Re: How lily-livered

1

Fidelity.

Courage Campaign surveyed its members to see if they should campaign to overturn the decision in 2010 and 2012. I sent them a link to Nate Silver's column estimating that gay marriage could attract majority support in CA in 2010.

Part of me thinks 2012 might be a smarter bet, because the "no" side always has an advantage with propositions. But I think that comes into play more with legislative overkill, e.g. the last batch of budget fixes, than with a hot issue that everyone's going to be well informed on.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 11:13 AM
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Interesting silver lining from the Los Angeles Times:

Even with the court upholding Proposition 8, a key portion of the court's May 15, 2008, decision remains intact. Sexual orientation will continue to receive the strongest constitutional protection possible when California courts consider cases of alleged discrimination. The California Supreme Court is the only state high court in the nation to have elevated sexual orientation to the status of race and gender in weighing discrimination claims.

Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 11:17 AM
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And a million wedding planners say "you fucking dumbasses."

It also puts gay people in a weirdly Catholic position vis a vis divorce.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 11:20 AM
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County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078

The definitive book-length account of this episode had better be called Horton Queers a Who.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 11:25 AM
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This isn't a big surprise at all. The lawyers for the pro-marriage side were REALLY good, but they had a huge uphill battle to climb. This was, on the merits, a relatively "easy" case, and the CA Supreme Court would have had to have thrown out a great deal of precedent for the case to have come out the other way.

Really, this is just one more example of California's incredibly screwed up constitutional structure (majority vote propositions can amend the constitution to alter individual rights) screwing people over. We really need to just start over on the Constitution of this State.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 11:29 AM
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I'll be interested to hear what you think of Moreno's dissent.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 11:33 AM
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5: I'm ready for a constitutional convention.

Yesterday, Sara Robinson over at Orcinus suggested that taking this particular hill might be a bloodier battle than we want right now. As unhappy as I am about the issue I think she's making some sense.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 12:05 PM
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I'm saddened.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 12:14 PM
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7: The analysis isn't off the wall, but to the extent that the recommendation is "go slow", I think that's wrong. "Be prepared for blowback" is a fine point to make. That the victory will be more secure once it's won at the ballot box is a fine point to make. But a judicial decision would have been defensible, appropriate, and right.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 12:15 PM
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But a judicial decision would have been defensible, appropriate, and morally right but legally hard to defend.

The problem really does seem to be the complete fuckedupedness of California's constitutional system. I don't think you can fault the court here.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 12:22 PM
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The problem really does seem to be the complete fuckedupedness of California's constitutional system.

When it becomes considerably easier to eliminate constitutional protections for individuals than to pass a budget resolution, it's probably time to drop the whole state into receivership and start over.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:14 PM
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It also puts gay people in a weirdly Catholic position vis a vis divorce.

I can see how it would (assuming I correctly understand what you mean) and I am sure that haters love to point to gay divorces such as that of one of the headline couples of the Mass. marriage movement but honestly, in the long run, anyone who supports gay marriage on the grounds that gay couples deserve happiness as much as anyone else would be a huge hypocrite if they pressured gay couples to stay in unhappy marriages just to prove a point. In fact I think when gay divorces naturally follow gay marriages it will probably flip just as many, "wow, I've been there" switches in mixed-sex America as it will "wow, what failures" in those who are looking for something to criticize. Anything that reminds others that we're just people is probably a net good thing.

Rah had to be in CA on business the week marriages started there. I am still half kicking myself for not going out there with him and half grateful that we didn't have to face the wrath of our post-elopement friends.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:23 PM
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12: come up to Massachusetts!

As far as divorce, all I really meant that's odd is that, if you're married, Californian, and gay, and you get divorced, you (at least under the current status quo) have no chance of remarrying. That's weird.

In terms of the phenomenon of gay divorce in general, it's been running at about the same (or at a slightly lower) rate as in straight marriages in MA, I think, unsurprisingly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:27 PM
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12: I think by "weirdly Catholic position" he just meant "think long and hard about whether you really want to divorce this person because you will never be able to remarry someone else."


Posted by: Brock Landesr | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:28 PM
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OK - see, I misunderstood it as "Divorce? Are you kidding? What will people think?" which I guess is actually more the Southern Baptist Convention position. Such are the wages of growing up Protestant!

I wish there were some extremely clever way to game that system, though, or just to fuck with things. Like, marrying, divorcing, then trying to remarry the same person with a straight-faced attempt at, "But the Supreme Court of this state says that it is legal for me to marry them."


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:37 PM
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I don't think of Brock as having been pwned, I think of him as having rewritten 13.2 in comprehensible English.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:37 PM
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15: or arguing that the decision actually capped the total number of gay marriages at 18,000, which means that for every divorce another couple gets to be married.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:38 PM
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13.1: Or Vermont. It's farther for you, but more scenic. And gay people up there have been getting united-in-the-bonds-of-legal-whatever-you-call-it longer, so the state is more used to it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:42 PM
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No way, Massachusetts. I know a great caterer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:43 PM
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Returning to the ballot: 2010 vs 2012. (EQCA)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:45 PM
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I think 2 is worth a good look. Here in Wyoming, anyway [the Equality State!], where gay marriage is going to be out of the question until decades after the rest of the country accepts it, we're leaning hard on domestic partner benefits and hate-crimes legislation. Might even get somewhere! So if California wants to serve as an example on that front, 'sokay with me. Not that I think it's okay that they upheld Prop 8, but silver linings look pretty darn silvery from here.


