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Live From the California Supreme Court Hearing (With Handy Viewing Guide)


Hey hey! It’s your special day, gays and lesbians, as the California Supreme Court listens to arguments on whether to overturn Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage in the state of California only months after that same court declared marriage “an inalienable right”. Crowds are gathered outside the courthouse in San Francisco to watch the hearing, but for the rest of you, stick around as we use this space throughout the day to give you live updates, Twitter feeds, video and interviews about the biggest constitutional case over gay marriage this country has ever seen.

PLUS: Meet the justices deciding the case

If you’re just tuning in, here’s our easy breakdown of today’s hearing:

What is the California Supreme Court hearing about?

In a nutshell, it’s about the legal validity of Proposition 8, a ballot-initiative that outlawed gay marriage. Opponents of the proposition (that would be you and me) sued the state, saying that the Prop. is illegal. However, nobody from the state will actually be arguing that it is legal, since Attorney General Jerry Brown sides with the gays. Instead, it’ll be left to Kenneth Starr, who represents the Yes on 8 supporters, to make the case.

But what are they deciding?

Three questions are before the court:

  • Does Proposition 8 constitute an amendment or a revision of the Constitution?
  • Does Proposition 8 violate “Separation of Powers”?
  • If Prop 8. stands, what to do with all the people already married?

So, will we know the answer today?

Yes and no. The Court has 90 days to make its final ruling, but in most cases like this, the Court will have already come up with a remedy and it’ll be pretty obvious what that is by the kinds of questions they ask and how they react to the arguments.

Who’s going to win?

If we knew the question to that, we’d be doing something more lucrative than blogging. The simple fact is, there’s no way to tell what this court will do. In general, the California Supreme Court has a long history of affirming minority rights, as it did last year when it framed gay marriage as an intrinsic right. But at the same time, there’s essentially no case law that supports them overturning Prop. 8.

It’s really not an easy answer. The justices don’t live in a bubble and they’re acutely aware that all eyes are focused on them. After making a landmark ruling in support of civil rights, they’re not going to be thrilled to make a ruling that would essentially affirm the rights of the majority to overrule the minority. Then again, there’s that whole recall thing: overturning Prop. 8 would probably cost them their jobs.

If I wanted a nuanced answer, I could read a newspaper. I came to get bloggariffic simplicity, dude.

If you put a gun to my head and made me choose, I would say that the court will probably do something unexpected that will satisfy neither party. My crazy blogger guess is that they will uphold Proposition 8, but rule that the state can not issue marriage licenses to one class of people and not to another and therefore direct the state legislature to create civil unions and put the state out of the marriage licensing business altogether, leaving it a purely religious designation. I particularly like this option because I will be ale to post the headline, “California Court Outlaws Straight Marriage.”

When is all this happening?

The hearing begins at 9AM PST. You can try to watch it here, or if you’re a California resident, on the California Channel. For the rest of you, we have the video feed right here:

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    On:           Mar 5, 2009
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    • sam

      how do i find the twitter feed :P i’ve nver done it before so… :P

      Mar 5, 2009 at 6:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark

      I was married in CA. I’ll be damned if an invasive group of religious freaks (eg, the Mormon Church) gets their way.

      Mormons can decide at any time to NOT be Mormon. Clearly, they have issues with fanaticism and political interference – not just with invisible Bronze Age Jewish tribal sky gods.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 7:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC

      Why do blogsites and the media in general keep on calling it “gay” marriage? Its about marriage equality, straight or gay. Calling it gay marriage suggests its different than straight marriage which it isn’t.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sam

      in a perfect world itd b called marriage equality :P media has latched onto it as the ‘buzz word’ and no amount of calling for a renaming will change it in public perception. tho i do agree with u

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC


      Sam, you’re probably right about that. However, to put a cynical slant on it, I often get the feeling that the media likes to sensationalize it by calling it gay marraige because they know it plays into the hates of the anti same-sex marriage baiters and haiters and it worked for them in California. Lets hope Prop. H8 is reversed. NY, NJ, NH, VT and ME should all try to prevent any proposition like that to ever stand a chance of getting on an election ballot. Its up to us to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Peter C Frank

      @Robert, NYC: technically speaking, it’s same-sex marriage. I’m gay, and I can get married — legally — to a woman!

