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Old June 28th, 2013 (04:49 PM).
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Same-sex weddings under way in California after stay is lifted

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By Pete Williams and M. Alex Johnson, NBC News

Two California women were being married Friday afternoon after a federal appeals court dissolved the stay blocking same-sex marriage in California.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights said late Friday that both couples who challenged Proposition 8 — the California law that had barred same-sex marriage in California — would be married immediately. Nicholas Pacilio, a spokesman for state Attorney General Kamala Harris, told NBC News that Harris was already in San Francisco officiating at the wedding of one of the two couples, Sandy Stier and Kris Perry.

"Gay and lesbian couples have waited so long for this day and for their fundamental right to marry," she said in a statement. "Finally, their loving relationships are as legitimate and legal as any other."

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals lifted the stay two days after the Supreme Court declined to rule on Prop 8, thereby upholding a lower court's decision overturning the measure. The appeals court had blocked enforcement of that ruling pending the Supreme Court decision.

The justices also struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law passed by Congress that barred recognition of same-sex marriages.

Supreme Court rulings generally don't take effect for 25 days. But Harris had called on the 9th Circuit to lift its stay as soon as possible Wednesday after Gov. Jerry Brown told the state's 58 counties to prepare for same-sex marriages.

Brown issued an order Friday afternoon making that official, declaring that "marriage licenses must be issued to same-sex couples immediately."

The Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund, which sponsored the ballot initiative, called the appeals court's decision an "outrageous act of judicial tyranny," saying it had been deprived of "our right to ask for reconsideration."

"Homosexual marriage is not happening because the people changed their mind," the group said in a statement. "It isn't happening because the appellate courts declared a new constitutional right. It's happening because enemies of the people have abused their power to manipulate the system and render the people voiceless."
What a bunch of whiners those anti-gay folk are! I especially like the phrase "enemy of the people."
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Old June 28th, 2013 (06:45 PM).
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see I don't understand why they are getting upset that 2 ppl just wanna be together I think if that's who u wanna be with its not my place to say anything and I'm sorry that'd just how I feel I don't want to upset any one with what I say but its how I feel
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Old June 28th, 2013 (07:01 PM).
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This is derivative of all the same-sex marriage legislation threads. But by enemy of the people they mean the court's decision: that the petitioners for Prop 8 are not allowed to appeal on the behalf of the State of California. The dissenting (pro-Prop 8) argument is that the people have a democratic right to appeal and the court not allowing that is undemocratic. So that's where enemy of the people comes from. The majority argument was that the pro-Prop 8 petitioners don't have any standing to appeal on the behalf of California, if you're interested. I really boiled down the legalese because I don't even know the definitions and terminology myself, but hopefully that's the gist of it.
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Old June 28th, 2013 (07:28 PM).
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Hey, not ALL of us Californians are upset at this. I for one am happy for them.

Don't forget that Prop 8 only passed with 52 percent majority.
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Old June 28th, 2013 (07:37 PM).
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State of California means the state of the State of California, that is the government. Some same-sex coupled sued Prop 8 and the government didn't want to defend it, and so Prop 8 petitioners tried to appeal, but the court's decision is no they can't. The petitioners call the court the enemy of the people by not allowing the people (that is them, which is valid lemme remind you because that's what democracy is) to appeal on behalf of the government that chose not to do it. But yeah they had no standing, which is totally not understandable.

Said no one ever.
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Old June 28th, 2013 (11:31 PM).
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Prop 8 only passed because of a huge infusion of out-of-state money from anti-gay groups. (I would say hate groups.) It's not like the slim margin accurately represents "the will of the people." Californians are for gay marriage.
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Old June 29th, 2013 (02:16 AM).
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Let us not forget here that the US is not a direct democracy, in that the people do not directly pass or abolish laws. The US is a representative Republic where the people elect representatives to do that. The courts, on the other hand, are there to ensure that the laws that are passed conform to the ultimate law of the land which is the constitution. In some cases, the people are given the opportunity to pass laws directly through an initiative process. However, the will of the people is still subject to scrutiny by the courts to ensure that no law or amendment to a state's constitution conflicts with the U.S. constitution. This is what happened here.

The pro-Prop 8 crowd put Prop 8 on the ballot in California's election. Prop 8 passed with 52% of the vote (not 52% of the people as some would like to claim, for only about 38% of eligible voters voted during that election so we'll never know the true percentage of people, had they voted, would have voted for the proposition).

After Prop 8 passed. marriages between same-sex couples were halted.

Two couples, who wanted to get married, sued the state. The state, determining that Prop 8 was unconstitutional (according to their interpretation of the U.S. constitution) and refused to defend the state. The pro-Prop 8 group was given standing by the Federal District Court to defend the amendment. Note, they were not given standing as representatives of the state.

