what is enough, but no matter.

And I told you I have no idea, but that we'll just go ahead and use whatever percentage you think is appropriate. You can set the bar for this one, based on your opinion of what "substantial part of its activities" means, ok? Given what all of its other activities are, what percentage of its activities would this have to be to be a substantial part?

but it seems pretty damn obvious their efforts have been substantial

Above, when you asked everyone to copy and paste text to send in a letter accusing the LDS church of specific legal violations, you made an assertion that the church "has now made a substantial part of its activities attempting to influence legislation." You didn't say "substantial effort." You said "substantial part of its activities." I think you have no idea how big a part of the church's activities it actually was, that you were making an unfounded accusation, and that you're now trying to change your assertion so that you won't have to back it up.

Factually: Enough to demonstrably affect changes. Enough that they are trying to cover their tracks with shelter organizations like NOM. Enough of their time and energy devoted to fuck with my friends in California and elsewhere in the country. That's enough for me.

So, in your opinion, the law is violated not if a substantial part of the church's activity is devoted to it, but if the part devoted to it, no matter how insignificant compared the the rest of the church's activity, makes a difference in the outcome of the legislation? I understand why you would think that the law should prohibit activity in that instance, but why do you think that that is what the law actually provides? It does not make sense that the law would allow a church to devote 100% of its activities to influencing legislation, as long as it fails in that objective. If the Pope tells Catholics to vote for candidates who oppose abortion, and a candidate who opposes abortion then wins a seat in a heavily-Catholic district, does that mean that the Catholic church has dedicated a substantial part of its activities to supporting that candidate?

It's up to the IRS to decide if their behavior is legally actionable

People here, including you, have taken the position that the church's behavior actually is legally actionable. Are you now backing off of that position? Will you retract your previous call for people to send a letter to the IRS accusing the church of legal violations?

It's kind of beside the point, if you really think hard about it.

The point is that you made a very specific factual assertion above that I strongly suspect is based on no knowledge on your part as to whether it is true. I'm not accusing you of lying. I'm accusing you of making an inflammatory accusation without having the foggiest notion of whether your accusation was true.

You have every right to be upset about the LDS church's involvement in asking its members to support Prop 8, as well as the success that the church's members had in fundraising and, ultimately, influencing the election. I agree with you that the involvement of the Mormon church's members in Prop 8 was probably the deciding factor that led to Prop 8 passing. And if I were in your position, I would be just as angry and hurt by that as you are. But in your anger you are making accusations that appear to be baseless and not true. And you are asking people to repeat those accusations, which you apparently cannot back up even with an estimate. Your rhetoric appears to be fueled not by evidence, but by hatred and anger. I do not question whether your hatred and anger are justified. Again, if I were in your position, I would probably feel exactly the same way. But I think your assertion was false.

me & my monkey: I think your attempt to define substance solely by a dollar amount is a mistake.

I have not attempted to define substance solely by a dollar amount. I asked what percentage of the church's activity, not its money or that of its members.
posted by The World Famous at 6:04 PM on May 26, 2009


it seems to me that more often than not, they decide in favour of greater freedom and greater personal responsibility.

As long as you keep your porn hidden, sure.

I'm not sure which rat bastard society-promoters you are referring to, but if it's another "USA SUCKS" tirade, I wish you'd make more of an effort to ackowledge that many people, especially on MeFi have been working hard to change things, and short of moving to Canada or elsewhere, we'd appreciate an end to the "your culture unequivocally sucks" comments that don't actually help people solve real world problems.

You want to fuck them, you go fuck them. I'd prefer to try to fix this terrible mess.
posted by jessamyn at 6:05 PM on May 26, 2009 [12 favorites]


I have not attempted to define substance solely by a dollar amount. I asked what percentage of the church's activity, not its money or that of its members.

It looks to me like the leaders of the church spent a significant amount of time and effort on this, enough to warrant further investigation into their tax-exempt status. Presumably, the time and effort of the leaders of the church carry more weight than an equivalent amount of time and effort from their followers, no? And it appears you're in no better position than I to define significance, apparently, since you declined to provide a firm answer yourself.

And in any case, if one-tenth of the allegations in the above links are true, they should be investigated for underreporting or misreporting spending; for not complying with California law.

If the Pope tells Catholics to vote for candidates who oppose abortion, and a candidate who opposes abortion then wins a seat in a heavily-Catholic district, does that mean that the Catholic church has dedicated a substantial part of its activities to supporting that candidate? ... Your rhetoric appears to be fueled not by evidence, but by hatred and anger.

There's lots of evidence of possible wrongdoing in the links above. If the Pope were to personally organize PACs, and hide the amount of money spent on these PACs, and hired consultants, etc to work on these PACs, I would say that most people would agree that's a substantial effort, even if it amounted to less than a tenth of a percent of the Catholic Church's overall budget, even if the Pope spent an hour a week doing this. And, by the looks of things, that's essentially what the LDS did.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:20 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why is it that religions get some god damned bye from criticism and condemnation where corporations or purely political organizations do not. One set of philosophical beliefs doesn't get special treatment just becuase there is a magical sky god involved. Whether the Mormons violated the law or not is irrelevant in the larger scheme of things. That they spend such an enormous effort in time and money to strip citizens of their equality is all that matters.
posted by tkchrist at 6:26 PM on May 26, 2009


Upstream someone mentioned the HIV Travel/Immigration Ban. I confess that despite being active in supporting legislation for equality for gay and lesbian and transgender folks, I had no idea that this ban had been in effect for all these years. That's pure insanity, right there.

As to this court case, it was expected, though no less disappointing, that the court would rule as they did, as the case that was in front of them was a very narrow procedural case.

That said, I fully support the movement to strip any church of their tax exempt status that uses their bully pulpit to insert their invisible friend into legislation. The Mormon Church involvement in this legislation was an outrage, and there is no way they should be allowed to be a tax funded hate group.

What blows my mind is the people on the other side of the country that donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to assure that some citizens should be legally less than full citizens.

The John Templeton Foundation in Pennsylvania? Really? Over a million dollars to stop gay folks and their families from having rights? How is that "science", Templeton Foundation? What is so scientific about hate?

And more biggies in the Dishonor Roll Hate Parade here.
posted by dejah420 at 6:33 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why is it that religions get some god damned bye from criticism and condemnation where corporations or purely political organizations do not.

I don't think they get a bye from criticism and condemnation. I see them being criticized and condemned at least as much as any corporation or political organization. In terms of government action, the First Amendment provides protections for religion and political organizations that are not provided for corporations.

That they spend such an enormous effort in time and money to strip citizens of their equality is all that matters.

As bizarre as it may sound, I really think that the LDS church and many of its members really did not see it as trying to strip citizens of equality. I think some of them are beginning to see it that way now and change their opinion. But at the time, that is definitely not the way most Mormons viewed the issue.
posted by The World Famous at 6:34 PM on May 26, 2009


That said, I fully support the movement to strip any church of their tax exempt status that uses their bully pulpit to insert their invisible friend into legislation.

