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Good News! California Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage

Original post made by Mike on May 15, 2008

Web Link

This is great news for a minority that deserves every right that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy.

Comments (160)

Posted by Danny, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 15, 2008 at 11:01 am

This is good news. I've always been baffled at why straight people would care at all about whether or not gay men and women want to marry. Gay people getting married doesn't have any effect on us straights whatsoever, unless you're a strict religious nut (in which case you're backwards in many more ways that just being prejudiced).

Hopefully this is a first step in encouraging equality throughout the country.


Posted by sally, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 15, 2008 at 11:09 am


Judicial Activism Alert!

We will nip this act of Judicial Activism in the bud


Note that California voters will likely have the opportunity in November to override the court's error:
The California Marriage Protection Act is a voter-sponsored initiative that would amend the California Constitution to provide expressly that "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
The initiative is well on its way to being placed on the November ballot; it acquired far more voter signatures than needed, and those signatures appear to be holding up well in the signature-verification process.


Posted by Kerry, a resident of Palo Verde
on May 15, 2008 at 11:14 am

The people spoke, and the court has overriden their voice. Thier voice will probably be heard again next November. I agree with one of the dissenting judges, who said that this decision needs to be a result of the vote of the people. I personally support gay marriage, but I feel this is the wrong way to achieve it.

Has anyone considered the palimony issue? If gays and straights are to be trated equally, does this now mean that long-term gay relationships are subject to palimony laws (remember Lee Marvin?).


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2008 at 11:20 am

And, what does this mean to laws regarding divorce, guardianship of children, and other tertiary matters. I am reminded of what happened in Great Britain when civil unions were granted and the numbers of elderly seniors who took advantage of this to enable them to do nothing more than take the tax advantage of becoming one partnership for the benefits of one home rather than two and the tax breaks this offered them. This was a loophole that no one expected, but tax advisers were advising all seniors to find a partner and reap the benefits.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2008 at 11:25 am

Here goes the "judicial activism" mantra again. Our less progressive citizens have resented "judicial activism" since Brown vs. Topeka began the enfrancisement of African Americans in 1954, although the term itself was invented much later. That decision gave the Warren Court a very bad rep in some haunts and caused a crop of "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards to litter the 60s landscape.

However, the strict constructionists were strangely silent in 2000 when an activist Supreme Court stepped outside the Constitution and trampled their normally sacred cow of states' rights to put W. Bush in the White House. Constructivism can be situational.

Good for the Cal Supremes. There is no secular reason to deny marriage to any human being.


Posted by blah blah blah, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 11:26 am

Congratulations to the big portion of our society, who, up until now, have been discriminated against. May your lives be filled with equality.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 11:28 am

So now my right to marry is no longer limited? My sister will be pleased to hear that, and her little dog Toto, too.
Now we need to get rid of that unconstitutional requirement for consent so I can marry Kim Novak and Doris Day.
When this question first came up, my expressed opinion was that if they eliminated tax-free benefits I would not object to any combination. Heinlein had one idea in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.


Posted by hmm, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2008 at 11:28 am

Last I heard there was no denial of marriage to anyone. The problem was that they were expected to marry someone of the opposite gender. They could get married, just like everyone else. They just happen to not like the lack of choice.

Reminds me of the 60s when people started living together and said that marriage was outdated and who needed a piece of paper when you loved someone. That crowd never protested that they were not allowed to marry within the same sex, all they wanted was to be able to choose not to get married at all.

Strange the way the world turns.


Posted by sam, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 11:32 am



Next up polygamy, its virtually legal in Canada and the UK, why not here, should we discriminate against devout Muslims ans sect of LDS

Darwin must be bemused by the judicial activism in CA

If it feels good-- DO IT


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 15, 2008 at 11:33 am

Very good news! Even if voters pass the amendment in November, the overall march of progress is quite evident around the country. In 30 years, we'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

Still, it would be tragic if voters actually went so far as the change the Constitution in order to deny rights to one segment of society. If the state has any business at all in the partnerships of two adults, it is impossible to demonstrate a compelling interest in limiting those partnerships based on gender. All arguments about tradition, child-rearing, family values, etc., are rooted in religion, personal bias, or false assumptions that should in no way trump the rights of the individual. I can't believe that so many people who would otherwise call themselves conservative or libertarian in their beliefs about government would actually suggest a more restrictive rather than less restrictive role for government in curtailing the liberties of an individual based on the identity of that individual's partner. Think about it - if we amend the Constitution, you, your adult children and grandchildren, will be told by the government that the right to form a partnership with another adult is based on the gender of that other adult - you have the right to choose from the group we say you should choose from. (Of course, none of the people who would vote for this measure can actually imagine that their children or grandchildren would ever be gay; or if they were gay, they could pray a lot, or go into therapy and be cured, right?).

And for whoever is thinking of replying about "why not let people marry children, or have multiple spouses, or marry their pets" - spare us that tired "slippery slope" argument. Those are situations in which the state can demonstrate a different type of compelling interest. Stick to the basics - two consenting adults. Why should it matter?


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 15, 2008 at 11:39 am

oooops - I was too slow.

Like I said, the state can show a compelling state interest in treating incest and polygamy differently. Besides, there is no segment of society advocating for the rights of incestuous folks like the fellow above who's interested in his sister. (Just kidding - I got the sarcasm).

Why is it sooooo important to some straight people to limit other people's rights???? If you are personally or religiously uncomfortable with homosexuality, explain why your opinion or your tradition should be the standard that divides other people into those who have full rights and those who have limited rights. The fact that a lot of other people agree with you is not much of an argument. Some states had a majority against desegregation too.


Posted by benjamin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 15, 2008 at 11:40 am



If we allow homosexual marriage we cannot disallow Polygamy or Polyandry

I can see the divorce lawyers salivating at the financial opportunity


Posted by Danny, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 15, 2008 at 11:51 am

The choice to marry someone of the same sex is VERY different from the idea of marrying numerous people. The commitment of marriage should be a two-person affair, but I could care less if those two people are and a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man. It's obvious from some comments above that there is still a huge amount of bigotry and prejudice in this country, even in our normally progressive Palo Alto.

All of you straight people who continue to complain about gay marriage need to get your priorities ... er, straight.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Professorville
on May 15, 2008 at 11:53 am

from the decision


In a democracy, the people
should be given a fair chance to set the pace of change without judicial
interference. That is the way democracies work. Ideas are proposed, debated,
tested. Often new ideas are initially resisted, only to be ultimately embraced. But
when ideas are imposed, opposition hardens and progress may be hampered.
We should allow the significant achievements embodied in the domestic
partnership statutes to continue to take root. If there is to be a new understanding
of the meaning of marriage in California, it should develop among the people of
our state and find its expression at the ballot box.
CORRIGAN, J.


Posted by ng, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 11:56 am



In the Asian community homosexuality is tolerated but not approved of,

the people of California will speak in November


Posted by Funny Ha ha, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Interesting...

Wasn't it the Supreme Court of the US who halted the counting of votes in Florida in 2000 by a 5-4 margin? Where were the protests then?


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Yes, let the people speak in November -- loud and clear for freedom!


Posted by ng, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 12:09 pm


you can scream about civil rights all you want, but the issue of homosexual marriage has no relevance to the civil rights act what so ever

CF

"The definition of the rights to education, to
vote, to pursue an office or occupation, and the other celebrated civil rights
vindicated by the courts, were not altered by extending them to all races and both
genders. The institution of marriage was not fundamentally changed by removing
the racial restrictions that formerly encumbered it. Plaintiffs, however, seek to
change the definition of the marital relationship, as it has consistently been
understood, into something quite new. They could certainly accomplish such a
redefinition through the initiative process. As a voter, I might agree. But that
change is for the people to adopt, not for judges to dictate."


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Good news and a proud day for California. It is not "judicial activism" when the court stands up for the Constitutional rights of a minority against the will of the majority - that's why we have a Constitution and judges to rule on it. The people have recourse - they can amend the Constitution.


Posted by sue mom, a resident of Gunn High School
on May 15, 2008 at 12:23 pm


For more info see this link

Web Link
The efforts to place a constitutional amendment on California's November ballot continue with high hopes! The California Marriage Protection Act will protect the historic, natural definition of marriage. Having submitted more than 1.1 million signatures throughout California's 58 counties, the qualification process is well underway.

California's Secretary of State has directed all counties to commence with the validation process of a random sample. Although it may take a few weeks before all counties complete this process, the early reports look very positive. Sincere thanks are due to committed teams of volunteers who "scrubbed" petitions for inadmissible signatures.

The months leading up to November will be filled with media messages about marriage. In addition, the California Supreme Court will issue its decision on the constitutionality of Proposition 22 within the next three weeks. Campaign strategies are in place and will be activated according to their timeline! Please return often to the ProtectMarriage.com Web site for updates on the qualification process, the specific needs for volunteers, and links to articles regarding the California Marriage Protection Act.



A constitutional amendment is the only way to stop the courts from overturning the will of the voters on this issue. If the Governor truly supports the will of the voters, he would back the amendment. Perhaps he'll come to realize that we are just protecting the current definition of marriage.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Years ago many citizens violently disagreed with your assessment of educational and matrimonial integrity, ng. That's why segregation existed - to protect the sanctimony of school and marriage against the depredations of the so-considered lesser races.

It is a very fortunate fact that you are unaware of that, because it means an enlightened society has driven those regressionist enemies of freedom very deep underground. But they do surface now and again to grump about PC and the movement for universal human freedom to wed, and they're out in force on this thread.

Fifty years from now this battle in the culture wars will seem just as quaint to our grandchildren as they learn their history, and as they prowl the deep underground blogosphere to hear its last growling echoes.

Freedom for all!


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Bush v Gore has little relevance to the California Supreme Court decision.

Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), was a United States Supreme Court case heard on December 11, 2000. In a per curiam opinion, by a vote of 7-2, the Court held that the Florida Supreme Court's method for recounting ballots was unconstitutional, and by a vote of 5-4, the Court held that no alternative method could be established within the time limits established by the Florida Legislature. The per curiam opinion was argued on the basis of Equal Protection.

(from Wikipedia)

Notice that a 7-2 majority found the Florida SC decision on counting votes was unconsitutional. The 5-4 decision was about alternative methods.

Bush won Florida, fair and square, then Gore tried to steal the vote.


Posted by PAJD, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2008 at 12:35 pm


^^^"Fifty years from now this battle in the culture wars will seem just as quaint to our grandchildren ^^^^"

In 50yrs infact this fad will be over, 50yrs ago smoking was a fad


Meanwhile re the court



From associate justice Baxter's dissent (joined by associate justice Chin): "Nothing in our Constitution, express or implicit, compels the majority's startling conclusion that the age-old understanding of marriage … is no longer valid. California statutes already recognize same-sex unions and grant them all the substantive legal rights this state can bestow. If there is to be a further sea change in the social and legal understanding of marriage itself, that evolution should occur by similar democratic means.


From associate justice Corrigan's separate dissent: "The principle of judicial restraint is a covenant between judges and the people from whom their power derives.… It is no answer to say that judges can break the covenant so long as they are enlightened or well-meaning.… If there is to be a new understanding of the meaning of marriage in California, it should develop among the people of our state and find its expression at the ballot box."


Sober minds will prevail


Posted by sara, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 15, 2008 at 12:47 pm



Gay activists will not be satisfied with this ruling. Because the court has decided that gay couples have a right to marry, no one can be allowed to refuse them the exercise of this right, including the Church.
Activists are seeking something more than merely being left alone to love another just like everyone else, something more than just toleration for their sexual choices.
The whole country, especially the Church, must be forced to celebrate gay sexuality. The next step will be to sue the Church for refusing to "marry" gay couples.
Hide and watch.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2008 at 12:47 pm

I have no objection to the legal bindings of two people being joined together, but why call it marriage? For those of us who are proud of our marital state and the definitions it brings us, why take away that description from us. Another term for gay union could have been used that would have fitted all legal situations, e.g. spousal partnership of civil union. It is the word marriage that is now being made a mockery of as as soon as someone says that are getting married, the next question automatically becomes, Oh, congratulations, is it to a man or a woman?

We need to qualify or be so pc about so much nowadays, why must marriage be like that too?


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2008 at 1:03 pm

"Sober minds will prevail"

Indeed. They did after Selma, and they will again. But have we got enough of them on this round?

I have no illusions. The last civil rights struggle lasted almost 20 years. It took far more than a court's decision to win it. And it cost: as LBJ noted, "we have lost the South for a generation." On this he far underestimated both the scope and the duration. This next bit of freedom will not be quickly or easily won either.


Posted by mike w b, a resident of Ohlone School
on May 15, 2008 at 1:13 pm



Since there is no longer a definition of marriage why should any one get married.