      Marrying another person of the same gender as myself, however, is currently not an option for me in my state of residence (NY); however, a thirty-minute car/train ride will put me in Greenwich, CT, where it *is* legal…

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cgone

      Thanks for live blogging on this. I’ve been trying to get onto the calchannel since 8:30 and I think the servers have crashed due to all the traffic.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC

      @Peter C Frank:

      Peter, I too could get married in Connecticut of course. I think the economics of same-sex marriage will have a significant impact on marriage equality. A year or so ago, the New York City comptroller reported that if same-sex marriage were legal in the state, it would gain approxmiately $220 million annually. As New York loses much needed revenue to Massachusetts, Connecticut and even Canada over the years, it will be a question of time before the politicians realize that in these dire economic times when state coffers are empty, it would be foolish not to allow us to marry. Everybody benefits.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul

      MSNBC.com has a live feed available and is working great.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant

      @Paul: Thanks Paul. We’ve added it here.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad


      Mar 5, 2009 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geoff

      I second that! Thank you very much Paul and Japhy!

      Mar 5, 2009 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jessem

      HAHAHAHA I hope they get rid of marriage for everyone! hahaha eat your own medicine straighties!

      Mar 5, 2009 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rigs

      It’s not lookin good. 2010 ballot initiative it is!

      Mar 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wolf

      Instead of a 2010 ballot initiative how about we take to the streets and stop paying taxes

      Mar 5, 2009 at 1:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in CA

      Kennard claerly changed her mind on same-sex marriage between the time the “In Re Marriage” case was decided and the election. She’s definitely going to uphold Prop. 8.

      Looks like we’re left with George, Moreno, and Werdegar. It doesn’t look good.

      I hope the people of San Francisco, through peaceful and legal protest, show the “honorable” Justice Kennard exactly how they feel about her duplicity and hypocriscy.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wolf

      Peaceful and Legal make no impact

      Mar 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob

      Yeah, we’re toast. Kennard has abandoned us.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DaveO

      @John in CA: I am certain Kennard’s opinion on same-sex marriage remains unchanged. She is not being asked to judge on the merits of same-sex marriage but on the amendment process.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 2:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew Triska

      I’m watching it live. Apparently, Ken Starr has decided to invent the legal term “minority of one.” Yeccchhh.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew Triska

      Ah. I guess Queerty noticed that, too. I really want to kick Starr in the shins right now.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 2:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in CA

      @DaveO: She’s essentially forwarding the same argument she rejected a few months ago.

      If the people always have an “inalienable right” to define what “rights” are, then why didn’t they have that right with Prop. 22?

      Notice how Moreno and Werdegar keeps on challenging Kennard (indirectly) on that point by continuously asking the lawyers if anything has really changed?

      Mar 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • matt

      what is this punitive spouse doctrine that Starr keeps refering to?

      Mar 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rigs

      @Wolf: I pray that our community will RIOT if this doesn’t get reversed, Stonewall 2.0 i don’t care who likes it. That said, it’s not likely to happen and even if it did, we’d still need the 2010 initiative to legally change our situation

      Mar 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wolf

      If New England pulls off 6 x 12 we should all just move ourselves, our money and our businesses and move to New England

      Mar 5, 2009 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      At least all of the judges seemed to believe that 52% of Californians were bigoted and unjust on Nov 4, 2008. Sadly, the have a right to be bigoted and unjust.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • slobone

      They spent a lot of time talking about whether existing gay marriages would still be valid. They wouldn’t bother doing that if they were leaning toward overturning Prop 8. My bet is they will let it stand but rule that the marriages are valid.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MARK m

      We are never going to get any where like this. Pacifism SUCKS. Let’s grow a pair, and TAKE what we want!!!!!

