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California Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Same-Sex Marriage Case

Californiamarriage

The California Supreme Court heard arguments in a case brought in 2004 by nearly two dozen same-sex couples for approximately 3 1/2 hours this afternoon and now has 90 days to rule on whether or not the state's law defining marriage as between a man and a woman is constitutional.

The L.A. Times reported that the court appeared split: "The California Supreme Court appeared divided today over the constitutionality of the state's ban on same-sex marriage. During three hours of arguments by lawyers for and against gay marriage, Justice Joyce L. Kennard questioned whether "the state has effectively conceded there is no valid grounds for distinction" between domestic partnership and marriage. But at least three of the seven justices repeatedly noted that California voters have defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and that the public might not be ready to embrace same-sex marriage. Justice Carol A. Corrigan indicated that it might be best to leave the question to the public, whose perception of gay marriage, she said, is in the process of 'evolving.' She also asked lawyers to show her where the state constitution addressed same-sex marriage."

Watch the AP report on the proceedings including coverage of the anti-gay protestors outside, and remarks from Mayor Gavin Newsom, AFTER THE JUMP...

Jeremy at Good As You has lots of audio clips from the hearings.

NYT: Definition of marriage at heart of case...

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Comments

  1. Go Stuart and John! I love you guys!

    (I've worked with Stuart for years. We're all so proud of them both. Go boys!)

    Posted by: david | Mar 4, 2008 7:04:54 PM


  2. i watched it live from 9 to 1:15-ish. i'm hoping for the best.

    Posted by: sergio | Mar 4, 2008 7:14:20 PM


  3. "...at least three of the seven justices repeatedly noted that California voters have defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and that the public might not be ready to embrace same-sex marriage. Justice Carol A. Corrigan indicated that it might be best to leave the question to the public, whose perception of gay marriage, she said, is in the process of 'evolving.'"

    Was the public at large ready to embrace desegregation, interracial marriage, women's right to vote, etc. when these things were made legal? We have a long history of courts pushing equality and human rights well before the public "embraces" it.

    Years from now, Massachusetts is going to be lauded for its forward thinking on equality. It's TIME for California to step up and be examples as well!!!

    Posted by: Jon | Mar 4, 2008 7:19:15 PM


  4. It is my personal opinion that if the Supreme Court of California rules that there is no constitutional right to marriage equality or that the question should be decided via ballot, then every GLBT person in the State of California should take to the streets that evening and riot in the same way we did after Harvey Milk was shot.

    Posted by: peterparker | Mar 4, 2008 7:25:09 PM


  5. Thanks for the video, Andy!

    I'm furious that AG Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown weighed in against us, and not just because I still have an old Right Wing bumper sticker that claimed, "Jerry Brown goes down more than nuclear power plants." And, Good Lawdy Miss Clawdy—his brief argues "backlash" and "unintended consequences"???? While I don't expect a favorable ruling, I hope that one wouldn't be announced until after the Nov. election, but that's not something any man of integrity who would still call himself a friend to the gay community would put in writing in a legal brief.

    The video link below is from an SF TV station’s coverage including some questions from judges:

    http://cbs5.com/video/?id=31886@kpix.dayport.com

    “Thank you for giving me two mommies!”—GAVIN NEWSOM FOR PRESIDENT 2016!!!!!!!!!!!

    And y'all won't believe some of the pictures the SF Chron has, particularly the one in which the anti-marriage equality/"Recriminalize Sodomy" fascists display a huge sign quoting MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., to reinforce their "laws of God" argument [when, of course, there's no record of his speaking about us specifically at all]! This link will take you to it, other pictures, and the Chron's article about today.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2008/03/04/MNBDVDCIM.DTL&o=0

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 4, 2008 7:34:04 PM


  6. Newsom would be foolish to not put the SFPD on alert when the ruling is announced. No matter who wins there are going to be plenty of angry protestors in front of San Francisco's Supreme Court Building.

    And in case the Mayor thinks a few torches to the courthouse doesn't matter, he should reflect on the fact that his own office is a mere 100 meters away. Mobs aren't terribly particular about what they destroy.

