The state Supreme Court has decided to keep same-sex marriage illegal in California in a long-awaited ruling upholding Proposition 8. The court voted 6-1. But the court also ruled that the 18,000 gay marriages performed last year are still valid. In other words, if you were among those who took advantage of last year's window when same-sex nuptials were legal in California, then your marriage is still valid. If not, then the state can legally discriminate against you.
The Supreme Court is set to announce today its decision on whether to re-legalize gay marriage in California. Gays and lesbians were allowed to marry for several months last year until state voters approved Prop. 8, the anti-same-sex marriage initiative. The court today will decide whether Prop. 8, itself, was legal. Gay marriage supporters argue that Prop. 8 was an unlawful revision of the state constitution, but at a hearing earlier this year, the high court appeared to disagree. Since that hearing, however, three more states have legalized gay marriage, Iowa, Maine, and Vermont, thereby giving same-sex marriage backers a little bit of hope. The justices also will decide the fate of about 18,000 marriages involving gay couples last year before Prop. 8 passed.
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.