Harvard professor says same-sex marriage wouldn't hurt, might even strengthen marriages overall Around Town, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Jan 13, 2010 at 7:51 am
A Harvard University American history professor testified in federal court in San Francisco Tuesday that she believes same-sex weddings would not hurt the institution of marriage and could even strengthen it.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 7:13 AM
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 7:51 am
Why is this event up for discussion? Prop 8 already went out for a vote. Having it back in the court system only makes our legal system look like a joke, like it doesn't matter what happens because you can challenge it continuously
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 8:53 am
The point is, prop 8 already went out for a vote...the people voted. Why is it up for consideration again? THAT is what makes our system look like a joke. If the voice of the minority is going to be given special consideration in this instance, then to be fair it would have to be available in ALL cases, for ALL issues. This is not practical nor wise. The vote came in, results were reported. Now let's move on to other things, like the economy...
Posted by JIm, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:13 am
To Annonymous -
A majority of people can put a Propostion on the ballot and vote for it. That is a "citizens group's" Right. You individually - or within a Citizen's Group (i.e., Support Traditional Marriage between a Man and a Woman group), can design a proposition, get signatures to get it on the ballot and then vote on it. That's a citizens right. That is what happened in November of 2009 at the last election.
However, and this is a big HOWEVER - if the Proposition itself conflicts with the basic tenents of the Constitution (The individudlal STATE Constitition which conforms and is congruent with the U.S. Federal Constitution - i.e., Bill of Rights, etc.), then the Proposition in question would be ruled unconstitutional and therefore null and void.
Do you understand this legal process?
Let me give you an example. Let's assume it was possible to find enough signatures to re-institute school segregation. You may even be able to find a majority in the Deep South that still want this! So you got a propostion that said "Our little white kids ain't gonna go to school with no black kids" (or however it's worded). And then you went out and got enough signatures to get it on the ballot and voted. An lo' and behold let's just say that your side WON! You got a proposition passed - in say - Mississippi - that White kids and Black kids have to be segregated in schools. Well - unfortunately - in the Case of Brown v. Board of Education the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. So you can't do that! Your proposition would be INVALID. No matter HOW MANY PEOPLE want it. The only way to have SEGREGATION now in this country would be to radically change the Constitution. Thus, a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT to ALLOW Segregation.
That's what's going on here in the case of Equal Marriage rights. We have a Constituional question which is: "Are a particular citizen's rights being violated under the Equal Amendment Clause? (14th Amendment to the Constitution)" You may say NO. Others say maybe - the Courts get to decide. That's why we have courts.
If the court DIDN'T look at it - THEN our system would look (as you say) like a joke.
The fact that the court IS looking at it - means that we have Equal Protection Under the Law - regardless of who brings action.
Posted by Jim Coughlin, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:28 am
Lastly to Annonymous -
The minority (or losing side of any legal battle) ALWAYS has the right of Appeal - that is IF they can show just cause under legal precedent, statute or contitutionality question.
That is the reason why the entire world sees the U.S. as a Beacon of Freedom of Civil Liberties.
No matter how poor, disabled, or "outcast" a person is or appears to be - EVERY American - EVERY black, white, arab, muslim, jewish, gay, lesbian, man, woman and child - has a right to equal protection under the law.
Posted by Andy G., a resident of the Castlewood Heights neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:31 am
As a junior partner in a law firm in the Tri-Valley I couldn't be MORE in favor of same sex marriages. In my estimation the increase in my workload from the newly created "same sex divorce" would be akin to a class action suit for everybody who ever ate ice cream on a hot day.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:34 am
to Jim: I understand the legal implications. I don't need the lengthy explanation. I don't happen to agree with constant and continuous appeals on all sorts of subjects that were either already voted on or who have already gone through the system.
and to Andy G., divorce is no laughing matter. I hope you are joking.
Posted by Jim Coughlin, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:42 am
To Annonymous -
I think Andy would agree with me on this - without the Appeals process that we have had in place the last 212 years, and without the right of JUDICIAL REVIEW, the Freedoms and Rights you take for granted (on a State and Federal level) would look VERY VERY different.
Be grateful we have an Appeals process.
Though the issue was voted on - it hasn't "gone through the system" as you say. It's GOING through the system now.
Posted by Me, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:01 am
The majority of the (voting) population passing a law is not the only acid test a law must survive. The constitutions are in place for just such an argument. A quorum is historically required to alter the US constitution, which protects it from the political whims of the church, the hateful, or those who somehow (personally) would benefit from its alteration.