Europe has experienced this and the decline of marriage followed. That followed by a decline in birthrate.
And now some countries in Europe are coming close to negative birth rate. How is the next generation going to support a previous generation of greater numbers? Who will be taxed to cover the costs to run the country?


Posted by Sara, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 15, 2008 at 1:22 pm



Quote,"I have no illusions. The last civil rights struggle lasted almost 20 years"

As someone who was active in the civil rights movement in the South, I find trying to link that struggle with homosexual " marriage" preferences very offensive and a complete distortion of the reality.

This offense is experienced by the overwhelming majority of the Black community and our Churches. We will see this reflected in their votes FOR the California Marriage Protection Act in November, the same sentiments are as strongly held within the Hispanic community, in my experience.

Enough is enough


Posted by Whitecollar man, a resident of Palo Verde
on May 15, 2008 at 1:23 pm

oh, oh, "watch out" says mike w b, gay marriage will cause a decline in the birth rate, thereby bankrupting our country. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Whitecollar man, a resident of Palo Verde
on May 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Jane, a resident of Professorville
on May 15, 2008 at 1:33 pm


Re Europe and the decline of marriage

The momentum for population growth in the 15-nation European Union has flipped from positive to negative and the trend could strongly influence population numbers throughout the 21st century.

"If the current fertility rate of around 1.5 births per woman persists until 2020, negative momentum will result in 88 MILLION FEWER PEOPLE in 2100, if one assumes constant mortality and no net migration," the researchers say. The EU population in 2000 was about 375 million.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2008 at 1:44 pm

You did your part, Sara, and nobody can let their guard down. The civil rights struggle is enduring and universal - nobody owns it and we all own its benefits. But from time to time its focus shifts. Also universal is the urge to constrain human beings who happen to be different in some definable way.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 15, 2008 at 1:44 pm

The wild claim that churches will be forced to perform same sex marriages is just plain silly. There is no precedent in this country to suggest that consequence from this ruling, nor would there be ANY legal basis for such state interference in affairs of church.

Dire predictions about hypothetical consequences aside, can anyone tell me WHY two adults must tolerate government interference in a definition of suitable partners? Please - without resorting to arguments about traditions or the will of the prejudiced voters (slavery? segregation? anti-miscegenation laws?), or religion, or personal bias, or child-rearing (a standard that doesn't apply to hetero couples). All you conservatives clamoring for state interference in personal liberties based on the will of the voters, I question the consistency of your so-called values, and wonder how you get around the "equal protection" clause? There is simply no compelling state interest to override the equal rights of individuals' to access the same benefits as other individuals. If two men and two women walk into the county office to get married, why does the county officer get to decide who can marry whom? The only arguments you can offer are based upon their feelings, or assumptions about their subsequent *legal* behavior. Seriously, pretend you're the government official and explain why there can't be same sex marriage, except that a majority of people with no connection to these people and with no compelling interest in the situation are uncomfortable with the idea of it, and have expressed their short-sighted bias with a ballot?


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 15, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Sara - what is the basis of the "offense" you describe? Why should some people's offense limit other people's rights? Of course there are times for government to limit rights, but that should be based on a compelling state interest that cannot be demonstrated here.


Posted by Judicial Intervention, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Gary,

Also from Wikipedia: These ultimately resulted in a December 12 7-2 United States Supreme Court decision that the Florida Supreme Court's scheme for recounting ballots was unconstitutional, as well as a 5-4 United States Supreme Court decision that ended the Florida recounts and allowed Florida to certify its vote. The vote was certified according to Florida state election law by Katherine Harris, the Republican Secretary of State who had been the Florida co-chair of Bush's campaign.[34] Because Bush's younger brother, Jeb Bush, was the governor of Florida, there were unproven allegations that Harris and Bush had manipulated the election to favor the governor's brother.[35][36]

Please note the 5-4 reference which was referenced above.

I speak to this because it is true that the PEOPLE should be allowed to decide. I am personally happy with the California Supreme Court decision today and I am not afraid of a vote. I think that many people who DID NOT vote last time will be out there to vote this time, to support the decision from today.


Posted by Judicial Intervention, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Gary,

Also from Wikipedia: These ultimately resulted in a December 12 7-2 United States Supreme Court decision that the Florida Supreme Court's scheme for recounting ballots was unconstitutional, as well as a 5-4 United States Supreme Court decision that ended the Florida recounts and allowed Florida to certify its vote. The vote was certified according to Florida state election law by Katherine Harris, the Republican Secretary of State who had been the Florida co-chair of Bush's campaign.[34] Because Bush's younger brother, Jeb Bush, was the governor of Florida, there were unproven allegations that Harris and Bush had manipulated the election to favor the governor's brother.[35][36]

Please note the 5-4 reference which was referenced above.

I speak to this because it is true that the PEOPLE should be allowed to decide. I am personally happy with the California Supreme Court decision today and I am not afraid of a vote. I think that many people who DID NOT vote last time will be out there to vote this time, to support the decision from today.


Posted by Sara, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 15, 2008 at 2:08 pm



From todays opinion----

"The definition of the rights to education, to vote, to pursue an office or occupation, and the other celebrated civil rights vindicated by the courts, were not altered by extending them to all races and both genders. The institution of marriage was not fundamentally changed by removing the racial restrictions that formerly encumbered it. Plaintiffs, however, seek to change the definition of the marital relationship, as it has consistently been understood, into something quite new"

We in the Black community know what the gay lifestyle means to our community.

50% of Black gays and bisexuals have HIV/AIDS, thats right 50%

Thats now after billions of dollars and 25yrs of programs, same sex marriage is not going to change that horrifying toll

The Black and Hispanic Churches are overwhelmingly opposed to redefining marriage and they will be heard


Posted by Whitecollar man, a resident of Palo Verde
on May 15, 2008 at 2:14 pm

sara, this is going to test your man obama in california, isn't it? let's see if he's the 'different' liberal that he professes to be. btw, don't miss that Homophobes Anonymous meeting tonight. :0


Posted by George, a resident of another community
on May 15, 2008 at 2:15 pm

I take issue with those who say that gay marriage does not diminish the marriage of a man and a woman. I am the son of a lesbian copule, raised in California. I was conceived by artificial insemination. I will never know my biologicial father, but that is not the main issue. I never knew what a father meant. One of my moms tried to fill the role, but she had no clue. She used to attend classes, led by other lesbians, in order to figure it out. I appreciate that she tried, but the fact is that she was a miserable failure at it. I know several other boys who were in the same situation, becasue we end up being in the same lesbian circles. Every one of them think as I do, despite all the studies that say we should not.

When my parents seperated, one of them (the 'feminine' one) married a man. She then had a baby with him. This man was comfortable in his own skin, as a man. He was also generous enough to get involved with my screwed up adolescense. He was not a bigot. He was (is) firm about what manhood is. I learned so much from him. He is like a big brother to me, to this day.

I got married a fews years ago. I have two young children. My son will learn from me about what manhood is. My daughter will learn more from her mother about being a woman. This is the natural way, and it should be praised.

Heterosexual marriage is the solid foundation of societies forever. I know the pain of thinking otherwise. The man and the woman, in marraige, should be protected from any dilution of the meaning and value of the amazing contribution they bring to a marriage, and especially to the children they create. Gay marriage is a slap in the face to them.


Posted by Peter, a resident of another community
on May 15, 2008 at 2:18 pm

I don't see the connection between civil marriage, which is after all, just a registration of a contract, and religious marriage? Churches are free to define their marriage any way they want (I suppose within some civil bounds). People who aren't members of a religious congregation should not be held to religious strictures.

People, it's two separate things.

I don't see how gay marriage threatens or diminishes any other kind of marriage; can someone give concrete examples of harm to married hetrosexual couples by the institution of gay marriage? I have yet to see any.

And Sara, forbidding gay marriage because of a potential for HIV/AIDs infection would be like banning hetrosexual marriage because the couple may chose to abort or because a member might contract syphillis. By the way, in many countries, HIV/AIDS is rampant in hetrosexual unions.


Posted by Sara, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 15, 2008 at 2:25 pm



Homophobia is often used inaccurately to describe any person who objects to homosexual behavior on either moral, religious, psychological or medical grounds.
Technically, however, the terms actually denotes a person who has a phobia—or irrational fear—of homosexuality. Principled disagreement, therefore, cannot be labeled 'homophobia.'

The statistic is that 50% of gay, bisexual Black MEN are have HIV/AIDS.

This tragedy has been ignored by the white gay community that is activist for same sex marriage-- are they phobic?


Posted by no prob, a resident of Professorville
on May 15, 2008 at 2:33 pm

I, as a dyke, but more importantly, an American, disagree with this judicial overturn of the people's vote.

We cannot make the same error of other nations which try to legislate changes in attitudes. It simply backfires, as it did from the Mass. judicial ruling.

I am appalled at my "fellow" women who support this. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with keeping the word "marriage" to its original meaning, as long as my domestic partnership rights AND responsibilities are available to me.

And, guess what? They are. I can do anything a married person can do, legally, just go to a family attorney and draw it all up ....with one huge exception..

I can not go through the process of bringing someone in from another country. THAT is a big problem for our community. Straights can fall in love with an immigrant, then slowly go through the arduous process of making their loved one a citizen. We can't. That would be the only change I would like to see.

I am not happy with the extremists in my group. There are many like us. I don't want to force others to change their meanings of words in order to accomodate me. Nobody in this country is saying get rid of us, or deny us equal rights ( except for immigrants), or discriminate against us in work, play, living arrangements. The ones who don't want to give us the name "marriage" are just wanting one thing from us...keep the word to mean between a man and woman. We can take any other word we want.

I have no problem with that. I am appalled and embarrassed at equating our lives with the civil rights movement...they aren't the same ( any more)


Posted by jr, a resident of Hoover School
on May 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Polyamorists, Muslims, and breakaway heretical Mormons can expect to find at a minimum new comfort in this sweeping moral support (if not yet legal support) for the dignity of their own favored family relationships, since the right to marry is the right to have one's family relationship officially recognized and accorded equal dignity.

Politically, the new prominence of the gay-marriage issue may (unexpectedly) redound in McCain's favor. All candidates say they oppose gay marriage. Obama and Clinton support federal civil unions.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 7:12 am

I believe, in the ECM, you can lose your job and your freedom for challenging homosexuality.


Posted by sue, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 16, 2008 at 10:51 am


The Gay Bomb


The USAF researched a device that never got any further than a three-page report. In the document, issued by a U.S. Air Force research laboratory in Ohio in 1994, the proposal was to develop a variety of bombs of uncommon ordinance (at a cost of $7.5 million), including: a flatulence bomb, which would stink so badly as to drive the enemy out of its hiding places; a bomb which would make the enemy sweat profusely; and a "halitosis bomb," which would plague soldiers with bad breath.

But the coup de grâce was the bomb now colloquially referred to as the "gay bomb." Using a hypothetical aphrodisiac of remarkable potency, the bomb would spray the enemy with a substance that would quite literally turn them gay, causing the soldiers to become "irresistibly attracted to one another" and, we can only assume, forget that they were in the process of being bombed.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 16, 2008 at 1:05 pm

So here we are a day later, and none of the critics of this ruling can explain why their FEELINGS or RELIGION should trump other people's RIGHTS. None of you are up that challenge, apparently.

It's worth noting that the CA Supreme Court justices who delivered this ruling are mostly REPUBLICAN appointees who understand that you have to have a compelling state interest to treat people differently based on their identity. And in fact, there is no reason for identity discrimination. All arguments about family make presumptions about marriage that are not applied to hetero couples. So, if one child of a gay couple feels bad about that parenting, so sorry. There's NOTHING in the marriage law that speaks to parenting style or quality, nor is there any shortage of good gay parents or bad straight parents.

The "will-of-the-voters" argument is also tired. The reason courts exist in our system is that sometimes, the will of the voters or the legislators is to do something unconstitutional. Majority rule is a guiding principle, but not an absolute. If we go so far as to write discrimination into our state constitution, that would be unfortunate. But unless the US Constitution is amended the same way, the US Supreme Court will eventually have to find in favor of gay marriage in order to be consistent with the equal protection clause and the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution. The march of civil rights progress is one-way, and the fact that our Republican appointees on the CA court can see the obvious is encouraging evidence that conservatives will have to eventually recognize that a same-sex ban is state interference with individuals' rights.

Nor is there anything convincing about the ridiculous argument concerning AIDS. The high rate of AIDS in the African-American community is widely attributed to the greater incidence of intolerant attitudes in religious and African-American communities, meaning that there's less openness about AIDS prevention. In any case, wouldn't marriage seem to lead to *less* high-risk sexual behavior?


Posted by Anna, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Thank goodness we are no longer legally treating such a large, important section of our society as second-class citizens.

In light of this ruling, I am so proud to be a Californian.


