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CA Majority Supports Gay Marriage

Original post made by SkepticAl on May 28, 2008

Gay marriage has the support of a majority of Californians, according to this poll.

Web Link

The article does point out that another poll showed a slim majority supporting the amendment to ban gay marriage.

No matter how you slice it in the short term, though, the long term trend is crystal clear.

Note that those opposed are overwhelmingly religious people and older people. I've been saying here that religion and tradition are the basis for most arguments against gay marriage, and I see that borne out in this poll. It should be noted that state and federal courts generally have not upheld arguments that any individual's or group's rights could be curtailed on the basis of other people's religion or tradition, in the absence of some compelling state interest. Obviously, most rights are not absolutes, but there has to be some "clear and present danger," for example, to justify limits on rights. Courts are becoming increasingly consistent in applying that logic to this issue, as the "clear and present danger" argument looks increasingly homophobic in the absence of any evidence to support it.

Click on the graphic/button atop the Chron. article (right side) to see some graphs that demonstrate most clearly that support for gay marriage increases as age decreases. In other words, it's a clear, straight line - the older you are, the more likely to oppose gay marriage, and the younger, the more likely to support it. This trend suggests that gay marriage is an inevitability, I think. Courts are out ahead of public opinion here, but public opinion will catch up as the older folks... um... expire... and the younger generations will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Comments (54)

Posted by ten18, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm

It's a lot more complex than you make it. There are many other factors (such as the example we're setting for our children, declining birth rates, etc.). Polls are designed to manipulate the masses. Who did they poll? Which demographics? Where was the poll taken? Did they poll in the Castro? Or down at Google?

And we need another word to describe those of us who oppose homosexuality. I'm not the least bit "afraid" of gays - I just find their lifestyle unnatural and repulsive, and I will not accept it as normal. I also feel that our government should not be encouraging or sanctioning this type of behavior.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm


The poll lacks credibility, also people remember how opponents of homosexual marriage where attacked and harassed in Mass.

The anonymous vote will tell a different story

do not hold your breath

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 28, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Baseless attacks on the poll's credibility.... nice. But the other poll, with results you agree with, that was better, right?

ten18 - you're welcome to your view of normal. Your view of normal happens to contradict the positions of experts and professional associations in psychology, sociology, human sexuality, medicine, etc. So disagreement is fine, but you would impose your view of normal on others; opponents of gay marriage were unable to persuade the court that they suffer any harm from extending rights to other people. Your sense of religion or tradition cannot trump other people's rights. That's what the mostly-Republican majority of the CA Supreme Court thinks, at least.

Sharon - I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the amendment pass - until this poll, I would have predicted it would pass, but now I don't know. In any case, I made no predictions about November. I'm looking beyond that. Ten, twenty, thirty years from now, this debate will be resolved in favor of equal rights for all. Can you name a civil rights effort that was ever turned back permanently after gaining this much momentum? A decade ago this was barely on our radar. Now the courts are starting to shift, and the younger generations don't share the biases of their parents and grandparents. Plenty of public figures are openly gay now, where it was once a huge shock. As more and more people come out, more and more people will be comfortable with gay couples, and more and more people will learn that the effort to limit others' civil rights is going to strike at their own friends and family in some way. No stopping it.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Barron Park
on May 28, 2008 at 9:01 pm

I agree, the poll does suggest the inevitability of same sex marriage. Note that in Mass they also went down the constitutional amendment path and then didn't, as folks realized that the world didn't end - in fact it got a little better - with legal same sex marriage.

ten18 - the poll is the Field Poll, which is the granddaddy of non-partisan, quality polling in California. They've asked the question for 30 years and charted the for/against - take a look at the article on the link. Also, your view of same sex marriage as "un-natural" echoes exactly the opponents of inter-racial marriage 50, 100, 150 years ago, before it was over-ruled by the courts. Calling inter-racial "un-natural" sounds pretty silly today, doesn't it? Hopefully you will overcome your bigotry someday as well.

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 28, 2008 at 11:17 pm

And now, this - the state of New York is going to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

NY Times (login required)
Web Link

Web Link

As I argued before in another thread, this legal shift is another "inevitability." The constitution requires such reciprocity among states under the "full faith and credit" clause - especially as marital status has implications in federal law and regulations. When this reaches the US Supreme Court, it will take some considerable contortions for the right wingers to suddenly abandon their strict constructionist ideals, to abandon the precedents in other civil rights matters, and somehow find against New York or in favor of states attempting to dodge their constitutional obligations.

A little advice to gay-marriage opponents: give it up! Sorry about your hurt feelings - really, I mean it. (After all, some of you are my relatives and loved ones). But, no one is touching your religion or your church. Hide out in there if you must, but don't waste time, money and energy fighting this. What would Jesus do? I think he'd look at the incredible poverty amidst our nation's incredible wealth, the dismal state of health care, and tell people they need to get to work to take care of each other, not obstruct the recognition of commitments made by people who are doing nothing to harm you through their state marriage (not a church marriage - unless the church allows it). Turn the other cheek, anyone? Golden rule? Live and let live?

Sorry if anyone's offended that I took the religious tack. It's just no one here ever offers an informed, convincing legal opinion to oppose gay marriage, so I thought I'd try to convince some people through another approach.

