California judge rules DOMA lawsuit may proceed

January 20, 2011 at 8:22 am 163 comments

By Adam Bink

Out late last night, another opportunity for victory in favor of equality in a California courtroom:

In a victory for gay rights advocates, a federal judge has ruled that state employees in California can sue for discrimination over the federal government’s exclusion of their same-sex spouses from a long-term health care program.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland denied an Obama administration request to dismiss the suit Tuesday and signaled that she is likely to overturn provisions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples.

There have been lots of opportunities presented in many different areas to chip away at this law. Health insurance is certainly one of the most profound. More:

President Obama has criticized the law, but his Justice Department is defending it in court. The administration says Congress was entitled to preserve the status quo in federal law while states debated the marriage issue.

But Wilken said the 1996 law actually changed the status quo by “robbing states of the power to allow same-sex civil marriages that will be recognized under federal law.”

She also rejected arguments that the law’s sponsors put forth in 1996, that the legislation was necessary to promote procreation and preserve heterosexual marriage.

“Marriage has never been contingent on having children,” Wilken said, and denying federal benefits to same-sex couples “does not encourage heterosexual marriage.”

She said sponsors’ “moral rejection of homosexuality” had been obvious in congressional debate. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that bias against gays is an unconstitutional justification for passing a law, Wilken noted.

Her statements paralleled the reasoning of the Massachusetts decision and a ruling in August by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco that struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Although Wilken considered only whether the suit over health insurance could proceed, her ruling “gives a pretty clear direction as to where she’s going,” said Claudia Center, lawyer for three UCSF employees and their spouses who sued to overturn the law.

Center said she would ask Wilken to certify the suit as a class action on behalf of all state employees with same-sex spouses or domestic partners. The judge did not decide whether domestic partners could challenge the law.

The couples sued in April over the California Public Employees’ Retirement System‘s refusal to enroll the spouses in a federally approved long-term care plan. State employees can buy coverage at below-market rates, use pretax dollars to pay premiums, and deduct future benefits from their taxes.

The California agency has refused to sign up same-sex spouses because the Defense of Marriage Act denies federal tax benefits to any state that covers them.

We will see how this proceeds alongside the Massachusetts case. Update: Via Kathleen, the filing is here.

Entry filed under: DOMA trials, Marriage equality.

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163 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Woot! subs

    Reply
    • 2. Dave in ME  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:30 am

      Me, too!

      Dave in Maine

      Reply
    • 3. JonT  |  January 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      Excellent news.

      Reply
  • 4. cc  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Smiling!

    Reply
  • 5. Ed Cortes  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:39 am

    checkin’ da box!!!

    Reply
  • 6. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:43 am

    The case is Dragovich v. U.S. Dept of the Treasury
    Here’s a copy of the ORDER denying the gov’s motion to dismiss.

    Reply
    • 7. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:51 am

      BTW, I couldn’t find mention of the case name in the SF Gate article. Is it there and I’m just not seeing it?

      Reply
    • 8. Ann S.  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Thank you, Kathleen!!

      Reply
    • 9. Shelly & Simie  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      Kathleen, why r they waiting soooooo long to get moving on this issue we r tired of waiting 2 gooooo home!!!! We miss our kidz & grankidz!!! Pleaz let us know updates as u know by email please as we get little internet time as we have a pay as u go cause were in Italy in a vacation flat where my wife workz & there is no fast internet or good signal so half of the time were trying 2 reconnect. Our email address is sweetpeasimluv@yahoo.com thanx 4 all u r doin 4 us!!!!! U ROCK!!!!!

      Reply
      • 10. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm

        Shelly & Simie, This case is probably going to take a while. The plaintiffs are trying to certify it as a class action.

        However, this isn’t the first case to challenge DOMA; there are several other ongoing cases. It’s also not likely to be the first to set precedent for the entire country. You might want to keep an eye on the DOMA cases out of Massachusetts. Those are the farthest along in the appeals process. You can watch for updates on those cases at this website:
        http://www.glad.org/doma

        Reply
        • 11. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

          And I’m really sorry you’re in the situation you are because of our horribly discriminatory laws here in the USA. We’re all hoping this situation changes sooner rather than later. HUGS!!

          Reply
  • 12. rocketeer500  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Is there a pdf of this motion?

    Reply
    • 13. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

      rocketeer500, was it the motion to dismiss (filed by the government) that you want to see, or the order by the judge dismissing the motion (the subject of the article)? If it’s the latter, see my post above for a link to the document at Scribd.

      Reply
      • 14. rocketeer500  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:06 am

        Oh, sorry I wasn’t clear. The order by the judge dismissing the motion (the subject of the article).

        I can’t view Scribd at work; I can only view pdf.

        Reply
        • 15. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

          Is Scribd blocked completely, or can you just not view docs at the site? If the latter, Scribd has an option for downloading the document.

          I don’t know anywhere else on the web where it’s available, so if that doesn’t work, you can write to me at Prop8TT at gmail dot com and I’ll send you a copy of the pdf.

          Reply
          • 16. rocketeer500  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

            Scribd.com is completely blocked, unfortuantely.
            Thanks for helping, though.

        • 17. Peterplumber  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:04 am

          rocketeer,

          If you really want this document, I can email it to you.
          Send me an email request.
          peter@hotglassworks.com

          Reply
  • 18. Ronnie  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Sweeeeet!!!!….<3…Ronnie

    Reply
  • 19. chris from co  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Some of my friends asked me after the elections when so many states put bans on gay marriage how I felt about it my response has been the same, “when congress doesn’t help their citizens and the people turn their backs on us, we can count on the courts to right a wrong.” So far my friend’s believe what told them can happen, and after every court case that I have seen work in our favor I’m really believing what I said. The first paragraph of our constitution means something in this country.

    As for the 112th congress who’s first act was to read the constitution on the floor. I want to remind them that was very symbolic, and we owe it to ourselves to stand behind the words of that constitution. To become a more perfect union.

    And President Obama love ya man, but back off of us. “Equal protection under the Law”.

    Reply
    • 20. BradK  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

      To become a more perfect union

      To many of those in the 112th, “perfect” implies Heterosexual, White, Male and Christian.

      Obama meanwhile is back to playing both sides against the middle. He’s consistent in his duplicity, I’ll give him that.

      Reply
      • 21. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:34 am

        sort of related, John Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to China may be a candidate for Republican party. From person association with his family here in Utah I MUCH prefer him to Mitt Romney. Good article in Newsweek. I appreciate how Huntsman is petitioning for inclusion of all groups:
        http://www.newsweek.com/2011/01/04/the-manchurian-candidate.html

        Reply
        • 22. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:44 am

          Romney veered to the right when he was running for President, very disappointing considering his record in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Tim Pawlenty has gone completely off the rails, apparently looking to win the reactionary religious right looney-tunes faction.

          Reply
          • 23. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

            bah! @ Romney and Palenty

            I trust Huntsman more who actually caused a stir with locals when he early on supported Utah state-wide domestic partner rights…yet he maintained an 80% approval rating while governor of UT…..but I would still vote for pres Obama over him.

          • 24. Ray in MA  |  January 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm

            I’m not sure if many people know this, but Romney’s healthcare laws in MA require MA citizens to puchase insurance or be taxed… EXACTLY what Obama’s healthcare program does, and EXACTLY the biggest gripe by the Republicans!

            How this would be resolved when Romney runs will be very interesting!

  • 25. Peterplumber  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Center said she would ask Wilken to certify the suit as a class action on behalf of all state employees with same-sex spouses or domestic partners. The judge did not decide whether domestic partners could challenge the law

    A long time ago, I lived in Connecticut. There was no “domestic partnership” law per se. But my partner at that time worked for the State. As his partner, I was granted medical & dental benefits from the state.