Posted by SUJD, a resident of Stanford
on May 16, 2008 at 2:02 pm

SkepticAl, a resident of the Ventura

No body owes you anything, least of all an explanation for their values and votes, if you do not understand the opinions on this blog it is your problem, get used to it. The fact is all 3 presidential candidates appose same sex marriage also

Meanwhile regarding the court and the November initiative.---

61 percent of those who voted on the subject in California in 2000 favored traditional marriage as the law in California, and it was their vote that was overturned by the 4-3 decision of the California Supreme Court.

The voters in California did not seek to outlaw homosexual behavior or same-sex unions, for that matter.
They prohibited their state from giving its official imprimatur, by way of marriage, to the behavior.
The assault on ordered liberty here is coming from the state bench, not the public.
And what of our constitutional system (federal and state)? Should we abandon that too? Should 4-3 decisions in California and Massachusetts, which do not adhere to the law in these states, be celebrated?
Should these state courts be able to export their decisions to other states, which is, in fact the tactic of the litigants?
What exactly is the standard by which we should be governed if we abandon Constitutional constructs?
The manner in which these decisions are made is vital to the republic.


Posted by OK with me, a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Ok..., a resident of Meadow Park
on May 16, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Hmm, SUJD, sounds like you are substituting your view of the State Constitution (in CA and in Mass) for those whose appointed responsibility it is to interpret it. Not sure why you (or really anyone) would do that. They call it the "Supreme Court" for a reason!

And while nobody owes Al anything, if his opponents' best argument boils down to "I don't like it that way," then for my money Al has the stronger position which in general we should support.

Again a great day for California. I was living in Mass when it happened there - I still remember how proud it made me feel to be living there.


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm

This is a victory for families and for family values--strengthening the recognition of bonds between *all* committed couples and their children can only be a positive thing. I hope this ruling will encourage the creation and support of many more loving families. I am so happy.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 2:41 pm


As the Netherlands' experiment in legalizing same-sex unions has illustrated, same-sex marriage in that country constituted one more step in a steady legal and social breakdown of the family.
The redefinition of marriage furthered a general pattern of cultural and legal erosion of the institution.
According to several Dutch social scientists, their fellow citizens "increasingly regard marriage as no longer relevant" because they have been persuaded that "marriage is not connected to parenthood and that marriage and cohabitation are equally valid 'lifestyle choices…'"
Marriage may be losing its place as the fundamental building block of social infrastructure in the Netherlands.
As the United States considers how to respond to the judicial dictates redefining marriage, policymakers should be aware of data emerging from the European precedent, and they should choose the most beneficial course for the family in America by preserving the institution of marriage.

This is why Obama, McCain and Clinton oppose same sex marriage


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm

SUJD -

Thanks for the civics lecture. But, I noticed you don't actually have any REASON to ban same sex marriage - except that most people don't like it. So if we had a vote tomorrow and 51% of the voters said yes to gay marriage, that would end the issue for you?

YET AGAIN, no one can give me a compelling state interest that should impinge on the rights of a minority to have the exact same legal rights as the majority.

No one owes me anything personally, but neither has anyone addressed the central LEGAL issues here except to reiterate ad nauseum that most voters don't like gay marriage so they want to ban it. The fact that you don't like a judicial decision doesn't invalidate it. In what way did the (Republican appointed) justices err in upholding the ideal of equality? You say, voters "prohibited their state from giving its official imprimatur, by way of marriage, to the behavior." So wait - regular marriage is an official imprimatur of behavior? What behavior(s)? And what about hetero couples that do/don't engage in those behaviors?

You ask, "What exactly is the standard by which we should be governed if we abandon Constitutional constructs?" Thank you for making my point! Courts overruling unconstitutional laws is fairly well established Constitutional construct. But please square your view on this issue with the US Constitution's provisions for equal protection and full faith and credit. (No, you don't OWE me that, but I'd like to see you try).


Posted by Beth, a resident of Gunn High School
on May 16, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Sharon, do you have any gay friends? I'm guessing no. (Or perhaps yes, but you've never asked them about marriage before.)

Because if you had gay friends and asked them about marriage, you would learn that there are so many gay couples out there waiting for the day when they too can become stable building blocks of society.

The obstacle? Out-dated laws like the one that the California Supreme Court has just overturned.

Let the full celebration of love and commitment begin. There are so many families waiting to be legally recognized as the stable, committed parts of our state that they are.


Posted by paul, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm

09/2005
The Netherlands and Belgium were the first countries to give full marriage rights to homosexuals.

Now in the Netherlands polygamy has been legalised in all but name. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal "married" both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary.

Asked by journalists to tell the secret of their peculiar relationship, Victor explained that there is no jealousy between them. "But this is because Mirjam and Bianca are bisexual. I think that with two heterosexual women it would be more difficult."

Victor stressed, however, that he is "a one hundred per cent heterosexual" and that a fourth person will not be allowed into the "marriage." They want to take their marriage obligations seriously: "to be honest and open with each other and not philander."


It Is A Slippery Slope Indeed

Enough is Enough


Posted by Sarah, a resident of Juana Briones School
on May 16, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Paul,

Is this a discussion about polygamy?

Because I thought it was a discussion about how all committed couples (as in 2 people!) have finally been granted the right to celebrate their relationship!

Keep it on topic.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 3:20 pm


I know some gays who are single and some couples, they have no desire to get married and think the whole thing about same sex marriage is bizarre theater combined with a campaign to force the gblt agenda on everyone and have it taught in elementary schools.
They believe attempts to link it to the Civil Rights movement are completely spurious, the are not and do not feel discriminated. against.

For Example see the post above Posted by no prob, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood

Meanwhile

It's easy to imagine that, in a world where gay marriage was common and fully accepted, a serious campaign to legalize polyamorous unions would succeed –
especially a campaign spearheaded by an organized bisexual-rights movement.
Yet win or lose, the culture of marriage will be battered for years by the debate.
Just as we're now continually reminded that not all married couples have children,
we'll someday be endlessly told that not all marriages are monogamous (nor all monogamists married).




Posted by Bob, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Well I clearly think the courts made a mistake in allowing left-handed people the right to marry. Clearly that started our society's serious slide towards polygamy.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 16, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Sharon -

So you would deny equal RIGHTS to real people HERE, TODAY, because of a trend in the Netherlands that, in the OPINION of SOME people, MIGHT have SOME relationship to their marriage laws, and that trend is a bad one in SOME people's OPINION, and you HYPOTHESIZE that something similar COULD happen here???

That's not very compelling.

If the condition of marriage in the modern world is so precarious that having more people get married could actually jeopardize the institution of marriage, I don't see how we can save it anyway. I guarantee you that modern attitudes towards marriage are created by many factors, and that gay marriage would be only a small part of the broader cultural dynamics. Honestly, wherever there are already gay couples living together, what would you or any of their neighbors know about their legal status, and why would it affect you? My wife and I say we're married, but no one has actually ever seen our marriage license/certificate. That piece of paper and that status mean everything to us, but I don't see how it affects our neighbors.

"This is why Obama, McCain and Clinton oppose same sex marriage"
- Soooo..... what? They have opinions. I have opinions. Why should personal or religious opinions trump rights???


Posted by Beth, a resident of Gunn High School
on May 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Sharon,

"the are not and do not feel discriminated. against."

How is denying millions of people the legal right to marry, while providing this right for another group, not discrimination?

DISCRIMINATE: To make distinctions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit; show preference or prejudice.


Posted by Willie, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2008 at 3:50 pm

I oppose gay marriage. However, I do support plural marriage. Yes, of course, that makes me a bigoted hypocrit. So what?


Posted by sarlat, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 16, 2008 at 4:45 pm

I'm heterosexual and cannot understand for life of me why anyone would have the chutzpah to deny others the right of marriage. Not that long ago, the majority of Americans believed that Afro-Americans didn't deserve the same rights they enjoyed, and once, they considered black people to be good only for one thing-slavery. It is just as repulsive and unacceptable for adults adults would be denied a basic human right. The concept of marriage only between man and woman is a religious one. religion has no place in public life. Hopefully, religion will disappear completely at some point in our evolution, but for now I'm willing to tolerate it as long as it's not forced down our throats.


Posted by In Love, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I think I am in love with SkepticAl*. Bob, you are pretty cool too.

*I am a woman, and therefore in professing my love for these two men, would not be offending some of the posters to this blog.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I do oppose Gay marriage, although I strongly believe that Gay couples should have all the rights of marriage under another name.

However, I feel that the argument saying that this ruling makes for stronger families is a misnomer. A family is different from a couple. A couple raising children can be called a family, but a couple on their own regardless of their marriage status cannot be called a family unit.

Further from this, I strongly feel that children, boys and girls, should be raised in a home where there are strong influences from two parents, one male and one female. In homes where there is only one parent, unless we have a strong mentor influence from the missing parent, either by the bio parent or loco parentis, many problems can arise. We have heard from one poster above (George) and his experience of being raised without a Dad or a strong male role model. The fact that one of his mothers went to a class, run by women, to address this, shows that the lesbian community at least realise there are problems here. The fact that George was a boy raised in this atmosphere is one side of this, but a girl being raised in this atmosphere is equally losing out by not having a close male fatherfigure.

The Roman Catholic Church is often condemned for opposing Gay adoption and for once I agree with them. The idea that a gay couple, whether married or not, is an ideal family of choice is wrong in my opinion. Agreed, that there must be situations where it has worked, but likewise a single person adopting a child on their own can work and it can be argued that one (or two of the same sex parents) is better than living in an abusive or poverty stricken family, or even an institution is a valid point of view. But, the fact that it takes a man and a woman to make a child shows that evolution has produced the correct family breakdown and the best way to raise a child is with two loving parents who happen to be a man and a woman.


Posted by reasoned arguments, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Ok, reasoned arguments against changing the word marriage to mean something other than a committed, monogamous union between a man and a woman, as has been its intention for thousands of years...

Evolution of a word:

Marriage: committed, monogamous union between 2 men or 2 women or a man and a woman.

Marriage: a committed, monogamous union between 2 15 year olds (not men, not women) be they same or opposite gender OR between 2 men or 2 women or a man and a woman.

Marriage: A committed, duogamous union between any 3 people, of any gender, OR 2 15 year olds of any gender OR 2 men or 2 women or a man and a woman..

While we are at it...divorce: let's change it to mean "the end of any marriage, and/or relationship"...just slight change in meanign..umm, anyone want to live under divorce laws when they decide to just live together?

get my drift? Please note, as we say over and over and over...it is the use of the word in a way that it has not meant for thousands of years that is irritating. Take any other word, have all the rights and responsibilities built into that word the same as married straights, but leave the word alone.

When asked if you are married, and you say yes, it shouldn't be a natural next question "what gender? How many?" etc.

Next reasoned argument: I, personally, was strongly influenced by my teachers. I was influenced greatly in behavior ( marriage before babies for example). I saw teachers and spouses at functions. I saw photos of teachers' boyfriends and girlfriends and spouses on keychains. I do not want my impressionable kids to see same gender couples who are calling themselves married, and think that this is the definition of "married", meaning to another same sex person. Too much influence.

for those who scoff at this concern......think back to your teachers, think of your crushes. I can remember mine, and if I had thought that my normal young crush on a same sex teacher meant that I was gay and therefore had to be with the same gender, I would not have had the life I had. There is a big difference between a kid growing up and realizing she or he simply isn't attracted at all to the opposite gender, and a kid getting confused by young feelings.

Reason number 3: It is definitely not in the best interest of children to be born into gay couples. Read any literature on the effect of absent fathers or mothers on children. Now, you can argue all you want that there are great gay parents, and I know there are personally. But, to then force physicians and/or clinics and/or adoption agencies to treat gay couples on an equal footing as straight couples is wrong. Second tier, better that a kid be raised by a loving gay couple than in foster homes, single parent homes, druggie and/or abusive parents et al. But, to make all married couples equal, and thus equally at "rights" to children is wrong for a society.

I know all the screaming about how horrible some straight parents are, and I completely agree. But, creating acceptance of yet more less than healthy environments is not in society's best interest.

Ok, these were reasoned arguments off the top of my head.


Posted by not a right, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 5:00 pm

By the way..do not get confused...marriage is not a RIGHT. There are at least 2 groups of people for whom it is illegal to marry.

First cousins

Underage


Posted by Reasoned...Are You Sure?, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Those arguments weren't reasoned at all. They were rooted in fear.

You have to ask yourself, truly, what are you afraid of? Your child "becoming" gay because their teacher has a picture of their partner on their key chain. Your child confusing admiration for someone with passionate feelings? Give children a bit more credit that, they are far more accepting of people and their similarities and differences than adults seem to be.


Posted by agreed, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2008 at 5:08 pm

NAR

Develop further groups that are not entitled to marry,

You cannot marry your aunt or uncle (the sibling of one of your natural parents). You cannot marry your great aunt or great uncle (the sibling of one of your natural grandparents.

