Kevin And Don Respond To Being Self Loathing

Looking back at their journey from the Stonewall Democratic Club to Log Cabin Republicans, they claim it was one that was actually started by the democrats. After being told that marriage as not a priority on the agenda in 1995, they became disillusioned with the DEMS. For a decade they felt like they did not belong until they met the republicans of the Log Cabin Republican Club and discovered they too shared a dream of marriage equality. This blog is now a digital time capsule of their time as Republicans and moderated by a friend and supporter.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I just have to live in hope because we already have our wedding rings

From: XXX]
Sent: Thu 5/29/2008 2:23 PM
To: XXX.
Subject: RE: CA Marriage Ruling

Again, thank you. 

I think these things have to be fleshed out and I enjoy the challenge.
I have looked at it and it, in my opinion, is an argument in favor of my position as follows:
On May 21, 2008, the Oregon Court of Appeals found that Measure 36 (prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriages) was not a "revision" to the Oregon Constitution and, thus, was valid. However, unlike California , Oregon has not found a fundamental right to marry based on a right of privacy. Indeed, the Oregon Court of Appeals noted: "In short, there was no antecedent omnibus common-law right to marry. Consequently, plaintiffs have not established that the enactment of Measure 36 deprives anyone of a remedy protected by Article I, section 10--and, by extension, Measure 36 does not amend Article I, section 10." This language clearly distinguishes the Oregon ruling from California and, thus, lends credence to the claim that the proposed ballot initiative in California is, in fact, a revision to the state Constitution.

"Plaintiffs brought this action for declaratory relief against the Governor and the State of Oregon (the state), seeking a declaration that 2004 Ballot Measure 36, a voter-initiated measure, which prohibited recognition of same-sex marriages, did not comply with the provisions of Article XVII, sections 1 and 2, of the Oregon Constitution. On cross-motions for summary judgment, the trial court entered judgment in favor of defendants. Plaintiffs appeal, raising two overarching issues: (1) Did Measure 36 embody a "revision" to the constitution that could not originate from a voter initiative?...

"We turn first to plaintiffs' argument that Measure 36 embodies a revision to the Oregon Constitution rather than an amendment. That distinction is critical because, although an "amendment" to the constitution may be initiated by the voters, a "revision of all or part of" the constitution can be considered by the voters only by referendum after approval of at least two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature....

"Indeed, plaintiffs' arguments here, while more refined, are strikingly similar to the plaintiffs' contentions in Lowe referring to "profound impacts on existing fundamental rights and radical restructuring of the government's relationship with a defined group of citizens." Lowe, 130 Or App at 11. Accordingly, we adhere to Lowe and, given that adherence, conclude that Measure 36 was not a constitutional revision...."
I just have to live in hope because we already have our wedding rings.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Californians narrowly reject gay marriage, poll finds


Californians narrowly reject gay marriage, poll finds

Voters also back a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex unions, a new Times/KTLA survey shows.
By Cathleen Decker
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

May 23, 2008

By bare majorities, Californians reject the state Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages and back a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at the November ballot that would outlaw such unions, a Los Angeles Times/KTLA Poll has found.

But the survey also suggested that the state is moving closer to accepting nontraditional marriages, which could create openings for supporters of same-sex marriage as the campaign unfolds.

More than half of Californians said gay relationships were not morally wrong, that they would not degrade heterosexual marriages and that all that mattered was that a relationship be loving and committed, regardless of gender.

Overall, the proportion of Californians who back either gay marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples has remained fairly constant over the years. But the generational schism is pronounced. Those under 45 were less likely to favor a constitutional amendment than their elders and were more supportive of the court's decision to overturn the state's current ban on gay marriage. They also disagreed more strongly than their elders with the notion that gay relationships threatened traditional marriage.

The results of the survey set up an intriguing question for the fall campaign: Will the younger, more live-and-let-live voters mobilized by likely Democratic nominee Barack Obama doom the gay marriage ban? Or will conservatives drawn to the polls by the amendment boost the odds for the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain?

Either way, the poll suggests the outcome of the proposed amendment is far from certain. Overall, it was leading 54% to 35% among registered voters. But because ballot measures on controversial topics often lose support during the course of a campaign, strategists typically want to start out well above the 50% support level.

"Although the amendment to reinstate the ban on same-sex marriage is winning by a small majority, this may not bode well for the measure," said Times Poll Director Susan Pinkus.

The politically volatile issue leaped into the forefront last week after the court made its judgment in a case that stemmed from San Francisco's unsuccessful effort in 2004 to allow gay marriage in the city. The court's decision, on a 4-3 vote by judges largely appointed by Republican governors, came eight years after Californians overwhelmingly banned gay marriage through a ballot measure, Proposition 22.

