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Ted Olson's conservative argument for gay marriage

Yesterday in "The Grand Old Party of distractions", I mentioned how Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision last week declaring California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional had rendered conservatives mute because of the limp defense put on by Proposition 8 proponents. Well, I want to revise that. There is one conservative who hasn’t been mute. In fact, he’s part of a liberal-conservative tag team with David Boies leading the fight for marriage equality. He is Ted Olson.

Not long after I posted that piece, Olson appeared on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC. I include the short exchange below in its entirety because Olson delivers a succinct and eloquent rebuttal to conservative arguments against same-sex marriage.

ANDREA: YOU COME TO THIS WITH A CONSERVATIVE PERSPECTIVE BUT BELIEVING IN THIS RIGHT.

OLSON: DAVID BOIES WAS WORKING ON THIS CASE WITH ME.

ANDREA: YOU ARE THE ODD COUPLE. YOU WERE THE ADVERSARIES ON BUSH V. GORE.

OLSON: WELL, ODD IN THE SENSE THAT WE WERE ON OPPOSITE CASES IN THAT ONE MATTER. FIRST THING I DID WHEN I WAS ASKED TO HANDLE THIS CASE WAS INVITE DAVID BOIES TO JOIN ME BECAUSE WE WANTED TO SEND THIS MESSAGE -- IT IS NOT A CONSERVATIVE ISSUE OR A LIBERAL ISSUE. IT DOES NOT INVOLVE REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS. IT INVOLVES EQUALITY, JUSTICE, AND WHAT COULD BE AT THE END OF THE DAY MORE CONSERVATIVE THAN TWO LOVING PEOPLE THAT WANT TO GET MARRIED AND BUILD A FAMILY THAT WANT TO BE PART OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS AND OUR COMMUNITY. THAT IS A CONSERVATIVE VALUE.

I DON'T THINK THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD THINK OF THIS AS CONSERVATIVE OR LIBERAL. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD THINK AND I THINK IN A GROWING NUMBER ARE THINKING OF THIS AS OUR FRIENDS AND OUR NEIGHBORS AND EQUALITY AND JUSTICE. AND TREATING PEOPLE WITH EQUALITY AND RESPECT AND DECENCY.

How can anyone argue with that?

By Jonathan Capehart  | August 19, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Bois explained their Supreme Court strategy (should it get that far) this morning to Imus:

"He'll [Olson] get the same four votes he got in Bush v. Gore and I'll pick up the same four votes I got in Bush v. Gore, and there's the majority."

Pretty clever.

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | August 19, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It's always been about respecting people for who they are. People everywhere want to find love, build a home and a family and share that life. Stop thinking gays are trying to make you do something or accept something or anything. Leave them alone to live their lives just like you want to be left alone. It's that simple. Can't those who oppose this see that?

Posted by: kchses1 | August 19, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

>>>"How can anyone argue with that?"


Easily. Especially when facts, logic and common sense are unnecessary.

The most benign statements today ("Sky is blue," "2 + 2 = 4" and "America is about freedom and equality") instantly draw argument from factless hotheads who live toward the right end of the political spectrum.

You would have covered yourself if you wrote:

"How could any reasonable person argue with that?"

That would have at least eliminated from consideration all the hotheads, wingnuts, 'angry' people, neo-secessionists, barely-disguised racists, and phony conservatives who give lip service to freedom but really want to use the power of government to coerce people's private lives.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | August 19, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

While I firmly believe that the term "marriage" should continue to be reserved for heterosexual couples, I also believe in personal freedom and equal treatment under the law. It really is a confounding issue because, as someone who has been married for 25 years, I find the idea of gay marriage to be somehow threatening to me. Yet I hate the idea that committed, loving gay couples feel ostracized or alienated by a society that refuses to acknowledge their love and commitment. I had come to believe that civil unions or domestic partnerships were a reasonable answer to the "marriage equality" issue. But gay rights activists dismiss those concepts as the sort of "separate but equal" solutions that have been struck down by the Supreme Court. I don't agree, of course... it seems that civil unions are "different but equal" rather than separate but equal. I wish someone could explain to me why, if all the rights associated with "marriage" are conferred on civil unions/domestic partnerships, such arrangements are insufficient... anyway, as it pertains to the Prop 8 case, I think the real issue isn't whether or not gays have a constitutional right to marry; I think the issue to be decided is whether or not a court can invalidate the will of the people. Prop 8 was decided at the ballot box, not in the legislature. Do the governed not have the right to establish the laws under which they wish to live? Is there anything more consitutionally protected than the sanctity of the franchise itself?

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Ted Olson has lost any conservative compass that he may have once had. The other day, he was congratulating Obama for dishonoring America's dead (including Olson's own wife) at the WTC by saying that they should encourage a mosque to be built there. This man is obviously bitter and angry at God or something similar to behave so irrationally as he is. It's truly sad.
Anyone with have a shred of knowledge of the Constitution knows that there is absolutely nothing in there that legalizes gay marriages.

Posted by: miyago123 | August 19, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

fr outsider6:

>...While I firmly believe that the term "marriage" should continue to be reserved for heterosexual couples, I also believe in personal freedom and equal treatment under the law. It really is a confounding issue because, as someone who has been married for 25 years, I find the idea of gay marriage to be somehow threatening to me...<

As a gay woman who married my lovely wife in June 2008, please explain to me exactly how my marriage is "threatening" to you.

Your statement: "...anyway, as it pertains to the Prop 8 case, I think the real issue isn't whether or not gays have a constitutional right to marry; I think the issue to be decided is whether or not a court can invalidate the will of the people. Prop 8 was decided at the ballot box, not in the legislature...<

Prop HATE was unconstitutional. THAT's why it was rightfully tossed out.

Posted by: Alex511 | August 19, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Ted Olson succinctly said everything that needs to be said about why it's good for gay folks to marry. There's nothing more "conservative" than a stable, loving couple of adults wanting to build their lives together.

Posted by: jaynashvil | August 19, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

outsider6,

Please answer this for me. How is gay marriage "somehow threatening to" you?

Is your husband/wife (I'm sorry, I don't know your gender) going to suddenly turn gay/lesbian as soon as gay marriage is legalized? Are you going to come home from work one day to find a huge gay/lesbian orgy?

I'll take your other questions/statements in reverse order. The majority NEVER has the right to vote on the core rights of the minority. Apply the idea to something else if you don't believe marriage is a right for gays. Women have the right to vote, not just men. Blacks have the right to marry whites. The whole point of the judicial branch is to say "Hey, voters/congress, you got this wrong. This is unconstitutional, sorry."

This is not a direct democracy. The governed have the right to establish laws, but not if they're unconstitutional. The only way to change that is to amend the constitution.

It is never okay for the tyranny of the majority to systematically discriminate, whether it's through voter propositions, federal policies, etc.

I would read the judge's opinion in the prop 8 overturning as to why civil unions are not enough. Marriage is about more than benefits or conveniences. It's about love.

And for straight people to point to two men and say "Hey, you two don't love each other enough to be married, here are a few benefits now be happy" is insulting. I would never ask or expect a Catholic Church to marry me. While I think they are incorrect and discriminatory, that is their religious freedom/right.

What I want is gay marriage to be legal in this country at the state and federal level so I receive the more than 1,500 rights I cannot receive.

Posted by: blenderboy5 | August 19, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Homosexual marriage is a hollow sham to be practiced by a tiny minority of sexually disoriented misfits. For that I fail to understand why Democrats make such a fuss over it.

One thing's for sure though. The Democrat party is the party of all things homosexual. The promotion of the homosexual agenda will help bring the ObamaNation to an end starting in November and for that reason alone is "gay Marriage" of any value at all to America.

Otherwise, it is of no consequence.

Posted by: battleground51 | August 19, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"This man is obviously bitter and angry at God or something similar to behave so irrationally as he is."

Yes, because clearly only someone bitter and angry at God would speak in favor of tolerance and respect for others. Wow--Jesus must have been hella pissed at his daddy, since he preached those things constantly.

Posted by: lizgwiz | August 19, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"The sanctity of the franchise itself" does not entitle the people to dispense with a consitutional right by referendum. That can be done only by amending the Consitution as set forth therein, or by a Supreme Court decision/reversal denying the right's existence.

Posted by: IngaDobbins | August 19, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

blah,blah,blah. all special interest bunch have detracters or those that agree with them. put the homo thing to rest.anything new on illegals or how many americans are still suffering and dying because of another political lying fool as potus? vote for ANYONE that makes a commitment to get this country out of military consiederations in barbaric countries.

Posted by: pofinpa | August 19, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@Alex511:

It's hard to get my head around what's threatening... First, I don't for one second think your commitment to your partner is any more or less important than my commitment to my partner. But I do think it's different. I think part of my problem is fear of change? For 45 years I've known marriage to be something that intuitively meant one man, one woman. So to now change a definition that's been in place for literally thousands of years seems wrong. I guess, in the end, I feel like gay couples want something that just isn't theirs to take. If you consider, as I do, the term "marriage" to be an immutable thing then it's difficult to accept a change to something that's unchangeable. As I said earlier, however, your relationship is a precious thing. It should be cherished and celebrated every bit as much as mine. I know that probably doesn't make any sense... I really do find this issue personally troubling. I want marriage to remain a heterosexual thing but I don't want you to feel your relationship is any less meaningful than a heterosexual one. Anyway, I suppose that's the best I can do. As for Prop 8, I guess time will tell whether it was unconstitutional. I think in the years to come this judge's ruling will be overturned. The fact that the Appeals court essentially left Prop 8 in effect doesn't bode well for those who would overturn it. But take heart, Alex... time is on your side. My adult children, 24 and 22, are fully on board with gay marriage. Times are changing. As today's youth become adults, they will vote differently than Californians did on Prop 8. Whether I support gay marriage or not, it's coming. Maybe not today or tomorrow... but soon. And forever. Good luck. And I wish you a long and happy life with your lovely wife.

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. The 9th circuit didn't leave prop 8 in effect. What they did was stay the issuance of marriage licenses so the prop 8 fans can have their day in court fairly.

Many people who have been following the case agree that it won't go beyond the 9th circuit because there is no one to defend the proposition properly. In order to appeal a verdict, you have to be a victim, and the prop 8 defendants lack legal standing because they're not harmed by gay marriage.

Posted by: blenderboy5 | August 19, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Gay marriage is just more business for divorce lawyers.

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 19, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Blenderboy,

I said they "essentially" left it in place. The fact remains that despite the judge striking down Prop 8, gays can't marry in CA today. As for the appeal, I've heard that argument too, that there's no one to defend the proposition. But most objective legal scholars say that the court will hear the case since it's rather difficult to say those who defended it in the first case are no longer qualified to represent it on appeal. And, of course, if the 9th Circuit refuses the case on the grounds you mentioned, the Prop 8 folks will then have cause to go to the Supreme Court. And I'm sure you'll agree they'll hear it...