Posted by ??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Just because someone admits to not liking something someone else does, does not make them a bigot. Some people eat meat and others do not like them doing so. Does that make them bigots too? Some people need to understand that we can all have preferences and that it is ok to have dislikes about other people's preferences and that does not make bigotry. Bigotry is a hatred which is carried far beyond just dislike. Bigotry is when the hatred goes to name calling, and then worse. Just stating that you do not like something someone does is not bigotry.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 28, 2008 at 11:49 pm

Have to disagree, ??. When someone calls homosexuality "unnatural and repulsive," as the poster did above, that's not just "disliking" - that's bigotry on the face of it. If you called inter-racial marriage "unnatural and repulsive," which many did 50 and 100 years ago, I'd for sure call you a bigot. Saying that "I don't hate homosexuals, I just want to deny their civil rights" just won't cut it.

Posted by ??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2008 at 8:53 am

Sorry you disagree.
Unnatural is a word used all the time nowadays, particularly in the positive when we talk about natural remedies and natural foods so presumably unnatural is the opposite. IVF is unnatural and so is contraception, but we don't say that they should stop. Unnatural means against the natural way of doing things which is really to say the normal, everyday, common or garden way, it does not mean bad.
Repulsive is another word that is used to describe something we don't like. I would call peanut butter repulsive, but I accept that some people, even my kids like it. I have some vegetarian friends who think me eating meat is repulsive and would actually like to pursuade me to stop doing so, but I happen to like eating meat. I would call eating horse or dog repulsive to me, but I don't stop those who want to eat it from doing so (as long as it is done the right way).
Many people find pornography, oral sex, bondage and like activities unnatural and repulsive, that is their opinion. It does not make them bigots.
So calling something distasteful, unnatural and repulsive is an opinion. You may not agree with their opinion, but as long as the opinion is put in the right context and not used to harm the people who enjoy it, then it is a valid opinion.

Civil rights is one thing, calling a union between two same sex people can be legalised, I don't mind. Give them all the rights they want, but calling it marriage and taking away the privilege of others from describing their marriage or their wedding as something we all understand and having to be pc about the words, is what many people do not want. That is not being bigoted.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 29, 2008 at 9:40 am

What are the legitimate interests of government in defining marriage?
What definition of marriage would satisfy all objections?
It is a pity that this question cannot be resolved by the deliberative legislative process. Talk about a shotgun marriage.

Posted by nature, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2008 at 10:16 am

Sorry to disagree with you, ??, but homosexuality is 'natural' in its truest sense: it's part of nature. Sure, homosexuals are in the minority, but having fewer occurences doesn't make it unnatural. Homosexuality occurs in other species. Do you suppose these animals make a conscious decision to try an 'alternate lifestyle'? Sorry, but homosexuality is as natural as can be. It's people's homophobic reactions that are unnatural.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 29, 2008 at 10:28 am

??, I think you are rationalizing. When someone calls a food "un-natural and repulsive" they are not a bigot. When someone calls a PERSON "un-natural and repulsive" for simply being the way they are, that judging the person based on their identity, and that is bigotry.

I didn't see you address - would you accept someone who said that inter-racial marriage is "un-natural and repulsive" but then asserted they were not bigots? Or are they do just expressing a simple preference? What about someone who said Muslims or Catholics or Canadians or Chinese were "un-natural and repulsive" - that ok with you too? Not bigotry?

Granting civil marriage to some, but civil union to others, is a "separate but equal" approach - which is unequal on its face. They defended bans on inter-racial marriage by saying it applied equally to all races, so hence was fair. Does that make sense to you? We don't take away the civil rights of some just because it makes others feel uncomfortable.

Yes, I think we have to face up - the people who want to deny marriage rights to same sex couples are, for the most part, bigots.

Posted by ten18, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2008 at 10:50 am

OK, so the behavior is perhaps not "unnatural," but it is certainly aberrant. And I don't want traditional marriage corrupted by the inclusion of such abberant behavior. I don't consider marriage a "civil right." It is a tradition in the highest sense. The argument claiming that this is similar to the sanctions on interracial marriage doesn't cut it with me - there is no parallel here. I'm really tired of the gay agenda. If society thought that the gay lifestyle was so great, perhaps the militant arm of the gay movement wouldn't have to push so hard for acceptance. And I couldn't care less who thinks I'm a "bigot" - that's a typical response from "accepting" and "tolerant" types who can't/won't tolerate the fact that others have an opinion that differs from theirs - for whatever reason.

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 29, 2008 at 11:06 am

Over and over the opponents of gay marriage fall back on tradition. This is a *legal* matter - where in the law and the *Constitution* do you justify this discrimination? The courts don't accept the tradition argument, and I don't see why we should accept "that's the way it's always been" as a reason to offer privileges to some people and deny them to others based on their identity.

ten18 - You may be right. Marriage may not be a civil right. The problem is that IF the govt. is going to be involved in this business, it can't discriminate against people where there is no compelling reason to discriminate.

?? - if it's all about the words and language, which is part of what the judges focused on their ruling, then we need to use one term for the civic/govt./state process, and call all of them civil unions. Fine. Let marriage be the term used in religious/spiritual/traditional purposes. The state must treat the matter with neutrality, not bow to church or tradition when the demand is to create unfair restrictions.