    Reply
    • 26. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:42 am

      In California, spouses and domestic partners get state medical and dental benefits. The issue here has to do with how state benefits intersect with federal law.

      Specifically, federal law gives favorable federal tax treatment to qualified state-maintained long-term care insurance plans for state employees. The plan loses that favorable tax treatment if it provides coverage to individuals other than certain specified relatives of state employees and former employees. Those relatives include spouses, but not domestic partners.

      Plaintiffs in this case are California state employees who want to include their spouses and/or domestic partners in the plan and are being denied because the state run plan doesn’t want to lose the favorable federal tax treatment by enrolling employees’ family members who don’t meet the federal definitions. Some plaintiffs are challenging the exclusion of their domestic partners, but others are challenging DOMA’s restriction on recognizing their spouses as being spouses for purposes of the plan.

      Reply
      • 27. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

        We might end up in CA in not-too-distant future as getting frustrated with local politics and discriminating insurance pricing. After all the negotiations with benefits, my first paycheck revealed a $300/ month EXTRA amount just for adding hubby to insurance….something that cost ZERO for hetero couple plus 99 children. Back to negotiations with VP and President. I won’t give up just yet!
        http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50647254-76/benefits-domestic-partner-health.html.csp

        End DOMA NOW!!

        Reply
        • 28. anonygrl  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:17 am

          ARGH! Just when you thought they had done the RIGHT thing! Go GET ’em, babe!

          Here is a hug, free fer nothin’. HUG!!!!

          Reply
          • 29. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:41 am

            Back at you!!

          • 30. Peterplumber  |  January 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm

            Greg,
            Like your HR department said, some companies do not provide health insurance for legal spouses, never mind same sex domestic partners. I am lucky that my company does. Especially if they vale that insurance coverage at $190 per WEEK. You are lucky your partner’s coverage is only $300 a month.
            Last company I worked for was “self insured”. They mandated that if your spouse/partner was offered health insurance at their place of employment, they had to accept and drop off our company policy.
            In the overall, we are lucky that employers provide us with health insurance at all.

          • 31. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm

            @PP
            Your comments helped me feel some better…thank you : )
            I get quite impatient sometimes…I have extra history some here know about…and why I’m so darn anxious for equality… every step forward is appreciated….I’ll sleep on my draft response to employer before I send it(or not send it at all). The person I’m addressing (VP of HR) has gone to bat for me over a 3 year period with the board of directors to get even this much consideration so I don’t want to sound spoiled or unappreciative. On a side note his wife died this past summer in a freak accident after 5 being a five year survivor/recovery of breast cancer leaving him with 3 fairly young boys to raise so he has had his share of recent family challenges to deal with.

            It is also unrealistic for me to think my company will have the same perspective as I do…but I’m working on educating them!

            …a little more rambling…your post earlier @ the NOM site actually got me to visit it for the first time….I only read a few and exited though–I can only tolerate so much NOMsense…someone kept rambling on about “COMMON SENSE” astounding how he willingly declares his ignorance…relying on his commons sense as evidence. ::::rolling eyes:::: about sex and girls you mentioned. I was married 23 years to a woman…never ever had problem “getting ready” but my heart was so very lonely and I practiced many destructive behaviors….now with partner of 3 years my heart is glad every day and all my previous vices vanished!

            Best wishes to you and your partner!

        • 32. Peterplumber  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:19 am

          Greg,
          My partner is covered under my employee paid health care insurance, however it cost nothing out of my paycheck. But my stub shows and “add on” of $190 a week. What that is, is the fact that for federal income tax, I am taxed on that amount as if it was income. It is not added to my pay, nor deducted from my pay.
          Check your to see if that is what you are looking at.

          Reply
          • 33. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

            I understand what you are saying….but it is most definitely deducted as I was “shocked” into reality last week when paycheck was $150 less than expected($300=paid every other week). HR confirms they are charging that amt extra but no one coming up with an answer that justify it other than “some other companies manage it this way”. Your comments to give me insight and even hope though…perhaps since this is the first year offering, maybe HR messed up in setting this up for payroll…I have all of them frantically scrambling to see ‘what’s up” with this…maybe the intent was to tax the extra amount but the way they set it up the whole “taxed” amount is being deducted…..

          • 34. karen in kalifornia  |  January 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm

            I get billed quarterly by my union plan for the taxes due on my RDP’s health benefits. It’s a flat amount which turns out to include 3 taxes: federal income tax; Social Security; and medicare. This is not broken down on my quarterly bill. I had to wait until the W2 to find out the value of the health premiums AND the above tax itemization. BUT GET THIS. The amount on my W2 was LESS than what I had paid last year. Turns out I PAID FOR the union’s (aka the employer’s) portion of SS and medicare, AND the union will take the deduction as if they paid the tax on SS and medicare not me. UNBELIEVABLE.

          • 35. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm

            Thanks for sharing your story Karen in Kalifornia…unbelievable indeed!

            I got a reply back from VP of HR this afternoon in my quest to see if there was an error:

            From: Greg ****
            Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:54 PM
            To: D.
            Subject: another idea!

            I imagine you are busy so I apologize for pestering you further but I have another idea.

            Is it possible there is some payroll error setting up insurance for domestic partners?
            [my letter provide additional information and comparisons including]:
            …….$147.00…..Should this actually be the extra amount that is taxed?…not the actual amount that is taken out of check?

            From: D.
            Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 4:10 PM
            To: Greg
            Subject: RE: another idea!

            Hello Greg.
            I appreciate your question but I’m sorry to tell you this is not an error. This is the premium. It is true that other employers might have lower premiums but that is true for all employees too. Given the Federal Government does not recognize marriage as anything other than a man and woman the 125 plans that medical plans fall under will always require any employer subsidy be included in income. For this reason many employers who offer benefits to same and opposite gender partners don’t subsidize premiums. This is not uncommon. For example the University of Utah does what we do with domestic partner benefits.

            D.

            [I’m working on a response…..] : / Determined….not defeated….. DOMA MUST END NOW!!!!!!!!!

          • 36. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm

            draft of response:

          • 37. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm

            draft of response:
            Thank you for taking time to personally respond. I am grateful for the work you do and view you as a good person that does your best to be equitable w/in legal and ethical parameters. Baby steps are good. We can still benefit from Dental, Vision and Life coverage and that is appreciated! I’m still flabbergasted that there is so much disparity what a family pays with potentially many children…and what LGBT persons families pay for medical coverage. Despite Federally sanctioned discrimination, some still employers still choose for everyone to pay the same regardless of the cost…Marriott Corporation and DiscoverCard come to mind, though I will research further to verify.

            Because of deep-rooted social prejudice, much of society still treat LGBT persons as “Separate but equal” though in my opinion, this is not equal at all. Int********** evidently has chosen to persist in this “separate but equal” practice. I hope this will not always be the case.

          • 38. Ray in MA  |  January 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm

            On my paychecks, the amount that they contribute towards my husband’s premiums is noted as “imputed income”.

            This “income” is not deducted from my paycheck, but it is added to the amount of income that I have to pay weekly taxes on. (My weekly taxes are paid on the income that includes the imputed income.) This avoids a big tax liability due when I file my income taxes for the prior year.

            (makes things a little easier for tax filing… and is a way for the govt to collect the taxes sooner)

            Companies like Google and Facbook are giving employees an increase in pay that offset the additional taxes that they pay on the benefit (benefit/premium amount).

            The rates for the plan I have are noted as “Employee + 1” (which could be federally recognized married persons or registered partners) My company pays the same amount of premium for both types of couples… but I get taxed, federally married don’t.

            An employer cannot charge higher premiums for partnerships…they may not pay all of the premium difference for you (as a benefit). The amount of the premium that they don’t pay could be what is deducted from your paycheck(?). In other words, if they don’t pay any of the premium difference, there is no “benefit”, they are just allowing you to sign up for the insurance, and pay as you go.