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I could be wrong, as I'm not an expert on this (I'm being serious, not rude), but if the 9th circuit court of appeals refuses to hear the case I'm pretty sure it dies.

Isn't that how this stuff works? Like, they could appeal to the Supreme Court if the 9th circuit rendered a verdict, but not if the circuit court refused to hear.

Could be wrong of course

Posted by: blenderboy5 | August 19, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I could be wrong, as I'm not an expert on this (I'm being serious, not rude), but if the 9th circuit court of appeals refuses to hear the case I'm pretty sure it dies.

Isn't that how this stuff works? Like, they could appeal to the Supreme Court if the 9th circuit rendered a verdict, but not if the circuit court refused to hear.

Could be wrong of course

Posted by: blenderboy5 | August 19, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I have the perfect solution to this problem: If you get"married" outside of the purvue of a religious institution, you have a civil union. If you get "married" in or by a church, you get to call your thing a marriage.

Now, this would have to apply if for gay and straight couples. So my husband and I have a "civil union" while a gay couple whose union is sanctioned by a church gets to have a "marriage."

Seperate but equal, right? Because, really, if civil unions are ok, they're ok for all of us.

Posted by: tx-aggie96 | August 19, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Yet I hate the idea that committed, loving gay couples feel ostracized or alienated by a society that refuses to acknowledge their love and commitment.
Posted by outsider6
-----------------------------
The answer is very simple. Civil unions for gays are already legal in California. If gays were to accept that as a good deal, the issue of acceptance would go away.

Those who now accept gay marriage would still accept gays if they accepted civil unions. And ADDITINALLY many people who find gay marriage threatening a traditional institution would have no trouble with gays living in love and harmony. So MORE people would accept gays and MORE people would find gays non-threatening.

You should not conflate the rejection of gay marriage and rejection of gays. The two are different. For many people, gays are fine, but gay marriage is a worrisome interference with the institution of traditional marriage which is already pretty weak these days.

If gays succeed in killing traditional marriage, there will be nothing left for them to join.

What we will have instead is both gays and heteros participating in an anemic institution with a lot of hot air and little of substance.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 19, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@Blenderboy,

I think we've both exceeded the limits of our legal knowledge on this one! :)

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

As a conservative, I genuinely support the rights of gays to marry. I do, however, question the wisdom of doing it throught the court system as opposed to through the democractic branches of government. It seems to be that this issue is better settled by the electorate coming around to see the value of gay marriage, as opposed to by judicial fiat. We should have learned our lesson from Roe v. Wade that cutting short the deliberative democratic process that leads to consensus only results in extremisim.

Posted by: squid1 | August 19, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Olson wrote:

"....AND WHAT COULD BE AT THE END OF THE DAY MORE CONSERVATIVE THAN TWO LOVING PEOPLE THAT WANT TO GET MARRIED AND BUILD A FAMILY THAT WANT TO BE PART OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS AND OUR COMMUNITY. THAT IS A CONSERVATIVE VALUE."

Implicit in this statement is a complete redefinition of marriage. It is a definition that excludes any expectation or reference to procreation as being an important aspect of marriage through sexual complementarity.

It is the acceptance of this redefinition by Judge Vaughan that underlies his decision.

Who is to say that the appropriate definition of marriage is that proposed by Boise, Olson, and Vaughan?

Who is to say that the expectation of procreation through the complementarity of sexuality is not a rational component of a definition of marriage in 2010?

Who is to say that their re-definition is more important to society than the definition accepted in 45 of the 50 states?

The SCOTUS has already ruled that the traditional definition of marriage is constitutional in Baker versus Nelson, and the majority of State Supreme Courts have found it rational and consistent with their state constitutions.

Posted by: captn_ahab | August 19, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Outsider6, thanks for the civil tone of your posts.

"I wish someone could explain to me why, if all the rights associated with "marriage" are conferred on civil unions/domestic partnerships, such arrangements are insufficient..."

It gives people who want to discriminate against gays the leeway to adhere to the letter of the law while violating its spirit. The issue with racial segregation was that governments were deliberately keeping the best facilities for whites while providing facilities for "coloreds" (the word my grandparents used) that were marginal at best. The same thing can happen with civil unions. I can easily imagine a hospital employee denying visitation rights by claiming that a civil-union gay couple "isn't really married" or "isn't really family."

"I think the real issue isn't whether or not gays have a constitutional right to marry; I think the issue to be decided is whether or not a court can invalidate the will of the people."

I'm a straight man who has been married for a dozen years. My choice of woman to marry was mine, not that of the voters. Even if I disagreed with same-sex marriage, I couldn't in good conscience argue that one group should have its spousal choice be subject to popular vote while another group should be exempt.

"So to now change a definition that's been in place for literally thousands of years seems wrong."

Marriage has meant different things to different cultures - one goal of the institution in a huge percentage of them was the acquisition of in-laws. And marriage has meant different things to individual couples within those cultures.

Legalizing same-sex marriage doesn't "change the definition" unless it rendered opposite-sex marriage illegal or void, which it most definitely does not. It would be ridiculous to argue that legalization would discourage opposite-sex couples from marrying. The issue here is not about what marriage means to any particular society, but about the rights and responsibilities of the civil marriage contract. To maintain the legal construct of marriage and limit it only to opposite-sex couples amounts to unconstitutional discrimination.

(As an aside, I've heard some people call for government to get out of the marriage business. But that reminds me uncomfortably of how whites in many school districts turned schools into "private academies" to evade desegregation.)

Posted by: Carstonio | August 19, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I strongly feel that Americans have lost the art of intelligent compromise.

Instead every issue is made into an issue of principle, and how can we compromise principle?

If you like tea and I like coffee, it is wrong that you get tea and I get coffee because that violates equality.

Instead we each get a mixture of 50% coffee and 50% tea, thereby restoring equality.

Gays and heteros need different institutions because their needs, while overlapping in some ways, are radically different in some others. Such different institutions should be provided.

But who wants to see that? Instead we make it an issue of "equal rights", and complain about the "bigots" who are standing in the way of "equality and fairness."

How on earth is this crazy nation going to compete with China? We will be arguing forever over trivial issues while they are forging ahead.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 19, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Prop 8 was decided at the ballot box, not in the legislature. Do the governed not have the right to establish the laws under which they wish to live? Is there anything more consitutionally protected than the sanctity of the franchise itself?
****************************************************
An unconstiturional law, voted on by the people, is STILL unconstitutional. Voting on something "at the ballot box" does not give it a special immunity. Would you defend a similar law banning a marrage between people of different races, as long as it was voted on at the ballot box?

Posted by: lgaide | August 19, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"I think the issue to be decided is whether or not a court can invalidate the will of the people."

So if the majority of Americans wanted to rescind the Civil Rights Act and go back to living under segregation, would that be OK? You exercised your free will by getting married to someone of the opposite sex. Gay people can exercise their free will by marrying someone of the same sex. And if them being allowed to call themselves "married" bothers you, get over it.

Posted by: duhneese | August 19, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

There are more than 1,000 Rights expressly provided to straight, married couples that are ineligible to those who enter Civil Unions. That makes claims of "separate but equal" wrong.

Colorado's Amendment 2 later overturned by the Supreme Court attempted to allow citizens to vote away rights of other citizens. That was held unconstitutional. Prop 8 did the same thing. That process will probably be held unconstitutional as well.

If the government would simply recognize marriages for what they are - contracts - then all citizens who are married - or who enter into goverment recognized Civil Unions, the entire issue would be resolved. Marriages would be performed in churches with all the pomp and circumstance and recognition allowed in their religion.

Civil Unions would be the governments way of extending all rights, responsibilities and obligations associated with a "contract" to its citizenry. Separation of Church and State at its finest!

Posted by: pv2bdrco | August 19, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"I could be wrong, as I'm not an expert on this (I'm being serious, not rude), but if the 9th circuit court of appeals refuses to hear the case I'm pretty sure it dies.

Isn't that how this stuff works? Like, they could appeal to the Supreme Court if the 9th circuit rendered a verdict, but not if the circuit court refused to hear.

Could be wrong of course

Posted by: blenderboy5 | August 19, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse"

The Ninth Circuit can't ignore cases it doesn't want to hear, like the Supreme Court can do. If a lower court decision is appealed to the Ninth Circuit, that court must do something with it -- affirm, reverse, send it back for some action by the district court, etc.

There's no "petition for cert." until you get to the Supreme Court level. You simply appeal and hope for a better result then you got in the lower court.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 19, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

OUTSIDER6 WRITE: "... as someone who has been married for 25 years, I find the idea of gay marriage to be somehow threatening to me."

The solution is simple, GET A DIVORCE!

I an one man who has been married one woman for over 27 years. But if the gays get the right to marry my whole marriage will be ruined. RUINED!

We're planning to get a divorce as soon as marriage equality is legal. We're sure our kids will understand because, after all, the gays just RUINED everything.

Posted by: Len_RI1 | August 19, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@lgaide: With respect, I don't think the law is unconsitutional and I think that will be the determination of the Supreme Court. As for the flawed analogy of mixed race marriage, it's apples and oranges. No comparison.

@duhneese: Again with respect, yours is also a flawed analogy. There's no question that blacks were being denied rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution. That's not necessarily the case here. Marriage is a right -- no question. But the DEFINITION of marriage remains an unsettled question. Massachussets has decided it's two people, regardless of their gender. The Federal government defines it as one man, one woman (DOMA). Californians voted to establish the same definition in their state. Until a universal definition is established by the Supreme Court, the debate will continue. As for "getting over it", I'm sure I will. Change takes time...

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@outsider6:

You asked good questions. I'd like to take a chance to respectfully answer them.

Q1: I think the issue to be decided is whether or not a court can invalidate the will of the people. Prop 8 was decided at the ballot box, not in the legislature. Do the governed not have the right to establish the laws under which they wish to live?

By and large, the government of the people of the United States is a republic. This means that the will of the people, in most instances, is determined by lawmakers elected to represent groups of people. The Constitution of the United States, ratified and ordained by the people, delegated the authority to make laws to a Congress. Similarly, the constitutions of every state has similarly created a republic, in which the people make laws through elected representatives.

California, and only a few other states, allow the people, through a vote, to make laws similar to those the people allow the legislature to make. As any reasonable Californian knows, this system has many positive and negative attributes.

The people of the United States do not have 'a right' to pass laws for the nation. They ordained and ratified a Constitution devolving legislative authority to an elected Congress.

If the legislature, governor and attorney general, elected by the people, are on one side of an issue, and on a date certain a majority of voters who cast ballots are on the other side of an issue, who is exactly said to truly represent the 'public will?'

The only answer is that they all do -- and that the will of the people is difficult to determine precisely on very divisive issues. So what's for sure?
It's perfectly reasonable to say that while the will of the people is difficult to determine, but the rights of the people enshrined in their state and U.S. constitutions are fixed, and unalienable.