Tradition and religion are not compelling reasons from a constitutional standpoint. If you want marriage defined as only man and woman, then the state can't be the body that's defining marriage. If the government wants to stop calling it marriage or stop concerning itself with marriage altogether, then churches will remain - as they are and always will be - free to define marriage as they wish and have that religious sanctification apply only in a religious/spiritual context. When the state is involved, the church can't set the standards, nor can the adherents of religion and tradition argue that they have standing to compel others to accept their restrictions.

Posted by ??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2008 at 11:10 am

I am not sure what you mean about inter-racial marriage unless you are talking about skin-color race rather than ethnic race. Personally, I am married to someone with my own skin color and culture. That is my choice. I am not physically attracted to someone who is outside my own skin color and culture. When I say culture, I mean many things to do with upbringing, class, education and way of life. I would more likely marry someone with slightly differing skin color if they had the same culture as myself, and I am not talking about American culture. Inter-racial marriage as defined by the law a century ago is very different from the inter-racial marriages today between different color skinned people or people with different religions. If people with different colored skins or different religions or even different nationalities get married, that is fine by me and always has been. But, I think that this is a different discussion.

The sexual act is primarily to propagate the species. Expecting pleasure from the act is more human than animal instinct. Without the strong sexual urge the species will not survive. Getting pleasure from the act is something that we want and expect, but most animals do not. Taking this further, a loving relationship is also something that is human rather than animal. Some animals mate and never see each other again, there is no love bond. When animals show homosexual tendencies they are in fact not showing that they "love" some other animal of their own gender, rather that the sexual urge is different for them than others in that species. Homosexual animals are not building up loving relationships with other homosexual animals and adopting offspring or even attempting to have intercourse with the opposite gender just so that they can produce offspring to raise with their homosexual mate. No, I think it can safely be said that homosexual animals are outside the norm for their species. Please note I said norm not normal, meaning that the norm is that genetically speaking animals want to procreate their species.

Finally, all people can do repulsive things and that does not make their race repulsive. I can safely say that I am repulsed by suicide bombers, or those who want to harm others because of their religious or political views. I am equally repulsed by those who want to marry off their 12 year old daughters or be married to them in polygamous marriages, but that does not make me against all Muslims or all Mormons. As far as I can see, those groups are all unnatural too not because of who they are but what they do.

I would not call myself a bigot because I do not have any hatred against these people. I am not causing them any harm, or taking away any legal rights. I have an opinion to which I am entitled and I express it politely and rationally. If you disagree with me, then I fully accept your view without calling you a rude name. If you disagree with me I ask that you do so without calling me a rude name.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 29, 2008 at 11:13 am

If the government were not in the marriage business, and didn't enshrine it in various codes and laws, then this wouldn't be a political issue at all. But it ain't that way.

Not sure why you don't see the parallel with inter-racial marriage - two people want to marry. It had long been viewed as "un-natural" by society and the courts. Over time, people realized that the ban was abhorrent and silly. Eventually the laws were over-turned and now no-one thinks twice about it. Looks pretty similar to me.

ten18, you are just a bigot and it sounds like you own up to that. Not much use discussing issues with bigots though.

Posted by ??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2008 at 11:16 am

What I am saying about skin color and culture is not explained very well.

Here goes.

If an African American, raised in this country marries a white American raised in this country then basically they are very much the same because their socio-economics and culture are probably very much the same. If an African American raised in this country went to Africa and married a person from an African village and expected that marriage to be successful, I think we would agree that that would be unlikely to work harmoniously in the sense that we would call a marriage a marriage. In this second description the races would be the same, but the culture would not.

Posted by mvmd, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 29, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Male homosexuals have a life expectancy of 10 to 15yrs less than hetero males.

Male homosexuals have and spread high rates of cancers, HIV,STDs and most recently, and disturbingly, MRSA for which their is no cure in many cases and condoms to not work for it.They are 13 times more likely to have MRSA than heteros Web Link
Black male gays and bisexuals have a HIV/AIDS rate of 50%

Their is no cure for AIDS, we can help victims live longer but they continue to be vectors and will experience dramatically accelerated aging, for example at age 50 they will experience the health problems of 80yr olds.

So one could reasonably argue that male homosexuality is a dangerous lifestyle with high morbidity and mortality and is not adaptive nor " normal"

Posted by MSRA, a resident of Hoover School
on May 29, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Thanks to its acquisition of multiple resistance genes, the multi-drug-resistant USA300 strain is also able to battle fluoroquinolones, tetracycline, macrolide, clindamycin, and mupirocin.

And it is much more likely to infect men who have sex with men than other groups, the researchers found in a series of retrospective studies.

In a population-based study in San Francisco, they found the prevalence of multi-drug-resistant USA300 was 26 cases per 100,000 people annually.

But when the researchers broke the numbers down by ZIP codes, they found the rate in the eight regions with a high proportion of same-sex couples was 59 per 100,000, compared with four per 100,000 in the other 18 ZIP codes in the city.

The Castro district -- which, at 25.7%, has the highest proportion of same-sex couples of any ZIP code in the U.S. -- had an annual rate of 170 cases per 100,000.

The researchers also analyzed data on 183 consecutive MRSA cases treated from January 2004 through June 2006 at a San Francisco General Hospital HIV clinic located in a ZIP code with a high prevalence of multi-drug-resistant USA300.