The job of the court is this matter is to ensure that the minority rights as implied by the constitution are not trampled by the majority. The bill of rights (amendments 1-10 of the US constitution) intentions are to protect the citizens from unfair treatment by their government.
As a matter of practicality this law of the land gets tested by major discriminatory classes as the US culture becomes enlightened over time. Up until the 1960ís (and early 70ís) African American citizens had to endure Jim Crow LAWS (that the majority in their state voted for) substandard schooling in like demographics etc.. The US Supreme Court ruled these unconstitutional and to put icing on the cake congress (by quorum) passed the Equal Rights Amendment.
There are many examples where the law was overturned to protect the minority. This is a good thing. In Afghanistan prior to US occupation is was illegal for the woman minority to be raped, they would be subject to hanging for promiscuity. The Taliban represented the ruling class and the majority government. I we let legislation strip or prohibit any member of our society from getting having basic rights we head down the slippery slope, we become more like the Taliban.
I (a strait Christian parent with likely strait children) think discrimination lessens us as a society. It creates caste (they donít only exist in India) which are in turn used as a justification for hateful behavior toward the minority caste. What good, godly thing could ever come from hateful behavior?
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:51 am
What makes the US a great country is a Constitution which allows citizens the right to challenge laws that they believe are discriminatory. Prop 8 is perceived to be discriminatory against a class of American citizens and that's why it's being challenged in court.
I would advise anybody that believes that our court system looks like a joke, to wake up early and put yourself in the courtroom to listen to the arguments. If that doesn't convince you of the fairness of the proceedings, then maybe you don't want to truly listen to what is being discussed.
Posted by Carlos, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 11:20 am
Since we already took the dead horse out for another beating, can somebody explain how gay/lesbian rights are being violated again? I have actually read the U.S. Constitution and they never guarantied anyone the "right to marry."
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm PToWN94566 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I'm sorry, but reading some of these posts on here makes me wonder if people were even educated in their youth.
"Why is this event up for discussion? Prop 8 already went out for a vote. Having it back in the court system only makes our legal system look like a joke, like it doesn't matter what happens because you can challenge it continuously"- a basic government class would hopefully solve this issue as to why you question this trial.
Posted by Carlos, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm
I AM a hetero male. What tipped you off? Was it my name and the fact that I don't see what rights they are being denied? You can now add sarcastic to the list too, huh?
Ok To make a long story short, I just don't want to step on that slippery slope (when its not nessasary) A marriage is clearly defined, and it was for good reason. By your theory, a couple of ANY kind (18yrs old+) should be able to marry. Because its none of anyones buisness what they do behind closed doors, right? Now what if the couple happens to be a Mother and daughter? Maybe the daughter is pregnant and needs the benifits and the Mother needs the tax break. Should they be able to marry? If the "sex" part is none of our buisness, and they want all of the benifits of marriage, whats the difference.
Every argument you can make for gay marriage actually goes for incestuous relationships as well. And as long as we are taking the "sex" part out of it, then what about buisness partners being married? Their are surely buisness partners that care and depend upon one another. They are in a committed relationship as well. What about their rights? I guess what I'm getting at is, where does the line get drawn? And who draws the line? Or better yet, why change the line now. Its kind of like fixing something that isn't broke.
Our society wouldn't survive without the family structure. See, the pro prop 8 people don't want to ignore the "sex" part. The purpose of family (amoung other things) is to secure the future of our society by reproduction. One generation depends on the next.
I could go on, but I am going to wait for the "bashing of Carlos" to commence.
Posted by Jim Coughlin, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 3:52 pm
I have no intention of "bashing" you - so please don't project that on me.
The problem is that your logic is flawed. I will explain.
If your logic was used in the past (as little as 30-40 years ago) then inter-racial marriages would still be illegal. Why change it? Because it's not fair and equal - that's why!
It's not fixing something that isn't broke - IT IS BROKE!
The State of California treats one class of people different than another class of people because of Prop 8.
Your bait at an argument of "incestuous" relationships is ludicrous. I'm not going to bite at that comment of Mother/daughter marriages - come on! Let's be adult about this.
You state - "A marriage is clearly defined, and it was for good reason." Here's the problem. Churches and religious institutions can define marriages however they choose. The problem is that when a GOVERNMENT recognizes a relationship and grants special rights to that relationship.