Q2: Is there anything more consitutionally protected than the sanctity of the franchise itself?

Yes. The rights of the people enumerated in the Constitution.

It is difficult to determine 'the will' of a people who are widespread, many, diverse and all endowed with individual rights and liberties. Perhaps this is why the Founders felt it easier and more practical to have the people elect representatives.
It stands to reason that it is easier for the people to determine who it is they want to represent them than to determine, by simple majority vote, 'the will' of the people on the myriad of issues a state or nation faces.

I'll add a question:

Q3: Can a constitutional right be determined by majority vote?

No. That is the real heart of the matter.
It is repugnant to freedom-loving people, and to our Constitution, that any individual right would be put to a vote.

Rights are most sacred when a majority would be willing to deny them. The whole concept of a right is that no one, not even a majority of the electorate, can use the ballot box to judge them.

Would you put your own right to free speech up to a vote of your neighbors?

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | August 19, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@Len: You're response is why nothing really gets solved these days. Rudeness and vitriole get us nowhere. I insulted no one nor did I castigate gays for their desire to enjoy the recogition of their relationships thatI enjoy. I confessed that I felt threatened and acknowledged I had a tough time understanding why. Your sarcasm is uncalled for.

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

outsider6 wrote:
"I wish someone could explain to me why, if all the rights associated with "marriage" are conferred on civil unions/domestic partnerships, such arrangements are insufficient..."
-----------------
So you'd have no problem introducing your significant other to family, friends and co-workers as your civil union partner? What do you think that would indicate to everyone you know? -- That your relationship shouldn't be considered to be the same thing as a marriage.

The word "marriage" has a social status in the world, that "civil union" or "domestic partner" doesn't even come close to equaling. Why should anyone have to settle for 2nd class status? Isn't that what America stands for... equality for all it's citizens? Please look up the word "liberty" and read what the definition is.

Posted by: obtusegoose | August 19, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

1EgoNemo: Great post. I appreciate the detail and agree with everything you said. But the question remains, don't you have to define marriage before you can determine to whom the right is given? Do polygamists also have a consitutional right to marry? To be sure, the majority has denied them that right. Is the majority wrong there too? I ask the question seriously... the right to marriage seems so different from the right to vote or speak or bear arms. Those other rights seem straightforward and easy to define. Marriage, not so much.

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to attorney Olson and Boies and to Judge Walker. And to the US Constitution for trumping a misguided popular vote against marriage in CA.

Onward to full civil and marriage equality rights in 21st century America, and abroad.
Cheers, Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
Washington, Connecticut, USA.

And to CT too for being a marriage equality state since 2008.

Posted by: cornetmustich | August 19, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@Goose: So the issue isn't about having the same rights as heterosexual couples, it's all about social status?

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Q3: Can a constitutional right be determined by majority vote?

No. That is the real heart of the matter.
It is repugnant to freedom-loving people, and to our Constitution, that any individual right would be put to a vote.

Rights are most sacred when a majority would be willing to deny them. The whole concept of a right is that no one, not even a majority of the electorate, can use the ballot box to judge them.

Would you put your own right to free speech up to a vote of your neighbors?
______________________

As same sex marriage has never existed in the culture or history of the United States (ore even Western Europe) until extremely recently it can not be claimed to be a constitutionally protected civil right. Even Judge Vaughan had to accept a new definition of marriage, that he favored, to find prop. 8 unconstitutional.

As same sex marriage is the request for anew right not the exercise of an existing civil right, it needs to be granted through either the legislature or the ballot box if desired by a majority of a given society.

Merely obfuscating the issue by claiming that same sex marriage is a civil right and conflating race and gender in marriage does not make it so.

The SCOTUS will find prop. 8 constitutional, because same sex "marriage" is not a constitutionally guaranteed civil right, and the states have the right to restrict marriage within the bounds of the US constitution.

Posted by: captn_ahab | August 19, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Q3: Can a constitutional right be determined by majority vote?

No. That is the real heart of the matter.
It is repugnant to freedom-loving people, and to our Constitution, that any individual right would be put to a vote.

This statement is simply not true. Individual rights and collective rights are put to the vote all the time. The Civil Rights Act, Medicare, the new health care law were all passed by the elected branches of government and certainly affect individual rights. Constitutional rights are those for which a vote is inapplicable, which leads us to the heart of the matter. In what sense does Prop 8 violate a constitutional right?

Rights are most sacred when a majority would be willing to deny them.

Rights are sacred when the constitution says they are.

The whole concept of a right is that no one, not even a majority of the electorate, can use the ballot box to judge them.

Simply false.

Would you put your own right to free speech up to a vote of your neighbors?

That's a contitutional right, and one, I may add, that's subject to reams of qualifications, restrictions, and yes, even laws passed by the elected branches. There are rights granted by the constitution and rights granted by legislatures. They are both rights. They are both subject to the will of the people, the latter completely so.

Posted by: squid1 | August 19, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Q3: Can a constitutional right be determined by majority vote?

No. That is the real heart of the matter.
It is repugnant to freedom-loving people, and to our Constitution, that any individual right would be put to a vote.

This statement is simply not true. Individual rights and collective rights are put to the vote all the time. The Civil Rights Act, Medicare, the new health care law were all passed by the elected branches of government and certainly affect individual rights. Constitutional rights are those for which a vote is inapplicable, which leads us to the heart of the matter. In what sense does Prop 8 violate a constitutional right?

Rights are most sacred when a majority would be willing to deny them.

Rights are sacred when the constitution says they are.

The whole concept of a right is that no one, not even a majority of the electorate, can use the ballot box to judge them.

Simply false.

Would you put your own right to free speech up to a vote of your neighbors?

That's a contitutional right, and one, I may add, that's subject to reams of qualifications, restrictions, and yes, even laws passed by the elected branches. There are rights granted by the constitution and rights granted by legislatures. They are both rights. They are both subject to the will of the people, the latter completely so.

Posted by: squid1 | August 19, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@koolkat - not quite. The court can dismiss proponent's appeal for lack of article III standing, which is not at all outside the realm of possibility. And yes, if this happens, no SCOTUS.

Posted by: twsbbl | August 19, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"Do polygamists also have a consitutional right to marry?"

Valid question. In principle I would argue that such a right exists for polyamomous relationships, but in practice I think the right would have to be weighed against the inherent responsibilities that any legal marriage involves. It might involve a different legal instrument that more closely resembles a membership cooperative, although it could still be called a legal marriage.

The other concern applies specifically to polygamous relationships and not to polyandrous ones - they tend not to be consensual. One can argue that polygamy specifically can be illegal as a method of going after power-mad predators like Warren Jeffs.

Posted by: Carstonio | August 19, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Hi outsider6,

I really admire that you are struggling with this issue. I think a lot of fair-minded people fear this kind of change, while at the same time worry about the gay people they know and love.

I think it's possible that your ballot questions are actually a kind of back-rationalization. Change scares you - and that's OK - so you are looking for reasons to support your fear or hold off the change.

But I'd just like to say this: You don't have to worry. The world really won't change all that much once gay people can marry. We're a small population and we respect marriage SO MUCH that many of us fight for it every day.

I think it's likely that the women's movement actually had a far, far greater impact on the definition of marriage than the gay civil rights movement ever will.

On a personal note: I once supported civil unions over marriage, back when I thought benefits trumped human relationships. But it has become clear to me, both in conversation with friends and strangers and in observing the actual world, that very, very few people regard "civil unions" and "marriage" to be equal.

If you tell your mom or your boss or the hospital "I'm married," EVERYONE understands what that means. They understand the responsibilities and obligations that come with that relationship.

But if you say, "I have a civil union," or "a partner," people don't treat your relationship with the same kind of respect that it deserves.

This is actually not about gay people wanting one thing over the other. It's about the fact that STRAIGHT people simply don't view civil unions as equal to marriages - which means that we can't view them as equal, either.

Would you choose to have a civil union with your partner instead of a marriage with your wife? And if you wouldn't stand for that, why should we?

If I may, let me suggest a really wonderful book by a fairly conservative writer: Gay Marriage: Why it's good for gays, good for straights and good for America, by the Atlantic's Jonathan Rauch. I know it clarified for me how important marriage is as an institution and why equal marriage will strengthen, not diminish, it.

Posted by: SunshineNYC | August 19, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

twsbbl: Wouldn't a ruling that Prop 8's defenders lack standing be grounds for appeal?

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@outsider6:

"Marriage is a right -- no question. But the DEFINITION of marriage remains an unsettled question. Massachussets has decided it's two people, regardless of their gender."

I think you misunderstand the nature of a 'right.'

Take your quote of above, and replace the word 'marriage' with the word 'speech.'

You get the nonsensical "Speech is a right, no question ... But the definition of speech remains an unsettled question."

The statement is true, in the regard that even 225 years after the ratification of the Constitution we still debate what 'free speech' is -- but no one, no one, says that speech needs to be curtailed while legal definitions are worked out.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | August 19, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: miyago123

"Unfortunately, Ted Olson has lost any conservative compass that he may have once had. The other day, he was congratulating Obama for dishonoring America's dead (including Olson's own wife) at the WTC by saying that they should encourage a mosque to be built there. This man is obviously bitter and angry at God or something similar to behave so irrationally as he is. It's truly sad.
Anyone with have a shred of knowledge of the Constitution knows that there is absolutely nothing in there that legalizes gay marriages."
==========================================
Geeze? What rock did you crawl out from under?
1) Obama correctly stood up for our Constitutional Right of Freedom of Religion.
2)"bitter and angry at God" ? I'm glad that I don't worship the God you have created out of whole cloth.
3)The Constitution? Where does it state that marriage between gays is illegal?
Geeze . . . how ignorant and narrow minded!

Posted by: lufrank1 | August 19, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"The Civil Rights Act, Medicare, the new health care law were all passed by the elected branches of government and certainly affect individual rights. Constitutional rights are those for which a vote is inapplicable, which leads us to the heart of the matter. In what sense does Prop 8 violate a constitutional right?"

You confuse a right with an 'affect' on a right.

Rights, by definition, are 'inalienable.'

That means they are inextinguishable, unalterable, fixed, permanent and possessed from birth to death.

The Constitution does not 'grant' rights. Rights are endowed in a person by their Creator, as you may recall.

The Constitution creates a government, and then instructs it to preserve, protect and defend the inalienable rights of the people. The people created the Constitution, not the other way round.

You claims of 'false' are false themselves. Wholly and utterly.

We, the people of the United States, do not put rights up to a vote. How could we? We believe the each person is endowed with inalienable rights by virtue of their birth as human beings.

The Constitution is an effort to men and women to use language to describe those rights, and then create a human system by which those rights are respected, preserved and protected.

Any human effort has imperfections in it. That is why the Constitution as amendments, and why it creates a judicial branch -- these are the mechanisms by which the people make their Constitution 'more perfect.'