Should churches that opposed Prop 8 also be stripped of their tax exempt status?
posted by The World Famous at 6:37 PM on May 26, 2009


But at the time, that is definitely not the way most Mormons viewed the issue.

I am sorely tempted to Godwin the shit out of that statement.

So god damned what? That most people just react viscerally to an issue - are manipulated - before they think about it is no surprise and it sure as shit is no excuse.

When we interred American Citizens of Japanese dissent damn few "Good" Americans probably thought of as... as... just that— putting free people, fellow citizens, who had not broken any law in concentration camps.

What the fuck. It's no excuse. And neither is being a member of religion.

And the point that religions DO get special exceptions, even constitutionally, is part of the problem. It makes thinking people, like you, automatically without really thinking much about it react to "Fuck the Mormons" as though it's some sort of call to religious persecution. When in fact it's a reaction to a sub-set of Mormon beliefs and actions that are clearly eroding liberty in this country. And people SHOULD be angry.
posted by tkchrist at 6:44 PM on May 26, 2009


Should churches that opposed Prop 8 also be stripped of their tax exempt status?

Absolutely. Does that answer it clearly enough? As far as I can see, only good results from a strong and tall wall between church and state. It's a matter of principle not a case of axe-grinding, "my church" vs "your church". And that wall of separation seems to benefit both government, and churches. So yeah, it won't happen in my lifetime, but I'd vote for it in a heartbeat.
posted by VikingSword at 6:46 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


There should be no such thing as a tax except church. Period.
posted by tkchrist at 6:49 PM on May 26, 2009


When we interred American Citizens of Japanese dissent

=


"When we interred American Citizens of Japanese descent..."

grrrr..
posted by tkchrist at 6:51 PM on May 26, 2009


exempt

God damned. Okay. I'm done. My brain is now completely eroded.
posted by tkchrist at 6:54 PM on May 26, 2009


So god damned what?
What the fuck. It's no excuse. And neither is being a member of religion.


I did not mean to offer it as an excuse. Just a data point, with the particular relevance being what I perceive to be a slow shift in the opposite direction.

And the point that religions DO get special exceptions, even constitutionally, is part of the problem.

Let me recommend that, if you hope to gain ground with arguments about rights in the U.S., that you try your best not to rail against the Constitution and the rights expressly recognized by the First Amendment.

It makes thinking people, like you, automatically without really thinking much about it react to "Fuck the Mormons" as though it's some sort of call to religious persecution.

I think plenty about it, and I'm pretty sure my reaction to open calls for persecution is not caused by the Constitution. Just like you (and I) would react to "F the Gays" as though it's some sort of call to sexual orientation persecution, I react negatively to such statements because of their very nature.

When in fact it's a reaction to a sub-set of Mormon beliefs and actions that are clearly eroding liberty in this country.

That's not really what I've observed, but I appreciate you saying it, because I do believe that you are sincere in saying that.

And people SHOULD be angry.

I agree.
posted by The World Famous at 6:55 PM on May 26, 2009



The World Famous said: Should churches that opposed Prop 8 also be stripped of their tax exempt status?



Was there any part of my statement "That said, I fully support the movement to strip any church of their tax exempt status that uses their bully pulpit to insert their invisible friend into legislation." that said "except the lefty causes I believe in?" No? Then...your question is just being passive aggressive, is it?
posted by dejah420 at 6:59 PM on May 26, 2009


Was there any part of my statement "That said, I fully support the movement to strip any church of their tax exempt status that uses their bully pulpit to insert their invisible friend into legislation." that said "except the lefty causes I believe in?"

I suspected that, like most people, your opinion would be biased by your support of one side or the other of the political argument. I am pleasantly surprised.

No? Then...your question is just being passive aggressive, is it?

No. I was openly challenging the sincerity of your statement. There was nothing passive about it.
posted by The World Famous at 7:02 PM on May 26, 2009


Or, to phrase that better: if giving churches a charitable tax exemption is a violation of the separation of church and state because they're churches, then refusing churches a charitable tax exemption simply because they're churches is also a violation of the separation of church and state.

Your logic is flawed.

The logically correct contra-positive to the original statement (and the only one you can logically draw from any statement of fact) would be the following:

If giving churches a charitable tax exemption is a violation of the separation of church and state because they're churches, then giving a tax exemption would not be a violation of the separation of church and state if they were not churches.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:03 PM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Learn your logic, people!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:04 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


No. I was openly challenging the sincerity of your statement. There was nothing passive about it.

Actually, there something logically wrong with the sentiment that both sides get banned for doing the opposite action on a YES or NO question. An opposing side is not wrong by association, or in this case, wrong by being right. We should eliminate the exemption in principle, not piecemeal.
posted by Brian B. at 7:20 PM on May 26, 2009


"crushing blow to marriage equality"

In a completely "18000+ gay marriages now fully and legally accepted in California, and gay marriage perfectly legal, so long as it's not called marriage" kind of way, of course.

This isn't a crushing ruling. It's a foot in the door, with gay marriages fully legalized and supported all throughout the state. It gives those who support gay marriage a very strong argument, in that they can say that gay marriage is and has been a reality in California for ____, and yet the sky hasn't fallen.

Indeed, soon enough we'll hear compelling stories about how gay marriage made it possible for someone to spend the final moments of life with their partner, and to basically handle one of the worst times anyone can go through with dignity and full legal rights that any other marriage would have.

The point of fact is that this ruling fatally undermines the goals of the "no gay marriages" folks, and basically guarantees that gay marriage will be a reality in the not-too-distant future.

Marriage in California is a sacred bond between a man and a woman.
...and 36,000 of their gay neighbors.
posted by markkraft at 7:38 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


>I just think I should be very vocal about letting them know why I am NOT going to come visit. That's all.

Which will accomplish exactly nothing.


In 2007, travel spending in California brought the state $96.7 billion. If enough people stay away, a loss of even half that could accomplish a little something, I think.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:44 PM on May 26, 2009


I remember the words of John Kennedy when his presidential candidacy was challenged because of his faith: "I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish -- where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source -- where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials -- and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all."

Christ. I do love JFK sometimes.

Anyway, I don't know if I've mentioned this here before, but about a month ago, Justice Scalia was doing a Q&A at Georgetown Law, and a friend of mine asked him what it would take for SCOTUS to rule on Prop 8. He said, essentially, that the Court saw it, and the whole issue of Gay (or really Equal) Marriage, as a state issue, and that they wouldn't grant cert unless there were a Circuit Court split on the matter.

One of my immediate thoughts on that is that Scalia knows that he'd have to rule on a fundamental rights ground on the issue, but that he isn't exactly anxious to do so. Part of his being so doctrinaire is that he is highly predictable at times. So this seems problematic.

Where the clouds lighten a little bit is that - before this issue would ever reach SCOTUS - it would have to go through the 9th Circuit.

The most notoriously liberal court in the land...

