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Federal judge rules Prop. 8 same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

By Steven Luo August 4, 2010 60 Comments Print Share

Supporters of same-sex marriage march down Market Street in San Francisco August 4 after a federal judge ruled that Proposition 8, a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, violates the federal constitution. (CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

(8/4) — UPDATED 18:37 PDT — SAN FRANCISCO — California’s voter-approved Proposition 8, which defines marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman, violates the United States Constitution, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Wednesday afternoon.

In a sweeping decision, posted online Wednesday afternoon, Judge Vaughn Walker soundly rejected all of the arguments that same-sex marriage opponents presented, saying “Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

Walker, however, stayed his ruling, preventing same-sex marriage licenses from being issued immediately.

Supporters of the proposition argued that the initiative did not violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, and that allowing same-sex marriage would jeopardize family values and procreation.

In his ruling today, Walker disagreed, saying that Proposition 8 violates both the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution by denying gays and lesbians the right to marry a member of the same sex.

“Proposition 8 both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation,” Walker wrote.

Rejecting Proposition 8 backers’ procreation argument, Walker wrote, “never has the state inquired into procreative capacity or intent before issuing a marriage license.”

Walker said domestic partnerships were not a substitute for marriage, calling them “a substitute and inferior institution that denies marriage to same-sex couples.”

Walker also rejected same-sex marriage opponents’ argument that the state has a right to preserve traditional marriage through the law, saying “tradition alone [...] cannot form a rational basis for a law.”

And Walker said that Proposition 8 backers had not presented enough evidence at trial to show that same-sex marriages would weaken families or the institution of marriage.

Walker called the fact that Proposition 8 passed with majority support from voters “irrelevant,” quoting a 1943 Supreme Court decision which said “fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote.”

Supporters, opponents, officials react to ruling

Supporters of same-sex marriage celebrate in San Francisco's Castro District August 4 after a federal judge ruled that Proposition 8, a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, violates the federal constitution. (CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

Gay marriage opponents blasted the ruling. Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, called Walker “completely biased” and said that the ruling “creates out of thin air” a right to same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, Equality California, a group supporting same-sex marriage, released a statement on its website praising the ruling.

“We are thrilled with today’s ruling, which affirms that the protections enshrined in our U.S. Constitution apply to all Americans and that our dream of equality and freedom deserves protection,” wrote the group’s executive director, Geoffrey Kors.

Joining many public officials in the state issuing statements praising the ruling, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said “this decision affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves.”

And San Francisco Mayor and state lieutenant governor candidate Gavin Newsom, who in 2004 ordered the city to issue same-sex marriage licenses before being stopped by a state court, called the ruling “a major victory for equal rights” on Twitter.

But the California Republican Party issued a one-sentence statement saying “The California Republican Party is firm in its support of traditional marriage and looks forward to the matter being resolved in a higher court.”

Many same-sex marriage supporters had gathered by 5 p.m. Wednesday evening, with thousands marching toward San Francisco Civic Center Plaza for a 6:45 p.m. rally near City Hall.

At Harvey Milk’s old camera shop in the Castro District, many passers-by had heard the ruling.

“I’ve been in a relationship for ten years, and I haven’t been able to live like I have been in one,” said Belmont resident Chevin Scheib. “I’m excited because everyone should be equal.”

“I think that was the expected outcome,” said Rachel Paine Caufield, an Iowa resident and professor of political science at Drake University visiting San Francisco on vacation. “It is the first time that we saw Republican and Democratic attorneys come together to challenge the ban,” she said, referring to plaintiffs’ attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies, who were on opposing sides in the Florida recount dispute in the 2000 presidential election.

Elsewhere in the Castro, Sydney King, a New York City resident, said she was now in a relationship with another woman after having been married to a man. “It’s exactly the same to be married to a man than it is to be married to a woman. It’s just we use more toilet paper,” she said.

