Judge refuses to dismiss gay marriage ban lawsuit

What is the harm to the procreation purpose you outlined of allowing same-sex couples to get married?

This is a remarkable article containing what is tantamount to an admission in open court that Prop 8 supporters do not believe their own rhetoric, in fact do not even understand it well enough to be able to analyze it and anticipate challenges.

You know, the sort of thing they teach the first day in debate class or rhetoric class in high school.

Either that, or no savvy lawyers are willing and available to represent their case.

The quotes from Any Pugno at the end, a Prop 8 supporter are  pugnacious an repugnant. As you read them, substitute “slavery” for “same sex marriage” and see if his thoughts make any sense at all.

October 14, 2009


Associated Press Writer

A federal judge challenged the backers of California’s voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday to explain how allowing gay couples to wed threatens conventional unions, a demand that prompted their lawyer to acknowledge he did not know.

The unusual exchange between U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker and Charles Cooper, a lawyer for the group that sponsored Proposition 8, came during a hearing on a lawsuit challenging the measure as discriminatory under the U.S. Constitution.

Cooper had asked Walker to throw out the suit or make it more difficult for those civil rights claims to prevail.

The judge not only refused but signaled that when the case goes to trial in January, he expects Cooper and his legal team to present evidence showing that male-female marriages would be undermined if same-sex marriages were legal.

The question is relevant to the assertion by gay marriage opponents that Proposition 8 is constitutionally valid because it furthers the state’s goal of fostering “naturally procreative relationships,” Walker explained.

Read the rest

Schwarzenegger signs gay rights bill SB 54 now law

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed two gay rights bills, one honoring late activist Harvey Milk and another recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

In the last of hundreds of bill actions taken before midnight Sunday, Schwarzenegger approved the two bills by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco.

The governor last year vetoed the measure declaring May 22 a state day of recognition for Milk, suggesting that the former San Francisco supervisor be honored locally. But he subsequently named him to the California Hall of Fame.

Leno’s SB 54, meanwhile, requires California to recognize marriages performed in other states where same sex marriage is legal.

In a signing message, Schwarzenegger said California will not recognize the couples as married but will “provide the same legal protections that would otherwise be available to couples that enter into civil unions or domestic partnerships out-of-state. In short, this measure honors the will of the People in enacting Proposition 8 while providing important protections to those unions legally entered into in other states.”

via Schwarzenegger signs gay rights bills – Latest News – sacbee.com.… Read the rest

Quotes from the National Equality March

n524467323_9875Nature vs. Nurture:

The origin of bigotry should be the focus of a nature vs. nurture debate.
Kim Coco Iwamoto, Hawaii State Board of Education

On the Nature of Justice:

No one should be patient when it comes to their Human Rights. Justice delayed is Justice denied. Justice is Indivisible – you can not be for Justice for some and not for all. Today we call on all people to look into their heart and tell us why we should not be equal.

Stewart Applebaum – gay leader of Retail, Wholesale Workers Union, President of Jewish Labor Committee

On the nature of equality:

Equality is about having all our basic needs met.

Penelope Williams – bisexual activist

On the nature of oppression:

When you feel oppressed and beat down, you don’t feel nothing, you don’t give a damn.

Much more after the jump…

Read the rest

Porterville this is aimed right at you!

Local Tulare County Professor Professor Robin McGehee is co-Director of the event, streaming now. Porterville City Council, watch what you have wrought!

RT @unitethefight: Coverage of National Equality March has started on C-SPAN!! http://ow.ly/tPlt #NEM

C-SPAN offers gavel to gavel coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives. C-SPAN also offers a variety of public affairs programming including congressional hearings, press briefings from the White House, State Department and Pentagon, campaign and election coverage, and international programming.
Read the rest

Top Judge Calls Calif. Government ‘Dysfunctional’

Chief Justice George said, “Chickens gained valuable rights in California on the same day that gay men and lesbians lost them.”

Beyond budget matters, Justice George, a Republican appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1991, was critical of a 2008 voter initiative that ended same-sex marriage in California. In May 2008 the Supreme Court struck down the state’s statutes limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, with an opinion written by Justice George citing a 1948 decision that reversed the state’s interracial marriages ban. But in the November elections that year, a ballot measure known as Proposition 8 amended the constitution to override the court.