The pro-Prop 8 crowd lost their case, and Prop 8 was deemed to be in conflict with the U.S. constitution and was ruled unconstitutional. The pro-prop 8 crowd then sought to appeal to the 9th Circuit of Appeals. They were granted their request. Once again, however, they lost. and the 9th Circuit also ruled Prop 8 was unconstitutional. The pro-Prop 8 crowd then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to take the case.

Instead of determining the case on its merits, however, like the 9th Circuit did, the Supreme Court decided that the proponents did NOT have standing according to precedent. At no time in U.S. history has a private individual, or group of people, been given standing in federal courts where they were not elected representatives, or employed by the state in an administrative role. The Supreme Court, in its ruling, refused to do so now. They followed legal precedent, which is their duty.

Now, I can understand why some people are upset by the Supreme Court's decision, and I can understand that they, according to their beliefs, feel that the Supreme Court robbed "the people" of the right to determine the laws of the land. But let us remember, as I stated above, the people do not have the right to enact laws which are in violation of the U.S. constitution. If they do, it is entirely the court's duty, when the law is challenged, to rule on whether that law is in conflict with the constitution. If it is deemed to be, then the law cannot be enforced.

Let us also remember that when the courts determine a law is unconstitutional, the law remains on the books. It's still present. However, it cannot be enforced.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting sexual acts between same-sex couples were unconstitutional, those laws did not suddenly disappear, however. The states that had those statutes on the books still have them. And some of them refuse to abolish those laws, even though effectively those laws cannot be enforced.

Now, on a different subject: the term "enemies of the people," is something that was used extensively by the Soviet Union way back. It was a term that fitted well with the idea that the people were in control. And anyone acting against what the state determined was the best interest of the people were designated as enemies of the people. It was a designation used by Vladimir Lenin after he camed to power. People who were deemed to be enemies of the people were imprisoned, expelled or executed, and lost their property to confiscation.

Now, while I do not imply that the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund meant to use this term in the manner described above, the very fact they would use it at all, is concerning. It implies a right by the majority to impose laws on a minority, something which the U.S. constitution was expressly designed to prevent. The will of the people can never be used as a justification to subjugate a minority and to restrict, or prohibit them from exercising, their rights. The U.S., as I said, is not a direct democracy. The people cannot directly impose laws on minorities to disadvantage them. And this is exactly what the pro-Prop 8 people expected the courts to allow them to do. Clearly, they do not understand their own legal system.
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Old June 29th, 2013 (06:14 AM).
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I think you're taking too critical of a reading here. It's not that the pro-Prop 8 petitioners felt that they have a right to enact laws, but that they have a right to stand in court on behalf of the government to argue for the government's interest to support Prop 8, which isn't offensive out of the box. It's not the imposition from the majority to the minority because all the petitioners want to do is stand in and argue on the defendant side because the government officials refuses to do so. So in actuality Prop 8 was never found unconstitutional, because there was no appeal to begin with. When they were in court that day, they weren't discussing the constitutionality of Prop 8, but whether or not petitioners should be allowed to defend it - which they ruled no, and as a result Prop 8 was overturned because there is no case without defendants.

The enemies of the people refer to this court, not the LGBT community, because it deprived the petitioners of the right to stand in. It refers not to that the court determined Prop 8 was constitutional, but the fact that they didn't have the opportunity to defend it. It's not about the content of Prop 8 at all. In the event that the court did find the petitioners able to defend it, then would they actually start discussing if Prop 8 is constitutional or not. Just because they're in court doesn't mean they'll surely defend Prop 8, and there is no imposition anywhere in this sequence of events. If they were allowed to defend it, there would still be a debate in court. Nobody ever wanted to determine or impose the laws of the land, that's the court's job not the people's and everybody was on the same page with that. If any of us finds calling someone "enemy of the people" to be concerning, well at least now you understand why they chose that phrase and it makes sense because you see where they're coming from even if you don't agree with it.

