Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

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Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Nordic Einar » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:44 pm UTC

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4 ... 8564194359

It was overturned on the grounds of violating Due Process and the Equal Protection Clause. That's fantastic news, and I'm cautiously optimistic for the inevitable SCOTUS case.

Time to get my ass down to Ferndale; it's time to fucking party.

**EDIT** Sorry for lack of a good link - this news just dropped. It's being talked about on CNN/MSNBC presently.

**EDIT 2**

Because someone mentioned an unfamiliarity with Prop. 8, it's a Californian state ban on same sex marriage, that came into effect through a popular vote.
Last edited by Nordic Einar on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:51 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Jessica » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:45 pm UTC

Fuck, I wish I were in SF right now. It would be fantastic :D
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby BlackSails » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:45 pm UTC

Isnt this the court that has a ridiculous number of overturned decisions?

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby stevey_frac » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:49 pm UTC

Perhaps someone could link a good article explaining what proposition 8 is? I had to google around.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Nordic Einar » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:50 pm UTC

God, I know. Some of my D.C fags are already out in the streets partying. Not a lot of support here in Michigan, but Fabulous Ferndale will be a hell of a place to be tonight.


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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Oregonaut » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:56 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Isnt this the court that has a ridiculous number of overturned decisions?


The 9th circuit has the unfortunate problem of being the Hollywood Court of Appeals. So, yeah. They tend to get overturned by the...less liberal SCOTUS.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

Decision [Scribd]
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Jedidawn » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:25 pm UTC

As much as I support same-sex marriage, it seems kinda un-democratic to have a referendum on an issue, and then go 'jeesh you guys don't think how we want you to, lets set it the way WE want it'

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:28 pm UTC

But that isn't what happened. Judge Walker didn't say "You don't think how I want you to." He said "This law is inconsistent with the Constitution."
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Oregonaut » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:29 pm UTC

The same logic applies if we had a referendum saying that blacks and whites can't marry.

Sorry, but sometimes even republics with democratic aspirations have to go back to being republics for things to be fair.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Роберт » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:50 pm UTC

Breaking news: adult siblings still can't marry. :?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby ++$_ » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:56 pm UTC

From the decision:

Judge Walker rips up David Blankenhorn's testimony:
The court permitted Blankenhorn to testify but reserved the question of the appropriate weight to give to Blankenhorn’s opinions. [Tr. cit.] The court now determines that Blankenhorn’s testimony constitutes inadmissible opinion testimony that should be given essentially no weight.
...
Blankenhorn’s interest and study on the subjects of marriage, fatherhood and family structure are evident from the record, but nothing in the record other than the "bald assurance" of Blankenhorn [cit.] suggests that Blankenhorn's investigation into marriage has been conducted to the "same level of intellectual rigor" characterizing the practice of anthropologists, sociologists or psychologists. [Cit.] Blankenhorn gave no explanation of the methodology that led him to his definition of marriage other than his review of others' work. The court concludes that Blankenhorn's proposed definition of marriage is "connected to existing data only be the ipse dixit" of Blankenhorn and accordingly rejects it.
...
Blankenhorn's second opinion is that a body of evidence supports the conclusion that children raised by their married, biological parents do better on average than children raised in other environments.... Blankenhorn's conclusion... is not supported by the evidence on which he relied because the evidence does not, and does not claim to, compare biological to non-biological parents.
...
[N]o credible evidence supports Blankenhorn's conclusion that same-sex marriage could lead to the other manifestations of deinstitutionalization.
...
Blankenhorn explained that the list of consequences [that he claims would follow from gay marriage] arose from a group thought experiment in which an idea was written down if someone suggested it.
...
Blankenhorn's concern that same-sex marriage poses a threat to the institution of marriage is further undermined by his testimony that same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage operate almost identically.
From the findings of fact:
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.

55. Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriages.

58. Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians, including: gays and lesbians do not have intimate relationships similar to heterosexual couples; gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals; and gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of
society.

70. The gender of a child’s parent is not a factor in a child’s adjustment. The sexual orientation of an individual does not determine whether that individual can be a good parent. Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.


