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Gay marriage debate expected to go national

Original post made on May 21, 2008

Last Thursday, the California Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision that a state ban, enacted in 2000, against same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. All Californians have rights associated with marriage including the right to establish an officially recognized family, according to the majority Court opinion, written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 9:52 AM

Comments (32)

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Posted by Pat Rexrode
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2008 at 11:29 am

Pastor Andy Burnham of the Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto said,
"Morality is being mandated by the court systems. They have stepped into an area that is outside of their bounds. They are trying to call it a civil right, but it is more of a moral issue — and the courts have stepped into an area that they were not designed to handle."

If marriage is a moral issue, then people can agree whether marriage is right or wrong. When people start deciding whether the people getting married is right or wrong, then they are performing a duty that is reserved for God alone. Christ commanded us to stay away from governments and judgments. I, for one, will attend to the plank in my own eye, and not worry about others'.

Since both God and the government agree that religion and law should be separate, why do we continually try to pass laws that bring religion into government?


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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 21, 2008 at 11:46 am

As the population loses its older people, the country will lose its homophobia. Even among young evangelicals, it hasn't the grip it once had. I think that's why groups lead by Reverend Hagee are so frantic. Time is against them.

It's partly due to familiarity. As gay people have increasingly come out of the closet, even at high school age, it's harder and harder for older people to convince their children that this is something strange and evil.

The Bush campaign discovered that turnout among Republicans was no higher in states where gay marriage was on the ballot than it had been before. Republicans are still trying to use the religious right, but they've given them everything that was politically possible, so it's now a question of cleaning up the courts.

I watched the Republican debates. Even Huckabee, even Ron Paul, said that he would not sign federal legislation against abortion. It was a state issue.

Separation of church and state needs a lot of attention, but at the state and local level. Textbooks, school boards, local jurisdictions.


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Posted by SUJD
a resident of Stanford
on May 21, 2008 at 11:50 am


This ruling will permanently set gay rights back many years in most others states and particularly the possibilities for the middle ground of domestic partnerships,
for example in Minnesota as below


"But last week, this middle ground disappeared -- courtesy of the California Supreme Court.
In ruling California's marriage laws unconstitutional, the court made clear that, far from preserving traditional marriage, domestic partnerships are actually likely to hasten its demise.

The California court has no direct impact on Minnesota, but it is often viewed as a bellwether for rulings around the country.

California citizens have tried hard to find a middle ground on same-sex marriage.
In 2000, they approved a state initiative defining marriage as a one-man/one-woman institution with 61.4 percent of the popular vote. But voters also wanted to extend government benefits to gay couples.
In 1999, the California Legislature had done just that by adopting the Domestic Partner Act.

Over the years, the Legislature added to the benefits that registered domestic partners enjoy. These range from automatic inheritance to equal treatment on state income taxes. Today, as the court noted in its recent decision, California gives same-sex couples the opportunity "to obtain virtually all of the legal benefits, privileges, responsibilities, and duties that California law affords to and imposes upon married couples."

Despite this, the Court ruled last week, in a 4-3 vote, that the state's one-man/one-woman marriage law violates the California constitution.

The court put no stock in the state's argument that same-sex and opposite-sex couples already have equivalent rights under California law.

Ironically, the court suggested that it might have reached a more moderate conclusion -- such as requiring the Legislature to institute domestic partnerships, rather than to redefine marriage -- if lawmakers had not already given substantial benefits to gay couples.

Minnesotans can draw two lessons from the California decision.
First, it vindicates the approach taken by the proposed Minnesota marriage amendment, which the Minnesota House of Representatives passed in 2006 but the DFL-controlled Senate killed by keeping it bottled up in committee.
The amendment would have prohibited both same-sex marriage and civil unions. Opponents sometimes slammed this dual prohibition as mean-spirited, but the California decision now reveals it to be far-sighted.

