The governor of Maine signed into a law today a bill legalizing gay marriage. Maine became the fifth state to approve same-sex nuptials, following Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont. The California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage last year, but state voters overruled that decision when they approved Proposition 8 in the November election. Maine's new law also likely will face a statewide referendum, although its outcome is uncertain because the state's elected legislature and its elected governor have now both approved of gay marriage.
In a story that's sure to catch the eye of Fox News blowhards, the College of Alameda and the Peralta Community College District are being sued by two students who were disciplined for praying in school, according to the Trib and the Chron. The college should have apologized long ago for this stupid incident. The two students were merely praying for a sick teacher that's hardly a reason to discipline them. Instead, the college has allowed the case to fester in the courts and now it's likely going to become a national incident. You can see the headlines now: "College in Liberal Bay Area Punishes Students For Praying." Thanks, Peralta.
Vermont has become the fourth state in the nation to legalize gay marriage. And this time, it wasn't done by a court, but by the state's legislature. It overrode a veto by its bigoted governor. The legislature's move makes gay marriage an even stronger institution in Vermont than in Iowa, where it won approval last week by that state's Supreme Court in a sweeping unanimous decision. California gay marriage activists now have a clear road if the state Supreme Court upholds Prop. 8 as expected, then they have to mount another ballot measure campaign. It's clear that the tide of discrimination against gays is finally turning.
A new Field Poll shows that nearly half of the state's voters still want to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry. The new poll nearly mirrors the result of the November election in which 52 percent of state voters approved Prop. 8, thereby outlawing gay marriage. The poll is also not good news for gay-marriage supporters who plan to mount another ballot initiative campaign if the state Supreme Court decides to uphold Prop. 8 - as it's expected to do.
Jerry Brown got a lot of accolades for his opposition to Proposition 8 , the anti-gay-marriage initiative (including some from us), but it was clear from today's historic state Supreme Court hearing that the attorney general did more harm than good. Today's hearing, in fact, makes one wonder whether Brown inserted himself into the Prop. 8 fight for purely political reasons.
It looks like the state Supreme Court is on its way to upholding Proposition 8, thereby keeping gay marriage illegal. The key to today's historic hearing was Justice Joyce Kennard, one of the four justices who voted last year to legalize same-sex marriage. It was clear from today's hearing that Kennard intends to uphold Prop.8 and bow to the majority of voters who voted for it. That means gay marriage supporters have to hope that one of the justices who voted last year against gay marriage will switch his or her vote -- an unlikely scenario. It looks like state-sanctioned discrimination will win the day.
The much-anticipated showdown over gay marriage in front of the state Supreme Court is now only hours away. The live telecast of the historic hearing is set for 9 a.m. Thursday. In most East Bay locations, it will be broadcast on cable channels 26 or 78. Or, you can watch streamed live on calchannel.com. So, will the Supremes bow to the will of the people and uphold Prop. 8, thereby keeping gay marriage illegal? Or will the court do the right thing, and overturn the measure, and reinstate its historic ruling from last year, legalizing same-sex nuptials?
Hey, did you know that when you die, your gross corpse has gotta be booted out of Berkeley pronto? That, in fact, a city law bans keeping the dead in town? Neither did we. Well, that's about to change, as the Planning Commission has approved an amendment to a 1910 law that prohibits the depositing of human remains within city limits. Now, a North Berkeley church can build a columbarium next to a Native American mediation space. Take that, Chapel of the Chimes! Personally, we're still going with burial at sea.
Here's one for the "wtf?" files. Oakland's Community Bank of the Bay has apologized to one of its Muslim customers for refusing to serve her until she took off her headscarf. According to the Trib, the bank has a "no hats" policy to discourage robbers who might want to disguise themselves, and that extended even to hijabs worn for religious reasons. The woman promptly emptied her account and called the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the bank apologized and promised to apply its security policy with more discretion. Here's the weird thing: the Community Bank of the Bay was explicitly set up to provide microlending to nonprofits and low-income customers who can't get access to credit elsewhere. And yet they have a problem like this? Go figure.