      Mar 5, 2009 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emb

      I’m joining you in that bet, Slobone. I suspect this court is not going to be interested in stirring up the hornet’s nest that would result from “overturning the will of the people” on the perceived hair’s-width legalistic distinction between amendment and revision. To throw us a bone, they’ll let the existing same-sex marriages stand (next up: the mormons will present a prop that will declare all same-sex marriages in California invalid). And be careful, folks: Depending on how the decision is structured, Prop 8 may be “safe” from ballot initiatives, and same-sex marriage have magically become one of those Constitutional things that requires legislative action.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      which makes next years governor’s race THE big thing, which…may be a silver lining

      Mar 5, 2009 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon B

      @MARK m: I’m with you. I’m so sick of standing by and taking it. I’m in the mood to see some rioting. When a Big 10 team wins a football game there’s usually at least one car torched. We’re in a fight for our rights! Where are the burning cars and smashed windows? I’m sick of this nonsense. And Kennard is a cunt. I know the other side was advocating it if they lost, but why aren’t the gays recalling judges. That bitch needs to a good recall.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @Jon B:

      lol. Those are Ohio State Buckeye fans that do that shit:)

      Not the good guys in Ann Arbor, MI.

      Still, we just got our civil union bill onto our house floor here. I don’t know what the possible blowback from this will look like here in the Land of Lincoln.

      But yeah, way here in the Midwest, I want to fu*k some shit up.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lena Dahlstrom

      It doesn’t look good, but the questions posed during oral arguments can be as much about convincing other the judges as the judge’s own position (i.e. probing on issues that they know other judges have expressed concerns about.)

      BTW, it’s worth nothing that the first attorney up was Shannon Minter, who was the lead attorney in the original winning case, and who is a trans man. (Just for the folks who insist us T folks have nothing to do with the LGBs….)

      Mar 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew Triska

      Haha! Maybe your spouse is…

      It’s “putative.” :-)

      Mar 5, 2009 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ceazer

      I guess we are toast. Thanx California. I’m hispanic and my whole family voted for prop 8, but they insist that its not about me and that they love me and want me to be happy. To them its all about catholic teachings.Like, I’m just speechless.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brianna

      So I was in school and wasn’t able to see the live feed. Is there a video of the hearing somewhere? Not that I’ll understand anything they’re saying…

      Mar 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin (not that one)

      @ceazer: You’re not alone. I had a vigorous debate today with a Polynesian Mormon who was screaming for the Yes on H8 side who said she doesn’t hate gays because her sister is gay.

      Sometimes relatives just aren’t family.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin (not that one)

      @Jon B: Look around Mark and Jon. We are not fighters on that level. In general, we just aren’t a violent minority. I know the anger from where you speak and I certainly fantasize about fighting fire with fire, but that’s just not how we’re going to win equal rights.

      And in case you haven’t looked lately, we are outnumbered and outgunned.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in CA

      Honestly, I have to agree with the skeptics here. Since when has gays ever fought for their rights?

      Everyone points to Stonewall as an example of it. But that was actually a spontaneous reaction to police violence. And lets face it, Manhattan wasn’t exactly “rocked” by the Stonewall incident. In the wider scheme of things, it was a pretty minor event compared to the sort of mass uprisings we saw with African Americans in the 1960s.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 7:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rigato

      Why don’t we just start a god damn war? Someone needs to stop sitting at the back of the bus, before we get thrown under it any further.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 7:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      Appearing for the supporters of Prop 8, Kenneth Starr, the former Whitewater prosecutor, said the people hold the right to modify the state constitution by adding or subtracting protections for civil rights.

      “The people have the raw power to define rights. The people are sovereign and can even do very unwise things,” he said.

      Wow: Let’s hear it for mob rule! *sarcasm font on*

      A rousing round of applause for Schmuck Starr, if you would?