They found that 170 patients were infected by the USA300 clone and 30 of those had the multi-drug-resistant strain. By comparison, only two of 91 MRSA cases treated at the hospital outside of the HIV clinic were multi-drug-resistant.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 29, 2008 at 2:16 pm

?? I never called you a bigot. You are rationalizing and defending views that clearly are bigoted though. I'm sorry if you find that a rude, but that's what I see.

Your view seems to be that you don't like same sex marriage. You are entitled to your view, but that seems like a lousy reason to not allow same sex couples access to the same institutions and legal protections others get. It does take away their rights - that's what the Supreme Court just decided.

Posted by burl, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2008 at 5:50 pm

MSRA, your comments are completely off topic. It's like bringing up high blood pressure in African Americans when discussing inter-racial marriages. Irrelevant.

Posted by Another skeptic, a resident of Barron Park
on May 29, 2008 at 7:26 pm

SA -

I think the gay community already had equal rights before this court ruling. A gay man could marry any woman; he his not discriminated against.

What the community is asking for is special treatment, based on their preferences.

This is not a civil rights issue, it is rather an issue of gay identity politics. Does the gay community have enough power to change laws to accommodate their preferences?

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 29, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Another, that is the mirror argument given by courts a century or more ago upholding bans on inter-racial marriage. The bans were not discriminatory - they restricted all races equally. I think we all view this as ridiculous today and just thinly veiled bigotry. Do you?

Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 29, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Interesting that no one wants to discuss what marriage regulations are appropriate government functions.

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 29, 2008 at 9:55 pm

All the medical arguments are LEGALLY irrelevant. No one here in the past couple weeks has ever advanced a meaningful legal argument against gay marriage. Majority rule is not an overriding legal principle - that's why courts have judicial review and often invalidate laws passed by balloting. And those health issues should be noted, studied, dealt with. (by the way, I would guess that gay marriage reduces rather than encourages promiscuity). - But in any case, the *law* includes no provisions regarding these issues vis a vis marriage, does it?

Another skeptic wrote: "I think the gay community already had equal rights before this court ruling. A gay man could marry any woman; he his not discriminated against. What the community is asking for is special treatment, based on their preferences."

- Your use of the word "preference" suggests a lack of understanding regarding human sexuality. Only in extremely rare cases do people claim to have changed their "preference" - usually under the influence of some religious brainwashing-deprogramming-dubious-"therapy." The vast majority of people consider their sexuality an inherent part of their identity. It is not a preference, not something they thought about and decided.

Another person already made one obvious retort with the analogy to inter-racial marriage restrictions. But we can easily reformulate the issue to reveal the bias. You say all people have the right to marry the opposite sex, but that's not the point; not all people currently enjoy equal rights to marry a partner with whom they feel compatible. When my wife and I showed up at the county offices to get a marriage license, no one asked a single question of us. Great - other than the fact that we were legal age and unrelated, it's none of the state's business to question our relationship, our sexual behavior, our parenting plans, etc. So, if I had shown up with my partner at the county office and my partner were the same gender, what business would it be of the state to question my relationship, my feelings, my sexual behavior, my parenting plans, etc.? It's none of their business.

Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2008 at 4:57 am

If it is "...none of their business..." what is their [government] business, Al? Just answer the damn question.

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 30, 2008 at 9:12 am

Walter wrote, "what is their [government] business, Al? Just answer the damn question."

First of all, Walter, watch your temper, please. Where did that come from?

Second of all, I know from past experience that there's little point in answering your questions - especially one as vague as "what is the business of governement?"

If you or anyone else would like to ask a more detailed and polite question regarding something I wrote, or explain with some reference to the laws here where you think I'm mistaken, I might reply in more detail.

Yours in civility,


Posted by ??, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2008 at 9:35 am

Civil Unions can be more advantageous than marriage.

In the UK civil union licences are granted rather than marriage licences. These have all the advantages of marriage licences including being able to have a ceremony at a registry office and actually have advantages that are not available to traditional married couples. (If I understand the reports I have read in newspapers)

There are tax and pension advantages to seniors who choose to have civil unions who are able to claim tax advantages of civil unions and get two single pensions rather than one married couples pension. They are also able to have a civil union with a brother or sister which can't be done as marrying a blood relative is not allowed. So many seniors are jumping on this anomaly and are actually being advised to do so for tax reasons by their financial advisers (eg two elderly sisters living in the same household rather than two separate ones).

There are many occasions when divorced or widowed people do not want to get married because because they lose out on alimony or widows' benefits and they don't if they only have a civil union.

Maybe if we look hard enough we will find more.

Posted by ?? is noting the right things, a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2008 at 11:50 am

Yes, ??? you have hit the nail on the head. Except for immigration issues and survivor Social Security benefits ( which, admittedly, aren't huge issues for most folks), a couple is, in fact, better off in a civil union and/or legally drawn contracts such as Durable Power of Attorney and Health, Wills and Trusts.

The reality is that this is not about what the emotionally laden language tries to tell us is a social injustice, it is about forcing a legal change in the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman in order to have other back-door entrances such as adoptions and such as not being allowed to not hire a "married" gay person to teach in a private school. It is also through the mistaken belief that legalizing something makes it socially "acceptable", legalizing "acceptance". It doesn't. In fact, it increases divisiveness and rancor, and frankly gets in the way of changing the hearts and minds of the population.