            Be wary if the verbage that HR uses… they can say that they “provide health insurance BENEFITS for domestic partners”, or they can say that they “allow domestic partners to participate in the health insurance plan”. (which are major differences)… Ask your employer how much of the additional premium they pay.

          • 39. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm

            thank you for detailed and knowledgeable input Ray!

          • 40. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

            I applaud what you said about Google or Facebook….from my perspective it only seems fair for everyone to have the same out-of-pocket benefit…no matter how its negotiated. For example, here in Utah, there are many LARGE families…who pay the same as those couples who have 1 or no children…

            one clarification..the $300/month is for insurance others pay ZERO for, this includes single, married, parent and kids or family plan…its a HIGH deductible plan $3000/$6000 max out of pocket. If I wanted more inclusive coverage it is around $500/mo…and around $200 for other families. One more other irony, my company is a health-care company the provides the insurance and it costs about $50 LESS if I purchase it independently from our own company…only difference is you have to go through health exam…which is not an issue for us, more of an inconvenience. Maybe none of this makes sense…but helps me feel better to discuss…thanks again

          • 41. Ray in MA  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm

            Hey Greg… MA Law (before Romney): insurance companies cannot require health exam as a pre-req for health insurance…you need to re-locate out of “Utardia”!

  • 42. Sagesse  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

    One step at a time. Wonder how many judges have to decide that discrimination against LGBT citizens is unconstitutional before NOM and friends will get it. (This is a rhetorical question… response not required.)

    There are now practically a herd of them, at the state and federal level, including appellate court panels. They can’t all be misguided, legally illiterate and wrong.

    Reply
    • 43. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      The more judges, the better! $10M only goes so far for court battles and ouster campaigns anymore. >:)

      Reply
  • 44. Carpool Cookie  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:41 am

    “The administration says Congress was entitled to preserve the status quo in federal law while states debated the marriage issue.”

    Fine. Whatever. But it’s been over 10 years and the debate’s over from any rational point of view.

    I’m glad it’s the courts that’s looking at this, rather than individuals or politicians who parrot what conservative constituants want to hear, because it all begins to fall apart under scrutiny.

    Reply
    • 45. Cat  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:08 am

      Exactly. I like this snippet very much:

      But Wilken said the 1996 law actually changed the status quo by “robbing states of the power to allow same-sex civil marriages that will be recognized under federal law.”

      Reply
    • 46. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      @ Fine. Whatever.

      This is my 13-year old Daughter and Hubby’s niece’s (same age and friends) response to ridiculous justifications against equality during the recent DADT hearings…


      Reply
      • 47. JonT  |  January 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

        Haha, that was great!

        Reply
        • 48. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

          : )

          Reply
  • 49. Kate  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Anybody hear from Bob on Salt Spring Island recently? I get worried when regular P8TT family members disappear ……

    Reply
    • 50. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:56 am

      I was thinking that yesterday too!

      Reply
  • 51. Shelly & Simie  |  January 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Well its about damn time!!!!! We r totally thirlled by this & hope that the lawyers 4 our side quote this
    U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken during the trial & it better be done quick we wana go home by next yr!!! We miss our kidz & grankidz!! friendz it haz been sooooo draining & depressing waiting & missing our families. This is a slow cruel torture!!! This calls 4 a party every single day of this case does any1 know if it will b on cnn???

    Chat soon.

    Reply
  • 52. Straight For Equality  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I am excited to hear this. Hit them from both coasts!

    Reply
  • 53. Maggie4NoH8  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:13 am

    You know, in a perverse way, I do wish I knew Maggie G and Brian B personally… like as in a family member (a cousin at best)…

    Oh to be privy to the writhing and wringing of the hands.

    Reply
  • 54. AB  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I could not help but notice that, on the last page, Her Honor sets the classification brief deadline for January 20 2010, and the hearing for February of 2010. I assume that this is a typo, but I want to make sure that I am not missing something.

    Reply
    • 55. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

      AB, yes that must be a typo. The parties have asked for a revised schedule. This, from a stipulation filed on Jan 19:

      Plaintiffs Michael Dragovich, et al., and the federal defendants .. and [state] defendants through their respective counsel, hereby stipulate that, subject to the Court’s approval and availability, the hearing on plaintiffs’ motion for class certification be held on Thursday, June 9, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. The parties further stipulate, subject to the Court’s approval, that the briefing schedule is:
      April 14, 2011: Deadline for Plaintiffs to file motion for class certification
      May 12, 2011 Deadline for Defendants’ opposition(s)
      May 26, 2011 Deadline for Plaintiffs’ reply

      The reason for the request to change the dates is that the federal defendants’ motion to dismiss had been pending with the Court until January 18, 2011. Until the opinion issued, the status of the case and the scope of any class was unclear. Additionally, plaintiffs have drafted and circulated to counsel for defendants a first amended complaint adding two plaintiffs who are registered domestic partners (and are not married). The proceedings will be organized in a more efficient and rational manner if the plaintiffs file their first amended complaint (via motion or stipulation) prior to filing their motion for class certification.

      Reply
  • 56. SoCal Dave  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:16 am

    “Marriage has never been contingent on having children,” Wilken said, and denying federal benefits to same-sex couples “does not encourage heterosexual marriage.

    Summed up perfectly in one sentence. NOM owned.

    Reply
    • 57. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:46 am

      Co-signed.

      Reply
      • 58. Tom B.  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:43 pm

        Co-co-signed! I wanna see NOM owned more, it’s fun!

        Reply
  • 59. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Here’s the judgepedia entry for Claudia Wilkin. She’s a Clinton nominee
    http://judgepedia.org/index.php/Claudia_Wilken

    Reply
  • 60. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:46 am

    And now the title of this post has changed???

    Reply
    • 61. nightshayde  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

      The formatting went wonky, too.

      Reply
      • 62. anonygrl  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:19 am

        Do we have pixies in the system? BAD pixie! Evil pixie! Don’t touch that!

        Reply
        • 63. nightshayde  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:21 am

          Oh, wicked bad evil naughty Zoot pixie?

          Reply
          • 64. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:34 am

            Spank me??

          • 65. anonygrl  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

            Oooh! Yes! Then spank ME!

          • 66. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm

            I dearly love Python :-)

          • 67. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

            I was crying (with laughter) at c.cookie’s python joke-as-a-weapon clip the other day…..

  • 68. Bill J.  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

    A bit off topic, my apologies. But two days ago Family News in Focus reported that the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to similar gender marriage in DC.
    Could we get a less biased and insightful interpretation from P8TT on what went down there?

    Reply
    • 69. Bill J.  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:40 am

      Sorry, I meant “less biased and _more_ insightful”…

      Reply
    • 70. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:49 am

      I doubt I’m unbiased and can’t promise much insight, but I’ll give it a shot.

      This was the final step in a long series of actions where Jackson, et al, tried to put the issue of ss marriages up for a popular vote in D.C.

      Though the site isn’t up to date, there’s a good discussion of the background of the case(s) at this site:
      http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=issue_caseDocket_Jackson_v_DC_Board_of_Elections_and_Ethics

      The legal issues weren’t really about the constitutionality/legality of ss marriage per se (as they are in Perry) but rather about whether the DC Council and Bd. of Elections overstepped its authority in denying the plaintiffs the right to put an initiative/referendum on the ballot.

      This most recent news is that the US Supreme Court refused to take the appeal (i.e., denied cert). They issued no opinion with it, only included the case in a list of cases in which petition for cert was denied in an order issued earlier this week.

      You can find a good synopsis of the legal issues in Chief Justice Roberts’ earlier order denying Jackson’s request to issue an injunction which would have halted the DC marriages while the case going through the appeals process. It’s available at the link above as “3.2.10 opinion by Chief Justice Roberts rejecting application for a stay(pdf)”

      If you have any other questions, I’ll try to answer them.

