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The federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Proposition 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban, is unconstitutional. The court found that Prop. 8 violates the equal protection clause under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We discuss the ruling, which will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Guests:
Scott Shafer, reporter and host of KQED's The California Report
Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families
John Eastman, chair of the National Organization for Marriage, law professor and former dean of the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California

  • $2870056

    Common sense ruling.  When did tradition mean a couple had to go all over a state and ask total strangers, if they could marry?  Used to be the couple asked each other, went to city hall, and got married.

    Great day for tradition!

    • RegularLIstener

      The problem with this sort of argument is that marriage confers very very substantial economic benefits that taxpayers either directly subsidize: spouses get a  large chunk of the federal budget through Social Security and Medicare ( much more than a single parent can get through TANF for example), or provide indirectly through tax breaks given to the married..This raises all sorts of”ethical questions: Right now gay couples subsidize heterosexual couples , and those single parents who would like to marry but cannot because the other parent will not also subsidize the married. Since most single parents are already economically worse off because of the lack of a second income/child support this situation is arguably unfair to single parents who would like to marry but cannot get commitment.. Also, if polygamy is legalized on the grounds that polygamous households are deprived of the “dignity” of legal status, the monogamous and single will have to subsiidize polygamy too..  Arguably this is more of the economically worse off and egaltarian having to subsidize.the wealthier and sexist (those who belive men are entitled to multiple spouses but women are not). 

      • $2870056

        What if … single parents get married.  Two people had to create a child.  Two people who are straight can marry and support a child.

        What if … you, as a person who champions polygamy, and single-parents go out and take your case to a legislature, a court, the ballot box and see if you get support for YOUR causes.

        What if … as gay couples do, you plan a family, when to have children, if you can afford to.

        What if … you raise all your “objections” on your own, and stop dressing up bigotry as a question of “fairness.”

        Spouses do not derive much of any benefit, certainly not “a large chunk of the federal budget” by being spouses.  Social Security pays less than 18% of benefits to spouses, former spouses, widows or widowers.  Medicare pays benefits only to INDIVIDUALS, not couples.  You do not have to be on Social Security to be eligible or receive Medicare.

        What if … you actual talk about facts, rather than fictions you have made up.

        Marriage isn’t for everyone.  Just committed couples who plan and live their lives together, gay or straight, childless or with children, young or old.

        No one has to wait in a line behind you, while you try to make up your mind, or make up facts.

        • RegularListener

          I was responding to your insinuation that it is wrong that “total strangers” have some say over who can marry.That argument would only hold if “total strangers” were not taxed to provide benefits to people simply because they legally married (rather than, as is the case for many (usually poor, female) could not get someone (usually a man) to agree to legal marriage. The legal benefits of being a spouse are substantial, not only are there certain tax breaks but, contrary to what you say, benefits to spouses of retirees is a substantial chunk of the federal budget,Your claim Social Security “pays less than 18% of benefits to spouses…” is very misleading. Spousal retiree benefit is one half “Primary Insurance Amount.” Check monthly statistical snapshot for December 2011 on SSA webpage: Average monthly benefit for retiree spouse is $607, for retiree is $1229. That’s indeed about half. In contrast, according to same SSA webpage, average monthly benefit of TANF in 2004 was $165. Also there is a cap of 5 years lifetime total benefit for TANF not for retiree spouses, who draw benefits for an average of about 17 years.. (Average life expectancy for age 65 woman is 19, 16 for male 65 yr old). The single, who overall are of a lower economic level, DO subsidize the married through SS retirement, as is well known to demographers. 
          “What if … you, as a person who champions polygamy”,.  I don’t champion polygamy. Like many others,I don’t want to subsidize polygamous  marriages, which could logically follow if the main argument is  every “consenting” adult has a universal right to the “dignity” of legal marriage. 

  • Blank

    It’s very peculiar that only gays are targeted for being banned from marrying. I would be OK with banning mass murders and bigots from marrying, but gays seem pretty harmless and innocent. Maybe it has to do with the Bible’s support for mass murder and bigotry, that some people want to ban gays instead.

    • Lordonlow

      This has got to be the greatest comment of all times!

  • $2870056

    Eastman continues the same old, worn-out, argument:  “Look at the judges who decided this…”  Principle?  Law?  Reason?  No chance of that.

    Like a man in a flood pleading for an umbrella.

  • Guest

    Homosexuals deserve all of the governmental protections and benefits that heterosexuals do. But the word “marriage” is a religious word. Can we also preserve that age old definition in our attempt to be fair to all?

    • MLO

      Check out pp. 37-38 of the decision.  That addresses your issue, I believe.