Prepare for the usual screaming about civil rights etc which blur the issue.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2008 at 12:39 pm

It seems to be the case, however, that something momentous happened in the 1960s which has materially altered the scene: Christ­ianity began to be more and more marginal to the "public doctrine" by which the nation ordered itself, and this state of affairs has continued to the present day. This is seen in the homosexual lifestyle movement.

The Judeo Christian civilization is distinguished from that of pagans in part by its disapproval of homosexuality and poligamy

Many reasons have been given for this situation. Callum Brown has argued that it was the cultural revolution of the 1960s which brought Christianity's role in society to an abrupt and catastrophic end. He notes, particularly, the part played by women in upholding piety and in passing on the faith in the home. It was the loss of this faith and piety among women which caused the steep decline in Christian observance in all sections of society. Peter Mullen and others, similarly, have traced the situation to the student unrest of the 1960s which they claim was inspired by Marxism of one sort or another. The aim was to overturn what I have called the Evangelical-Enlightenment consensus so that revolution might be possible. One of the ingredients in their tactics was to encourage a social and sexual revolution so that a political one would, in due course, come about. Mullen points out that instead of the Churches resisting this phenomenon, liberal theologians and Church leaders all but capitulated to the intellectual and cultural forces of the time.

It is this situation that has created the moral and spiritual vacuum in which we now find ourselves. While the Christian consensus was dissolved, nothing else, except perhaps endless self-indulgence, was put in its place. Happily Marxism, in its various forms, has been shown to be the philosophical, historical and economic nonsense that it always was.

Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Answering my questions often calls for stepping outside one's programming. I sometimes weary of the obfuscation that substitutes for debate. This is a discussion of a specific field of government action about which there is disagreement. Sometimes it helps to go to zero base budgeting; perhaps the rationalle behind any government classification is faulty. Now, Al, smile, darn ya, smile. And, pretty please, respond to my relevant question.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 30, 2008 at 1:17 pm

"it is about forcing a legal change in the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman in order to have other back-door entrances..."

There's nothing backdoor about it. Yes, gays wants the same civil, legal, and other protections that non-gays get. The full package. And they are going to get it, kick and scream as the traditionalists and bigots might. Just "not liking it" or "it seems un-natural" or "I wouldn't want my child to be one" is not a reason to deny the civil rights of fellow citizens.

Posted by samuel, a resident of Stanford
on May 30, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Anti-gay" means "failing to celebrate homosexuality as the source and summit of all that is noble, good, and right."

Anything less than celebration is "bigotry". Right thinking will be rewarded.

Wrong-thinking will be punished.

Posted by SepticAl, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 30, 2008 at 3:46 pm

The attorneys general of 10 states have joined conservative legal groups in urging the California Supreme Court to delay finalizing its ruling to legalize same-sex marriages.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed late Thursday, the attorneys general said they have an interest in the case because they would have to determine whether their states should recognize the marriages of gay residents who got married in California.

The states involved are Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina...

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 30, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Hey SEPTIC - imitation is the highest form of flattery, they say. Did you imitate my name because I'm really getting through to you? But in any case, thanks for the news. That development shows clearly that these attorneys understand what I've been saying. The Constitution requires "full faith and credit." They can oppose gay marriage in their own state, but overall, this is a one-way civil rights march that will eventually prevail. See the poll results again - each younger generation is more likely than its elders to support gay marriage.

Walter, I appreciate the shift in tone, but I'm still not going to answer your question, which, if I'm reading it correctly, asks "what is the business of government?" Too broad. Besides, it seems you asked that question in response to my post, instead of actually responding with your own argument. Instead of just asking a huge rhetorical questions, why don't you engage on the specifics of what I wrote? If you think the government *does* have some business inquiring about people's personal lives and sexual behavior in order to issue a marriage license, why don't you articulate your position?

Now, this is a gem: "...mistaken belief that legalizing something makes it socially 'acceptable', legalizing 'acceptance'. It doesn't. In fact, it increases divisiveness and rancor, and frankly gets in the way of changing the hearts and minds of the population."

So YOUR views put YOU in "the population"?? Sorry - I too am the population. So are my gay friends, relatives, and neighbors, our friends and sympathizers - and the CA Supreme Court did not rule that anyone has to "accept" anything in an emotional sense. They did rule that the STATE has no LEGAL reason to treat gays in a discriminatory manner concerning marriage. It's the difference between actions and feelings. You are free to feel what you want, accept what you want, but the state of California cannot ACT on feelings. There is STILL, after a week or more of this, NOT ONE of you out there who can articulate a LEGAL argument about why the state should be compelled to ban gay marriage. STOP telling us how you feel. Why should we care about your feelings? Stop telling us about YOUR interpretation of MY God and religion. Why should that compel the state to discriminate? The court is not dictating your feelings, and the state cannot touch our religious practices.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2008 at 10:05 am

Perhaps the most concise and accurate quote about same-sex "marriage" to come from a religious leader is as follows.