In a ruling which wouldn't be overturned without another Circuit ruling the other way...

Why the hell isn't this being challenged at the federal level, under Loving, in other words? It's ready to go! Challenging it on a procedural basis was bound to fail, as everyone knew, but on a substantive, U.S. Constitutional basis, the 9th can rightly rule it as an EP violation!

This is the next step, especially if it turns out that a ballot initiative to overturn Prop 8 would count as a "revision" requiring 66% of the vote. Bring it to the district courts, Californians!
posted by Navelgazer at 7:58 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


"crushing blow to marriage equality"

This isn't a crushing ruling.


This is exactly right. While I'm definitely disappointed with the outcome - although I'm not surprised or specifically disappointed with the court ruling - the fact that we're having this discussion, today, in my lifetime, is an amazing thing. The fact that I can get married in Vermont or Massachusetts is an amazing thing. The struggle for civil rights for gay people has taken a lot less time than that of black people - I was born before Stonewall, and I strongly believe I'll be a first-class citizen in this country in my lifetime.

In 2007, travel spending in California brought the state $96.7 billion. If enough people stay away, a loss of even half that could accomplish a little something, I think.

I will certainly be spending my marriage dollar in Vermont rather than California, and I imagine that many other people will do the same. I went to Vermont for a civil union, and now that it looks like DC will recognize out-of-state same-sex marriage, I'll be going back.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:05 PM on May 26, 2009


"I just think I should be very vocal about letting them know why I am NOT going to come visit. That's all."

As a Californian who has close friends whose gay marriages were fully sanctioned by the state in perpetuity with this ruling, I think you are being unwise, and should reconsider, because the message you will be conveying is essentially a "f*ck you" to the ~50% of people out there who still support Prop. 8, who feed off of a victimization mentality and are likely to view any kind of organized boycott as a rallying call, digging their heels in further. At the same time, it sends the wrong message to the approx. 50% who oppose prop. 8, because it says that the larger LGBT community are willing to walk away from California, rather than helping us tip a rather small balance in our direction.

The thing is, we *NEED* and welcome everyone who wants to come here and help support our cause. So, if you're thinking about not visiting, please do reconsider... and bring your partner as well. Show your support for gay marriage and the community, and make yourself visible.

Anyone who boycotts California because of what is, in actuality, a fairly generous interpretation of the law -- one which defines the next fight as one which by all means should be in our favor -- is ultimately doing a disservice to the community, because ultimately what will win a victory in California -- overcoming LGBT prejudice and fears of gay marriage, especially in the Black, Latino, and Asian communities -- will help allow for similar victories throughout many, many other states nationwide.

If California were smaller, less diverse, less of a melting pot... we probably would have defeated Prop 8. But it is the very fact that we are such an influential melting pot that makes it esential for the LGBT community and those who support them to stay engaged on this ongoing fight, and not walk away before its over.

We ARE on our way to a historic victory, where the people of California choose to make ALL marriages equal... and historically, this ruling will be seen as an essential part of the path to that victory.

You can either be a part of it, or you can run away and give up before its over. Your choice.
posted by markkraft at 8:31 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think you have no idea how big a part of the church's activities it actually was, that you were making an unfounded accusation, and that you're now trying to change your assertion so that you won't have to back it up.

The World Famous: Please specify, as asked, what it is that is enough for you. I think being able to amass millions of dollars from churchgoers and then get the government to make revoke rights requires a pretty substantial effort. That seems like reasonable criteria.

You're asking for some percentage, as if a vague number would somehow satisfy you. What is enough for you?

I'm sorry if that answer is just not good enough for you. But I think the facts are plain for all to see, such that others can decide on the LDS's culpability for themselves. And, again, the IRS will likely make a decision, based on their own criteria that will, in the end, have little to do with applying the actual wording of law. Will you criticize the IRS and issue them the same demands you've made of us?

The point is that you made a very specific factual assertion above that I strongly suspect is based on no knowledge on your part as to whether it is true. I'm not accusing you of lying. I'm accusing you of making an inflammatory accusation without having the foggiest notion of whether your accusation was true.

Since I have no access to the church's books I couldn't possibly answer this with a specific dollar, percentage, whatever amount you care to name — and neither can or will you — but it's clear, factually, that the Mormon Church is doing enough to have an effect. They are organized and spending money. They are acting as a political action committee. They are not acting as a non-profit religious organization.

I think you're being passive aggressive, because you have no other argument against legitimate criticism about the LDS behaving in direct contravention to what non-profits are tasked to do.

Your rhetoric appears to be fueled not by evidence, but by hatred and anger.

My "rhetoric" — there you go again! — is fueled by disgust with people who are dishonest and play word games with my rights, and the rights of those I love.

It's obvious to anyone who's read anything about this issue that the Mormon Church has been acting in bad faith with respect to the law. In the end, it's up to the government to enforce its legal code, and to that end, if the Internet can help disseminate information about the LDS and its illegal activities to people who can push the government to investigate, all the better.

Good luck with your campaign.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:31 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


"now that it looks like DC will recognize out-of-state same-sex marriage, I'll be going back."

Of course, you're failing to point out that *because* of this ruling, The State of California has now categorically stated that your out-of-state, same-sex marriage is fully recognized under law here as well.
posted by markkraft at 8:34 PM on May 26, 2009


This is interesting:
Former Bush administration solicitor general Theodore Olson is part of a team that has filed suit in federal court in California seeking to overturn Proposition 8 and re-establish the right of same-sex couples to marry.

The suit argues that the state's marriage ban, upheld Tuesday by the California Supreme Court, violates the federal constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. The complaint was filed Friday, and Olson and co-counsel David Boies -- who argued against Olson in the Bush v. Gore case -- will hold a news conference in Los Angeles Wednesday to explain the case. The conference will feature the two same-sex couples on whose behalf Olson filed suit.

The suit also asks the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to issue an injunction that would stop enforcement of Proposition 8 and allow same-sex couples to marry while the case is being decided.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:43 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Each and every supporter of Proposition 8 should suffer nothing less than a lifetime of loveless solitude. They don't deserve to have loving relationships with other human beings.

Wrong. That's essentially what they say about us. If anything, these sad, blinkered, backwards people need more love, not less.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:14 PM on May 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


I am getting really, really tired of society dealing with questions of equality.

So long as it involves informed, consenting adults, it's not of the government — nor church's — business.

We have grave issues to address in the next few years. Issues that might very well make or break our ability to survive well on this planet.

Let's quit wasting time. Equality. Now.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:27 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's essentially what they say about us. If anything, these sad, blinkered, backwards people need more love, not less.

I agree with you, but it's also the case that these "sad, blinkered, backwards people" think that those of us who are living the gay lifestyle also need more love, not less, which is exactly where this whole argument started. In their view, giving more love means denying us everything that we hold dear, including all of the protections that people living in a so-called free society should take as a given.