No the US is not a direct democracy, but nobody wanted to directly pass or abolish laws because it is commonly recognized that it's the judicial system's job to do so on the behalf of us all. All they wanted to do was defend the ruling on behalf of the government. They were denied the ability to do so because essentially "Prop 8 doesn't affect you". The pro-Prop 8 didn't appeal to the Supreme Court, they appealed for the ability to appeal to the Supreme Court, and were determined not to be able to appeal. They do understand their own legal system and believe in the process, they just disagree with the ruling. To paint the picture otherwise is just casting those against same-sex marriage (and I suppose by extension those against same-sex rights) as illogical bogeymen who don't follow the rules of the game like the rest of us do. I'm in support of the LGBT community, as you guys hopefully recognize, but the misrepresentation of the pro-Prop 8 crowd was in poor taste to me. It's the same kind of ad hominem that the LGBT crowd is used to seeing I'm sure.
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Old June 29th, 2013 (05:02 PM).
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Quote originally posted by BlahISuck:
I think you're taking too critical of a reading here. It's not that the pro-Prop 8 petitioners felt that they have a right to enact laws, but that they have a right to stand in court on behalf of the government to argue for the government's interest to support Prop 8, which isn't offensive out of the box.
No, you're right, it's not offensive in the least, and this isn't what is being claimed. What the petitioners are asking for, however, is standing when the law clearly indicates that the petitioners don't qualify for standing. Part of the test on standing requires that "the party demonstrate that it is directly subject to an adverse effect by the statute or action in question, and the harm suffered will continue unless the court grants relief in the form of damages or a finding that the law either does not apply to the party or that the law is void or can be nullified." The Supreme Court ruled that the proponents did not qualify for standing because they could not demonstrate that they would be adversely affected by same-sex couples being allowed to marry. It was very clear, listening to the audio of the arguments before the Supreme Court that the justices were very leery about the proponent's claim that they had standing. Legal experts at the time were pretty much predicting that the proponents would loose standing and that the court wouldn't even deal with the merits of the case, even though they heard arguments for both sides of the issue.

The proponents are private citizens who are not answerable to any party other than themselves and their own interests and therefore cannot represent the state according to Federal law, and decades of precedent. If the proponents were to be granted standing, as is their desire, they would have to demonstrate a real harm that would be inflicted upon them should same-sex couple be allowed to be married. Their best lawyers couldn't demonstrate that before the Supreme Court, and so the court had no choice but to send the case back to the Appeals Court with a recommendation to dismiss the appeal due to lack of standing.

Quote originally posted by BlahISuck:
It's not the imposition from the majority to the minority because all the petitioners want to do is stand in and argue on the defendant side because the government officials refuses to do so. So in actuality Prop 8 was never found unconstitutional, because there was no appeal to begin with. When they were in court that day, they weren't discussing the constitutionality of Prop 8, but whether or not petitioners should be allowed to defend it - which they ruled no, and as a result Prop 8 was overturned because there is no case without defendants.
Just because the proponents wanted to stand and argue for the state, does not legally mean they have the right to. The proponents had to qualify for Article III standing, which they failed to do. The Supreme Court had no other choice but to rule the way they did. Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional by the District Court and the Appeals court, and the Supreme Court's ruling means those two judgements stand because the proponents did not meet Article III standing requirements. The law can be inconvenient sometime, but most laws on the books are there for very good reason, and the Article III provisions are there for the purpose of preventing abuse of the system by a litigant. This is a very important part of the checks and balances in the court system. Here in Canada, we also have similar rules that determine who can and who cannot bring a case before the courts.

Quote originally posted by BlahISuck:
No the US is not a direct democracy, but nobody wanted to directly pass or abolish laws because it is commonly recognized that it's the judicial system's job to do so on the behalf of us all. All they wanted to do was defend the ruling on behalf of the government. They were denied the ability to do so because essentially "Prop 8 doesn't affect you".
Exactly, because the proponents did not satisfy the requirements of Artical III standing, a part of which requires that a party "demonstrates that it is directly subject to an adverse effect by the statute or action in question, and the harm suffered will continue unless the court grants relief in the form of damages or a finding that the law either does not apply to the party or that the law is void or can be nullified."

This is based on decades of case law in the United States. What the proponents were hoping was that the Supreme Court was to carve out an exception to the law for them because their state officials refused to defend the law.

Like I said, it may be inconvenient, but it is the law. Like it or hate it, it is what it is. They tried to change the law, and the Supreme Court wasn't willing to do that.
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Old June 29th, 2013 (06:02 PM).
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Agreed. Except for the fact where you say the law clearly indicates, because that's what going to court is for. Let them demonstrate, there's no harm done.
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Old June 29th, 2013 (06:10 PM).
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Quote originally posted by BlahISuck:
Agreed. Except for the fact where you say the law clearly indicates, because that's what going to court is for. Let them demonstrate, there's no harm done.
Well, we know the law clearly indicates they did not have standing, because that is how the Supreme Court ruled.

As for them to demonstrate there's no harm done, it's not for the court to prove no harm has been done, it's up to the petitioners to convince the court that harm has been done, or will be done if the stay issued by the District Court was to be lifted. Since they could not demonstrate how they personally would be harmed by same-sex couples getting married, they were determined to have no standing before the courts, and thus the appeals court lifted the stay.