The Prop. 8 dishonor role, courtesy of Californians Against Hate. It's a list of all donors to the Yes on 8 campaign who contributed more than $5,000. They are the funders of discrimination. Some pro-gay marriage folks are using the list to boycott the donors and their businesses. Below is a list of East Bay donors who contributed at least $5,000, according to Californians Against Hate and the Secretary of State's Office:
Wilma Thomas, Dublin, CA $32,500 on 9/10/08
David Christensen, Alamo, CA Nearon Enterprises, Executive500 La Gonda Way, Suite 210, Danville, CA 94526 * $30,000 Gave: $5,000 on 8/11/08 and $25,000 on 9/2/08
Richard & Doreen S. Kopf, Alamo, CA Fremont Group Management, LP, Attorney $25,000 Richard Kopf, Managing Director-Operations, General Counsel and Secretary with Fremont Group Management, LP gave: $12,500 on 8/29/08; Doreen Kopf gave: $12,500 on 8/29/08
Robert N. Packer, Lafayette, CA $25,000 on 8/15/08
Sarah P. Harris, Danville, CA $25,000 on 8/8/08
Alan L. Olsen, Fremont, CA Groco, CPA $25,000 on 9/11/08
William C. Wilcox, Danville, CA $25,000 on 9/5/08
Jana L. Mullen, Alamo, CA $25,000 on 9/18/08
Joanne McColm, Pleasanton, CA $25,000 on 9/10/08
Lorenzo N. Hoopes, Oakland, CA $25,000 on 9/24/08
Robert E. Culbertson, Pleasanton, CA BAE Systems, Electrical Engineer $25,000 on 9/17/08
Marc Barkdull, Pleasanton, CA PJMB Commercial, Inc., Real Estate $22,500 on 9/15/08
Gail A. Sonne, Dublin, CA $20,000 on 9/18/08
James Pergrossi, Pleasanton, CA $10,180 on 8/18/08
R. Jean Taylor, Alamo, CA Retired $10,000 on 9/9/08
Barbara Lee, Walnut Creek, CA $10,000 on 8/11/08
Brian B. Blatter, DDS, Concord, CA $10,000 on 8/8/08
Gwenn H. Webb, Pleasanton, CA $10,000 on 8/29/08
Susan Lathrop, Fremont, CA $9,900 on 8/11/08
Heather B. Callister, Martinez, CA $9,000 on 9/2/08
V. Lance Littlejohn, Alamo, CA West Coast Novelty Corporation, Manager $8,000 on 9/8/08
Christine Cooper, Dublin, CA $6,000 on 9/8/08
D. Walton, Walnut Creek, CA Doneu Hall APLC, Attorney $5,000 on 8/8/08
David C. Van Blerkom, Danville, CA Inflective Asset Mgmt, Investment Manager $5,000 on 9/2/08
David Christensen, Danville, CA Gartner, Inc, Analyst $5,000 on 8/25/08
Dayna D. Bain, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 9/2/08
Debra A. Hawkes, Pittsburg, CA Contra Costa County, Registered Nurse $5,000 on 9/2/08
Delone Bailey, Alamo, CA $5,000 on 9/5/08
Douglas Barton, Walnut Creek, CA Deloitte & Touche, Accountant $5,000 on 8/8/08
Jani Stone, Danville, CA $5,000 on 8/21/08
Jo Anne Gardner, Clayton, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
John Blatter, Danville, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
Julie Schull, Pleasanton, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
Kay Bohne, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
Keith Bradburn, Concord, CA Dr. Randall Gardner, DDS, Dentist $5,000 on 8/25/08
Krystalyn Judd, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
Larry Wilson, Alamo, CA $5,000 on 8/20/08
Linda S. Doll, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 8/14/08
Sherman L. Doll, Walnut Creek, CA Capital Performance Advisors, Consultant $5,000 on 8/14/08
Luann Warren, Livermore, CA Warren Associates, CFO $5,000 on 8/25/08
Michael Peterson, Danville, CA Pascal Mgmt, Financial Services $5,000 on 8/18/08
Nancy F. Lockhart, Piedmont, CA $5,000 on 9/2/08
Paul Larson, Pleasanton, CA P D Larson Co., Construction $5,000 on 8/21/08
Ralph Severson, Orinda, CA $5,000 on 8/25/08
Richard Chapman, Walnut Creek, CA JES Engineering, Owner $5,000 on 8/8/08
Richard D. Cardall, Walnut Creek, CA Transamerica Capital Management, Sales Management $5,000 on 8/8/08
Robert Blazer, Pleasanton, CA Validity Sensors, Manager $5,000 on 8/18/08
Terry Lloyd, Walnut Creek, CA Terry Lloyd, CPA, Analyst $5,000 on 8/27/08
Thalia M. Cutt, Concord, CA $5,000 on 8/21/08
Janelle A. Palmer, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 9/15/08
Judith Wagner, Alamo, CA Retired $5,000 on 9/9/08