It still baffles me that one of the most progressive states in the country, California, actually approved prop 8. Having lived in California for 20+ years, even conservative Orange County had enough progressive-thinking people to get the law through easily. Stupefying at the least, but it appears that the thinking people of California didn't just give up.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown filed motions on Friday calling for resumption of same-sex weddings in the state. Judge Vaughn R. Walker of Federal District Court this week overturned Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved same-sex marriage ban. Judge Walker ruled the ban violates federal equal protections and due process laws. But he agreed to block same-sex marriages from immediately resuming until he can consider arguments on whether to keep the ban in effect while its supporters take their appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Resuming same-sex marriages “is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said in his legal filing."
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is a bastion of liberal thinkers, so I have high hopes that they'll tell the conservative jackasses that even slavery ended many years ago and the ultra-right should get a life. Perhaps the Catholic and Mormon churches (likely the cause for the original ballot failure to begin with) should simply butt out of politics or start paying taxes.
I'd had enough of pulpit politics when I was involved with the Mormon Church. Even as a child, although I was too young to understand the implications, I felt that something was amiss when church officials frequently made attempts to direct their members to vote "the Church way." I can recall when my parents boasted that they'd voted for President Kennedy, other church members actually shamed them and some even shunned them.
I contributed my all but mandatory 2 years of my life to that organization and I'll never forget the day I was in what they euphemistically referred to as the "mission home" where missionaries received training on how and how not to proselytize. Now, I grew up in Oklahoma in the 50s and 60s so I was no stranger to bigotry, it was as much a part of the culture in Oklahoma as was mustard greens. But! When I heard a church official, an official that one could equate to a Catholic Cardinal in the Vatican, speak to us newbies and tell us "when we encounter blacks, we're to change our routine and say that we're conducting a survey. Of course, they never told us what the survey was supposed to be, it was simply left to our own devices.
I knew the church didn't allow blacks (or women for that matter) to participate in the priesthood and as a youngster, I could never understand the reason - "the blacks aren't ready for the responsibilities of the priesthood." Responsibilities??? What responsibilities?? It's not rocket science to preach, so what responsibilities exactly are they referring to for christ sake?
Well fortunately for me, that was the turning point at which I began questioning religion and even the concept of an all powerful "god."
Anyway, back to the subject at hand.
"A federal judge’s forceful opinion Wednesday in favor of same-sex marriage is only the beginning of a process that is likely to go all the way to the United States Supreme Court."
"The decision, which ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional, has complicated the political tasks before President Obama, whose aides had to explain in the wake of the decision that the president supported equal gay rights but opposed marriage rights for gay men and lesbians."
Is Obama fence-sitting again?? He sold us out to the insurance companies during the national health care debates, denying a single-payer insurance plan that would provide insurance for all (in the name of ending partisanship in the government - pffft). He's speaking out both sides of his mouth yet again. The two statements are incongruent, in fact completely contradictory. It's stating that gays have rights, but they can't express those rights. In other words, keep it quiet and you can be gay if that's what you so choose.
"Meanwhile, Republicans said that dwelling on the issue could become a distraction in the effort to win back the House or Senate from Democrats this fall. At a meeting of the Republican National Committee in Kansas City, Mo., several party leaders and strategists said it would be a mistake for the midterm election campaign to suddenly become focused on gay marriage, immigration or other hot-button issues. The only path to winning control of Congress, they said, rested on making an economic argument. "
In my eyes, this issue showcases what is wrong with government in the US today. We have political parties who are completely disconnected and disinterested in the rights and liberties of the citizenship, focusing only on what will earn them continued positions and party power in future elections.
Term limits will resolve much of this bullshit, or perhaps a parliamentary style government wherein an elected official may be removed by their party if they fail to meet the goals and ideals of that party.
From "Green Gabbo"
"This morning, the California Supreme Court will announce its decision on whether or not a slim 50% majority can amend the state constitution in order to specifically deny a previously-recognized constitutional right. It will also determine the fate of the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed last year, between the state Supreme Court's decision that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right in California, and the passage of Proposition 8. The New York Times quotes one man whose marriage is currently in legal limbo:
“The 18,000 marriages will be evidence that California is not going to fall apart if gay people get married,” Mr. Lok said. “It’s not like there’s not going to be an earthquake.”
Oh ho ho, won't Mr. Lok and his husband be chuckling at that one when San Francisco falls into the ocean! In fact, the potential link between same-sex marriage and earthquakes is one of the strongest arguments I've ever seen in favor of preserving the traditional-except-for-all-the-ways-we've-changed-it-in-the-past institution of opposite-sex-only marriage.
While the observation that same-sex marriage might be followed by earthquakes has been made before - notably by Israeli parliamentarian Shlomo Benizri and American preacher Pat Robertson - science has advanced beyond the simple "God does it" explanations most commonly proposed by nutcase conservative public figures. Below the fold, I will tell you how we actually think this process works.
The Castro district in San Francisco is constantly emitting small pulses of gay energy, called Love waves. These Love waves usually pass harmlessly through the crust, causing only occasional dirty thoughts in sensitive individuals.
Each time that a committed same-sex couple's family bond is recognized and supported by the government, another pulse of gay energy is emitted from the relevant bureau. If this recognition occurs in the form of marriage, the pulse is strengthened, by a factor of approximately 31, through a complicated resonance of the couple's wedding rings with their official marriage license (the exact multiplier varies depending on the font chosen by each county registrar, but it's usually Helvetica).
Under normal conditions, these Love waves would also dissipate harmlessly in the crust. However, due to California's unique geographic and geological conditions, the pulses emitted from state offices in Sacramento combine with the Love waves coming from the Castro in a phenomenon known as constructive interference. This interaction creates a pattern of standing Love waves in the soft sediments of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta:
At the constructively interfering nodes between San Francisco and Sacramento, gay energy is strong enough to penetrate the crust all the way to the seismogenic zone. The effects of this penetration on the seismogenic zone are governed by lubrication theory. Suffice it to say, when enough gay energy lubricates the underlying faults, California will be doomed - maybe not immediately after same-sex marriage is finally legalized for good, but definitely on or after April 15 the following year. Nothing emits pulses of pure gay energy more efficiently than a joint tax return.
(NB: Small numbers of same-sex marriages, typically involving a transgendered spouse whose legal gender is or was different from his/her preferred or identified gender, have been legally recognized even when same-sex marriage generally has not been. These marriages still cause Love waves to be emitted from Sacramento, but their effects have thus far been lost in the noise of ordinary tectonic and heterosexual seismicity. However, the effects of sub-seismogenic quantities of gay energy on the water in the delta - which is an important source of drinking water for Southern California - have not been studied.)"