      Mar 5, 2009 at 7:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ceazer

      I know one thing for sure , we are not going to win by constantly reffering to the other side as breeders, bigots, religious hatemongers, etc etc. I think namecalling sets us back and make us look weak. I know alot of our supporters who are turned off by the way we have singled out say the mormon church to attack.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      According to that flawed line of reasoning, slavery would still exist, women still would not have the right to vote, separate but equal would still be the law of the land and whites and black would not be allowed to marry.

      Has Mr. Starr has never heard of SCOTUS?

      Oh, and why not bring lynching back? After all, it is the will of the people.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 7:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller


      WTF has that got to do with equal right?

      “I know alot of our supporters who are turned off by the way we have singled out say the mormon church to attack.”

      And just who was it that singled us out to attack?

      By that line of reasoning, what say we stone women who are rapd?

      Oh…silly me. I forgot.

      Islam has that base covered.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark M

      Ceazar: I totally disagree. If there was a mob setting fire to a mormon church, I would make them sandwiches.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 8:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • patricia

      If prop is upheld then the state can issue licenses for sodomites married by civil unions and licenses for men and women in traditional marriages. Then all will have licenses.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin (not that one)

      It’s not wrong to call a bigot a bigot, a fundamentalist a fundamentalist, or a hater a hater.

      You seem to forget something dear friend. The proof is in our oppression.

      We are oppressed, we are scapegoated, and we are demonized. I spent a good part of the morning today talking to these people…well, some screaming was involved – I won’t lie.

      But what I come away with is that they feel the sting of the label and they know it fits. It stings for them because they talk so much about Jesus’ love that they’re brainwashed into believing that hate is love. They are SATISFIED in themselves and every vile thing they believe we are doing – such as “destroying the family and civilization”. You and me: to them we are nothing but sick and diseased. We’re simply sinful heterosexuals who’ve chosen homosexuality as a lifestyle choice.

      These people sincerely believe this and their minds are not easily swayed. So, yes they ARE bigots and fundamentalists and even haters.

      When the shoe fits, someone’s gotta wear it and believe you me – I’ll be throwing that shoe when I need to.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      say nothing…say nothing…say nothing….skanky bitch….say nothing

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      guys, I’m flagging myself at 49.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      I know I shouldn’t say things like that, though it’s interesting to note that in both cases that she uses a derivation of the word “marry.” Interesting that even this troll is thinking of it in terms of a marriage, though of course, hers is the only right kind…we are in her head just a wee bit.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin (not that one)

      @Chitown Kev: No one living today knows what a traditional marriage is. The traditional marriages of my parents generation was not the traditional marriages of their grandparents generation. I tell this to the haters all of the time but like I said earlier, they are deaf to reason and ignorant to facts. Not that long ago, traditional marriage was one in which women were sold as property and men and women did not marry for love. Should I even mention interracial marriage? Or interfaith marriage?

      I know…don’t feed the trolls.

      Oh, and honey…a Sodomite is a heterosexual angel raper, not a homo. You would know this if you picked up your bible and read it…you know, instead of being a clanging cymbal.*

      *”If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin (not that one)

      @Kevin (not that one): Chitown Kev – FYI this is in response to our friend you mention above.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @Kevin (not that one):

      I would bring in some of those same-sex unions blessed by the Church that John Boswell wrote about bach in 1994, but I won’t.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      that’s “back” of course.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      @ceazer: And I know a lot more of our supporters (namely, us) who were turned off by the way the mormon church singled us out for attack. Drop the self-hate, kid. It’s not flattering.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe

      Unlikely but agree agree agree and it would be kinda cool.

      “If you put a gun to my head and made me choose, I would say that the court will probably do something unexpected that will satisfy neither party. My crazy blogger guess is that they will uphold Proposition 8, but rule that the state can not issue marriage licenses to one class of people and not to another and therefore direct the state legislature to create civil unions and put the state out of the marriage licensing business altogether, leaving it a purely religious designation. I particularly like this option because I will be ale to post the headline, “California Court Outlaws Straight Marriage.”

