The Prop 8 Appeal Hearing: OMFG What Happened

Are you ready? Are you really ready? I don’t think you’re ready. I know I’m not ready. Anyways, ready or not, here’s more or less what went down during the Prop 8 appeal hearings, cobbled together from a variety of Internet news sources because no one on the Autoteam has a TV. See what I mean? You aren’t ready.

A quick recap to bring everyone up to speed: this is an appeal brought by the Yes on 8 side in an attempt to change the ruling Judge Walker made back in August, which was to declare Prop 8 unlawful. (You can read our post on it, which includes the 138-page decision that we obvs had a lot of feelings on, to catch up.) The hearing will determine whether this appeal has enough ground to stand on that it should be taken seriously; if it’s not shown that the apellants have “personal, concrete, particularized interest” in the outcome of this case then their appeal can be thrown out. In order for an appeal to have standing, the people bringing it to court should be able to prove that they’re directly experiencing negative effects from the ruling that they’re appealing. For obvious reasons, the question of whether straight people in California are affected by Prop 8 is a pretty contentious one, and was actually kind of the point of the original trial. Whether or not the appeals court seriously entertains the idea that the Yes on 8 side has grounds to object to the ruling will determine whether this case moves forward.

That said, we can get on to the events of the day! (Narrated with the help of Prop 8 Trial Tracker.)

The event took place in a much smaller courthouse than the original Prop 8 trial, and while technically open to members of the public, only those who could fit inside the space were allowed entrance. Some people had apparently been waiting since 4 am (the hearing began at 10 PST), so they obvs got first crack. A+ for effort guys. As for the rest of us, hey, good thing this was broadcast live, yeah? Look at all these old white men!

The official festivities begin with Charles Cooper, a Yes on 8 attorney that many of us remember well and fondly as saying a lot of insane shit that we had to work though in therapy later. He begins by talking about the legal concepts of constitutionality and standing, which are the main points that this hearing is meant to explore, and also uses as an example a case on the public school “moment of silence” in New Jersey. So far I do not understand 100% of what is going on, and unfortunately I think that’s about me and not Cooper. Embarrassing.

Oh, ok; I think he was bringing that case up as an example of a time when the traditional understanding of “standing” was set aside. The judge asks if Cooper has any federal examples of this happening, and obvs he doesn’t. There is another case, Strauss something, which pertains to this situation in a way I don’t understand, possibly both attorneys wore striped ties or were deeply sexually repressed or something, and Cooper talks about this for a while, to what effect is unclear.

I’m not feeling real good about the hearing at this point, to be honest, because while the original Prop 8 trial focused mainly on our hearts and stuff, this seems like it is mostly about legal stuff that sounds like magical chanting to me. Where is Jessica. Let me give you an example:

Now, in Arizonans, Justice Ginsburg says that proponents do not have Article III standing, that is to say whether they have standing under the judiciary article of the Constitution.  Cooper is trying to avoid that comparison, by pointing to the prior New Jersey case (Karcher).  In Karcher, the Legislative officers were given standing.  As noted, Karcher was before Arizonans, so it must be read in context of Arizonans.

I KNOW RIGHT?

Now we’re arguing for “Imperial County to have the right to have standing for representing the entire state.” I think that was in the Wizard of Oz, no? I would not blame you if you, as a layperson who only wants to know if you are going to be able to watch adorable weddings at City Hall in the near future, skim this section. I think the key takeaway here is that the Bad Guys are trying to find nitpicky legal reasoning for why their beef with Judge Walker is legitimate, and the judge is failing to be super convinced. “Reinhardt is lambasting Tyler for not knowing the answers and instead of saying he doesn’t know, jumping around the issue.” Okay, wait, I see how we’re playing this: Tyler is saying that county clerks would be affected by changing the current status of Prop 8, and since they’re state officials in the technical capacity of performing the state duty of assigning marriage licenses, that the state is affected by Prop 8 and therefore has standing to make an appeal. Hot damn. I feel like Tyler just broke into the refrigerator and ate an entire wheel of cheese. I’m not even mad, I’m just impressed. You – really? That’s your argument? Okay! I’m in! Let’s do this thing! Apparently the fact that there are no county clerks in the building is a hindrance. I guess they were supposed to find one and have him testify as to how oppressed he was? I don’t know! I’m excited to find out!

Now Boies is up to bat, and asks the court some to-the-point questions about the passage of power in the marriage process and what relationship county clerks actually have to the injunction against Prop 8. “Reinhardt asks, are the clerks of Alameda and Los Angeles counties bound by injunction? Boies says no. Marriage is a statewide, not local/municipal, concern.” There’s some elaboration of this point, but the fundamental fact is: the duty of a county clerk is not basically changed by Prop 8, or more specifically its repeal. So, no standing for an appeal? That’s what I’m hearing over here. But then again I’ve also listened to “All The Lights” 8 times in the last hour, and have no legal education, so maybe don’t listen to me.