Second, the California decision vindicates Minnesotans who argue that a constitutional amendment is the only way to safeguard traditional marriage.
During the 2006 debate, then-Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson and OutFront Minnesota both maintained that the amendment was unnecessary, because our state already has a "defense of marriage" act and because the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected same-sex marriage in a 1971 case.

But when it tossed out California's one-man/one-woman voter initiative -- which the state's Legislature cannot overturn on its own -- the California majority showed how far arrogant, activist courts will go in disregarding the will of the people.

Fallout from the California decision may create two perverse reactions that will haunt same-sex marriage supporters.

First, citizens who once favored more benefits for gay couples may begin to oppose them, knowing now that expanded benefits and same-sex marriage constitutionally go hand in hand.

Second, support may grow for amendments that enshrine traditional marriage in state constitutions.

In California, citizens will likely have a chance to vote on such an amendment in November. Before their state's high court tossed out California marriage laws, voters there might have paid the subject little heed, confident that they had found middle ground.

Anyone who has followed the abortion debate knows what happens when a court cuts out the middle ground, as the U.S. Supreme Court did on abortion 35 years ago in Roe vs. Wade. Toxic social division is inevitable when courts usurp the people's rights."Web Link

It will also set Obama back 4+% point in the election




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Posted by Mike
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2008 at 11:54 am

Homosexual actions are immoral. Look at the way the human body is designed and built. The very makeup of the human body does not support male with male or female with female relationships. Furthermore, the two genders compliment and complete each other. Males and females are not always interchangeable. There are many instances where men cannot take the place of women and vice versa. No woman, no matter how many claims to a loving relationship there may be, can duplicate the effects of a man on the wife and no man, again no matter what the claims may be, can duplicate the effects of a woman on the husband. Lastly, government and society should be interested in promoting heterosexual marriage because it helps further society. Homosexual relationships cannot do that. Sure, some may claim that they can adopt children but they are still dependent upon heterosexual couples to provide the children that they want to adopt. There are multiple arguments against homosexual unions and in favor of heterosexual ones. This isn't about "tolerance" or "being fair". It's about what is right and the arguments stand in favor of marriage being defined as being between a man and a woman.


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Posted by Sara
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 21, 2008 at 11:55 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.'


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Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2008 at 11:57 am

What I would like to know is why the Weekly found it newsworthy to include the comments from two spokespeople from Churches at all. Granted the two comments are from both sides of the argument which does leave a balance, but it does ask the question why the comments are there. Arguably, if all the Churches in Palo Alto were polled on this issue, we would not find an equal number on each of the two sides of the debate.

Furthermore, I would like to know if these comments were gleaned from random selection of the reporter going through say the phone book and asking for comments from the various spokespeople, or were these comments made by the spokespeople themselves contacting the Weekly. My thoughts are that it was along the line of the former.

Many Churches will have an opinion, but their opinion is really only of note to those in their own congregations. Looking at the names of the two Churches represented, it is hardly surprising what their comments would be.

Therefore, I think the inclusion of these comments are not necessary in this article. Furthermore I think that there is now a danger of a backlash against either of these two Churches in the debate as many will judge the Church by these two comments alone. I don't think either of the Churches would wish to be called a "gay" Church or an "anti-gay" Church and your comments have possibly given them this label. Taking this one step further, if there is any kind of hate action against either of these Churches, I feel this article may have contributed to it.

If you want to keep the Church out of politics, then the Church should not be asked for an opinion on something which its comments may be contentious as well as be somewhat predictable.


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Posted by sue mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 21, 2008 at 12:10 pm



The Unitarian Universalist Church does NOT define itself as a CHRISTIAN Church.
85% of the population of USA identify themselves as Christian.