Furthermore - think of it this way.
People who voted FOR PROP may say "Well, gay and lesbians have Domestic Partnership recognition and that's just as good as being married - why isn't that enough?"
Well - it's not - Domestic Partnership conveys different (i.e., LESS) rights and privledges than that of Marriage. At least from the State and Federal Government's viewpoint. A Domestic Partership is not EQUAL to a Marriage according to the State of California and the U.S. Federal Government.
Here's the deal - either everyone has a DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP (including me and my wife of 22 years, and all the gay and lesbian couples out there- and every married person in the US) and the State abolishes recognizing Marriages, thus, having marriages becoming nothing more than a religious ceremony - OR - EVERYONE has the right to marry the partner of his or her choice and have it be equally recognized in the State of California and the U.S.of A.
Equal Rights Under the Law. You believe in Equal Rights Under the Law don't you?
There are Marriage LAWS - (not Biblical quotes) - that affect taxes, income, property, trusts, etc., that are being denied a classification of citizens.
This is crux of the problem.
The reproduction argument for marriage is also not valid. If you believe that, - then you should deny the right of marriage to every woman who has passed the age of fertility or any sterile couple. What if a couple in their late 50's decide to marry? A Man and a Woman - but there's no chance they're EVER going to have kids - and never intend on having kids. According to your argument they should be denied the right to marry because they can't have kids. If you say "Well they can marry because they're a man and a woman", then you have to stop using the Procreation argument in this discussion. It's not valid.
Marriage is not exclusively about pro-creation. In fact many hetero-married couples consciously choose to NOT have children. Choice again!
Now, about FAMILIES. Many happy, healthy, tax-paying productive adults (and growing children now) are the product of same-sex parenting or single-parenting - or blended parenting. The idea that a "Family" is Mom and Dad and "Bud and Kitten" (i.e., "Father Knows Best" from the 1950 TV show) is an outdated irrational stereotype of a "family" in the US today.
Lastly - here's the question I have for you - why does it bother you so much? What's the big deal if two lesbians want to marry? Or two gay guys? I've been married (to a woman) for 22 years and it would not affect "the sanctity" of my marriage one IOTA.
All citizens are entitled to EQUAL RIGHTS under the LAW. If I have a particular RIGHT bestowed to me under State or Federal law - it should be availalbe to ALL U.S. Citizens regardless of race, creed, sexual preference, demonination, income, etc. That's what the Constitution of the United States of America says - that's why this is the best Country in the WORLD.
Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 8:13 pm
Well the people did vote against homosexuals marrying. If the courts overturn it and I suspect they will it will be interesting to see the reaction. Legislation from the bench and our liberal courts. Liberals are destroying this state and soon the country.
Posted by dublinmike, a resident of Dublin, on Jan 13, 2010 at 8:55 pm dublinmike is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Let's look at SteveP's rationale. The Voters have speaketh.
Let's view it from another direction. The voters of the United States and California have outlawed by popular vote that anyone from the City of Pleasanton may not vote on any initiative or office outside their town. "Unfair!" the Pleasantonians cried! "We are human beings that reside in the County of Alameda, the State of California and have the inalienable rights inherit within the United States of America constitution! We have the right to vote. Do not disenfranchised us!" Here is the issue of human beings denied the "rights" to vote. Disenfranchisement. And yet, the those seeking same sex partners as life's partners with the same rights as you, do not have "rights" to marry? Are they not humans? They are Disenfranchised
Where in the Constitution of the United States and the Amendments does it state that some human beings are less than others? Okay, other than slaves. And, Italians...by our ancestor's cultural practices they were treated as second-class citizens in the 19th century. Heck, at least they could marry outside of their religion in this country. You could only imagine the persecution they faced when they married outside of their religion or nationality in Italy.
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm
(Word removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff) stupid. This never should have been an issue to begin with. There is no legal reason same sex marriages shouldn't be recognized by the state. If churches don't want to recognize them.....fine, the state, no reason.
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:22 pm PToWN94566 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
What's funny about this whole situation is how people that support Prop 8 create these fallacies about if same marriage is legalized that before long we'll "also want to legalize marriage between an adult and child." The Gay community has never expressed an interest in marriage with children. (And don't bring up NAMBLA- that is not an organization that the Gay community associates with.) What's also funny is how Prop 8 supporters state that we are protected by the law. How is it that we have sexual discrimination laws for jobs, renting, purchasing homes etc but we don't have the right to wed another person of our own choice?