Your assertions of 'false' are false themselves.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | August 19, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@captn_ahab
As same sex marriage has never existed in the culture or history of the United States (ore even Western Europe) until extremely recently. . .
------------------------------
Neither had the right of women to vote, and all the same arguments were used--it's unnatural, women will not vote as their husbands (the natural heads of families) do, and their voting will destroy the sanctity of the family and bring the country to its knees.

Posted by: loco71 | August 19, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@Sunshine: I appreciate your perspective... I certainly hadn't thought of my position from that angle. Regarding the perception of civil unions versus marriage, I think those perceptions would evolve once civil unions became mainstream across the country. I can't agree with you that straight people, by definition, WANT to relegate civil unions to a lower status. I think most people are generally fair-minded and recognize the equality of a gay union to a straight one. I think most believe gays deserve the freedoms straight people enjoy, they just want their traditional understanding of marriage to be upheld. Anyway, thank you for the kind words. As I said earlier, I really do think society is moving in your direction. Soon enough my kids will represent the majority view. In the meantime, I will check out Mr. Rauch's book.

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Lots of people can argue against equality and justice - just ask a Republican.

Posted by: vfazio | August 19, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

'Gay' marriage is prime example of how we humans can convince ourselves of the truthfulness and goodness of almost anything. Its a sad commentary on our intelligence.
In our society, we have reduced marriage to essentially a business contract between 2 people. In that light, 'Gay marriage' makes perfect sense. But marriage in the true sense of the word isn't about a business contract, to be made or broken as the couple sees fit. Further, marriage provides the perfect environment for the two sexs to relate to each other. It isnt met for two people of the same sex to relate to each other. That same-sex relationship is called friendship in all its various forms, not husband and wife.

Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?" He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate. "They said to him, "Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?" He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery." [His] disciples said to him, "If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." He answered, "Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."

No amount of voters voting, legislators legislating, judges judging, pollsters polling or opinion leaders opining will change Truth or marriage.

Posted by: bruce18 | August 19, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Precisely the argument of the LDS church in the 19th century regarding polygamy, and continued by LDS splinter groups to this day. The power of their argument increases with time. Since the nouns 'male' and 'female' are now dispensable in a marriage equation, what use is the adjectives of 'one' or 'two' or 'ten?'

Posted by: feslop | August 19, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Interesting point Loco71.

Women could vote in Wyoming starting in 1876. Every state had the ability, under the interpretation then, to grant women the right to vote, or not to.

Most chose not to.

The U.S. Constitution was amended in the 1920s to recognize a right to vote in women -- which in fact, they had all along (nothing in the Constitution expressly forbade it).

What was clear from that example is that the clear nonsensical idiocy of a 'right' to vote for women being recognized in one state, and not in another, was just too stupid for words.

Either voting was a universal right or it was not. Or, put another way, if it is was a 'right,' then it HAD to be universal, or it wasn't really a right at all, voting -- all voting, including voting by men -- was just a privilege, not a right.

When a 'right' can be exercised by some, and there is no rational reason to deny the exercise by others, on account of some immutable characteristic that makes them different, it is not a right for anybody.

In the women-voting case, it was finally recognized that the possession of different sexual organs (the only provable difference between men and women) was irrelevant in the ability to vote.

Women were voting in Wyoming, and yet the world continued to turn, the sun coming up each morning and setting in the evening. Chickens still pecked in the yard, and smoke went properly up the chimney.

The denial of the right of women in other places, to vote, then, seemed totally meaningless, and actually constituted a threat to the institution of voting -- since if voting was a mere privilege for one class (women) then it suggested that voting wasn't a right for anyone else either, and that it could be taken away at a change in the whim of a legal 'definition.'

There is no instance in American history in which freedom recognized in people of good will turned out to be a bad investment.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | August 19, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@captn_ahab
As same sex marriage has never existed in the culture or history of the United States (ore even Western Europe) until extremely recently. . .
------------------------------
Neither had the right of women to vote, and all the same arguments were used--it's unnatural, women will not vote as their husbands (the natural heads of families) do, and their voting will destroy the sanctity of the family and bring the country to its knees.
___________________________

And women's suffrage was added to the Constitution of the US through an amendment approved by at least 3/4 of the state legislatures.

In addition, women did have suffrage in some of the colonies in some elections dating back to the colonial period and predating the adoption of the aforementioned amendment.

There has never been same sex marriage in the West until the late 20th century in a few select jurisdictions and American states.

I believe that the EU equivalent of the US Supreme Court has recently ruled that same sex marriage is not a guaranteed civil right in the EU, but depends on the culture and laws of each individual European country.

Posted by: captn_ahab | August 19, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. Constitution was amended in the 1920s to recognize a right to vote in women -- which in fact, they had all along (nothing in the Constitution expressly forbade it).

--------------------------
Nothing in the Constitution expressly forbids same-sex marriage. Am I missing something?

Posted by: loco71 | August 19, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to believe all the bible sanctity and blather about marriage when all anyone has to do to divorce a spouse (even in good old Virginia) is live apart for a year. All marriages are civil unions in some sense--let who wants to have his or her marriage "sanctified" and called marriage.

Posted by: loco71 | August 19, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The courts absolutely have the right to strike down the will of the people. In fact, they have a Constitutional duty to do so. Every year, many laws that have gotten passed get struck down because they violate something in the Constitution. The Judicial branch has equal power in our system of government. Just because people vote for a law doesn't mean it's untouchable. The courts have the final say. Always have. Always will. Take a civics lesson if you don't understand. Also, I see people saying that gay couples deserve all the legal benefits of marriage, but they're not comfortable with it being called "marriage." That seems very odd to me. If it's identical to marriage, then it's a marriage. Calling it something else so that a few uptight straight people won't experience a slight twinge of discomfort is silly. Just get over it and start worrying about all the things in this world that CAN have a negative impact on you.

Posted by: skrut003 | August 19, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Homosexual marriage is a hollow sham to be practiced by a tiny minority of sexually disoriented misfits. For that I fail to understand why Democrats make such a fuss over it.

One thing's for sure though. The Democrat party is the party of all things homosexual. The promotion of the homosexual agenda will help bring the ObamaNation to an end starting in November and for that reason alone is "gay Marriage" of any value at all to America.

Otherwise, it is of no consequence.

Posted by: battleground51 |

=======

^^ BEHOLD THE LUNATIC!

Posted by: alarico | August 19, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

loco 71 wrote:

It's hard to believe all the bible sanctity and blather about marriage when all anyone has to do to divorce a spouse (even in good old Virginia) is live apart for a year. All marriages are civil unions in some sense--let who wants to have his or her marriage "sanctified" and called marriage.
_________________________

See here's the rub, ease of dissolution or not. In traditional marriages, sexual activity can often lead to children. The state has a real interest in the welfare of those children, the welfare of a child bearing woman who may have stayed home to care for the children, and the continued support of those children and their mother.
The state has a real interest in privileging marriage to encourage heterosexual sexual activity within marriage and keeping track of what happens to the kids after the marriage.

It has nothing to do with religion whatsoever.

The pro same sex marriage side loves to ignore that and scream religion, so that they can invoke separation of church and state arguments.

A rational person knows that doesn't hold water.

Posted by: captn_ahab | August 19, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Some people can have children the old fashioned way. Therefore gays should be denied due process and equal protection under the law.

Makes perfect sense to me!

Posted by: Freestinker | August 19, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

ha! i was wondering when that straw-man would emerge.

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | August 19, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

See here's the rub, ease of dissolution or not. In traditional marriages, sexual activity can often lead to children. . .
The state has a real interest in privileging marriage to encourage heterosexual sexual activity within marriage and keeping track of what happens to the kids after the marriage.
_______________
So . . .infertile people, couples who don't have children, those who are too old to have children . . .shouldn't be "married"? I've heard all these silly arguments before. As someone above said, if a civil union is a marriage in all but name only, call it a marriage and get over it. Or admit that all marriages are civil unions ONLY.

Posted by: loco71 | August 19, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Marriage has been changing a lot in the past century and the judge did address this evolution of marriage in the United States. It was once a way of handing off a woman from her father to her husband. Women themselves were [condescended to|treated like children|chattel|indentured servants|slaves] until slow changes in education and society allowed women to be equals in society and under the law. As women became equal, marriage law changed to reflect it.

It appears that the loudest opponents are the ones who are bemoaning the loss of the patriarchy in marriage. The ones who think that only men should decide, that only men can choose to divorce, that men should be allowed to beat up their wives, that men should make all of the decisions. Their marriages are now a sham because they are not able to treat their wives as slaves any more and they resent it. They are a century and a half too late.

Posted by: david6 | August 19, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

See here's the rub, ease of dissolution or not. In traditional marriages, sexual activity can often lead to children. . .
The state has a real interest in privileging marriage to encourage heterosexual sexual activity within marriage and keeping track of what happens to the kids after the marriage.
_______________
So . . .infertile people, couples who don't have children, those who are too old to have children . . .shouldn't be "married"? I've heard all these silly arguments before. As someone above said, if a civil union is a marriage in all but name only, call it a marriage and get over it. Or admit that all marriages are civil unions ONLY.

Posted by: loco71 | August 19, 2010 4:14 PM |
_______________________________

Ohhhh, I see. The problem is that you don't understand how the law works, or that you are up for using this old canard.

The law sets up the paradigm that in the general case assumes procreation will occur (i.e. marriage is a male female proposition). It would be intrusive, an invasion of privacy, and completely ineffective to inquire any further. So the law says if you fit that paradigm you meet the other restrictions you can marry.

Judge Vaughan found it necessary to redefine marriage in his decision and to exclude procreation from his new more modern definition of marriage to arrive at his judgment.

The majority of state supreme courts have not accepted his new definition.

It is likely the SCOTUS will not accept it either.

Posted by: captn_ahab | August 19, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"Makes perfect sense to me!"

Heh. The procreation argument could easily justify denying legal marriage to straight couples who aren't biologically capable of having children. Plus, legal marriage helps benefit the children of gay couples, whether these couples adopt or they reproduce with outside assistance. So any ban on same-sex marriage amounts to singling out people based on sexual orientation.

Even if government has a compelling interest in promoting procreation, legal same-sex marriage does nothing to hinder procreation. If that interest is so great that government must deny marriage to gays, then it would be reasonable for government to go further and require all fertile people to marry regardless of orientation, like a procreative version of the military draft.

Posted by: Carstonio | August 19, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

So, Captain, since you appear to think that the state should forbid marriage to some couples who cannot have children do you think that the state should forbid marriage for all couples who cannot have children?

Posted by: david6 | August 19, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"So any ban on same-sex marriage amounts to singling out people based on sexual orientation."

To clarify, any justification for banning same-sex marriage must focus on orientation alone. Procreation and parenthood are invalid as justifications because some gays have children and some straights won't or can't.