So: more love, or less? It's hard to say whether love is exactly what's needed in this moment, on either side of the equation, if that's what love entails. There's a hell of a lot of love in Room 101, and I'm not thinking that a lot of Proposition 8 supporters are feeling an emotion called sadness tonight.
posted by blucevalo at 9:33 PM on May 26, 2009


Frankly, I feel like fff. This is tiresome - why do we still struggle with this kind of idiocy? Isn't it utterly clear that it's wrong to discriminate against people for any reason? And there are serious challenges that humanity faces, which will demand a great deal of maturity and self-sacrifice, and education. What hope is it, when we can't even get the most basic things right? I feel like we're on a sinking ship, and we must get the best engineering minds to fix the leak, instead, most of the crew is doing a tribal dance to appease Poseidon.
posted by VikingSword at 9:37 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


posted by Blazecock Pileon It's obvious to anyone who's read anything about this issue that the Mormon Church has been acting in bad faith with respect to the law. In the end, it's up to the government to enforce its legal code, and to that end, if the Internet can help disseminate information about the LDS and its illegal activities to people who can push the government to investigate, all the better. Good luck with your campaign.

And there you go again with your campaign fueled by anger and hatred and bigotry, determined to bring the righteous justice of the Internet to the Mormon church, despite the fact you can't provide any proof or details of the crimes you claim you're certain they've committed. I'm very glad you don't live in California, because yours is exactly the kind of support we do not need.
posted by mattdidthat at 9:59 PM on May 26, 2009


I'm having a hard time understanding why the whole "the church broke the law" thing keeps being repeated, but nobody seems willing to back up that assertion by explaining how it is they think that the LDS church's involvement with Prop 8 constitutes a substantial portion of the church's activity.

I think it's been pretty well detailed what the difference is between telling your congregation what your church's stand on the issues of the day are, and engaging in what has been demonstrated to be a very well organized and coordinated effort to raise funds, get media time and petition legislators - known in the popular and legal parlance as "lobbying". I'm sure you're as aware of this as everyone else.

Understanding what your background is with regards to the Mormon church, I can in a way understand why you'd engage in hair-splitting about the meaning of the word "substantial" and all, but I think if you're honest with yourself you'd have little difficulty in seeing the entire Prop 8 campaign as anything other than lobbying. Yes, that is up to the IRS to decide, ultimately, but that's not going to stop people from expressing their opinion on it.

You seem to also be assuming that if the church were lobbying in favor of gay marriage that everyone here would be cool with that. Not only have a number of people here made it clear that they don't at all feel that way, it's also beside the point. Lobbying is lobbying, regardless of the mission.

In the end, the line between preaching to the congregation and lobbying has a pretty fair amount of breadth, I'd say. You've probably crossed it when you start opening phone banks. Here's a handy litmus test - remove the religious associations, look at the campaigning activities themselves, and ask yourself, "Is this lobbying?" Taking the slippery-slope argument, pointing out the religious influence on legislation, this changes absolutely nothing. The Mormon Church made its bed when it decided to test how far they could push against the boundaries of tax-exempt status. They brought this on themselves. Whether the IRS determines that the boundary was broken or not remains to be seen - it could be their victory or their correction. But you can't honestly expect that a religious group would engage in lobbying and everyone would just sit back and shut up about it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:00 PM on May 26, 2009


So, I don't know if this is going to help anyone feel better, but here are some things that have softened the blow for me.

My day started out on the steps of the courthouse in San Francisco where a couple of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were calmly and patiently explaining (or attempting to explain) the concept of marriage equality to a couple of haters. It was an odd and lovely sight, but not at all out of character for the Sisters -- they always manage to bring a sense of genuine dignity and civility to situations where you'd least expect it.

At the City Hall press conference organized by the NCLR and ACLU, we heard city officials, lawyers, clergy, and plaintiffs speaking movingly and forcefully about their disappointment, the danger this decision puts all minorities in, and the need to form broader coalitions to not only overturn prop 8, but ensure that equal protection once again has real meaning in the California constitution. There were hugs and tears all around, even among the press.

Fast-forward to early this evening. My partner stayed up late last night making a "LET THEM EAT CAKE!" poster. It's a beautiful thing, every gigantic letter done in glitter. He was originally going to dress as Marie Antoinette, but wasn't able to get the costume together in time. We met after work near City Hall, just in time for a march down to the Martin Luther King fountain at Yerba Buena Gardens. We shouted so much ("What do we want? Equality! When do want it? Now!") our voices are now quite raspy. It felt really damn good to be in a political march with a bunch of fellow queers, and to let some of the anger out with our shouting. On the way there, we saw this amazing piece of performance/body art. A young woman stood in her underwear (it was pretty darn cold, mind you) as everyone marched by. She had large, ugly black letters stenciled on her body, something to the effect of I HAVE BEEN STRIPPED OF MY HUMAN RIGHTS. She never spoke to anyone, never met anyone's gaze, just started into the distance with a look of absolute devastation. When I saw her, I immediately got a lump in my throat -- she embodied exactly how I'd felt when I first learned that prop 8 passed.

We milled about in Yerba Buena Gardens for awhile, then someone apparently got the bright idea of taking it back to the streets. People started filing out, and we marched, unauthorized, all the way up market to the Castro. It was quite a long walk, we blocked some traffic, and the police managed to re-route most traffic around us. At one point, a guy rolled down his car window to get a better look at the crowd -- it was Dennis Herrera, the City Attorney who'd led the press conference earlier that day. My partner, with his huge sign, ran over to his car to shake his hand, and he actually remembered us having been at the conference. Something about that unauthorized march really gave me a feeling of hope. It certainly wasn't the most daring act of civil disobedience, but it struck me as a kind of collective acknowledgement that we're angry and prepared to fight.

At the intersection of Market and Castro (Harvey Milk Plaza), the gigantic rainbow flag was flying at half-mast -- and it had a new, black stripe. Some folks sat down in the intersection, and it looked like the kind of thing that could last for awhile. My partner and I were pretty worn out, so we decided to take off -- but not before a lovely older French lady took our picture in front of the cake sign, and conversed with partner, in French, about Marie Antoinette and the revolution. I barely know any French, so I couldn't really follow.

So, yeah, it was a bummer of a day, but it in certain ways, it was also a really good one.
posted by treepour at 10:26 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


It seems shameful that a simple majority vote is enough to enshrine bigotry into the California state constitution.

Emphasis on 'simple'.
posted by mazola at 10:29 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has left the path of Light. Their fortunes, therefore, shall also leave the path of Light. Woe unto those who monger hate in the name of the Lord! Where they have known plenty, they shall know lack. Where their thirst has been quenched, they shall go thirsty. Their works shall become as nothing. The locusts shall return, only this time, there will be no gulls. Famine and disease shall enter your lands and your homes. Your children shall suffer, even perish. You who have been given so much shall loose much. Such are the wages of hate. You 'saints' who should, more than others, know better, have fallen to foolishness. The Lord shall turn his ears from your suffering.
posted by Goofyy at 10:41 PM on May 26, 2009


Metafilter: more lectures from smug donkeys with neither empathy nor wisdom
posted by benzenedream at 10:56 PM on May 26, 2009


It seems shameful that a simple majority vote is enough to enshrine bigotry into the California state constitution.