"Marriage is neither a conservative nor a liberal issue; it is a universal human institution, guaranteeing children fathers, and pointing men and women toward a special kind of socially as well as personally fruitful sexual relationship.
Gay marriage is the final step down a long road America has already traveled toward deinstitutionalizing, denuding and privatizing marriage.
It would set in legal stone some of the most destructive ideas of the sexual revolution: There are no differences between men and women that matter, marriage has nothing to do with procreation, children do not really need mothers and fathers, the diverse family forms adults choose are all equally good for children.
What happens in my heart is that I know the difference.
Don't confuse my people, who have been the victims of deliberate family destruction, by giving them another definition of marriage."

Walter Fauntroy-Former DC Delegate to Congress, Founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus Coordinator for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s march on DC

The truth is this is a issue of social justice.
Any society must recognize the unique status of marriage for the health of society, men & women themselves and their children.

It is an affront to reason and justice to pretend that family breakdown does not take precedent over homosexuals felt need for inclusion.
Only a morally obtuse world view could put the wants of a small minority above the needs of the 70% illegitimacy rates among African –Americans.

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on Jun 1, 2008 at 10:55 am

Thank you, Sharon. Yet another example of the traditional/emotional/religious school of thought. Isn't it becoming clear yet that such arguments don't hold much water in court when the opposing side is arguing about the state's denial of equal rights to a minority group?


Posted by John, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 1, 2008 at 11:07 am


You say "homosexuality is 'natural' in its truest sense"

Then you must certainly support polygamous marriage, right?

Posted by md, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 1, 2008 at 11:26 am

Many American communities - such as the Catholic community, the Jewish community, and the African-American community - put a lot of resources behind helping the worst-off people with those identities.
There are mentoring programs, food assistance programs, even direct aid.
A large percentage of the resources raised from wealthy Catholics, Jews, and blacks is spent on the needs and problems faced by Catholics, Jews, and blacks who are the most vulnerable.

It doesn't work that way in the LGBT community.
In fact, the gay community tends to prioritize the issues that are most important to the wealthy white donors to LGBT organizations, and it shows little interest in the problems facing people in pain who aren't like them.

The most blatant example is the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which was one of the top 2-3 issues to the gay and lesbian community when I first became a gay activist in the summer of 1990. The gay white men who funded the gay movement at the time were dying of AIDS, and many of their friends were suffering and dying as well. So education, treatment, and funding for AIDS was a major priority to the gay movement.

Not that you'd know it by reading the gay press, but HIV is still a major crisis facing the LGBT community.
More than 70 percent of new HIV infections in men happen because of gay sex.
One in three African-American gay men is HIV-positive.
In some cities it's nearly one in two.
But because the specific gay people suffering from HIV these days can't afford to contribute to LGBT organizations, the epidemic has been de-emphasized by the gay movement in favor of issues more important to its middle- and upper-class funders, like marriage.
The Web site of the nation's biggest gay political organization,, mentions marriage more than five times as often as AIDS.

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on Jun 1, 2008 at 12:26 pm

John -

The polygamy argument is a separate issue. Bottom line - does the state ask what kind of sexual practices hetero couples will engage in? Because, after all, hetero couples are just as capable of doing things you might call unnatural. Then why should the state concern itself with the LEGAL sexual practices of any pair of adults who want to marry?

If you want to debate polygamy as a marriage issue, the question should be the same as with gay marriage: does the state have a compelling interest in restricting people? I'd say yes - there are a whole host of issues that arise when you expand marriage from a 2-person partnership to three or more.

MD - nothing you wrote is really relevant to the legal question of gay marriage. You could start a new thread about LGBT politics and health.

Posted by John, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 1, 2008 at 12:50 pm


The state has a compelling interest in having children raised by both a male and female influence, within the family. Polygamy allows this; gay marriage does not.

Next argument?

Posted by thanks MD, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 1, 2008 at 1:05 pm

MD: Thank thoughts exactly. Precisely the reasons I DON'T belong to several of the more prominent organizations for lesbians. Where are the social action committees to help young lesbians? A much higher percent of whom have been abused, smoke, are overweight, are alcoholic...I prefer to support mental health and medical health programs for our "group". Supporting employment and civil and housing legality was great. I am of the age now where I see that we have made great gains in these areas, and see no need for legal "marriage". Prefer to fix the last couple spots,...immigrants being able to stay legally in the country with their partners, for example, and Social Security benefits passing on after the death of the partner.

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on Jun 1, 2008 at 11:10 pm

John -

Thanks for a credible counterargument. If you're arguing in favor of polygamy, I guess you scored a point.

I would maintain that your argument would be held in balance with the arguments against polygamy, which, I believe, would focus on problems of power and status within that kind of marriage. However, the debate about polygamy is not a clear-cut and scary specter to me. And if the arguments against polygamy were to focus entirely on religious and traditional definitions of marriage, I would concede that such arguments are not persuasive, just as I have said here. If you're hoping to catch me in an inconsistency, I don't think you will.

If you're hoping that the argument about family and parenting is the "compelling state interest" that should ban gay marriage, I don't see that working. You may assert the link between state interests in marriage and in parenting, but as I see it, the state has *not* asserted this interest in the case of heterosexual marriage. There are no parental screening tests or qualifications placed on marriage. Couples who don't intend to have children and couples who can't have children face no obstacles in marriage. Even more telling, there are no disqualifications for marriage based upon prior felony convictions, including spousal or child abuse. If the state wishes to redefine marriage laws in terms of family law - and place equal restrictions on all couples as potential parents - we might have a debate. (With a lot of angry people asking why their relationship should only be defined or legally endorsed based on the hypothetical eventual existence of people as-of-yet-unborn, or impossible to generate).

