"Gay Marriages" in SF

For those who haven’t read about it:
I think this is a disgrace, not because homosexuals are getting “married,” but because they are doing it in clear violation of the law in California. Do the clerks/civil servants who are carrying out these “marriages” have any respect for the rule of law?

I support state recognition of same sex unions and believe that for almost all rights/responsibilities/privileges, they should be considered “equal” to heterosexual marriages. However, the goal of state recognized same sex unions should be reached through normal and legal processes. In my opinion, this issue should be solved by legislatures, courts or possibly by referendum, not by civil servants or lower level elected officials who must perform their duties according to state laws that they have no powers to interpret or change. Other states are handling this issue through their courts or legislatures. As far as I know, the folks in San Francisco have had no luck (or have they even tried?) with promoting their agenda in either the courts or the legislature, so it seems that they just decided: “oh, who cares, fuck the law.”

Some people have compared this to civil disobedience during the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. I don’t think this comparison holds water. In this situation, government officials have broken a very clear law. They should be sacked/removed from office. I keep reading and hearing homosexuals saying that “separate but equal is not acceptable.” Well, sure it’s not acceptable, but that doesn’t even apply in this situation. How can one use the word “equal” to compare heterosexual and homosexual unions (or whatever you want to call either one of them)? The inherent nature of the two types of unions makes them forever different, and not just in social or cosmetic ways such as skin color. Straight couples can have kids naturally, homosexual couples cannot. Children are arguably better off being reared by a mother and father rather than two homosexuals (all other things being equal). Decisions need to be made about when hetero and homosexual unions are “equal” and when they should be treated differently. These decisions should be made in legislatures and/or law courts, not by mayors who think they should have the power to make or interpret state laws.

So if the Jim Crow laws were a little clearer, the civil rights movement shouldn’t have worked?

Driver: Go sit in the back.

Rosa Parks: Screw you, your rules are ambiguous!

With a president in office actively campaigning to amend the constitution to suit his personal view of marriage as open only to heterosexuals, I can see why the San Francisco judges did what they did. Of course if they were advocating murder or some real crime rather than simply making straight people uncomfortable, I would have a problem with it.

This is going to be a hot issue and I could see where many would be very emotional about it, but I strongly disagree with the civil servants taking the “law” into their own hands. These same people for example are screaming loud and long about the detainees in Guantanamo Bay, who are NOT American citizens, getting their rights and how international law, UN law, French law and just about everyone else’s laws (except American!!!) should be upheld or respected and protected by the US.

It is also somewhat disengenuous to say that homosexuals in America are NOT protected or given rights (the analogy to Jim Crow laws) since it is my understanding that most companies offer “partner” benefits that are equal to marriage benefits and that legally “unions” not defined as marriage are taking place every day, and this provides all the inheritence, insurance, legal protection that would normally be covered when couples marry.

Finally, gay couples can adopt children legally if it is proved that they would provide a stable and caring environment so really this is not a case of anyone’s rights being imfringed upon as far as I can see but with a certain group making a lot of noise about one word: marriage, which for many has religious connotations and which they are naturally sensitive to. So my final questions on this are as follows:

Where are homosexuals in the United States suffering any loss of their “rights?”

Second, why must such a fuss be kicked up about one word: “marriage” (this goes for both sides the gay rights activists and ALSO the religious right in America)?

Finally, why is it acceptable in this case to break the law? Will it now be open season on the law for other matters as well? I don’t want to pay taxes that go to social programs and believe that I am being unfairly treated by being forced to do so. Therefore, I will calculate which percentage of my tax dollars go to said programs and will deduct them from my final tax bill. Likewise, I am sure that there are many who do not support defense appropriations so they will stop paying whatever share of taxes goes to defense. And so on and so on and where does it stop?

[quote=“fred smith”]
Finally, why is it acceptable in this case to break the law? Will it now be open season on the law for other matters as well? [/quote]
What’s your point???
Yeah, and women weren’t legally allowed to vote until the previous century, and interracial marriage was illegal, and marriage for blacks…and so on. Stuff a sock in it.
If adult people want to marry, regardless of race, sexual orientation, they should be allowed to. End of it.
Same thing goes for smoking pot. That should be legal too, and the US has barely got off its ass about that while the rest of the world leaves it in the dust. cnn.com/2003/LAW/10/14/scotu … marijuana/

Laws fuckin change. Get over it and COME OUT!