When will the people that use their religion to support their thoughts stop? I don't want to be a part of your group or get married in your place of worship! Let me live my life in peace without you telling me what is right and wrong- that's for me to decide! (Maybe I should strut down the street to the religious neighbors house, dress up in drag, and tell them they are wrong for having 9 children, raising them in a tiny house, and having them all sleep in three large beds. I won't though- I have other important things to do with my life.) I think "Jim" said it nicely though- why does it bother you so much?
Let's see if there is an honest answer here that doesn't have to do with the law stating it's between a man and a woman.
Posted by Carlos, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2010 at 8:42 am
Well said Jim. You are very well spoken. Although, I disagree with you that the "incestuous" relationships" is ludicrous. It is very compairable. I can't blame you for turning down the debate though. Two people that love each other and willingly choose to join in a union. The gay/lesbian community say its none of anyones buiness what goes on behind closed doors. So, just because you don't understand or agree with the union, does that give you the right to take away their RIGHT to marry. Their union would be better off with the title and benifits of marriage. They love each other and are committed to one another. Whats the difference?(and keep personal opinion aside please)
And lets talk seriously about the procreation side. You and I both agree that procreation is not the SOLE function of a marriage. Just because a man can't have children is no reason to deprive him the right to marry. Now, the difference is...one is the KIND of marriage that can produce children and the other is absolutley immpossible. Like, the kidney is the KIND of organ that cleans the blood. Even if a certain kidney doesn't work propery, you would still consider it a "kidney" right? You can't call it something else because it doesn't perform its function. And you can't call the brain an organ that cleans blood, becasue its not that KIND of organ. Just like a marriage is the KIND of union that produces children. The other unions don't have that same function.
And lastly, it really doesn't bother me if they can marry. I have gay friends and we often engage in these talks. I'm not a crazy person. I just believe that a marriage is between a man and a woman. I don't want to get on that slippery slope. Every argument you make for gay marriage, I can rightfully use for incestuous relationships, or non-sexual buisness partners or life long friends. All of which (to me) is not a "real" marriage. FYI, I don't care about benifits, or taxes, or all of the external arguments. I only defend the title of MARRIAGE and the idea behind it.
Posted by Dominic, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2010 at 9:34 am
As usual, a professor shows how one can have much education and no wisdom which they stopped teaching at universities long ago...Facts are facts, this issue has been perverted into an equal rights issue when it is not about equal rights at all! This is about behavior, values, and changing the definition of marriage which has been the same in every faith and now the gays and the intellectuals know better than all of history! This is about gays wishing to normalize gay values and behaviors in our society, even when the society has voted on what the standard and definition of marriage is...Clearly people who are against Prop 8, like the Professor have a broken moral compass.
Hiding behind a cloak of anonymity only weakens one point, as anonymity in this forum is like gossip, easy to do but not very noteworthy or courageous.
Posted by Jim Coughlin, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jan 14, 2010 at 10:19 am
For Dominic and Rat T -
Dominic - I don't accept your opinion that anyone who is -or was - against Proposition 8 has a broken moral compass - that is quite a pretentious statement. What puts you on such high moral ground to make that statement. Totally out of line!
This is not about GAY values. I don't even know what you mean by "Gay Values". What does that mean?
It is about Equal Protection as I have been consistently stating in all my posts above. One class of citizens is being denied a right allowed to all others.
Your argument about "history" and changing values is invalid - just as it was when it was trying to be used against interracial marriages in the 60's. Or allowing teachers who were gay to teach in public schools in the 70's.
We don't live in the 1st century. If you want to go by how it's ALWAYS been done then we should have slaves, wives should be chattel (and not have the right to vote by the way) and children should be put to work as soon as they can walk, lepers should be stoned and insurgents should be crucified and lined on the street to incite fear in upstarts!
Come on! This is 2010 - it's time we start accepting people as people and not demonize them - this is the basis of the lawsuit - Prop 8 is an attack on a classification of citizens. Denying them of rights (under the LAW - not under the church) that others have access to.
For Rat T -
Your "taunt" at DublinMike -
By reading your post it seems you are a homosexual. If the law is overturned by the courts do you plan to marry another guy? If so, will you have children or adopt?"