And from the Conclusions of Law:
When legislation burdens the exercise of a right deemed to be fundamental, the government must show that the intrusion withstands strict scrutiny...The freedom to marry is recognized as a fundamental right protected by the Due Process Clause.
...
[T]he exclusion [of same-sex marriages] exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed.
...
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 same-sex couples.
...
Because plaintiffs seek to exercise their fundamental right to marry, their claim is subject to strict scrutiny. [Cit.] That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as "fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." [Cit.]
...
As explained in detail in the equal protection analysis, Proposition 8 cannot withstand rational basis review. Still less
can Proposition 8 survive the strict scrutiny required by plaintiffs’ due process claim.
...
Most laws subject to rational basis easily survive equal protection review, because a legitimate reason can nearly always be found for treating different groups in an unequal manner. See Romer, 517 US at 633. Yet, to survive rational basis review, a law must do more than disadvantage or otherwise harm a particular group.
...
[P]roponents, amici and the court, despite ample
opportunity and a full trial, have failed to identify any rational
basis Proposition 8 could conceivably advance.... Many of the purported interests identified by proponents are nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples.
Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8. The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment without bond in favor of plaintiffs and plaintiff-intervenors and against defendants and defendant-intervenors pursuant to FRCP 58.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Briareos » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:04 pm UTC

Great news.

Apparently, because this was a full trial, with evidence and findings of fact and stuff, it's going to be a hell of a lot harder to overturn on appeal than if the judge had just made some decision without hearing testimony about it. I read the opinion, and apparently the proponents don't know how to articulate an argument.

Also, I'd like to quickly bring up Justice Scalia's dissent in Lawrence, where he writes that if (gasp) the state doesn't have a rational interest in curtailing things that it morally disapproves of, like sodomy, it's unlikely it has a rational interest in preventing gay marriage.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Oregonaut » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:08 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:Breaking news: adult siblings still can't marry. :?


I hope you aren't attempting to compare same-sex marriage to incest.

If you are, then I also hope you are ready for the inevitible backlash. Inbreeding has been proven to produce offspring with a wide variety of defects which are capable of capsizing the ship if left unchecked.

Same-sex marriage is two people of the same-sex who love each other wanting to have equal protection. Since two eggs can't reproduce, and two sperm can't reproduce, then all we are allowing is two people to voluntarily remove themselves from the procreation pool, barring a choice to involve a third party, which opposite-sex couples are fully capable of, and have been doing for decades as a means to overcome infertility.

So...red-herring troll?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

Jedidawn wrote:As much as I support same-sex marriage, it seems kinda un-democratic to have a referendum on an issue, and then go 'jeesh you guys don't think how we want you to, lets set it the way WE want it'
It's most certainly undemocratic, but then again, California and the United States have never pretended to be purely democratic. We have a constitution and, in cases like this, sometimes public opinion sides with a law that defies it.

Anyway, it's probably worth pointing out that Prop 8 was a voter initiative, not just a referendum, meaning it appeared on the ballot by public petition and did not originate within the California legislature. It's certainly not unprecedented for a voter initiative to be found unconstitutional by state government, this already happened in 2008 when California legalized gay marriage for the first time. Prop 8 called for an amendment specifically to avoid this.

It's not the same as the government asking people to vote on it then saying "whatever, we're not listening." It's the government acquiescing to it being voted on, and then deciding whether or not it complies with or contradicts the constitution. It's my understanding that the constitutionality of voter initiatives isn't generally ruled on before they pass, so this is standard procedure.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Роберт » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:42 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:
Роберт wrote:Breaking news: adult siblings still can't marry. :?


I hope you aren't attempting to compare same-sex marriage to incest.

If you are, then I also hope you are ready for the inevitible backlash. Inbreeding has been proven to produce offspring with a wide variety of defects which are capable of capsizing the ship if left unchecked.

Same-sex marriage is two people of the same-sex who love each other wanting to have equal protection. Since two eggs can't reproduce, and two sperm can't reproduce, then all we are allowing is two people to voluntarily remove themselves from the procreation pool, barring a choice to involve a third party, which opposite-sex couples are fully capable of, and have been doing for decades as a means to overcome infertility.

So...red-herring troll?

Not intending to be a troll. I was unaware that same-sex siblings could marry, and it was only marriage between brother and sister that was disallowed.

Also, what if the brother and sister underwent a vasectomy and a tubal ligation, respectively? Would your objections then be satisfied?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Lucrece » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:46 pm UTC

Walker's concise explanation describing the relation between sexual orientation discrimination and sex discrimination was a thing of beauty.