If you are going to quote local ministers you need to have quotes from Orthodox and other Rabbis,Muslims, Catholics, Mormons etc

By comparison the congregation of UU church is tiny


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Posted by sue mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 21, 2008 at 1:02 pm

In Fact many members of the LGBT community oppose this decision by the supreme court and are very concerned about the probable consequences


"LGBT people who have applauded last week's California Supreme Court decision implementing same-sex marriage should think very carefully about the following sentence from the decision:

Because the California Legislature already has enacted a comprehensive
domestic partnership law which broadly grants to same-sex couples virtually all of
the substantive legal rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples,
plaintiffs have been relieved of the burden of successfully prosecuting a
constitutional challenge to obtain those substantive rights and benefits.

In other words, the "marriage equality" side had a much lower burden of proof because of California's domestic partnership law.

What message does that send to Americans in every other state who want to relieve the distress of same-sex couples but who also believe marriage is a male-female union (I'm thinking people like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, for example)?

It seems to me that many such people will now be forced to reluctantly oppose domestic partnerships, civil unions, and all other non-marriage measures to ease the burdens faced by LGBT couples.

The California Supreme Court could have easily reasoned that the fact domestic partnerships were signed into law while same-sex marriage was not shows that Californians want to treat same-sex couples fairly while keeping the longstanding definition of marriage.

Instead, in the name of nothing but giving California gays their first-choice moniker ("marriage"),
it took a step that will probably make it harder for less progressive states to give same-sex couples any protection at all.

Nice going, guys."

From 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.Web Link




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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2008 at 1:31 pm



An amendment to the California Constitution, which requires a vote of the people, is the only way to stop the politicians, and especially the courts, from re-defining marriage against the will of the majority of Californians.

Want to know more Welcome to ProtectMarriage.com Web Link

…the official Web site for the California Marriage Protection Act.



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Posted by Peter S
a resident of Duveneck School
on May 21, 2008 at 4:01 pm

EveTushnet

"Unlike easy divorce, same-sex marriage would change the fundamental ideal of marriage.
Even the most ardent defenders of divorce today view it as a necessary evil, a response to the tragedy of marriage failure.
Same-sex marriage, by contrast, would say that the ideal marriage is gender neutral -- not a way for boys to become men by marrying and pledging to care for women.
It would say that the ideal marriage includes children only when they have been specially planned and chosen -- children would become optional extras rather than the natural fruit and symbol of the spouses' union.
It would say that the ideal family need not include a father -- a message that is especially pernicious in a country where one-third of births in 2000 were to unwed mothers.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 21, 2008 at 5:36 pm

Peter

Your final remark is the most worrying. Boys need strong role models in their lives. Most of the teachers they have in school, particularly elementary school, are women and they usually only have a teacher for one year. Where will the men that these boys in these families come from? It is bad enough in a situation where the father is out of the picture due to one of many reasons and a woman is left struggling to bring up her children alone. Making this something that will become more likely in a home where there are two mothers is not helping the matter.

Even girls need a strong male role model in their lives. Without this influence how can they learn what a good male/female relationship is in a platonic situation. And, if any of these young people grow up not knowing what a marital relationship between a husband and wife is, how on earth can they be prepared for one of their own when the time comes.

This is what is said when it will destroy marriage in the future. We are talking about the next generation who will grow up with such a poor experience that they will never have the groundings of a "til death do us part" marriage of their own.


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Posted by Peter S
a resident of Duveneck School
on May 21, 2008 at 5:47 pm



Parent

I think you truly understand what is a stake here and why we must commit to ending this for once and for all


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Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on May 21, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Opponents of gay marriage have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Seriously, if they would just be quiet and let this inevitable change occur, I utterly fail to see how the marriage of same sex couples would make a difference to hetero couples.

After all, you don't really know the marital status of most couples around you, nor does it affect you. If there's an unmarried m/f couple living on your street, how would you know their legal status if they don't tell you, and why would it matter to you? Well, there are already same-sex couples living in your neighborhood (whether you know it or not). How would it affect your life to find out that they have a little piece of paper from the state that says they're married? It makes a huge difference to them of course, if they want that legal status. But for you, the naysayers, what's the difference? I know it bothers you, but I don't know why others should have their options in life constrained by what bothers you.


