Whither people power, and whether it should always exist

February 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm 75 comments

By Adam Bink

On NOM’s blog, they link to an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle from February 9th by Harold Johnson and Damien Schiff of the arch-conservative Pacific Legal Foundation. Highlighted excerpt:

The issue before the state Supreme Court — the Prop. 8 “standing” issue — goes to the heart of the initiative process, its viability and future.

And the outcome should concern you, no matter where you come down on Prop. 8. If sponsors of a successful initiative — any initiative — aren’t permitted to step up and defend it in court, even when elected officials stand back and refuse to put on a defense of their own, then the “political power inherent in the people” will have suffered a roundhouse blow.

The initiative process — which was put in place to give voters a route around the politicians — will be put at the mercy of politicians’ whims and ideologies.

Obviously the piece is written in advance of a pending decision by the California Supreme Court to decide whether to accept the question submitted by the 9th Circuit on the issue of standing or not. The real decision on the standing issue appears to be somewhat down the road.

Where I come down is that I’m concerned that any person or person’s random website (ProtectMarriage.com), who is unelected and unaccountable to anyone, gets to represent an entire state and its people. Guarding the will of the people is one thing, but advancing a defense beyond appeal when the state’s elected officials refuse to do so is getting to be a step too far. It’s one of those things where I realize the other side of the coin could go down- progressive, pro-equality initiatives legalized at the ballot and right-wing elected officials refusing to defend it. But in the interests of a good public policy system, ultimately I’m more concerned with the former scenario. Particularly on the issue of civil rights- all these arguments about political power being inherent in the people and the critical importance of that? When it comes to the civil rights of a minority, I start to have real concerns.

It’s part of a whole host of problems I have with the initiative process. I think there’s a middle ground, though I’m willing to bet NOM would be arguing the other side if things were reversed.

Entry filed under: Community/Meta.

Someone has a crush on Rick Jacobs The NYTimes on the indefendable DOMA

75 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarah  |  February 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Okay, fill up my inbox…

    Reply
    • 2. JonT  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Me too please.

      Reply
      • 3. Ed Cortes  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm

        More emails, too, please!

        Reply
      • 4. Kathleen  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm

        Reply
        • 5. Straight for Equality  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm

          Reply
          • 6. Ronnie  |  February 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm

            =
            <3…Ronnie

          • 7. Mouse  |  February 13, 2011 at 6:14 pm

            Is there any way we can legally prevent groups like NOM from using phrases like “Protect Marriage” when their actual mission is the opposite?

            They’re like a hamburger joint who claims they are only in business for the good of the cows.

        • 8. AnonyGrl  |  February 14, 2011 at 8:21 am

          No, Mouse, sadly there is not.

          What we can do is to continue to work to educate the cows to refuse the “protection”.

          Reply
  • 9. Mandi  |  February 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Just watching
    )0(

    Reply
    • 10. Dan Hess  |  February 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm

      I think you want this one: ☽◯☾

      I like it better. ^_^ ☮ out!

      Reply
  • 11. Sagesse  |  February 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I have said before the California initiative process is out of control. But if a state chooses to allow a popular vote to make laws and change the constitution, the appropriate ‘checks and balances’ to protect minority rights have to be the courts. This is particularly true in the an era when grassroots initiatives are almost impossible to mount, and only interest groups with deep pockets can gather signatures and fund a campaign.

    Reply
    • 12. fiona64  |  February 13, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      ^^ Sagesse just saved me the trouble of typing. :-)

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
    • 13. Don in Texas  |  February 14, 2011 at 8:03 am

      The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections. — Justice Robert H. Jackson

      Reply
      • 14. Michelle Evans  |  February 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

        This idea has always been at the heart of our country. It has always been unbelievable that we would have to be fighting this for so long in the first place.

        The California Supreme Court agreed, and thus opened the door to us all in 2008, but then negated their own ruling the next year. What is it about LGBT people that instills so much fear in others that they would throw away their own rights in order to keep us all from ours?

        Reply
        • 15. Ed Cortes  |  February 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

          They’re afraid because we’re enchanted, and they’re not?

          Reply
  • 16. Carpool Cookie  |  February 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    If this is such a huge, fundemental issue, intrigal to our system (as they say)….how come it’s practically never come up before. And when it has, as I understand it did with the 9th Circuit once before, why did it get thrown out?

    They don’t address that, for some reason.

    Reply
  • 17. Ann S.  |  February 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    The California initiative process IS out of control. Among other things, it’s why the state budget is out of control.