The court's verdict threw the issue forward until November, when Californians are expected to be asked to amend the state Constitution to prohibit gay marriage. An affirmative vote on the amendment would reinstate the ban and lead to more litigation over the issue.

Before the court took action, opponents of same-sex marriage already had submitted more than 1 million signatures to the secretary of state's office to put the matter on the November ballot. Secretary of State Debra Bowen has said she will determine its fate by mid-June, but the backers are believed to have collected enough signatures to qualify.

Asking for a delay

Thursday, supporters of the proposed amendment asked the court to place its decision on hold until after the election. Failure to do so "risks legal havoc and uncertainty," lawyers for the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund argued, noting that same-sex marriages entered into between now and November would be under a legal cloud if voters approved the ban. Court experts, however, say it is unlikely the justices would agree to such a lengthy delay in implementing their ruling.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has vetoed two bills sanctioning gay marriage, has said that he respects the court's decision and that he will not support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Californians were split on his stance, with 45% agreeing and 46% disagreeing.

The governor, who in his nearly five years in office has often butted heads with his GOP colleagues, was once again on the opposite side of most in his party: Nearly 7 in 10 Republicans disagreed with his views on the court decision and the amendment.

Becky Espinoza of Kerman, an agricultural town west of Fresno, said that if the amendment made the ballot, she would vote for it. But she acknowledged some ambivalence about the matter coming before voters at all.

"I just don't believe a man and a man should be married," said the 57-year-old Republican. "How can I put this -- it's just not right. I was brought up very old-fashioned."

Even within her own family, however, there are differences of opinion. A younger daughter, she said, feels "there's nothing wrong with that."

"To kids nowadays, it's like 'Oh well.' Maybe it is 'Oh well.' They see it. We didn't see it. It was one of those in-the-closet things."

On the opposite side is Lena Neal of Perris, who said she supported the court's decision and would vote against an amendment. Neal, a Democrat, based her views on the experiences of an elderly family member, who she said was part of a decades-long same-sex partnership. When one of them entered the hospital, she said, the other was not allowed to visit -- that benefit was restricted to family members.

"It's their right," she said of gay marriage. "They're humans."

Indeed, the poll found that views on gay marriage were greatly influenced by personal connections. Of those who said they knew a friend, a family member or a co-worker who was gay, nearly half approved of the court's ruling -- more than twice the proportion among those who said they were not acquainted with a gay person.

The divide was as stark when it came to the proposed constitutional amendment: 70% of voters who said they did not know a gay person would vote for it, a position taken by just 49% of voters who said they knew a gay person.

The poll, under Pinkus' direction, interviewed 834 Californians, including 705 registered voters, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The margin of sampling error is 3 percentage points in either direction overall and 4 points for registered voters. Margins were larger for demographic subgroups.

The poll found the state polarized when it came to gay marriage. In most surveys, majority views are somewhat ambivalent -- but on this issue they were sharply drawn. More than 4 in 10 Californians said they strongly disapproved of the court's decision, while almost 3 in 10 strongly approved. Smaller groups described their views as lukewarm.

Generally, the poll found consistency between views on the court decision and the proposed amendment. Overall, Californians opposed the court's view by a 52%-41% gap. The strongest opposition came from Republicans and self-described conservatives. Married respondents, those without college degrees, senior citizens, white evangelical Christians and those in suburban Southern California were also strongly opposed.

Those same groups were also among the strongest backers of the proposed amendment.

Most supportive of the court decision were liberals -- more than 7 in 10 of whom favored the ruling -- Democratic men and Democratic women, whites with college degrees and Bay Area residents.

Majority support -- if barely -- came from the two political groups whose backing generally spells success in California: The state's largest party, Democrats, backed it by a 55%-39% margin, and the fastest-growing political group, independents, supported it 51% to 40%.

Yet support for the ruling did not necessarily lead to opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment, and vice versa. Democrats and independents narrowly backed the amendment despite their support for the court action. Democratic men favored the ruling but were split on the amendment. Democratic women, meanwhile, approved of both the court decision and the amendment.

Effect on the election?

The interaction between the amendment and the presidential election is difficult to divine six months from election day. Among the reasons is that the court put itself at odds with the candidates -- neither Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Obama of Illinois, nor Republican McCain, a senator from Arizona, has backed gay marriage. All have sided instead with civil unions that would ensure benefits for same-sex partners.

For the candidates, the confluence of the gay marriage issue and the presidential election represents risk. For the Democratic nominee, the party's traditional allegiance with the gay community could lead to pressure on the candidate to embrace gay marriage -- perhaps alienating more moderate voters here and elsewhere.

McCain, meanwhile, will be pinched between the party's religious base, which is strongly in favor of the amendment, and the independent voters who generally recoil from social issue battles but whom McCain needs in order to win.

