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Defending Prop 8: Someone’s Got To Do It

A look at the past week.

— The continuing saga of Proposition 8 took the public stage early this week as we got to actually see televised arguments before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It was exciting to hear the courtroom debate over the meat of the gay marriage issue. But I paid the greatest attention to arguments about a procedural issue called “standing.”

You probably know that California voters, who outlawed gay marriage by passing Prop 8, are being represented by lawyers from a conservative coalition called Protect Marriage. Voters are not being represented by Attorney General Jerry Brown or Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger because neither of them wanted to defend the proposition.

The problem with this, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys, is that Protect Marriage is not named in the lawsuit, it would suffer no direct harm from striking down Prop 8, it has no legal standing in the case and therefore it cannot represent voters.

That may or may not be true. Defense attorneys told the court panel that precedent allows proponents of ballot measures to take up legal challenges “in lieu” of state officials. I’ll only say that if Brown and Schwarzenegger won’t defend Prop 8, somebody’s got to do it.

The refusal of Jerry Brown to represent voters in this case illustrates the problem with electing partisan politicians to act as the state’s top attorney. Brown’s decision’s was clearly troubling to the appellate court judges who heard the case this week. One of them pointed out the attorney general “has a duty to defend all causes to which the state is a party.”

Jerry Brown's successor in the A.G.'s office, incedentally, has also said she won't defend Proposition 8.

One judge said the governor’s refusal to defend Prop 8 was, in essence, a veto. Governors can do that with legislation but they have never been able to veto propositions that are passed by voters. Yet, if the 9th circuit says Protect Marriage has no standing – and they reject Imperial County’s effort to intervene in the case – it’s possible that Prop 8 could be overturned on a legal technicality that acts like a veto.

I can imagine a lot of people would cheer that development. But they shouldn’t, because Brown and Schwarzenegger may be canceling the votes of millions of people on an issue that Californians are very passionate about.

And if you think the only people who voted for Proposition 8 were wealthy Mormons, remember what we learned from post-election polls in 2008. Exit polls showed that 70 percent of black voters supported Prop 8. A poll by the Public Policy Institute (PPI), about a month after the election, showed 61 percent of Latinos said they supported Proposition 8. PPI President Mark Baldassare said income and education levels were the most decisive factors determining who supported Prop 8, with low-income people supporting it and higher-income people voting against it.

In other words, by refusing to represent Prop-8 supporters in court, the governor and the attorney general are disenfranchising blacks, Latinos and the poor.

If Proposition 8 is struck down on the issue of standing, this case is unlikely to become a precedent with national repercussions for other states that have limited marriage to heterosexual couples. USD law professor Miranda McGowan points out the finding that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, under federal law, was made by only one federal district court judge. Vaughn Walker.

But I’m hoping this case will be decided on its merits. The voters of California deserve legal representation, and it’s time for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the very hot topic of gay marriage.

Comments

Avatar for user 'fromrooftop'

fromrooftop | December 10, 2010 at 10:14 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Don't hold your breath for any California court or politician to stand up for Prop 8; and the majority of people in California who still hold to traditional values and morals have themselves largely to blame. Laziness and apathy towards the homosexual onslaught the last decade or so has allowed the radical gay leftists to sieze the reigns and begin stifiling the will of the people and set a course for increasing liberalism and depravity. People better start to wake up and take a proactive stand, or this will be just the tip of the iceburg.

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Avatar for user 'shadow_man'

shadow_man | December 10, 2010 at 10:32 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

fromrooftop: Lol, you conservatives are funny. The "will of the people" argument only applies if it benefits you. Let's examine what just happened to "don't ask don't tell." Majority of Americans have proven to support repeal, with all polls showing 50-75% support. Majority of military people support repeal, with the military poll showing over 60% support. Majority of our government supports repeal (Senate vote 50+ vs 40). Yet republicans filibuster the repeal of "don't ask don't tell" going against the will of the people. What happened to that argument now?

Oh yeah, Republicans prove that it only applies for them. It also proves that they never really cared about the "will of the people", they only care about their anti-gay agenda. Stop falling for anti-gay tricks, and start taking a stand. Don't let these people tell you how to vote or run your life. And don't let these people keep tricking you and lying to you to advance their agenda.