Long legal battle lies ahead

Proposition 8 supporters have already begun planning for an appeal of Walker’s decision, which would be heard by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The case is expected to eventually be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

And while Walker’s ruling ordered state officials to immediately begin granting same-sex marriage licenses, he issued a separate order staying his ruling at the request of Proposition 8′s backers. Same-sex marriage supporters will have until Friday to file a response to a request for a longer stay.

The move resulted in a crowd of same-sex couples who had gathered at San Francisco City Hall hoping to be issued marriage licenses being turned away.

Contact Steven Luo at sluo@californiabeat.org.

60 Comments »

  • Sandee said:

    I am thrilled with this decision!!! It is purely a human rights issue and should be addressed as such. I am not a GLBT person, but FULLY support anyone’s right to marry. The backers of Prop 8 spread terrible lies and duped the CA people. I lived in San Diego for 12 years and these are not the people I knew. Californians are good people-the Mormons are not so much…………..

  • Alex Guthrie said:

    It feels GREAT to be a Californian again and to celebrate democracy as an American! Thanks, Judge Walker, for doing the right thing.

  • JckWabt said:

    Quick, Mormons, get your hater check books out and start writing those checks to continue segregation and discrimination.

  • Jay Sundel said:

    This whole this is so silly. I you dont believe in gay marrage then dont marry gay. There are so, so many other problems out there to focus on Like corporations sucking up money like vacumes running back and forth over this land while all thiere goods our made in other lands. fosil fuels distroying this spec of a spec of a tiny little ball we live on in this universe, its all we have. Greed will end the human race. who the hell cares who marries who?

  • bw said:

    Finally, some good news. I guess we do have civil rights after all!

  • Concerned Californian said:

    and where is this “fundamental right to marry” found in the Constitution?

  • tc said:

    sad day…battle lost, but victory already won in Christ..it’s sad that this affirms a unviable lifestyle and one in which the Lord deems damnable..equal to drunkenness, fornication and the likes..not a time of rejoicing a time of sadness. People are deceived into thinking it’s “OK”…not anymore ok than adultery…
    prayers going out.

  • S. Hender said:

    Today my heart was already smiling when I awoke next to my beautiful lover. I thought I was as happy as I could be. Now, I know as our relationship develops, it could one day mean marriage. I get to be a full citizen now. :)

  • Bill K said:

    What happened to majority vote? This is why this country is going down the tubes. Totally outrageous.

  • Shaila said:

    Oh, thank God! I am so happy to hear that justice has overturned Prop H8.

  • Hoss said:

    This is completely undemocratic. The voters of California voted to uphold Prop 8. Alex, you say you want to celebrate democracy, but you are celebrating a judge’s decision that Californians’ votes do not mean anything.

    Marriage is already equal. Men have the right to marry women and vice versa. The institution of marriage and the financial benefits that stem from it are designed to promote child-rearing families, which gays cannot do.

    As a black man who grew up in the south during the Civil Rights Era, I find it extremely offensive when people refer to this as a civil rights issue. There are no rights being violated. The gays are seeking extra rights an an attempt to push forward the gay agenda and force America to accept their chosen lifestyle. For the government to cave into this kind of social pressure, especially when voters have consistently voted against it, is as un-American as can be.

  • Loleylu said:

    Sad day… The ban should remain as religions are still going to deny the GLBS to marry in the churches…maybe by
    Court but not by church…and f not done by church, then to me a marriage is invalid…watch soon they r going to fight to allow them to b married by churches and if not passed they are going to be hurt by that too…then what? It’s going to be allowed to be married in churches too?…then it will lead to other problems including people leaving their church because they don’t like the idea of gay marriages… Nd then people r going to soon turn from God over politics……idk the appeal should take place soon, so we will see… But god created man and women nd the reason he created women is to be with the man and bear fruit of the womb…children…. If he just wanted a companion for the man, he would have created another man and allowed them to somehow mate…but he didn’t so I think it’s just not a good thing and will soon hopefully soon be overturned…

  • Valerie Engel said:

    Alex said: “It feels GREAT to be a Californian again and to celebrate democracy as an American! Thanks, Judge Walker, for doing the right thing”. Surely you jest!! Democracy is defined as “government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system”. Seems to me the people of California already spoke. This judge was not elected, but appointed. This is NOT democracy, it is oligarchy. There is a huge difference.

