Same-sex marriage ban banned
Our readers have filed over 800 comments about the federal judge's ruling striking down California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage and they come down firmly on both sides in a heated and not always civilized discussion.
There are those who quote the Bible in defense of the California law and those who attack it as an ancient tome with little relevance to today's world. There are many who wonder why a court has the power to overturn a vote of the people, answered by those who note that votes have defended such indefensible practices as slavery.
Several note that the judge, Vaughn R. Walker, is openly gay, as several news organizations have said, including the Los Angeles Times in an excellent profile.
As Robert Barnes and Sandhya Somashekhar write, "The decision set off joyous celebrations in California and elsewhere, outrage among conservative activists and a solemn determination among those opposed to same-sex marriage to appeal the decision to the nation's highest court."
We'll start with vwcat, who wrote, "I am so happy that the judged ruled this way. I am happy for the gay community and hope this will become the new normal. I think gays have every right to have the same happiness that I have in being married to the one you love. I am happy to see a blow in favor of civil rights and against hate"
But gorams1 said, "Sigh. Another left wing activist judge [first appointed by President Reagan] overturning the will of the people. This will be overturned in the US Supreme Court."
And jdonner2 wrote, "We used to be a country ruled by law. We have become a country ruled by unelected judges. Besides there is no discrimination bases on sex here. Any man can marry any woman and any woman can marry any man."
Lazarus2010 said, "I don't really care one way or the other about this issue, but what concerns me is that the will of the people can be overturned by one judge. Is this the way a democracy is supposed to work?"
To which ggwalt replied, "Don't know about the democracy part, but it IS the way our Constitution works... It's not about popularity. It's about equal protection under the law. If we based laws on popularity, women and African Americans wouldn't be voting. Slavery could have gone on for who knows how long. It would be rule by the mob on any number of emotional, moral, discriminatory issues. Besides which, there is an appeals process..."
But ajeffrey said, "I wish this debate was not in the context of the gay marriage debate because the issues go beyond that hot button issue and reason will not be able to prevail. The real issue is to what extent will our nation defend self-government. If the voters of California elected to legalize bigotry, do they have the constitutional right? The founders would say YES!... Once we as a nation lose the constitution as our guide and begin to look to our modern view of reason and maorality, we will lose our rights totally."
Observer001 wrote, "The fearful and bigoted will rant and rave about this decision. That's ok. Same sex marriage is inevitable. The ban on inter-racial marriage was rightly deemed abhorrent after literally centuries of "tradition" that was the foundation of the ban. So to will the ban on same-sex marriage eventually be abolished. Maybe not today, but in the very near future. Just ask your kids."
But Arno64 predicted that "Laws supporting gay unions as equal to traditional marriage will ultimately, completely destroy the family structure as we know it today within 20yrs."
But thelaw1 wrote, "I never knew why anybody is fussing over this. Gay marriage has nothing that can damage a heterosexual marriage. I never thought it would hurt much. With 2-3% of the population being gay, it seems like much ado about nothing... But clearly, we have yet another case of the people's will being thwarted. If it is constitutional to get it on the ballot, how can it now be unconstitutional?"
divajant said, "I can't imagine what it must be like to to feel that you should have been a sex other than the one you were born into, but GODs law should always be first and foremost in all that we do. And I will pray for all your souls, because you have just given the devil just what he's wanted all the time..."
flamingliberal wrote, "It's a very sad day for the reactionaries, the dinosaurs, the hate mongers, the narrow, the ignorant and the naive. It's particularly sad for those simple folk, good folk, but naive, who believe in the infallibility of a mythological book that was written in the Iron Age. There is no difference between the Xtian mythology and all the other mythologies, yet the Xtian mythology has the force of law with all its warts and limitations. Time to end the favoring of one mythology over another."
To which silencedogoodreturns replied, "Yep. God is just a homophobe. Right"
Garak wrote, "Gay marriage also means gay divorce. Now all the sleazy, bloodsucking divorce lawyers who ruin the lives of straight couples will have fresh meat in the form of gay couples. The court was right, marriage is Constitutional right. But with rights come dangers. The family law bar is out there, foaming at the mouth, waiting to pounce."
tescherm said, "As a heterosexual Californian with gay friends and family who are dear to me, I am so glad that the odious Proposition 8 was overturned. I hope this decision by Judge Walker prevails in the Supreme Court. I am so tired of righteous people who think they have the right to impose their rigid views on others and try to change them because they are "different"..."
Sharon_6441 wrote, "Let's keep the proper prespective on this matter and remember DIVORCE is the biggest killer of marriage, not the gay couple next door. If we truly want to save marriages, then outlaw divorce. And we know that'll go over as well as Prohibition did. (for some reason, we desperately need multiple spouses and booze in this country)."
georgedixon1 said, "By a homosexual Judge...what a surprise...... No worries, the Supreme Court will end this foolishness"
Miss_Fedelm wrote, "I've lived around gays all of my life, as have you, and they have never bothered or harassed me. And for this reason I don't really care what they do. If they want to get married, then so be it. I don't buy into the Republican ideal of using the nanny state to control the lives of other people or to force other people into following my religion."
mw-bkly said, "This was a predictable result since the defense's arguments about how gay marriage will destroy human civilization were completely specious AND there is a basic principle of democratic government that says that a majority cannot vote away the legitimate rights of a minority."
andrew23boyle wrote, "Conservatives often ask what business the government has in "redefining marriage". Maybe they have a point but they fail to ask the next logical question: what business does the government have in defining "marriage" in the first place? The government shouldn't "marry" anyone. It has no business regulating our private domestic arrangements one way or the other and there is no Constitutional justification for it doing so..."
We'll close with tinyjab40, who wrote, "Good. There needs to be a definitive ruling, and only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that. If the current court decides against gay marriage, that tells GLBT folks and centerists like me the result of electing conservative presidents who appoint ultra-conservative judges. We might finally know we have to work to change that. This is a civil rights issue. The turmoil around it won't end until these people have their civil rights."
All comments on this article are here.
August 5, 2010; 9:05 AM ET
| Tags: Judge Vaughn R. Walker. gay rights, same-sex marriage; California
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