My organization is working to expose all of your lies and bigotry. And as past history of civil rights shows, bigotry never wins in the end.

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Avatar for user 'ryu_kage'

ryu_kage | December 10, 2010 at 10:34 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

fromrooftop, are you for real?

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Avatar for user 'TomWins'

TomWins | December 10, 2010 at 11:53 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe you actually said, "In other words, by refusing to represent Prop-8 supporters in court, the governor and the attorney general are disenfranchising blacks, Latinos and the poor."

Just because someone got to vote a bigoted, discriminatory measure into law doesn't mean it is valid, right, or consitutional. Prop 8 is getting it's day in court, no one is being hurt by the Governor or Attorney General's refusal to defend it.

You apparently don't understand that Prop 8's intention is to disenfranchise gay and lesbian couples. The Governor and Attorney General understand this and therefore are refusing to defend the discrimination.

Prop 8 was passed by lies and misinformation in a massive campaign orchestrated and funded by those with an ultra-conservative religious agenda. The court hearing is bearing out that their agenda is not based in fact; science; or what is best for children, families, or couples. The so-called expects and science Prop 8 supporters have presented in this case are jokes.

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Avatar for user 'FlexSF'

FlexSF | December 10, 2010 at 11:56 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

I hope the proponents of prop 8 are allowed to appeal indeed. Their hoary arguments are worthy of spectacular ridicule. "Proposition 8 promotes procreation." What a joke! Not only did Ted Olson show that this fake argument was not published on the Yes on 8 literature, but he showed that the Yes on 8 folks used children as their shields to repeal marriage equality in California. He proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is no rational reason to uphold proposition 8.

If the 9th circuit judges are reading this, please allow the case to proceed because the Yes on 8's arguments to defend proposition 8 are absolute ridiculous!

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Avatar for user 'MarcoLuxe'

MarcoLuxe | December 10, 2010 at 12:56 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

First, the AG is elected to exercise legal discretion and wisdom in marshalling the limited resources of the office. The AG used constitutional analysis to reject the tyranny of the [bare] majority who voted for Prop 8 under the influence of scare tactics and manipulative propaganda. In addition, the CA Supreme Court rejected the anti-gay nonsense twice [In Re Marriage, and Strauss] stating that under the CA constitution, same-sex couples must have all the substantive rights of marriage [although they did revive from the discredited "separate but equal" doctrine from the 1896 Plessey decision. For this, they have been rebuked as cowards, more concerned with their jobs than justice, thanks them being subjected to judicial retention votes.] The fed district court in Perry also found no rational basis to support the ginned-up rationales of Prop 8. Federal judges have the courage that a lifetime appointment bolsters.

Standing is not just a technicality. It is a prohibition on federal courts from interfering in politics and issuing advisory opinions for outsiders-to-the-claim - such as those who want to interfere on political or ideological reasons. Allowing these extraneous parties would invite what conservatives are so fond of calling judicial activism [except for here, of course].

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Avatar for user 'fromrooftop'

fromrooftop | December 10, 2010 at 1:46 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Just got back. We could debate all the "political stuff" regarding Prop 8 all day long. Bottom line about homosexuality and the gay lifestyle is that virtually all, ALL scientific studies reveal the detrimental effects the Gay lifestyle has in regards to promiscuity, abuse, disease and mortality. The Family Research Institute is a good start and only the tip of the factual iceburg. Public opinion polls and the such are worthless and commonly used by Gay supporters to try and make everything look copacetic. Look at the real SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH regarding what the lifestyle produces/causes. How anyone, let alone a society could support it is ridiculous. This seems to be what is being rammed down our throats though, and we will all suffer the consequences, just as Rome did and other homosexual embracing societies in the world today.

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Avatar for user 'ryu_kage'

ryu_kage | December 10, 2010 at 1:47 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

fromrooftop,You still didn't answered my question.

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Avatar for user 'fromrooftop'

fromrooftop | December 10, 2010 at 2:18 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Very funny. Of course. You sound like you have made up your mind about certain issues and the related facts and falsehoods and can only come up with a cute quip. I don't waste my time with the such. I use my time and resources to spread and support the truth. That hopefully will continue to rescue many from what they are entrenched in and many more who blindly support such a destructive lifestyle. Take care.