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Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on May 21, 2008 at 9:46 pm

And by the way, the biological argument is pretty weak. Human emotion and behavior are not strictly governed by biology, nor is homosexual behavior absent in the animal kingdom.

Regarding role models, nothing in marriage law is based on parenting or role models. Sorry. Not my opinion - just a fact. Totally irrelevant from a legal standpoint. You may not like the idea of homes without fathers or without mothers - but the majority of households with that problem are not gay couples anyway. If you care about the stability of the American family, vote Democratic and fight for a social agenda that improves the real foundations of family stability - education, employment, and health care. That will improve the lives of far more children than mean-spirited attempts to curtail the rights of others in order to maintain your happy illusions that "family" and "marriage" should only mean what you feel is best.


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Posted by GuyDads
a resident of Downtown North
on May 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Marriage equality is an emotional and political issue for many people. Let us not forget the legal precedent and historical context for it. For the last 150 years or so, the American democratic process has changed and reshaped marriage. Despite what the Republicans and religious bigots say, marriage has constantly gone through and survived many activists' attacks and come out just fine.

Early American settlers brought a variety of marriage traditions. Common-law, civil ceremony and other informal arrangements were more customary among the lower classes because they had little property to protect. Virginia was a colony that stayed with the customs of the church and did not permit anyone to have a civil marriage ceremony as they followed the Church of England. By the end of the eighteenth century both religious and civil marriage ceremonies were legal in American. However slaves, a substantial percentage of the population, were forbidden to marry.

Up until the 1860's in America, women were considered property of their husbands. They could not own property or sign contracts. Their work, income, and creations belonged to their husbands. Changing this was against many religious beliefs and cherished social values. The Bible says a woman should be subject to her husband. Women wanting the same rights as men was wrong. These changes were going against God, the Bible and the sacred institution of marriage according to the majority of the American public. As late as 1940, married women were not allowed to make a legal contract in twelve states.

And then, not satisfied with just a few rights, women wanted the right to vote and then divorce. More hell broke out in the 60's when women had access to contraception and the right to choose. Marriage and the values of the American family was under an attack it might not survive said the conservatives and religious intolerant.

Marriage came under attacked on another front in 1948. California was the first state to effectively repeal the anti-miscegenation statutes, allowing blacks and whites to legally marry each other. A poll taken at the time showed that less then 5% of the public were in favor of the decision. Nineteen years later, 1967, the activist judges of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously the state laws prohibiting interethnic marriage were unconstitutional. It took until year 2000 for the last state, Alabama, to change its constitution. Even then 40% of the voters were against it. It has always been challenged that racial intermarriage would be a threat to the holy and scared institution of marriage. A judge in 1965 said "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

I suppose it should not be surprising that the same conservative and religious extremists are still around using the same arguments today. In time same-sex marriage will just be latest evolution of the institution.


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Posted by right wing religious nut case
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2008 at 7:48 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Danny
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2008 at 10:35 am

A lot of prejudice and fear-mongering on this particular thread. Here are some very disconcerting comments from "progressive" Palo Altans:

From Pat Rexrode:

"Since both God and the government agree that religion and law should be separate, why do we continually try to pass laws that bring religion into government?"

Um ... how do we know that God agreed to anything? Has someone had a meeting with "him"?

From Mike:

"Homosexual actions are immoral. Look at the way the human body is designed and built. The very makeup of the human body does not support male with male or female with female relationships."

This comment is very upsetting. I'm a straight man, but I don't believe for a second that there's anything immoral about homosexuality, and quite frankly there hasn't been a single non-Bible argument to back that up. The fact that "the pieces don't fit" has nothing to do with a healthy, loving relationship. The "pieces don't fit" between a son and a father either, but that doesn't mean there isn't love there. People need to get the sex part out of their minds and realize these are human beings with emotions just like everyone. They should be allowed to love one another without homophobics and bigots attacking them.