      Regardless, I don’t see either side getting exactly what we or they want.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe

      @Robert, NYC – I agree and by far most people in Massachusetts and Connecticut just say marriage, spouse, husband etc. PROGRESS!!

      Mar 5, 2009 at 9:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe

      @Robert, NYC – NY, NJ, NH and VT do not have citizen initiatives and referendum!! Maine allows but not constitutional amendments. Almost all states that allow are in the West.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      Illinois doen’t either, ours was one of the first DOMA states but it went through the legislature. And now…civil unions on the house floor. It’s not a perfect bill, we really want marriage, but word has it that a White House advisor is drumming up support for the Illinois Civil Union bill.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      No. 123 · Shelly

      You really don’t know much about the Mormon church if you think it is “not growing” or “going away”.

      Keep your philosophies and ideals that you can tamper with procreative powers and not be held responsible. Mormons will keep their philosophies and ideals that the family is central to God’s plan for us in this life.

      There is a counter argument for every tidbit you want to throw at religious or “spiritual” (as you call them) people. You think you can destroy the messenger and the message will go away. Not so. You can call names, defame reputations, and scream hate all you want. That is your perception. Reality says people have been gentle towards you. You just refuse to listen.

      This will go down as one of the greatest battles of good and evil fought on earth. God’s plan for families will win. You will still be loved and recognized as human, but you will be proven wrong. Nature discriminated against you first.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe

      @Chitown Kev – Yes, only about half of states do. Illinois is in a unique position right now. Hopefully it is taken advantage of politically!!

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe

      The good news is “no religious identification” had the greatest increase in population in both absolute and percentage terms in the latest census. This category included atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others with no theistic religious beliefs or practices. Figures are up from 14.3 million in 1990 to 29.4 million in 2001, representing a proportionate increase from 8% of the total in 1990 to over 14% in 2001. Lets shoot for 25% percent 2010!!!

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      And then there was this charmer that sounded like something straight out of the mouth of a White Supremacist back during the black Civil-Rights movement.

      No. 123 · Shelly

      You really don’t know much about the Mormon church if you think it is “not growing” or “going away”.

      Keep your philosophies and ideals that you can tamper with procreative powers and not be held responsible. Mormons will keep their philosophies and ideals that the family is central to God’s plan for us in this life.

      There is a counter argument for every tidbit you want to throw at religious or “spiritual” (as you call them) people. You think you can destroy the messenger and the message will go away. Not so. You can call names, defame reputations, and scream hate all you want. That is your perception. Reality says people have been gentle towards you. You just refuse to listen.

      This will go down as one of the greatest battles of good and evil fought on earth. God’s plan for families will win. You will still be loved and recognized as human, but you will be proven wrong. Nature discriminated against you first.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      @Charles J. Mueller: And you’ll note that she has yet to return and accept my challenge to elaborate on those counter-arguments. That’s typical with the subhumans.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev



      and they chose to keep my other comment there, I think.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller


      This is so true, Vernon.

      Oh…and speaking of accepting the challenge, were you aware that you did get a reply from Mark?


      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      @Chitown Kev:

      Hi, Kev. How are you doing this evening? Well, I hope?

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigjake75


      Not looking good…Im so sad!!

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      Pretty good now, a little depressed about the California hearings earlier (Ok, I was ready to fuck the dude from the AG Brown’s office up)but the civil unions bill that’s passed here in Illinois made me feel a wee bit better.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      @Charles J. Mueller: No, I did not. It seems that a subscription does not always guarantee I will actually be alerted via email to every response. I’ll go have a look now. Thanks for the heads-up.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      @Charles J. Mueller: Well damn. Looks like I missed an opportunity over there. I’m sure Mark is no longer hanging around here. I’ll have to remember to be more vigilant in checking up on threads like that one, rather than trusting my email to keep me informed.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller


      So sorry, Vernon. :-(

      I should have spoken up sooner. I spotted it over a week ago, but it slipped my mind until you jogged it with your comment.