There’s some discussion of the attitude of the state administration towards the bill – I think that since this entire lawsuit is kind of breaking new ground, no one is entirely sure whose court the homosexual ball is in. One of the judges is wondering whether the Attorney General and Governor Schwarzenegger effectively nullified Prop 8 already by not appealing the injunction themselves (Cooper and Tyler don’t represent the governor’s office). As far as I can tell, no one answers this question. Actually watching the C-SPAN broadcast may, in retrospect, have been helpful.

The gist of Boies’s presentation right now is to remind us all of the strict requirements that the legal definition of “standing” actually says an apellant needs to meet: “one does not have standing to act as defendant unless he/she/organization has personal, concrete, or particularized injury.”

He maintains that under these conditions, the county clerk isn’t affected, and therefore has no standing – I think that Cooper & Co are in fact bringing this appeal in the name of the county clerk, which is why she’s being beaten over our heads like a foam noodle in a public pool. Apparently the scope of the injunction is very specific and doesn’t apply to this woman, although Boies does allow that the registrar “have to change the form and content of the marriage license.” Hoo boy! Exciting!

Cooper gets back up for five more minutes and says something annoying and childish about the two cases he’s already referred to, and, if this transcript is right, literally tells the judge to “ask the California Supreme Court.” Specifically they should “ask them” because allowing “the will of one judge” to supersede the will of voting Californians is evil and wrong. It’s just totally weird because that’s, like, a judge’s job? And, like, not the job of the voting public? But hey, what do I know, I’m just a dumb blonde who learned everything she knows about the judicial system from School House Rock. This still might be more than Cooper knows, though, so.

Now we’re taking a quick recess before moving on to the next part of the hearing. The judge divided the hearing into two sections beforehand, which is pretty neat and I didn’t know you could do: the first hour was for discussing standing, which we did, and the next hour is to discuss the constitutionality of Prop 8, specifically whether or not its discriminatory nature denies gay Californians their constitutional rights. Are you pumped? Yeah totally me too.

And OH SHIT SON this looks way better than the first section already; Judge Hawkins just asked Cooper if racial segregation in schools could be reinstated by popular vote, which is really kind of a brilliant question that I think gets to the heart of the issue. Cooper is like “well, uh, no.” There’s a small Prop 8 trial flashback where Cooper says that this is totally different because there’s a “rational basis” for denying same-sex partners marriage, and there wasn’t in the case of segregation. I almost feel like he has maybe forgotten that by saying this, he will then be required to explain what that rational basis could possibly be, but hey, it’s his funeral.

When pressed on this issue, Cooper talks about procreation, which was the h8er’s go-to argument during the trial, “redefinition of the institution” blah blah blah, and then pushes it further by saying that “you cannot separate the two,” meaning the word marriage and the nebulous social “institution” he loves so dearly. Specifically, what he says is “If we do, what we are left with is a genderless institution that bears no comparison to the real institution of marriage.” I am still genuinely fascinated that someone thinks that gender is an inherent defining characteristic of “the real institution of marriage,” but sure, let’s continue.

Cooper and the judge also have a back-and-forth about the Romer case, which I understand took place in Colorado; an amendment that would have changed many basic facts of life for gays and taken away a whole host of rights was defeated in court. Cooper argues that this was different because it affected many rights, not just one, and the judge asks why that makes any difference. Cooper… doesn’t know.

The H8er’s arguments here are less original and interesting than in the first section, mostly because they don’t really have any. They’re doing the same thing they did during the trial, which was to hold forth like a revival tent preacher on how procreation is the building block of the red-blooded American marriage and how changing the definition of the word is the last crumbling social building block that will allow our culture to dissolve entirely and give the world over to Zool and her army of giant killer marshmallow men, as detailed in the 1984 documentary Ghostbusters. But since the only evidence they have for these things is those facts themselves – i.e. procreation is necessary for marriage because everyone knows that marriage requires procreation – so basically things are getting a little tiresome up in here.

yawn

When asked about the details of a referendum and the fairness of taking away people’s families at the ballot box, Cooper says that the voting public forms “a tribunal over the Constitution,” which sounds insane to me, sorry. I am getting the sinking feeling I get every time the Yes on 8 side talks in court, which is “I think they are maybe making all this up?” Here’s TrialTracker’s breakdown:

The argument seems to be boiling down to the word. This is shaky ground for Cooper. He is now arguing that marriage (the word) is just special. He is arguing that marketing is somehow enough of a reason to discriminate. Cooper and Smith are going back and forth, looking at Roemer, and whether states can be damaged constitutionally by acting towards giving rights.