You cannot marry your own sibling.


Posted by It is a Right, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm

It becomes a Right when some PEOPLE are allowed do it, and other PEOPLE are not.



Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on May 16, 2008 at 5:20 pm

reasoned arguments,

Reason is underpinned by tacit, subjective judgments (M. Polanyi); those judgments are ephemeral. As tempting as it is to believe otherwise, your "reason" is not universal. Thus, you have no more claim to "right" than anyone else.

Morality is non-relative only insofar as any one moral standard is enforced.

The paradigms that you claim as the preferable ones are all subject to change.

One thing that's more sure than your "reasoned arguments"; it's called a biological imperative. That imperative encompasses diversity as a primary evolutionary survival tool.

You'd best learn to embrace that.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 16, 2008 at 5:38 pm

There are compelling state interests in preventing cousin/sibling marriages, and no one is arguing otherwise.
There is no segment of society whose identity is being used against them to deny them rights as would be sibling-spouses.

Who's next?

(p.s. LOL @ "In Love" - are you threatening my heterosexual marriage???)


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Let's be frank - people who oppose gay marriage by and large are prejudiced against gays.

Just as those who formerly opposed inter-racial marriage (or still do) were bigoted against other races. Can you imagine someone saying, "I don't have any problem with African-Americans - I'm not a bigot. But a white girl/boy marrying one is just not right?" Those statements were once enshrined in law. Today they are viewed as bald-faced bigotry of the worst kind.

The arguments above are no better. "Imagine if my child's teacher had a picture of his partner..." So this poster's problem isn't with gay marriage, it was with the teacher being gay. S/he can say, "I don't hate gays, but allowing them to marry - it's not right"; but that's the same as the statement we rejected above. He's a bigot, pure and simple.

Gayness isn't a lifestyle choice; it is an identity, just like race and gender. We can't discriminate against classes of people in our civil society based on identity; it is unfair and denies their civil rights. If you don't agree, then I'm afraid, while you are entitled to your opinion, you are in the same boat as those who didn't agree with equal rights for women, African-Americans, Jews, Catholics, and identity groups of every stripe. Your view, while perhaps widely held (think anti-back bigotry in the pre-war south), is unjust and now, per the California Supreme Court, it is unconstitutional.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Frankly,

I agree with evything you jsut said. However, you left out polygamy. It is very much an identity. Are you a bigot, too?


Posted by No no, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm

VERY SAD for whoever supporting same sex marriages. SAD for their posterity. It's ok to marry your dogs, your cats.........then


Posted by are you kidding???, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 16, 2008 at 10:37 pm

"polygamy is very much an identity" - are you kidding? Do you understand this topic at all?

No no - the fact that you would compare love between humans and love for a pet suggests something about you, but the only reason for me to state it would be to see [Portion deleted by Palo Alto Online staff].


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I doubt there are many in Palo Alto would can't distinguish between sexual identity and practices like polygamy and bestiality. But I guess if there are, they'd show up here.


Posted by tired of name calling, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 6:11 am

Ok, back to those ad hominum attacks on my "reasoned arguments".

I am now with a woman. I didn't mention that because I figured it was irrelevant to the reasoned arguments, which need not have more or less weight depending on who is making the argument.

Now, are my arguments rooted in fear or prejudice?

Or, perhaps, shall I assume that those of you arguing for changing the meaning of the word marriage are in fear and prejudice of having a legal name for a loving, faithful committed GAY union? Wouldn't want to call it what it is, would you? Wouldn't want to to address those uncomfortable feelings, would you?

Ok, can we quit with the silly "attacks" and stick with reason?

Claiming that what children see doesn't affect them is completely baseless. I assume you who claim this bring your 10 year olds to R movies?


Posted by tired of name calling, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 6:15 am

And, Mr. or Ms. Frankly: I am going to state a "frank" statement:

Let's be frank, those who are for gay marriage are by and large prejudiced against straights, pure and simple, because they don't care about thousands of years of definition of a word that was used only for straights..

There....how is THAT for intelligent rejoinder?

Geez


Posted by Stephen, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 17, 2008 at 8:43 am

Please take a look at the article at Web Link in which the arguments for anti-gay marriage statutes are examined in light of the history of similar statutes preventing interracial marriages. Interestingly, miscegenation was against the law in California until the Ca. State Supreme Court overturned it in 1948.

I would think that if those who opposed gay marriage, especially those on the right, truly cared about strengthening families, we would see far more support for living wage laws, accessible health care and improved education.


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 17, 2008 at 9:54 am

That's a good link Stephen - I recommend taking a look at it.

Tired - so, if we rephrased your argument - "those in favor of inter-racial marriages are prejudiced against whites, because they don't care that inter-racial marriages were illegal for virtually all of American history" - how would you feel about that? Good argument?

Or if we said, let's not call inter-racial marriage a "marriage" - let's call it an "inter-racial civil union" so as not to offend traditionalists - do you think that would show racial bigotry? Would you support it?

I hope that children who see healthy gay marriages think "isn't that great." If you think it isn't great, you can explain to your children why you think that - just as if you oppose marriages between races or religions, you can explain why on those too. Sorry - we can't take away other people's civil rights to make it easier for you to pass on your biases to your children.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 17, 2008 at 10:16 am

"Claiming that what children see doesn't affect them is completely baseless. I assume you who claim this bring your 10 year olds to R movies?"

- are you suggesting that children who see that same sex couples exist have been exposed to something akin to "R" rated content? Are same-sex couples inherently sexual as you see it? Any child traumatized by seeing that has been overly sheltered and trained to see that as deviant, and the problem lies in the parenting, not the fact that same-sex couples exist. Teaching children that there are different kinds of couples does not harm them, nor does it make them "turn gay" or anything like that. Little kids don't think of marriage and couples in sexual terms, so the problem here emanates from the grown-ups projecting their discomfort about homosexuality.

And yet again, the argument against gay marriage comes down to personal comfort and bias. Still waiting... day three now... no "compelling state interest" argument against same sex marriage, unless you count the ones that assume the state should adopt your personal opinions and accept your hypotheses about the future and interpret those hypotheses using your value judgments.


Posted by Name Calling?, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 10:18 am

Funny... Yes, you are right,taking children to an R rated movie is *exactly* the same as allowing two people of the same gender to love each other and enjoy the same rights that are afforded to people of different genders.

Thank you very much for pointing that out to me...


Posted by Tom, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 10:39 am

"No no - the fact that you would compare love between humans and love for a pet suggests something about you"

are you kidding???,

Polygamy is very much about love between humans. What are you talking about? The bias against consentual plural marraige is every bit as bad, if not worse, that the bias against gay marriage. The irony is that many gay people also have this bigotry. Although I am not a polygamist myself, I have a very good friend who is. I am convinced that it is his identity as a human. He has three wives, and they seem like a very happy family to me.


Posted by sigh, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 11:03 am

Tom, it is obvious that those who want to deny that the argument is over how to define a word, not against or for any group of people, can not possibly see the connection between your point and theirs.

They will just keep writing in CAPITAL LETTERS, presumably in a typographical shout down, saying the same thing repetitively ( it is a RIGHT of HUMANS) and that is that.

I can't believe I am on the other side of this, yet am a woman with a woman.I am a verbal purist. I accept that a word has had one meaning for thousands of of years. I have no problem with using a different word and wearing my ring on my right hand as long as we have the same rights and responsibilities...


Give it up.


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2008 at 11:27 am

Sigh, words generally don't mean the same thing over thousands of years (heck, the word "marriage" didn't exist thousands of years ago, since English wasn't spoken) and the cultural contexts shift in ways you and I almost certainly don't understand (I sure don't).

So to lean on "long tradition" seems like shaky ground in a civil rights debate - long-tradition was one of the primary arguments for racial and gender discrimination. I don't know what marriage meant 100 years ago, let alone 1000, and not sure I care. Today it means the personal, intimate union, recognized by society and the state, between two adults.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 11:46 am

Frankly,

Why only "between two adults"? Polygamy has been around for thousands of years. It is mentioned, and approved of, in the Bible. The Mormons built Utah with it.

Why can't you realize how bigoted you sound, by denying consenting adults to marry?


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2008 at 11:56 am

Tom, I don't really know much of anything about polygamy and the arguments for laws against it. Sorry if I sound bigoted to you. I don't know if it should be illegal or not; though since I don't think it is a matter if identity, I'm not sure it is a civil right.

My definition doesn't exclude plural marriage, though. If one man marries two women, he's married to each of them (union between two adults). So he is married to them; it just happens to be illegal.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 17, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Tom, for what it's worth, I'm not afraid of a debate about polygamy. I don't see it as exactly the same thing, but I wouldn't categorically reject the concept. But I would rather see that debate separated from this one, since polygamy is just a red herring here, used in an unfair conflation to suggest scary implications of gay marriage.

Sigh - "a verbal purist"? Is that a linguistic term? Are you familiar with the Oxford English Dictionary? Take a look and see how the meanings of most words change with time. It's all well and good that you personally are happy to have a union-by-some-other-name, but the Supreme Court majority, also showing a keen awareness of language, ruled that when the state calls things by different names it makes them different. I would be happy to see the state get entirely out of the "marriage" business and just have civil unions, leaving the term "marriage" for the religious/spiritual union for anyone who wants that. Would that work for you?


Posted by Tom, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 1:46 pm

"since I don't think it is a matter if identity, I'm not sure it is a civil right."

Frankly, I understand your point of view. However, I am not sure I can agree with it. What is your definition of "identity"? I am quite confident that my polygamist friend would disagree with you.

Here is a consitutional ammendment that should satisfy most open-minded people:

"All consenting adults can marry, and be subject to the legal commitments that the state defines for marriage."


Posted by Jane, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 17, 2008 at 2:56 pm

"Despite this ruling by four California jurists, there's no more a constitutional right to marriage than there is a constitutional right to a driver's license.
On the secular level, both are privileges granted by the state, which is entitled to define the ground rules for its secular reasons and purposes.

The civil purpose of marriage is not and never has been to reaffirm the love of two people for one another.
Nor is marriage primarily a business arrangement.
This country and healthy societies around the world and throughout history have given marriage special legal protection because of the recognition that it's the one institution that ensures the society's future through the orderly upbringing of children.

Laws barring interracial marriage were unconstitutional only because of the racial bias involved.
The state already had established a compelling interest in marriage as a stable environment for having and rearing children.
To say only men and women of the same race could marry was discriminatory.

No legislative body has ever voted to sanction gay marriage.
If legislators want to pass or revise laws to facilitate the assignment of benefits between committed individuals or groups, fine.

Illinois has a law allowing you to leave your estate to your pets without granting you the right to marry your cat or form a civil union with Spot.

As Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, has warned: "Court-created same-sex marriage will . . . disconnect marriage from any further relationship with its great historic task of making the next generation, and connecting those children to both their mothers and fathers."

The slippery slope has been greased.
If two men can marry, why not more than two?
Are laws against polygamy also a violation of our constitutional rights?
Was the Texas cult legal?Web Link


Posted by Tom, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 3:04 pm

"Are laws against polygamy also a violation of our constitutional rights? "

Jane, the answer is yes, in my opinion. The Texas case, to which you refer, is about, primarily, underage children being sexually abused by older men. Consenting adult women and men should be free to enter the legal contract of marriage, with all that entails.


Posted by ng, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm



Polygamy is just part of it.
Why (says Peter Singer a professor at Princeton) does "person" have to only refer to a member of the species Homo Sapiens (and who says all homo sapiens are persons).

In the Dictatorship of Relativism, things *must* dissolve into an atomized individualism where things are whatever we say they are.

Our sole criteria for a relationship is "mutual consent".

Gender doesn't matter. Age will soon not matter (good news for NAMBLA!).
Number of participants doesn't matter.
Manner in which the relationship is lived out doesn't matter (happy news for the manufacturers of whips and chains).
If you feel good about it, then who is anybody to say you are wrong?

So this is simply the next step, not the last one.

Of course, a society cannot function for long as a chaotic mass of atomized individuals.
Original sin will see to that.
Once the Big Laws have been dissolved in the acid bath of relativism you will get chaos and, after that, the Strong Man with the Small Laws. A life that is lonely, nasty, brutish and short(Thomas Hobbes Leviathon

2008 is very different from 2000, we and the Europeans have seen the horrors that result from relativism, Europe has gone too far down that road to turn back-- though they are trying-- they are demographically and culturally doomed.