    • $2870056

      And the people who go to city hall to get married?  How do you be “fair” to them?  They have been marrying for centuries.

  • MLO

    Had Marilyn Monroe’s film been called ‘How to Register a Domestic
    Partnership with a Millionaire,’ it would not have conveyed the same
    meaning as did her famous movie.  Who knew federal judges were so witty?  (Decision, pg 38)

  • Arthur

    Divorce harms marriage.  Gays or lesbians getting married doesn’t harm marriage.  Rather the institution of marriage is helped by more loving couples being able to get married.

  • Arthur

    If procreation is the reason for marriage, then does that mean that elderly couples should not be allowed to get married, as they can’t have children?

    • Frank

      Similarly, by Mr. Eastman’s logic, it would be legal to prevent heterosexual men who’ve had vasectomies from getting married.

  • Bob Fry

    I understand that as citizens, gays (same-gender couples) should have the same rights as all citizens and be allowed to marry.

    But what if a brother and sister want to marry? A father and adult daughter? Etc. They too are citizens and should enjoy full rights as citizens…yes or no?

    • $2870056

      You have to be the brother or sister, the father or daughter.  You have to take YOUR desire to a court, a legislature, even the people.

      Stop wasting time blowing smoke about “what if…”

    • Jeff

      California Family Law does not permit insest with a blood relative, that close. 

      California Family Law does permit equal legal rights for same-gender unions under the Domestic Partner law.

      There is a “Disability in the sexual intercourse” in same-gender unions. That why same-gender unions are called “Domestic Partnerships” in California.

      • Jeff

        “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union”….

        It is the” Union of Two”, that the Preamble is refering to.

        • Arthur

          The Union is not marriage, it’s a union of states in the constitution joining of 13 states.

      • $2870056

        And childless couples, a man and woman who are married?  What is their “disability?”

        And unmarried couples who have children?  Unmarried singles who have children?  No “disability” there, huh?

        A number of “domestic partners” in California are different sex couples.  How are they “disable?”  By being too old?

      • Arthur

        Some elderly heterosexual couples can’t have sexual intercourse either.  Does that mean they can’t get married?

    • Arthur

      Well, since Prop 8 says that marriage is between “one man” and “one woman,” it appears that Prop 8 does nothing to prevent those circumstances of incest.  It appears that Prop 8 is fundamentally flawed if it allows any willing man and woman to marry.  Prop 8 doesn’t even prevent polygamy, since it doesn’t say that anyone can be in only one marriage at a time.  Joe can be married to Sue and also Joe can be married to Sally.  Two marriages both involving the same man.  How does Prop 8 prevent that?  No, Prop 8 only prevents two women from marrying each other, or two men from marrying each other.

  • $2870056

    Eastman:  “Tinker with marriage?”  Tinker, stinker.  When divorce, elderly marrying, and childless couples marrying “tinkered” with marriage the argument about “the end of procreation in marriage” went the way of the dinosaurs.

    One of the 18,000 couples (36,000 people) in California who rendered heterosexuals infertile.  How, I do not know.

  • Jeff

    If Gays just use the term “Domestic Partner” and not use the word “Marriage”, there might not be such a conflict.

    This may not be a conflict of equality, as it is the use of the word “Marriage” in homosexual unions.

  • K Graalfs

    The Minnesota caller talked about the Roman Catholic Church’s commitment to lobby against same sex marriage, and another caller wanted us to know that, although a Mormon, he is not against same sex marriage, even though his church funded the Prop 8 passage. How can churches maintain their non-profit status if they become lobbyists?

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Going back to Biblical times and then old English law marriage was ALL about male property rights and who could inherit after he died. Its one reason when a couple married they were pronounced man and wife NOT husband and wife. Read two books, History of the Wife and then Public Vows.
       Then there is the modern day issue of couples who marry and have no desire to have children,which makes the whole procreation argument a non issue. Not to mention folks like Newt Gingrich can make a mockery out of the so called sacrament of marriage, which also doesn’t produce offspring and the conservative Christians don’t seem to care.
    Around eight years ago when changing radio channels we came upon a show with a Dr James Dobson who is a Christian and he was noting that divorce amongst Christian was higher than non Christians.
         So much for the argument that same sex marriage will weaken the institution of marriage, since same sex marriage hadn’t become legal back then.

  • Arthur

    Domestic partnerships do not have the same legal rights as marriage.  So unless and until domestic partners can inherit property as married, file tax returns as married, and many other rights that married people have, domestic partnership is not a substitute for marriage.  If your religion doesn’t want to have same sex couples get married, then don’t officiate at them.  But other religions are perfectly fine with same sex coupled getting married.

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