Now the other half of the Dream Team is up, and Olson is talking about how the Supreme Court has never worked on the definition of marriage as one man and one woman for any other case involving marriage – when “ruling in the context of prisoners, contraception, divorce, other cases [they have said] that marriage is (a) liberty (b) privacy (c) association (d) identity… [the] Supreme Court has said this 14 different times.” He refocuses the flow of the discussion from voter’s or state’s rights (the “good of society”) to individual rights, which is, uh, what America is about. Specifically the individual’s right to marry their partner when it doesn’t affect a single other soul in the world, which is what we’re looking at here. He’s kind of just recapping what happened in the original trial, which makes sense because he and Boies did a really thorough job taking apart the h8er’s arguments there, and bringing all that back to the judges’ attention really should be enough to end this hearing. He adds that Cooper’s argument doesn’t “stand up to even the lowest level of rational basis.

Olson has the Chief Deputy City Attorney of San Francisco, Therese Stewart, here to talk about the anti-gay animus that drove Prop 8. She doesn’t have to talk for long; she states that “equal protection doesn’t allow the state to enact a measure based on a view that some people are unworthy,” which describes the situation nicely I think. Cooper rebuts by making farting noises with his armpit. Just kidding, he says some irrelevant stuff about Loving v. Virginia. Not impressed.

Both Olson and Cooper make closing arguments; Olson’s are carefully chosen and elegantly presented, going to the the fact that no one has ever been shown to experience harm because of a same-sex marriage and that the California court system’s treatment of gay people is irrational, haphazard and unjustified. Cooper’s is an annoying reiteration that yeah, totally, “singling out a class of people” would be wrong, but not protecting marriage! Sometimes I like to imagine Cooper’s words as if he had just inhaled a tank full of helium, and then it makes things a little easier.

SO! There we have it. Where does that leave us? Where are we? Where is my wallet? We don’t know yet what the court decided. The pointed questions that the panel of judges asks have lead some to believe that they’re already a little skeptical about Cooper’s arguments, but bear in mind that while they’re aware of everything in Walker’s ruling, this panel of judges isn’t required to draw the same conclusions he did, so while Cooper & Co did a really terrible job proving any of the points they brought up today in the actual trial, that doesn’t guarantee anything. And everyone involved in this case is very aware of its potential scope – if it makes it to the Supreme Court in the right capacity, Prop 8′s fate could have huge consequences for DOMA, so everyone is being very careful. Some believe that the California judges want Prop 8 to end, but without being responsible for what could be nationwide consequences:

Federal appeals court judges Monday seemed headed toward a decision that could reinstate same-sex marriages in California while avoiding a ruling of national sweep that would invite U.S. Supreme Court action. The judges explored at least two routes that could achieve that goal. One would be a ruling that California, having granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, could not take them away by popular vote. The other would avoid a decision on the constitutional issues by declaring that gay-marriage opponents lacked the legal standing to appeal a lower court striking down Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that amended the state Constitution.

The panel could release its ruling at any time; we have no idea when that will be. Stay posted for more, and continue work on the small altar to Boies and Olson that you’ve been building behind your dresser. We’ll let you know as things develop.

OMFG FANGIRLING OUT

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Rachel is Autostraddle's Senior Editor and the editor who presides over books as well as news and politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel currently lives in Michigan. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy."

Rachel has written 736 articles for us.

105 Comments

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    “give the world over to Zool and her army of giant killer marshmallow men, as detailed in the 1984 documentary Ghostbusters”

    I cackled very loudly at that.

    Great recap! Is there due to be more action today, and even a decision?

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    All of this is a little unreal to me at the moment. We shouldn’t even have to be talking about this. Rights for all includes marriage between whoever. It should be a given. *sigh* I am happy that the h8ers continue to look like the discriminatory idiots that they are.

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    Funny and very informative recap. Great job!

    The Yes people’s argument for standing is so pitifully weak, I’m surprised the judges didn’t toss them out on their collective fannies toute de suite.

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    okay i’m a lawyer and this by far the best the legal article I have ever read. the part about zool. i literally laughed out loud many times in my office. so now my office mates think i’m gay AND weird.

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      “so now my office mates think i’m gay AND weird”—
      Caitlin, this can only be a good thing. Work it. ;-)

      Rachel, you are a freakin force of nature—thank you for some fantatstic work up there. Please award yourself an additional 200 points.

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    When everyone is on one side of a trade, take the other side of the trade.