      Reply
  • 71. Manilow  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    So is this case calling out Section 3 of DOMA just like the Mass. Case or is it calling out DOMA as a whole?

    Reply
    • 72. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      From what I’ve read (haven’t looked it over carefully) just Section 3, having to do with federal benefits.

      Reply
  • 73. Ronnie  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    This week’s cover: How ‘Glee’ is leading TV’s gay-teen revolution
    by EW staff
    http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/01/20/glee-gay-teens-ew-cover/

    “The new issue of Entertainment Weekly investigates the history of gay teens on TV — from the angsty Rickie on My So-Called Life to sensitive-soul Jack on Dawson’s Creek to the slew of groundbreaking characters on Degrassi.”

    (me)There is a clip from the photo shoot on the other end of the link above…..
    You can see photos from the Chris Colfer (Kurt, Glee) & Darren Criss (Blaine, Glee) spread here:
    http://www.towleroad.com/2011/01/darren-criss-and-chris-colfer-score-for-gay-teens-on-ew-cover.html

    <3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 74. Ronnie  |  January 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      Speaking of TV shows that include openly gay teen characters…..

      Marlene King (Creator/Writer), Oliver Goldstick (Executive Producer), & cast members of ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” say “It Gets Better”……<3…Ronnie:

      Reply
  • 75. Rhie  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Watching with interest

    Reply
  • 76. Randy  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Party Poopers!

    WASHINGTON – The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) responded today to Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) as they filed a brief pretending to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

    “The DOJ brief amounts to collusive litigation, failing to even offer to the court, much less vigorously defend, the reasons Congress laid out in the statute when it passed DOMA—especially responsible procreation. This is an attack not only on marriage, but on the prerogatives of Congress. The Executive branch should not attempt to exercise this kind of retroactive line-item veto over a bill passed by Congress,” said Brian Brown, president of NOM.

    DOMA, which was passed by bipartisan majorities in 1996, defines marriage for the purpose of federal law as the union of one man and one woman. In the statute, Congress laid out four reasons justifying this definition of marriage including “responsible procreation.” Courts in New York, Maryland and elsewhere have accepted this reason as the rational basis for marriage’s definition. The DOJ brief formally defending DOMA, pointedly and explicitly repudiates the idea that responsible procreation is a purpose of DOMA, significantly undercutting the efforts of the Congress.

    “All the parties to this litigation want the court to strike down DOMA; this is clear from their behavior, no matter what President Obama and his politicized DOJ pretend to convey to the public,” said Brown, “If Obama’s DOJ had merely honestly refused to defend the law, the court would likely have permitted another party to intervene to defend the law. Obama’s DOJ is trying to retain control so it can lose this case.”

    Reply
    • 77. Kate  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      Ah, maybe NOM can get Imperial County to intervene!

      /sarcasm

      Reply
      • 78. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

        That was my thoughts exactly….. LOL

        Reply
    • 79. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Once again, NOM *conveniently* forgets the system of checks and balances…

      YAY for the ruling!

      Reply
    • 80. JonT  |  January 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      Maybe we should all go in on a nice cheese platter for Brian — to go with his whine.

      Reply
    • 81. Carpool Cookie  |  January 21, 2011 at 9:48 am

      The Prop H8 defense in SF was “vigorous” in that attorneys for the defendants/drafters SHOWED UP, but once they were there all they could offer was whining, and 2 “expert” witnesses that got discredited in whole or in part.

      Then there was that loser who scuttled around the issue of “Where’s Barbara??” at the appeal.

      Is that the kind of vigorous defense they’re missing?

      Reply
  • 82. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    UPDATE in Mass DOMA cases:

    Amicus brief filed by George I. Goverman in support of upholding DOMA:

    THANK YOU to Peterblumber for retrieving this.

    Reply
    • 83. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      Who is this guy? How common is it for an individual citizen not impacted by the outcome of a case to file an amicus brief?

      Reply
      • 84. Peterplumber  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm

        He thinks he will be impacted. Read what he wrote; he is a single guy (aka TROLL) who thinks that if I marry my boyfriend, and get a tax break as a result, he will have to pay MORE taxes to make up the difference for my break.

        See the doulbe standard here? If I were to marry a woman, that is OK, but if I were to marry another guy, that dumps more tax burden on him.

        Reply
        • 85. Ronnie  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm

          ROTFLMGAYAO…Thanks for pointing that out Peter…I wasn’t going to read it…but I might, just to get a good laugh….Because someone of the same gender gets married then in turn receives a tax break he will have to pay more taxes….LOL..(I just fell of my chair) ……<3….Ronnie

          Reply
      • 86. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm

        When the parties have stipulated that both sides give permission for amicus briefs, just about anyone can file a brief, as long as it conforms with court rules and is filed on time.

        I don’t know how common it is for these random briefs to be filed, but I’m guessing it’s more common in high profile cases, especially on social issues. Usually in the portion “statement of interest” the amicus tries to tell the court why their view is one the court should hear, often because it’s a view not fully represented by other parties in the case. This guy seems to go out of his way to say he has almost no interest. :)

        Reply
  • 87. Ronnie  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    The video for Pink’s anti-bullying music video (ft. actress Tina Majorino from “Carrina, Carrina”, “Waterword”, & “Andre” all grown up…I heart her) for her song “F**kin Perfect” premiered

    (warning: strong language)……<3…Ronnie:

    http://www.vevo.com/watch/pink/fkin-perfect/USLV41000041

    Reply
    • 88. RebeccaRGB  |  January 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Oh my god.

      The first scene (girl on the playground) hit home. The rest, made me grateful it never got that bad for me. The whole thing… just wow.

      Just. Wow.

      I need this song…

      Reply
      • 89. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 21, 2011 at 6:11 am

        thx for comments RGB …it encouraged me to watch it….I’m glad I did…though emotional way to start the day…whew….sigh…

        Reply
  • 90. Peterplumber  |  January 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    UPDATE Mass DOMA cases

    Amicus Brief by Foundation for Moral Law in support of DOMA

    Reply
    • 91. Tom B.  |  January 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Chance of this being accepted as an official amicus brief: 0%

      No court is going to take a brief that’s so full of Biblical gobbledygook as an amicus brief, since that would really undermine their credibility and the church/state separation. :)

      Reply
      • 92. Kathleen  |  January 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm

        Oh, it’s accepted and official. But it’s entirely up to the judges how much weight they give it and I agree with your assessment – 0%

        Reply
        • 93. Tom B.  |  January 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

          That’s what I meant, thanks for the correction Kathleen. <3

          Reply
  • 94. Ronnie  |  January 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Stephanie Tanner Is Waiting for Marriage Equality
    By Michelle Garcia
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/01/20/Stephanie_Tanner_is_Waiting_for_Marriage_Equality/

    “Jodie Sweetin, who played Full House’s wisecracking middle child Stephanie Tanner, is engaged to be married, but her fiancé proclaimed that they won’t exchange vows until gay and lesbian couples can too.

    Morty Coyle wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that he “is in Love with My Fiance and Waiting for Marriage Equality for All!!!” He also told People magazine that they are planning to marry only when same-sex couples can, but he proposed with the rationale that “just because we weren’t married doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve a ring.”

    Sweetin, 29, gave birth to their daughter, Beatrix, in August.”

    (me) Wow..I would not ask our Straight Allies to make a sacrifice such as this…but thank you Jodie Sweetin & Morty Coyle for you support for Equality & a belated congratulations on your new baby girl…..<3….Ronnie

    Reply
    • 95. Carpool Cookie  |  January 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

      I love it, too : )

      AND it’s an interesting way to get potential inlaws off your back. “Of COURSE we’re getting married, Mother Sweetin! What a question! We’re just waiting….for Marriage Equality to come through! Uh, more dip?”