    Posted by: John | Mar 4, 2008 7:45:53 PM


  7. Its getting lonely having marriage only in Massachusetts. If we win in California, I'll be able to get health insurance for my husband.

    I work for a California based company, and they don't want to recognize our marriage in Massachusetts. I think we can get alot of companies to drop the ERISA protection if California goes our way.

    Posted by: doctor boyfriend | Mar 4, 2008 8:40:14 PM


  8. Its getting lonely having marriage only in Massachusetts. If we win in California, I'll be able to get health insurance for my husband.

    I work for a California based company, and they don't want to recognize our marriage in Massachusetts. I think we can get alot of companies to drop the ERISA protection if California goes our way.

    Posted by: doctor boyfriend | Mar 4, 2008 8:41:36 PM


  9. Michael Bedwell--it's the job of the Attorney General to always represent the State's side. Regardless of his personal beliefs on the given case, he argues the side of currently established law.

    Posted by: Jeff | Mar 4, 2008 9:22:14 PM


  10. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope the Court doesn’t get any briefs from the Democratic National Committee, whose Chief of Staff Leah Daughtry, a pentecostal (they’re the really nutty ones) minister who says “I believe, as the church believes, that marriage is intended for one man and one woman.” And I hope they don’t know the views of pigheaded right-wingers like Dianne Feinstein, who got the Pink Brick award in 2005 for opposing same sex marriage equality, or Barney Frank, Billary’s campaign manager, who attacked Frisco Mayor Gavin Newsome for holding marriage ceremonies there.

    Sorry to say, the California Justices, like everyone in the country, knows that both Clinton and Obama continue to oppose same sex marriage equality based on christian bigotry and superstations. In other words they want the votes of the bigots.

    The links between christian bigots and the Democratic opposition to same sex marriage go back to Bill Clinton, aka Billary. Bill Clinton says ‘gay marriage is the kiss of death for Democrats.” He proved he meant that when it first came up for a vote in 1996 when he got the overwhelming majority of Democrats to vote for in. (There was NO movement for a DOMA amendment at the time; that’s a retroactive lie used by Hillaryhacks to excuse what Billary did.)

    Time Magazine’s Chief Political Correspondent, Michael Kramer, speaking of the 1996 elections noted that “By the time Clinton arrived in Chicago for his party's convention in August, nothing that hinted at liberalism was left hanging on him. When the President, who had begun his term advocating the rights of gays in the military, came around to supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition for gay and lesbian unions, Dole (his Republican opponent) was wide-eyed. "Is there anything we're for that he won't jump on?" Dole asked. The answer, essentially, was nothing...”

    At about the same time Associated Press reported, on October 17, 1996 that ‘After angry complaints from gay-rights advocates, the Clinton campaign on Wednesday replaced an ad running on religious radio stations that boasted of the president's signature on a bill banning gay marriages....The Clinton spot also touted his signing of the Defense of Marriage Act, in spite of earlier White House complaints that the Republicans' use of the issue amounted to "gay baiting."’

    The backstabbing politics of the Democrats on samesex marriage, ENDA, hate crimes and hate speech and DADT are dishonorable and shameful but nothing new.

    Sam Adams described them best when he tore into Tories and others opposed to independence. Adams said “If you love wealth greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not you counsel, nor your arms.

    Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

    http://www.gay.com/news/article.html?2005/04/08/3

    http://www-cgi.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/analysis/time/9611/23/kramer/

    Posted by: Bill Perdue, RainbowRED | Mar 4, 2008 11:40:41 PM


  11. Why would the California Supreme Court care what the Democratic National Committee says?

    They're all Republicans (except for one).

    Posted by: John | Mar 5, 2008 12:08:40 AM


  12. I believe that the CA Supremes were the first state supreme court to rule in support of interracial marriage. It went to the US Supreme Court later. According to the report I heard on NPR, that case was brought up by one of the Justices today. It's the obvious "duh" precedent which belies any claim that "the people" aren't ready.