Posted by: Carstonio | August 19, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Precisely the argument of the LDS church in the 19th century regarding polygamy, and continued by LDS splinter groups to this day. The power of their argument increases with time. Since the nouns 'male' and 'female' are now dispensable in a marriage equation, what use is the adjectives of 'one' or 'two' or 'ten?'
-------------------------------

If a consensus emerges in our culture that poly-marriages are harmless to society and the state has no rational cause to restrict them, then they may become legal as well, but such a consensus does not exist and might never. For example, in the trial over Prop 8, the proponents of Prop 8 were unable to produce any evidence that gay marriage was harmful to anyone. If the trial had been about poly-marriage, then there would have been a lot of evidence introduced about its harmful affect on women, children, etc. The behavior science world has long viewed homosexuality as a natural variation of human sexuality. Poly-marriage has no foundation of support within academia like that. That doesn't mean that some future generation won't see it differently. And if that happens, then they might just legalize poly-marriages.

Posted by: skrut003 | August 19, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, poor "outside6" feels threatened by same sex marriage! Has Outsider6 ever lost his job because he was straight? Has he ever been physically attacked because he was straight? Been called names (I note that someone has already called us "misfits")?

Same sex marriage is going to be legal in the entire United States soon. Get over it. I am not interested or threatened by your marriage. The fact that you feel threatened by other people's marriages suggests you need to work on your own.

Posted by: homer4 | August 19, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

outsider6, you obviously trying to escape from a dilemma, but there is no stable middle position here. Gay couples are not going to validate your desire to respect them by giving them a separate institution that brands them as inherently inferior. Ultimately, you must either accept committed gay couples as your equals or reject them as unequal. There is no middle.

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 19, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Hi outsider 6,

I appreciate your taking your time to really think through these issues. I encourage you to read Judge Walker's decision if you haven't already. You can find it here:

http://documents.nytimes.com/us-district-court-decision-perry-v-schwarzenegger

The testimony of the gay couples who brought the suit really sums it up: society does not view domestic partnership or civil union and marriage to be equally valid.

I think your interpretation that this is about social status is just not right (we're not asking to be the most popular kid in the class). As long as there are two separate types of union there will be separate and unequal treatment for the people who enter into those unions. For instance, in 2004, when California changed the structure of domestic partnership, the California Secretary of State sent a letter to all individuals in registered domestic partnerships notifying them of those changes. If the couple wanted to avoid the financial effects of the new law, the California Secretary of State suggested that they dissolve their partnership. Would a top government official of a state ever have recommended divorce to married couples if marriage laws changed? No, because marriage is thought of as a sacred right and the ultimate bond of love while domestic partnership is one step up from a business deal. This is just one example of many that prove that any other union is inferior to marriage. After all, in Brown vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that separate is inherently unequal. There is no substitution for the real deal.

It may seem trivial to someone who already has it, but the very history and tradition of marriage is what makes it an important right and not just about social status.

Allowing gays and lesbians to get married won't make your marriage any less special. It's okay to be afraid of change but I encourage you to really think about why you're afraid of this change. What could be wrong with allowing two people in love to get married? Again, I really think you should take a look at Judge Walker's decision. He expresses the argument for same-sex marriage much more eloquently than I ever could.

Posted by: sa1121 | August 19, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"twsbbl: Wouldn't a ruling that Prop 8's defenders lack standing be grounds for appeal?"

No, it wouldn't be a ruling, it would a dismissal of the appeal itself, because the appellants lack standing to bring the appeal. If this happens, it is a dead issue.

Posted by: twsbbl | August 19, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

captn_ahab: The law sets up the paradigm that in the general case assumes procreation will occur (i.e. marriage is a male female proposition). It would be intrusive, an invasion of privacy, and com pletely ineffective to inquire any further. So the law says if you fit that paradigm you meet the other restrictions you can marry.
______________________________

Your argument fails because of it inherent bias. The law cannot inquire into the ability or desire of opposite-sex couples to procreate because that would be an unconstitutional invasion of their right to reproductive privacy. What you fail to recognize, however, is that same-sex couples have the same right to reproductive privacy as opposite-sex couples. The right to reproductive privacy is, in essence, the right to choose NOT to procreate. It is just as much an invasion of the right of gay as straight people to make their civil rights depend on a government assessment of their reproductive choices.

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 19, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"twsbbl: Wouldn't a ruling that Prop 8's defenders lack standing be grounds for appeal?"

No, it wouldn't be a ruling, it would a dismissal of the appeal itself, because the appellants lack standing to bring the appeal. If this happens, it is a dead issue.
---------------------------

And I think that is the likely outcome. Hard to see a ruling against the state getting appealed when the state doesn't want to appeal it.

Posted by: skrut003 | August 19, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

cartsonio wrote:

"....Even if government has a compelling interest in promoting procreation, legal same-sex marriage does nothing to hinder procreation. If that interest is so great that government must deny marriage to gays, then it would be reasonable for government to go further and require all fertile people to marry regardless of orientation, like a procreative version of the military draft."
__________________________

1. The government's interest is not in promoting procreation, but in promoting procreation within marriage. It is the state's interest to limit out of wedlock births for a variety of socially important reasons.

2. By privileging married couples, it encourages heterosexual couples to procreate within marriage.

3. The government can not intrude into the privacy of heterosexual couples nor would it be effective in determining their long term reproductive possibilities.

4. The government does not need a compelling reason to limit same sex marriage, because sexual orientation is not a suspect class. It only needs a rational reason.

5. Judge Walker's finding that limiting marriage to opposite sex couples does not even meet a rational standard, is inconsistent with most state supreme court findings and the finding of the SCOTUS itself in Baker vs. Nelson.

Posted by: captn_ahab | August 19, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Bruce18, making some claims that you cannot support, alleging that Jesus really is on your side and capitalizing the word _truth_ does not make an argument, let alone a persuasive one.

Marriage has always been a business contract. Sure, some people try to imbue it with something else. Some claim that God has something to do with it. Others note the value of love and romance in it. Others imagine that it will make them better parents if they have children, but this is all hopes and dreams of the participants. The actual marriage is a contract that is clearly defined by default by the state which allows some changes in this contract through pre-nuptual and some post-nuptual agreements.

That does not mean that the emotional tie associated with marriage does not exist, only that it does not matter to the concept of marriage. It also means that the contract is what is being considered when we consider whether it is constitutional to keep people of the same sex from getting married. Read the judge's opinion. It is fairly conservative.

Posted by: david6 | August 19, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@Ahab
The problem is that you don't understand how the law works
___________
You got me, buddy. You're obviously the smartest person in the room.

Posted by: loco71 | August 19, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

captn_ahab: The government does not need a compelling reason to limit same sex marriage, because sexual orientation is not a suspect class. It only needs a rational reason.
_____________________________

Please cite the U.S. Supreme Court precedent that establishes that sexual orientation-based classifications trigger no more than garden-variety rational basis review. Hint: There isn't one.

Please explain how the U.S. Supreme Court was able to invalidate anti-gay laws in Evans v. Romer (1996) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003) without applying heightened scrutiny.

Using U.S. Supreme Court precedent, please explain why discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation should not qualify for heightened scrutiny but discrimination based on race, alienage, citizenship, religion, sex, and illegitimacy do.

Please explain how handing out government benefits based on the sexes of the applicants does not constitute a sex-based classification that triggers skeptical scrutiny and, in addition, explain why your theory would not also require the upholding of a ban on interfaith or mixed-citizenship marriages.

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 19, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

This is not something for non-supporters of homosexual "marriage" to be concerned with. The matter will be handled when the constitutional convention is convened, to be sure!

Posted by: numbersch13 | August 19, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and captn_ahab, please explain why you obsessively come into th comment boards here and try to intellectually lord over other people?

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 19, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@Ahab
The problem is that you don't understand how the law works
___________
You got me, buddy. You're obviously the smartest person in the room.
________________________

You know what, bro'?

It's not going to come down to which one of us is smarter.

It's going to come down to whether or not the SCOTUS decides that maintaining the traditional definition of marriage in the constitution of the state of California violates the constitution of the United States and the 14th amendment.

That's what it will come down to- does the state's defining marriage as an opposite sex institution violate any guarantees of the US constitution.

Posted by: captn_ahab | August 19, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Dear Obsessed Captain,

Where is the evidence that the state is trying to limit out-of-wedlock births or cares to?

Since any couple is capable of raising a child, partially or completely related, there is no reason to add "heterosexual" in front of couple. Presumably you are not arguing that same-sex couples cannot raise children properly since that claim was found to be unsupportable in this case.

Judge Walker did not assume this was a question of a suspect class. He found that the reasons given were makeweight. The proponents of Prop 8 failed to support the lowest standard required of them. Unfortunately for them, they were not allowed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to say "my religion promotes bigotry against gays, so I want my religion's bigotry enshrined in law."

Posted by: david6 | August 19, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@ Ahab

No, ultimately, it will come down to justice regardless what the current SCOTUS thinks, and in the scales of justice, your anti-gay prejudice is destined to lose. Go do some polling research.

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 19, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the well-intentioned thoughts on how I might better accept the impending reality of same-sex marriage. It will be interesting to see how the court case comes out. My money is on SCOTUS upholding Prop 8. I think where same-sex proponents have their best shot at judicial relief is the case brought by same-sex partners in Massachussets who are suing the Federal government over benefits. That's a case with some real teeth, I think, regarding equal protection. I think that case could force the Federal government to recognize same-sex marriages. For me these cases are a study in Constitutional law but I realize for many gay couples, this is their life. It's very close to home and affects them deeply. I wish them all the love and happiness -- and rights -- that straight couples enjoy.

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

5. Judge Walker's finding that limiting marriage to opposite sex couples does not even meet a rational standard, is inconsistent with most state supreme court findings and the finding of the SCOTUS itself in Baker vs. Nelson.
---------------------------
State Supreme court ruling don't matter at the federal level. Baker vs. Nelson was a summary dismissal and under the SCOTUS' own rules, it can only be applied to cases that have no significant difference legally. Since the Prop. 8 case deals with a referendum to amend the state constitution, it is very different from Baker vs. Nelson and so the precedent doesn't apply.

Baker vs. Nelson was two gay students trying to force that state of Minnesota to issue them a marriage license. They lost all the way up through the state supreme court. The ruling against them was appealed to the SCOTUS, which gave it a summary dismissal, thereby enabling it to serve in a limited fashion as a precedent. A lot has changed since 1972, though, and it's questionable whether even today's conservative SCOTUS would pay much deference to the dismissal.

Posted by: skrut003 | August 19, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Why not get rid of marriage all together and from now on call what once was a marriage civil unions, be they between two men, two woman or a man and a woman. If you want to get married, go to a church, if you want a civil union go to the court house.

I find it humorous that some have commented here that Olson is no longer a conservative because he doesn't share your view and that his view is without any logic or reason, classic reaction from ignorant bigoted people.