  • Sandra said:

    Very sick and sad. There will come a day when Judge Walker will be judged…

  • Jorge said:

    I agree with Concerned Californian, questioning the Constitutional right to marry. (??)

    Notice: You cannot force the Roman Catholic Church to perform such marriages.

    Gay marriage is an oxymoron anyway.

    I also agree with Bill K. Why should one judge’s “vote” surpass the will of the majority of the citizens of CA?

  • Martin said:

    Bill K: Ever heard of minority rights? I guess this country would be better a better place if it were 100% Straight, White, Conservative, and Christian. Sorry to burst your bubble, but we live in the United States.

  • Demand Equality said:

    Concerned Californian I suggest you read Loving v Virginia to understand where in the United States Constitution the rights to marry are and when you read this you will see that 1969 Supreme Court decision does not restrict the fundamental constitutional right to marry to people who believe they have chosen to be heterosexual and think they are superior to anyone they think has not chosen to be heterosexual
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0388_0001_ZO.html

    Have you heard about the Fourteenth Amendment?
    Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment provides:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    and Bill K in American being an American is immutable and entitles us all to unalienable and unconditional constitutional equality that does not require the permission, acceptance, agreement, approval, understanding, tolerance or respect of any other Americans just because we don’t look like on another, love like one another, believe or vote like one another.

  • Loleylu said:

    Hoss. I couldn’t agree w u more

  • Hope said:

    Laws can be changed and overturned by a corrupt society, but God’s laws are eternal.
    http://revelationrainbow.com/Licensed_to_Wed.asp

  • td said:

    tc- and Judgment, don’t forget judgment. What did Christ have to say about judgment? I am also wondering about my male friends, Most of them get there hair cut, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    Thanks.

  • Bas Bleu said:

    @ Hoss – “As a black man who grew up in the south during the Civil Rights Era” You should know full well that just because the majority believes in something, or even makes something legal, that doesn’t make it right or even constitutional. You better believe a “Keep Segregation” referendum would have passed. And that would have been WRONG.

    I’m black as well. Count me as someone who believes in human rights, period.

    This is a good day.

  • Pat said:

    Alex, you’re a moron. You think that democracy is activist judges over-ruling the democratic majority? It bothers me deeply that you vote.

    I agree that all people have a right to marry. But we all follow the same rules, one of which is marrying a person of the opposite sex. Just like the mormons that Sandee refers to (inappropriately i might add) have to abide by the law and take only one wife.

  • Raz said:

    I don’t know why people insist this is a religious issue. “family values and procreation”. Are they implying LGBT’s are incapable of family values? Procreation nowadays can be achieved artificially–there goes their argument. If the religious zealots had their way, we’d still be in the Dark Ages. Props (pun intended) to the Judge.

  • Pat said:

    TC, God bless you. I was entirely disheartened by this terrible news, but you have reminded me that indeed, our victory is already won in Christ. Thank you so much for that.

  • Heathen said:

    Marriage is not a strictly religious ideal. In fact Marriage was not even based on religion. It was formed as a union of families to gain land and wealth before Christians even instituted it. If that were the case being a straight Agnostic Woman, would I not be entitled to marriage because it would not be under God? You have the proponents of keeping marriage between a man and woman screaming it will ruin the sanctity of marriage and families. Is it just me or has no one else noticed the alarming rates at which heterosexual marriages end in divorce?

  • Loleylu said:

    Demand equality…you are speaking about law by the law of politics… but that law is in which that is creating this place to be a place of misery and pain…if you walk the streets of this world, our leaders have not done a great job at crafting a place of security but rather a place that has overlooked the principality of the BIBLE…the only law that should be followed…is the BIBLE… that is what this nation has been founded upon…where is the morals and values that have been placed by God and the prophets themselves? You are Ignoring those to suppress your own beliefs…

  • Loleylu said:

    Hope great great saying!!!

