same sex marriage

Home » same sex marriage

Obama supports marriage equality

It is kind of sad that the President announces his support for marriage equality after the North Carolina election. I’m not sure that his support would have changed anything, but it might have. I think that many Blacks who opposed same sex marriage would have thought about the issue a little more deeply. Marriage equality is important. It is another step in the long road toward equality for everyone in this great nation of ours.


Here’s what the President said:

I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

By |2012-05-10T23:51:24-04:00May 10th, 2012|Civil Rights|Comments Off on Obama supports marriage equality

Ending Discrimination (Update)

I’m sorry, but the phobia or contagion that has swept California (and the nation) is completely baffling to me. I don’t understand how you go to the ballot box and say we should discriminate against this class of people. I do understand from a religious standpoint that some religious institutions would not want to marry gay couples. That’s fine. On the other hand, from a state standpoint, the state should not be in the business of institutionalizing discrimination.

Court Decision.

From Balkinization:

The following appears today (in slightly edited form) on the New York Times Subject to Debate website, along with contributions from Kenji Yoshino and Eugene Volokh:

Today’s federal district court decision striking down California’s same-sex marriage ban may or may not be upheld on appeal. But it shows why it matters what district courts do, even though the Supreme Court will have the last word. That Court may uphold state bans on same-sex marriage, but the district court’s opinion will make that harder to do.

District Judge Vaughn Walker turned in a virtuoso performance, taking the obvious weaknesses of his position as author of an opinion that was sure to be appealed, and turning them into strengths.

District court conclusions of law always get examined anew by the appeals courts, first the federal Courts of Appeals and, if it can be persuaded to take the case, the Supreme Court. There’s no reason to feel confident that there are five votes on the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the United States. (When I try to count the votes of which I’m sure, I have trouble getting to one.) District courts do, however, get to find facts. And appellate courts, because they don’t get to see the witnesses and assess their credibility, are supposed to accept the facts as the trial court found them.

So if the Supreme Court reverses the district court’s decision that same-sex couples have a right to marry, it will have to do it in the teeth of Walker’s factual findings that same-sex marriage is good for gay people and the children they raise (one out of five same-sex couples in California are raising children), that there are no discernible differences between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, that “domestic partnerships” offer fewer benefits than marriage and irrationally stigmatize same-sex relationships as inferior, that recognition of same-sex couples’ right to marry does no detectable harm to heterosexual marriages, and that the campaign for Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in California, relied on prejudice and vicious antigay stereotypes, such as the idea that gay people are dangerous to children.

Judge Walker carefully avoided resting his holding on any controversial proposition of law, such as the idea that gay people should be regarded as a specially protected minority under the Fourteenth Amendment. Instead, he relied on law already laid down by the Supreme Court. He held that Proposition 8 lacked a rational basis, because the “facts” that were invoked in its defense were manifestly false. His job was made easier by the remarkable incompetence of Proposition 8’s defenders in managing their listed expert witnesses, most of whom never testified at all. An appeals court that wants to ignore his findings of fact – something that can be done only if the trial court’s findings are plainly erroneous – will find very little support in the record.

The Supreme Court gets to say what the law is. But it has to accompany its judgment with a reasoned opinion. I don’t envy the judge who has to write the opinion overturning Walker’s decision, while treating these findings of fact with the deference that is normally appropriate for appeals courts.

By |2010-08-05T07:25:37-04:00August 5th, 2010|Civil Rights|Comments Off on Ending Discrimination (Update)

Equality rules…for now

A Bush appointed judge disappoints conservatives by applying the law.  Gays and lesbians can marry, at least for now. I’m very confused as to why this is a big deal in our country.

From the Ruling:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

From the LA Times:

A federal judge declared California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional Wednesday, saying that no legitimate state interest justified treating gay and lesbian couples differently from others and that “moral disapproval” was not enough to save the voter-passed Proposition 8.

California “has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions,” U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker said in his 136-page ruling.

The ruling was the first in the country to strike down a marriage ban on federal constitutional grounds. Previous cases have cited state constitutions.

Lawyers on both sides expect the ruling to be appealed and ultimately reach the U.S. Supreme Court during the next few years.

It is unclear whether California will conduct any same-sex weddings during that time. Walker stayed his ruling at least until Friday, when he will hold another hearing.

In striking down Proposition 8, Walker said the ban violated the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and of due process.

By |2010-08-04T22:45:25-04:00August 4th, 2010|Civil Rights|Comments Off on Equality rules…for now
Go to Top