Posted by: JBUD | August 19, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Baker v. Nelson is irrelevant--as EVERY state and federal court to consider same-sex marriage cases in the last two decades has correctly concluded.

Sorry, Ahab, but some of us DO know how the law works.

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 19, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Ahab:
"Bro' "? trying to be funny? Can you determine my gender by peering through the Internets?

Posted by: loco71 | August 19, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@ Ahab

No, ultimately, it will come down to justice regardless what the current SCOTUS thinks, and in the scales of justice, your anti-gay prejudice is destined to lose. Go do some polling research.
________________________

I have no prejudice against gays.

I hate any abuse or discrimination against gays.

I find them offensive.

However, you are conflating a desire to maintain the current definition of marriage with anti gay bigotry.

That is ugly on your part, because it allows you to malign people whose values you do not share. In so doing it disallows any disagreement with your position on marriage, when there are arguments on both sides of the question that are worth hearing.

They are not the same, but you may continue to conflate the two if you feel it gives you some moral high ground.

Posted by: captn_ahab | August 19, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@ JBUD

I would have no objection at all to leaving the word "marriage" to religious institutions and having the government use the term "civil union" for everyone.

Unfortunately, that is never going to be a realistic option. The opposition to removing "marriage" from the civil law would be intense--much more intense that opposition to same-sex marriage, which is fading.

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 19, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"4. The government does not need a compelling reason to limit same sex marriage, because sexual orientation is not a suspect class. It only needs a rational reason."

"A rational reason" ...

Some people can have children the old fashioned way. Therefore gay people should be denied due process and equal protection under the law.

Makes perfect sense to me!

Posted by: Freestinker | August 19, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@ Ahab

My goodness, look how outraged the little smug loudmouth gets when the worm turns and he isn't the one lording over someone.

Go tell an infertile straight couple that their marriage is a sham and then I'll listen to you pound your chest about how you're not just a common anti-gay bigot.

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 19, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

loco71 to Ahab: "Bro' "? trying to be funny? Can you determine my gender by peering through the Internets?
________________________

LOL! No, he one of those people caught between his anti-gay prejudice and wanting to be nice. So he says things like, "Your marriage is a counterfeit sham...bro'." He thinks the bro' compensates for the bile-spewing and refusal to re-examine his own prejudices.

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 19, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Seporate but equal was struck down in Brown v. Bourd. In this case they said that seporate schools, that were "equal" (I use quotes as in most cases they weren't) were not constitutional. As part of evidence, they showed a study that gave African American Children a choice to play with either a white doll or a black one. The majority of the children would choose a white one to play with, say that it was "Better". Now, let's say we ell gay and lesbian couples that they have the right to a civil union, and we did a study along the same lines with children adopted by these couples, showing them a married family and a family with a civil union, which one would they choose to play with?

The word marriage is a very traditional word. Generally it entails a sense of love and deep affection for your partnor. It has been around for hundreds of years. If we were to tell Gay and lesbian people that they could not have a "marriage" but rather a "civil union", it implies, no matter how equal the rights involved are, that that is less and that they don't desere a marriage.

Moreover, the people do not have the right to discriminate. They can't tell an African American, Native American, Hispanic person, or any minority that they have to sit at a seporate bar, even if they could vote on it.

Posted by: davidofhumans | August 19, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I think Olson is more of a Libertarian than a Conservative...Nevertheless, I hope and pray that this "odd couple" will next take up the issue of birthright citizenship of the 14th ammendment all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States. It is unrealistic for ANY party member to argue for repeal of this ammendment - it would be too monumental of a feat to expect 2/3rd of ALL states to approve of this idea. But rather, for the Supreme Court to clarify and to set a precedent going FORWARD not retroactively (that would also be impossible to enact and to enforce) but to settle this issue for once and for all.

For me, the issue of the right to marriage not determined by sexual orientation but rather TRUE LOVE for the other person and the commitment the individuals would like to make is the same reasoning towards FREEDOM of religion - to practice ANY or no religion is a personal choice and when and where is also a freedom of choice. SIMPLE. Also simple is FREEDOM of choice whether we should buy a product for our own benefit or for our demise - no government and no other individual should have the power to force nor forbid that fundamental RIGHT. The right that the president of the US swore on a bible to uphold and the right that the thousands of soldiers who died in Iraq and now leaving that country have sacrificed their lives and left their loving family - so we, Americans CAN ALL ENJOY that freedom now and forever...

Posted by: american17 | August 19, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I think Olson is more of a Libertarian than a Conservative...Nevertheless, I hope and pray that this "odd couple" will next take up the issue of birthright citizenship of the 14th ammendment all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States. It is unrealistic for ANY party member to argue for repeal of this ammendment - it would be too monumental of a feat to expect 2/3rd of ALL states to approve of this idea. But rather, for the Supreme Court to clarify and to set a precedent going FORWARD not retroactively (that would also be impossible to enact and to enforce) but to settle this issue for once and for all. The freedom from living in fear for the future where anyone from anywhere could arrive here in the US to attempt to claim citizenship. The freedom from knowing that the process and laws of this land will be enforced and those enforcing them WILL BE HELD accountable. The freedom from knowing that no matter the party or affiliation or religious belief, that citizens and legal residents will demand that government PROTECT its citizens and will not pick-and -choose which laws will be enforced or not depending on their party affiliation BUT for the overall safety and security of our land.

For me, the issue of the right to marriage not determined by sexual orientation but rather TRUE LOVE for the other person and the commitment the individuals would like to make is the same reasoning towards FREEDOM of religion - to practice ANY or no religion is a personal choice and when and where is also a freedom of choice. SIMPLE. Also simple is FREEDOM of choice whether we should buy a product for our own benefit or for our demise - no government and no other individual should have the power to force nor forbid that fundamental RIGHT. The right that the president of the US swore on a bible to uphold and the right that the thousands of soldiers who died in Iraq and now leaving that country have sacrificed their lives and left their loving family - so we, Americans CAN ALL ENJOY that freedom now and forever...

Posted by: american17 | August 19, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Why do so many of you care about who somebody else is boinking?

There's just a little too much concern by you christians in particular about homosexuals. How many of you are really closeted homos yourself .... how may larry craigs live in the outrage you pretend?
How many penii have you touched? How much porno span have you responded too ...

I don't for a second believe any of your christians really care about this, other than as an attempt at a way of demonstrating to the other judgemental christans around you that you really don't want to suck on those male protuberances.

Posted by: eezmamata | August 19, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"I have no prejudice against gays."

That does not comport with your behavior.

"I hate any abuse or discrimination against gays."

Again, your posting here is not consistent with that claim.

"I find them offensive."

How self-pitying that people do not believe you when you attack equal rights.

"However, you are conflating a desire to maintain the current definition of marriage with anti gay bigotry."

Not at all. It seems quite clear to me that you have decided on a particularly narrow definition of marriage just because you are an anti-gay bigot. You never have addressed the judge's points.

"That is ugly on your part, because it allows you to malign people whose values you do not share. In so doing it disallows any disagreement with your position on marriage, when there are arguments on both sides of the question that are worth hearing."

The question is not about 'values'. It is whether the law allows discrimination against those who want to get married.

"They are not the same, but you may continue to conflate the two if you feel it gives you some moral high ground."

Are you planning to offer any arguments for discriminating against gays or are you just happy that your religion supports bigotry.

Posted by: david6 | August 19, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Back on the subject of the article, see this explanation by Ted Olson to Fox News: http://blogs.ajc.com/cynthia-tucker/2010/08/09/a-conservative-explains-the-us-constitution-to-fox-news/

He will explain to you exactly how he plans to get those conservative votes at the SCOTUS.

The other part of the team, David Boies, presents his take on the argument in this talk to the California Commonwealth Club just after the Walker decision: http://fora.tv/2010/08/05/Overturning_Prop_8_David_Boies

I don't think this is going to get in the door at the 9th because of the standing issue, but some other case will get to the SCOTUS in the next few years, and some conservatives will be drawn to the equal rights part of the argument, as is Ted Olson.

Posted by: Quine | August 19, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Blacks and homosexuals are the same in their victimhood. Right?

Posted by: carlbatey | August 19, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Another response to Outsider 6 relating to her statement "I think the issue to be decided is whether or not a court can invalidate the will of the people. Prop 8 was decided at the ballot box, not in the legislature. Do the governed not have the right to establish the laws under which they wish to live? Is there anything more consitutionally protected than the sanctity of the franchise itself"

Can you imagine what the vote would have been in Alabama, Missisippi, South Carolina, etc., if the peoper were asked to amend their constitutions in 1960 to keep segregation?? The vote would have been 80% in favor of keeping these descriminatory Jim Crowe laws!

That is why the vote of the people is not the issue sometime! Sometimes courts have to overrule public opinion if the public opinion imposes something that is unconstitutional!

Posted by: esquire38 | August 19, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

To those of you using the Bible as a weapon against homosexuality, you are wrong. Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, Greek temple sex worship, prostitution, pederasty with teen boys, and rape, not homosexuality or two loving consenting adults.


http://www.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
http://www.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
http://www.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
http://www.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
http://www.gaychristian101.com/

Posted by: shadow_man | August 19, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

" I wish someone could explain to me why, if all the rights associated with "marriage" are conferred on civil unions/domestic partnerships, such arrangements are insufficient... "

It's pretty simple.

First, other countries don't recognize 'civil unions' as being anything at all.

So the second gay couples travel overseas they instantly lose all their protections and rights.

And there is emotional and stabilizing power in the term 'marriage'. It has the power to keep people together during the rough times, far more so than 'civil union' ever will.

Last, there is the very real problem with logistics involved in 'civil unions'. Even if the Supreme Court itself were to declare that civil unions were equal to marriage legally, you'd still have local yahoo judges and local officials that would absolutely refuse to grant all marriage rights to gay couples that had 'civil unions'.

Don't believe me? Ask any number of gay civil union partners that still have to fight for basic rights like hospital visitation, etc., even though their civil union was supposed to provide for that.

Also, marriage provides a thousand benefits at the federal level, regardless of whether or not you have a civil union at the state or local level.

And we all know that there's simply no way, given the hate that anti-gay forces have, that gay marriage will be passed nation-wide at the federal level.

Last, frankly, it's a matter of basic fairness.

I pay the same taxes as you (actually, more, since I can't marry).

Since I pay the same taxes, I expect access to the same things you get.

Including legal marriage.

Posted by: TheHillman | August 19, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

"However, you are conflating a desire to maintain the current definition of marriage with anti gay bigotry."

If you were talking to the Lovings back when interracial marriages were illegal in Virginia, would you have argued that your desire to maintain a definition of marriage that excluded theirs was not racist bigotry?

Could I argue that marriage is a Christian institution, and that therefore my desire to maintain that definition and forbid Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, etc. to marry legally was not religious bigotry?