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Avatar for user 'ryu_kage'

ryu_kage | December 10, 2010 at 2:27 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

fromrooftop,You prove my point that you're not for real.

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Avatar for user 'Tom Fudge'

Tom Fudge, KPBS Staff | December 10, 2010 at 3:07 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Good to see so many comments! Let me respond to some. Whether standing is a technicality is a matter of opinion. My point was that it doesn't answer the question at the heart of this issue: Is there a rational reason to allow the law to discriminate between same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Another point: It's not the job of the Attorney General to decide whether Prop 8 is constitutional. That's the job of the courts. The AG's job is to represent the voters of California. Yes, he has to set priorities, but if the court battle over gay marriage isn't a high priority, I don't know what is. Also, allowing the AG and the governor to choose which propositions they will defend is a slippery slope if I've every seen one. As the judge on the panel said, it's like giving them veto power over the initiative system. All opponents of an approved proposition would have to do is challenge it in court. If the AG and the governor choose not to defend it, it doesn't become law for lack of a legal advocate. You can't do that if California is to maintain a viable initiative system.

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Avatar for user 'FlexSF'

FlexSF | December 10, 2010 at 5:07 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Fromrooftop, your "SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH," [sic] has been debunked, and trashed at the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, sit back and watch us tear the limbs off of proposition 8, because you can't do anything about it!

Get a life, or get a wife!

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Avatar for user 'Kelsie'

Kelsie | December 10, 2010 at 5:28 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Tom Fudge, you state, "If the court battle over gay marriage isn't a high priority, I don't know what is." Well, that's a melodramatic outlook based on.....what? No harm comes to anyone, and a great deal of good comes to many, if Prop 8 doesn't stand. You must not have been following its process through the courts up to now, if you don't understand that a great deal of money and effort has been put into arguing in it's favor, with no rational reason having emerged to support it. How, then, do you characterize it as a high priority? Or is it that the melodramatic cliche reveals your protesting too much?. While it stands, a great deal of harm is coming to many, as well as the fact of the majority voting down the rights of the minority continuing to stand. The tide of harm is maintained while Prop 8 stands, that is what is behind the decision by the Governor, AG, and incoming AG not to defend it. And rightly so.

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Avatar for user 'plop8'

plop8 | December 10, 2010 at 7:20 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

California voters just voted in a Governor and Attorney General (Brown/Harris) that emphatically promised NEVER to appeal. Why nullify THAT vote?

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Avatar for user 'MikeGC'

MikeGC | December 10, 2010 at 7:47 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Tom, I agree. The voters of California were not well served at all by their attorney general and governor's refusal to defend Prop 8. As a matter of principle, they attained their offices by a majority vote, so you so you think that they would not have such a cavalier disregard for the voters' expressed will. The apparent collusion between governor, attorney general, and judge does not look good at all.

Also, one has to wonder why the parties had standing for the trial, but did not have standing for any appeal that follows. That is very strange. Judge Walker has his show trial, then tells Prop 8 defenders, "Oh, by the way, you probably don't have any standing for the appeal process."

Well, then, why did he let them have standing for the trial? Was that so he could deliver his "magnum opus" decision just before retiring?

Ironically, Brown and Schwarzenegger may have messed things up for the gays by not defending Prop 8. It appears that Boies and Olson did not certify the case as a class action, because they did not expect to be unopposed. Therefore, according to the 9th Circuit's own precedent, it may well be that the only ones affected by a favorable ruling for the plaintiffs will be the plaintiffs themselves.

If you Google Vikram David Amar and Prop 8, you will get an excellent analysis of different ways Prop 8 could go on FindLaw.com. Vikram is Professor of Law at the UCLA Davis School of Law. He also voted against Prop 8, so I think his analysis is about as objective and accurate as any that can be found on the internet.

Bottom line, gays who want Prop 8 tossed had better hope it doesn't go to the Supreme Court.