    Aaaagh!

    Reply
    • 18. Sagesse  |  February 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      All the way back to Proposition 13.

      Reply
      • 19. Ann S.  |  February 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm

        Exactly!!

        Reply
        • 20. Peterplumber  |  February 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm

          I am new to California. What was Prop 13??

          Reply
          • 21. Ann S.  |  February 13, 2011 at 4:11 pm

            Prop 13 is why property taxes are low. Do a google search for Howard Jarvis if you’re interested — he sponsored this and got it on the ballot. There is still a Howard Jarvis association, I believe.

            It rolled back all property taxes to 1975 valuations, and now property is taxed at 1% of valuation. Valuation is your purchase price (or 1975 value if you’ve owned it that long) and they increase by only 2% per year max (less if the increase is less). If values go down you can petition to have your valuation decreased.

            The problems are many. There are gross inconsistencies between identical homes if one has changed ownership recently and one hasn’t. State revenues now come far more from residential property than commercial (commercial properties change hands far less often, partly because corporations have indefinite lives), and far more from income and sales taxes than property taxes. Income and sales taxes are far more volatile than property taxes.

            Our schools and infrastructure used to be the pride of the state, now they’re all in terrible shape.

            Don’t get me started.

            Ooops, too late.

          • 22. Steve  |  February 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposition_13

            Limited the property tax to 1%. Of course people will directly vote for lower taxes. Just as stupid as allowing to change the constitution with a simply plurality

  • 23. Ann S.  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Way OT, but some of you have been kind enough to mention that you might like to order GS cookies from our troop. They have now arrived, and I’d be happy to send you some (unfortunately I have to ask you to pay for shipping).

    We have Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Trefoils, Lemon Chalet Cremes, and Dulce de Leche. They are $4 per box, and they go to support not only our Troop but Girl Scouting throughout the US, including helping less affluent girls participate in Scouting who otherwise might not be able to.

    If you prefer not to receive actual cookies, we can sell you virtual cookies and the actual cookies go to your choice of the food bank, the Red Cross, or Blue Star Moms, who send them to military personnel.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  • 24. Chris in Lathrop  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Our initiative process is completely out of control. There’s no reason that groups from out of state should be able to play politics in California through this “process…which was put in place to give voters a route around the politicians.” It’s the very type of social experiment I hear conservatives complaining about, and it’s pure trouble.

    Prop. H8 was one of these where the bulk of the funding came from out of state, and from “more than twenty foreign countries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposition_8#Campaign_funding_and_spending).” Prop. 23 (2010) was another out-of-state power grab, over half its funding coming from two Texas-based oil companies, Valero and Tesoro (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposition_23#Donors).

    The loopholes need to be closed, one way or another.

    Reply
    • 25. Sagesse  |  February 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      One of the witness at the Prop 8 trial used a very interesting word to describe ballot initiatives… they ‘nationalize’ a vote, because they draw out-of-state money. Of course the pro-equality forces fundraise nationwide too… you can’t run one of these campaigns, offensive or defensive, without it.

      Bottom line, these campaigns do not run the way they would if they were truly initiated by ‘the people’ of the state.

      Reply
  • 26. Peterplumber  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    As I stated a few topics ago, I feel that (in this particular case) the elected officials did enforce and defend Prop 8. But how far should they be obligated to take that defense? They opted not to appeal after losing in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. How far must they take a losing stand?
    As far as the initiative process itself, it CAN be used for the common good, but like anything else, can be abused. Especially these days when money talks.

    A quote from Thomas Jefferson,
    The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.

    Reply
  • 27. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    What I’ve never really understood is how Prop 8 was allowed on the ballot in the first place. Could a referendum to prevent red-haired people from owning property be placed on the ballot, legally? The lost opportunity was a chance to demonstrate that civil rights shouldn’t be on the ballot in the first place. If California really allows anything on the ballot with enough signatures….that’s horrifying. Tyranny of the majority, as Peterplumber noted.

    Reply
    • 28. Ann S.  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      There is no process in California to screen ballot propositions for compliance with the constitution, alas.

      Reply
      • 29. Ann S.  |  February 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

        Not before the election, that is. Hence the many lawsuits after.

        Reply
    • 30. Kathleen  |  February 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      California really does allow anything on the ballot with enough signatures (provided it follows a few requirements – one subject only, etc.) and yes – it’s horrifying.