Some leeway

The poll suggested that the candidates may have a little leeway: Only 1 in 4 registered voters said they would vote only for a candidate who agreed with their own position on marriage. Almost 6 in 10 said they could vote for a candidate with whom they disagreed -- suggesting that the issue was far from the top of most voters' agendas.

Responding to a separate question, only 10% of registered voters said that gay marriage was the most important issue facing the state, although more than 5 in 10 voters characterized it as important, just not the most important. Another third of voters said it was not important at all.

Among those who felt it was the most important, more than 6 in 10 were conservatives or those who consider themselves part of the Republican religious base. They were overwhelmingly voting for McCain, the poll found.

But those who felt it was either not important, or not the most important issue facing California, were siding with a Democratic candidate over McCain.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Can An Initiative ABOLISH Constitutional Rights?

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Page 7

Is The Proposed ‘Limit On Marriage’ Initiative Too Late?

The recent California Constitutional Right to Marry case, according to my analysis, calls into question the currently proposed “Limit to Marry” Voter Initiative Constitutional Initiative. If Secretary of State Debra Bowen places it on the ballot, she would be wise to have the Legislative Analysts’ opinion consider the following cited cases and also discuss the issue with Attorney General Jerry Brown to inquire whether or not the proposed initiative can even be legally placed on the ballot.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly member Mark Leno, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors, and one of the main attorneys on the winning side of the marriage case, David Codell would be wise to immediately contact Bowen and Brown to raise the issue of the legality of the proposed initiative so that the voters of California are properly informed that there may be a potential problem in enacting the initiative if it passes this November (assuming it qualifies for the ballot).
As noted in McFadden v. Jordan (1948) 32 Cal.2d 330, 333: “The initiative power reserved by the people by amendment to the Constitution in 1911 (art. IV, s 1) applies only to the proposing and the adopting or rejecting of ‘laws and amendments to the Constitution’ and does not purport to extend to a constitutional revision.”

The proposed initiative appears to now attempt to revise the California Constitution to remove the fundamental right to marry and equal protection that gays and lesbians are now afforded under the California Constitution. With that in mind, the Secretary of State must be aware of the following case:
Rippon v. Bowen (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1308, 1313:
Article XVIII of the California Constitution allows for amendment of the Constitution by the Legislature, or initiative and revision of the Constitution by the Legislature, or a constitutional convention. There is no other method for revising or amending the Constitution. (Livermore v. Waite (1894) 102 Cal. 113, 117, 36 P. 424 (Livermore).)
“ ‘[A]mendment’ implies such an addition or change within the lines of the original instrument as will effect an improvement, or better carry out the purpose for which it was framed.” (Livermore, supra, 102 Cal. at pp. 118-119, 36 P. 424.) The “revision/amendment analysis has a dual aspect, requiring us to examine both the quantitative and qualitative effects of the measure on our constitutional scheme. Substantial changes in either respect could amount to a revision.” (Raven v. Deukmejian (1990) 52 Cal.3d 336, 350, 276 Cal.Rptr. 326, 801 P.2d 1077 (Raven).) “[A]n enactment which is so extensive in its provisions as to change directly the ‘substantial entirety’ of the Constitution by the deletion or alteration of numerous existing provisions may well constitute a revision thereof. However, even a relatively simple enactment may accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision also.” (Amador Valley Joint Union High Sch. Dist. v. State Bd. of Equalization (1978) 22 Cal.3d 208, 223, 149 Cal.Rptr. 239, 583 P.2d 1281 (Amador).)
According to the In Re Marriage Cases (May 15, 2008) 2008 WL 2051892: “Although our state Constitution does not contain any explicit reference to a “right to marry,” past California cases establish beyond question that the right to marry is a fundamental right whose protection is guaranteed to all persons by the California Constitution.... In light of the fundamental nature of the substantive rights embodied in the right to marry — and their central importance to an individual’s opportunity to live a happy, meaningful, and satisfying life as a full member of society — the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all individuals and couples, without regard to their sexual orientation. “

