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Facts About Marriage; or, "It's the Equality, Stupid"

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Zenlitened Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-10 09:09 PM
Original message
Facts About Marriage; or, "It's the Equality, Stupid"
From the decision of Judge Vaughn Walker in the Prop 8 case (with commentary added in parentheses):


Findings of Fact:


19. Marriage in the United States has always been a civil matter. Civil authorities may permit religious leaders to solemnize marriages but not to determine who may enter or leave a civil marriage. (That's why you need a marriage license in order to enjoy state recognition, remember? -- Z.)

21. California, like every other state, has never required that individuals entering a marriage be willing or able to procreate. (See item #39 -- Z.)

32. California has eliminated marital obligations based on the gender of the spouse. Regardless of their sex or gender, marital partners share the same obligations to one another and to their dependants. (In other words, notions of "traditional marriage" are not relevant here; they are a personal matter, not a matter of civil law -- Z.)

33. Eliminating gender and race restrictions in marriage has not deprived the institution of marriage of its vitality. (In other words, the bigots are not "defending" or "protecting" marriage from anything; there is no threat to the institution of marriage -- Z.)

39. Material benefits, legal protections and social support resulting from marriage can increase wealth and improve psychological well-being for married spouses. (That's what marriage is "for"; not makin' babies -- Z.)

51. Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals. (So let's drop that whole "Butbutbut everyone has teh right to get married" nonsense, okay -- Z.)

54. The availability of domestic partnership does not provide gays and lesbians with a status equivalent to marriage because the cultural meaning of marriage and its associated benefits are intentionally withheld from same-sex couples in domestic partnerships. (In other words, separate is NOT equal; get it now? -- Z.)

58. Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians... (And calling it your "religion" doesn't make it any less offensive -- Z.)

62. Proposition 8 does not affect the First Amendment rights of those opposed to marriage for same-sex couples. Prior to Proposition 8, no religious group was required to recognize marriage for same-sex couples. (So don't worry; your church can remain a haven for prejudice, if that's your thing -- Z.)

66. Proposition 8 increases costs and decreases wealth for samesex couples because of increased tax burdens, decreased availability of health insurance and higher transactions costs to secure rights and obligations typically associated with marriage. Domestic partnership reduces but does not eliminate these costs. (So let's drop the arguments about what's "good enough," okay? -- Z.)

71. Children do not need to be raised by a male parent and a female parent to be well-adjusted, and having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted. (So stop using children as pawns in a political agenda; especially when your agenda actually HARMS children -- Z.)

77. Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians. (But don't worry, you're still free to be a bigot; just keep that crap away from our Constitution, mkay? -- Z.)

78. Stereotypes and misinformation have resulted in social and legal disadvantages for gays and lesbians. (So stop telling LIES; especially if you're wrapped in the flag and carrying a bible while the lies pour out of your mouth -- Z.)



Conclusions of Law:

THE RIGHT TO MARRY PROTECTS AN INDIVIDUALS CHOICE OF MARITAL PARTNER REGARDLESS OF GENDER

The freedom to marry is recognized as a fundamental right protected by the Due Process Clause...

...The right to marry has been historically and remains the right to choose a spouse and, with mutual consent, join together and form a household... Race and gender restrictions shaped marriage during eras of race and gender inequality, but such restrictions were never part of the historical core of the institution of marriage.

...Plaintiffs do not seek recognition of a new right. To characterize plaintiffs objective as the right to same-sex marriage would suggest that plaintiffs seek something different from what opposite-sex couples across the state enjoy namely, marriage. Rather, plaintiffs ask California to recognize their relationships for what they are: marriages.

...California does not meet its due process obligation to allow plaintiffs to marry by offering them a substitute and inferior institution that denies marriage to samesex couples.


PROPOSITION 8 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT DENIES PLAINTIFFS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT WITHOUT A LEGITIMATE (MUCH LESS COMPELLING) REASON

... Many of the purported interests identified by proponents are nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples. ... by every available metric, opposite-sex couples are not better than their same-sex counterparts; instead, as partners, parents and citizens, opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples are equal.


CONCLUSION

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that oppositesex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

(In other words, it's the EQUALITY, stupid -- Z.)


Link to full decision:
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/us/20100804_p...




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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-10 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. thanks for pulling out bits so I don't have to wait for my old computer to try open pdf
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Zenlitened Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-05-10 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Happy to be of help. :)
The written decision is a powerful, powerful statement on equality. Well worth reading.

Here's a link to a non-PDF format
http://documents.nytimes.com/us-district-court-decision...

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