      It’s an ill wind that blows no good (or whatever the saying is…)

      Reply
  • 96. Jim Ingersaul  |  January 21, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Question: Given that the Massachusetts DOMA cases are further along, and seeing as that state has 7 continuous years of Marriage Equality. Does it make sense to hope that the Massachusetts cases hit the Supreme Court first?

    One of the two Mass. cases in particular to me is interesting, Mass v. Heath. In this instance it’s an argument of the soverignity of Massachusetts, it’s a ‘States Rights” argument, which is historically conservative (i.e. the ability to gain interest of the right-wing judges, and also gay marriage is a progressive issue, the ability to gain interest from the left)

    Furthermore what’s interesting to me is the specifics of the case where Mass. is caused to discriminate against its citizens or if not, lose Federal money for Veteran cememetaries if (God forbid) gay spouses are buried next to each other.

    I am just wondering if this case would have more weight in front of the Supreme Court–and maybe we should hope its given the opportunity to set precendent first rather than California cases where legalization has been nebulous over the recent years.

    Can anyone shed some light on this thought/ Kathleen?

    Reply
  • 97. Amy  |  January 21, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Ah yes.. the humble progress of Massachusetts. Where would the world be without it?

    Reply
  • 98. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 21, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Late to the party. BZ had an appointment in Durham with his doctor which went well, other than Dr. and I both after him over his diabetes. Then we visited with Papa Foma and all in Raleigh, then my Scentsy team meeting. so just now getting to catch up.
    I am hoping though that with the cases in MA, and now this one in California, that the reason the DOJ is appealing these cases is so that this will go to the Supremes and strike DOMA down at a level that will have an impact not only on the federal marriage discrimination laws, but also on the state level marriage discrimination laws. It is time that all of our marriages were legally recognized all over the US. Especially now that Peru’s president has indicated willingness to sign marriage equality into law there! Will post the link shortly from Purple Union’s news briefing once I get back into the email the link is in.

    Reply
  • 99. texasjoe  |  January 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Apparently this judge doesnt realize that there is no such thing as same-sex marriage in california.

    Reply
    • 100. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 21, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      Apparently YOU don’t realize that for five months in 2008, there were 18,000 of these marriages performed in California, and that Prop H8 did not invalidate those marriages, it only keeps couples from getting married from the day after the 2008 elections until its overturning due to being unconstitutional is finalized. And there are other couples who have gone to states where marriage equality is the law and have gotten married whose marriages will be recognized in California once Prop H8 is overturned. Get used to it. Equality and full civil rights is inevitable.

      Reply
      • 101. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 3:24 am

        “… until its overturning”

        Yeah right. Given the spanking that Kennedy gave Reinhardt the other day related to writs of habeas corpus:

        “[Judicial] resources are diminished and misspent, however, and confidence in the writ [of habeas corpus] and the law it vindicates undermined, if there is judicial disregard for the sound and established principles that inform its proper issuance. That judicial disregard is inherent in the opinion of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit here under review.”

        As you can see Kennedy accused Reinhardt of “judicial disregard” for “sound and established principles”.

        Since Reinhardt authored both Harrington v. Richter and Premo v. Moore (both overturned), what do YOU think is going to happen in the Prop 8 appeal?

        I think Walker will be overturned and no constitutional violations found.

        Reply
        • 102. Sagesse  |  January 22, 2011 at 6:19 am

          There’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask, somewhat related. Judge Reinhardt has been called the ‘most overturned appeals court justice… how does one measure that? He sits on a panel with at least three judges. He can’t ‘decide’ anything without others voting in agreement, even if he wrote the decision. This label sounds like spin to me.

          Reply
          • 103. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 6:43 am

            Its because he has authored most of the opinions of the ninth circuit which have been overturned, so the work is attributed to him.

            In the two cases I mentioned above, the decisions of the US Supreme Court were UNANIMOUS.

        • 104. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 7:18 am

          Oh look another homophobic un-American, benighted Fascist porcine……MAUDE!!!!…… 8 / …Ronnie

          Reply
          • 105. TexasJoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 8:00 am

            Is that the best you can do, Ronnie?

            Hurling pejorative terms at me, simply because I hold an opinion that is different from yours?

          • 106. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 8:16 am

            No, substantially…its all you deserve…deal with it….I was going to type out something pointing out all of your errors…but then I came to the conclusion that you are simply not worth it, OTIO……8 / …Ronnie

          • 107. TexasJoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

            So in other words there is no substance to your position.

            Thats what I thought.

          • 108. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

            No, maybe you should lean how to read, you benighted troglodyte….in other words it means you are NOT worthy of my time, energy & anything better then exactly what I gave you…What juncture in the reply, “I was going to type out something pointing out all of your errors (this would be referring to your “substance” bull) …but then I came to the conclusion that you are simply NOT WORTH it”….were you fundamentally incapable of comprehending?…..I have no substance in my position….pfffft…provide me with something that deserves “substance” (i.e. my qualitative, lettered & erudite conception of your antiquated, fallacious & draconian conjecture)…& maybe, just maybe…I’ll impart with you more then you warrant… 8 / …Ronnie

          • 109. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm

            Still no substance – just pejoratives.

            Try again.

          • 110. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm

            Yeaaaaaaah…NO!…you try again…read it again…& see if you can get it precise…I, in sooth, did point out how your “substance” pejorative is erroneous….there is an abundance of substance you just don’t warrant it….at this point I gauge that my confabulation is far too avant-garde & perspicacious for your uncultivated acumen…deal with it….. 8 / …Ronnie

          • 111. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm

            So you call me “un-American” and you think you’re “avant-garde & perspicacious”.

            As I said, all pejoratives and no substance.

          • 112. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

            Have you warranted my qualitative, lettered & erudite conception (i.e. “substance”) of your antiquated, fallacious & draconian conjecture?……As I said….Yeaaaaaaah…NO!…you try again…read it again…& see if you can get it precise…. 8 / ….Ronnie

          • 113. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

            Anyone who says they are “perspicacious” and then in the same breath says to “get it precise” has no substance.

            Precise is an adjective. But your usage (following a noun) is as an adverb. The adverb is precisely.

          • 114. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

            Wow you really are observant ……NOT!!!…..Ok…lets put this in simple words that maybe you can understand…

            1. While typing my 1st comment to you which was filled with “substance”….I realized that you’re not worth it…so I deleted it & went with exhibit “B”.
            2. You come back with your childish “Is that all you got”.
            3. So I reply with “I had more to say to you, but decided that you didn’t deserve it…so I went with exhibit “B”.
            4. You clearly did not understand..so you respond with “no substance”
            5. I respond with I have substance you just don’t deserve more then what I gave you (i.e what you warranted).
            6. You continue to not understand & say “still no substance”…echo…echooooo.
            7. So I try to explain it… thinking that maybe you were enlightened enough …yeah, you still didn’t get it.
            8. You then reply with “no substance”….getting a little repetitive there aren’t you?….talk about not having “substance”.
            9. So I try one more attempt at letting you know that there is “substance” you just didn’t deserve anything more then what I gave you…you somehow think you deserved more…too bad…get over it.
            10. Then that last little gem…I used the word “precise” the synonym for correct…as in “get it correct”…the opposite for the word “incorrect”…. which you were incorrect that is why I used the term “get it precise” as in “get it correct”. as in “get your argument correct”….You can precisely fix your argument on “substance” if in fact, to begin with, you warranted more substance then what I originally imparted on you which is what I believed you rightfully deserved..you obviously think that you deserved more…& I apologize that I really did not feel like for providing that for you….deal with it…..<3…Ronnie

          • 115. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm

            Ok Ronnie – let me spell it out for you:

            You called me an benighted unAmerican porcine.

            The fact that I believe that marriage should be limited to a man and a woman (irregardless of what you believe) neither makes me unAmerican, nor a porcine, nor benighted.