This is all very reminiscent of other civil-rights times in American history. The Mikes of the world also tried to keep African-Americans shackled and women out of the voting booths. Let's not allow these prejudiced and fear-filled elitists continue to push their agendas of bigotry. We are all human, all individuals and all unique. Let's embrace that rather than condemn it.


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Posted by samuel
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 22, 2008 at 11:33 am



Is anyone saying same-sex couples can't love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law.
Should we call these relationships marriage, too?
Marriage is and always has been more than the acknowledgment of the love between two people.

What about the constitutional right to equal protection under the law? Marriage is not an inalienable right; it is a privilege, a license granted by government conferring certain governmental benefits.

There is a constitutional right that is under threat: the free exercise of religion.

Within 10 years, clergy will be sued or indicted for preaching on certain Bible passages dealing with homosexuality and churches, and church-related organizations will lose government contracts and even their tax-exempt status.

The California judges also ruled, for the first time in American legal history, that sexual orientation is just like race.

The California court just declared that those of us who see marriage as the union of husband and wife are the legal equivalent of racists.

And openly racist groups and individuals can be denied government benefits because of their views, including professional licenses (attorney, physicians, psychiatrists, marriage counselors), accredited schools, and tax-exempt status for charities.

In Massachusetts, the first same-sex-marriage state, Catholic Charities, one of the state's largest adoption agencies, was forced out of business because it refused to arrange adoptions for same-sex couples.

In New Jersey, a Methodist group lost part of its state real estate tax exemption because it refused to permit civil-union ceremonies on church-owned property.

Fortunately California voters will have a chance to overturn this radical decision by voting for a state marriage amendment in November.

Enough is Enough


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2008 at 11:44 am

Samuel

I hope you are not advocating that the government should re-write the Bible. You must realise that the government staying out of Church affairs is the same as the Church staying out of government affairs.

There will be holy uproar at any hint that the Bible cannot be preached and taught. It is written in the constitution.

Stay out of what you know nothing about.


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Posted by maggie
a resident of Escondido School
on May 22, 2008 at 12:01 pm


It's a felony to run an adoption agency in Massachussetts without a state license.
The state will not give you a license unless you agree to place children with same-sex couples in a nondiscriminatory manner.

After SSM, it became clear to the Catholic Church that it would be faced with legally married same-sex couples seeking to adopt and it would either have to directly place children there or go out of business.

In addition to the issue of licensing, there is the issue of the government imposing anti-Catholic policies on Catholic agencies.

The opponents of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts went so far as to insist that the government instruct Catholics on Catholicism and make the Church lower its standards.
There are agencies today in that state which focus on matching children to gay adoptors.
There are agencies, such as Catholic Charities, which prioritize adoption by married couples. If these approaches cannot be accommodated in a government licensed adoption system, then,

the issue is not one of tolerance of gay identity politics but INTOLERENCE based on gay identity politics.


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Posted by Danny
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2008 at 12:05 pm

There's no more room in this expanding world of ours -- reaching record population numbers daily -- for bigotry and fear-mongering. I'm constantly amazed that side-tracked straight men like Samuel and Mike above choose gay marriage as their big world problem. Poverty? Drug addiction? Nuclear proliferation? Global warming? Food shortages? Soaring gas prices? Genocide? Cancer? Natural disasters? Rape? Murder?

But no, gay marriage is DEFINITELY the thing we should all be concerned about. What a wacky world....


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Posted by Leonardo
a resident of Professorville
on May 22, 2008 at 12:11 pm

"The President's recent announcement that he supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage has intensified the gay marriage debate. It seems sad that we need government to define and regulate our most basic institutions.

Marriage is first and foremost a religious matter, not a government matter. Government is not moral and cannot make us moral. Law should reflect moral standards, of course, but morality comes from religion, from philosophy, from societal standards, from families, and from responsible individuals. We make a mistake when we look to government for moral leadership.

Marriage and divorce laws have always been crafted by states. In an ideal world, state governments enforce marriage contracts and settle divorces, but otherwise stay out of marriage. The federal government, granted only limited, enumerated powers in the Constitution, has no role whatsoever.