Ever the professional OUTRAGE (IST). What’s the noun for such a person? Read my questions and answer them rather than looking for discrimination behind every rock and tree. I think that your whole raison d’etre has become the need to DEFEND marginalized groups against RACIST, SEXIST attacks when none whatsoever are in the offing. Where is the discrimination? Where is the loss of rights? NOTICE: My second question is directed to the religious right as well… WHY not allow homosexuals to marry? What’s the big deal about the word marriage when in fact the civil unions that are allowed are marriage in all but name?

BUT my big point here is the arbitrary determination by one group that it is being somehow inconvenienced so it has the right to take the law into its own hands. THAT is what I DISAGREE with. So lighten up just a hair or switch to decaf coffee. :unamused: :wink:

Removed? Maybe too harsh, but their decisions must be overturned.

So it is OK to break some laws but not others?

True, but these laws, as far as SF goes, have not changed.


Laws fuckin change. Get over it and COME OUT![/quote]
Uh, yes, laws do change and I saw nothing in Fred Smith’s post that denied this reality. What I (and I believe Fred) am objecting to is that a mayor (who swore to, among other things, uphold the laws of his state) has decided that he should have the power to break the law as he sees fit. He is a single executive in government. He is not the legislature; his office enjoys no powers of judicial review.

Sure, you and I might think that same sex unions or marriages should be allowed and recognized, but we begin to go down a slippery slope when we decide to break the law to achieve our agenda. I’m not saying that there could never be situations that warrent civil disobedience or violation of the law, but I don’t believe this situation is one of them. As Fred has described, homosexuals aren’t exactly pushed to the wall. While the legal situation of their unions needs (IMO) more clarity and recognition, I don’t believe that the situation is dire enough for an elected official and hundreds of government servants beneath him to not just play fast and loose with the law, but to disregard it entirely.

Alien, your attitude just seems to be: “I, like, want [insert: legalization of marijuana, same sex unions, etc] now, and I’m not, like, willing to follow processes to get what I want.” But how will you feel when those who disagree with your views or your lifestyle break the law to push back your agenda? I imagine you’ll become a newborn advocate of the rule of law.

Laws schmaws. The US broke intenational law. So?

Which international law did the United States break? How was it broken? Were there other examples of the law being broken that were not the cause of OUTRAGE? AND more importantly, how is that germane to this discussion?

Please specify.

Huh? According to whom? Please put the bong down at least one hour before you post.

I have not read a clear explanation of why it is against the law. Can anyone tell me?

Indeed, I would be against any rights for homosexuals that are not given to heterosexuals. (and vice versa).

people have a right to feel sensitive but not to ban reasonable behaviour by others simly because they do feel sensitive.

Taxation benefits, etc…? Must be loads of stuff.

Because so many people feel senitive about it. plenty of gay christians out there who want to be married rather than have a civil union.

and so…

the division is not so stark.

It is sometimes acceptable to break bad laws. It depends on the way in which you break them. the way in which this law is being broken is appropriate - its not violent…etc.

You have a legal recourse - to vote against politicians who make such increases. However, a flat ban on marriage because of sexual orientation is simply discrimination - you have no legal recourse.

Civil disobedience is a worthwhile part of the political process. Its better than civil war. People will make up their own minds as to whether the cause is reasonable or not.

Personally, I have few problems with the SF marriages… (though on TV many couples appeared to be punching the air with their fists when they should have been kissing the brides…


I am not particularly interested in the marriage aspect and certainly am not going to lose sleep over any moral or religious aspects to gay marriage (again, I seriously doubt anyone is losing any key benefits or rights here but if someone can show me, then… I would be willing to reconsider, that goes for taxes and insurance benefits, etc). BUT, I am very curious to hear more about your definitions of the appropriate perimeters for civil disobedience.

With regard to the tax situation, I could certainly vote for politicians that support my views but then WHY cannot these groups support politicians who agitate for similar action in support of their views?

Feel free to move beyond this particular “marriage” issue to the wider applications of civil disobedience. Perhaps we need to start a new thread on this?


Back in the '50s and ‘60s, people who wanted to defend racism, but who did not want to be seen as defending racism, did so by defending states’ rights. What exactly is it you’re defending, Fred?

Same-sex marriage should be thought of as a validation of the institution of marriage itself, not a threat.

The discrimination is matter of fairness. Equality.
to specifically deny rights and benefits to certain people based on irrelevant personal characteristics is wrong and has repeatedly been condemned by the government. The government should remove the sex restrictions on the granting of a marriage license and allow gay and lesbian citizens the full benefits of a legal marriage.

Legal marriage grants benefits such legal recognition as the right to file taxes jointly, the right to receive benefits from a partner’s job, the right to sue for assets in a divorce, the right to visit one’s spouse in the hospital, the right to jointly adopt a spouse’s children and so on, that are denied to other citizens.