            Therefore to me your argument has no substance, and simply consists of meaningless pejoratives.

          • 116. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm

            Ok Joe (who seems to keep on changing the way his name is written but it should always still be there in the box the same way it was the last time he posted) – let my spell it our for you:

            Read all the above, I already told you what i started to do, changed my mind, deleted it, then typed something else & why I did that…..you are incapable of comprehending that, proving my original statement of “Benighted” is true..I said you don’t deserve anything more then what I gave you…meaning you don’t deserve anything filled with the level of “substance” you so needly require…I gave you exactly what you warranted & continued to warrant it…I asked you to give me something that deserved a reply filled w/ more “substance” & you repeated your bull like an immature 3yo…”but why”… I already told you…”but why”…I already told you….”but why”….third verse same as the first.

            The fact that you believe, like every other SELFISH “marriage is a man a woman” porcine, that whatever relationship you have with the female in your life or will have is superior to mine & the only one entitled to be married while denying me the government recognition that i pay for & deserve as a naturally born American citizen unless I do it how fascist porcine’s like you demand… DOES make you un-American…just like it did with everybody who didn’t agree with interracial marriage….Learn it. Live it, Love it….simply put you don’t have a say in the matter….Who & how I marry is NONE of you business…get that through your dense little skull…

            I already told you five times why I didn’t supply you with something filled with more substance then you deserved…It is not my fault that you ARE so benighted to the level where you were incapable of comprehending it the first time…that you needed to keep on repeating the same thing over & over & over again…your argument that my argument has no substance, well, has no substance because I already told you 5 times that I didn’t feel like providing you with any because you don’t deserve it….read those last 4 words….YOU….DON’T….DESERVE….IT…..

            Oh…& aweeee poor little Joe….if they really were “meaningless” you wouldn’t have taken the time to go on & on & on & on…repeating the same thing…& wasting you precious little “no substance” time….you hurt my feelings Joe….I’m sad…..NOT!!!!!…. XP……Ronnie

            P.S….Its “regardless”…not “irregardless”

          • 117. texasjoe  |  January 23, 2011 at 4:34 am

            The judges here in Texas are not being called out by the US Supreme Court for “wasting judicial resources” and “judicial disregard for the principles of law”.

            Also, in the majority of the panel opinion that was reversed were… Reinhardt and Smith.

          • 118. texasjoe  |  January 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

            Sorry Ronnie – The Court says I am right and you are wrong.

            Until you overturn the Texas court decision – no substance to your argument.

          • 119. Ronnie  |  January 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm

            1st, look before you hit “reply”….just saying…..

            2nd, Sorry Joe – wrong….read it again…but don’t try again – no substance to your “argument”…. O.T.I.O…oh & oIo… 8 / …Ronnie

    • 120. Ed Cortes  |  January 22, 2011 at 6:37 am

      My husband and I ARE LEGALLY MARRIED in CA.

      Reply
      • 121. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 6:44 am

        And your point is?

        Reply
        • 122. Ed Cortes  |  January 22, 2011 at 8:18 am

          The point is that there are valid, legal same-sex marriages in CA.

          Reply
        • 123. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 22, 2011 at 8:37 am

          @TexasJoe: The point is you lied about 18,000 same-sex couples, all legally wed under California law.

          Reply
          • 124. TexasJoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 9:51 am

            No Chris, I didnt lie about 18000 same sex couples legally wed in california.

            Prop 8 IS currently the law of California. So the 18000 are the exception, not the rule.

          • 125. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 23, 2011 at 8:14 am

            Exception or not, you said (QFT): “…there is no such thing as same-sex marriage in california.” Lie.

          • 126. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 23, 2011 at 8:20 am

            Also, texasjoe–exactly how is my marriage going to harm your marriage? We are not asking any heterosexual couples to divorce. Nor are we asking heterosexual couples to stop having children. Many of us also have children. Our families deserve the very same LEGAL, CIVIL, SECULAR rights, obligations, protections, and recognition as other families. So again, how is my marriage harming your marriage? Are you that insecure in your own sexual orientation that your marriage is that shaky? Have you failed to put the time and effort into maintaining your relationship with your wife that you are afraid she will leave you? Have you spent that much time chasing the almighty dollar that you have neglected your family in the ways that really matter? Is that why you see our marriages as a threat to yours? Are you man enough to answer these questions after taking a long, hard, deep look into your own soul and finding the true cause of your fear, anxiety, and hatred? Or are you nothing more than another sheep of the NOM flock, someone who will go along blindly following whatever form of bigotry seems to keep you from looking at your own faults and failures?

          • 127. texasjoe  |  January 23, 2011 at 9:05 am

            Are you that insecure in your own sexual orientation that your marriage is that shaky? Nope.

            Have you failed to put the time and effort into maintaining your relationship with your wife that you are afraid she will leave you? Nope.

            Have you spent that much time chasing the almighty dollar that you have neglected your family in the ways that really matter? Nope.

            Is that why you see our marriages as a threat to yours? Nope.

            Are you man enough to answer these questions after taking a long, hard, deep look into your own soul and finding the true cause of your fear, anxiety, and hatred? I have neither fear, nor anxiety, nor hatred.

            Or are you nothing more than another sheep of the NOM flock, someone who will go along blindly following whatever form of bigotry seems to keep you from looking at your own faults and failures? I am neither sheep nor bigot.

            exactly how is my marriage going to harm your marriage? First you have to convince me that two men can love each other in the same way that a man loves a woman, THEN your marriage will be the same as mine (equal). Until then, your attempt to say that two men can be married simply cheapens the word “marriage”, and I object to that, whether you agree with me or not. In a two man “marriage”, there is no opposing viewpoint of the opposite sex. Thus, a same sex “marriage” is missing the contribution that an opposite sex partner makes to the “marriage”. Two men see the world the way two men would. Their viewpoint is thus uninformed by the intimacy that is brought to a “marriage” by the inclusion of a man and a woman.

          • 128. Ronnie  |  January 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

            Maude!!!!!!….You are a bigot…Two men can love each other in the same way that a man loves a woman & you have no proof that they don’t unless you are a mind reader & ASSume to think you know anything about the internal feelings & connections between two people you don’t even know….. your attempt to be a selfish Fascist porcine who thinks you heterosexual supremacists own the word “marriage”, think’s that you have the right to define somebody else’s relationship for them, & that your relationship with your wife is superior to the relationship I will have with my future husband is what cheapen’s the word “marriage”…..”Two men see the world the way two men would.”…NO….not really, NOBODY sees the world the same way…..Our viewpoint is thus 100% informed by the intimacy that is brought to a “marriage” by the inclusion of a man & a man, man & a woman, or a woman & a woman…DEAL WITH IT!!!!… 8 / ….Ronnie

          • 129. texasjoe  |  January 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm

            “you have no proof that they don’t unless you are a mind reader & ASSume to think you know anything about the internal feelings & connections between two people you don’t even know”

            Since you dont know me personally – that statement is the pot calling the kettle black.

            “that your relationship with your wife is superior to the relationship I will have with my future husband is what cheapen’s the word “marriage”

            I never said my relationship is superior – I just said it was different and made up of qualities that you will never experience being married to a man.

            For instance, noted lesbian author Camille Paglia recently wrote:

            “After a period of optimism about the long-range potential of gay men’s one-on-one relationships, gay magazines are starting to acknowledge the more relaxed standards operating here, with recent articles celebrating the bigger bang of sex with strangers or proposing “monogamy without fidelity” — the latest Orwellian formulation to excuse having your cake and eating it too. ”

            Still wanna maintain that your “marriage” will be equivalent to mine?