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Avatar for user 'Tony'

Tony | December 10, 2010 at 7:54 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

If you had listened a little more closely to the argumentation beyond the standing issue, it would be clear why Schwarzenegger and Brown chose not to defend Prop 8. The lawyers for Protect Marriage struggled to present any comprehensible purpose for Prop 8. It appeared that most of the judges' questions were in fact rephrasing of the lawyer's awkward wording into something that was even remotely comprehensible. The only slightly appealing point was the fact that Judge Walker's decision was overturning "the will of the people." However, it was clear that Prop 8 itself was absurd legislation meant to appeal to fear, prejudice and ignorance.

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Avatar for user 'thomasryanalex'

thomasryanalex | December 10, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

@fromrooftop

You are a complete idiot, and extremely uneducated if you believe what FRC says. Their info is based on bias and opinion, not fact. Ask any English professor, FRC is not a credible source.

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Avatar for user 'Virilene'

Virilene | December 10, 2010 at 10:28 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

It's very revealing about a person's mentality when they are more concerned about maintaining the 'procedures' of California's wacked-out, out-of-control initiative system than about protecting the civil rights of California's citizens. How can it be disturbing that the Governor and the AG decline to defend an unconstitutional law? Here's what a rational person should be more concerned about: Putting people's civil rights to a vote. I find THAT very disturbing.

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Avatar for user 'shadow_man'

shadow_man | December 10, 2010 at 11:43 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

For those of you claiming homosexuality is a "lifestyle", that is a false and ignorant statement. Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don't choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
http://www.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
http://www.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2008/06/16/172/

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Avatar for user 'shadow_man'

shadow_man | December 10, 2010 at 11:43 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

And it should also be noted that:
"It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association."

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Avatar for user 'shadow_man'

shadow_man | December 10, 2010 at 11:44 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

America's premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

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Avatar for user 'shadow_man'

shadow_man | December 10, 2010 at 11:44 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don't feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren't human.

"I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if "Gays" have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate "(Legal Document)" of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. "

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Avatar for user 'shadow_man'

shadow_man | December 10, 2010 at 11:44 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers state:

"There is no scientific basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with respect to the legal rights, obligations, benefits, and burdens conferred by civil marriage."

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/documents/Amer_Psychological_Assn_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf

Thus, mental health professionals and researchers have long recognized that being homosexual poses no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life, and that the vast majority of gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships.

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/documents/Amer_Psychological_Assn_Amicus_Curiae_Brief.pdf

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Avatar for user 'shadow_man'

shadow_man | December 10, 2010 at 11:44 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

The research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality.

http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf

The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.

http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx

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Avatar for user 'Tom Fudge'

Tom Fudge, KPBS Staff | December 11, 2010 at 8:42 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

MikeGC: Thanks for the link to Vik Amar's analysis. I've spoken with him a couple of time in the past and he's a very smart guy. Thomasryanalex: Keep it civil! Name calling is not something we tolerate in the KPBS blogosphere.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 11, 2010 at 3:47 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

tisan politicians to act as the state’s top attorney. Brown’s decision’s was clearly troubling to the appellate court judges who heard the case this week. One of them pointed out the attorney general “has a duty to defend all causes to which the state is a party.”
Right on target, Mr. Fudge. This MUST change. The AG should be nonpartisan. (How very funny that both Brown and Harris opposed Prop 19, by the way!)
You make another excellent point that people simply don't know or pretend to forget, it is certainly more than just "wealthy Mormons" who voted for Prop 8. Secular and nonsecular people voted for it: pro-Obama African-Americans, Latinos, Roman Catholics, and evangelical Protestants. Anti-8 militants want to have you believe that it is only "religiuos types" who voted for it. They will also be chagrin to know that this deist voted for Prop 8 and FOR Prop 19. Andrew Sullivan, who is gay himself, calls the militants "fascist gays." I call them straightjacket ideologues. It comes down to the fact that we have extremists on BOTH sides of this issues and we must reach some rational agreement.

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Avatar for user 'Alessandra'

Alessandra | December 12, 2010 at 6:45 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

we never see any homosexuality zealot in these Internet discussions (and
similar ones outside the Internet) take the initiative to inform anyone about any problem concerning homosexuals or bisexuals as perpetrators of aggression or violence. Either the homosexuality zealots outright lie, or they lie by omission, or they trivialize any related issues or data. And specially if the question involves heterosexuals or minors as victims, then the propaganda machine goes into full gear.

