(Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved 2008 ban on same-sex marriage. The following day, the high court will take up the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. We’ll preview the historic hearings.

Guests:
Scott Shafer, reporter and host of KQED's The California Report
David Levine, law professor at UC Hastings

  • Maximus

    Marriage is a product of both religion and society. People who would prefer that religion dominate society oft claim that marriage is solely a religious matter, but that is a dishonest claim. Before there were religions, there were unions between people. Society predates religion. Religion is really just a man-made parasite living off of society. Society invented religion, therefore society’s members can define marriage or religion itself however they please, and religion itself has no substantial authority over the matter of marriage, any more than your pet dog has authority over the food bowl you bought for him. It is when people become deluded into thinking that religion is not an arbitrary invention of man and that religion is founded on facts that they imagine it can control society, and that holy books can define marriage. Religion is the scourge of humanity.

    • Kurt thialfad

      The issue at hand is neither hoe religion views marriage, nor how society views, but how the legal system views marriage.

  • Joey B.

    Although it appears nowhere in the constitution, the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence remains a major statement of every citizen’s legal and natural rights irregardless of sexual orientation: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    • Kurt thialfad

      DOI is not a legal document.

      • Joey B.

        The Declaration of Independence has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the fundamental law and jurisprudence of the United States of America.

        • Kurt thialfad

          give me an example.

          • Guest

            Stern v. Marshall and Borough of Duryea, Pa. v. Guanieri during the 2010-2011 term alone.

      • Guest
        • Kurt thialfad

          Ok, so the DOI was declared legal 10/20/2011. I feel that it is understandable that I was slow on the uptake.

  • Kurt thialfad

    Prop 8 aside, what about the CA State Constitution, which states only a marriage between a man and a woman is legal? Isn’t there a protocol to amend the State Constitution? Can the Supreme Court amend a state’s constition? What of the other 28 states with the same ban on gay marriage?

  • Kurt thialfad

    The big aspect of DOMA is the immigration benefit. If any US citizen/resident can sponsor any other foreign person regardless of sex, then these first tier admissions will balloon, adding years to the wait times of all other family based residency petitions. The inpact on our population growth will be huge.

    • Hal Barca

      How would homosexual union hugely impact population growth?

      • Kurt thialfad

        It would alter the way our population grows through immigration. For all bi-national same-sex couples, you would have an enormous increase in spousal-based petiitions for US residency. What impact this will have longterm, I can’t say. I’m no expert.

  • Aaron

    Who is arguing the Prop 8 Case, Boies or Olson?

  • Chemist150

    Why does the media always leave out the 14th amendment? It states:

    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    Thus prohibiting prop 8 since it targets a portion of the population that is religious by giving them the right and prohibiting others from that same right. Not only does prop 8 violate the 14th amendment, it violates the right to religion. I’m an atheist and I’m offended that Catholics would force their dogma on me or others by law.

    • Kurt thialfad

      Is this being imposed by the Catholics? It seems to me most organized religions think along the same lines. Muslim, Jewish, Baptist, Hindu, Lutheran, etc. Perhaps, Unitarians specifically condon gay marriage, but I can think of no other religion that does.

      • Chemist150

        Catholicism is only an example but the Hispanic population was targeted to get prop 8 passed and they’re primarily Catholic.

        • Kurt thialfad

          I don’t see the religion connection. Marriage is a human societal activity like eating, drinking, celebrating, sleeping, reaching puberty, dying, birth, stages of development, cycles of the season, etc. To these we attach context, ritual, and tradition.

    • Kurt thialfad

      Let’s see we got “privileges” and we got “immunities” which are applied to Citizens.

      And we got “life, liberty, and property” which applies to all persons.

      Finally, we got “equal protection” which applies to persons with the jurisdiction of US law.

      So there are 3 categories of people, and various political conditions, noting that rights are never mentioned. So where does the right to marry fit in to this model?

      • Chemist150

        You’re intentionally trying to limit the conditions which can be used to argue one side or the other to guide a potential debate. I do not accept these limitations and would not make an attempt to debate within arbitrary and unjustified limits.
        As I’ve stated, propostition 8 is unconstitution on at least 2 counts as stated in the original post.

        • Kurt thialfad

          so be it.

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