          • 130. Straight For Equality  |  January 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm

            @texasjoe:

            ” In a two man “marriage”, there is no opposing viewpoint of the opposite sex. Thus, a same sex “marriage” is missing the contribution that an opposite sex partner makes to the “marriage”. Two men see the world the way two men would. Their viewpoint is thus uninformed by the intimacy that is brought to a “marriage” by the inclusion of a man and a woman.”

            Do you really believe that all men see the world one way and all woman see it another, different way? I find that insulting! The more men and women have taken on similar roles in society, the less there is a difference based on gender. When society imposed distinct gender roles, that may have led to stereotypical views of the world. If all men today had the same viewpoint, I doubt we would see such differences between opposing politicians.

          • 131. Ronnie  |  January 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm

            & since you don’t know anything about the relationships as well as the internal feelings & connections between 2men or 2women….you are the pothead calling the kettle trippy….

            I never said you said that your relationship is superior. It is pretty much implied because you think that your relationship is more important & deserving of the word “marriage” & the only one deserving of that government recognition….

            My marriage will be equivalent too yours…. supposedly you love your wife. I too, will love my husband….I believe in monogamy & I am not going to marry a man that doesn’t. Guessing that you too believe in monogamy, those would be the exact same sentiments occurring both In my marriage & in yours…..Assuming that you have sex w/your wife, I too will have sex w/my husband. How either of us do that is irrelevant. Sex is sex & both are legal. & don’t even try to pull that “procreation” bullshite talking point. It has already been proven that that argument is bunk since heterosexuals who either can’t have children through intercourse or choose never to have children (i.e. taking away what would require a human to have a child through intercourse) still get married. Marriage is NOT about having children…..Although having children is not a legal requirement for marriage. You have not mentioned it so I don’t know if you have children. Regardless of that, I will have children. I plan to have children. How my husband & I and how you & your wife choose to have children is irrelevant. The fact that both marriages will include children makes them the same…..But selfish people like you want to get into semantics, as in “because your marriage includes 2 men & mine includes 1man & 1woman my marriage is superior to yours”…when in FACT your marriage & relationship is insignificant to everybody else but you, the person involved & your friends & family…..you heterosexual elitist supremacists think that your relationships are special, that they are more important then everybody else’s…Your relationship with your wife is no more special or important then mine would be with my husband.

            I do maintain that my marriage will be equivalent to yours..on every single level other then your emotional connection to your wife….because ALL relationships have differences…marriage is not about who is involved….it is about what the couple involved in that marriage make of it…..& by you acknowledging that because 2 other people who have nothing to do with you, get married will somehow diminish the meaning of your marriage or anybody else’s marriage…is PATHETIC…if your marriage is so reliant on what other people’s marriages looks like….that is PATHETIC….Deal with it…. 8 / …Ronnie

          • 132. texasjoe  |  January 24, 2011 at 4:24 am

            “Assuming that you have sex w/your wife, I too will have sex w/my husband. How either of us do that is irrelevant. Sex is sex & both are legal. ”

            I would hardly call what you consider as sex to be either the physical or moral equivalent of sex in my marriage.

            “don’t even try to pull that “procreation” bullshite talking point. … Marriage is NOT about having children”

            Hmmm. that’s definitely not the way I see it. Every time I have intercourse with my wife, there is a possibility 9 months later that a new life will come into this world. (NO birth control is 100% effective). Thus, even though we use birth control. every time I have intercourse with my wife, I am making a financial and emotional commitment to her and the possibly unborn child. Were we to get divorced, the courts would force me to honor that commitment, via child support. Were I to disregard that child support, I would end up in jail for contempt of court. Thus, the end result of a single act of intercourse with my wife has a lot of ramifications.

            You simply cannot say the same for your marriage. There is no commitment to a possibly unborn child resulting from your sexual relations, no possibility of it leading to court orders regarding children, and no possibility of it leading to your imprisonment.

          • 133. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 24, 2011 at 5:57 am

            Everybody, look at this rationally. Texasjoe has prediated his whole argument upon a lie (“…there is no such thing as same-sex marriage in california.”) and outright speculation (“I think Walker will be overturned and no constitutional violations found.”) which has led to more lies and exposes his bigotry (“you have to convince me that two men can love each other in the same way that a man loves a woman, THEN your marriage will be the same as mine (equal).”; “I am neither sheep nor bigot.”; the whole ‘procreation makes my marriage more important’ argument; etc.). Obvious, belligerent troll is obviously belligerent. No more feeding him.

          • 134. Ronnie  |  January 24, 2011 at 8:39 am

            “I would hardly call what you consider as sex to be either the physical or moral equivalent of sex in my marriage.”

            Whether you consider it to be equivalent or not is irrelevant…both are physically & morally equivalent under the law & that is all that matters…& there you go with that “moral” superiority complex…you should work on that…

            That entire “procreation” argument/reply proved how benighted you really are, how much you are fundamentally incapable of comprehending exactly what you read, & how you made the entire thing about your experience, about your circumstances…NOT ALL marriages revolve around what you are capable or incapable of doing with your wife……do you not know how to read?….

            “since heterosexuals who either can’t have children through intercourse or choose never to have children (i.e. taking away what would require a human to have a child through intercourse) still get married. Marriage is NOT about having children”…………Read it again…try to comprehend that….but don’t try it again….you benighted troglodyte….

            “Were we to get divorced, the courts would force me to honor that commitment, via child support.”

            The same would happen to us…..equivalent..

            “You simply cannot say the same for your marriage.”

            So because I can’t “accidentally” knock up my husband…my marriage would not be equivalently to yours & deserving of the same government recognition?…I’ll tell my sister (who is engaged to a man) who may not be able to have children …that her marriage is not equivalent & deserving of the same government recognition as your insignificant marriage….because you think that your marriage is superior to any marriage that doesn’t produce a child through intercourse…you selfish spoiled brat….

            “There is no commitment to a possibly unborn child resulting from your sexual relations, no possibility of it leading to court orders regarding children, and no possibility of it leading to your imprisonment.”

            There are no legal requirements for a child to be brought into a family through sexual relations…..& you are wrong….there IS commitment to a possibly unborn child regardless of who the parents are…I will be committed to any child I have & who exactly are you to make that assessment?…If we were to get divorced there is a possibility of it leading to court orders regarding children if we have children prior to the time of the divorce… equivalent, on every level other then the subjects involved….

            We’re done here.. 8 / ….Ronnie

          • 135. texasjoe  |  January 24, 2011 at 11:20 am

            “Everybody, look at this rationally.”

            If we were looking at this rationally, this thread wouldn’t even exist. It has been held over and over again, even AFTER walker’s ruling, that procreation is a rational basis for limiting marriage to a man and a woman.

            In re Marriage of J.B., Texas Court of Appeals, 2010:

            Accurately identifying and analyzing appellee’s claimed right-the purported “right to marry a person of the same sex”-exposes the serious consequences such a position portends:  the redefinition of the fundamental institution of marriage. And, of course, only by asserting that marriage includes the union of two persons of the same sex can appellee advance his claim of discrimination. A fatal flaw in this position is that it assumes the truth of the proposition to be proved.

          • 136. texasjoe  |  January 24, 2011 at 11:22 am

            Got that Ronnie and Chris? Let me repeat it for you:

            “And, of course, only by asserting that marriage includes the union of two persons of the same sex can appellee advance his claim of discrimination. A fatal flaw in this position is that it assumes the truth of the proposition to be proved.”

          • 137. Ronnie  |  January 24, 2011 at 11:28 am

            Nope….wrong….benighted troglodyte…Second verse same at the first……see all the above….blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…….O.T.I.O…. 8 /…. Ronnie

          • 138. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

            “…procreation is a rational basis for limiting marriage to a man and a woman.”

            Lie. If you had any integrity at all, you would realize that such a proposition would result in there being fertility tests and oaths to procreate before a marriage could be performed. There is none such in the US, never has been, and likely never will be. You’ve shown your true colors over and over again, that all you are is an overblown bigot who thinks he’s better than anybody here because of his heterosexism. You are a troll, a bigot, and a liar. I don’t know which is worst.