      Reply
    • 31. Canadian JAG Officer  |  February 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      Well the thing is that ya, pretty well anything can go on ballot but that is where courts will step in to say alright yes the majority passed it but sorry it violates the constitution. This is what happened with Prop 8.
      There wont be any loss of power to the people by this ruleing as for a federal appeal you must show a material loss, and I have yet to hear how any of the plaintiffs are suffering from gay marriage…

      Reply
    • 32. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      I shudder to think of what would happen if we had a federal referendum system that could change the Constitution by simple majority. We’d be in the Republic of Gilead.

      Reply
      • 33. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm

        And that would tickle Maggie Gallagher, Michele Bachmann, and Christine O’Donnell to no end! At least until they actually had to live like that every day of their lives. I see Maggie as one of the Aunts!

        Reply
  • 34. Michael  |  February 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    The problem with the radical anti-gay pressure group NOM is that they insist on redefining civil rights as “the right to take away rights from other Americans.” They have no right to put the rights of gay families up to a vote. That’s tyranny of the majority. In California, Prop. 8 was taken to the Supreme Court BEFORE it appeared on the ballot. Our Supreme Court allowed it to appear on the Ballot. That is the point where the problems began. Our Supreme Court should have done the right thing and said, “No, you cannot put people’s rights up to a vote.” They failed the millions whose rights were put up to a popularity contest. Anti-gay activists are free to live as they like. They are not free to redefine the Constitution for the rest of us.

    Reply
    • 35. Sagesse  |  February 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      As I understand it, the problem is with the initiative law itself. It has no ‘brakes’ or controls. The CA Supreme Court can only uphold the law as it is.

      Reply
    • 36. Kathleen  |  February 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      The pre-election challenges were all within the limited framework of the objections allowed for a ballot initiative. None of those challenges had anything to do with whether it violated the federal constitution. And since it was an initiative to amend the state’s constitution, no one could exactly claim it violated that constitution.

      One of the pre-election challenges was a claim that is was a “revision” of the state constitution, rather than a simple amendment, and thus couldn’t be accomplished through the majority vote initiative process. The California Supreme Court refused to hear the challenge without comment. And as you probably know, post-election, the same court determined that it was not an improper revision.

      We don’t have a process in California that allows the AG or other official/gov’t body to review initiatives for constitutionality before placing them on the ballot.

      Reply
      • 37. Steve  |  February 14, 2011 at 7:23 am

        You’d think that if you already go the SC to check the initiative, they might not simply see if the initiative complies with ballot regulations, but also if there are any constitutional problems.

        Someone should make an initiative to reform the process

        Reply
        • 38. Bob  |  February 14, 2011 at 9:49 am

          good idea Steve initiative to reform the process Like

          Reply
        • 39. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 14, 2011 at 11:04 am

          Good idea, Steve. Of course, the original challenge to Prop H8 had to do with whether the process involved in getting it on the ballot in the first place was constitutional. Thus, the original SC case had to do with procedure, rather than Prop H8 itself.

          Reply
          • 40. Peterplumber  |  February 14, 2011 at 11:18 am

            I think Steve may have been referring to “In Re Marriage” where the Ca SC allowed same sex marriage before Prop 8, but then after the vote, decided Prop 8 was valid.

            Two different issues were before the court, which is why they “seemed” to reverse themselves.

          • 41. Kathleen  |  February 14, 2011 at 11:25 am

            Steve wasn’t referring to the In re Marriage cases; he was talking about the pre-vote legal challenges to Prop 8 that tried to keep it off the ballot.

          • 42. Peterplumber  |  February 14, 2011 at 11:31 am

            I have GOT to stay out of the conversation during work. I get too easily confused.

    • 43. Ron  |  February 13, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      Beautifully stated, Michael.

      Reply
  • 44. Maria Lantz  |  February 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Watching

    Reply
  • 45. Bob  |  February 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I think the more and more we talk about civil rights, the closer we get to solving the problem,,, and the courts must have the common sense of justice to see that,,,,

    civil or secular rights or human rights are an innate reality assumable by all humans,,, all people have these rights, one of the hightest valued of these rights is the ability to marry and form family with the person of your choosing,,,, in that respect the prop8 case was asking for clarification about only that one component of human rights i.e. marriage

    the courts in the process of deciding one aspect of human rights, cannot overlook there job in defending all human rights against ballot initiatives or the power of the majority…

    the courts must rule in favour of human rights,

    Reply
  • 46. Dan Hess  |  February 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Honestly, I hope they DO rule that the proponents have standing to appeal. A federal court decision striking down anti-marriage legislation would be a huge step forward, and I’d take a decent chance of that over a guarantee in California–though, as I’m not from California I can’t really speak for the people who’d be directly affected by the standing ruling.