In particular, on the narrower subject of SSM (and not just any other behavior
concerning homosexuals), I have never seen any proponent of SSM take the initiative to inform people that homosexuals shun marriage like the plague in countries where SSM has been legalized. It is another way homosexuality zealots lie by omission concerning problems with homosexuals, thus showing their dishonesty. Since the reasons for this marriage shunning involve dysfunctional attitudes found in a good number of homosexuals, the propaganda is put into to place to conceal reality.
There is a good amount of qualitative data on why homosexuals shun marriage. If taken to heart, marriage is incompatible with promiscuity, and non-committed or perverse and exploitative attitudes in personal relationships and sexuality. And that is incompatible with the psychological make-up of a great number of people with a homosexual problem. (Certainly not only a problem concerning homosexuals, but surely a major problem with this population).

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Avatar for user 'Alessandra'

Alessandra | December 12, 2010 at 6:46 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

What I observe is a highly ridiculous situation. While we have a society full of homosexuals with damaging views and behaviors concerning relationships/marriages and sexuality, all of this is largely ignored or lied about, and endless energy and time is spent on the question of legalizing or not SSM.
Not that the latter is a trivial question or one without profound consequences. However in light of all the cowardice to deal with exploitation and violence issues involving non-heterosexuals as perpetrators, it does reflect a larger dishonesty dynamics in the current panorama of American culture, which is in itself part of a larger denial problem to deal with such
issues involving heterosexual perpetrators.

Homosexual propaganda fits like a glove in any highly violent and irresponsible society like the US that has endemic and epidemic sexuality and personal relationship issues.

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Avatar for user 'ryu_kage'

ryu_kage | December 12, 2010 at 8:41 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Alessandra,What about Heterosexuals that shun marriage too?

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Avatar for user 'Tom Fudge'

Tom Fudge, KPBS Staff | December 13, 2010 at 8:41 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Alessandra...you make a mistake when you draw parallels between homosexuality and violence. (That seems to be your point). Lots of violence among heterosexuals and, as the previous commenter points out, lots of them shun marriage as well. And if gays and lesbians shun marriage, why have they put gay marriage at the center of their political agenda? The issue here is not the morality of homosexuality, it's the meaning of marriage.

[THIS COMMENT WAS EDITED 12:05 p.m. 12/13/10]

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Avatar for user 'Kelsie'

Kelsie | December 14, 2010 at 5:38 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Tom Fudge...I guess you're seeing something I'm not, because I still don't see where anyone is harmed by the term 'marriage' being used to refer to same sex couples. I see your point that that the Governor and AG are failing the voters when they don't defend Prop 8; though I don't agree with it, since they were elected to make choices and that's what they've legally done - and because Prop 8 was an opinion poll allowing tyrrany of the majority over the minority. But in any case, could you tell us who is harmed by using the term 'marriage' in legal documents, in reference to same sex couples? I ask because your position is that this issue is so urgent and momentous. Why do you think it is? Who is harmed by it? Thanks in advance for answering this question.

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Avatar for user 'Tom Fudge'

Tom Fudge, KPBS Staff | December 14, 2010 at 10 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

I think "harm" in this case becomes a legal term of art, so I'm reluctant to define it since I am NOT a lawyer. But I think the harm we're talking about in this lawsuit is done to the state of California, and by association the voters of California, who are harmed when the laws they pass are not upheld. This is why the plaintiffs claim that Protect Marriage has suffered no harm and has no standing. As to harm in the larger sense, it all depends on your point of view. People who are in favor of gay marriage say same-sex couples are harmed by not being allowed to marry. Opponents say they suffer no harm because they can continue to register as domestic partners, receiving the same rights and privileges under state law that married couples get. That's the problem with the gay marriage debate. We all see different realities and never the twain shall meet.

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Avatar for user 'reasontrumpsignorance'

reasontrumpsignorance | December 14, 2010 at 1:57 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Tom, I think your comment about "different realities" is quite interesting. That is frequently a tactic used by people when they are unable to defend their position in a debate. The reason "never the twain shall meet" is oftentimes because one party is reluctant to admit when they have flawed logic, despite that being very succinctly drawn out for them by the other side. "I can't beat your argument so we'll just agree to disagree. That way I can save face." This tactic is most often employed when it comes to discussions that involve prejudices towards other people. Point is, you did not answer Kelsie's question with good rationale.