I find this post as OFFENSIVE as someone writing say 40 years ago when inter-racial marriages were illegal - writing something like this..."Hey Dublinmike - it seems by reading your post that you are a negro. If the law is overturned by the courts do you plan to marry a white girl? If so, will you have mulatto children?" HOW OFFENSIVE!
America and the US should be a land of Tolerance and Acceptance - not taunting hatred cloaked under religious dogma!
PLEASE - Deal with your homophobic fears and religious dogma with a qualified professional.
Posted by Jim Coughlin, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jan 14, 2010 at 10:57 am
When the Massachuttes Supreme Court ruled that it violated the State's constitution to deny same-sex couples the right to marry in it's landmark case in 2003 - HILLARY GOODRIDGE & others1 vs. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH - The Judge in the case wrote what I think is a beautiful argument for the decision.
YOu can read it here. I realize most people won't - but read it if you will.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2010 at 11:03 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
The modern idea of marriage is quite different from what it was traditionally. People today think that marriage is traditionally that which is between a man and a woman. What really was traditional marriage?
A woman and a man had a right to separate in many traditional cultures if no child was produced because marriage was for the sole purpose of creating and protecting children. Even the Bible dictates rules for extended family to marry women who have been widowed because the whole focus of marriage is on protecting children and not letting them become orphans (women were not as economically free as today). Today, a man and a woman without children are allowed to burden society with the benefits they derive from being married. Marriage today is all about the couple and their choices, not the children.
Additionally, marriages between men and women were typically arranged by the extended family and oftentimes no love was involved. The intent was to gain social power and economically benefit the larger family through alliances with other families. Today's marriage is one of personal choice and not arranged by the extended family for economic benefit. People are free to climb the social ladder through their own work and not through marriages.
The argument about procreation is quite silly because it ignores the fact that homosexuals also procreate. So if a traditional definition of marriage is for the benefit of protecting children, then children of parents in same-sex relationships are not being protected by denying the parents to marry.
This hasn't been "perverted" into an equal rights issue. It has always been an equal rights issue. Opponents are using a definition of marriage THAT NO LONGER EXISTS as their defense. But the actual and operational definition of marriage in this country is that of a personal contract between two people who love each other.
Posted by Jim Coughlin, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jan 14, 2010 at 11:13 am
Stacey - I'll go even further -
This is about the STATE issuing a license. And that the State (as a result of Prop 8) is being discriminatory in who gets a license for a CIVIL marriage. It's denying the issuance of a license to marry between two adults.
Read the Mass. Supreme Court Decision above (link). It's quite clear in it's delinationa and separation of the issue. The Mass. decision is NOT about some "liberal judge legistlating from the bench" (which is a ridiculous statement that I loath). The judge clearly states the case is not for the State of Mass to define marriage - but to see if the Dept of Public Health was discriminating against a classification of people in issuing a license for CIVIL MARRIAGE - which it rule - it was.
Posted by ProMarriage, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm
I've been loving your posts! Even though you are preaching to the choir with me, you are breaking down the issues to such a basic and logical level that I do not see how anyone can continue to use the same age old discriminitory arguments AND STILL BELIEVE in their justification.
As a life long conservative thinking hetro married for nearly 28 years, I just don't get the uproar over this issue. I found it difficult to stomach when Prop 8 actually qualified for the ballot and even more difficult to stomach when it passed. I was shocked to realize (A) so many people still had issues with gays and (2) let those personal feelings cloud their understanding about this 14th Amendment issue.
Thanks for taking the time to explain it. I hope you are getting through to those who need to understand the only issue - discrimination - pure and simple!
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2010 at 9:34 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Rat Turd's question is rhetorical of course. The Federal case is not about someone trying to marry their pet. Besides, the Constitution doesn't extend rights, a human construct, to pets. I believe also that the marrying of pets HAS happened. It is just that no human-pet couple is trying to open joint bank accounts, visit sick pets in the hospital, adopt children, or obtain favorable tax rules. And what's wrong with pets anyway?! Bosco was the finest mayor Sunol ever had!
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm PToWN94566 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Why are people so sick minded to consistently compare a Gay couples relationship to that of a man and animal having sexual relations? Let's point out as well, when this whole bestiality concept is brought up, it's always done by people who supported Prop 8. The one's who bring up these ideas are the one's who have these initial thoughts to begin with.
Gay people do not want to marry any animals. Homosexuality and bestiality are two DIFFERENT things.