      I kind of thought you might not have received an email notification. You are always very prompt in responding to people’s posts.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      @Chitown Kev:

      The passing of the civil unions bill is, indeed, encouraging.

      step-by-step. HeeHee

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      @Charles J. Mueller: It’s all good, Charles. Don’t fret over it. I will choose to take solace in the assumption that I probably wouldn’t have made any headway with him anyway.

      Mar 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller


      Perhaps you’re right.

      As Werner Erhard said “Everything is happening just as it should.”

      Mar 6, 2009 at 12:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      @Charles J. Mueller: Generally words to live by, I’d say, provided they don’t inspire apathy.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 12:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller


      Werner Erhard was the creator of EST, later The Forum and now known as Landmark Education.


      Contrary to inspiring apathy, the main thrust of the training, as it was called, was designed to have people take a look at what they had created in their own lives that was causing ‘blockades’ in achieving personal happiness and success.

      I took the training and a couple of the seminars in New York City at the Pennsylvania Hotel back in the late 70s.

      It turned my life around 180 degrees.

      Of course, I still “fuck up” now and then. The main difference is, I now know that I am fucking up as I am doing, as opposed to not even knowing that I was doing it. ;-P

      That give me choices, which after all, is what life is all about.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 12:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      Now that I think about it, I recall you mentioning him on another thread once. I’m pretty sure I bookmarked a website with info and forgot to follow up and actually read into it. I’ll make a note for myself to examine it. I’m always interested in things like that. I find that many of them are total b.s., but sometimes you can draw some good ideas from them.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 12:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller


      My philosophy exactly.

      Take best and leave the rest. ;-)

      Mar 6, 2009 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion

      @Mark M: haha you are awesome! and i’d serve them lemonade to go with the sandwiches.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 12:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FRESNO

      It doesn’t look good…. if (when) we lose, the gloves need to come off.

      But for the love of GOD people, don’t just have another march in the Castro. It is time for the gays to bring the fight to the places that provide the backbone for the anti-gay industry.

      COME TO FRESNO!!!!!!

      Come to the Central Valley, where Proposition 8 was passed by 60-75%.

      Bring the fight to the backyards of the people who are systematically stripping you of your rights. Check the link…meetinthemiddle4equality.com

      Mar 6, 2009 at 2:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HYHYBT

      @Rigato: Why don’t we start a war? For one thing, because we don’t have nearly the numbers to have any chance at all of winning one! To get anywhere at all, we need straight allies. There are more of them every year, but anything like actual war would drive them away again and then it’s back to 90+% against.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 3:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JungleBooty


      We owe it to the ones who came before us and to the ones who will come after us!

      Mar 6, 2009 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      Anyone remember the White Night Riots on May 21, 1979 in San Francisco?

      That got the attention of a few people in charge.

      Unfortunately, it did nothing to lengthen Dan White’s 5-year sentence, which had been reduced from murder to manslaughter on the infamous “Twinkie defense” and which was what sparked the riots.

      In retaliation, San Francisco’s finest trashed the Elephant Walk, a gay bar in the Castro.


      Open season on gays is today licensed by the equally infamous “Panic defense”.

      It’s now 30 years later, but somethings just never change, it seems.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC

      My gut feeling is similar to others. The State Supreme Court will uphold Prop. H8 but will not invalidate the marriages already performed. If they invalidate them, then I think it will set off a firestorm, coast to coast. Maybe that’s just what we need, we’ve been far too passive for far too long. In this instance, patience will not be a virtue. We’ve waited long enough, time for the gloves to come off. No more political correctness…that has not worked and time to take on the right wing religious cults once and for all. Lets start by starting a a nationwide movement to have their tax exempt status removed, among other things. Hit them where it hurts most. This is about a basic civil right to marry not a religious rite or right, time they found out, the hard way. They bash us, we bash back with impunity and a lot harder.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 9:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      @Robert, NYC:

      Hear. Hear.

      I’ve been saying the exact same thing for a long time on these blogs, but each time I do, I get trashed for saying so.