We have the choice of NOT going down that road and instead to maintain and grow Western Civilization


Posted by Hugh Hewitt, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2008 at 3:26 pm

A constitutional amendment to the California Constitution will almost certainly qualify to be on the ballot in November as more than a million signatures had already been turned in even prior to the Caluifornia Surpreme Court's putsch today.
You can contribute to the effort and volunteer to help pass it and thus rebuke the out-of-control California Supreme Court at ProtectMarriage.com.Web Link

See Justice Baxter's ringing denunciation of the majority's usurpation of the People's rights belowWeb Link.
Then get involved.
You don't have to live in California to help deliver this message. Advocates of judicial imposition of same sex marriage will be pouring millions of dollars into defeating the amendment, and it will require an enormous effort to send the message that despite the ambitions of judges and cultural elites, majorities do matter in a Republic built on constitutional majoritarianism.

This will be an enormously important election for the future of the country.
Marriage is of course a central institution that society must protect and nurture, but the idea of separation of powers and accountability for courts is also a bedrock principle of the rule of law, and it is eroding before our eyes.
The California electorate will be asked to decide if it is willing to be ruled by judges, whether it will simply accept being told what they will do and when they will do it.
I hope every interested citizen in the country, every religious leader fond of religious liberty, every legislator who takes his or her job seriously will grasp that the vote on the marriage amendment on the California ballot is really much much more than just a marriage amendment and concerns far more than just California law

--it is a vote on who rules, judges or the People, and its result will mark a decisive beginning of a rollback of judicial imperialism or a capitulation to the courts on this and on any other issue the courts decide to impose their will upon.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 17, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Oh heavens - the court has imposed upon the voters by suggesting that you should treat people equally! The sky is falling! Western civilization was otherwise in such good shape, but this will destroy it! (Stifling laughter).

Of course there's no inherent human right to marry. The judges didn't say there was. They said if the state is involved in this marriage business, it can't tell an adult which non-related adults they have to choose from. There IS a compelling state interest relating to age and blood relatives, and no one is arguing otherwise. There is NOT a compelling state interest in determining the gender of one's spouse.

The idea that marriage is about children holds obvious logic, but obviously cannot be used as a litmus test for marriage, since so many couple choose not to have children, or marry when they're beyond the age. Exit that argument.

Again and again, the arguments against gay marriage hinge on feelings, traditions, religion, and personal values. None of those can trump the obligation of the state to treat people equally.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 5:28 pm

My polygamist friend, and his wives are close friends of myself and my wife. I remember when my wife, at first, was shcoked by the entire thing ("yuk"). My wife is now very easy with it and she is particularly close to one of the wives. Our kids used to play together, when they were younger. No problem. In fact, they used to babysit for our kids, we for them.

I also have a number of gay friends. When I mention the polygamy of my friend, about half of them say, "cool"; unfortunately, the other half is as bigoted as those who oppose gay marriage.

I should also mention that there is an interesting strain among my gay friends. Some of them, although not the majority, do not want gay marriage to be legalized. There are various issues, but the main theme seems to be that marriage will wreck the gay lifestyle. Perhaps some gay people on this blog might want to comment on this.

This seems like a good time to lay down the shields, and have a good honest discussion.


Posted by woody, a resident of Southgate
on May 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm



I fully support the rights of polygamists after all all men are genetically promiscuous, it is only through self control, religion etc that they are otherwise.

Of course we should not talk of self control etc when it comes to male homosexuals, they are born that way , if it feel good do it
I am free to be me etc, while the rest of us have to pay $$ for the health consequences of behaviors that they will not change


Posted by lmao, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 6:53 pm

The level of discourse on the "pro" side was defined by the comment by Frankly that English hasn't been spoken for 1000s of years so therefore the word "marriage" can't be claimed to be that old.

This is surely somebody testing out a comedy line?


Posted by unacceptable argument, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Skeptical Al: Wrong...there are many things which trump the "obligation of the state to treat people equally"....surely you realize the absurdity of such a blanket statement?

Should we treat the severely disabled the same as the abled? Should we treat the 16 year old the same as the 70 year old? Should we treat the criminally insane the same as those who aren't?

C'mon..that argument is far too easy to shoot down. You were trying to simplify too much.

Behaviors have been regulated by the "state" for reasons having to do with the protection of society for more years than all the cumulative bloggers' ages on this thread. That is why there are laws..do you think they are completely arbitrary?

So, argue on the basis of why gay marriage doesn't hurt society, not on the specious statement "obligation to treat everyone equally".


Posted by unacceptable argument, a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Skeptical Al: Wrong...there are many things which trump the "obligation of the state to treat people equally"....surely you realize the absurdity of such a blanket statement?

Should we treat the severely disabled the same as the abled? Should we treat the 16 year old the same as the 70 year old? Should we treat the criminally insane the same as those who aren't?

C'mon..that argument is far too easy to shoot down. You were trying to simplify too much.

Behaviors have been regulated by the "state" for reasons having to do with the protection of society for more years than all the cumulative bloggers' ages on this thread. That is why there are laws..do you think they are completely arbitrary?

So, argue on the basis of why gay marriage doesn't hurt society, not on the specious statement "obligation to treat everyone equally".


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Check out the mirror for comedy, lmao, I'm sure you'll amuse yourself thoroughly.

Old English (which isn't the English we speak now), dates from the 5th century, so about 1600 years ago. From Merriam-Webster online (sorry OED requires a subscription):

"Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry Date: 14th century."

Which makes the word marriage in English about 600-700 years old.


Posted by hmm, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2008 at 7:21 pm

The word marriage, regardless of which language we are talking about has always meant many things to many people depending on the culture.

In many cultures, arranged marriages have and still do take place. This is often not marriage between consenting adults, but parents marrying off their children for financial, societal or political gain. The participants themselves were possibly willing to obey, but not really given any alternative.

Sometimes these marriages were no more than parents selling off their daughters to the highest bidder. Contrarily, some often gave away their daughters and as little of the family wealth as possible. Sometimes these marriages were between children younger than puberty, and sometimes an older man, who perhaps had lost a wife in childbirth, was looking for a young replacement.

Sometimes marriages were no more than legalizing sex between an older man and a younger woman. Sometimes the husband was unable to get married younger because he was financially still obliged to his own parents and until they died, he was not free enough to be able to support his own wife and family.

All through history in various cultures, marriages were arranged for political reasons. Various European kings and queens were married by their governments for political alliances, but also lower nobility did the same thing to align lands or even farms.

We have the phrase shotgun wedding to denote a marriage where the wife is already pregnant and it has seemed prudent to get the couple married to prevent hardship to the child. This is not necessarily going to be a love match either.

Thus, the word for marriage in any language really means this legal bonding between two people of the opposite sex to legalize sexual activity and historically for heredity and financial (tax) reasons. It often has very little to do with two people who love each other and want to commit their lives to each other for ever.

Nowhere in history that I know of have their been anything legal in the way of uniting two of the same sex together for any of the above reasons. The only reason now for two consenting same sex people to unite is for legalizing their sexual union. Since we already have domestic partnerships on the books, this gay marriage idea is really only a licence for sexual activity rather than providing any real reason for a bonding between a same sex couple who have all the legal advantages already.


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2008 at 9:47 pm

That's an interesting post, hmm, though I drew different conclusions than you wound up with.

My take was that the marriage bond has been used in different societies for various purposes, and not necessarily the child-rearing, love-match sense we generally think of as "traditional" today. Which says to me that the term is fungible and subject to changing definition, though it does consistently seem to confer certain legal and financial rights/obgliations. Extending now to same-sex unions seems sensible, given that same sex relationships are now relatively more accepted than they have been in western cultures the last few centuries.

The question is not what has been covered traditionally (which excludes, say, "un-natural" inter-racial unions) but why persons who seek the benefit of legal marriages should be denied that opportunity. Absent a compelling reason not to grant it, it's their civil right.


Posted by Clueless., a resident of another community
on May 17, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Can someone explain to me the difference between California law regarding
A) Registered Domestic Partnerships and the B) the California ruling?

Both the legal difference and practical difference.


Clueless.


Posted by Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2008 at 6:11 am

What a wonderful decision! As someone wrote above, "For those of us who are proud of our marital state and the definitions it brings us, why take away that description from us"--but how ironic that that writer means "don't allow same-sex couples to have equal rights." This decision changes nothing at all about the rights of heterosexual people, their commitment to each other or their love. It is hard to understand how others' commitment takes anything away from other couples.

My wife and I have been married for three years in the eyes of our church, our friends and our family. Other individuals (and churches) don't have to accord us that dignity--that is up to them. But what is not up to them is whether we have equal protection under the law. We are two adults who have made the commitments of marriage, and finally the state has called an end to our second-class citizenship.

My story is nothing. I know couples who have lived in a loving, committed relationship for forty, fifty, sixty years while being regarded as strangers to each other in the eyes of the law. It is so insulting when people compare their astonishing love to marrying one's sister or one's dog. We are talking about two adults who have made one of life's most important decisions.

In my church (Unitarian Universalist) this bond is considered holy. Churches that believe otherwise continue to have the freedom to refuse to marry same-sex couples, of course. What they may not do is impose their interpretation of marriage on everyone in the state.

This morning, at my church, we will be celebrating marriage and the joyful news that all Californians are now free to marry the person they love. Hallelujah!


Posted by lmao, a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2008 at 6:32 am

Thank you, hmmmm, for having the patience to point out the obvious..that the word "marriage" exists in every language and has for thousands of years. I suppose I should have written the "idea of marriage as defined in the hundreds of languages around the world for thousands of years, regardless of how the word marriage is spelled or spoken, has meant between a man and a woman"..but I presumed too much of the reader.


Posted by please note.., a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2008 at 6:36 am

Rev Amy: Equal protection under the law is not the question. Please note that the vast majority, 80% by the last poll I remember, support equal protection under the law...they just want a different WORD for what the union is when it isn't between one man and one woman.

I will try to find the poll.

My worry is that this sort of "shove it down your throat" by our courts will bring about a backlash like last time, one which sweeps away the progress made in CIVIL UNION laws, as it did in some states, in the emotional furor that is about to come down the pike.

BTW, congrats and may you have many more happy years together.


Posted by Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2008 at 6:56 am

"Please note," the court discusses this question at length, particularly on pages 10-12. One pertinent passage: "Retaining the traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples."

The entire decision is here: Web Link

I think what you are talking about is a common confusion because of the many overlapping meanings of the word marriage. It can mean a religious sacrament, a relationship (and do any two couples mean the exact same thing by it? we all know people of whose marriages we say "that's not what I call a marriage," sadly), and/or a contract under civil law. The court is talking about the latter, since that's the only one that's the business of the government.

Whether you call someone else's relationship a marriage is not at issue. That is your business. The state, however, is talking about a legal structure, and it must be strictly impartial.

Under constitutional law, you may not create a structure such as civil marriage and then say arbitrarily that it doesn't apply to everyone. You need to show a compelling state interest in excluding certain people. The state has no such interest in excluding us from the benefits of civil marriage.

Freedom to marry is not freedom if the state tells you whom you may and may not marry. That's why laws against interracial marriage were struck down. And to those who scoff at the parallel between anti-miscegenation laws and opposite-sex-couples-only laws, go back and look at the arguments made forty years ago--they were exactly the same. "It's unnatural, it's God's law, read the Bible, look at the entire history of marriage . . . " All just people's prejudices masquerading as reason.

I sincerely thank you for your good wishes, "please note." We also need your help in order to preserve our rights, so please stand with us in November.


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Barron Park
on May 18, 2008 at 7:28 am

Amy, thanks for those thoughtful posts.

lmao, I guess calling other people stupid makes you feel smarter. It doesn't make your arguments any better, though.


Posted by please note, a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2008 at 7:53 am

Rev. Amy: The opinion of one human, just because it is a human attorney who is on a Court, on a matter of the emotional impact of a word carried no more weight than any other human's interpretation.

Therefore the weight of an attorney's opinion, as in this Justice's opinion, on the impact of the actual word on the emotional "dignity" is not any heavier than the impact of any other person's opinion on the "dignity" afforded people on the basis of a word.

I completely disagree. I truly believe that appropriating a word is not useful to our cause. I believe a different word for the same rights and responsibilities is of more value to our dignity, because we ARE same gender.

Put it another way...how would you feel if "lesbian" suddenly meant any woman who has even thought of being with a woman, but is with a man and prefers to be with a man. After all, it is just a change in the meaning, and will give equal dignity to those who wish to use the word in lesbian bars.

I would be furious if I had to start asking "ok, you call yourself a lesbian, but who do you prefer, a man or a woman?" Or if calling myself a lesbian meant nothing, I had to say "I am a lesbian who has decided to be with women".

That is the problem with changing the meaning of the word "marriage". I want my OWN legal word, with all the rights and responsibilities, including the ability to bring my partner through the citizenship process like others can. But, I don't want to call it "marriage", "marriage ceremony", "getting married", "wedding ceremony", "wedding". I am not straight, I don't want to use the straight language.

Changing the meaning of a word is not a right. Having the rights and responsiblities of straight marrieds, I am completely on board. But, this push to redefine a word embarrasses me.