    Let me be the first to tell you, Yes on 8 had a great day in court yesterday.

    No on 8 had a great day on the blogs.

    As a Yes on 8 voter myself, I will take that happily.

    I would suggest you guys get ready for the SCOTUS smackdown because it is sure as shootin’ coming.

    Even Reinhardt sees it, is trying to find a way to keep this case from ever going to the SCOTUS.

    He won’t be able to resist making himself the hero with the grand, sweeping opinion, however.

    Just like always.

    Which is why he is the most reversed judge in US history, and which is why this baby is a classic SCOTUS smackdown waiting to happen.

    So eat drink and be merry………

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    clearly, girls named Rachel are an exception to the ‘dumb blond’ myth, because you are both brilliant and awesome.

    also, I think when I was listening to it, they said that babies could only come from a man putting his thingy in a woman’s special flower. Which, no, he can commit the sin of onanism into a bottle and then they can use a turkey baster. duh. And, also, if marriage is about having children together, why don’t you allow couples with children to get married!!! Or, say everybody is civil partnered until they have kids?

    also, saying that marriage has always and everywhere, forever and ever and ever, been between one man and one woman, bugs me SO MUCH. Two Spirits, people. Right here in America. Presumably a valid point even in an Oklahoma courthouse. I figured Intro to Anthropology was required to become a lawyer… I guess not.

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    Now that I’m not so annoyed with life in general, I have to say how much I appreciate the Ratatouille pic, and your constant ability to explain all the crazy things in the world. You deserve a cookie. Actually, you deserve a batch of cookies. Unfortunately, I can’t actually get those to you right now. Anybody else? I’m calling on the power of the Autostraddler readers here.

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    I’m so conflicted on this, I think it’s pretty clear that they didn’t have standing to bring the appeal, but if they rule that way then Walker’s opinion only applies to California. But if they allow them to have standing and rule on the issues (and it seemed likely they would rule in our favor), then the 9th circuit’s ruling would apply to pretty much the entire west coast.

  9. Pingback: World Spinner

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    You, me, and Rachel Maddow need to RACHEL-STORM Cooper’s lawn and autostraddle sexy ladies until he surrenders…(come on, it makes more sense than anything he says) All Rachels are welcome.

    “No! Stop! DON’T KISS HER NECK! ANYTHING BUT THAT!!”

    Side note. I like how Judge Walker is attacked as an activist judge because he’s gay and ruled on a gay issue. LIKE OMG. THAT’S LIKE, LETTING WOMEN VOTE ON ABORTION RIGHTS. Why would a straight person have more authority to rule that way? Honestly, these homophobes are on such BS that I can’t even take them seriously.

    And they wonder why so many of us drink/smoke.

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    kd 15: You almost have it. What you are missing is this. If the judicial tyrants (Reinhardt et al) succumb to their Glory Jones (they will, after all it is the nature of the tyrant to succumb to the Glory Jones) then they accept standing, which means we go to SCOTUS where you lose (one hundred per cent certain, google “Reinhardt most reversed judge in US history” for details).

    If they reject standing, hoping to thereby restrict the ruling to California/West Coast, they will be overturned on the simple and obvious basis that the People of California cannot be subject to a tyrant’s denial of their Sovereignty simply because their elected officials decide to betray them via the insufferable arrogance so typical of the elitist social engineering class.

    Either way, we are left with the foundational flaw in the Dream Team legal strategy, one which your own smarter folk tried to warn you all about way back at the beginning.

    The flaw in the Dream Team legal strategy is, precisely, this:

    The inability to count to five.

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      Your argument makes no sense. Either the appellants have standing or they don’t. The Ninth Circuit can’t be wrong if they grant standing and simultaneously wrong for denying standing.

      As for the substance of the ruling, I think that in light of Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona the Court will be hard pressed to find standing.

      This isn’t a mere technicality or an attempt to circumvent the merits of the case; standing is a constitutional requirement. In the absence of an appellant with standing, the courts have no authority to hear the case.

      I’m open to counterarguments, though. Assuming that you’d like to see a decision rendered on the merits, how do you argue that the appellants have standing?

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        So glad you were able to respond to Rick bc I just can’t. I simply am unable to follow his “argument” and have no dea what he’s saying. I really wanted to understand so I could respond to him. But he really makes no sense. He’d get an F on his law school exam is what I’m saying.

        Rick: google isn’t recognized as a citeable reference in court.

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        See, clearly you’re not considering the precedent set by Douchebag vs. The People. It says that the status quo must be upheld at the cost of reason, logic, sanity, etc.

        Also, the case Neener Neener Boo Boo Stick Your Head In Doo Doo vs. Nebraska shows that those in a position of privilege should never be made uncomfortable by the civil rights of others.

