News


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

Prop. 8 case now expected to move to U.S. Supreme Court

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

The 2-1 ruling was issued this morning by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a civil rights lawsuit filed in

federal court in San Francisco by two same-sex couples in 2009.

Proposition 8 was approved by state voters in 2008. Its sponsors appealed to the 9th Circuit after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in

2010 that the measure was unconstitutional.

Today's decision can be appealed further to an expanded 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit and to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A crowd of about 150 people had gathered outside the federal courthouse at Mission and Seventh streets this morning to await the ruling.

When word came down that a panel of the appeals court had found California's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, the crowd erupted into

cheers.

"This is a huge victory for the people of the state of California," said John Lewis, of the group Marriage Equality. "This is a great victory for love."

George Lin, 30, who has lived in San Francisco for the past two years, said he was "really, really ecstatic" to hear the news.

Lin, an Air Force reservist, said he lived in Nebraska before moving to the Bay Area, and that coming here felt like "a little step back" because he used to live next to Iowa, where same-sex marriage is legal.

He said that although he is single, he wants to be able to marry someday.

"Eventually, I want the same rights," Lin said.

Before the ruling was issued, the crowd outside the courthouse recited words they attributed to the late Harvey Milk, San Francisco's first openly gay supervisor.

"All men and women are created equal," they said. "No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words."

Supervisor Scott Wiener was among those in the crowd, arriving a few minutes before the ruling was announced.

A short time later, the crowd marched to City Hall. As they arrived at Civic Center Plaza, they were met by a lone same-sex marriage protester armed with a bullhorn and wearing a shirt that read, "He is Jesus."

"You have to check yourself," he shouted at them, saying marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman.

The crowd moved past him like a stream flowing over a rock.

An 11 a.m. news conference was planned at City Hall by City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who was in office in 2004 when then-Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed same-sex couples to wed.

Today's decision can be appealed further to an expanded 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit and to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Julia Cheever/Patricia Decker, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dumber
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

This is now a country of the courts, by the courts, for the courts. We the people are good for nothing but paying more taxes to fund entitlements and BS politics.

On a side note, making $250,000 a year is rich my a$$!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Al
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Dumber, your screen name fits you very nicely


 +   Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Al, how very tolerant of you--typical of flaming liberals to make personal attacks instead of being able to articulate your position (removed).
Not to worry: Since we're talking about the 9th Circus Court of Appeals, it's only a matter of time before it's either overturned or escalates to the Supreme Court.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Al
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Steve, your record here speaks on itself when it comes to attacks.
The world is changing. Intolerants conservatives will sink...
and sink...
and sink...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ruth
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Justice has prevailed. Now let the bigots whine.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chrissy
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Don't let the ankle-grabbing liberal loonies get you down Steve. Romney is going to win California by 14 percentage points. You can take that to the bank.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Former Student
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

This isn't about liberals vs. conservatives, it's about people who support equality over people who are intolerant. Leave it to two-party system to narrow everyone's minds. Calling each other "liberal loonies" and "intolerant conservatives" is completely juvenile.

And Chissy, I'm sorry to say, that Romney will not get the nomination. He's much to liberal for the Republicans. And California's much too blue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by StopAndThink
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Feb 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or free exercise thereof...

A compromise for both sides: the government gets out of the business of issuing marriage licenses. Instead, issue Domestic Partner licenses to anyone who wants to designate their significant other.

"Marriage" is clearly a religious term. Let each religion decide who can be married.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Julie is a registered user.

This is the topic that got me on these boards in the first place. StopAndThink - I like your idea. I proposed it myself when the Prop 8 vote was happening.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Stopandthink, your proposed solution makes way too much sense for the gay lobby. They don't want anything other than a way to denigrate marriage for the majority of the population. They could have lobbied for domestic partner licenses, but for them, the big prize is to present the appearance that their 'relationships' are mainstream. Despite the 9th circus court, that will never be the case.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Yeah Steve, that's the goal....to denigrate marriage and to have a "mainstream" relationship.

Oh, no...wait..the "Big Prize" is to be equal in the eyes of the law. You know, the same "Big Prize" you have just by merit of being (allegedly) heterosexual. You didn't have to be intelligent or compassionate or skilled to earn that prize. You were simply born that way.