I am simply going to pray that we don't get the backlash of anger that we got after Mass. ruling, which pulled us backward in civil unions in so many states. I blame the Mass ruling for that, and I will blame the CA. ruling for the next one.

The smart thing to do would be to keep making progress state by state on civil unions, building in legal protections to become equal to those of straight marrieds..let it sit for a while, and let people see that the world did not fall apart. THEN tackle such emotionally laden terms as the word "marriage". Though I see no need for such a battle, at least if it were to happen after the whole nation is behind equal rights/responsibilities ( taxes, debts, etc) for civil unions, there would be less damage done by the fight.

My younger friends just think I am too old to want "change". In fact, I am just the right age to appreciate the phenomenal amount of change we HAVE experienced in my life...from the only time the "L" word was spoken was in the one book "The Women's Room", and complete closet and silence, to now when there are out teachers and coaches and therapists and nobody blinks and eyelash.

That is a lot of change in 30 years.


Posted by lmao, a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2008 at 7:55 am

Frankly, you are pulling an Obama...carefully reading through my post I called nobody "stupid". I took full responsibility for presuming too much. In other words, my bad.


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 18, 2008 at 8:37 am

lmao, there you go again. Yes, your bad.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 18, 2008 at 10:33 am

Being gay is not about "sexual deviance" ... it's actually not about sex at all. It is about loving another person based on their character. I always tell my children (and my students), "If somethings seems weird or strange to you, maybe you need to learn more about it." Many people who are against gay marriage are coming across very ignorant, because their points are based on stereotypes or vague opinions. I have friends who don't believe in gay marriage or homosexuality, but for some reason they like my partner and I enough to call us friends. The people in the "gay community" are real people who you interact with daily and the press does a huge disservice by only showing the outrageous and flamboyant. The reality of gay lifestyle in the Silicon Valley is that it looks like a hetero lifestyle. We shlep kids around, go grocery shopping, clean house, make sure everyone has done their homework and on Sundays we go to church (Unity Palo Alto). My partner and I are conscientious parents (the kids say we're strict) and we make sure that our children practice the good values we have taught them. Our sophomore son has a very nice girlfriend and our daughter plays house with a mom and a dad (occasionally they'll pretend that there are two moms). All three kids have a lot friends and no one cares we're gay. Kids recognize love and appreciate the time we give them.

This legislation doesn't really affect the heterosexual community. Before the ruling on Thursday we sent the kids off to school, went to work (paid taxes), came home to our house, which we own, and followed through with all of our parenting responsibilities. On Friday we did the same thing, but now we have the choice to legally get married. Whether we choose to do that, doesn't affect anyone else, but my family. Regardless of what laws pass, there will still be gay people. Laws do not make these relationships go away.

I suggest that all of the people who are against same sex marriage, make it a point to know your enemy. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that we are doctors, lawyers, Silicon Valley executives, teachers and the most boring part is that we generally lead very sedate domestic lives :-) So if you don't want to see gay people stay locked up in your houses.


Posted by sigh, a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2008 at 11:27 am

Sigh...Mary..you didn't read any of this thread, did you?


Posted by sally, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 18, 2008 at 1:56 pm



If you want to understand what is involved in the " gay lifestyle choice" then check out the Folsom Street Fair in SF some timeWeb Link


The language of individual choice or individual right has proven extraordinarily seductive both as an invitation to do as one pleases with a clear conscience and as a deterrent against disapproval of the choices of others, which are grouped under the preposterously euphemistic blanket of "lifestyle" choices.
Lifestyle choices, it turns out, include every imaginable sexual practice, including a new addition — "questioning" — as well as those older preferences which, not so long ago, were known by such judgmental terms as incest, pedophilia, statutory rape, necrophilia, and bestiality.
Some older ones, like fornication and sodomy, seem virtually to have disappeared from our vocabulary.
Lifestyle choices also include the choice to abort or not to abort, to marry or not to marry, to bear a child within marriage or outside of marriage, to cohabit or not to cohabit, and on ad infinitum.
Logically, there is no reason not to add to this list polygamy and polyandry.
The notion of marriage as the union of one woman and one man has been dissolved in a flood of options, reduced to the status of one "choice" among many.
And if the gravest and most sacred features of human existence are reduced to matters of style, why should we care which styles others may choose?


Posted by midtown, a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm

who cares! America is good at one thing making a ISSUE of everything.


Posted by DJ, a resident of Downtown North
on May 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm

How come this always comes up during election season?


Posted by anne, a resident of Barron Park
on May 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm

I feel like this is a slap in the face of Heterosexuals! and California Voters. I have nothing against Gays, if you choose to be gay/or born gay, then please find another word to define your long-lasting relationship and bless you for having a long lasting relationship. But please don't deliberately use the term "marriage" this word has been sacred to us and our traditions. Like we have respect for your lifestyle please have respect for our lifestyles. I have a feeling overall they will be exodus of families from this wonderful state like in San Francisco. It is a shame.


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Barron Park
on May 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Anne, how would you feel if the topic were inter-racial marriages? It is easy to imagine a racial bigot making your point about those unions, once universally outlawed and called "un-natural."

It doesn't seem appropriate to take away other people's civil rights because you feel offended by it or that it is against your traditions.


Posted by Wilde, a resident of Stanford
on May 18, 2008 at 7:37 pm

What I don't understand is why more people are concerned about this than the 7 years Bush was allowed to go berserk and permit so many people to be killed for no reason at all. Most collegians today could not care less about other peoples' sexuality and those who complain the most are either going into politics or are in the closet or afraid of what their parents think...Just like the rest of the U.S....


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2008 at 8:02 pm

To equate this with the legalising of inter-racial marriages is wrong in my opinion. To begin with, I see nothing wrong in inter-racial marriages, but the big problems with legalising it was in fact nothing to do with the two people involved, but in the welfare of the children these marriages would produce. Yes, some people may have not liked the idea of inter-racial marriages because it looked wrong or felt wrong, but the bigger position was on the lives of the children it would create. For many at this time, the bigger fear was how the children would be treated. These children would not be one race or the other and were in danger of being treated badly by both races. Therefore, the idea of preventing the marriages that would produce these mixed race kids was in essence one of protection rather than anything else. The fear that these kids would be carrying a taboo with them for the entire lives was something that lawmakers felt was doing society a favour rather than producing more problems.

For this reason, it is wrong to put gay marriage and mixed race marriages into the same category.


Posted by Oscar, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 18, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Civil unions!


Posted by Frankly, a resident of Barron Park
on May 18, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Wow, Resident, you have a benevolent view of historical racism in my opinion. Someone would said, "I don't object to inter-racial marriage, but we have to protect those poor children that might issue from it" would be a rationalizer of the first order in my book.

Check out this link Web Link , which was posted by another above, on the reasons for laws against inter-racial marriage. One quote from the Virginia Supreme Court in 1878:

"The purity of public morals," the court declared, "the moral and physical development of both races…require that they should be kept distinct and separate… that connections and alliances so unnatural that God and nature seem to forbid them, should be prohibited by positive law, and be subject to no evasion."

And to quote the California Supreme Court in 1948, striking down such bans as unconstitutional:

Speaking for a deeply divided court, Justice Roger Traynor flatly rejected the shopworn claim that miscegenation laws applied "equally" to all races. "A member of any of these races," Traynor explained, "may find himself barred by law from marrying the person of his choice and that person to him may be irreplaceable." "Human beings," he continued, "are bereft of worth and dignity by a doctrine that would make them as interchangeable as trains." "The right to marry," Traynor insisted, "is the right of individuals, not of racial groups."

So I disagree with you, I think - while there are differences, I would say bans on both inter-racial and same-sex marriages primarily arise from prejudice, either against gays or minorities, and seek to take away civil rights that the majority enjoys.


Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 18, 2008 at 10:25 pm

ho·mo·pho·bi·a noun.
- Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
- Behavior based on such a feeling.
ho·mo·pho·bi·a
–noun, unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals and homosexuality.

Until reading this, I had no idea such prejudice and homophobia existed in Palo Alto. What a sad revelation. For those who oppose gay marriage and claim to not be homophobic, stop joking around. Be honest. Yes, phobia equates to fear OR CONTEMPT. There is no other reason for your opposition aside from your FEAR AND/OR CONTEMPT. Afterall, you aren't the one in the gay marital relationship, it doesn't affect you. It doesn't harm you financially, physically, or spiritually. It doesn't affect your relationship. If you oppose gay marriage, look in the mirror. The reflection is of a homophobic. Because if you aren't homophobic, you wouldn't put your nose into other peoples business, you would just mind your own. Why don't you find something to do? Maybe get involved in better health care for our state and country? Maybe fight for more funds for education and better salary for teachers. Do something that is helpful and does not harm other people. Homophobia based on fear and/or contempt (hatred), and when acted upon becomes harmful to society.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 19, 2008 at 12:54 am

Unacceptable argument wrote:

"Skeptical Al: Wrong...there are many things which trump the 'obligation of the state to treat people equally'....surely you realize the absurdity of such a blanket statement?
Should we treat the severely disabled the same as the abled? Should we treat the 16 year old the same as the 70 year old? Should we treat the criminally insane the same as those who aren't?
C'mon..that argument is far too easy to shoot down. You were trying to simplify too much."

--- Au contraire, mon ami! There are compelling reasons that we all agree upon for treating these people differently. *Of course* I'm not arguing that we should treat everyone totally equally in every regard - it was you who oversimplified in presenting my argument that way. (Though the principle of "equal protection" is one you might want to review). We are in general agreement in society that we have a compelling interest in providing different treatment for children and the elderly, for example. Likewise for people who are ill, physically or mentally. When there is no compelling reason to limit rights, THEN we have an obligation not to infringe on rights and treat people equally. If you'd read my posts, what you'd see is that I've been begging for anyone to show a compelling state interest that would justify a ban on gay marriage. EVERY attempt so far has hinged on arguments that boil down to traditions, religion, parenthood, personal comfort level and beliefs. The court rejected all those arguments - deal with it. The state and federal constitutions do not provide any rationale or mechanism for limiting people's rights based on any of those reasons, regardless of what a majority of uncomfortable voters might wish. Gradually, courts are coming around to seeing through the arguments that stood for many years based on ignorance.

You also wrote, "Behaviors have been regulated by the 'state' for reasons having to do with the protection of society for more years than all the cumulative bloggers' ages on this thread. That is why there are laws..do you think they are completely arbitrary?"

-- You argue then that gay marriage is a threat to society, requiring protection. Of course I don't think laws are arbitrary. But I do think the allegation that gay marriage threatens anyone or anything deserving state protection is an absurd claim. Go ahead and defend it, but again, you have to keep in mind that the Constitution can't support "tradition" or religion or the like as a basis for different treatment. Any purported threat that could be supported by psychologists, doctors, social workers, sociologists, etc., has been pretty much discredited by now, and furthermore, since such constraints aren't applied to straight people, (e.g. - what about the children?), they are generally used as an appeal that sounds quite high-minded but simply masks the personal discomfort of the person attempting that argument.

You concluded: "So, argue on the basis of why gay marriage doesn't hurt society, not on the specious statement 'obligation to treat everyone equally.'" I've already demonstrated that your mischaracterization of my argument was rather facile. So, you challenge me to argue that gay marriage doesn't hurt society. On one hand, you're asking me to prove a negative, which is a logical/rhetorical trap. On the other hand, I'd say that's simple - in places where gay marriage has been legalized, there is no evidence that it has "hurt society." The *reactions* to gay marriage might "hurt society," but those who marry are under no obligation to soothe anyone's feelings or abide by other people's biases. Every civil rights advance has been accompanied by some negative reactions, but progress marches on.

But ultimately, I would say to you that it's quite misguided and cynical to demand of people that they prove something in order to have the same rights as others. In this country, don't we generally assume that people should be treated with "equal protection" in the absence of evidence that a right must be curtailed? It is up to you and others of similar conviction to prove something - and as of yet, I haven't heard anyone here prove anything, or even argue successfully from any position other than tradition, religion, personal comfort. It's not me setting the standard here - I'm just telling you that we've seen the constitution does not allow those non-constitutional arguments to trump the basic constitutional principle of equality. Little by little, we'll find that judges have to set aside bias and mythology and admit what is increasingly obvious to more people and more courts. Consider where we stood ten years ago - I tell you in another twenty gay marriage will be legal nationwide, and the debate ended.


Posted by been to Europe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2008 at 7:13 am

Those who argue that gay marriage has negatively affected countries in Europe (less people marrying) do not know Europeans. Of the thousands of Europeans I have met, none ever mention gay marriages changing their perception of marriage. Rather, they mention how silly we are to continue to prohibit that right to gays and lesbians. So much ignorance here. You come to a conclusion without an understanding of the culture. What's the reason I hear for people not getting married? TOO MANY STRAIGHT PEOPLE GET DIVORCED AND DON'T VALUE MARRIAGE. Take a look at THOSE statistics.