      I am now regarded on these threads as a bully, a religious basher, a pederest and a racist, among other things.

      I am sure they will find more things to call me.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 10:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC

      @Charles J. Mueller:

      Charles, thanks. I don’t care if they trash us. At least you and I are honest about it. We do all the footwork while the politically correct ones sit back, do nothing and enjoy the fruits of our activism and they have the gall to criticize? Many of them don’t even donate to our advocacy groups who fight for much needed equality legislation. It seems its ok for right wing cultists to lambast us, denigrate our lives, our sexuality but its not ok to bash back. Since the media is on the bigots’ side, why should we have to take the religious cultists’ crap and do nothing? NOT! Appeasement never won WW2 or any war for that matter. This is a war we’re in with the right wing ideology so pervasive in our society, make no mistake about that. The only way to combat them is to disarm them by fighting back. Agreeing to disagree with them doesn’t work and it never will. Its naive to even think it.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 10:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      @Robert, NYC:

      Robert, you are a breath of fresh air. It’s so uplifting to know that there are still some people around, like you, who are unwilling to take shit from anyone. These people succeed because many among us give them our tacit approval and in so doing, we empower them.

      You are absolutely right. It is naive to think that agreeing with the enemy never works. Mr. Chamberlain found that out back in WWII when he and Hitler signed a non-agression pact….and came back crowing “Peace with Honor”.

      It didn’t take Herr Hitler long to trash that piece of paper. And the rest, as they say, is history.


      Mar 6, 2009 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC

      Charles, I’m glad indeed you get my drift! Our task now is to hold our elected officials’ collective feet to the fire, including Obama and not be so deferential either. I don’t care that he or any of the others are against marriage equality. They’d all better start thinking about the midterms and 2012 elections because if Prop. H8 remains in tact, then none of them can take our votes for granted any more. Its the only weapon we have left to deal with them. If they need our votes so much, then they either should put up or shut up, no more ass-kissing or kow-towing, or groveling. We deserve far better and can do better than that. They need to feel and know our anger and that we mean business, no more playing the Mr. Nice Guys or Gals. I’m sick and tired of it.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      @Robert, NYC: The ranks of the angry are swelling. I’m glad to see yet another person who echoes the view I’ve been espousing for years speak up on this site. Welcome to the fold, Robert.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 1:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC


      Vernon, thank you. I’m beyond galvanized and uber-angry at what’s happening and annoyed like hell at the apathy of some of our people in the LGBT community. Its time to light a fire under them. If we don’t fight back, we’ll lose everything we’ve gained, as little as that is. We’ve got to keep the momentum going 365, 24/7 without letup until we get our full rights without exception. If that means civil unrest, so be it.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 2:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MadProfessah

      @Robert, NYC: And what’s to stop them from removing the non-profit status of OUR charities as well?

      I really don’t understand this urge to SUPPRESS the speech of our opponents.

      The First Amendment is about letting all speech flourish (without Governmental infringement *O* support)and battling it out in the marketplace of ideas.

      The notion of going after the non-profit status of the Churches is COMPLETELY wrongheaded, in my view.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller


      No one is talking about suppressing anyone’s right to free speech.

      We are talking about taking away the right to use tax-free money, which is essentially taxpayers money because we take up the slack for the taxes they do not pay, to finance their campaigns to take away our civil-rights.

      My contribution to Equality California was not tax-deductible.

      I have to pay tax on every single cent I earn, plus capital gains. I can only use the money I left over to fight church. And the money that I do use to fight the church with I am not allowed a deduction for.

      Is this fair?

      What has taking away their tax exemption got to do with suppressing free speech?

      Mar 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      @Charles J. Mueller: You beat me to the punch on that one. I’ll co-sign you, and add more if it looks like it’ll be helpful/necessary.

      Mar 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC


      MadProfessah, I enjoin Charles on this. Nobody is talking about suppressing free speech. Nonprofit religious organizations or cults are not permitted under the IRS tax code 501c3 to interfere or influence any legislation whatosever.

