TODAY’S QUESTION: Did the judge who overturned California’s gay marriage ban make the right choice?

Thursday, August 5, 2010 | 12:18 p.m. CDT

On Wednesday, a federal judge overturned Proposition 8, California’s gay marriage ban, saying there was no state interest that could validate treating homosexual couples differently.

"Rather than being different, same-sex and opposite-sex unions are, for all purposes relevant to California law, exactly the same,” the judge wrote in his 136-page decision, according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

According to the Los Angeles Times, this is the first time a gay marriage ban has been struck down based on federal grounds. The judge said Proposition 8 violated the equal protection and due process sections of the Constitution.

The Los Angeles  Times reports the judge added that “moral disapproval” is not a good enough reason either. The Associated Press writes that supporters of the ban said it was important to protect traditional views on marriage and to encourage responsible childbearing.

According to the Los Angeles Times article, Andy Pugno, the lawyer for Proposition 8 supporters, said the judge’s “invalidation of the votes of over 7 million Californians violates binding legal precedent and short-circuits the democratic process.”

Pugno said he believes the ruling will be overturned on appeal, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, lawyers on both sides expect the case to reach the Supreme Court in the next few years.

Did the judge who overturned California's gay marriage ban make the right choice?

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Russell Perkins August 5, 2010 | 1:32 p.m.

I don't really understand the opposition to gay marriage. If you are not gay, then it doesn't affect you. I can understand if your church refuses to marry gay couples, but the government has no right to say what is and isn't love between two consenting adults.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez August 5, 2010 | 2:28 p.m.

The main issue before it is about Gay Marriage is the fact that "The Vote Of The People" which was close to 7 million was thrown out the door by this judge. This just shows another serious lack of our Government as a whole not caring about the voting process and what it means to those who do vote.

Voting is a huge privilege in this land we live in and it sends that message that this is the way people want things. When a judge does as this one has done it sends a huge negative message to the voters that their votes mean nothing.

This will end up in Supreme Court and be decided there all at tax payer expense no doubt but this was solved by the vote that was made already and if memory serves me right it was by a wide majority of the vote.

Just another freedom we enjoy being slapped down by a judge who does not care what "We The People" have to say.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro August 5, 2010 | 2:42 p.m.

The government should not be involved in legislating marriage at all.
People should be allowed to live together as they see fit.
Should a couple wish to publicly or privately have a ceremony to sanctify their partnership, a ceremony or ritual can be performed.
An attorney could also write up a partnership contract with legal and financial responsibilities.
There is too much government involvement in marriage and family.
The term "marriage" and "married" should however be reserved for deemed heterosexual couples to avoid confusion when discussing partnership arrangements
and deciding what sexual position to place on top of the wedding cake.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 5, 2010 | 3:53 p.m.

The courts does not validate their decisions based on how many people it makes happy or the number of people that voted for a measure, but only if the matter before it is Constitutional. People think we live in a democracy where the tyranny of the majority overrules the minority. Fortunately we're a Constitutional republic, even after Washington's attempts to keep paring back our rights.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez August 5, 2010 | 4:09 p.m.

Mr Shapiro how does it make you feel though that 7 million voters just had their votes thrown back into their face by a Liberal Judge?

Although he did put stipulations on this ruling pending the upcoming appeal it is still a huge slap in the face to every single American voter.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 5, 2010 | 4:43 p.m.

How is it a huge slap in the face to every American voter when it's a California law that was overturned?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro August 5, 2010 | 5:04 p.m.

@Senior Sanchez:
I really have no emotional feeling about the Judge's decision.
For me, it's more about the cake.
@John Schultz:
On the other hand, I don't know if this is an example of majority rules and minority rights. There was a vote, and in this case I would have voted with those who oppose calling these gay partnerships "married" or "marriage."
I'm certain that these misguided gay advocates and hard-core traditionalists will have their legal battles in the legislative courts.
I do however think that they're all missing the opportunity to get this "who loves with who" issue out of the hands of the government, entirely.
It's a bummer that this can't be discussed locally on the Gary Nolan show anymore.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez August 5, 2010 | 7:13 p.m.

@Ray: Ya the cake for myself is the fact that 7 million voters just got back handed out of their legal vote they cast and won.

Ray said this correct. @John Schultz:
On the other hand, I don't know if this is an example of majority rules and minority rights. There was a vote.

John what if that was your vote that got pounded down you felt you had the right on?

John it could easily happen here in Missouri. I agree with Ray this should not be a Government issue but the rights of those who voted and won are what are in question here over the Gay Marriage issue.

Do the votes of the people mean nothing anymore and if that is the case why not just end all elections then.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 5, 2010 | 11:43 p.m.

Ray, Gary does have a Saturday show on the Eagle from 8 AM to 10 AM, starting about a month ago. Unfortunately I've only caught the tail end of it once since I'm either kid-wrangling or sleeping in if they aren't home. I would be very surprised if he didn't discuss this case on this coming Saturday's show.

Carlos, I have not read the judge's opinion or heard much yet on his legal reasoning. However, if his claim is that the Constitution, likely through the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, does not allow governments to permit heterosexual marriages while banning homosexual marriages, then the vote is moot. Voters and governments cannot trump our rights.

Also don't forget that the Bill of Rights is not an enumeration of all our rights; several of the Founding Fathers made this clear during the writing of the Constitution. The Privileges and Immunities clause (14th Amendment, Section 1), sadly butchered by the Supreme Court in the Slaughterhouse case, has been used by Alan Gura in his two recent cases before the Supreme Court to argue that the Second Amendment doesn't grant us rights to own guns for self-defense, but that those rights are inherent in all American citizens. Clarence Thomas was the only justice in the majority who explicitly mentioned this clause as opposed to the back-handed Due Process Clause that the Supreme Court usually uses to constrain the states under the Bill of Rights.

(Report Comment)

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