Posted by SUMD, a resident of Stanford
on May 19, 2008 at 10:22 am



In Fact many gays oppose the the gay activists preoccupation with same sex marriage and feel that it is silly and destructive.

"Welcome to GaysDefendMarriage.org, a new voice in the "marriage equality" debate. For years, there has been an apparent consensus in the LGBT community that:

1. The man-woman definition of marriage is unacceptable and must be replaced by any means necessary with a new approach that allows us to marry our same-sex partners; and
2. Redefining marriage is overwhelmingly the most important issue facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Well, I don't agree. I think insisting on redefining marriage will not help LGBT people very much (other than boosting our self-esteem) and could do real harm to innocents like straight couples, children, and traditionally religious people.
I also think issues like the HIV/AIDS epidemic among African-American men who have sex with men, Florida's bigoted refusal to let gays and lesbians adopt children, the FDA's abhorrent gay blood ban, the dreadful disease syphilis (which is contracted most often through gay sex), the pointless ban on visitors and immigrants with HIV, and widespread prison rape (whose frequent victims are gay and bisexual men and transgender women) are far more important issues than "marriage equality" - even if you think the benefits of marriage equality outweigh the harms.

After all, nobody ever suffered from a horrible death because the government called her relationship a "civil union" instead of a marriage. The LGBT community needs to get its priorities straight.

And we'll be discussing such matters on a regular basis here at GaysDefendMarriage.org.
Do you agree that far too many LGBT resources are being spent on same-sex marriage? Here your voice will be welcomed.

Are you concerned that redefining marriage is a selfish LGBT goal that victimizes the blameless? Now you have an online home."

see the website for some insight into how many, many gays oppose same sex marriage Web Link




Posted by sue, a resident of Hoover School
on May 19, 2008 at 10:38 am



sumd thanks for the link, I like the focus of that blog ie

>A website for LGBT folks who support marriage as the union of husband and wife—and getting the gay leadership to return to more pressing LGBT issues for our community.<

It is unfortunate that the radical gay activists always get all the airtime, time for some diversity


Posted by Sara, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 19, 2008 at 11:51 am



Homophobia is often used inaccurately to describe any person who objects to homosexual behavior on either moral, religious, psychological or medical grounds.

Technically, however, the terms actually denotes a person who has a phobia—or irrational fear—of homosexuality.

Principled disagreement, therefore, cannot be labeled 'homophobia.'


Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2008 at 12:05 pm

SUMD - the underlying question is, what does legalizing gay marriage do for gay nd laebian couples AND THEIR FAMILES?

Answer - it clarifies a lot of confusing laws. If we marriage is legal, there is no more question as to what rights couples AND THEIR FAMILIES have under domestic partnership or civil unions.

Let's reverse roles. Let's say that for whatever reason, you and the love of your life are together for 50 years. And during that time, you have not been legally allowed to be married. Sure, there are other laws that give you some rights. But throughout your relationship, you really don't know what happens WHEN YOU DIE. In your first 20 year's you worry about what will happen with your children. Later, you worry about what will happen to your home or any part of your estate. When your social security disappears with your death, you wonder how your aging Love will pay for property taxes. Yes, you have a will. But wills are contested because laws are unclear, UNLESS YOU ARE MARRIED. Then there are no questions regarding spousal rights when you die.
Aside from legal issues, how does it feel to be treated as second class? Or as diseased, a thing not right with society. You could not truly imagine this if you are not the minority.

Now ask yourself this: If same-sex couples can legally marry, how does that change my life? If you're honest with yourself, it doesn't. Unless you are gay or lesbian, for which it makes life much more clear and laws much more transparent.

Many gays do not like any term directly related to marriage, because "it's a straight thing and straight people mess it up. Why would I want that label when there are so many issues?" Who can blame them with all the homophobes WHO GET ALL THE AIRTIME and make such a bad name for heterosexuals.

Whatever you believe is fine. Just don't force your beliefs on others. Especially when it affects peoples rights and has no affect on you other than it goes against your belief system.


Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Sara - look at the dictionary. While phobia is from the word fear, homophobia is more than the fear of gays and lesbians.

ho·mo·pho·bi·a, noun.

- Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
– unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals and homosexuality.
- Behavior based on such a feeling.

Principled disagreement? No. Antipathy toward homosexuals, yes. Look in that mirror again and see the homophobic person you are. Otherwise, you would not be trying to prohibit rights of others when there is no expense to you aside from disagreement with your belief system.


Posted by Sara, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 19, 2008 at 12:40 pm



From the gays opposed to same sex marriage website GaysDefendMarriage.org Web Link

A telling comment

"One problem with the "marriage equality" movement is that too many of its leaders have no idea what marriage is. For example, one of the most prominent rabbis defending same-sex marriage in California is in an open relationship with her husband in which each has the other's permission to commit adultery."

I am glad this group wants to focus upon the crisis in the Black homosexual community the HIV/AIDS epidemic among African-American men who have sex with men 50% of whom have HIV/AIDS.

It is refreshing to hear the voices of reason in opposition to the radical gay activists who always scream the loudest

I suppose that is an inconvenient truth for those on this blog who like to pretend that all is pretty,pink,healthy and wealthy in the homosexual community or are they just negrophobic

The term homophobic has become meaningless if you think you can redefine it anyway you wish to enable ad hominem arguments which lack any credibility.








Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Homophobic, Negrophobic, etc have meaning, they are defined terms in the dictionary. They don't lose their meaning even when someone tries to narrow the definition so they can feel better when they look in the mirror.

HIV has nothing to do with the right to marry. Just because gays and lesbians wish to have the right to marry does not mean they are negrophobic. What a ridiculous argument. HIV/AIDS is an incredibly important issue that is separate from marital rights.

Even more silly to think everything is "pretty, pink, healthy and wealthy" for every person in any part of a minority. What does that have to do with people's rights? If the right to marry for heterosexuals was based on "pretty, healthy and wealthy" no one would have the right to marry.

Big words, but very odd and unrelated arguments.


Posted by sally, a resident of Palo Verde School
on May 19, 2008 at 1:46 pm



Talking of phobias here is another one:

Christophobia is a negative bias against Christians or the religion of Christianity. Anti-Christian sentiment can be held by individuals or groups, and may be the result of fanaticism or bigotry leading to prejudice or discrimination. Accusations of anti-Christian sentiment can also accompany valid political and social opposition by individuals or groups to social and political movements motivated by a specific Christian sect's doctrines, and attempts at secularism or cosmopolitanism in Christian-dominated societies.

BTW the Unitarian Universalists do not define themselves as a Christian Church.

Actually I think the introduction of poly phobias into a principled disagreement is silly and a ploy to frame the other side as irrational-- sorry it will not work here-- maybe in Canada


Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Sally, another odd argument. Christophobia is not in the dictionary and is a very recently coined termed made up by Christians who are trying to claim discrimination against themselves. Still not related to people's rights.

The only anti-Christian sentiment I see is from those who claim to be Christian yet use the name of Christianity to propogate hate and restrict peoples rights.

Still trying to justify your homophobia? If you are going to try to suppress people's rights, at least be honest with yourself and those around you.

So tell us, whether a gay or straight marriage, how does my marriage affect you? Do you lose a finger? Do you wake up at a different time of the day? Does your hair turn red? Do you experience increased mentral-cycle side effects? Will you need to file bankrupcy? Will you experience a reduction in health care?

If it were principled disagreement, people's rights would not be at risk.


Posted by Peter S, a resident of Duveneck School
on May 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm



Interesting and disturbing point made at the GaysDefendMarriage.org
link Web Link

These people know what the true agenda of radical gay activists is under the guise of so called "civil rights"
visit the site its a real eye opener


for example


"
Whereas the real dangers to the freedom of traditionally religious people if we redefine marriage are ignored.

For example, HRC's Schwartz has repeatedly refused to say whether "marriage equality" means a traditionally religious public school teacher should fear being fired for telling her students that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

She also won't say whether a business owner should be able to use G-d's definition of marriage instead of the gay community's definition in deciding who gets a "marital discount.""


Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Peter S -

1. So what are "the real dangers to the freedom of traditionally religious people if we redefine marriage?"

2. Kind of ironic that the person behind "GaysDefendMarriage.org" is not gay.


Posted by Peter S, a resident of Duveneck School
on May 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm


1. The point is made clearly on the site, read it! Web Link

2. Gays Defend Marriage is a website founded by David Benkof (formerly David Bianco), a columnist for the Dallas Voice and several other LGBT newspapers and author of Gay Essentials: Facts for Your Queer Brain (Alyson, 1999), as a discussion site for LGBT people who question the rigidly prevailing gay view that redefining marriage is good for gays and lesbians and/or for American society.




David Benkof is openly bisexual, but as an Orthodox Jew he is guided by Jewish law in the areas of sexuality and family life.


Posted by Peter S, a resident of Duveneck School
on May 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm



More from wikipe

David Benkof (born David Bianco in 1970) is an American journalist-entrepreneur. He was raised St. Louis, Missouri and then went to college at Stanford University, where he came out as gay his freshmen year. He served as the international president of United Synagogue Youth.[1]

In 1995, he founded Q Syndicate, gay-press syndication service that provides columns, cartoons, crossword puzzles and horoscopes to about 100 gay and lesbian newspapers. In 2001, he sold a majority interest in Q Syndicate to Rivendell Marketing, and served as vice president for two years before selling the rest of the company.[2] He is a prolific writer, publishing Modern Jewish history for everyone in 1997 and Gay Essentials: Facts for Your Queer Brain in 1999. In 2002 and 2003 he wrote the column "Over the Rainbow" for Q Syndicate.[3]

Web Link


Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2008 at 4:18 pm

1. No, not so clear. A lot of ranting. How is it a danger to YOUR freedom? How does YOUR life change on a day to day basis.

2. Yes, claims to be "openly bisexual" (not the same as gay, although there are clearly some similarities) with a handful of people who may or may not be gay on his website. "More recently, though, he has become Torah-observant and NOW LOOKS FORWARD TO MAARIAGE AND, GOD WILLNG, MANY CHILDREN."

So really, he is a heterosexual who claims to have been gay at one point and converted. On the website you point out, he avoids that statement though so that folks like you can continue to mislead people into thinking there are Gays and Lesbians who prefer not to have marital rights.

His website is nothing more than a disguise for propogating hatred and ignorance. And YOU are proud of helping that "cause".


Posted by Peter S, a resident of Duveneck School
on May 19, 2008 at 4:30 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Don't Tread on Me, a resident of College Terrace
on May 19, 2008 at 4:35 pm

It's a slippery slope. If you let them restrict marriage now they will restrict guns tomorrow.


Posted by Interesting?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 19, 2008 at 5:23 pm

There are some very thought provoking comments made here and I would like to join in somewhat.

Firstly, I think that having a different opinion from someone is what makes us intelligent, thoughtful humans. We can agree to disagree and that is fine. Just because someone disagrees with us doesn't make us hate the other person, but it does make us wiser when we can see that there are more than our own points of view out there.

Secondly, discussion is just that. Discussion is to be sensible exchange of viewpoints, not the fodder for hateful comments. Thoughtful, respectful discussion should be something that all of us on this forum enjoys rather than baiting each other for name calling.

I would like to hear more from both sides of this discussion. It is enlightening and stimulating.

I would like to hear less of the name calling, particularly when someone gives their thoughtful opinion in a respectful way.

If we can't do this respectfully, regardless of our opinions, then we are little more than the playground bullies who demand they are treated as the boss, or else.

Here's to more discussion!!


Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Peter S - Not sure I get what you are trying to say. Do I believe you are homophobic because you disagree with me? No. I'm just for people having rights, whether or not I personally agree with them. Because how would I know what their life is like? And if it doesn't affect my life, why would I want to create laws that affect their lives when it really bears no impact on my life? There is a difference between having a belief and hating or being so afraid of a group who are different than you that you insist their rights are restricted to conform to your belief. Because you are wanting to restrict gays rights to suit your beliefs, and there is no real impact on your life, that is what makes the difference between someone with opposing beliefs and someone who is homophobic.

Me, I AM a Christian. I not only go to church EVERY Sunday, I practice prayer with other members of my church as well as daily in my private life. Gay marriage does not change that. Should my neighbors get married, straight or gay, I will still go to church and practice loving kindness towards all people, without prejudice or judging their lives. Sometimes it is difficult to claim my Christianity though, when so many people use their Christianity as a platform for hate. That is why I so strongly will stand up to homophobic people. They give loving Christians a very bad name.

Back to the point...A third time I ask - how does any random gay couple getting married negatively impact your life? Can you mention any legitimate reason that is not based on fear or hatred?