Citing a successful ballot initiative that same Election Day that regulated the confinement of fowl in coops, Justice George said, “Chickens gained valuable rights in California on the same day that gay men and lesbians lost them.” He added, “The court over which I preside frequently is called upon to resolve legal challenges to voter initiatives. Needless to say, we incur the displeasure of the voting public when, in the course of performing our constitutional duties as judges, we are compelled to invalidate such a measure.”

via Top Judge Calls Calif. Government ‘Dysfunctional’ – NYTimes.com.

Read the rest

Rep. Joe Sestak: The Civil Rights Test of Our Generation

In response to this, a Christian friend, and police officer, suggested privately to me that it was wrong of me to equate the fight for equality with the Civil Rights Era of the 50s and 60s,  and especially wrong to invoke the plight of Selma Alabama when examining the recent history of Porterville California and its possible future. He didn’t really offer a good reason, or in fact any reason at all why not, although the conversation is still ongoing and I am hopeful he explains his thoughts more completely.

Home | Joe Sestak for Senate_1255152666708Tonight though, I find this post from US Representative Joe Sestak, (D-Pennsyvania), former 3 Star navy Admiral and currently  US Senate Candidate:

When we think of the civil rights movement, we tend to think of grainy footage of marches and speeches, Selma, Ala., and the National Mall.

But our generation, too, is a part of that movement and has a critical role to play. It has been a long journey for our country, but we are now close to finally realizing our founders’ vision of a society where all are created equal and endowed with the same inalienable rights.

I cannot imagine denying equal rights to anyone I served with. How can anyone say, we fought and served together, we depended on one another, we risked our lives for this country, but back home you shouldn’t enjoy the rights that you defended?

He continues with fantastic news:  Rep. Joe Sestak: The Civil Rights Test of Our Generation, after the jump:… Read the rest

Porterville Council’s Hate Vote Sparks a National Movement

We urge the Porterville California City Council to reverse its explicit and implicit rejection of its rights-affirming 2001 Resolution in the Wake of the Patriot Act. Your September 2008 Resolution asking constituents to vote to remove existing rights from a minority of people has and is damaging the City’s valuable reputation, and has sparked a movement that has become national in scope.

n524467323_9875This weekend is the National Equality March  in Washington, DC – in support of the right of everyone to have equal protection under the laws. All relevant laws, particularly those laws related to marriage, military service, and health care are targeted.

Organized in a scant few months, and bringing the promise of more to come, this March has its roots right here in rural Tulare County, California and Porterville in particular.… Read the rest

‘Whatever’ – Why Anti-SSM Hateful Actions, are , Well, Hateful and Hated

“It doesn’t surprise me because ‘whatever’ is in a special class, probably,” said Michael Adams, author of “Slang: The People’s Poetry” and an associate professor of English at Indiana University. “It’s a word that — and it depends how a speaker uses it — can suggest dismissiveness.”

via ‘Whatever’ so totally tops most annoying word poll – Yahoo! News.

This story clearly shows that words with a dismissive tone and nuance do not go unnoticed by listeners and observers.

Dismissiveness is the primary rhetorical technique used at high levels of anti-rights campaigns such as California’s and now Maine’s referenda on Same Sex Marriage.

So is possibly-feigned ignorance of science or any sort of rational thinking.

Combine all that with advocacy for separatism bordering on apartheid, not even pretending to rise to the level of “separate but equal” that was tossed out as a prevailing legislative principal by the Supreme Court in 1954, before most of us were even born, and you have the recipe for a stirring rendition of hate to be expressed as part of  God’s Greater Glory every Sunday in Churches across the country.… Read the rest

Sharp Debate At High Court Over Cross On US Land

Debate Mirrors Ongoing Porterville Controversy in Murray Park

“I have been in Jewish cemeteries,” Eliasberg continued. “There is never a cross on a tombstone of a Jew.”

From: Sharp debate at high court over cross on US land – Yahoo! News.

This case mirrors a  current situation in Porterville,  one of many that our City has managed to generate in attempts to skirt the First Amendment’s Establishment clause.

Here in Murray Park, we have a Christian Cross, where Easter Sunrise Services are annually helped on City-owned and run parkland.