        I mean, really, Jessica. And you call yourself a lawyer.

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      You have no fucking clue, if you tried to write a brief like the way you’ve structured your arguments here, I could rip it to shreds in minutes and the judge would smack you down so hard you wouldn’t know what hit you.

      And stop referring to judges as tyrants, it makes you lose whatever minuscule amount of credibility you might have had if someone was generous enough to give you a sliver of credibility in the first place.

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    “Protecting the definition of marriage” has never made sense to me, ever. Does marriage have like Fight Club rules or something? I mean, the way I see it, we ALREADY have a wide definition of marriage. Interracial marriage, marriage between natives and immigrants(include citizenship marriage here I guess), marriage between different social classes and age groups, marriage between people who can’t procreate (Uh, there ARE sterile heterosexuals you know :/)…

    Unless there’s some sekrit marriage rulez I’ve missed, marriage seems to already be more complicated than gender/breed. Am I just crazy or what?

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    Jessica:

    The appellants obviously have standing, since they had standing in the case being appealed.

    To deny this standing, in order to effectuate a redefinition of humanity’s oldest institution directly against the stated will of the People, would be the very definition of a Pyrrhic victory.

    The SCOTUS, understandably, would do anything necessary to overturn such a fraud, since the failure to do so would literally place the continuity of our society in the most immediate jeopardy- Caifornia has seven million voters who, for example, might consider that if they lack standing to have their votes upheld on appeal, there is the question of taxation without representation, which our forebears were unsophisticated enough to employ to destroy another Imperial Ruling Class which knew better than its great unwashed plebes.

    Given the financial catastrophe which these same hapless- though infinitely self-assured- elites have managed to engineer in California….well.

    I am sure the implications are evident.

    So, even if Reinhardt is able to curb his Glory Jones (he won’t), and finds a lack of standing, then the SCOTUS will find grounds for overturning- any old grounds will do, since the real issue is one of the sovereign right of the People to amend their constitution in the face of determinedly slick lawyering by the enemies of that right.

    But the simple fact that, to deny standing, would create a precedent whereby any initiative could be de facto overturned at the whim of elected officials, will be adequate for the SCOTUS to slap it down, as I said at the beginning.

    But this will not happen.

    Reinhardt cannot resist his Glory Jones, he will wish to craft the pseudo-Solomonic capstone to his career, and so he will take the bait and give it his best shot.

    Which lands us at SCOTUS on constitutional grounds, where you lose, one hundred per cent guaranteed (google “Reinhardt most reversed judge in US history” for details).

    One, two, three, four……….

    FIVE.

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      Rick,

      They don’t obviously have standing. The fact that the Protect Marriage folks were allowed to intervene at the trial court level does not mean that they have standing to continue the appeal.

      In the case most directly on point, Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, the Supreme Court unanimously held that litigants must have standing at all phases of the litigation. The fact that the proponents of Prop 8 were allowed to stand in at the trial court level is irrelevant; they must have standing today.

      What does that mean? To quote the Court:

      “Standing to defend on appeal in the place of an original defendant demands that the litigant possess “a direct stake in the outcome.” Diamond v. Charles, 476 U.S. 54, 62. Petitioners’ primary argument–that, as initiative proponents, they have a quasi legislative interest in defending the measure they successfully sponsored–is dubious because they are not elected state legislators, authorized by state law to represent the State’s interests, see Karcher v. May, 484 U.S. 72, 82. Furthermore, this Court has never identified initiative proponents as Article III qualified defenders. Cf. Don’t Bankrupt Washington Committee v. Continental Ill. Nat. Bank & Trust Co. of Chicago, 460 U.S. 1077.”

      Did you catch that last part? “This Court has never identified initiative proponents as Article III qualified defenders.”

      When Judge Hawkins asked Cooper to provide best case supporting Article III standing for initiative proponents, Cooper’s response was that he didn’t have one and that he hoped this would be the case. That is not an answer you want to give a judge.

      You keep harping on the fact that Reinhardt is the most reversed judge in US history. I fail to see the relevancy, but I googled it anyway. All I found were lots of people that appeared to be making this claim without citation to any statistics. If you could direct me to the original source responsible for calculating this statistic, along with a description of their methodology, I might be willing to consider the point. I still wouldn’t understand why it was relevant for this particular case.

      You know what is relevant? Reinhardt wrote the opinion for Arizonans when it was at the Ninth Circuit. He thought the proponents of the initiative had standing. And he received a rather swift smackdown from the Supreme Court. So you have to assume that opinion is weighing pretty heavily in his mind.