Posted by Kim Cho, a resident of Green Acres
on May 19, 2008 at 11:48 pm

Seeing Gay people get married on the TV made my wife divorce me. It's not fair!


Posted by Interesting??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2008 at 9:02 am

I prefer music to sport. I can't understand what some people see in watching grown men or women chasing a ball around for a couple of hours. Now I can understand it if you are one of the people playing, or if one of your kids are playing, but paying high prices to get to a big game live or getting the best sports channels just to watch this is beyond me.

But, I happily let those people get on with their watching of sport. Does it interfere with me and my life, only if my music shows are altered to fit in with your sports shows. I don't want American Idol put on some crummy channel that I can't get just so that those sports fans can get their playoff game (just an example).

So I let the sports fans do their thing. I will even discuss with them the merits of my music v their sports. I don't agree with them. I don't expect them to agree with me. I enjoy discussing this with acquaintances in a friendly manner. I don't expect to be called names for my opinion and I certainly don't call them names for not agreeing with me.

If someone calls someone a phobic for their different opinion, then remember that we are all entitled to our opinions. Once you start pointing a finger at someone, there are four fingers pointing back at yourself. Having an opinion is fully commended in our enlightened society, what is not right is when those who disagree with them start calling them names or even worse.

I don't agree with the gay issue, but I am entitled to my opinion. I won't call gay people names or stop them from doing what they want to in life. They are fully entitled to do whatever it is that makes them happy. They can even call it what they like as long as they don't use a word that already has a traditional meaning. I am not making them change. I don't want them making me change. I have no fear of them, or hatred of them. I just don't want them making me change.


Posted by Anna, a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2008 at 9:20 am

Peter S: What? I think Palo Alto Mom makes very valid points regarding the website that has been mentioned.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 20, 2008 at 10:19 am

"I don't agree with the gay issue," - what does that mean?

"I just don't want them making me change." - the suggestion that their aspirations force anything on you is that part that troubles and confuses some people. If other people get married, they don't force you to change. I understand that this topic can make some people uncomfortable. But from a legal standpoint, the courts have established that you can't use tradition as a legal barrier to deny people the same rights and privileges that you enjoy.

If language is the key sticking point, I think the court ruled, and I would agree, that we could just have government get out of the "marriage" business altogether and only deal in civil unions. Let "marriage" be the more "spiritual, traditional" description for a bond sanctified through some other institution like a church.

But then again, I have to tell you, language evolves and there's very little anyone can do stop it. Language is an imprecise tool to capture complex human experience and thinking. As experience and thought progress, language changes around those and won't be held back by traditionalists. Even if the state only handles civil unions, gay and lesbian couples are still free to call their union a marriage if they want to, and they're free to participate in faith traditions that will accept their union as a marriage. After a while, you have no choice but to use the widely shared meaning of word, or look silly. Witness the word "gay" for example. Or the word "Negro."


Posted by Grew up in PA, a resident of Palo Verde
on May 20, 2008 at 12:58 pm

All this talk about protecting the sanctity of marriage and the decline of the family structure is so bizarre to me.
What is there to "protect" about marriage? 50% of them end in divorce often leaving one parent to raise a child (or children) alone. To me, that is a much bigger threat to our society than people marrying the ones they love.


Posted by SUMD, a resident of Stanford
on May 20, 2008 at 1:06 pm


I am really getting worried that the actions of some radical leftists is hurting the majority of people who happen to be homosexual. I do not want to see a lot of innocent people hurt by the backlash just because the radical leftists are forcing this stuff onto the masses. These radicals are NOT helping the homosexuals--they are hurting them. And I am afraid that people will take out their frustrations on homosexuals in general when it is the radical leftists that are doing this.

This radical homosexual lobby isn't concerned with 'equal protection under the law' as they claim (not that they don't already have it - they do).

Their goal is and always has been the expulsion of Christianity from the public square.


Posted by Interesting??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2008 at 1:10 pm

SkepticAl

Thank you for your civil response.

When I say that I don't agree with the gay issue, I mean that I don't really understand all the ins and outs of what it means to be gay in our society, nor do I really want to. It is not of personal interest to me.

The word gay, is an old English word, used in many famous poems and in literature meaning happy and joyful. If we use the word in that context nowadays we get sniggered at. However, when reading older literature it is there large as life and has to be explained. My grandmother in particular used the word a lot in her everyday language. I remember her telling me that my brightly colored clothes were too gay and she wouldn't wear anything multicolored because it was too gay for her. Therefore, the word gay has changed. This is OK because it has natural change.

There was a tendency a few years ago to talk about common law marriage and people used the phrase common law husband or common law wife to mean a permanent live in partner. It was not a legal term, but it explained to everyone what was meant. For some reason that term doesn't seem to be used now, it has apparently gone out of fashion.

There are two ways of looking at the term marriage. One is a legal term defining a certain type of relationship with its legal consequences. There is also the traditional meaning of the word which describes a traditional type of relationship and everyone understands what that means.

If we change the legal definition of the word marriage, as a consequence the traditional meaning of the word also has to change. If we could call the legal contract something else, we could still have the traditional word and its meaning left in tact. I see no reason to change the traditional meaning of the word if it is only the legal definition that the gay society want. I want to be able to look on the words marriage, wedding, husband, wife, and understand what they mean. I don't want to have to qualify them all the time by saying that I am talking about a gay or non-gay relationship.

Yes, many words do change their meanings. Sometimes that is good because it is helpful and more descriptive. Sometimes however, changing the meaning of the word to one that encompasses something even bigger means that we then have to find more descriptive words to describe the finer points.

Back when it was pc to call African Americans "black people" without meaning anything derogatory, it included all black people all over the world. Now, we find it hard to know how to describe some African people who are here who happen to be black without insulting anyone. My children go to Europe and any black people they see they automatically call African American even though they may be French, or English and have no ties whatsoever to America. They think they are being polite, in fact they are being silly and a black European would be very insulted to be described as an African American.

Consequently, narrowing or widening the definition of a word doesn't really help us when we are trying to talk about something in a matter of fact way. If we could just leave words to their traditional meanings and let common usage change their meaning that would be fine by me. When I was a child, may parents used the word wireless to talk about their radiogram. It was called this by everyone because the signal came in without wires. Nowadays the meaning of the word wireless has changed. The old meaning has gone as the word radio took over and now wireless means internet access without wires. This is the way words should change their meaning, not because of any legal wrangling.

So please understand why many of us feel disturbed by the change of meaning. It is nothing against anybody or their actions, just against a traditional word definition. I am not trying to deny anything to anyone, just let me use the word I want in the way I want. It has nothing to do with civil rights, or hatred or fear. Just about "live and let live".


Posted by Seen It All B4, a resident of another community
on May 20, 2008 at 2:22 pm

"This radical homosexual lobby isn't concerned with 'equal protection under the law' as they claim (not that they don't already have it - they do). Their goal is and always has been the expulsion of Christianity from the public square."

What color are their helicopters? Is Elvis involved?


Posted by Radical Leftist..., a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Oh good! I have finally achieved Radical Leftist status! I had been trying for years, but unfortunately nothing as RADICAL had come out of left field enough for me to hook my little fingers into.

So glad Same Sex Marriage is what got me there. I never thought that being a proponent for equity under the California State Constitution is what would have pushed me over the edge from Leftist to Radical Leftist. Who knew?!!

What is next? Maybe I should go run and get a tattoo on my bottom with the US flag upside down. It would look cute with a tulip border, what do you think?

Still love SkepticAl.


Posted by CJ, a resident of Portola Valley
on May 20, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Not homophobic have gay friends, but I just want us to keep the Word "Marriage" for husband and wife. Please respect our traditions as we respect yours. Peace and Love.


Posted by bi is gay, a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2008 at 7:09 pm

FYI, for those of you who are not informed...contrary to the post above, bisexual IS gay.

Pretty much anything that isn't straight, between a man and a woman..is gay.

ok,back to the pointless arguing. the two sides will never agree because the two sides keep arguing about completely different reasons.


Posted by agree with CJ, a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2008 at 7:12 pm

well said, CJ.

AM gay..and agree. Just let us have a word that has all the same rights and responsibilities as "marriage"..don't even care what it is.

We were getting there with Domestic Partnerships, but now will get pushed back..again...thanks to my extremist colleagues.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 20, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Interesting?? - thank you for the thoughtful, detailed reply.

Radical - thanks to you too. But don't stand too close... I'm no radical!! ;-)


Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 20, 2008 at 11:50 pm

"Traditional words" need to change if they restrict the rights of one group in order to hold "tradition" for another. Remember the Racial Integrity Act? Tradition USED to be marriage between a white woman and a white man, vs. (example) a South American woman and a white man. Legislature helped that all too recent tradition by recognizing that 2 people of a different race could have a loving relationship, even when much of America could not. "Tradition" of the word "vote" once meant something only a white male could do. There are many examples of "traditions", justified by religious beliefs, that then also justified restricting the rights of another group, deemed lesser than the general voting public.

The problem with using another word aside from "marriage" is that the law is just not that simplistic. CJ - your "extreme colleagues" are on the right path. Otherwise, rights come piecemeal one at a time. And for every one earned, those filled with contempt and hatred will battle to knock it down. Don't blame other gays. All they want is the for their loving relationship to be provided the same rights as any married couple. What more clear way than to stick with the verbiage the law already includes. There is no variation in terminology used for interracial marriage. This right provided only 42 years ago was not labeled "civil union" with a few rights here and there that are constantly debated...given, taken away, changed, given, is this how you want to live your life? How comfortable can you be if you have no idea from one voting period to the next what your rights are because a group of people who are different than you continue to push their beliefs on you and THE LAW.

When you go to vote, think of a nice couple you know. Imagine that your vote with either give them or DENY them rights you get to enjoy. Does their relationship change your life other than you might disagree with it? If you disagree, that's perfectly fine. But when you are out to suppress rights of a group of people and try to conform the law to your belief system, you go beyond disagreement. It's fear, hatred and contempt that have historically driven the majority to restrict rights of a minority. It's prejudice. And in today's world, it's homophobia.

An excellent example...our Governor. He has a very respectable stance on gay marriage. He does not approve, he does not believe it is right, but he has allowed the issue to go it's legal course and has respected the legal process through every step. He is not homophobic. He just doesn't understand what it's like to be gay. And that's ok. He's not going to fight the law that has been set in place. He will NOT takeaway rights just because he does not understand them.



Posted by Darwin, a resident of Green Acres
on May 21, 2008 at 11:47 am

I think a better solution to this problem would to be leave the traditional and biologically-based definition of marriage alone. We should instead void the traditional meaning of "man" and "woman". Anyone is free to choose to call themselves a "man" or a "woman" as the conditions suit them. Then marriage could remain between a "man" and a "woman'. This should satisfy religious fundamentalists and we get all these additional "rights":

"gay" marriage = "traditional" marriage
Transgendered people would be free to choose their category without jumping through legal hoops or facing discrimination.
no longer possible to discriminate against "women".
no more discrimination against the "man" in child custody cases
no more waiting in line at the public restroom when the opposite-sex facility has no line.
can eliminate separate sports teams for boys and girls (big cost savings to the cash-strapped schools)

I'm sure that there would be many additional rights granted by such a change.
The point is that you can call something by a name, but that doesn't make it equivalent when it differs fundamentally. I don't know or really care how this legal fight will come out, but I can't see a "gay" marriage as being truely equivalent to a married man and woman who can have offspring which inherit genes from both parents. Still, a constitutional amendment over this issue seems very extreme.

Now what compelling reason can a state (say Texas, for example) demonstrate to retain bigamy laws on the books? Why can't three consenting adults get married? Is it a legal "rights" question, a matter of tradition, or can we say this is a moral issue or for the purpose of promoting "family values" ? Who gets to decide?



Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm



From Web Link

The Internal Contradictions of the PC Utopia


A SEX swap instructor at an all-female driving school was left devastated when the Sheffield husband of one of her pupils threatened to sue her firm - for sending a man to teach his Muslim wife.

Emma Sherdley - formerly a married dad of two called Andrew but now legally a woman - has the full support of her boss Joanne Dixon who says she is a popular and respected instructor with 32 female pupils on her books who have no problem with her past.

Emma, aged 42, has a birth certificate and a "gender recognition certificate" to prove her legal status as a woman although she is still waiting for final surgery to make her transition from male to female physically complete...
"The husband rang me and said he was going to sue us.

"He was saying, 'You have sent me a man, send me a proper female, how dare you send a man with a deep voice'. Then he claimed we had deliberately sent a man disguised as a woman because he was a Muslim.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 21, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Sharon

Wonderful story, where do you get these things from?

Seriously, this whole can of worms is going to get worse. When it comes to mixing religion and gay/transex issues, we are going to get a great deal more of this. I hope the legal profession is ready, because they are the ones who are going to make the money.


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