It's not that the proponents had trouble articulating their argument. They articulated a lot. They just didn't provide evidence, at all. Most of their witnesses were withdrawn after preliminary questioning showed their testimony to actually detract from the legitimacy of prop 8.

They had zero credible witnesses on the expert front, and the laymen witnesses were obliterated in cross-examination.

Unfortunately the trial was not allowed to be televised, so I recommend you read up on the transcripts in case you're wondering what I'm talking about.

Beautifully done case with an impeccable ruling.

BlackSails, you have to check not only whether the circuit gets overturned often, but whose ruling gets overturned. Walker is an extremely esteemed judge in the legal world. Painfully bright, should you read the court transcripts to confirm.

In fact, as you mentioned the record on overturned ruling, Walker's ruling was rather clever. His conclusion made a tiny, tiny fraction of the ruling. Instead he piled up and extensively cited and provided the ruling with myriad findings of law. While the courts of appeal, including SCOTUS, reserve the right to pay no heed or extend weight to his conclusions, they are bound to judge by the record-- where facts of law are provided. SCOTUS may ignore the conclusion, but it must take into account the evidence record as is.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Adaro » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:19 pm UTC

Yay! I've been following this trial and the Defense (pro prop 8 side) had basically nothing. Most of their witnesses dropped out and so they only had 2... and one of them ended up being a help to the anti prop 8 side. The second didn't really have anything either.

I honestly don't know how we couldn't have won.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby mythago » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:52 pm UTC

Jedidawn wrote:As much as I support same-sex marriage, it seems kinda un-democratic to have a referendum on an issue, and then go 'jeesh you guys don't think how we want you to, lets set it the way WE want it'


That would be un-democratic, but happily, that is not what just happened.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Vaniver » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:32 am UTC

As nice as this decision is, I'm going to hold off on celebrating until a real court agrees with it. [edit] I was mistaken about which court this is: Read as "I'm waiting for the appeals to finish."
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby mythago » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:46 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:As nice as this decision is, I'm going to hold off on celebrating until a real court agrees with it.


Er...the United States District Court of the Northern District of California is not a "real court"? I assume you mean that you're going to hold off until it's clear that the opinion will not be overturned on appeal (either because SCOTUS affirms it, or it survives the appellate system to get to SCOTUS and then is denied cert).
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Vaniver » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:00 am UTC

mythago wrote:Er...the United States District Court of the Northern District of California is not a "real court"? I assume you mean that you're going to hold off until it's clear that the opinion will not be overturned on appeal (either because SCOTUS affirms it, or it survives the appellate system to get to SCOTUS and then is denied cert).
I was actually mistaken about which court this was decided in- I thought it was the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the next place this case is going to go. But so while the 9th Circuit Court is a joke, extrapolating downwards was unfair.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby mythago » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:16 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
mythago wrote:Er...the United States District Court of the Northern District of California is not a "real court"? I assume you mean that you're going to hold off until it's clear that the opinion will not be overturned on appeal (either because SCOTUS affirms it, or it survives the appellate system to get to SCOTUS and then is denied cert).
I was actually mistaken about which court this was decided in- I thought it was the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the next place this case is going to go. But so while the 9th Circuit Court is a joke, extrapolating downwards was unfair.


The 9th Circuit is a joke only in the sense that it's somewhat left of center, which from the point of view of the conservative Supreme Court is "miles to the left of Mao and thus evilevilevilevil". I mean, nobody calls the Fourth Circuit a joke despite ridiculously conservative rulings and judicial vacancies but that's cuz they're not librul
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby videogamesizzle » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:23 am UTC

Woo!

Here's hoping that the inevitable appeals don't undo everything.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby netcrusher88 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:47 am UTC

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Republicans continue to call for hearings on repealing the 14th Amendment. That would be the one that guarantees equal protection. Though of course they're doing it for the xenophobe/nationalist vote, as it also grants citizenship to any individual born on US soil. What's the betting they start politicking on repealing the 14th Amendment because it guarantees gay rights, too?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby guenther » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:24 am UTC

This brightened my day.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby ++$_ » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:51 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:But so while the 9th Circuit Court is a joke, extrapolating downwards was unfair.
What makes the Ninth Circuit a joke, in your opinion? Is it that you don't like their decisions?