"That is ugly on your part, because it allows you to malign people whose values you do not share."

When your values state that genitals and breeding ability are more important to the reality and the definition of marriage than love, commitment and companionship, your values deserve to be maligned. They are false, shallow, and immoral.

"In so doing it disallows any disagreement with your position on marriage, when there are arguments on both sides of the question that are worth hearing."'

No, there really aren't. Yours, for example, boils down to, "I'm used to marriage being for a man and woman only, therefore it should stay that way, because I'm comfortable like that. Never mind that that means other people, other families get to suffer a thousand kinds of pain, from mild annoyances like having to pay extra for legal arrangements to anguish like having to watch your spouse die because you can't put them on your health insurance and they didn't get diagnosed with cancer early enough, being shut away from their bedside and not allowed to say goodbye because some hospital administrator disapproves of gay people and feels free to ignore a second-class "civil union", having their property taken away and their children handed over to the custody of relatives who hate them, because some judge felt free to disregard the living will of a gay person, etc. None of that is as important as the mild discomfort I might have to suffer at having to tolerate the idea that an institution I wrongly consider to be immutable has been _slightly changed_ to include people whose dangly bits aren't in the proportions I'm used to in a married couple. Not that the changes affect me, I just don't want to live with the knowledge that other people see marriage differently than I do." Yeah, that's a valid argument.

Can I use it to veto your marriage if you violate tradition and treat the woman involved as a full person, or choose your spouse yourself without parental input?

Posted by: Catken1 | August 19, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

MAJOR GOPers Magan Mc Cain, The McCAINS, The BUSHES ,THE LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS The
CHENEYS'

(Fascist Religious X-tians will turn fully ASAP on his SAME SEX MARRIED Daughter when he passes AND THEN SPEAK OUT OPENLY AGAINST HER,HER PARTNER AND CHILD, AS WITH ANY OTHER POLITICIAN, CEO, WEALTHY, CELEBRITY etc. WHO'S CHILD IS SAME SEX)

, , BOTH MLKjr & Coretta Scott King 3 OUT OF 4 of their children etc support it SAME SEX MARRIAGE and Bayard Rustin (His strategizer/ and speech writer "I Have A "Dream"too ,Obama is both (Bush/Cheney etc) of thier BLOOD KIN, Remember that too!!!!!!!!

SAME SEXERS ARE US CITIZENS (9,13&14 AMENDMENTS)
The Inhumane Alienation OF FREE ASSOCIATION WITH OTHER US CITIZENS is evidence in the media, religious extremist etc will be provable to the Courts Trier of Law/Fact. That Hate speech and writtings, publishing makes the extremist accountable Civilly/Criminally For the Terrorist inflicted of US Citizens

( RES GESTAE , RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR, VICARIOUS LIABILITIES OF RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS i.e. KKK SUITS AGAINST CHURCHES etc THAT GIVE HATE TERRORISTICS SPEECH THAT CAUSES SOME TO DO HATEFUL ACTIONS AGAINTS OTHER US CITIZENS) use the PATRIOT ACT

ie ANY TYPE OF VIOLANCE/ HARRASSMENT, BULLYING etc AGAINST ANY US CITIZEN IS TERRORISM ACCESS HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPORTATION AND FEDERAL LAW SUITS SEE US PATRIOT ACT

Corporations are Businesses that SALE products (books/ candle/dvd/ etc) for tax free profit (COMMERCIAL FUNDS), why is that "TAX FREE" so important? Did not ""Jesus" pay Taxes to Cesar? ,ATMs are on Church property, The FDIC code for ATM OF ANY PROPERTY CONSTITUTE BANKING U.C.C. LAWS/IRS 501( UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE) SO YES YOUR CHURCH/TEMPLES ARE BANKS.

FDIC ATM ON ANY SITE IS REGISTERED BY FEDERAL BANKING U.C.C./IRS 501 COMMERCIAL CODES (.) , PASTORS SIGN CONTRACTS TO THE CHURCH BOARD FOR SERVICES etc, IS THAT IN THE BIBLE? NO! i.e. Did not "JESUS" cast out the money changes (Commercial goods sold for temple uses etc) I mean he (JESUS) got violent. Face it you've been had. Goyem/Golem "sheep" Breeding are used for clothing, shelter, FOOD, Entertainment/Amusements, and Social Economic $ Commerce Function, you been had X-TIANS etc., .MEMBERSHIP IS A CONTRACTABLE OBLIGATION, IT'S A BUSINESS $$FUNDS TRANSACTION THEY PROGRAM BELIEFS FOR CONSTANT DIVISION OF MEN, AND KEEP TABS ON THE SHEEP (GOYEM)

ALL CHURCH'S ,TEMPLES, etc., (INCORPORATIONS) ARE BY LAW LLC/S-CORPORATIONS NOT-FOR-PROFIT (FOR PROFIT REALLY) JUST LOOK HOW THE TOP ALWAYS END UP LIVING GOOD AND WEALTHY DOING THE THINGS THE DUMB SHEEP ARE NOT TO DO, a corporation is a Fictitious "PERSON" made up by people to function as one person, CORPORATIONS ARE NOT A CITIZENS 32US243 wikipedia /google Constitine .

Posted by: shaiarra | August 19, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Nothing conservative about homosexual behavior whatsoever.

Posted by: jonswitzer | August 19, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Love the person, hate the sin

Posted by: jonswitzer | August 19, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Because as much as they talk about keeping the government out of peoples private affairs, social conservatives actually want the government to enforce their conservative-social-agenda onto other people who disagree with them.

Posted by: shadow27 | August 19, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Olson expresses his views on a 1,000 topics but you ignore 999 of them.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | August 19, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

While I firmly believe that the term "marriage" should continue to be reserved for heterosexual couples, I also believe in personal freedom and equal treatment under the law. It really is a confounding issue because, as someone who has been married for 25 years, I find the idea of gay marriage to be somehow threatening to me. Yet I hate the idea that committed, loving gay couples feel ostracized or alienated by a society that refuses to acknowledge their love and commitment. I had come to believe that civil unions or domestic partnerships were a reasonable answer to the "marriage equality" issue. But gay rights activists dismiss those concepts as the sort of "separate but equal" solutions that have been struck down by the Supreme Court. I don't agree, of course... it seems that civil unions are "different but equal" rather than separate but equal. I wish someone could explain to me why, if all the rights associated with "marriage" are conferred on civil unions/domestic partnerships, such arrangements are insufficient... anyway, as it pertains to the Prop 8 case, I think the real issue isn't whether or not gays have a constitutional right to marry; I think the issue to be decided is whether or not a court can invalidate the will of the people. Prop 8 was decided at the ballot box, not in the legislature. Do the governed not have the right to establish the laws under which they wish to live? Is there anything more consitutionally protected than the sanctity of the franchise itself?

Posted by: outsider6 | August 19, 2010 1:02 PM |

===========================================

Was it right that years ago "marriage" referred only to a white man and a white woman? Years ago, the people decided that was the law they wanted. However, it is government's role to protect the rights of ALL its citizens, not just those of the majority. The will of the people does not overrule the law, specifically the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which offers every citizen protection from infringement of rights by state or federal governments. Since laws placed on state ballots had to be submitted by state senators or representatives, one could argue that senator or representative - a member of the state government and therefore the government itself - is infringing on the rights of citizens. Such infringement is unconstitutional.

Posted by: damascuspride04 | August 19, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

"In traditional marriages, sexual activity can often lead to children. The state has a real interest in the welfare of those children, the welfare of a child bearing woman who may have stayed home to care for the children, and the continued support of those children and their mother."

Gay marriages often have children. However, the state has no interest in the welfare of these children, because they are unimportant, second-class people. The state has no concern for the welfare of a gay parent who stays home to care for those kids (or a straight father who does so?) or for the continued support of that parent and those kids, because they're second-class people who can starve on the street as far as you or the state care. Kids only matter if they're bred by the two people raising them - adopted kids, stepkids, kids conceived by surrogates or via sperm donation, kids of gay parents, etc. aren't real worthwhile, valuable kids and we don't want them to have real families with legal protection and legal security. Otherwise, we might (Gods forbid) lose sight of the Noble and Beneficial idea that marriage is mainly a purely animalistic breeding arrangement, designed not for love or companionship or lifelong mutual support, but for popping out babies just as fast as possible. Is that what you really believe? How awful.

Speaking as a SAHM in a hetero marriage with a child, why exactly do I and my child deserve more protection and have more rights to legal security for my marriage and our family than a SAHM in a lesbian marriage and her kid/s, or a SAHD of any sort and his? Why is my son's welfare more of a concern to the state than his friend, whose parents adopted him rather than breeding him? How will providing legal security for gay parents and their kids - and for gay childless couples as well as straight - do anything to harm me or my kids?

Even married childless couples cost the state less, in general, and contribute more to society's security, stability and productivity, than unmarried people in general do. How does encouraging people to marry, regardless of childbearing ability, discourage anyone from childbearing or take one little thing away from any parent or child?

Posted by: Catken1 | August 19, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

"In traditional marriages, sexual activity can often lead to children. The state has a real interest in the welfare of those children, the welfare of a child bearing woman who may have stayed home to care for the children, and the continued support of those children and their mother."

Gay marriages often have children. However, the state has no interest in the welfare of these children, because they are unimportant, second-class people. The state has no concern for the welfare of a gay parent who stays home to care for those kids (or a straight father who does so?) or for the continued support of that parent and those kids, because they're second-class people who can starve on the street as far as you or the state care. Kids only matter if they're bred by the two people raising them - adopted kids, stepkids, kids conceived by surrogates or via sperm donation, kids of gay parents, etc. aren't real worthwhile, valuable kids and we don't want them to have real families with legal protection and legal security. Otherwise, we might (Gods forbid) lose sight of the Noble and Beneficial idea that marriage is mainly a purely animalistic breeding arrangement, designed not for love or companionship or lifelong mutual support, but for popping out babies just as fast as possible. Is that what you really believe? How awful.

Speaking as a SAHM in a hetero marriage with a child, why exactly do I and my child deserve more protection and have more rights to legal security for my marriage and our family than a SAHM in a lesbian marriage and her kid/s, or a SAHD of any sort and his? Why is my son's welfare more of a concern to the state than his friend, whose parents adopted him rather than breeding him? How will providing legal security for gay parents and their kids - and for gay childless couples as well as straight - do anything to harm me or my kids?

Even married childless couples cost the state less, in general, and contribute more to society's security, stability and productivity, than unmarried people in general do. How does encouraging people to marry, regardless of childbearing ability, discourage anyone from childbearing or take one little thing away from any parent or child?

Posted by: Catken1 | August 19, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

(Sorry for the double post.)

Posted by: Catken1 | August 19, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

outsider6 respectfully wrights: "I wish someone could explain to me why, if all the rights associated with "marriage" are conferred on civil unions/domestic partnerships, such arrangements are insufficient."