    Reply
    • 47. Michelle Evans  |  February 13, 2011 at 5:25 pm

      Yes, there are good arguments on both sides of the standing issue. Many of us would like to see the proponents have standing so that it will move up the court system, and could theoretically stick down all marriage equality bans–if the US Supreme Court would side with marriage equality. That is the problem. Having SCOTUS, in its current incarnation and with all the special interests and corporations calling the shots, side with marriage equality for LGBT people is truly an apparent long shot.

      For myself, as a resident of California, who has had my marriage to Cherie supposedly dissolved by the state last year, say that I hope the 9th Circuit decides against proponent standing and that Walker’s ruling goes forward, making LGBT marriage equality the law of our state.

      And in the long run, this may be a better alternative on many levels, because it would eventually show a lot of the rest of the country that because of marriage equality the state did not fall off into the ocean, and things of that nature, which would probably make it easier to get full national equality.

      If they do find standing, and it does go to SCOTUS, and we lose, it will set us back probably 20 years or more before it could be brought to that level again. I want everyone to have full equality, but I think personally that we may achieve it sooner if we win in California. Also, very selfishly, I want my 1987 marriage to Cherie to be in full force again as soon as possible–so yes, I a have to admit bias in this instance. So take my take on this with a grain of salt, too.

      Reply
      • 48. Michelle Evans  |  February 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm

        Oops! “stick down” should of course be “strike down.”

        Reply
      • 49. Dan Hess  |  February 13, 2011 at 5:48 pm

        I completely understand that you want your marriage to be revalidated–that’s not selfish at all, it’s the reason all of us are fighting for full equality. It’s also why I said I don’t want to claim to speak for Californians in saying I’d like the case to go to the Supreme Court. Or at LEAST to the Circuit Court–having marriage rights be the law of the land in the Ninth Circuit would have even more of an effect on peoples’ perceptions than just in California, and is substantially more likely given the makeup of the Circuit Court.

        Reply
        • 50. Michelle Evans  |  February 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm

          I agree that it is more likely that the 9th Circuit would uphold Walker’s ruling–if they would grant standing. However, to do grant standing is a very dangerous idea, in and of itself. And if the 9th Circuit grants standing, and finds in favor of Walker and the marriage equality people of California, then the SCOTUS would almost certainly have their day, too. And that’s where the true danger lies in the possibility of losing everything we’ve all worked so hard to make happen so far.

          Reply
    • 51. Mark  |  February 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Let them have standing, and then subpoena everyone that refused to testify in the first trial, and show their side for the liars that they are. They were cowards in the first place, and then refused to go to trial. If they are so set on getting standing, make them take the stand in court, and let Olson and Boies rip them up.

      Reply
      • 52. Kathleen  |  February 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm

        There is no testimony in the appeals court. It’s all done by filling of briefs and the oral arguments (which took place last Dec).

        Reply
      • 53. Dan Hess  |  February 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm

        Ha, I’d love that, Mark, but unfortunately the only way that’d happen is if the Ninth Circuit ordered a retrial–which is exactly what we don’t want. Best scenario is probably a successful appeal in the Ninth Circuit and a denial of certiorari by the Supreme Court, thereby making marriage equality the law of the land in all of the Ninth Circuit and setting a precedent that ballot initiatives can’t be used to deny civil rights.

        Reply
  • 54. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 13, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Yes, there is power of the people. However, this power does not and SHOULD not EVER apply to the granting of civil and human rights. No, the proponents and instigators of Prop H8 should NOT be granted Article III Standing in the federal court. And no, NOM should NOT get their way in attempting to hide the names of their donors–in ANY state!

    Reply
  • 55. Cat  |  February 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    The initiative process — which was put in place to give voters a route around the politicians — will be put at the mercy of politicians’ whims and ideologies.

    That is such a backwards way of solving a problem. Representative government through a democratic process is one of the better ways (the least bad one, according to Churchill) of organizing a free country. If politicians do such as poor job, the people should find a way to bump bad politicians, and get better ones elected. Trying to ‘override’ a government through the initiative process just throws the whole system more out of balance, because the checks and balances and separation of power are not there. If it is indeed ruled that proponents can intervene but not appeal (as the CA SC should, in my opinion), it only illustrates how ill-conceived the initiative process is, not that the people are now unjustly ‘at the whim of policitians’.