      As for the real issue — I disagree. The real issue isn’t the “sovereign right of the People to amend their constitution.” You see, the people do not have a sovereign right to amend their [state] constitution; they are limited by the federal constitution. And the federal constitution says that we are entitled to equal protection under the laws and the fundamental right to due process.

      Jessica

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    Oh, I nearly forgot……..

    Remember that ruckus about Reinhardt recusing himself because of the little matter of his wife giving legal advice to one of the parties in the case?

    Chuck Cooper is one smart lawyer :-)

    Those are grounds for appeal to the SCOTUS whether standing is denied or no.

    The Dream Team has a flawed legal strategy, and a brilliant PR strategy (there is that Glory Jones again).

    Chuck Cooper has an extremely brilliant legal strategy and a (consequently) terrible PR strategy.

    Church Cooper’s legal strategy is based , precisely, on this:

    The ability to count to five.

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      Since you’re all about googling things, I decided to google your name. You said earlier that you voted yes on h8, so I know you’re from California. I found a Rick DeLano from Santa Monica who donated $1000 to the LaRouche in 2004 campaign. Lyndon LaRouche, Jr. loves him some gays. Here’s a quote:

      “They’re already beating up gays with baseball bats around the country! Children are going to playgrounds, they go in with baseball bats, and they find one of these gays there, pederasts, trying to recruit children, and they take their baseball bats and they beat them up pretty bad. They’ll kill one sooner or later. In Chicago, they’re beating up gays that are hanging around certain schools, pederasts; children go out with baseball bats and beat them up—which is perfectly moral; they have the civil right to do that! It’s a matter of children’s civil rights!” – Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., “The End of the Age of Aquarius?” EIR (Executive Intelligence Review), January 10, 1986, p. 40.

      So, here are the options, Rick:
      1) That’s you, and you are a laDouche.
      2) That isn’t you, and maybe google isn’t the best.

      Perhaps I can’t count to five, but I’ve got 1 and 2 down.

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    I am honored that you find me so fascinating, wasteunit, but let me be sure I understand you here.

    1. Is it possible you mean to suggest that pederasts ought to be given unimpeded access to children, so as to more conveniently be enabled to perpetrate their unspeakable crimes?

    Or,

    2. Is it, instead, just that you yourself are uncomfortable that parents’ will protect their children against these savage predators, even if the law should prove derelict in its obligation to do so?

    Now there’s a real one-two for ya wasteunit.

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      Well, that depends. Are you using the term pederast to describe people who have molested children and/or people who have the urge to do so, or are you equating homosexuals in general to those people?

      I was molested as a child, and the person was not gay.

      The idea that most child molesters are gay is untrue propaganda perpetuated by hate-mongers who are terrified by differences.

      I have another question. It isn’t meant as an attack. I genuinely want to know the answer. If I fall in love with another woman and want to get married, how does that affect your life? I’ve asked this to several people who are against gay marriage and have never gotten a straight (excuse the pun) answer. I would really love to know what’s going on in your head. And why you feel threatened by love, if in fact you feel threatened.

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    wasteunit:

    I wish to answer your genuine question genuinely, and this answer is also not meant as an attack.

    Your hypothetical desire to marry a member of the same gender, *if upheld at law*, would affect my life by imposing upon me, my children, and the rest of society a radical redefinition of marriage against our will and without our consent.

    In practical terms, to provide just one example, my taxes will then be used to extend the same benefits to you and your partner, which have heretofore been reserved to those couples who actually provide society with the *benefit* it derives from marriage; that is:

    the channeling of potentially procreative relationships into stable, enduring unions from which children commonly result and within which they are best nurtured.

    This would have the practical effect of destroying marriage, by reducing it to what amounts to a Federal Friendship Benefits Registry.

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      how does ‘a radical redefinition of a term’ affect your life? specific example? a definition is an abstraction, how does the redefinition literally affect your everyday life.

      NEXT.

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      Do you see anything wrong with my taxes being used to extend benefits to you? Is it okay to dislike me but happily take my money? What are your feelings on divorce?

      I grew up in a 2-parent heterosexual household, and I experienced a lot of abuse. Children do best when they are loved. The gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. of the parent(s) doesn’t matter.