It's a fairly king-sized mistake. The majority rule implies that all laws passed must apply equally to the entire set of voters, and never just a majority (because the majority rule functions as a reason to decide what everyone must do, or don't, and not just the majority or a minority). That's the whole point, everyone can marry, or everyone gets a civil union. Rights as privileges are off the table within a democratic method. A class of voters can never soundly discriminate against itself because we don't need voting for a larger group to overpower another group, and voting doesn't justify it. To be clear, it is sound, though always questionable, to vote against the rights of non-voters, or galactic aliens, or sharks, or even clones with no vote, because they can't vote. But it's a wholesale error to marginalize other voters while a "majority" enjoys different rights. It corrupts the rule of law from within more than anything else.
posted by Brian B. at 11:00 PM on May 26, 2009


Churches are run as extraordinarily profitable enterprises paying their "Minister" CEOs seven-figure salaries and all the toys they desire. That is money that goes completely untaxed.

Which means my taxes need to be higher. Against my freedom, I am coerced to support churches by making up for what they fail to pay. Joel Osteen is raking in some $70 million a year.

And make no mistake of it: parts of America are becoming cathedral town:
"These churches are becoming civic in a way unimaginable since the 13th century and its cathedral towns. No longer simply places to worship, they have become part resort, part mall, part extended family and part town square."
A phenomenal amount of money is being kept from the public purse, instead placed in the very private purses of the megachurches.

I don't think a story like that can end at all well.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:14 PM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


despite the fact you can't provide any proof or details of the crimes you claim you're certain they've committed.

It's been hashed out repeatedly here and elsewhere. I'd give a damn about your opinion, except that you are once again arguing in bad faith.

I'm very glad you don't live in California, because yours is exactly the kind of support we do not need.

I'm very glad the extent of your "support" for our cause is a logo on a t-shirt.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:34 PM on May 26, 2009


Of course, you're failing to point out that *because* of this ruling, The State of California has now categorically stated that your out-of-state, same-sex marriage is fully recognized under law here as well.

Yes, because I live in DC, not California. If I ever move to California, that would be relevant to me, but it's hard enough to get changes happening here, especially with those meddling congressmen. That said, I do see Prop 8 as a somewhat minor setback, and agree with you that things aren't as bad as they seem at first glance. And I'm not in favor of a formal boycott of California over this when you have states in much worse positions, like Florida, Texas and Arizona.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:18 AM on May 27, 2009


Everybody just calm down. This will all seem like a fart in a hurricane once you are down to your last wheelbarrow full of $100 bills and you haven't eaten in a week.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 5:46 AM on May 27, 2009


Everybody just calm down. This will all seem like a fart in a hurricane once you are down to your last wheelbarrow full of $100 bills and you haven't eaten in a week.

what.

Or, more accurately: Is it physically possible for you to add something of substance to a conversation, or are you just a bot spewing out random sentences?
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:48 AM on May 27, 2009


Rome is burning while you quibble about who gets to shack up with who.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 5:56 AM on May 27, 2009


Yeah, shiu, you can only care about one thing at a time, didn't anyone tell you?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:06 AM on May 27, 2009


Eh. Don't even go there with floating eel. Not worth it.

A friend pointed out last night that we (the 18K couples whose gay marriages are still in effect) finally have special rights! For years and years I've been told that wanting protection from being fired from my job/denied a place to live etc. was "special" rights, but now that I finally have them...Well, really, I was expecting it to feel more....awesome.

As it is, have a thing (marriage) that other people like me cannot have (for the moment, anyway) actually feels pretty gross.
posted by rtha at 6:19 AM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I find it both precious and troubling that people think the Mormon church is 100% blameless for something they spent millions of dollars to accomplish.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:31 AM on May 27, 2009


Equality California (mentioned above): Returning to the Ballot – 2010 vs. 2012
"We listened very carefully to the thousands of you who responded to our membership survey. You provided passionate arguments for both 2010 and 2012, as well as detailed comments about why you prefer one election to another. We read every one of them. In the end, you voted in favor of 2010 by a margin of 69 percent to 24 percent, with 7 percent unsure.

We agree with you. Under the right conditions (which we explain below), we support returning to the ballot in November 2010 for the following reasons (which many of you expressed)" ...[read on]...
posted by ericb at 7:09 AM on May 27, 2009


Courage Campaign: How we will repeal Prop 8.
posted by ericb at 7:11 AM on May 27, 2009


Arnold Schwarzenegger:
“Ours is the only state that has both an iron-clad constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and thousands of gay couples whose marriages have full constitutional protection.”
Yeah, and plenty of ploh-chops.
posted by ericb at 7:15 AM on May 27, 2009


There should be no such thing as a tax except church. Period.

I don't see why you want to strip all charities of tax-exempt status, as would be required.
posted by oaf at 7:17 AM on May 27, 2009


This is interesting: Former Bush administration solicitor general Theodore Olson is part of a team that has filed suit in federal court in California seeking to overturn Proposition 8 and re-establish the right of same-sex couples to marry.
"Read what Olson said to the Washington Examiner about his work on the Prop 8 case:
"I personally think it is time that we as a nation get past distinguishing people on the basis of sexual orientation and that a grave injustice is being done to people by making these distinctions," Olson told me Tuesday night. "I thought their cause was just."

I asked Olson about the objections of conservatives who will argue that he is asking a court to overturn the legitimately-expressed will of the people of California. "It is our position in this case that Proposition 8, as upheld by the California Supreme Court, denies federal constitutional rights under the equal protection and due process clauses of the constitution," Olson said. "The constitution protects individuals' basic rights that cannot be taken away by a vote. If the people of California had voted to ban interracial marriage, it would have been the responsibility of the courts to say that they cannot do that under the constitution. We believe that denying individuals in this category the right to lasting, loving relationships through marriage is a denial to them, on an impermissible basis, of the rights that the rest of us enjoy…I also personally believe that it is wrong for us to continue to deny rights to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation."
If Ted Olson can say that about gay marriage, then all bets are off in terms of what we should expect from Democratic politicians....Times have changed. We have conservative Republican leaders like Steve Schmidt and Ted Olson openly endorsing gay marriage while our Democratic president and far too many of his administration are treating gays and their civil rights like some kind of crazy Aunt you don't talk about in polite company because she's just so embarrassing.

Religious right bigots like to invoke Obama's supposed opposition to gay marriage when trying to take away our civil rights, and the White House says nothing to dispel the comparison. Well, perhaps it's time we started quoting pro- gay marriage conservatives like Steve Schmidt and Ted Olson, and asking the White House why Barack Obama seems to have a bigger hang up with our civil rights - hell, with us (do you see anyone openly gay in the Cabinet?) - than two of the most conservative Republicans in Washington." *
posted by ericb at 7:25 AM on May 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


There should be no such thing as a tax except [sic] church. Period.