    Reply
    • 56. nightshayde  |  February 14, 2011 at 9:55 am

      I sort of agree in that I believe it’s a messed up process — but only sometimes.

      Bumping bad politicians & getting better ones elected is a lovely thought until you realize that for a significant segment of the electorate, the “good politicians” are the ones who are trying to bring our system closer to a theocracy (encouraging them to entrench evangelical Xtian beliefs in our laws) and “bad politicians” are the ones who fight for the rights of minorities.

      If the majority thinks that fighting for equality is worthwhile, we’re fine. If the majority thinks that fighting to support the status quo & supporting discrimination is fine, we’re hosed.

      Reply
      • 57. Cat  |  February 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

        I’m not sure if I follow your argument. Both in electing officials and in voting on initiatives we are at the ‘whim of the people’. If 51% percent of the people want a theocracy, they can pursue that by voting for such politician, and/or by introducing and passing initiatives. In both cases we’re hosed.

        It’s the US constitution that protects us from our civil liberties being trampled. Unfortunately that sometimes has to go through a lengthy legal procedure, during which rights can be trampled. Prop 8 is a sad example. And one can only hope the USCS sees the discrimination of gays and lesbians for what it is.

        I don’t really see how the initiative process is a good solution to deal with bad politicians. It is such a sharp knife, and can be used to do as much damage as it can do good. If you’re unhappy with a surgeon I don’t think it’s a good idea to grab the scalpel yourself…

        Unfortunately, I have no clue as to how we get politicians to be honest, honorable, and wise people.

        Reply
  • 58. Michelle Evans  |  February 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    The council in Washington DC has about the best system I have heard of so far. They basically have said–and so far been upheld–that rights are off the table, you just simply cannot put those rights to a vote. That should be the way it is with the initiative process. There are a lot of dumb ideas that get enough signatures, but never, under any circumstances, should rights be voted upon. It has always been beyond me that Prop 8 would be allowed to stand by our state supreme court on that merit alone.

    Their ruling to allow Prop 8 to become a part of our state constitution–and the same goes for each and every state where this has happened–is so utterly against everything this country has stood for since its inception. Someone earlier said that we could put an initiative on the ballot concerning red-haired people from owning property. The fact is simply that this could happen. And the fact that it could happen shows how badly the system is broken.

    Reply
  • 59. Sagesse  |  February 14, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Ed O’Keefe at the Washington Post has consistently worked to dig a little deeper in reporting on DADT repeal.

    Ending ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ doesn’t end problems facing gay service members

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/13/AR2011021302780.html?wpisrc=nl_fed

    Reply
  • 60. Sagesse  |  February 14, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Witeck: Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Changes Everything in Corporate America

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/41478306/Witeck_Repeal_of_Don_t_Ask_Don_t_Tell_Changes_Everything_in_Corporate_America

    Reply
    • 61. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  February 14, 2011 at 7:33 am

      excellent article : D

      Reply
    • 62. Sheryl Carver  |  February 14, 2011 at 7:44 am

      Thanks for your continued work to let us know about articles like these, Sagesse.

      Reply
  • 63. AnonyGrl  |  February 14, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Bread and Circuses… once the populace discover that they can vote themselves endless bread and circuses without paying for them, they will do so until they bleed the state to death.

    This is why we have a representative, rather than truly democratic government. We HOPE that the representatives we elect look at the entire picture, and do what is right for the whole state, not just themselves, as the masses tend to do when they are voting directly on something.

    This is also why the Tea Party is rather scary… they would vote away taxes, then wonder why the country was falling to pieces as they try to collect their medicare, drive on the thruway, seek assistance getting a passport, look to the military for protection… then they would wonder who they could blame for it.

    The “will of the people” is vital, certainly, but it must be tempered by protections for the minorities and we must pay for what we get, and that is what the checks and balances of our system are set up to do.

    I think that there is some validity to the proponents of a proposition defending it in court initially, if the state is not interested in doing so, and that protects the initiative process as much as is necessary. However, as in the case of Prop 8, I feel that once it reaches the appeal stage, there is a definite need for those proponents to show real and tangible harm to themselves (not to the “will of the people”, which has been satisfied by having its day in court) at that point. That is why the law is written that way, ANYONE appealing a court decision must show that they are harmed by that decision or we would have endless court cases just because one side or the other didn’t LIKE the previous court’s judgement. If the “will of the people” has been shown to BE harmful to others, as in this case it has, then it is absolutely the right of the state to not defend it, and it is NOT the right of the proponents to push it into appeals without showing specific harm relating to the issue at hand, not to the initiative process, which is not harmed, but rather refined into constitutionality by court decisions.