          • 139. texasjoe  |  January 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

            Sorry Ronnie – The Court says I am right and you are wrong.

            Until you overturn that decision – no substance to your argument, which the courts have already called “fatally flawed”

          • 140. texasjoe  |  January 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm

            Well Chris – The courts say you are wrong.

            Until then…

          • 141. Ronnie  |  January 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm

            Sorry Joe – wrong…read it again….but don’t try again….

            You have no substance to your “argument”….O.T.I.O…..oh & double oIo ….. 8 / ….Ronnie

          • 142. texasjoe  |  January 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm

            Heres the link Ronnie –

            http://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-court-of-appeals/1536784.html

            “The Texas Constitution and the Texas Family Code single out one particular social unit for purposes of defining a legally valid marriage in Texas:  opposite-sex couples.   Appellee asserts that because Texas law thus both defines and restricts formal recognition of the institution of marriage to opposite-sex couples, it thereby discriminates against and denigrates same-sex couples.   We disagree.   Texas law recognizes that only opposite-sex couples are naturally capable of producing children, and it gives participants in that kind of relationship the option of legal formalization, with the legitimate legislative goal of encouraging such formalization and thereby promoting the well-being of children.   The state has decided that the general welfare does not require extending the same option to the members of other social units.   Texas law does not recognize same-sex relationships as valid marriages.   Texas law also does not recognize relationships that involve more than one man and one woman, such as bigamous and polygamous relationships (both of which involve at least one person of the opposite sex), as valid marriages… Appellee has not shown that the legislative history of the 2005 constitutional amendment defining marriage in Texas as limited to opposite-sex couples reflects any animus against same-sex couples.   We cannot conclude that the State’s justification for its marriage laws lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests.”

            You lose.

          • 143. Ronnie  |  January 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm

            Yup…already have it….already read it…sorry…wrong…read all the above….except for what you posted….maybe you will eventually get it right….relevance to initial rigmarole is insufficient…you are fundamentally incapable of comprehending that…not my fault nor is it my responsibility to point it out & correct you….you are supposedly an adult so figure it out….you benighted troglodyte……triple oIo…. 8 / …..Ronnie

            P.S. Even though I did allot you with a small window of more then you deserved…..like has been said over & over & over gain….. You haven’t warranted my qualitative, lettered & erudite conception (i.e. “substance”) of your antiquated, fallacious & draconian conjecture….deal with it.

          • 144. texasjoe  |  January 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm

            You still LOSE.

          • 145. Ronnie  |  January 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm

            ROTFLMGAO….pore over it anew…debiel…..Duidelijk tragel is Duidelijk…. oIo …….. ; ) …..Ronnie

          • 146. texasjoe  |  January 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm

            vc e um puxa-saco… porque vc nao trepar-se.. dona sapatoes

          • 147. Ronnie  |  January 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm

            …………….

      • 148. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 6:46 am

        Try coming here to Texas and getting a divorce… and see how long your “legal” marriage lasts in court.

        Reply
        • 149. Dave in ME  |  January 22, 2011 at 6:48 am

          But your point addressed California, not Texas.

          Dave in Maine

          Reply
          • 150. TexasJoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 8:03 am

            Agreed Dave,

            Thats why I asked him his point.

          • 151. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

            But he actually stated his point, and you blew it off as if he did not know what he was talking about. And there is currently a case in Texas regarding a lesbian couple I believe where they filed for divorce, the divorce was granted, then that action was denied, and that decision was appealed, and the last I heard, the courts ordered that the marriage be recognized, and the divorce allowed to proceed. I am not sure where it stands currently, but I will look into it and when I can find the appropriate links I will post them, unless someone else finds and posts them first.

        • 152. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

          The AUSTIN appellate court DISMISSED the AG’s appeal for lack of standing because he filed for intervention AFTER the courts ruling. A DISMISSAL for want of jurisdiction is not (and CANNOT be) a ruling on the merits. But the DALLAS court of appeals still says that Texas Courts do NOT have subject matter jurisdiction to hear a same sex divorce. So right now, the ONLY appellate court in Texas to have addressed the issue has held that same sex marriages are NOT legal in Texas. And under that law, the lesbian divorce in AUSTIN is void.

          Reply
          • 153. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

            Well, if they have a legal California marriage, then California will recognize it, whether or not they try to get divorced in Texas. Texas won’t divorce them, ergo they’re still married in California.

  • 154. Jeff Baily  |  January 22, 2011 at 11:31 am

    ..but no one answered the initial question…

    Given that CA same-sex marriages are currently not legal, wouldn’t it be best if the Massachusetts cases hit the Supreme Court first? Seeing as they have 7 continuous years of legal marriage, and it’s still legal there…

    Also, the Massachusetts case seems to woo more the conservative judges with the whole “Soverignty of MA, States Rights” argument….

    Jim Ingersaul asked that question above, and it’s a worthwhile question, I feel, a sensitive one maybe too for many Californians…

    And then to Amy’s subsequent point about MA… yeah let’s look at that state’s track record. Why aren’t we all better focused on betting on the winning horse??

    Reply
    • 155. Kathleen  |  January 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

      As to texasjoe’s initial ‘question’, Richard addressed it. texasjoe said “this judge doesnt realize that there is no such thing as same-sex marriage in california,” suggesting that the judge in Dragovich was ruling on marriages that weren’t legal or valid… and that’s not the case.

      As to strategy, the Massachusetts cases, when considered together, do attack DOMA on broader grounds than the cases of the individual plaintiffs and therefore probably constitute a more powerful assault on DOMA. The Massachusetts cases are likely to to make it to the Supreme Court first anyway, just because the case is farther along in the appeals process.

      But there is value in bringing multiple challenges. First of all, the more cases there are, the more likely the Supreme Court is to grant cert when one of them makes it to them. Also, the Supreme Court is more likely to grant cert if there’s a split in conclusions between different appeals circuits, so it’s a good idea to bring these cases in different Circuits. And the 9th Circuit in particular is likely to be the best chance for a favorable decision at the appeals level. So, even if the Mass cases make it there first, having this case (and others) out there increases the chances of the Supreme Court taking up the question.

      Reply
      • 156. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm

        …suggesting that the judge in Dragovich was ruling on marriages that weren’t legal or valid… and that’s not the case…

        No Kathleen. The 18000 marriages are the exception, not the RULE.

        So the judges ruling that DOMA is problem… Well what is its future? If Same Sex Marriage is currently NOT legal, then where is the FACIAL challenge to DOMA? There may be an as-applied challenge limited to those 18000, but it would have no other effect.

        Reply
        • 157. Kathleen  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

          Plaintiffs’ have filed a motion for class certification. I haven’t seen the motion to know how they’re proposing defining the class.

          Reply
        • 158. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 23, 2011 at 8:24 am

          texasjoe: Same-sex marriage is currently legal for 18,000 California couples. That is the rule.

          Reply
  • 159. texasjoe  |  January 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Also, currently, if those 18000 were to divorce, they would not be able to remarry.

    So no injury.

    Reply
    • 160. Kathleen  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Whether or not these couples MAY divorce in the future and the fact that if they did they would not (under current) law be permitted to remarry in California is completely irrelevant to the harm they are currently suffering.

      Reply
    • 161. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      How is not being able to get remarried if someone is widowed or divorced “no injury”?

      Reply
      • 162. texasjoe  |  January 23, 2011 at 4:17 am

        There would be no reason to deny benefits.

        Reply
  • 163. Bennett  |  January 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Well, I for one, in Texas, will recognize same sex marriages. That is too say, I won’t disrespect you by saying things like you are not really married or come on down here and well show just how much your marriage means.

    Reply

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