Your ideals regarding male and female influence in the home are just that - your ideals, and widely shared ones, which land you back in the category of arguments based on tradition (not a legally persuasive line of argument). However, given the abundant problems and unhealthy parenting that occur in *all* types of families, and the abundant healthy parenting that also occurs in single parent families or same-sex parent families, the state has not enshrined that ideal in matters of marriage law or even adoption law (as far as I know).

I look forward to your reply!

Posted by John, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 2, 2008 at 11:28 am

"Your ideals regarding male and female influence in the home are just that - your ideals, and widely shared ones, which land you back in the category of arguments based on tradition (not a legally persuasive line of argument). "


"legally persuasive" is a term of art. It really depends on who controls the courts, and the biases and perceptions of those judges. The same could be said of the psychology/psychiatry communitirs, at least to a degree. In the end, laws need to reflect the feelings and beliefs of the people, unless they clearly violate a basic constitutional tenent.

I believe that a strong majority of California voters believe that a child is best raised by a mother and a father. The female and male influences provide a balance that has worked pretty well over the centuries. Of course, such an ideal is not always achieved, e.g. divorce, death of a spouse, unmarried status, etc. The question I pose is whether the mommy/mommy or daddy/daddy model is equal to the mommy/daddy model. The polygamist model (usually) is dadddy/many mommies. In rnak order, I would place them as:

daddy/many mommies
mommy/mommy or daddy/daddy
single mommy
single daddy

Thus, I would allow marriage of polygamists before gay marriage.

Posted by md, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm

This new ruling doesn't only harm traditionally religious people. It poses a serious danger to the well-being of children.

After four Massachusetts judges imposed this change on their state, Boston's Catholic Charities was given the choice of treating couples without both a mother and a father the same as more traditional couples, or getting out of the adoption business altogether.

The well-regarded agency felt it had no choice but to shut down - which means there are children in the Bay State who do not have the mother and father they could have had if gay activists hadn't been so strident.

As an LGBT person, I'm embarrassed that my fellow community members prioritized their own pride over the welfare of disadvantaged orphans.

There are real and injurious issues the gay community could be focusing on, such as the distressing rates of HIV/AIDS among African-American men who have sex with men, the FDA's unnecessary ban on gay blood, and Florida's heartless prohibition of gay and lesbian adoptive parents.

No lesbian ever died a painful death because the government called her relationship a domestic partnership instead of a marriage.

Gays and lesbians should put away the champagne, work to overturn this ruling, and start focusing on LGBT issues that actually matter.

Posted by Silly, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 2, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Yes, and those Negroes should turn in their civil rights too, since sitting in the back of the bus never hurt anyone and those separate schools, what was the harm there? They could have been working on IMPORTANT issues, like MD says, instead of just demanding "rights."

MD, if your civil rights don't matter to you, fine. But the idea that others should be denied civil rights under the Constitution because the world is suffering and some people are offended - it's just a silly excuse for an argument.

Posted by John, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 2, 2008 at 3:08 pm


Do blacks in this country favor gay marriage, and see it as a civil right?

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on Jun 3, 2008 at 12:20 am

John -

You're right that "legally persuasive" can shift. But taking the long and broad view and overlooking some short term ups and downs, it looks like civil rights victories working their way through the courts succeed because the argument of tradition breaks down when confronted with the denial of equal rights. No one has come up with a better argument than "tradition" to oppose gay marriage, so I don't see how they hope to withhold that right from a legal standpoint, short of amending the US Constitution.

MD -
I respect your opinion regarding your community, but your interpretation is easily flipped around. Who's being selfish? The community that stands to gain its rights without imposing on anyone, or the charity that withholds services to needy people in order to make a point and seemingly impose its views on the needy people?

What's the moral calculus here?

- gay couples: marriage provides new legal rights and standing without denying anything to anyone. You're asking them to forego meaningful, tangible benefits that can only cause harm to those who choose to be harmed... as in...

Catholic charities: rather than concede that operating under contract for the benefit of the state means actually serving people with different beliefs, they take a stand on a principle to be applied against a small minority of cases, abandoning the majority of cases.

John - do gays need the blessing of blacks to talk about civil rights?

Posted by Resident, a resident of Atherton
on Jun 3, 2008 at 9:21 am


As for the Catholic charities, I think they are trying to do the best for benefiting the majority in their care namely the children. If they feel that the very best setting for a child is in the loving family care of a man and a woman who are married, then how can they compromise that care for the children. How can they justify deciding which child should be placed in a home with two separate gender parents and which child should be placed in the care of two loving same sex parents. To them it is like playing God. To them it is the same as doctors trying to decide which baby to abort in the case of a multiple pregnancy when they have to choose who to abort and who to let live. For them, it can't be done. Since they want to give what they consider the best and equal chance to all the children in their care, the idea that they should be able to choose which gets the traditional home life and which gets something they consider to be less agreeable is abominable to them.