Posted by: adamhenne | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 1:46 PM
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17: Such a system would open up interesting revenue opportunities.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 2:15 PM
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19: No way, Vermont. I know a great florist.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 2:16 PM
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17: Cap-and-trade!

As to the lily-liveredness, I vaguely like that this is a compromise that leaves no one satisfied and I am extremely pleased that the existing marriages are upheld as recognized and legal. Most importantly, it means that 18,000 fewer couples have to worry about making health decisions if there's a car accident on the way home today.

It also means that gay marriage is affirmed as legal under a known set of conditions in California. It identifies a target state to which the constitution has to be returned instead of leaving everyone scratching their heads on what wording or what constitution will "work." Yes, that cuts both ways, but I believe my general optimism about this on a generational time scale is well-known.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 2:22 PM
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I'm not sure I want to give the right-wing another 'activist court/they took away our freedom to vote' ball to play with.

It can be overturned through voting. In the long run, this is the more devastating strategy for those jokers.


Posted by: ozma | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 3:20 PM
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Does this mean Californians can go to Iowa, get married, come back to California, and still be married?

All this is old news rehashed to me; I was thirteen years old, and living 800 miles South of the Mason-Dixon line, when Loving vs. Viriginia overthrew anti-miscegenation laws in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Posted by: W. Kiernan | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 3:23 PM
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In Ireland 20 years ago even heterosexuals couldn't get divorced. Now they may join the majority of E.U. states in legalizing gay divorce before the US does.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 3:31 PM
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13, 18, 19, 23 - no, come over here! I know a great ... erm ... well, I know some people. Who do weddingy things.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 3:38 PM
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Priest?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 3:40 PM
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28: Druids?


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 3:48 PM
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Does this mean Californians can go to Iowa, get married, come back to California, and still be married?

Yes! Come, get married, and stay in Iowa! (doing my part to stop the negative population growth).


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 3:53 PM
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11 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 3:58 PM
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Hey, I just read Moreno's dissent. It is an incredibly persuasive argument about why the system California has adopted and prior CA Supreme Court precedent is unbelievably screwed up; 11 could have been a "shorter Justice Moreno." It's quite a reach, though, in terms of actually-existing California law (and comes close to admitting as much) which is, I think, why the vote was 6-1.

I really love Moreno. He would have been a far better candidate, IMO, for first latino Supreme Court Justice. Certainly he would have been a liberal lion across a number of issues on which Sotomayor will be Breyeresque, particularly business issues.

In fact, as a Californian, I'm starting to regret slightly my primary vote and campaign work for Barack Obama. Maybe Hilary would have been worse for the world, but she'd be a lot better for the place where I live. Would President Hilary Clinton agreed to have guaranteed the state's loans, thus preventing the biggest crisis for California's poor since Woody Guthrie sang about the Okies? Undoubtedly. Would Justice Moreno have been on the SCOTUS? Possibly. The Obama administration is very leanly staffed with Californians for a Democratic administration, and doesn't seem particularly interested in the state; things would have been very different for the state if the Clintons were in power, since one of the Clintons' firmest beliefs is that their power rests in California and they better not do anything to alienate it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 6:19 PM
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You will be proud to know that I am returned from the small downtown-LA protest, where I held up a banner printed with this comment thread.

I didn't think it was a good enough thread to take to West Hollywood.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 8:04 PM
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Who do weddingy things.

Get drunk and fuck like gangbusters?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-27-09 1:06 AM
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22: one could take the cap-and-trade system further by allowing the importation of offsets. If someone, or rather two someones, in a marriage-legal state such as Vermont promise not to get gay married, it generates a Gay Marriage Offset Certificate (GMOC), which can be imported to California and used to offset the damage done to the Fabric of American Society by another gay marriage in California.
I am sure that plenty of Vermonters would be happy to participate in such a system. All the straight ones, for a start.
Another approach might be to calculate how much the Institution of Marriage is strengthened by another straight couple getting married in California, and use this to generate the required number of GMOC, which the newly-wed couple could then trade on the open market.
Of course, by extension, straight couples getting divorced would also have to buy GMOCs, as they would be weakening the Institution of Marriage.

If this was expanded to the international level, it could be a real export earner for countries like India, given the millions of weddings happening there every year.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-27-09 4:07 AM
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Tim Rutten in the L.A. Times gets into what Brock and I were circling around in 9-10:

That ruling, also written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, drew deeply -- in spirit, at least -- on the philosopher Michael Walzer's insight that the American conception of moral progress consists not in the creation of novel rights but in the extension of those recognized as fundamental to those people to whom they've been denied. As such, the earlier decision stood in a distinguished line that includes Griswold vs. Connecticut and Brown vs. Board of Education -- in which courageous judges undertook to synchronize the law with the social conscience of their age.
Tuesday's ruling stands in the line of moral retreat and expedient retrenchment that includes Dred Scott vs. Sandford, Plessy vs. Ferguson and Korematsu vs. the United States.

Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-27-09 11:52 AM
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Don't blame the courts for this one.

Blame the voters who adopted Prop. 8, and make sure to win the next one, dammit.


Posted by: Sophomore | Link to this comment | 05-27-09 12:34 PM
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Amusing.

(Cf.)


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 05-27-09 1:39 PM
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39: I saw Micucci (Oates) play in L.A. She's cute and funny, though she hasn't entirely figured out whether she's a children's entertainer or an adult comedian. Which is fine.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-27-09 2:13 PM
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