However, many Americans understandably fear that if gay marriage is legalized in one state, all other states will be forced to accept such marriages. They argue that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution essentially federalizes the issue; hence a constitutional amendment is necessary.

But the Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, explicitly authorizes states to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. Furthermore, the Supreme Court repeatedly has interpreted the Full Faith and Credit clause to allow Congress to limit the effect of state laws on other states. In fact, federal courts almost universally apply the clause only to state court judgments, not statutes. So a constitutional amendment is not necessary to address the issue of gay marriage, and will only drive yet another nail into the coffin of federalism. If we turn regulation of even domestic family relations over to the federal government, presumably anything can be federalized.

The choices are not limited to either banning gay marriage at the federal level, or giving up and accepting it as inevitable. A far better approach, rarely discussed, is for Congress to exercise its existing constitutional power to limit the jurisdiction of federal courts. Congress could statutorily remove whole issues like gay marriage from the federal judiciary, striking a blow against judicial tyranny and restoring some degree of states' rights. We seem to have forgotten that the Supreme Court is supreme only over lower federal courts; it is not supreme over the other branches of government. The judiciary is co-equal under our federal system, but too often it serves as an unelected, unaccountable legislature.

It is great comedy to hear the secular, pro-gay left, so hostile to states' rights in virtually every instance, suddenly discover the tyranny of centralized government. The newly minted protectors of local rule find themselves demanding: "Why should Washington dictate marriage standards for Massachusetts and California? Let the people of those states decide for themselves." This is precisely the argument conservatives and libertarians have been making for decades! Why should Washington dictate education, abortion, environment, and labor rules to the states? The American people hold widely diverse views on virtually all political matters, and the Founders wanted the various state governments to most accurately reflect those views. This is the significance of the 10th Amendment, which the left in particular has abused for decades.

Social problems cannot be solved by constitutional amendments or government edicts. Nationalizing marriage laws will only grant more power over our lives to the federal government, even if for supposedly conservative ends. Throughout the 20th century, the relentless federalization of state law served the interests of the cultural left, and we should not kid ourselves that the same practice now can save freedom and morality. True conservatives and libertarians should understand that the solution to our moral and cultural decline does not lie in a strong centralized government."
- Dr. Ron Paul

And I thought, America has BIGGER priorities. Say like; the Iraq war, the Iran war in planning, the economy, the –$9,362,736,519,978 national debt, the housing bubble, the falling dollar etc...

Gay marriage? a national issue?



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Posted by mary
a resident of Community Center
on May 22, 2008 at 12:15 pm



"The likely long-term effects of this case will be to restrict the progress of the LGBT people who face the most prejudice already in exchange for nothing more than a pat on the head for the gays and lesbians who are already the most free, that is those living in California."Web Link

This was a bad judgement for LGBTs outside of California

It should be reversed by the people of California in November but the damage has probably already been done for LGBTs in other states.

The hubris of radical activists will lead to a shameful fall


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Posted by Danny
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2008 at 12:21 pm

I'd argue that good moral teachings come from our parents, not religion. In fact, organized religion has led to a wealth of atrocities and violence. I find my moral teachings in my heart -- in knowing the difference between right and wrong -- and in the idea that we should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves (yes, "The Golden Rule," though I didn't learn that from the Bible).

Good parenting, good teachers, strong friendships and love ultimately are responsible for good morals. Religion is for those who can't figure out right and wrong for themselves -- they need someone to TELL them how it works. Those people scare me the most.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2008 at 12:40 pm

The intersection of gender identity politics and religion will lead to a hornets nest of litigation like this current situation in England

See 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.

These sorts of entanglements will line the pockets of lawyers, tie up our courts etc. Is this what we want?

It is usefull to look at what is happening in Europe, which is father down this road, to understand what we will be facing here if we continue along the same road


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2008 at 12:51 pm

"The South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition said the decision will loosen the fabric of California families and society, . . ."