Well, I can see how anger at certain churches can make this sentiment seem justified, but it's really counter productive in the larger scope. There's really no accurate reporting, but consider how much charity that church/temple/mosque/etc run organizations offer to their members and surrounding communities. If you force them to pay taxes then that will hamper their ability to provide social welfare services. Usually, people who have to rely on religious organizations have already fallen through the cracks for state run services so if these people are cut off then it means problems elsewhere, which eventually will cost the state in some form such as a prison or hospital bed.

Granted, that's a broad stroke I just painted and there are more nuances and exceptions. But that is a general idea to keep in mind when you go around calling for complete reversal of tax-exempt status.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:25 AM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rome is burning while you quibble about who gets to shack up with who.

Rome has been burning for me ever since I was old enough to form a sentence because I can't "shack up" with whom I choose. It won't stop burning until I have the rights that are guaranteed to every citizen under the laws of the land and, more importantly, guarantees that those rights won't be taken away.
posted by blucevalo at 7:27 AM on May 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


The complaint was filed Friday, and Olson and co-counsel David Boies -- who argued against Olson in the Bush v. Gore case -- will hold a news conference in Los Angeles Wednesday to explain the case.

The complaint [PDF].
posted by ericb at 7:46 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Arnold Schwarzenegger to Jay Leno on Prop 8:
"This is not over. This decision, because I think in a year or two they will be back with another initiative. Eventually it's going to be overturned. I'm sure of that."
posted by ericb at 7:51 AM on May 27, 2009


Are there any organised campaigns to get straight couples to refuse to use the word 'marriage' in connection with their partnership?

I'd sign up to one if there was, but I'm single.
posted by edd at 8:10 AM on May 27, 2009


Are there any organised campaigns to get straight couples to refuse to use the word 'marriage' in connection with their partnership?

That's an exceedingly weird sword to want to fall on, and while intentions of solidarity how exactly would that help in this case?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:15 AM on May 27, 2009


Weird perhaps, but I'm not sure I'd call it exceedingly so. The point though is that the mess started with the views of the majority, and highlighting to others that one finds restricting the rights of others in this way is something you find deeply unpleasant would maybe make them think about it more the next time they had to make a cross in a box.
posted by edd at 8:21 AM on May 27, 2009


There's really no accurate reporting, but consider how much charity that church/temple/mosque/etc run organizations offer to their members and surrounding communities.

Then why not simply exempt churches for that portion of their income given over to charitible work? Maybe the numbers are much bigger than i think, but the churches that surrounded me growing up in Georgia seemed little more than country clubs in which members paid into funds that supported their own operation and limited interests. In fact, I recall specific debates (in a Southern Baptist church) in which charitable efforts were held separately from the regular budget, in terms of collections and tithes, such that a proposed charitable effort would have to organize its own separate collection of funds from the members. I did see something a while back about how the Mormons have charitable services they offer only to their own members, but that sounds like more like an insurance plan than charity. And isn't Catholic Charities a separate entity from the Catholic church, with its own separate funding resources?
posted by troybob at 8:59 AM on May 27, 2009


S/He may not even see this, but @The World Famous:

After seeing Jessamyn's answer to my earlier question, I contacted a friend of mine who used to work for a charity and she sent me this link. They address the "substantial" issue thusly:



In 1934, Congress enacted a lobbying restriction on charities into law by changing the definition of organizations qualifying under Section 501(c)(3), to require that "no substantial part of [its] activities [ ] is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation."2

The "No Substantial Part" Test
From 1934 to 1976, this remained the sole standard for lobbying by charities: That a charity may not devote a substantial part of its activities to attempting to influence legislation. Put another way, a charity (other than a private foundation) may engage in legislative lobbying without risking its tax-exempt status, so long as lobbying is an insubstantial part of its overall activities.

There are certain activities that clearly are not restricted as lobbying under the "no substantial part" test. These include:

*Attempts to influence an administrative agency regarding its Regulations and rulings.

*Petitioning the President, governor, or mayor on executive decisions.

*Attempting to influence legislators on nonlegislative matters, such as conducting investigative hearings or intervening with a government agency.

*Engaging in litigation to obtain favorable interpretations of the law from the judicial branch of government.


If the difference between qualifying or not for Section 501(c)(3) exemption rests on whether your lobbying is substantial, quantifying what "substantial" means is paramount, but has proved elusive. For example, in an early court case, spending less than 5% of the charity's volunteer time and effort (but no money) on lobbying was considered insubstantial.3 Later decisions,4 however, cast doubt on the usefulness of a percentage test, stating that all the facts and circumstances of an organization's legislative and other activities would have to be examined. One court even seemed to suggest that a single official position statement could be deemed substantial activity, if it had sufficient impact on the legislative process.5

The penalty on a charity for miscalculating the substantiality of its lobbying activities is extreme: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can revoke a charity's 501(c)(3) tax exemption, retroactive to the date lobbying became a substantial activity. Although the IRS may be reluctant to impose this ultimate penalty in practice, loss of exemption threatens a charity's continued existence. The mere possibility of this catastrophic outcome has had a severe chilling effect on charities engaging in advocacy.

In response, in 1976, Congress added Section 501(h) to the Internal Revenue Code, as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1976.6 This created an alternative to the "no substantial part" test, and represented express Congressional recognition that, within limits, lobbying can be a legitimate charitable activity benefiting the public, for which the use of deductible contributions is appropriate.

Before turning to an examination of Section 501(h), it is important to note that the "no substantial part" test is still the law for a charity that does not (or cannot) elect to be governed by Section 501(h) with respect to its lobbying activities.

The Section 501(h) Expenditure Test
Section 501(h) provides that an otherwise qualifying charity will not be denied Section 501(c)(3) status for engaging in too much lobbying, so long as its lobbying expenditures do not exceed certain calculable dollar limits. Below those limits, Section 501(h) provides for a tax on lobbying expenditures that exceed certain other limits. Section 4911, referred to in Section 501(h), contains the details as to how both sets of limits are calculated, how lobbying is defined (and exceptions to the definition), and which expenditures on lobbying activities must be counted against the limits. The activities listed above which are not lobbying under the "no substantial part" test, are also not lobbying under Section 501(h); and there are additional activities that are lobbying under the "no substantial part" test, but not under Section 501(h).

Who can make the election? As noted above, Section 501(h) is an alternative to the "no substantial part" test. A charity must choose, or "elect" in tax law jargon, to be governed by Section 501(h). Certain types of charities are not eligible to make the election, and must remain under the pre-existing test. They include:

churches and related entities;
governmental units;
organizations that testing for public safety; and
private foundations.



As several people have linked above, the CoLDS has made a considerable and sustained effort to block rights for certain groups in this country over several decades. They've "gamed the system", as it were, to stay under the radar of the Feds, but this time evidence suggests that they dropped the ball by blantantly--and SUBSTANTIALLY-- supporting the passage of Prop8.