  • JBet said:

    I am very happy to see this finally go though!
    Finally a judge saw that there is a seperation of church and state and finally stopped listening to the church.

    If the church has a problem with gay marraige then the church does not have to do it. This will not effect the church going people in any way shape or form.

    expect to see others happy and that really should be the message they want to see not to cause others pain just cause they don’t understand it.

  • T K said:

    Well said Demand Equality!

  • Loleylu said:

    Heathen: read the bible… It gives soooooooooo many examples of marriage done by Christ…and just as it’s stated in Ephesians 5:23,32 ……… Marriage is a living symbol of Christ and the church
    23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

  • Kraken said:

    To the people who are saying “Gays are getting “extra benefits” because they don’t have children- what about the straight married couples who choose NOT to have children? Are they lumped into the same category? I find that a bit outrageous as I married my husband because I love him and we have chosen a life without children.

    So you’re saying our marriage is a lie to get more money?

  • country girl said:

    I JUST have one question…as Hoss out it “gays are seeking extra rights” joq is it that they are seeking “extra” rights when its already a right for others to marry as they please? Some people marry more than one at a time. Hoss also says that it based on being a child-bering well gays CAN be child-bering but some chose got to be because the people of this world can ne very cruel to children that come from “abnormal homes” as some would call different.

  • Heathen said:

    Loleylu:

    This country was not founded upon the Bible. It was founded on freedom of religion. Freedom from persecution of our individual beliefs. This also includes the right not to follow any religion. If you look at some of our most influential founding fathers you will find they them selves did not follow the Christian doctrine. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and even George Washington just to name a few.

  • Tenchis said:

    We live in a day where our hearts have turned dull to the voice of conctiousness. We have strived to live in a place where freedom and liberty are our most seek after values. The problem is that we seek only what we want without looking at the whole picture. Every right has it’s responsibility. If we choose to marry the same sex, our responsibility doesn’t change; we are still entitled to procreate children. Instead we want the right without paying the price. If we continue like so, we will end up like a boy who wants to eat his sweets but choses to skip the veggies. Is that what we want for America? …

  • Jersey Girl said:

    Wayyyyyyy to go Californians! My heart is so happy for all GLBT people of your state! I am a straight 32yr old women who believes being Gay is not a choice it’s who you were born to be! Gay America has been around since the begining of time and to condem someone for who their heart tells them to love is just wrong! The way a straight person feels about being with the same sex is the same way that gay person feels about being with the oposite sex it’s all biological……can’t change it! All you so called Christians should be ashamed of yourselves because the Jesus Christ I know and love, LOVES ALL HIS CHILDREN! I will be praying for you! PS I hope one day soon Jersey has the same inspiration! God Bless us all!

  • Cameron said:

    I’m straight, and very happy about this ruling. The term “activist judges” is a meaningless, inflammatory phrase indicating you disagree with the decision.

    And for those implying that the Government should reflect Christian values, first there’s the inconvenient truth of the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797:

    http://www.earlyamerica.com/image/review/summer97/titleXI.jpg

    Second, here’s some unassailable wisdom regarding our Founding Fathers, taken from the site “jesus-is-savior.com.” Is that sufficiently religious enough for you people? Well, then read and learn something:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/founding_fathers.htm

  • TurtleShroom said:

    DRAT.

    I was strongly disappointed in this ruling, but I agree that it was bound to happen. The queers backed up behind the minority shield and now cry discrimination when people try to protect true marriage.
    Instead of facing their disease and taking steps or therapy to overcome it, they “embrace” it and march their flaw down our streets and make out in public JUST to tick the religious minority off.

    Until 1975, homosexuality WAS a disease and there were even ways to help treat it.

    What if we had Straight Pride Parades and marched THAT down the gayest district of your local metropolis? How would that feel?