Fortunately they are not trying to be "equal" in YOUR eyes. They know there is no sense to that and they are smart enough to know that equal in YOUR eyes doesn't matter. However, equal in the eyes of the law DOES matter.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Oh, and forgive my poor grammar. You were not born intelligent, compassionate or skilled...simply heterosexual!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Julie, there's no forgiving your grammar or your morals. If only you fruits, nuts and flake supporters would spend as much time and money finding a cure for this aberration, rather than trying to force it into the mainstream, maybe you could accomplish something positive.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Steve, the only aberration around here is you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Steve's last comment really says it all doesn't it P-Town. This is exactly why I can not take anything he says seriously.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

steve,

Certainly we are both tired of the name-calling and the personal attacks, but don't you think that referring to others who don't agree with you as "flaming liberals" actually encourages more of the same behavior you and I are tired of? I don't see how pointing out grammar mistakes and using more names like "fruits, nuts, and flakes" in reference to other posters contributes to the discussion at all.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Idi Amin
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I actually find Steve's homophobia, self loathing, and bigotry rather refreshing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Happily Married Gay Couple
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

My husband & I will celebrate 10 years together in April. We were married in July '08 & are proud to remain legally married 3+ years later. Through nearly a decade together, we've shared the same ups & downs and life experiences as any couple living here in Pleasanton... illnesses, births, job loss, promotions, vacations, fights, deaths of loved ones, holidays together & apart, new pets, new cars, going to church, paying taxes, visits from the in-laws, concerts in the park, walks for ice cream downtown, hikes up the ridge, Christmas parades, etc. We're your neighbors, your co-workers, your customers, your friends.

Today's victory for equality has special meaning to us. Not because we're gay but because we're Americans who treasure our freedom and our right to pursue happiness just like everyone else.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Clouse
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Feb 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I am proud of today's outcome. I think that gender and fear of "what's different" can really hold us back as a country. I sometimes chat with a friend of mine who is a school crossing guard. She told me once a child was in tear on their way home from school. When my friend ask the child why they were crying the child told her that he was bullied on the playground for having two moms. No child should ever have to be judged or feel uncomfortable about their family structure. I think this will be a a change in the direction of progress where we can all accept eachother for who we are. Besides, does it really matter what other people do with their life to you personally? NO! So why let it get to you?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm

It all comes down to, can you love your fellow man without being judgemental. Are any of us really better than our fellow man?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by R Lou
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Happily Married Gay Couple, here's to many more Happy Years together!
and Here's to Common Sense!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Malloy
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm

This isn't a liberal or conservative argument, it's about the freedom to be with and love someone else. You liberals are just as bad as the conservatives with the name calling.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A college age student who has more sense than a likely much older Steve...
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Steve, can I just go back to one of your later points?--- "finding a cure for this aberration"

I am sure you are at least a semi-intelligent person, but I feel compelled to give you some advice: Do not accept everything you hear.

Sure, people used to think that this was a learned behavior or a disease, but you should really keep up with the science on issues that you feel compelled to speak with authority on.

Homosexuality is not a disease, it can not be cured, it is genetics--biology.
This is not speculation, it is fact. There is PROOF of a gene that predisposes this, and it CANNOT be cured, no matter how much you argue against this, I am sorry you are just wrong. --this has been accepted as common knowledge, so get with the times.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Former Student
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm

14th amendment. Come on. It says that those born and naturalized in the U.S. are born with natural rights and no one group can have their rights taken away.

Steve, maybe we should find a cure for your narrow-mindedness. Or better yet, let's single you out, take your rights away, and persecute you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another College Student Who Likely Has More Sense Than Steve
a resident of Las Positas
on Feb 8, 2012 at 1:27 am

People like Steve are basically one of the reasons why many of the students residing in Pleasanton want to leave as soon as possible.
It's fine to have your beliefs about what constitutes as marriage and what does, but it's a completely different issue when you're trying to infringe upon the rights of a minority. You're basically acting like a white man in the South being against multi-racial marriage half a decade ago.
On another note, what makes you think the ruling's going to be overturned? At least it won't be overturned by the 9th Circuit Court. And the next step up is the Supreme Court and I highly doubt that an issue like this will be given a Writ of Certiorari any time soon.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by In favor of same sex marriage
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2012 at 7:41 am

"Since we're talking about the 9th Circus Court of Appeals, it's only a matter of time before it's either overturned or escalates to the Supreme Court."

One good reason why, even though I do not like Obama or his policies, I am voting for him again this year. There will be a supreme court position filled during the next presidential term, and it is important we do not get another Alito. We need a progressive supreme court appointee.

That said, what makes you think the Supreme Court will overturn this?

I am in an interracial marriage (much to steve's dismay, I suppose), and let me remind you that before Loving v. Virginia in the 1960s, my marriage was illegal. California was a state that allowed interracial marriages well before Loving v. Virginia even went to court.

Perhaps California is leading the way again, this time in favor of same sex marriages, just like back in the 40s, it lead the way in favor of interracial marriages. The same arguments that are now used against same sex marriage were used against interracial marriages. The same people (the steves of the world) who oppose same sex marriage opposed interracial marriage.