How are the voters of California DIRECTLY harmed by THIS ballot initiative not being upheld? Your personal point of view doesn't matter in the court of law. You have to present TANGIBLE evidence. This is also a challenge that vexed the attorney for Prop 8 in court. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs were able to show very concrete evidence of how passing this initiative did cause them, and others like them, direct harm.

Our elected officials are not there to make sure that they cater to every whim of the majority. They are also expected to employ common sense in their decision making processes. They are expected to rise above lynch mob mentality and work for the greater good of ALL Californians, not just those who decided to show up in greater numbers on election day.

Would you also advocate that the Governor and AG be required to represent in court parties that successfully put reinstitution of segregation to a vote of the people? That is a question that Hawkins had for Cooper. Maybe you can answer that question better than he did.

At any rate, California is in a budget crisis. We have elected officials who we expect to use their good judgement and figure out a way to spend our limited state funds with frugality. Is it really in the best interest of ALL Californians for our state government to spend millions of dollars on a legal pursuit that has already been determined to be unconstitutional by a state supreme court (1st time around) and by (most recently) a federal district court? This question becomes even more poignant when the issue of harm is broached. If there is no harm done to the proponents, then their reason for pursuing this issue appears to be one of animus. I can think of many, many better ways to spend our limited state funds that will benefit the majority of the people of this state., not just the ones who cast votes in November.

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Avatar for user 'myearth'

myearth | December 15, 2010 at 11:01 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

This debate would be a lot more meaningful if it were argued from the general case, should the attorney general of California be required to defend all initiatives passed by the people of the state? Does current law require it? If not, what exceptions ought there be? Judges will decide that. If the state is not required to defend all initiatives, then those who believe it should can a) lobby their legislators to require it b) get going on an initiative requiring it. In this forum the level of the debate for defending this initiative is mostly "We hate homosexuals or think they are destroying our society, or think they shouldn't have the same rights as the rest of us." I expect that Prop 8 will be struck down because marriage conveys so many legal rights that are difficult or impossible to attain any other way and they are provided to all competent adults with almost no restriction except homosexuals. Does the state have the right to judge all homosexuals as deficient and not worthy of the rights others have? But as to whether California should defend Prop 8, I'm not sure and am interested in hearing what the courts decide on that issue, which I believe is separate from the legality of Prop 8 itself.

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Avatar for user 'captjack'

captjack | December 22, 2010 at 10:09 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Tom I love your shows.
But if anyone thinks that marrying someone of their own sex is wrong, they should not do it. And they should keep their opinions to themselves, and not impose their beliefs on others. When they do, they are in effect saying that their personal beliefs are more valid than everyone else’s. No-one has exactly the same belief system. Their religious views are ONLY valid for themselves alone, and not anyone else, including other people in their church, synagogue, prayer group, etc.
White, hetero, liberal, male, devout non-denominational apathetic

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 22, 2010 at 3:33 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Capt. Jack, looks to me like BOTH extremes do a lot of "imposing." Look at DADT now.

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | December 30, 2010 at 8:19 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

As long as people continue to believe in the fairy tales of the bible and the quran, you are going to have these endless and pointless debates about whether two consenting adults who wish to be recognized as married - should be allowed to do so or not. That's mostly what it all boils down to. Have a nice, not of this world day christians and jihadiis.

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Avatar for user 'dilrod'

dilrod | December 31, 2010 at 9:59 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Proposition * was voted in by the people and should remain in place. All those gay goons and lesbos need to face the truth, they are an abomination.!
Repent now before it's too late you sinners!

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Avatar for user 'dilrod'

dilrod | December 31, 2010 at 10:02 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Soon gays will want to marry animals that they claim are consenting adults because they don't say no. They just smile and that's good enough for them. Fairytale, They only fairytale is your life story.