From where I sit, the LDS is not going to come around. And if they're willing to dive through loopholes and game the system to get what they want, it's high time that others use that same system to hold them accountable.
posted by magstheaxe at 9:36 AM on May 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


Obama To Face Gay Protest At Beverly Hills Fundraiser Tonight.
posted by ericb at 9:59 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Arnold Schwarzenegger:
“Ours is the only state that has both an iron-clad constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and thousands of gay couples whose marriages have full constitutional protection.”


For the record: Arnold Schwarzenegger did not say that. Or, more accurately, the article linked there does not claim that he said that, or seem to have anything to do with the Governor aside from his picture and the title "Arnold's New Gay Problem".
posted by dirtdirt at 10:42 AM on May 27, 2009


Thanks, magstheaxe.
posted by The World Famous at 10:45 AM on May 27, 2009


Thank you, magstheaxe.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:50 AM on May 27, 2009


My suggestion: Ohio or Colorado. Or maybe both. Each state is a classic swing state and battleground in presidential contests. Each has the initiative process, which would allow gay-marriage supporters to draft and qualify a constitutional amendment for the ballot without interference.

Good luck with that. Ohio passed one of the most draconian constitutional same-sex marriage amendments, Issue 1, in 2004 -- by an even larger margin than California's Prop 8.
posted by blucevalo at 10:55 AM on May 27, 2009


As a matter of tactics, it makes sense to keep Obama aware that people are paying attention to his stance on gay rights at this time. However, I think that full-on pressure will erupt after mid-term 2010 elections. At that point he will have had a chance to put his ducks in a row, appoint the SC justices, secure his congressional support and so on. All excuses and "be patient" exhortations will lose currency. That is the moment to really pressure him - before the next presidential elections, to let him know that he must deliver, or must take the consequences. Hopefully, he would have grown by that time - because his position on gay rights does not meet the requirements of full equality. Yes, we understand that he's new on the job and has not got his sea legs yet, but one cannot delay justice forever. So far, people are willing to wait and see, but 2010-2011 is going to be a "show me now" time.
posted by VikingSword at 10:58 AM on May 27, 2009


A young woman stood in her underwear (it was pretty darn cold, mind you) as everyone marched by. She had large, ugly black letters stenciled on her body, something to the effect of I HAVE BEEN STRIPPED OF MY HUMAN RIGHTS. She never spoke to anyone, never met anyone's gaze, just started into the distance with a look of absolute devastation. When I saw her, I immediately got a lump in my throat -- she embodied exactly how I'd felt when I first learned that prop 8 passed.

Jezebel has her picture.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:53 AM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just got here (it was a long weekend), posted an FPP on the subject, which I've been told to redirect here. Hope this hasn't been posted upthread, as I haven't yet had time to read the whole thing. So:

"Reminder: California is a state in which same sex marriages are legal. Let’s not pretend that the pro-Prop 8 folks didn’t get a victory here in banning recognition of future same-sex marriages in California, because they have. However, the victory they did not get, the one that mattered the most from the point of view of delegitimizing same-sex marriage in California, and the one will make the Prop 8 ruling look increasingly foolish and bigoted as time goes on, is the one that would have invalidated the 18,000 previously-existing same-sex marriages in California. These marriages make a mockery out of the Prop 8 wording, because guess what? That part of the California constitution that says: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”? Completely and totally false."
posted by ocherdraco at 12:20 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Jezebel has her picture." (ThePinkSuperhero)

SF Gate has one where you can see the emotion on her face.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:31 PM on May 27, 2009


This book has some useful cites and discussion regarding 501(c)(3) status and legislative activity.
posted by exogenous at 12:52 PM on May 27, 2009


As it is, have a thing (marriage) that other people like me cannot have (for the moment, anyway) actually feels pretty gross.

My long-time spousal equivalent and I avoided the marriage thing for 20 years or so because we felt that we shouldn't have an advantage denied to others through bigotry. Since Iowa legalized same-sex marriages, we decided we could, in good conscience, get married in that state, since our non-complementary friends were not denied the advantage there. So, last weekend, we became Mr. & Ms. Alf-Wimp and we couldn't be happier. Did the deed in Iowa City at a small bed and breakfast at E. Washington & Gilbert. We let everyone we talked to know that we came down, spent money & got hitched because of their civil rights stance.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:55 PM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


As a Californian who has close friends whose gay marriages were fully sanctioned by the state in perpetuity with this ruling, I think you are being unwise, and should reconsider, because the message you will be conveying is essentially a "f*ck you" to the ~50% of people out there who still support Prop. 8, who feed off of a victimization mentality and are likely to view any kind of organized boycott as a rallying call, digging their heels in further. At the same time, it sends the wrong message to the approx. 50% who oppose prop. 8, because it says that the larger LGBT community are willing to walk away from California, rather than helping us tip a rather small balance in our direction.

You're absolutely right, and I stand corrected.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:57 PM on May 27, 2009


Excerpt from an interview with Reed Cowan, the director of the upcoming documentary film 8: The Mormon Proposition
CB: When did you decide you were going to be the one to make "8: The Mormon Proposition" and what factor(s) drove your decision? What aspects of your own background or of the Prop 8 campaign brought you to this project?

RC: Truthfully, this film started out as an exposé on the problems of gay teen homelessness in Utah's "Zion" and an examination about WHY otherwise loving parents would kick their kids out on to the streets just because their kids are gay. But as the weeks and months unfolded in our project, I began seeing that history demanded our project be larger in scope. Slowly, but with great force, our focus shifted to what I believe is the "touchstone" of Mormon ideology regarding homosexuality...and that is exclusively Mormon efforts to get PROP 8 on the ballot in California and see its passage. It's the case against Mormons and what I believe has been a decades long work to damage gay people and their causes.
posted by ericb at 2:34 PM on May 27, 2009


Olson and Boies Hold Presser on Federal Challenge to Prop 8; Freedom to Marry Issues Warning
"Watch their press conference [27:32], at which they were asked about their motives (because the LGBT community never thought they were pro-gay), about why it is a federal case, about whether or not they have a family member who is gay, and about the timing of the lawsuit.

Olson says that he has never been part of an organization that is anti-gay: 'I hope that people don't suspect my motives, but we've had lots of conversations about this. I feel that this is the right position...We fundamentally believe what we are saying. And we're going to win this case.'

Said Boies: 'I've known Ted well for 10 years. [Ted] is a person that is committed in his heart and soul to equality. He is committed in his heart and soul to the Constitution. That is why he is here, and that is why he asked me to participate in this litigation.'