I am confident that soon we will have same sex marriages be perfectly legal, even if we have to wait until this next generation become presidents, congresswomen/men, supreme court justices. It is only a matter of time before such ridiculous discrimination against same sex couple ends.

The Supreme court, btw, will probably not hear the case for a while. Just think steve, prop 8 unfortunately passed last election, it took this long to overturn it. It will be a while before the next decision. In the meantime, same sex couples can get married, good for them!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The above posters make some very good points yet the impact is diminished by the generalizations ("people like steve"). As a reader, the personal opinions that steve is "semi-intelligent" or "narrow minded" are distracting and do nothing to advance the conversation nor convince anyone of the merits of the judges' ruling. The validity of the 14th amendment does not hinge on whether steve is narrow-minded.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by In favor of same sex marriages
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2012 at 9:12 am

An interesting opinion about whether the case will be reviewed by the Supreme Court:

"WILL THE CASE GO TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT?

I think the narrow approach in today's decision makes the case less likely to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. The court applies general principles that apply across the United States. Because this case only deals with the unique circumstances in California, I think the Supreme Court is less likely to review it.

So the good news for same-sex marriage supporters is this decision may mean that a conservative Supreme Court will decide not to take the case."

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by In favor of same sex marriages
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2012 at 9:14 am

"The validity of the 14th amendment does not hinge on whether steve is narrow-minded."

That is not necessarily true. The reason we have a super conservative Supreme court right now is because people like Steve voted for the super conservative presidents (Bush) which tried to appeal to the "base" (the steves of the world). The result? A very socially conservative (almost backwards) supreme court majority. Remember it was Bush who appointed Alito and Roberts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I agree with you that a super conservative Supreme Court is a concern. SCOTUS ideally needs to be non-partisan even though it hasn't always. The validity of the 14th amendment still is neither removed nor granted by the political philosophy behind the interpretation, but by the application of logic to determine conclusions from its premises. There are numerous cases testing the logic of the 14th that have come to compose the body of case law which cannot be so easily overturned by a partisan SCOTUS.

But, as you know, of greater concern is that Congress can make laws that essentially overturn case law and the composition of Congress is much more subject to the whims and passions of the day than the Supreme Court.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by equalityworks
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

The 9th circuit court got it absolutely right. The system of government the U.S. constitution created has a judiciary to uphold the rights in the constitution, even when the majority votes otherwise. There is equal protection under the law (14th amendment), whether we vote to deny it or not. In other words, It's the courts job to do this. People who rail against "activist judges" just don't like the ruling. From reading people's comments who oppose this decision, it's clear there is nothing behind it but prejudice. The idea that marriage needs "defending" doesn't even make sense...I've been married for almost 30 years, have children etc. The idea that who someone else marries would have any effect whatsoever on my marriage and "procreation" is just absurd.
The fundamental misunderstanding is the belief that gay people just choose to be "aberrant" I believe the term posted earlier was. Fact: there is a genetic basis for homosexuality. Yes, they were born this way. My belief: God doesn't make mistakes. People who claim to be speaking from a religious perspective who cite scripture for their anti-gay beliefs have, in my opinion, fixated on a few paragraphs in the bible and thrown out the rest of it. We are to love (treat with respect) our neighbor as ourselves (allow the same rights we enjoy), and let God judge.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

Hopefully, all Americans will eventually have the right to marry if that is what they desire.

It serves no purpose to deprive any American of the right to marry.

HAPPY TRAILS!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Why are we fighting? we fight about race, we fight about politics, we continue to fight about gay marriage. I am a hetrosexual and I say let people do what they feel, be with who they want to be with. think.. would you want someone tell you can't be with someone because they said so. THATS WHAT I THOUGHT!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by In favor of same sex marriages
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

It looks like other states are also trying to legalize same sex marriages, and that is a good thing:

"A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington State voted Wednesday in favor of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, putting Washington on the path toward becoming the seventh state in the nation to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples."

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Matter of time
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

Never worry... this culture of hatred problem is taking care of itself. Polling around the Prop 8 time showed that restricting gay marriage was supported by some 65% of people over 65 and opposed by some 65% of people under 35.

So these bigoted beliefs, along with the racism of those who still think the Civil War was won by the wrong side, are guaranteed to go away as our older population dies off. Thank goodness. :-)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Pro-choice and anti-choice. Most of us want choice for ourselves. Even the people who want to deny others a choice still want choice for themselves. I say let people choose for themselves on the most important and sacred issues. Why allow anyone else to think s/he knows your business better than you do?

Live and let live. Respect the choices of others, even if you do not wants those same choices for yourself. One would think we could do that in Pleasanton.


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