    Even if you’re not religious, the implications are obvious. Marriage is a (holy) social contract binding a male and a female for economic, inheritance, sexual/procreation, and of course, relegious reasons. Take the religion out, and you still have one man and one woman filing joint taxes, having kids, and sharing a bed.

    Plus, homosexuality is a defiance of human nature. While it has existed since the beginning of mankind, it was never considered “natural” in mordern times until the cultural revolutions of the 1960s. (-and don’t say Rome thought it was: just because Calligula or soem other nutjob emperor had gay reproduction doesn’t mean it’s right, he’s not even that good an example!)
    If you want to challenge me, take an electrical plug. Now, take another electrical plug. Try to connect the two and turn the two on. It doesn’t work. Now, take that same plug and plug it into an electrical socket. Does it light up?

    Learn a lesson from plumbing or computing: everything goes into something, and a male plug and a male plug don’t work. There must be something it fits into for the current to be carried! It’s common sense!

    At least this affront to decency won’t touch Georgia. Yet.

    I guess we’ll have to take it higher. FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT, here we come!

  • Heathen said:

    Loleylu:

    I have read the Bible. Many times in fact. I also know that over the years the church had taken this same book and edited it suit its own needs. Taking out or adding scriptures as it had seen fit. This same book notes it is ok to sell your daughters into slavery. As well it sanctions slavery. I really can’t see basing my life and happiness on such things.

    I am all for the freedom of religion. Everyone has a right to practice as they see fit as long as it does not harm or infringe on anyone else’s rights. Can you tell me how gay marriage would hurt YOU personally? I say read your bible if it is a source of great comfort. But do not force your religious ideals and views on others. Why should one religions beliefs rule over how the rest of us will live?

  • anonymous said:

    For years I felt torn about this debate. I am not a particularly Christian person and I have respect for all ethnicities, race, genders, and sexual orientations. I think, now, that it is a great step for gays that they can now marry. Bringing sexuality and true orientations out in the open is important for many reasons. I think if we are going to talk procreation the fact is many gay men and women hide their whole lives and many end up marrying the opposite sex, despite their true desires. Children are conceived from these marriages begun on false pretenses and when they inevitably fall apart those poor children are left with the shame and hardships that follow from not only having a deceitful parent outed but also a divorce. This could have been avoided if society accepted gays into the norm and allowed them to publicly and legally be together. Two gay parents may be more loving and eternally devoted parents and married couples providing a better childhood for kids than hetero couples. That’s my two cents…

  • Jerry said:

    Human rights?? What a bunch of liberal garbage. No one has the right to redefine marriage. The constitution does not protect every behavior and validate every type of relationship, and neither should our government.
    You can have the right to live with who you want, be in a relationship and committ to who you want, have a ceremony with who you want, but no one has the right to redefine marriage. Our government must not endorse and validate as good homosexual behavior and relationships. Homosexual relationships can under no circumstances procreate and produce life, nor can they consumate a marriage, its impossible. Male and female parts go together for a reason. This is basic human anatomy.
    Homosexual activist only care about their “sexual liberty” and not the rights of anyone else. They will force their morality and view of life on everyone, through hate, intimidation, lies, and judical tyranny.

  • constructible said:

    Good news! The democracy argument being made against the decision (i.e. that this ruling overturns the voter’s will) is flawed. Prop 8 was passed on an unequal playing field as the right fundamentalist community spent a whole lot more money than the left and had a much larger get out the vote campaign etc… If this issue were to be put up to vote again I doubt the prop would pass. Even the first time it was very close. Also, just because a powerful minority or even majority of citizens vote to pass a law, it is not constitutional to violate the constitution, which first and foremost protects every equally created individual with the right to pursue happiness! My big question is why why why can ya’ll just not live and let live. Even if you believe it is a sin against God… Let them be judged then. No one is trying to force anyone else into being gay or marrying gay. Let’s just let it all go and look forward toward doing the hard work we need to do to make our country and this world a great place to live!

