Gay marriage in California

I’m all in favor of gay’s being allowed to marry.  I think marriage is a great institution and people that are willing to make that sort of commitment should not be prohibited from getting hitched to the partner of their choice.  California legislators have passed a bill removing restrictions on same sex marriages.  Governor Schwarzenegger says he is going to veto it.  From the LA Times via Yahoo News:

… announced through an aide Wednesday that he would veto the measure “out of respect for the will of the people.”

In a careful statement, Schwarzenegger press secretary Margita Thompson invoked the voter approval in March 2000 of Proposition 22, which said: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

I have mixed feelings on Arnie’s action.  I have a pretty strong tendency to agree with his reasoning, especially since Proposition 22 passed with 61% of the vote.  But what if Proposition 22 had said blacks/Jews/whatever were not allowed to marry outside their groups?  Or 61% voted to re-institute slavery?  Is the only valid solution to go through the courts seeking to remedy the injustice or convince the population at large it’s a bad decision?  It’s a tough call for me.  I think the bottom line is that denying someone marriage isn’t clearly (although I think a case can be made for it) infringing a fundamental right like the right to freedom (non-slavery), freedom of speech, and the right to keep and arms.  Therefore I have to conclude Arnie made the right decision–especially when it provokes the moon-bats into statements like this:

 “The only reason that he could be doing this is that he is pandering to the far right,” said Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), the measure’s author.

61% of the voters were against same-sex marriage, therefore Assemblyman Leno must think 61% of California voters are “far right”.  Someone should give him his anti-psychotic meds as they lead him away to the funny farm.

4 thoughts on “Gay marriage in California

  1. This is a curious issue. On one hand, we want the government out of our personal business– homosexuals have fought against government discrimination, and against persecution, and they’ve largely won. Now there is a movement to get the government INTO their lives. My solution would be to get the government out of the marrage issue altogether. Government’s role is (or should be) to protect our liberty. Who gives a rat’s behind if the State gives my marrage an official stamp of approval as long as my spouse and my family and neighbors recognize it?

    Here we come to the real issue, which isn’t being discussed– it’s all about the money. Spousal benefits. Government institutions should eliminate them and leave private business to make their own decisions in ther matter. Right now, my brother, who lives with a government employee, but is not married, does not get “spousal benefits”, but if he was gay, living with his gay lover, he would be getting the benefits under the employer’s policy. Gay marrage would make this universal, as gays would “marry” for the benefits.

    Now you gays out there who want this– how many relationships have you had? I know several who have had quite a lot. Now suppose between 50% and 100% of those ended relationships resulted in legal battles over your house and your income, just like a marrage, and just like a “common law” marrage in the case of a straight couple? That’s really what you want? Better think some more. If you think long enough, I believe you will want the government out of your life after all.

  2. You’re right. Government shouldn’t be forcing “benefits” of any nature and that is a significant motivator in the same-sex marriage movement. Government involvement in marriage is, in essence, the storage of a piece of paper that represents a contract. This paper storage task has long been a function of local government for such things as land titles, birth/death records, and other pieces of information that require public access. For me, marriage licenses are somewhat of a borderline issue in terms of requiring government involvement. I just don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other. But if the government does decide to maintain these records I don’t see a compelling government/public interest in rejecting some contracts between consenting adults.

  3. Actually, Arnold didn’t have much choice in the matter (although politics certainly played a part in his decision). California is the state that invented the modern initiative/referendum process, and I think we may still be the only state that ensure that the popular will trumps the legislature. That is, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL in California for the legislature/governor to pass and sign a law that contradicts a previously passed initiative statute. So if Arnie had signed the bill for political purposes, it still would have had no effect — the courts would have thrown it out.

    The drafters of the legislature’s bill could have put an escape clause in it that stated it was subject to a popular referendum (in which case Schwarzenegger’s rationale for veto goes away), but they didn’t and that was probably intentional so they could score a political point by forcing Arnie to veto it. If they REALLY wanted gay marriage to go through, they would have put in the escape clause. The drafters and the Democrats in general definitely knew what they were doing here — they got credit from gay interest groups for carrying the bill, but knew all along that they wouldn’t face the backlash at the polls from having actually passed gay marriage into law.

    When I interned in Sacramento several years ago, we saw this all the time — Willie Brown made it an art to collect money from an interest group that they’d never have coughed up if they really understood what you were doing and how the legislative process actually works.

  4. I’m all for gay marrage in part because im gay , but also i think it is wrong to stop marriage because two people are of the same sex. If two people love each other than it shouldnt matter. Saying no gay marrage is like saying no interaishal marrage.

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