Besides the fact that maintaining a completely separate legal system for gay and lesbian couples is probably unworkable, it's like the drinking fountain. Sure the water [rights] are exactly the same. And yet why do blacks [gay couples] need to drink from the other designated water fountain?

We don't cheapen marriage; we strengthen it.

Posted by: beargulch | August 19, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"Love the person, hate the sin."

The sin, apparently, is religion.

Posted by: beargulch | August 19, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Homosexual marriage is a hollow sham to be practiced by a tiny minority of sexually disoriented misfits. For that I fail to understand why Democrats make such a fuss over it.

One thing's for sure though. The Democrat party is the party of all things homosexual. The promotion of the homosexual agenda will help bring the ObamaNation to an end starting in November and for that reason alone is "gay Marriage" of any value at all to America.

Otherwise, it is of no consequence.

Posted by: battleground51
------
Hey, battleground51, what is the HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA? I have been hearing about this agenda for years but noone ever explains what it is. I would really like to know. So, please enlighten us all, what is the homosexual agenda?

Posted by: nyrunner101 | August 19, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

battleground51 writes: "Homosexual marriage is a hollow sham to be practiced by a tiny minority of sexually disoriented misfits. For that I fail to understand why Democrats make such a fuss over it."

My marriage to my same-sex husband is as magnificent or better than most heterosexual marriages.

Why do you care so much?

Posted by: beargulch | August 19, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how heterosexuals continue to feel threatened by gay marriage. Why should you people feel that are entitled to one description and I another???? Are you better than me???? Do you pay more taxes than I???? Is you IQ higher than mine???? I really doubt it. So why should I have a different type of term than you on a piece of paper???? I strongly advise that if you think you're institution is so wonderful, you might reflect on the hideous rate of divorce, internal strife, unplanned children, abortions, adultery and other vices that you present to me.

You should be worrying about all of your precious heterosexual marriage despicable behavior within your marriages and relationships with those children that you breed, and sometimes before marriage.

I think you all need to get a grip on your own lives and find out what the genuine threat to your marriages are and the answer will always be: your own heteresexual behavior.

Leave homosexuals alone when it involves love, as if you think it doesn't exist in a plane equivalent to the holy version that you equate with yourselves.

And, if you don't want us marrying in your churches, don't allow us. Many of us don't care about your 'exclusive clubby churches' anyway. We'll take us to a Justice of the Peace.

Get That Big Grip on your Arrogance and Your Ignorance.

Posted by: ray17 | August 19, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how heterosexuals continue to feel threatened by gay marriage. Why should you people feel that you are entitled to one description and I another???? Are you better than me???? Do you pay more taxes than I???? Is your IQ higher than mine???? I really doubt it. So why should I have a different type of term than you on a piece of paper???? I strongly advise that if you think you're institution is so wonderful, you might reflect on the hideous rate of divorce, internal strife, unplanned children, abortions, adultery and other vices that are contained in your wonderful marriages, so-termed.

You should be worrying about all of your precious heterosexual marriages' despicable behavior and relationships with those children that you breed,sometimes before marriage.

I think you all need to get a grip on your own lives and find out what the genuine threat to your marriages are and the answer will always be: your own heteresexual behavior.

Leave homosexuals alone when it involves love, as if you think it doesn't exist in a plane equivalent to the holy version that you equate with yourselves.

And, if you don't want us marrying in your churches, don't allow us. Many of us don't care about your 'exclusive clubby churches' anyway. We'll take our to a Justice of the Peace. We can continue to laugh at you all, when we design your gowns, your flowers, play your music and plan your weddings so they reflect au courant taste so lacking in the meagre breeding grounds of heterosexual suburbia that you live in. What a disgusting breed you are; and to think you are OUR parents and take no responsibilities for your own gay offspring. What wreaking stench of values you have.

Get That Big Grip on your Arrogance and Your Ignorance. You must truly believe you are all so important. Try practicing all those bewitching little formulas that come from all those versions of your Gods that you have out there.

Learn what love really is and you'll be lucky if you make it short of the divorce court.

Posted by: ray17 | August 19, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

To outsider6:

In years of reading the comments on same-sex marriage articles, I don't think I've ever come across an opponent as respectful and empathetic as you. I appreciate the fact that you admit that you don't fully understand your aversion to same-sex marriage, and that you essentially view same-sex relationships to be essentially equal to hetero relationships in human terms (love, commitment, respect, etc).

As for the unsettled definition of marriage: It's been changing for centuries. In the 14th century, same-sex marriages were relatively common in France, but they were called something else - "afrèrement".. When the Catholic church found out what was really going on in these relationships, they put an end to it. So such unions are not unheard of in Western civilization.

I used to think that I'd be happy with civil unions and domestic partnerships. I don't much care about semantics - after all, definitions keep changing, and I have no religious convictions when it comes to marriage. The problem: if same-sex relationships are not recognized as marriages, they will be very easy to target for discrimination. And they are already: civil unions do NOT come with the same benefits as marriage. If they did, I'd support them. As it stands, civil unions do not confer things like adoption, tax breaks, inheritance rights and joint economic activity (insurance, finances, etc)...

As to your fear that same-sex marriage will threaten your relationship: your kids are right. Same-sex marriage will only impact your life if you let it. But I'm sure you can see how many people feel that it won't harm your relationship, if indeed your relationship is healthy to begin with. You probably won't notice. But there will be many more happy gay people in your country.

I obviously hope you change your mind on this issue. But even if you don't, I am grateful for your honesty and civility. I don't think you're a bigot. You're a respectful person and I wish more folks who feel the way you do would enter the discussion. Thank you for injecting respect and empathy into an issue that sees little of either.

Posted by: montrealbren | August 20, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

PEOPLE THAT WANT TO GET MARRIED AND BUILD A FAMILY THAT WANT TO BE PART OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS AND OUR COMMUNITY--

Gay marriage cannot "build" families. It is biologically impossible, however if you and your ilk would like to continue to live in the state of denial--go right ahead--but rest assured only an idiot would agree with you because the whole argument is illogical.

I urge you and the two "lawyers" to read the Jefferson Cyclopedia, which I think will help you to understand just how ignorant and low class, this whole conversation is. Homosexuality is a lascivious behavior and the mere fact that our society is so fixated on whether this should become a respected part of our social discourse, only reflects how base we have become and that is nothing to celebrate.

Posted by: thommie1 | August 20, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

When your only argument is: "The invisible man in the sky won't approve" you know you have a losing argument.

Posted by: madest | August 20, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I could not agree more with Ted Olson. Government interference with liberty and business and there clearly is no rational reason why the STATE should bar same-sex couple from access to marriage certificates. If we believe in liberty, freedom and the rule of law, then Ted Olson, Reagan's Judge Walker, Republican Gov Schwarzenegger and many more are clearly right. The Libertarian hero of our generation is Justice Anthony Kennedy. I believe that once again he will defeat irrational government interference and uphold LIBERTY. History books will look favorably on Reagan, Olson, Walker and Kennedy. Califonians can be proud of Justice Kennedy and Walker CJ.

Posted by: indielounge | August 21, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

"Do the governed not have the right to establish the laws under which they wish to live?"
__________________________

Not when the majority's wishes oppress others and deny them equal treatment under the law. This is nothing new -- it's part of our system of government.

Posted by: Manwolf | August 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"Do the governed not have the right to establish the laws under which they wish to live?"
__________________________

Not when the majority's wishes include oppressing others and denying them equal treatment under the law. This is nothing new -- it's part of our system of government.

Posted by: Manwolf | August 21, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

outsider6 wrote: "I don't for one second think your commitment to your partner is any more or less important than my commitment to my partner. But I do think it's different."
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How exactly is it different? Isn't *every* marriage "different"?

Posted by: Manwolf | August 21, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

thommie1 wrote: Gay marriage cannot "build" families.
________________

Every family takes building -- even if it's just two persons. Also, you apparently wish to deny the title of "family" to heterosexual couples unwilling or unable to conceive children -- or even adopt them. You're irrational because your argument is wholly based on your dislike of gay people.

Posted by: Manwolf | August 21, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

An excellent brief history of marriage with some surprising facts...
http://www.cdagro.com/history/marriage.html

Posted by: dean243 | August 21, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

You have betrayed the "Conservative Party". No true conservative could ever be supportive of any type of perversion. Why don't you be honest and just tell everyone what you truly are!?!, A LIBERAL SUPPORTER OF PERVERSION.

Posted by: Rosie58 | August 22, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

You have betrayed the "Conservative Party". No true conservative could ever be supportive of any type of perversion. Why don't you be honest and just tell everyone what you truly are!?!, A LIBERAL SUPPORTER OF PERVERSION.

Posted by: Rosie58 | August 22, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

You have betrayed the "Conservative Party". No true conservative could ever be supportive of any type of perversion. Why don't you be honest and just tell everyone what you truly are!?!, A LIBERAL SUPPORTER OF PERVERSION.

Posted by: Rosie58 | August 22, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Outsider6 said: "I feel like gay couples want something that just isn't theirs to take."
No. Heterosexuals are trying to withhold something that isn't theirs to withhold. There is no reason in the world for you to have rights that are denied to me. That's why they are called rights. Everyone gets them.What you want is to be privileged. You consider yourself part of a privileged class. And it is not your marriage that is threatened. It is your sense of entitlement. Your belief that you are a privileged character.

Outsider6 said: "If you consider, as I do, the term "marriage" to be an immutable thing..."
It is not immutable. It has "mutated" many times. Seriously, let go of the fact-free suppositions. They are irrelevant.

rohit57 said: "Gays and heteros need different institutions because their needs, while overlapping in some ways, are radically different in some others."
And what are those radically different ways that pertain to the concept of marriage? There are none. And if there were, it would still not be grounds for denying either group equal rights.

Outsider6 said "As for the flawed analogy of mixed race marriage, it's apples and oranges. No comparison."
It's not "apples and oranges" just because you declare it so. Here's the apple and the apple: a class of people is denied equal access to the right of marriage. Here's the orange and the orange and the orange: Members of a particular class of people are denied equal protection under the law. You want to go for papayas?

Outsider6 said: "You're response is why nothing really gets solved these days. Rudeness and vitriole get us nowhere."
No. Your opposition to the equality of others is why this doesn't get solved. You are posting, repeatedly, in opposition of to the rights of millions of Americans. And the problem is Len's "tone"? No sense of proportion. You can be as polite and benign as you want, but to deny equality to millions of people -- or to ONE person -- is abominable.


Posted by: MaxtheBear | August 22, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I would think Ted Olson would be more compassionate after what happened to him on 9/11. Apparently he has become an even more bitter person.

Posted by: slydell | August 26, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

If a conservative like Ted Olson can get his head around fundamental and non-negotiable liberal values such equal justice and human rights for all then we have hope.

Posted by: mendonsa | August 26, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

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