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      I don’t believe that marriage is conditional upon procreation, but I’ll follow that argument anyways for the purpose of this response. What about the heterosexual couples who don’t have children whether that be by choice or medical limitations? Should rights to marital tax benefits be revoked from these couples, because they aren’t “contributing to society” through procreation? Many gay couples have children, and I think many, many more couples would have children if the process of adoption and other means of having a child weren’t so difficult. Gay couples are undermined in society, because the state tells us and everyone else that our relationships are not legitimate by denying us the simple civil right to marry who we fall in love with. Therefore, the false idea that gay couples are illegitimate parents continues to be spread. Research has been done proving that kids of same-sex parents are just as well-adjusted as kids of “traditional” parents (1, 2). Gay couples actually provide a special benefit to society as they are more likely to adopt children. We have so many kids growing up without families that can be given homes. I personally think we need to be more worried about the children that are already here without good homes before we consider bringing more kids into the world that could possibly end up in the same situation. However, I think all of this is pointless, because the institution of marriage means more than taxes. I still don’t see the receiving of *my* rights has an effect on *your* everyday life and would appreciate clarification. *You* don’t have to live in a society that treats you like a second-class citizen for simply being who you are. What you are suggesting (imposing upon me, my children, and the rest of society a radical redefinition of marriage against our will and without our consent) is that the majority has the right to vote on the basic civil rights of a minority, and that is simply not true. Actually, our Constitution/government is set-up to protect the basic rights of all people especially those of the minority since the majority typically infringes on the right of the minority.

      1)www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20051012/study-same-sex-parents-raise-well-adjusted-kids

      2)www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/12/health/webmd/main938234.shtml

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    Do you see anything wrong with my taxes being used to extend benefits to you?

    >>Not me. I am not married. But to married couples? Nothing wrong at all. Civilization derives huge benefits from marriage. In fact marriage is the predecessor and the foundation of civilization.

    So, no, I do not see anything wrong at all with taxes being used preferentially to foster marriage.

    >>Is it okay to dislike me but happily take my money?

    I neither dislike you, nor do I take your money. Taxes are paid regardless of whether one is liked or disliked, and they are used in accordance with the duly enacted statutes of the society. Marriage, as we have seen, is the foundation of all society, and society therefore has an excellent rational basis for extending preferential benefits to married couples.

    What are your feelings on divorce?

    >> I would happily vote to attach significant financial and other penalties to it, and I would happily donate to any group able to get such an initiative on the ballot in California.

    I grew up in a 2-parent heterosexual household, and I experienced a lot of abuse. Children do best when they are loved. The gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. of the parent(s) doesn’t matter.

    >> Well I would be delighted to support legislation requiring all children to be loved by their married moms and dads as well. Again, just let me know if anybody can get it on the ballot- I’ll donate.

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    Dina:

    That marriage is the foundation of society is one of those truths which is self-evident.

    Prior to society we have the tribe.

    Prior to the tribe we have the family.

    Prior to the family we have marriage.

    It is astonishing to me that you would seek to quibble with this, but then I am often astonished by the argumentative tactics of the opposition in this battle.

    If I were to have lost thirty one straight elections, I would consider the possibility that my arguments were not persuasive.

    The alternative, of course, would be to conclude that one is wiser than- not only one’s fellows- but all of one’s ancestors as well.

    This is highly unlikely.

    Which is why our side keeps winning elections.

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    If you had a gay child, would you say these things to him/her?

    >> Of course. I would, as a parent, speak nothing but the truth to my children. I do my best to speak nothing but the truth under any circumstances.

    Whether my child is gay or not, marriage remains what it is and has always been:

    The union of the two complementary genders of our species, in a stable, enduring relationship from which children commonly result, and within which they are best nurtured.

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    I am so glad Rick is posting, because now I have something to take to my Philosophy seminar/finals review session. Coinidentally, we’re discussing logical fallacies. Thanks for saving me some effort, Rick!

    I love Trolls.

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    Max:

    Logical fallacies are a fascinating subject.

    Now I notice you did not bother to identify any, above.

    Might we consider this, perhaps, a textbook case of the “argumentum ad hominem”?

    Or would we better consider this a Plurium Interrogationum, a “Loaded Question”, a question with a false, disputed, or question-begging presupposition……

    Or perhaps Ignoratia Elenchi, the “red herring” fallacy in which the premises (I am a troll) are logically irrelevant to the conclusion (I am illogical).

    Well we seem to share a common interest Max, over to you now…….

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    I just wanted to let you know I was sharing your arguments because it seemed like the right thing to do.I have no intention of joining in. I know better than to beat my head into a wall, and I certainly don’t have the time for it.

    Happy arguing! All the best.

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      i would say its more of debating, but i won’t join either because i don’t have the patience for debating shit. like i do sometimes but i don’t know where to start with this person, so i will just look at kitten gifs and do my homework.

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        I could use kittens at the moment. I told myself I wouldn’t get involved, but I kept coming back and reading… I can’t keep my fingers still sometimes. I also need to do homework as finals start on Friday.