If they, for instance, started giving the white perfect babies to the most affluent prospective parents and the less than perfect, crack babies, or whatever, to the less well off or indeed to the gay couples that requested adoption, it would be considered discrimination. This to them is a similar request.

In this regard, they should actually be complimented on their stance and no compromise philosophy for the welfare of their prospective children adoptees. They are indeed standing by their principles and can only be applauded for their actions.

If this in fact was not the case, how would a prospective mother willing to give up her child for adoption be able to surrender their child to an organization that is making very important decisions on the welfare of her child by legal restrictions rather than their best judgment call on who should adopt her baby.

Babies are not commodities to be used as pawns of the legal system. Instead they are human beings who deserve the very best. If an organization decides that they cannot give the very best future to them then they are indeed thinking of the babies, not their obligation to the law. We are not talking about adoption of dogs and cats into suitable homes, we are talking about the provision of a future for deserving infants that are unable to speak for themselves as to how they wish to be raised.

Posted by How, a resident of Meadow Park
on Jun 3, 2008 at 9:53 am

Resident, how about if the Catholic Charities decided they couldn't allow babies to be adopted by Muslim families? Or Asian? Or African-American? Would that be ok too?

If you are in a business that is licensed and regulated by the state, you can't discriminate based on categories that are legally protected. True of employers, true of adoption services providers. It is too bad if the Catholics want to discriminate based on sexual preference - but THEY, not the same sex couples, are creating the problem.

It isn't easy protecting civil rights and liberties in a free society. It creates discomfort and inconvenience, sometimes things that seem outright unfair. But it is the path we've chosen. Let's stick to our principles folks.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2008 at 10:26 am


You are asking a good question. But, they are looking after the civil rights of their babies and their birth mothers. Of course they are a Catholic agency and they should be able to put their children in the homes of Catholic traditional married couples if that is their mandate.

A fairer question may be as to how they can accept state funding and have to accept state obligations. I would wonder how they could justify accepting funding if these restrictions were placed upon them. Maybe they should just stop accepting the funding and then they could follow their principles. I would have nothing against that, would you?

There is obviously a need for these type of agencies. The Catholics have always had the role of placing unwanted babies into loving families. Perhaps it is due to the principles of being against abortion, against contraption and celibacy for their priests, monks and nuns. Perhaps it is more compassion. I don't really know. But, if they are serving a need that they have always served, I don't see a reason for them to change because of legislation. If that means that they have to choose to lose funding, so be it. I would rather that the continue to do what they do well without being given constraints outside their ethics.

Maybe we should look at a charity as a charity and not a business. Yes, it is good that they are scrutinied by the state to ensure that their methods are above board. But, not their ethics. Yes there should be no state funding if that stops them standing by their ethical position, but it shouldn't take away their tax exemption status from those who wish to support it as a charity from giving to whom they wish.

Maybe we should also look on charities as being self-supporting and able to acquire funding from individuals who agree with their principles. However, if the state wants to get into the baby adoption business and do things the way they want, then they should be free to do that. I just wonder how many people would surrender their babies to the state rather than an agency with a history of which they are familiar?

I think that Church and State separation works both ways. I think that the Church should stay out of politics and making political stands and I also think the State should stay out of the affairs of Church bodies particularly those with such a good performance record (in respect to serving the babies and families they presently serve). If it means that they lose State funding all well and good, maybe they should never have had it in the first place.

To say that it is the adoption services that are creating the problem not the same sex couples is a misnomer. There has never been a problem. It is the new acceptance of something controversial that is causing a problem that was never there before.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2008 at 10:34 am


I don't think I really answered your initial question.

If the mother of a surrendered baby wanted the baby to be raised by a Catholic family then that should happen. If they mother wanted the baby to be raised by an African American family, then that should be fine. It would make sense that a white catholic mother would want her child to be raised by a white catholic family, likewise an African American mother would want her African American baby raised by an African American family and a muslim mother want her baby raised by muslims. I have no problem with that because it is what the mother wants, a similar type of family to what she could ideally provide for her child herself. It would be different if a mother wanted her child raised by someone different to herself or her baby's background. Why can't she ask that the baby be put into the home of someone like herself ethnically speaking. Likewise, why can't she ask her baby be put into the home of someone like herself sexually preference speaking? We are talking about civil rights here. The civil rights of the mother surrendering the child and the child itself.

Posted by Politically Incorrect, a resident of Professorville
on Jun 4, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Just look at what happens when a mental illness like homosexuality is called "normal"! Our entire society must now turn itself inside out to accommodate the wishes of those who live outside society's norms. Should we now accommodate those who want to marry their pets or young children in our rush to "end discrimination"?
Society's norms (natural laws if you will) are the time tested best ways to protect and insure human survival. Marriage (between a man and a woman) and the family unit are the most important building blocks of civilization. Without these building blocks human beings fail to create viable generations to succeed them and civilizations die off. No culture or civiliation that has survived down through the centuries promotes same sex marriage.

Posted by Wow, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 4, 2008 at 9:20 pm

PI, what drivel. Your sweeping summary of human history - that's pretty informed and compelling stuff. Do you really live in Palo Alto? That's pretty sad.

May I suggest - just change your name to plain old "Incorrect" and leave it at that.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2008 at 9:58 pm


I respect your views, you are certainly entitled to them. However, I suspect you are a troll.

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

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