  • jack said:

    Woo Hoo! Now we can have anal sex, commit adultery, and kill unborn – and it’s all LEGAL!

  • NotDeceived said:

    I find it very ironic that it’s the liberals and LGBT crowd that are always pushing for “democracy” and the “majority vote” idea, YET when the majority doesn’t vote their way, well, they find a corrupt judge to overrule the votes of millions of decent people.

    Go ahead, celebrate, let your heart be happy about this whole LGBT cause… be merry… but please do not give us this BS about democracy. You’re a bunch of SOCIALISTS and Christian haters. Good luck on judgment day.

  • Jerry said:

    yes Heathen here is how homosexual activist respect the right of Christians religious expression.

    http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=6836

    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2009/04/federal_lawsuit_claims_eastern.html

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/68582

    These activist judges and universities think it is more important to promote homosexual behavior, then respect freedom of religion.
    Christians do not hate homosexual individuals, but we do not validate homosexual behavior and relationships.

    Homosexuals agression and hate against Christians.

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=315400

  • jennyjen said:

    I agree with you Heathen on your response to Loleylu. She continues to state words from the bible and her view that this is against her religion. I completely understand and respect the fact that people have a strong connection to their religion. This debate continues to be tied back in with religion. But the bottom line is, this country does not create laws based on the bible and religion. The constitution was not written based on the bible and religion. If this were true, we wouldn’t need a constitution, we would just use the bible as our constitution. When it comes to law, decisions are made based on what is just and fair. And so allowing gay people to marry, although it is going against the religious view of what “marriage” is, is simply allowing all people to LEGALLY marry who they want. It has nothing to do with religion and personal preferences. It is a legal and social issue.

    And I especially like what Judge Walker said about procreation – “never has the state inquired into procreative capacity or intent before issuing a marriage license.” If your argument is that marriage is meant for procreation, then it would seem that everyone should be tested before they are allowed to marry to ensure that they can procreate, and people should have to sign a legal contract that they are going to have children before they are allowed to get married. I know plenty of people who are not planing on having children, yet they are allowed to marry – AND in a church no less!

    Lastly, in response to what several people said about it not being democratic for a judge to overturn voters’ decision, Walker stated “fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote.” I could not agree with this more. If this was a matter of increasing taxes or funds for social services, that is one thing. This is a question of basic human rights. This shouldn’t even be up for a vote. This should be a given. Just like voters shouldn’t be able to decide if employers should be able to discriminate against a specific group of people when they are hiring, voters should not be able to decide if a specific group of people should or should not be able to get married. It’s basic rights. So you are either for people having basic rights, or you are so wrapped up in your own belief system, that you cannot see that there are other people out there who do not share your belief system, and who do not want to live according to your belief system. Let other people decide for themselves if and how they will one day be judged.

  • Rational Human Being said:

    To all those who disagree with the decision, please read the etnire ruling. Prop 8 supportere FAILED to provide any rational evidence to support their arguement. There is no rational basis to substantiate the fears alledged in this case. All are equal. Society can not voter otherwise.

  • ken said:

    @Jerry, Hoss, and Loleylu: Right on!
    @Heathen: The Bible has been edited based on older texts being found, and errors in transcription from pre-printing-press times found and removed. ANY group that changes the Bible to change the doctrines in it is misguided, some are so far off as to be heretics or even cults ( if they deny the basic deity of Jesus as Christ). The Metropolitan Commmunity churches have done this, to justify gay marriage. Many southern churches did it, to justify slavery. Paul and Jesus taught in line with nature: Sexual relationships with members of the same sex might happen during “heat”(estrus) [like lust in a human relationship]. No offspring are produced; it is unhealthy and unnatural. (Yes, even animals can get venereal diseases.)
    @TurtleShroom: the argument from plumbing and electricity should be definitive, thanks for bringing it up. Judith Krantz brought it up in Scruples, when she has Billy(Wilhelmina) discover that she is straight after wanting to consummate her crush on her female professor, only to find “one of us has the wrong parts”
    @anonymous: why can’t gay couples live like all the unmarried but somehow at least partially committed but unmarried straight couples? Why do they want their unions to be called “marriage” except for tax and health-care benefits? Any other “relationships”, such as right to make financial and medical decisions, can be conferred by power of attorney…What do they gain?
    @those who quoted the OLD testament laws to say other things were also forbidden, this is true: many are common sense, some were to distinguish the Hebrew nation from those around them and keep them healthy. NONE are mandatory for Christian, Jewish or Gentile, except to only eat properly prepared meat, and avoid sexual immorality: the second means there are things that shouldn’t be done sexually, one of which is same-sex sex. (Another is sex with someone you aren’t married to, another sex with someone too closely related to you. There would be much less divorce among nominal Christians if these were followed.) Some of these are or have been at one time made into laws, here in the United States; some have been inforced, some not so much. The state does check the degree of relatedness in a relationship: they don’t want children born with birth defects from defective recessive genes being passed on because 2 people from the same family have them. (Of course, there are other causes for birth defects, but this one is fairly easy to avoid.)
    @Martin and Demand Equality: you already have all the rights and priviliges of a United States citizen; you can marry any person of the opposite sex you choose, for example, and live by the laws of your state and nation. Given the state of moral affairs in this country, two gay couples of opposite sexes could probably buy a house together, or next door to each other, and “marry” a person of the opposite sex while sleeping with their lover; they would then have all the rights of hetero couples. I doubt any one would ever know or care! However, the law can be changed or formed by due process(also in Amendment 14); in California, that includes initiatives and propositions, which become law with the proper majority vote, subject to review by the courts of the state and nation. This is what is happening now; the tradition, “understood”, received, current morals are being enshrined in law so people don’t forget them or try to change them to the detriment of this nation: Marriage is to be between a man and a woman, for mutual aid/support, stability, procreation if wanted and possible, maybe even land ownership, wealth aquisition, and inheritance, etc. It has been this way for thousands of years, sometimes and places for love, sometimes because the families or rulers wanted certain people to be together. No other relationship is like this. NONE, period. The fact that two people have sex together, or live together, does not change this, whether they are gay or straight. Marriage is and should remain special.
    P.S. I have only been married a few years, but already know how different this relationship is from any other I ever had, (and I shared living arrangements with both males and females, and had long- term relationships with many others of both sexes, though none were sexually consummated). And, a man I went to our small high school with recently was “married” to his male lover, now “husband”; I don’t think any less of him, and believe he is happy, but I also believe he is misguided and that his “marriage” is not valid. I will never quit loving him, but I definitely won’t congratulate him on his choice.
    Love, Ken

  • Upset Mom said:

    One judge should not have the power over the majority when the majority (and not just Mormon either) have voted. It’s kind of funny to me, so Polygamy is wrong, but same sex marriage is o.k? Mormons have every right to be upset, because we were just told that marriage is between one man and one women a hundred years ago! All Christians should be upset, because laws like this will force all churches to have to perform gay marriages or that church will have to pay millions in taxes and won’t be able to own property. This takes away rights from all churches and the government shouldn’t be telling churches what to do. If gay marriage is o.k., then what’s going to stop everyone from saying that any marriage is o.k., Polygamy, Polyandry and Group Marriage? The law should be left alone between one man and one women. To me, being gay is like their religion because it’s what they believe, and they should not be trying to force their religion on anyone else. Mormon’s aren’t attacking gays, we are protecting our church and our beliefs.

  • Judy said:

    It amazes me that people who are not gay worry so much about whether or not a gay marries. Why can’t you be happy in your own life and let other people who love each other be married. There are so many issues in the world that you could be working on to make this a better world. I just wonder what gives you the right to force your personal and religious beliefs on others. A true christian is a loving person who seeks happiness and equality for all. Grow up…love your neighbor and stop trying to be boss.

  • Jamie said:

    Being gay is a sexual orientation…it’s not about love and happiness! This is absurd! The people voted last year…respect our rights to decide when asked…