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Avatar for user 'aldanoli'

aldanoli | December 31, 2010 at 10:38 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Mr. Fudge -- it's easy for the opponents of Prop. 8 (of whom I would count myself) to say that Brown and Schwarzenegger were "right" not to defend it. But I can envision future situations where, e.g., a strong pro-environment or similar proposition gets challenged by a group like the Pacific Legal Foundation (which is to right wing what the ACLU is to the left). California has had attorneys general like George Deukmejian and Dan Lungren, and governors like Deukmejian and Pete Wilson -- it's easy to envision such a governor or A.G. saying that he/she won't defend a liberal proposition like that, and then the same standing argument would prevent, e.g., the Sierra Club or similar group being forbidden to defend the proposition in court. So, as the saying goes -- be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 1, 2011 at 1:16 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Shinsky, if there ever was a case for pot - kettle - black, you are one of the best (?) examples I have seen on this site. But like I've always said, this IS NOT a conservative vs. liberal issue. Gays can be just as ETHNOCENTRIC as heterosexuals.

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Avatar for user 'Tom Fudge'

Tom Fudge, KPBS Staff | January 3, 2011 at 9:47 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Aldanoli-
Glad you agree. I think this is a question that goes to the heart of our system of initiatives and referendums. What Brown and Schwarzenegger have done is undermine the integrity of voter-approved Props. I wouldn't mind if we had a little LESS direct democracy in this state. But if we're using the system it has to be respected and supported.
Dilrod-
Keep it civil! Name-calling is not tolerated in our blogosphere. Please read "Community Discussion Rules" below.

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | January 3, 2011 at 1:28 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Kettle? Black? Typically if you're a very religious person of the monotheist variety you have this "issue" with homosexuality. It was the church (primarily Mormons and Catholics) that dumped the big money into the campaign for Prop 8. It's not unusual for these very devout and supposedly heterosexual types to then be found committing sins of their own - extramarital affairs, drugs, even having homosexual or pedophile type relationships. That's a much better definition of the "Pot, calling the Kettle black." It's really amusing and sad at the same time. What's even more ironic is that Jesus never once spoke out against homosexuality, and even more "queer" is that he never had a wife in a culture where it was deemed very important to do so. Kind of makes you wonder...

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 3, 2011 at 4:24 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

And what say you, Mr. Shinsky, of all the Obama supporters that voted in favor of Prop 8 on that fateful Tuesday a couple of years ago? Can you categorize them into simplistic this and that labels? And since YOU, not I, brought up the issue of "extramarital affairs," let's take a look at two of the biggest PRO-gay marriage hetero politicians: Knewsomegotsome (did he ever with Guilfoyle) and Villraigoza. Yeah, them two self-serving hypocrites pushing "marraige"! A pair of politically expedient hypocrties. I evern wrote Villaraigoza a letter about it.

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Avatar for user 'SemiReti'

SemiReti | January 3, 2011 at 6:27 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Fudge: "by refusing to represent Prop-8 supporters in court, the governor and the attorney general are disenfranchising blacks, Latinos and the poor." Hmm, if Prop-8 were overturned for any reason, it seems to me that blacks, Latinos and the poor could still get married if they so choose. Indeed, more could. If the AG were less concerned with who is harmed and more concerned with how and how much, I'd find that to be a refreshing change from the usual politics. And I can see how such discretion could be used without bringing down the entire initiative process.

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | January 4, 2011 at 8:57 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

- It's Mr. Slinky, should I refer to you as Mission Never Accomplished? Enough people who voted for President Obama also voted for Prop 8 to allow it's passage. Even a good portion of Democrats, Liberals, and Progressives, (what have you) are religious even if in varying degrees - some of those obviously voted for Prop 8. Political and social labels apply to a point, but the keystone here is religion. Some will even deny it, but they underestimate the brainwashing they grew up with and how powerful the impact of that social practice was in their lives. Until people really analyze why they think as they do and question the validity of books like the Bible and the Quran, they will continue to make decisions that really have no coherence to reality, but just what they want to "believe" in. These strong delusions lead to so much pain and unnecessary suffering in the world.

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Avatar for user 'crysharris'

crysharris | January 4, 2011 at 1:11 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Stating that the state AG must defend Prop 8 is equivalent to stating that every District Attorney must prosecute every case brought before them, regardless of evidence or circumstances. However, it is quite clear that DAs daily make decisions on whether or not to spend taxpayer money prosecuting cases and frequently decide not to bother.

