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California Supreme Court outlaws gay marriage sparking outrage among liberals


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California Supreme Court outlaws gay marriage sparking outrage among liberals


By Mail Foreign Service

Last updated at 9:15 PM on 26th May 2009




California's top court has backed the will of the people as expressed in a referendum and banned gay marriage.

The ruling came as a major blow to California’s much-vaunted reputation as a liberal trendsetter.

It was hailed as a victory for democracy by conservatives who praised California’s Supreme Court justices for backing the voice of the people.


article-1188164-05190762000005DC-691_468x311.jpg Anger: Protesters comfort each other after hearing that judges had upheld a ban on gay marriage in California



The justices overwhelmingly decided by a six-to-one majority to uphold the result of the referendum vote in California six months ago in favour of a law defining marriage in the state as being only ‘between a man and a woman.’

But the decision sparked a flurry of national protests by gay advocates who blasted the ban as an attack on their civil rights.

Thousands of placard-waving gay campaigners yelling 'shame on you' gathered to protest this evening outside the Supreme Court in San Francisco after the decision was announced.

Five states – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine and Iowa – already have legalised same-sex unions.

But the impetus of the pro-gay marriage campaign came to a screeching halt in California last November when the majority of voters sided with conservatives lobbying for a ban.


article-1188164-0204B6860000044D-811_468x531.jpg Portia de Rossi, left, and Ellen Degeneres wed last year after a state Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal



A 52 to 48 per cent vote to block gay marriages overturned a state Supreme Court decision to rule them legal just five months earlier.

Among the same-sex couples who rushed to get married in the interim last year were American talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres and former Ally McBeal star Portia de Rossi.

Former 'Star Trek' actor George Takei also married his partner, Brad Altman, during California's so-called 'summer of love.'

Offering some solace to the 18,000 gay couples legally wed before last November’s election, the Supreme Court justices said yesterday that they would allow those marriages to stand.

That did little to defuse the anger of gay activists who argued that the majority should not be allowed to vote away the civil rights of a minority.

The heated debate even spilled over into the Miss USA beauty contest in April when Miss California Carrie Prejean was asked about her views on same sex marriages by one of the judges.

article-1188164-02A3D93900000578-519_233x423.jpg Star Trek actor George Takei and partner Brad Altman


Her answer that she believed marriage should be between a man and a woman stirred up a storm of controversy, with the homosexual judge who asked the question, internet celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, claiming her anti-gay marriage views cost her the Miss USA crown.


Miss Prejean, 22, became an instant celebrity in the US following the furore and appeared in a nationwide advert opposing same sex unions for the National Organisation for Marriage.


California has an unusually strong direct democracy.


Voters can decide virtually any issue through proposals put to the public vote and state constitutional amendments, such as the gay marriage ban. It was Proposition 8 when passed in November after being put on the ballot papers for the presidential election.

The Supreme Court justices maintained yesterday that the will of the people as expressed by the referendum is sacrosanct in the state.

In an opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald George, the court ruled the November initiative was not an illegal revision to the state constitution, as gay rights lawyers had claimed. They also decided against an argument that the vote was unconstitutional because it took away an inalienable right.

The ruling came after three months of deliberation and nearly a year after the court struck down state laws that banned gay marriages.

At that time, the justices deemed that the same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional and that the unions were a ‘basic civil right.’


Demonstrations by gay activists were planned in 90 cities across the US last night, with fears that some could turn violent. But yesterday’s decision left protesters with few immediate options.

The Supreme Court appeal effectively exhausted legal avenues. The pro same-sex lobby is unlikely to turn to the US Supreme Court to challenge the decision because it is seen as a state-by-state issue rather than an amendment to the US Constitution.

article-1188164-0518FFF0000005DC-566_233x407.jpg Eric Manriquez, left, and his partner Juan Rivera, comfort each other after hearing the decision


So now both sides are gearing up for a new clash in 2010, when gay campaigners plan to force another statewide vote on the issue.

More than 40 states explicitly ban gay marriage, although a handful of others, including New York and New Hampshire, have made headway in making them legal.

But California was always seen as a liberal beacon in America’s culture wars and the unexpected failure to defeat Proposition 8 at the ballot box has still left supporters stunned.

‘Here in California, we think of ourselves as more progressive than Iowa, ‘said Molly McKay, of Marriage Equity USA.

‘It’s already the law of the land in the heartland and the East Coast is now quantum leaps ahead of us. It’s like, ‘Wait a minute, this is California! What the heck is going on?’’ '


Yesterday’s decision was the latest chapter in what has become a lengthy battle over same-sex marriage in California.

The issue gained international attention in 2004 when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom gave the go-ahead for marriage licences to be granted to gays and lesbians.

California’s lower courts later nullified the unions, saying the city lacked the authority to grant the marriages.

But the seven-member state Supreme Court provided that authority with its landmark ruling last May saying it could find no compelling interest in denying gay marriages, only for the decision to be overturned at the ballot box last November.

The latest appeal was always seen as a long shot, but gay marriage advocates captured a wide array of support in recent months from civil rights groups, legal scholars and even some churches.

The majority of churches and religious organisations supported the same-sex marriage ban.

article-1188164-051717AC000005DC-371_468x286.jpg Decision: People who support gay marriage gathered at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California, on the eve of a decision by the Supreme Court

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Amazing. We live in a country where it is legal to murder a baby but it's illegal to marry someone of the same sex.


Typically people who support gay marriage also support a "woman's right to choose", but I think you and I are among the incredibly tiny minority who think abortion is wrong and gay marriage is OK.


But yeah, the court's decision is entirely illogical, as usual. Democracy is tyranny of the majority.

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Typically people who support gay marriage also support a "woman's right to choose", but I think you and I are among the incredibly tiny minority who think abortion is wrong and gay marriage is OK.


But yeah, the court's decision is entirely illogical, as usual. Democracy is tyranny of the majority.

I am in a very small minority. Not many liberals are as Pro-Life as me.


This is so stupid, I don't see why it's anyone elses business if 2 people of the same sex want to get married:veryangry2::veryangry2:

Because if you allow it you'll burn in hell!! :stunned:



Didn't you read the Bible?

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