      Take the Mormon cult for instance, among others. It mobilized its members and donated more than $20 million to make Prop. H8 succeed. Why should our tax dollars support their right or any other religious cult for that matter to singularly discriminate against one group of people who happen to be taxpayers and at the same time influence the outcome of equality legislation when they pay no taxes and lie about us in the process? Religious belief is learned behavior and our orientation is not. Nobody is born religious. I’ve no objection to what anyone believes in, but keep it where it belongs, out of the public arena and political process and in the home where it belongs. Religious cultists choose to believe and live their lives that way, we don’t. The sooner they learn that the better and while I’m at it, civil marriage has absolutely NOTHING to do with religious marriage, there is a clear distinction between the two.

      Mar 7, 2009 at 8:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller

      @Robert, NYC: Hi Robert,

      Thank you for your thoughtful and informed commentary. You are right on every single point you raised.

      It’s very clear that the Mormon cult, and probably the Christian Church as well, have violated IRS tax code 501c3.

      As a concerned taxpayer who filed a formal, written protest with the IRS about this sometime back, to which I have never received a reply incidentally, I am wondering why the IRS is not moving to do anything about this glaring violation?

      When we, as private taxpayers, fail to meet our tax obligations to the the IRS, they are on our back faster than a fly on shit.

      Ken Star and his crowd are arguing strict adherence to their standards and laws. Why aren’t they being held to the same strict standards of our laws?

      My question is, what can we do to force the IRS do it’s job and how would be go about doing that, as I am not versed on legalities of these sort of issues.

      Any ideas or suggestions?

      Mar 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brianna

      I never got an answer when I asked if there was a video of the hearing that I could view, but I just found one.

      If you missed the live feed:


      Coincidentally, I found the link as I was lurking at Free Republic.

      Mar 7, 2009 at 9:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe

      @Brianna – Thanks for the link. There is a few sections I wanted to re-watch.

      Mar 7, 2009 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HYHYBT

      I’m not sure why it’s such a clear violation; as I understand it, they’re perfectly free to support or oppose laws, just not candidates.

      Mar 8, 2009 at 12:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vernonvanderbilt

      @HYHYBT: Nope, it’s anything having to do with voting/elections. Candidates, laws, initiatives, etc. are not permitted to be funded by churches, unless there are some obscure loopholes I’m not aware of. I’m hardly fluent in tax law and such, but it’s about as clear as clear can be (in my opinion) that the churches overstepped their bounds this time.

      Mar 8, 2009 at 2:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC

      @Charles J. Mueller:

      Charles, thank you, also Vernon, both of you are right. The only thing I can think of to pursue this blatant violation of the IRS tax code is to perhaps approach Lambda Legal Defense, one of the very few gay organizations that is effective when it comes to legislation. I think we need to get the message out across the entire nation and hopefully garner some straight allies (there are many straights who don’t agree with religious cults interfering in the political process let alone violating tax codes at our expense). Whenever I mention the word “cult”, I’m referring to all religions, not just the Mormons. If any organization could get a response from the IRS on this, it is Lambda with the help of congressional leaders who support us. Congressional leaders can in fact intercede and get a direct response. We need to put pressure on this issue. The cults have clearly overstepped the boundaries between not only separation of “cult” and state but have flagrantly violated the federal tax laws governing their tax-exempt status. The 501c3 status they enjoy is quite clear about that. They’re not even allowed to advocate for any candidate or influence the way their followers vote. If you or I failed to pay our taxes because we didn’t believe that marriage is only between one man and one woman, we’d be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Its about time this “hands off” religious cults mentality is abolished when they resort to deliberately violate the law that applies to ALL of us in order to advance their religious agenda to discriminate against us and deny us our full citizenship as taxpayers. Most of them don’t even want us to have civil unions, domestic partnerships let alone marriage. This is nothing more than bigotry and hate in the extreme. They can skew it all they want, but that’s what its about based on a cultist belief system, the origin of much of the evil in this world if you look at history.

      Mar 8, 2009 at 9:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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