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9th Circuit rules state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

Original post made on Feb 7, 2012

A federal appeals court in San Francisco today ruled that Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 1:06 PM

Comments (23)

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I believe that marriage should only be performed by a priest; and therefore, does not fall under our constitution.

Posted by California Voter , a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm

This is just another deviation from the will of the people. I use to think the voting majority was the ultimate decision. Today it's whatever judge they can find to overrule the will of the people.

The Supreme Court can rule whatever they want but the will of the people should override any judge or group of judges. If not why didn't the judges rule it is unconstitutional before it was to be placed on a ballot? This is another example of pure government waste of tax dollars.

Understand that my comment is not about marriage at all. It's about the amount of waste our nonfunctional government spends frivolously. The public money used on this could have funded many school districts throughout the state. If a mandate to be voted by the people is sent out to the voters it should have already been tested for constitutionality.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Yes, if only the will of the people could override the heinous decision to call corporations "people".

Posted by William, a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 6:30 am

the framers of our constitution framed it for situations just like this. They made doors that must be opened to make certain changes. A judge currently cannot make a ruing that is unconstitutional nor can the citizenry make a decision that runs counter to the constitution without changing the constitution. These were put in place to prevent a narrow minded right wing wing group from hijacking our most trusted document without going through the proper channels something that just irks them to no avail.

Posted by Lili, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 8, 2012 at 8:19 am

Marie- What about non-Catholics? May they marry too?

I'm so glad equality for all overcame religious views, which have no place in our government.

Want religion in government? The Taliban would be happy to have you.

Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 8:30 am

If one judge on that panel changed his mind, it could have been ruled constitutional. Too close for comfort.

Should be interesting to see how the Supreme Court will rule. They're pretty evenly split along ideological lines, so it will all come down to whether Justice Kennedy thinks it is constitutional or not.

Incredible that one guy has that much power.

Posted by Unlikely, a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 9:00 am

Spcwt - I doubt the Supreme Court will ever hear this case. The way the 9th Circuit ruled the decision only impacts CA - no other states are affected. Given the volume of cases that are appealed to the Supreme Court they usually like to take cases that have a more broad impact. The decision will undoubtedly give the 9th's version of en banc. Who knows who could wind up on that panel...

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 9:25 am

To: Lili

Here is the definition for priest stating at Web Link
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.
Priests and priestesses have been known since the earliest of times and in the simplest societies. They exist in all or some branches of Judaism, Christianity, Shintoism, Hinduism and many other religions. They are generally regarded as having positive contact with the deity or deities of the religion to which they subscribe, often interpreting the meaning of events and performing the rituals of the religion. Priests are leaders to whom other believers will often turn for advice on spiritual matters.

Posted by Lili, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 8, 2012 at 10:04 am

Marie- I know what a priest is! My point meant to encompass all people, including atheists. Would you allow them to marry?

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 10:54 am

To Lili: Like I said, my opinion is that marriage should only be performed by a priest. Marriage is a contract between one man, one women, and God. If the government wants to get involved and make things equal, then they should to call it something else because they do not represent God.

This is not about equal rights. I am all for that. This is about religion.

BTW: does anyone know the real history of when the government got involved in marriage?

Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Marie, I am in sympathy with your points, although I would disagree that your point is about either equal rights or religion - it's about semantics. In modern America being legally designated as being "married" carried with it specific, concrete legal rights. Giving those rights to some and not others is the equal protection issue.

California Voter: People said the same thing when the California Supreme Court invalidated Prop. 14 which authorized racial discrimination in housing, enacted by the voters in the '63, on the same grounds.

It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it.

Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm

The ruling grants no legal right other than the right to use the term "marriage" to describe a same-sex union.

There's still a long way to go before everyone is given equal protection under the law.

Posted by Lisa, a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Love it!

Posted by Call it what you want, a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2012 at 5:53 am

Sexual perversion is legal in this country, therefore sexual perverts have the constitutional right to join together, if you want to call it marriage, fine.

Posted by Citizen Paine, a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2012 at 6:52 am

@ Call it: you have a right to privacy, so nobody could force you to answer this (as do gay people -- whatta country!), but why are you so fascinated with the mechanics of sexual expression? It's really just a small part of people's lives, gay or straight. I've heard it said that it's like oxygen -- it's only really critical if you aren't getting any. It also has little to do with the marriage issue.

But since we're on the subject, we're all equipped with the accessories needed to perform those "perversions" if-I-know-what-you-mean, and-I-think-that-I-do. If the stats are right, and gays represent maybe 5% of the population, which group do you suppose commits more of those acts -- the 5% or the 95%?

Posted by Triumph of the Will, a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

California Voter is right!

The will of the people should always triumph over judges and the law today, just as it should have back when the will of the people was that blacks should be slaves, women shouldn't vote, Indians shouldn't vote, blacks shouldn't vote, blacks shouldn't do pretty much anything white people did in public, the Chinese shouldn't immigrate to the USA, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.

Because obviously prevailing social attitudes NEVER change in this country.

Down with the courts!

Posted by Diane, a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm

@Call it - no one is saying that a sexual act (perverted by your standards or not) constitutes a marriage. Marriage refers to a committed relationship, not a fling (in spite of many hetero couples who seem to be serial marriage aficionados). Citizen paine is right on target - your focus on the bedroom makes one questions your motives. How are you negatively affected if same sex individuals are allowed to marry?

I'm elated that this hateful proposition is finally on its way out.

Posted by Douglas, a resident of Blackhawk
on Feb 10, 2012 at 6:40 am

So sad that California is turning into Soddom and Gomorrah. I am sure when God gave us free will, he hoped we would make better use of it than repeating our sick sins of the past, but we know where all of these people will end up in the end...

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 10, 2012 at 7:05 am

@ Douglas: Divorce Court? Utah? Don't leave us hangin' man!

Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Feb 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm

People wrongly assume that this case was about the substantive rights that go with marriage. This case was about using the marriage label only. No other rights were at stake. Just the label.

All people should be free to marry whomever they want and have all the civil liberties that go with marriage. They should be free to call their unions "marriage" if they want. People should respect that choice. I've yet to hear a rational argument to the contrary.

But let me play devil's advocate. Why is the use of the "marriage" label a civil right? People say that without the marriage label, there's inequality. But isn't that like a non-white person saying that the only way to have equality is if they can legally be labeled white? Or a woman saying that the only way for her to attain equality is if she can legally call herself a man?

Sweden recently removed the term "marriage" from their civil code. They have a new gender-neutral term that applies to all unions, whether gay or straight. Are all Swedes now deprived of their civil rights, since legally they can no longer use the marriage label?

The injustice, of course, is that denying the marriage label to gays only is a violation of the Equal Protection clause. But it would seem that the right to use the marriage label, in and of itself, is not a civil right.

I'm not trying to make light of the plight of gays. They have it tough, even in the Bay Area. And I recognize that despite the equality granted under California law, there's still a lot of work to be done before there is true equality, particularly at the federal level.

Posted by Diane, a resident of Danville
on Feb 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm

@spcwt, I'm good with civil unions (or the equivalent) as the standard rather than marriage, provided this is the term used across the board regardless of the gender of the individuals in question.

@cardinal - you crack me up! Thanks for the comedic relief...

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 11, 2012 at 7:54 am

Does anyone know what they did in Gomorrah?

I'm familiar with the Sodom story -- Lot looking for 10 honest men, and offering up his daughters to the ruffians who wanted to meet his accompanying angels; Ruth turning to a pillar of salt, etc. -- but what did those dissolute Gomorrahans do: institute universal health care or something?


Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Feb 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

... Bueller?

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