The proposed initiative originally sought to limit the Constitutional right to marry to opposite sex couples and, thus as originally drafted, it was intended to limit the right to marry to a man and a woman. But an amendment can no longer accomplish this. The Right to Marry exists and in light of the recent ruling, the initiative’s unintended consequence is an attempt to revise (as opposed to amend) the Constitution which, as explained in In Re Marriage Cases (May 15, 2008) 2008 WL 2051892, is a fundamental Constructional right to “all individuals and couples, without regard to their sexual orientation.”
“Whether an initiative constitutes an amendment or revision to the Constitution does not necessarily depend on the number of constitutional provisions it affects, but on the nature of the changes it makes. (Grodin et al., The California State Constitution: A Reference Guide, supra, at pp. 303-304.) For a revision to be found, “it must necessarily or inevitably appear from the face of the challenged provision that the measure will substantially alter the basic governmental framework set forth in our Constitution.” See California Assn. of Retail Tobacconists v. State of California (2003) 109 Cal.App.4th 792, 833-834.
As Justice Moreno noted in a concurring opinion in Californians For An Open Primary v. McPherson (2006) 38 Cal.4th 735, 788:
Voters can propose amendments to the Constitution that will be placed on the ballot if the requisite number of signatures are obtained, but they may not propose constitutional revisions. (See Cal. Const., art. XVIII, § 3; Raven v. Deukmejian (1990) 52 Cal.3d 336, 349, 276 Cal.Rptr. 326, 801 P.2d 1077.)
See California Assn. of Retail Tobacconists v. State of California (2003) 109 Cal.App.4th 792, 833-834:
Although the electorate may amend the Constitution by initiative (art. XVIII, § 3), a revision of the Constitution may be accomplished only by a constitutional convention and popular ratification (art. XVIII, § 2) or by legislative submission of the measure to the electorate (art. XVIII, § 1). (Raven v. Deukmejian, supra, 52 Cal.3d at p. 349, 276 Cal.Rptr. 326, 801 P.2d 1077; Amador Valley Joint Union High Sch. Dist. v. State Bd. of Equalization (1978) 22 Cal.3d 208, 221, 149 Cal.Rptr. 239, 583 P.2d 1281.)
It has been suggested “the revision provision is based on the principle that ‘comprehensive changes’ to the Constitution require more formality, discussion and deliberation than is available through the initiative process. [Citation.]” (Raven v. Deukmejian, supra, 52 Cal.3d at pp. 349-350, 276 Cal.Rptr. 326, 801 P.2d 1077; cf. Legislature v. Eu, supra, 54 Cal.3d at p. 506, 286 Cal.Rptr. 283, 816 P.2d 1309.)
The revision/amendment analysis requires the court “to examine both the quantitative and qualitative effects of the measure on our constitutional scheme[, as] [s]ubstantial changes in either respect could amount to a revision. [Citations.]” (Raven v. Deukmejian, supra, 52 Cal.3d at p. 350, 276 Cal.Rptr. 326, 801 P.2d 1077; Legislature v. Eu, supra, 54 Cal.3d at p. 506, 286 Cal.Rptr. 283, 816 P.2d 1309.)
Whether an initiative constitutes an amendment or revision to the Constitution does not necessarily depend on the number of constitutional provisions it affects, but on the nature of the changes it makes. (Grodin et al., The California State Constitution: A Reference Guide, supra, at pp. 303-304.) For a revision to be found, “it must necessarily or inevitably appear from the face of the challenged provision that the measure will substantially alter the basic governmental framework set forth in our Constitution. [Citations.]” (Legislature v. Eu, supra, 54 Cal.3d at p. 510, 286 Cal.Rptr. 283, 816 P.2d 1309.)

Therefore, Schwarzenegger, Bowen, Leno and Newsome should use their constitutional powers to obtain an opinion of the Attorney General as to whether the initiative is an amendment or a revision that would revise the fundamental right to marry as it applies to same gender couples because it would remove that right for them and deny gays and lesbians equal protection as it applies to that fundamental right.
(The writer is a research attorney for the Los Angeles Superior Court and has been with the Court since 1991. Norte is currently assigned to Judges Ronald Sohigian and Gregory Alarcon.)

AUTHOR’S POST NOTE- The George Court has already determined that pre-election review is not precluded when the challenge is based upon a claim that the initiative may not properly be submitted to the voters because it amounts to a constitutional revision rather than an amendment. (Independent Energy Producers Assn. v. McPherson (2006) 38 Cal. 4th 1020, 1029 (unanimous decision & opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald George).)
“What should a local government do if it believes an initiative measure is unlawful and should not be presented to the voters? (Save Stanislaus Area Farm Economy v. Board of Supervisors (1993)13 Cal.App.4th 141, 149.) A governmental body, or any person or entity with standing, may file a petition for writ of mandate, seeking a court order removing the initiative measure from the ballot. (See Farley v. Healey[] [(1967)] 67 Cal.2d [325,] 327, 62 Cal.Rptr. 26, 431 P.2d 650.) But such entity or person may not unilaterally decide to prevent a duly qualified initiative from being presented to the electorate.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Supreme Court of California Case Notification for: S147999

The following transaction has occurred in:
Case: S147999, Supreme Court of California

Date (YYYY-MM-DD): 2008-05-14
Event Description: Notice of forthcoming opinion posted
For more information on this case, go to:
This case includes the following issue: Does California’s statutory ban on marriage
between two persons of the same sex violate the California Constitution by denying equal
protection of the laws on the basis of sexual orientation or sex, by infringing on the
fundamental right to marry, or by denying the right to privacy and freedom of expression?