Gay and lesbian couples who have been together in a stable relationship for many years are not granted the same legal and social status as heterosexuals regardless of their true qualifications simply because of their gender.

Because only married people can receive certain legal benefits and gays and lesbians are not permitted to marry, the institution of marriage denies them the right to ever receive those benefits.

Allowing homosexual couples to marry would successfully remove one of the last remaining legally sanctioned forms of gender discrimination and allow Americans with minority sexual identities the full benefits and social recognition of being in an legally sanctioned partnership. Marriage benefits would allow gays and lesbians to become more integrated in society and encourage social prejudice against homosexuals to decrease.

You will see this ‘law’ overturned in your lifetime, unless you choke on a hunk of pork that blocks your windpipe.

Alien, I agree that many people did use the defence of state rights as a cover for arguing to continue racist policies.

But I don’t think the issue is as black and white as your statement above indicates.

Personally, I believe that homosexuals should be permitted to get married, at least in civil ceremonies.

On the other hand, I am very concerned about the issue of states’ rights.

These two concerns of mine CAN honestly conflict.

Thanks Tigerman, but what’s NOT black and white?

Always the tar brush of racism with you isn’t it Alien? Did I say I oppose such rights or unions or marriages? Not even once. I have repeatedly asked WHEREIN lies the right to flout the law to do so in this case? No one has answered to my satisfaction why legally approved referendums or votes are not acceptable here and why civil servants have the “right” to allow such marriages to go ahead. Also in the other thread, I was curious to see if we could come up with examples of civil disobedience that do not always come back to the Civil Rights Act. How about nuclear power? environmental issues? sitins? etc. etc.? Can we broaden our scope?

Yes, yes, yes, Alien. It must have something to do with Blacks and civil rights. Doesn’t every issue? I only ask because I am a racist and thank goodness we have you around to keep me and others in line. Gosh the entire Black race should pay you obeisance for continually raising in each and every debate the spector that closet racists might be looking for opportunities to chain everyone up again even when the subject is homosexual marriage or the Patriot Act or Iraq or service in restaurants or taxes or crime or any such issue. Curiously, this racial witch hunt that you are perpetually engaged in seems an awful lot like, well, McCarthyism, doesn’t it? Relish that delicious little irony the next time you go off on Ashcroft! haha


Just what I said. Not all reservation or hesitancy is due to a desire to continue discrimination. Sometimes, people ARE concerned about the process of change and what the possible effects of circumventing normal process might be.

I can’t argue with you on gay marriage, because I agree with you… but I think its important to consider that not everyone opposed to gay marriage is opposed merely out of hate and or ignorance.

That’s all.

Amen Tigerman:

I am not saying I disagree with Alien on this issue either.

What I do want to know though is when I am ENTITLED to similar actions when I do not feel that I am getting my way. AND if I am ENTITLED because it’s the RIGHT thing to do, when are others ENTITLED or JUSTIFIED to do so? This is what I want to discuss. This is not an effort to discriminate against anyone so lighten the hell up on the racial-sexist witch hunt. Jesus Christ! :unamused:


I have not read a clear explanation of why it is against the law. Can anyone tell me?[/quote]

In 2000, the people of California voted on and approved Proposition 22, a proposal to enact a state “Defense of Marriage Act.” The text of Prop 22 reads:

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

It should be noted, however, California passed the Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003, which expands the rights of couples in a registered domestic partnership to virtually the same rights and responsibilities afforded to married spouses. The act does not expand any rights conferred under federal law, such as Social Security benefits or federal employment rights. The law, scheduled to take effect in 2005, will allow domestic partners to seek child support and alimony and give them the right to health coverage under a partner’s plan, among other rights.

It is my understanding that Gavin Newsom, the recently elected mayor of SF, seeks to challenge the Defense of Marriage Act on equal protection grounds under the California State Constitution.

A side note on this issue is that Newsom won the mayor’s contest in a closely fought and heated battle with Green Party candidate, Matt Gonzalez. Newsom took a lot of hits for his close ties with the Getty clan, and was labeled a rich-boy “Republican” in a Democrat’s skirt. Perhaps, Mayor Newsom is trying to win back some of the liberal support he lost during the election campaign with this challenge to the gay marriage ban.

Thank you Smerf:

At least this is a start down a more FACTUAL less EMOTIONAL direction. Okay, given that the rights are the same or are similar, why the beef among gays? and what is so sacrosanct about marriage that most voters do not want it conferred on gay marriages? but ultimately is this an appropriate example of justified civil disobedience?