Making an argument that refusing to defend a voter-approved initiative gives the AG and the governor 'veto' power over the initiative process is a valid argument that has significant ramifications for our states out-of-control initiative process. I'm a 'ends justifies the means' kind of person, but even I think that a de facto 'veto', if an initiative challenge makes it far enough in the courts, is dangerous. Of course, I think something needs to be done to significantly amend our initiative process, especially when it relates to constitutional amendments, but not this way.

It's ludicrous that we can change our state constitution with a majority vote but we require a 2/3 majority to increase taxes. I like that civil rights require a lower threshold than taxes.

Regarding marriage equality and gays, I find it ironic that we are fighting this political battle to marry when the institution has already been so tarnished by straight people. But ultimately, this is about equal protection under the law. I deserve it, even if I'm a supposedly promiscuous, violent, commitment phobic, unnatural sinner. I deserve to be protected and to protect my equally evil wife, by the laws and responsibilities inherent in a state-sanctioned marriage. An initiative should not be able to usurp those rights, even if it is a constitutional amendment.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 5, 2011 at 9:08 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow, you are giving Religion more credit than what religious leaders and historians would EVER acknowledge! Sounds like there's some psychic damage there or personal resentment (due to a bad experience or two) that was never addressed or mended. I am glad I was able to resign without holding any feelings of hostility. Your "religion is the cornerstone" theory falls apart because you ASsume all opponents of same-sex marriage do so MERELY because they were brought up in households where some type of religion was practiced and supporters of same were what? Brought up only in atheistic or agnostic households? I hardly think that is the case. Your claim also falls apart when you consider that liberal/left/progressive intellectuals of the 20th century who frowned on homosexuality included Alfred Adler, Erich Fromm, Wilhelm Reich, and Frantz Fanon all of whom were either psychologists or psychiatrists. (And I'll take your silence over those two hypocrite politicians that I made my point.) PS: My typo was unintentional.

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Avatar for user 'designaddict'

designaddict | January 5, 2011 at 12:46 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

I've read the above posts & sadly so much of it is based on emotional opinions. Tom, I agree that the system (regardless of who it favors at the moment) must be upheld. If it's broken, then fix it through legitimate means, but we can't change the rules after the vote just cause we don't support the outcome. If domestic partnership & civil unions give equal rights, what is at the core here? Is SSM really just a fight for legitimizing an historically immoral lifestyle in the public eye? My question is where do we draw a moral line? What determines right & wrong? If another group, such as Pedophiles wants equal rights, what basis do we have to say no? The majority of our laws are based on some sort of moral standard, yet several of the arguments above take an existential line which would allow the likes of Hitler, Stalin, & Pol Pot to be vindicated because they believed what they were doing was right.

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | January 6, 2011 at 8:49 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

What is so difficult about the idea that two ADULTS should have the right to be married just like you? Adults... consenting adults??? A completely private and personal matter really, between two consenting adults? Voters never should have had a choice about it.

@designaddict - Pedophiles, Hitler, Pol Pot... really. So if homosexuals are allowed to marry children will be systematically raped and genocide and mass exterminations will ensue right? Great example. You've won me over.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 6, 2011 at 11:22 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Designeraddict's analogy is way off! On the other hand, this isn't merely a "consenting adult matter." Anyone can have wall-to-wall sex and role play if they want--as long as it's within the confines of their space. That isn't the issue. The issue is a type of legal contract with all its ramifications, between two individuals. Ergo, the State is obligated to officiate and intervene. The bigger picture is the self-indulgent attempt to say there is no difference between same-sex marriage and universal heterosexual marriage and then legitimize it for the books and for society.

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Avatar for user 'designaddict'

designaddict | January 17, 2011 at 5:39 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

I understand that my analogy may be deemed extreme, but the German people didn't see Hitler as extreme at the beginning of his reign. Moral decline is a downward slope that we typically don't ever go back up. I became convinced after seeing a Pride event & long discussions with gay friends, that this is merely a quest for validation for a deviant sexual lifestyle. I care for my friends, but it doesn't mean laws should change that will have many far reaching social & financial ramifications.

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