Posts Tagged: Prop 8

Aug 10


California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

The positioning around Judge Walker’s over-turning of Prop 8 is making for high drama indeed!

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown have both asked that gay marriages resume immediately, as Judge Walker originally ruled (but then paused over). This is in addition to both of them refusing to defend Prop 8 in the original court case, even though nominally they must defend the Californian constitution.  (There is a lesson for Obama in that – he could just refuse to defend the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] in court to if his administration so chose).

So … all the appeals have now started but guess what … they can’t go anywhere.  Why?  Because on my understanding – if Brown and Schwarzenegger (or their successors after November’s elections) refuse to defend Prop 8 in court then the Supreme Court will refuse to hear the case (because there will only be one side in the case).  Equality haters can’t randomly appeal to the high court if both the plaintiffs (gay couples) and the defendants (the state of California) agree there is no case.

So be patient – we are going to win this in the end. Continue reading →

Aug 10


american lawyer christopher Wolf

Here a lawyer called Christopher Wolf explains on CNN why granting equality to Californians adds meaning to his own marriage.

Aug 10


When Rachel Maddow is good, she’s actually great.  Here she is on the now long pattern of anti-equality court witnesses who lack credibility.  Yet again in the Prop 8 case our opponents have been labelled as unfit and unreliable witnesses.

There arguments just do not stand up to the high standards set by courts for giving evidence.

Aug 10


Amazing news from California where the Federal Court has ruled that the ban on gay marriage in California cannot withstand any scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause of the United States constitution.

Excerpts from the federal court decision that found Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution. 
Lovely photos here of the reaction to the news.

Great line from LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: “the court has affirmed that love doesn’t discriminate.”  This from Lady Gaga on Twitter: “At the moments notice of PROP 8 DEATH I instantly began to write music. … THIS IS JUST THE BEGININNG!”

The state has no interest, according to the judgement, in disadvantaging selected groups.  Private moral views do not count as a basis for legal restraints on couples.

Most importantly the fact that voters rejected the right to marriage equality is irrelevant because:  “fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote.” Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals!


Jul 10


elena kagan

I try not to get bogged down in the intracacies of internal American and Australian politics here (my natural home of thought), but sometimes it is too relevant and too hard to resist.

So, here is a piece by the excellent Jonathan Rauch, who previously published “Gay Marriage: why it’s good for straights, good for gays, and good for America.”

The piece outlines the challenges both marriage debaters and the various levels of the American courts will face in dealing with Prop 8 (Perry vs Schwarzenegger)  and other cases that will circulate in the next few years … and explains how Supreme Court nominee may have just winked at the way forward in her nomination hearing in Washington.

Jun 10


Chopra by Adam Bouska

Moral Hazard is the best argument I’ve heard against the idea of letting the public vote on marriage rights. Deepak Chopra puts it brilliantly here.

In essence – moral hazard occurs when you can take a risk but never have to face the consequences if it goes wrong. Just as bankers should not be allowed to gamble with the money of others without risking their own rewards, the public should not be able to vote on taking away gay marriage rights without risking their own rights.  That is obviously not how a referendum on gay marriage is ever worded, and this shows us how illegitimate and harmful such votes are.

I’ve changed my mind.  I no longer have any respect for a vote that takes away a fundamental civil right for arbitrary reasons. That is not democracy in action, it’s moral hazard in action.

Jun 10


Here is a great excerpt from Ted Olson, as reported by Rex Wockner, closing the case in California to have the anti-gay marriage Prop 8 referendum outlawed because it is unconsitutional to take away marriage rights. This is classy and clever and brave for a conservative to argue …

Continue reading →

Jun 10


A new documentary out this week – The Mormon Proposition – shows the Mormon church in a close race with the Catholic establishment to determine who hates the idea of equal loving relationships most.

And you also learn about those like Linda Stay (see video) with courage to leave a community they love to stand up for the values and the children they love more.

New York Times review of the film here.

Jun 10


a poster from the 2008 referendum

live transcriptions here of closing arguments in trail seeking to overturn California’s gay marriage ban. If you want to learn the definition of asshole, it is in the ban’s sponsors not just seeking to keep the referendum result in place, but actually asking for the 18,000 legal same sex marriages to be INVALIDATED by revoking state recognition of them.

I promised this blog would be fun and nice, but unfortunately there are times when an asshole is just an asshole. Step up to the plate, Prop 8 backers who, says their attorney Andrew Pugno,  aren’t asking Judge Vaughn Walker to nullify the 18,000 marriages, but only to rule that government agencies, courts and businesses no longer have to recognize the couples as married…. and the difference is what exactly?

Alicia Keys latest big name to show support for equality, by the way: she posted a message on Twitter today saying, “Join the fight to strike down #Prop8 @AmerEqualRights.”

Jun 10


Photo by David Yellen

I love these guys – both the layers and the bloggers who make sure we are informed of every step forward, sideways and backwards in regards to the attempt to have the California’s Prop 8 referendum overturned because it is unconstitutional.

Leading the good side is David Boies who noted on a conference call this week, that in addition to the defendants of inequality objectively performing poorly in the trial (“They didn’t fail because they’re bad lawyers, they failed because there isn’t any evidence to support the argument they’re advocating”), he says that the trial record demonstrates as “a matter of fact” that there is no harm to heterosexual marriage from permitting gay men and lesbians to marry.

We get the judge’s ruling in the next week.