To me, if you're saying that the Ninth Circuit isn't a "real court" because you don't like the way they decide their cases, that's inappropriate. [Note: Not that you should have any reason to care what I think, of course!] I don't like the way the governor of my state handles the state, but I wouldn't say that he's not a real governor. I don't like Senator Mitch McConnell's politics, but that doesn't make him any less of a Senator.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:45 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:It's not that the proponents had trouble articulating their argument. They articulated a lot. They just didn't provide evidence, at all. Most of their witnesses were withdrawn after preliminary questioning showed their testimony to actually detract from the legitimacy of prop 8.

They had zero credible witnesses on the expert front, and the laymen witnesses were obliterated in cross-examination.

Out of curiosity (yet not enough curiosity to go reading court transcripts), what sort of claims were the proponents making?

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Triangle_Man » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:46 am UTC

Huzzah for progessive society.

I mean, it only makes sense to allow Homosexual Marrages, right?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:48 am UTC

As much as I support same-sex marriage, it seems kinda un-democratic to have a referendum on an issue, and then go 'jeesh you guys don't think how we want you to, lets set it the way WE want it'


That's not what happened. The judges didn't overturn this because their political views differed, or even because they found it immoral, but because they found it unconstitutional. This decision was just and in no way undemocratic.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Kyrn » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:55 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
As much as I support same-sex marriage, it seems kinda un-democratic to have a referendum on an issue, and then go 'jeesh you guys don't think how we want you to, lets set it the way WE want it'


That's not what happened. The judges didn't overturn this because their political views differed, or even because they found it immoral, but because they found it unconstitutional. This was a completely democratic and just motion.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:59 am UTC

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:Out of curiosity (yet not enough curiosity to go reading court transcripts), what sort of claims were the proponents making?

I'm not in the mood for summarizing, but the decision itself summarizes those claims. The transcripts are thousands of pages long, so you have good reason not to want to go digging there.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:01 am UTC

Kyrn wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
As much as I support same-sex marriage, it seems kinda un-democratic to have a referendum on an issue, and then go 'jeesh you guys don't think how we want you to, lets set it the way WE want it'


That's not what happened. The judges didn't overturn this because their political views differed, or even because they found it immoral, but because they found it unconstitutional. This was a completely democratic and just motion.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


Yeah, I know. What I was trying to get at was that it wasn't undemocratic. Probably should have worded that better. Allow me to edit..
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Singulaire » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:03 am UTC

I rejoice! 'tis a victory for freedom, over fear and a relic of a belief system.
Is it really illegal for siblings to marry? That seems wrong to me.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby PeterCai » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:11 am UTC

Singulaire wrote:I rejoice! 'tis a victory for freedom, over fear and a relic of a belief system.
Is it really illegal for siblings to marry? That seems wrong to me.


father/son incest ftw?

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Marbas » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:18 am UTC

Hey, that's my birthday!

Fuck yes.

Best. Birthday present. Ever.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Kyrn » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:18 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:
Singulaire wrote:I rejoice! 'tis a victory for freedom, over fear and a relic of a belief system.
Is it really illegal for siblings to marry? That seems wrong to me.


father/son incest ftw?

On a random offnote, I wonder if it would be illegal if it was a stepchild/stepparent relationship (assuming legal age)..
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Opinions discussed are not necessarily the opinions of the people discussing them.

BattleMoose
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:42 am UTC

Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:46 am UTC

Jedidawn wrote:As much as I support same-sex marriage, it seems kinda un-democratic to have a referendum on an issue, and then go 'jeesh you guys don't think how we want you to, lets set it the way WE want it'


One of the most important aspects of any democracy are universal human rights for its citizens, which is protected by its constitution, this is perhaps only secondary, in importance, (debatable) to the right of citizens to elect their government. Such human rights and freedoms cannot be voted out by popular opinion of the electorate, indeed attempting to do so is amazingly undemocratic.

Also, Hooray!

Kyrn
Posts: 937
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:55 pm UTC
Location: The Internet

Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Kyrn » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:01 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Jedidawn wrote:As much as I support same-sex marriage, it seems kinda un-democratic to have a referendum on an issue, and then go 'jeesh you guys don't think how we want you to, lets set it the way WE want it'


One of the most important aspects of any democracy are universal human rights for its citizens, which is protected by its constitution, this is perhaps only secondary, in importance, (debatable) to the right of citizens to elect their government. Such human rights and freedoms cannot be voted out by popular opinion of the electorate, indeed attempting to do so is amazingly undemocratic.

Also, Hooray!

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
I am NOT a snake.

Opinions discussed are not necessarily the opinions of the people discussing them.


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