Today, Freedom to Marry issued a press release with a coalition of LGBT groups warning that a federal lawsuit could set the fight for marriage back. They also released a new publication [PDF] to that effect entitled 'Why the ballot box and not the courts should be the next step on marriage in California': 'This publication discourages people from bringing premature lawsuits based on the federal Constitution because, without more groundwork, the U.S. Supreme Court likely is not yet ready to rule that same-sex couples cannot be barred from marriage.'"
posted by ericb at 3:38 PM on May 27, 2009


From MTV's LOGO Network:
How the Mormon Stole Everything [NSFW].
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Finally got around to reading the ruling, and I actually think it's kind of brilliant. It avoids the uproar that probably would have followed an opinion calling into question California's initiative/constitutional amendment process but does it in a way that 1) minimizes the practical effect of Prop 8 (i.e., narrows it to only the term "marriage" while maintaining every other substantive right and it doesn't touch the marriages that have already been performed) and 2) sets up the perfect Brown v. Board argument at the federal level.

And here's what I mean by setting up the perfect Brown v. Board argument: The California supreme court basically says that the only effect of Prop 8 is to deny same-sex couples the use of the term "marriage," while the rest of the constitution guarantees them the right to an institution (but not "marriage") with all of the same rights and privileges. That's the definition of separate but equal. But of course under Brown, separate is inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional under the federal Constitution. You don't even have to go through Loving v. Virginia for this one the way the California supreme court set it up.
posted by inara at 5:02 PM on May 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


I agree with inara but wasn't sure how to phrase it without looking like a kook. Would I have been happier if prop 8 had been overturned? Probably. But it is absolutely clear from reading the ruling that these judges hate everything about this case, hate the idea that 50%+1 can do something like this, think the whole process is a blight, and did everything they felt they could do to both mitigate it and point out the absurdity of the whole thing.

If you read the ruling it's clear this wasn't a bunch of people deciding to deny rights to gays, it was a bunch of smart people saying that this was an idiotic, broken process but that they truly didn't believe they had the power to stop it under the California Constitution, but by god here's a bunch of ammunition to use against the process in the future.
posted by Justinian at 5:49 PM on May 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


If you read the ruling it's clear this wasn't a bunch of people deciding to deny rights to gays, it was a bunch of smart people saying that this was an idiotic, broken process but that they truly didn't believe they had the power to stop it under the California Constitution, but by god here's a bunch of ammunition to use against the process in the future.

That is exactly how I read it, as well.
posted by The World Famous at 5:51 PM on May 27, 2009


It calms me a great deal to read you folk saying that. Every time I've come across Prop.8 news this past few months I become nearly livid with rage at the stupidity of it all. And that's as a guy who finds gay sex about as appealing as poop play; I can't imagine how people who are actually affected by it have refrained from going postal.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:55 PM on May 27, 2009


We let everyone we talked to know that we came down, spent money & got hitched because of their civil rights stance.

Right on, Mental Wimp! And congrats!
posted by rtha at 8:45 PM on May 27, 2009


The California supreme court basically says that the only effect of Prop 8 is to deny same-sex couples the use of the term "marriage," while the rest of the constitution guarantees them the right to an institution (but not "marriage") with all of the same rights and privileges.

Right, so all those homosexuals have to do is call it something other than "marriage". Christ, what a tiresome and wasteful expenditure of time and money. Unless I'm wrong and this was about protecting a word and not some perceived sanctimonious concept, it makes a petty issue even pettier.

That's the definition of separate but equal. But of course under Brown, separate is inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional under the federal Constitution. You don't even have to go through Loving v. Virginia for this one the way the California supreme court set it up.

So wait - why is "separate but equal" unconstitutional under Brown but not in this case? Am I understanding this correctly? Is the California Supreme Court is basically saying, "Psst, guys, take this to the Supreme Court"?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:23 AM on May 28, 2009


Is the California Supreme Court is basically saying, "Psst, guys, take this to the Supreme Court"?

My understanding - IANAL - is that that's pretty much what the CSC is doing; they've laid the groundwork in their decision for (an) appeal(s) to courts higher up the food chain. Since IANAL, I am uncertain if this means a circuit court of appeals, or straight to the SCOTUS.
posted by rtha at 7:08 AM on May 28, 2009


So wait - why is "separate but equal" unconstitutional under Brown but not in this case? Am I understanding this correctly? Is the California Supreme Court is basically saying, "Psst, guys, take this to the Supreme Court"?

Yes. Or, at least, take it to Federal court. SCOTUS doesn't want it, and won't touch it, at least not yet.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:02 AM on May 28, 2009


Attorneys Olson & Boies Interviewed About Filing Federal Suit Against Cailf. Prop 8 [09:27].
posted by ericb at 1:03 PM on May 30, 2009


Cheney on gay marriage: "I don't have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that."
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:02 PM on June 1, 2009


Dick Cheney Says He Supports Gay Marriage.
posted by ericb at 12:03 PM on June 1, 2009


Beatcha!
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:05 PM on June 1, 2009


Jinxed!
posted by ericb at 12:23 PM on June 1, 2009


Washington Post: The Mormons are Coming!
"With the battle moving east, some advocates are shouting that fact in the streets, calculating that on an issue that eventually comes down to comfort levels, more people harbor apprehensions about Mormons than about homosexuality.

...Nearly eight in 10 Americans personally know or work with a gay person, according to a recent Newsweek survey. Only 48 percent, meanwhile, know a Mormon, according to a Pew Research Center poll."
posted by ericb at 2:27 PM on June 1, 2009


Californians Against Hate: Mormongate
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) has been leading the national crusade against same-sex marriage since President Gordon B. Hinckley issued such a proclamation in 1988. The Church showed just how effective it could be beginning in Hawaii in the mid-nineties all the way through to California’s Proposition 8 in 2008. They were involved to some degree with all 30 state elections outlawing same-sex marriage.

The purpose of Mormongate.com is to tell the real truth about the Mormon Church’s massive involvement and cover-up of this issue. Nearly all of their activities are intended to be highly secretive. This strategy has served them well over the past 20 years; however, we have recently received documentation of just how they operate.

We will continually update Mormongate.com as we receive new information on Mormon involvement in leading the fight against equality throughout the U.S. We are constantly seeking the public’s help in providing us information on the Mormon Church’s activities around their opposition to same-sex marriage. All tips will be kept strictly confidential. Please help us to lift the Mormon Church‘s veil of secrecy."
View official church documents regarding the church's campaign against same-sex marriage.
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


The License from "Educate Against Prop 8."
posted by ericb at 2:23 PM on June 2, 2009


Also -- The Defenders.
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on June 2, 2009


Betty Bowers Explains Traditional Marriage to Everyone Else.
posted by ericb at 9:31 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


N.H. Senate and House Approve Same-Sex Marriage Bill -- Governor Expected To Sign Same-Sex Marriage Into Law.
posted by ericb at 1:39 PM on June 3, 2009


Live free - or get married.

Nyuck nyuck.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:45 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Come On Rhodey, get your shit together and join the rest of New England already!
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:25 PM on June 3, 2009


It's official.
"New Hampshire became the sixth state in the nation today to approve gay marriage, after legislation was enacted by both the state House and Senate and then signed by Governor John Lynch."
posted by ericb at 2:36 PM on June 3, 2009


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