If only our City could devote as much energy to innovative thoughts and solutions to real civic issues, such as:

  1. Poor use of information technology (IT) by City Hall
  2. Abysmal education rate
  3. The lack of a strategy for marketing Porterville as part of an economic development plan
  4. The lack of a sense of place and purpose in the new General Plan

Perhaps if we are all lucky, the Supreme Court will rule sensibly in this case and it will serve as a wakeup call to City leaders to find what makes Porterville best and competitive and to nurture that instead of the anti-First Amendment, anti-science, anti-equality hate they focus on so much.… Read the rest

Texas judge clears way for gay divorce

[Texas Attorney General]Abbott has argued that because the state doesn’t recognize gay marriage, its courts can’t dissolve one through divorce.

Texas judge clears way for gay divorce – Yahoo! News.

So it seems that Texas is torn – they are so set against two men or two women having a marriage, yet they won’t lift a finger to help these two men get rid of the one they have and no longer want.

I predict eventually the same sad hypocritical situation will happen here in Porterville or surrounding Tulare County.

Read the rest

Wounded psyche in need of repair, not a statesman

There is a distasteful type of article that appears often, covering many kind of topics. The rhetoric goes along these lines: I tried something, it didn’t work out, and so you shouldn’t try it. Movie and restaurant reviews are generally of this type.

But there is a less innocuous but still common variant that is easily found. In the variant, the rhetoric is: I tried something, it didn’t work out, hence it can’t work out, we must bring the whole weight of the government to prevent anyone from trying again.

For example, The Worst Thing About Gay Marriage: It isn’t going to work by Sam Schulman in the June 1, 2009Weekly Standard magazine. Schulman repeats a litany of questions and assertions, all without any citation or seemingly any coherence at all, to try to suggest that gay marriages simply can’t work. Despite evidence from States around the US and countries around the world to the contrary.

But buried deep int he article he reveals himself and his true concern, and how his rant fits into te category I described above:

Few men would ever bother to enter into a romantic heterosexual marriage–much less three, as I have done–were it not for the iron grip of necessity that falls upon us when we are unwise enough to fall in love with a woman other than our mom.

Schulman has tried marriage 3 times, already failed twice, and is carrying the failures as burdens in his 3rd. The long list of what he perceives a marriage to be starts to look more like personal concerns rather than absolutes.

As always happens  with these types of articles, they are about the author’s personal demons, not something the public cares about. Schulman seeks a kind of absolution from us, the reader, granting him release from his errors, by asking us to enact a law that would prevent men and women like him who want to get married,  from even ever having the chance to find out that their relationship is or is not going to last.… Read the rest

Porterville California City Council to Vote on Controversial Same-Sex Marriage Topic Yet Again

July 29, 2009
Porterville, CA

Continues to drain city resources and reputation

Former Mayor and current Councilmember Cameron Hamilton is scheduled to introduce a resolution asking the Council to condemn same sex marriage, this time using Mark Leno’s Senate Bill 54 as a hook, at the next Porterville City Council Meeting on August 4, 2009. The meeting will take place at 7PM at City Hall on Main Street in Porterville, deep in California’s Central Valley. Local Civil Rights advocates and leaders will be available for press comments both before and after the meeting.

Unlike last September’s resolution in support of Prop 8 introduced by Councilmember Brian Ward which passed unanimously with minimal public notice, Hamilton’s new attempt is happening in full view of Civil Rights advocates from Porterville and across the state. The local advocates have been present at every public meeting for months educating City Council and Portervillians on how Council’s September Resolution hurts individuals and places the ability of the City to do its ordinary business at risk.

At the July 21, 2009 City Council meeting Hamilton asked for permission to introduce a resolution regarding Senate Bill 54. SB 54, introduced by Mark Leno (D-SF) would allow same-sex couples who were married legally in another state but who are now in California all the rights rights that California grants married couples except the right to call themselves married. This is squarely in line with Prop 8 supporting campaign materials and rank and file comments that the issue is not the rights granted to the couples but rather the name “marriage”.

During the very heated discussion at the most recent Council meeting on July 21, new Mayor Pete McCracken, and Councilmen Pedro Martinez and Felipe Martinez echoed the advocate’s arguments that they have heard many times: that Council is not the place to discuss State and Federal level matters and that damages the City’s economic development efforts.… Read the rest