Traditional marriages have certainly woven a tight fabric for families and society. From Web Link

- The marriage rate in 2005 (per 1,000) was 7.5, The divorce rate in 2005 (per 1,000 people) was 3.6.

- 8.1% of coupled households consist of unmarried heterosexual partners, . . . only 63% of American children grow up with both biological parents -- the lowest figure in the Western world.

- As of 2003, 43.7% of custodial mothers and 56.2% of custodial fathers were either separated or divorced.

- 10% of the population is divorced

Pastor Andy Burnham said he "does not oppose gay people. Nor does his God, he said. . . . God loves the gay community. He loves the sinner but hates the sin," he said.

"My" God not only loves gays, s/he would be turning water into wine at gay weddings!


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Posted by Wear a flag pin
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2008 at 1:06 pm

The Republicans love to talk about sex and they will use this in the next election. Their mock upset isn't fooling me. It's important to the people involved, but to the whole society? no.
Maybe the couples should wear flag pins at the marriage ceremony to ease the Repub concerns.


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Posted by Proud gay
a resident of Mountain View
on May 22, 2008 at 1:14 pm

If I were Pastor Andy Burnham, I would be more concerned with the fact that I was responsible for causing all of parishioners to end up in hell and that I would surely end up there also.

As it says:

"Verily, I say unto thee, you must not be born again. For the wages of worshiping false gods, like jesus, is eternal damnation"


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Posted by KC
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Someone said that gay marriage should be banned because kids need a male and a female parent. If this were of great concern, wouldn't it be more effective to ban heterosexual divorce while the children are young, or to make it illegal for a parent to die?
What about all those heterosexual couples who are not married? Don't they mean that marriage is going out of style for heterosexuals anyway?
If you are against same-sex couples marrying, doesn't that make you anti-marriage? You would prefer they be promiscuous rather than married.
The obvious solution is that the government should get out of the marriage business altogether. They should grant no marriages at all, to anyone. They should grant civil unions to eligible couples, gay or straight. That way if you also want religious marriage you can choose your own church, synagogue or mosque and get married there. Right now we have same-sex marriage in many institutions, but not civil unions. My religion has been marrying same-sex couples since the 1950s.
Someone implied that if you took a poll of all of the churches in Palo Alto, that the majority would be against same-sex marriage, but I suspect that that is not true. I think a majority would be for it. Has anyone actually done a poll? It is no longer true that most people, or churches, are against equal rights for LGBT people.
Those of us who have no problem with gay rights have trouble seeing how a same-sex union could possibly threaten your hetero union. We say that to you guys, and you don't answer because you don't see how we could NOT understand -- you think it's a rhetorical question, but it's not. How would a gay union threaten your marriage? (I know the answer, but am waiting for someone anti-marriage to explain it.)


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Portola Valley
on May 25, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Why can't we get over this nonsense? Just let any adult who wants to marry, get married. Also, don't require marriage of any adult who wants to co-habitate with another adult(s).

There should be rules for the protection of children, to the age of adulthood, but this should not mean that they have a mommy and a daddy, or a mommy and a mommy, or a daddy and a daddy, or multiple verions of the above. Children should not get in the way of adults expressing their own peronal freedoms.


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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 25, 2008 at 11:18 pm

What's all this about God? And Church? God wants humanity to survive, and it won't if its arguing about stuff like this. God loves everybody and doesn't care who you're making love to as long as you have love and are not spreading diseases.

If your religion prioritizes unequality over Jesus' loving message, you've got a problem. If your Bible says who OTHER people love is an important issue for you, maybe you need to re-read it so you can figure out who YOU love (including the God of Love, and your fellow humans).

You're all dumb as rocks, and I love you. Start being unafraid and join the community of love.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on May 25, 2008 at 11:37 pm

Gay marriage will eventually be permitted in most states. That's a good thing. Get used to it, embrace it (you really have no choice, as it's inevitable), and move on to more productive debates.


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