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    If you would say such hurtful things to your children

    >> There is nothing hurtful whatever in what I have said. Marriage is what I have reported it to be. It would be hurtful to lie about what marriage is to any child.

    then you lied earlier when you said “Well I would be delighted to support legislation requiring all children to be loved by their married moms and dads as well.”

    >> To the contrary. Love involves the truthful formation of the conscience of those whom one loves, especially one’s own children. Since it is truthful to inform all young consciences that marriage is, by its nature, the union of the two complementary genders of our species in a stable and enduring relationship, from within which children commonly result, and within which they are best nurtured, I have not lied.

    I have simply failed to surrender the truth so as to redefine it as you would desire.

    But this is the entire basis of our disagreement, and the entire basis of this particular front in the Culture Wars.

    It is of course self-serving and illogical to accuse one’s opponent of lying, simply because they see things differently than you do.

    But this has also been a tactic I have seen often employed in this debate by the opposition.

    It loses elections, but this does not seem to lessen its appeal.

    Perhaps it is emotionally restorative, if not politically persuasive.

    In any event, I have not lied.

    Instead, I have upheld the truth which has always, everywhere, and by everyone been upheld for as long as the human species has historical records:

    Marriage is, by its nature, the union of the two complementary genders of our species in a stable and enduring relationship, from within which children commonly result, and within which they are best nurtured.

    You are welcome to attempt to persuade your neighbors of some alternative or contrary definition.

    I expect you will not succeed.

    You certainly have not succeeded thus far.

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      I would like every section of that flowery excrement of a “definition” backed up by peer-reviewed sources. Observe:

      the union (further definition required.)

      of the two complementary genders (gender != sex)

      of our species in a stable and enduring relationship (citation needed; Britney Spears’ 48 hour marriage was legally a marriage, and 70% of the marriages I know are anything but stable)

      from within which children commonly result,

      and within which they are best nurtured (Definite citation needed. This is an unsupported claim.)

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    Dina:

    I find it extremely telling that the California anti-miscegenation laws were not subject to ballot initiative repeal attempts.

    Your neighbors were prepared to accept the principle that marriage is as I have reported it:

    “….the union of the two complementary genders of our species in a stable and enduring relationship, from within which children commonly result, and within which they are best nurtured.”

    They were unwilling to accept the principle that only like races could form the union of the genders.

    This is another example of the wisdom of our neighbors.

    They know very well what marriage is, and what it is not.

    I am very confident that the SCOTUS will reflect carefully on this.

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    wasteunit:

    Tell you what.

    I will give you a nice crisp one hundred dollar bill in exchange for a scientific proof of either of the two following sentences:

    1. The sun is at rest and the Earth is orbiting the Sun.
    2. The Earth is at rest and the Sun is orbiting the Earth.

    All you need to do is agree to send me the crisp one hundred dollar bill if you are unable to provide the scientific proof (that is to say, experimental demonstration) for whichever one of the above assertions you care to adopt.

    Over to you, waste :-)

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    That’s me, wasteunit, and I answered Phil on that very link.

    I note you claim that neither is at rest.

    Let me extend the same offer.

    Prove scientifically, by means of direct experimental observation, that neither is at rest, and I will mail you that crisp clean new Benjamin.

    As beofre, all you need to do is accept that you will reciprocate with a similar Franklin, should you prove unable to come across with the observational, experimental evidence.

    Over to you again, waste :-)

    This is off topic but oh so fun!

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    Well, wasted, I must truthfully inform you that I am not persuaded in conscience that you have supplied the experimental proof requested.

    I expect you know very well that you haven’t done so, yourself :-)

    Even though your scientific sensibilities are not notably superior to your understanding of the biological basis for human reproduction, and its lawful expression in that most ancient of human institutions, “marriage” I nonethelessrespect you for not having descended, except at the very end here, to the hysterical condemnations and ad hominem vituperations I have come to expect from your side.

    For this you have my respect.

    I am required to always try and think the best of people, even those who would putatively be my enemies, and so I will do my best to reflect upon our exchange and be able to truthfully report to our Father, that this is not where my respect for you ends.

    I sincerely thank the forum for their (relative) civility and wish you well.

    Merry Christmas!

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    Just kidding you guys, you totally persuaded me and I now back the end of Prop 8, DOMA and DADT!! Also, I hope you don’t have any hard feelings that I sought out a website that I clearly knew would never, ever be swayed by or sway me with any sort of a discussion, just to make me feel better about myself, because let me tell you, I feel great now that I have seen the light and LOVE THE GAYS!!! Happy Holidays!!!

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      And I have nothing against black people, I just wouldn’t want my daughter to marry one! Am I to believe that kind of belief doesn’t have hatred and discrimination behind it? At least it’s comforting to know you’re on the wrong side of history! :)

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