Now the proponents are petitioning the Supreme Court to halt marriages in California, claiming that they still had 22 more days in which to ask the Surpreme Court to reconsider its decision. They may, possibly, have a case there, but it's a long shot at best. I'm of the opinion that this latest move by the proponents of Prop 8 will be for naught and the Supreme will refuse to get involved, meaning marriages of same-sex couples will continue in California.
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Old June 29th, 2013 (08:32 PM). Edited June 30th, 2013 by TRIFORCE89.
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I did not like Prop 8. I'm glad to see it go. I just wish it was overturned based on its merits rather than legal mumbo jumbo.
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Old June 30th, 2013 (05:50 AM).
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What does 'stay' mean here?
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Old June 30th, 2013 (07:00 AM). Edited June 30th, 2013 by Dakotah.
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Quote originally posted by TRIFORCE89:
I did not Prop 8. I'm glad to see it go. I just wish it was overturned based on its merits rather than legal mumbo jumbo.
But it was overturned based on its merits, in both the District Court and in the 9th Circuit court. The ruling made by the Supreme Court simply means that those two rulings stand and because the Supreme Court determined the petitioners did not have standing to appeal, they could not hear the case on its merits. Though to be fair, the court did hear arguments from both sides on the merits of the case. It was pretty clear from the justices that they were having a hard time swallowing the reasoning behind the proponent's claim that they had standing, which is why more focus was put on that aspect of the case rather than the merits.

Quote originally posted by Cassino:
What does 'stay' mean here?
Stay is a legal term meaning that an order issued by a judge or justice is put on hold while one or both litigants considers an appeal.

Edit: The Supreme Court has just denied the motion by the proponents of Prop 8 to put a halt to the marriages there. Despite this update, I bet you the proponents of Prop 8 aren't done yet. They'll just keep on trying.
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Old July 1st, 2013 (11:35 AM). Edited July 1st, 2013 by The Dark Avenger.
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
Prop 8 only passed because of a huge infusion of out-of-state money from anti-gay groups. (I would say hate groups.) It's not like the slim margin accurately represents "the will of the people." Californians are for gay marriage.
Actually, these were pro-family groups. It's so sad to see how much money was wasted in their efforts to prevent a behavior in which has no direct negative impact on their own families or well-being....(sarcasm) :p

This, "the will of the people". I understand that public opinions may appear to be indicative of good public policy, but I don't think this is a necessary component in deciding law. Direct democracy is downright negligible. The assertion that "Since the majority of people think public policy ought to be this, then it should be public policy" is specious. The majority of Americans do not have a basic understanding of the Constitution, legal processes, the government infrastructure, or our relationships with other nations in order to make objective policy. This is especially disconcerting regarding tax legislation. There have been a number of state in which the people would decide tax policies in which they have a vested subjective interest. Take for instance the abolishment of anti-miscegenation laws (anti-interracial marriage) less than 10 percent of the US population favored condoning interracial marriages legally once the Supreme Court deemed the laws unconstitutional on the basis of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. If the public were to decide such matters, we would have waited until the 1990's before we could witness interracial marriages in some states according to Gallup Polls.

This is why I appreciate the Supreme Court, they are not directly at the whims of the electorate like our representatives and are more able to objectively evaluate legal matters, even if the majority of Californians or Americans favor legalization of same sex marriages, it should not be a primary factor in their judicial process. If only the legislative process could be less influenced by the public's subjective and uninformed precepts regarding a vast array of important issues.
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Old July 1st, 2013 (12:30 PM).
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There's another term for "direct democracy." It's called tyranny, and often leads to oppression and subjugation of a people, and even inhumane atrocities as seen in decades past. Gay people have already been forced to endure the atrocities of one holocaust, It's sad that there are some who are anxious for us to be subjected to such treatment once again.
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Old July 1st, 2013 (06:00 PM).
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Well just to be fair, there should be a good balance between the rule of the many and the rule of the wise (who must necessarily be few). Direct democracy, I feel, is still needed to provide responsive government for certain issues, perhaps in a fast-moving country - like China - because the few may be out of touch, especially with the rate of change. Just saying.
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Old July 1st, 2013 (06:08 PM).
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Quote originally posted by BlahISuck:
Well just to be fair, there should be a good balance between the rule of the many and the rule of the wise (who must necessarily be few). Direct democracy, I feel, is still needed to provide responsive government for certain issues, perhaps in a fast-moving country - like China - because the few may be out of touch, especially with the rate of change. Just saying.
Direct democracy is appropriate in certain instances. Such as when electing representatives to government. But it should never be used to inhibit or eliminate an individual's civil rights based on the disapproval of innate human characteristics.
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Old July 1st, 2013 (06:15 PM).
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I was at SF Pride this weekend, and the SF County Clerk was charging $100 for marriage licenses. Anything to make a buck!
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Old July 1st, 2013 (06:54 PM).
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Quote originally posted by FreakyLocz14:
I was at SF Pride this weekend, and the SF County Clerk was charging $100 for marriage licenses. Anything to make a buck!
What's the price usually?
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