    Posted by: David R. | Mar 5, 2008 1:05:04 AM


  13. Why do I get the feeling that we're screwed either way they rule?

    Posted by: Zeke | Mar 5, 2008 1:36:08 AM


  14. Since when do you have to define "rights"? Why is it that every group has their rights given to them but gays have to fight for them in the courts. "Rights" are rights and should never be on a ballot. If gays are not allowed the same rights as heterosexuals and are so called second class citizens, then whey do they have to pay taxes?

    Posted by: 70's civil rights activist | Mar 5, 2008 5:59:57 AM


  15. Just on a purely visual note: These 2 surely are a matched set. I guess we couldn't have given them a make-over? They are not exactly circuit party go-go boys. There doing the gene pool a favor.

    Posted by: Mary, Really Late Dowager Queen of the British Empire, Ireland, Empress of India, etc..... | Mar 5, 2008 7:57:27 AM


  16. Mary, that's a really vile thing to say about two wonderful, loving men with friends on this board. Beyond that fact that it isn't true. On a purely visual note, they have been standing up and fighting for the rights of GLBT people in this, and in countless other ways. I know that such looksism isn't confined to gay people, but I do think in this case you're not only wrong, but specifically unkind. The only thing needing a makeover is your soul.

    Posted by: david | Mar 5, 2008 10:07:07 AM


  17. Mary, what a hateful thing to say. How does that serve you to speak such hateful words? It shows your character is in dire need of change. Good luck to you in that change.

    Posted by: Stephen Ryan | Mar 5, 2008 7:35:17 PM


  18. I attended this hearing and feel so proud of how well it was conducted by us. I drove from 8 hours away to be there. I'm hopeful the Justices will do right by us.

    And next time I attend a gay rally I'm going to carry a banner that states, "Sodomite? Only if I get lucky! Wish me luck!"

    Posted by: Stephen Ryan | Mar 5, 2008 7:41:37 PM


  19. It is not quit clear to me why so many right-wing conservatives are completely against gay marriage. They are essentially trying to convince people that mutually respectful relationships are not beneficial to the couple or the society around them. In addition, Democrats that favor civil unions over marriage rights are opening the door to straight couples entering into civil unions so that they can get the benefits alloted, without actually getting married. Civil unions, then , will actually lower the overall marriage rate. Who is to stop two straight "friends" from filing for a civil union in order for work-related benefits in a state. Legalizing gay marriage would raise the overall marriage rates and civil unions would lower it. This is perhaps the goal of both political parties. Civil unions means no access to Social Security, whereas marriage does give access.

    I'm a legally married gay man in Massachusetts, and because there is no federal recognition of our marriage, we will not contribute the bankruptcy of Social Security because we will not have access to the money that we pay for legally married straight couples tat tap into the Social Security Benefits of his/her spouse. Civil Unions may have nothing to do with gay rights, but rather may be a way of keeping money available in Social Security.
    Jos76
    www.jos76.wordpress.com

    Posted by: jos76 | Mar 6, 2008 11:02:32 AM


  20. It is not quit clear to me why so many right-wing conservatives are completely against gay marriage. They are essentially trying to convince people that mutually respectful relationships are not beneficial to the couple or the society around them. In addition, Democrats that favor civil unions over marriage rights are opening the door to straight couples entering into civil unions so that they can get the benefits alloted, without actually getting married. Civil unions, then , will actually lower the overall marriage rate. Who is to stop two straight "friends" from filing for a civil union in order for work-related benefits in a state. Legalizing gay marriage would raise the overall marriage rates and civil unions would lower it. This is perhaps the goal of both political parties. Civil unions means no access to Social Security, whereas marriage does give access.

    I'm a legally married gay man in Massachusetts, and because there is no federal recognition of our marriage, we will not contribute the bankruptcy of Social Security because we will not have access to the money that we pay for legally married straight couples tat tap into the Social Security Benefits of his/her spouse. Civil Unions may have nothing to do with gay rights, but rather may be a way of keeping money available in Social Security.
    Jos76
    www.jos76.wordpress.com

    Posted by: jos76 | Mar 6, 2008 11:03:03 AM


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