    Reply
    • 64. AnonyGrl  |  February 14, 2011 at 8:15 am

      All THAT being said… I think that California needs to intrtoduce a step into the initiative process that disallows propositions that violate the civil rights of minorities BEFORE they come to a vote of the people.

      But that is a separate issue.

      Reply
  • 65. JPM  |  February 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Need your help!

    need a couple of hundred votes — not for me, but for Rhode Island. Yup, vote for Rhode Island. No signups, no hassle, just a couple of clicks and five seconds of your time.

    Why Rhode Island?

    Because PPP is asking where it should poll next, and Rhode Island is one of the choices, and a marriage equality bill is working its way through the Rhode Island legislature, and NOM is running its usual hateful ads and poisoning lawmakers’ ears with their lies. And it’s not clear that the support will be there when we need it.

    No one seems to have the money to run ads to counteract NOM, so we want the next best thing:

    truth.

    We want legislators to be reminded that Rhode Islanders support marriage equality, so they have the courage to stand up there and do the right thing. (The last poll, taking seven months ago, showed support by a whopping 28% margin, 58% – 31%).

    And we want headlines about that truth.

    And the way to get those headlines is to have polling results that blogs and newspapers report onm by a reputable pollster.

    So vote for Rhode Island, and vote for marriage equality.

    Reply
  • 66. Don in Texas  |  February 14, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Another quote from Justice Robert H. Jackson (lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trial in addition to sitting on the Supreme Court:)

    Civil government cannot let any group ride roughshod over others simply because their consciences tell them to do so.

    Reply
    • 67. AnonyGrl  |  February 14, 2011 at 8:19 am

      Excellent quote.

      Reply
  • 68. Bob  |  February 14, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Happy Valentines day everyone,,, looking forward to the actions to expose discrimination,,,,, at county clerks offices,,,

    and was there to be a demonstration in S.F. at courthouse,,, hoping for a good turnout,, looking for pics,,,,

    what is the court waiting for,,, lets here what there decision is,, should we sit on our hands and wait endlessly????

    Reply
  • 69. Ronnie  |  February 14, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Congratulations to Lady Gaga on her Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Bad Romance”, her Grammy for Best Po Vocal Album for “The Fame Monster”, & her Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video for “Bad Romance”….here is her 2011 Grammy debut of her new single “Born This Way” off her next album…..I need to find out what the fabric is for her performance outfit…It moves so beautiful…sorry fashiongasm…lol….<3…Ronnie:

    Reply
    • 70. Ronnie  |  February 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

      & proof read…Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album……<3…Ronnie

      Reply
  • 71. Up&Adam  |  February 14, 2011 at 10:51 am

    watching

    Reply
  • 72. Ronnie  |  February 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Iowa grandmother speaks in favor of Gay Marriage in support of her son, LGBT people & Marriage Equality:

    “I wasn’t always this broad-minded…when our son came out to us in 1980 we were stunned, confused, and angry. We blamed ourselves and wondered what we had done wrong as parents. Years later, after the shock wore off and we saw the life our son had created with his future husband Bob, I realized that he’s still my son and that in many ways nothing had changed. I also realized that we had done nothing wrong as parents…

    …The actions and words of some affect my son, his husband, my family, and my grandchildren. My son is not an issue. He is a person just like you….I am outraged by the way gay marriage is being used by some to further their own political ambitions.” ~ Jean

    quote taken from towleroad.com….Thank you, Jean, for your love & support…your son & family are very lucky people….& we are lucky to have you on our side……<3…Ronnie:

    Reply
  • 73. Hank (NYC)  |  February 14, 2011 at 11:50 am

    http://www.projo.com/news/bobkerr/kerr_column_04_02-04-11_GEMAEOH_v11.186507b.html

    Nice article about RI and a nice reveal about NOM – now hopefully people will read this and make note.

    Reply
  • 74. Ronnie  |  February 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Police Rough-Up Gay Activists at Lima, Peru Kiss-In
    http://www.towleroad.com/2011/02/lima.html

    The police actually pushed a woman down the stairs during this protest …all the couples were doing is a Kiss-in, peaceful protest in Lima, Peru……Happy Valentine’s Day indeed….. : I ….Ronnie:

    Video has been translated….

    Reply
    • 75. JonT  |  February 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Happy Valentines day :(

      Reply

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