California to abolish marriage?

posted at 12:16 pm on March 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The back-and-forth over Proposition 8, which amended California’s constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, has generated plenty of debate, heat, and threats — and now a new initiative to change public policy on marriage altogether.  Attorney General Jerry Brown has submitted a referendum that would make California the first state in the nation to get entirely out of the marriage business [see update below].  If backers get enough signatures, any new marriages in the state would only get recognized as domestic-partnership contracts:

California same-sex “marriage” supporters are collecting signatures to support a ballot initiative that would remove civil marriage from California law entirely, as well as the provision codifying marriage as between a man and a woman.

The “Domestic Partnership Initiative” proposes to categorize all unions simply as “domestic partnerships,” while retaining all the rights of marriage for heterosexual couples, and extending them to homosexual couples.  According to the initiative’s summary, “Legally speaking, ‘Marriage’ itself would become a social ceremony, recognized by only non-governmental institutions.”

State Attorney General Jerry Brown submitted the official title and summary for the measure on Monday, about one week after opening arguments in lawsuits challenging Proposition 8, California’s true marriage amendment.

Brown realized after the state Supreme Court arguments over his challenge to Prop 8 that he had little chance of reversing it.  The justices seemed skeptical of Brown’s assertion that the citizens of the state could not amend the constitution through the referendum process without prior legislative approval, probably because the state has never challenged that right after previous successful initiatives.  That means that the only real suspense in the upcoming decision will be whether the state should recognize the 18,000 same-sex marriages certified by the state before Prop 8 passed.

The DPI is an interesting and provocative referendum that will force people to consider the role of government in social constructs and religious practices.  Those who argue that government has a duty to protect the sanctity of marriage will undoubtedly object, but that argument died on a pragmatic basis with no-fault divorce.  Though not all states have it, most do, and it demoted the marriage contract to the lowest rung in legal commitments by allowing one partner to break it at will with no consequences whatsoever.  On a philosophical basis, libertarians and some small-government conservatives would argue that “sanctity” is a religious/philosophical construct and not something for governments to enforce, anyway.

As a practical matter, eliminating marriage as a government sanction and forcing couples into partnership contracts would eliminate barriers to adoption and benefits for gay couples, at least in California.  It would also avoid the state-recognition issue that the Massachusetts Supreme Court created and which the Defense of Marriage Act attempted to pre-empt.  Since the couples would not have government-sanctioned “marriages”, other states would not have to recognize them as such, but the contracts would be enforceable anywhere in the US — probably a lot more enforceable than marriages are today.  Those who want to claim “marriage” could have that sanctioned by their religious organizations instead of relying on the state.

Most opposition to this will rest on adoption and the profound nature of changing the way society treats its foundational building block, the family.  In practice, DPI might not really change much anyway, since I believe California allows for private adoptions by singles and gay couples, and people are free to arrange their families in such manner anyway without government approval as “marriage” now.  However much the libertarian argument appeals to me — and it does — I have to wonder whether we gain much in taking such a step, and what we lose in comparison.

Update: An e-mailer reminds me of what I should have remembered in the first place:

Jerry Brown did not “submit” the initiative. He submitted the official title and summary of the measure. In California, citizen backed initiatives are first submitted to the Attorney General, who then is required by law to prepare an official title and summary of the measure which is to be used on the forms for petition gathering and also appears in the ballot pamphlet. There is an official time period in which the Attorney General has to generate the title and summary. So, the fact that the “title and summary” for this measure came out shortly after court arguments on Prop 8 is due to when the measure’s proponents filed the initiative and not to a scheme by Brown. Brown also “controversially” wrote the title and summary to Prop 8.

So it’s unfair to hang this on Brown, who is fulfilling his duties as AG.  My apologies to Mr. Brown.


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But I also thought, “Since a minority was finally elected president the Liberals and the minority racists will finally shut up.”

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 12, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Obama’s election has done a lot to take the microphone away from folks like Sharpton. Unfortunately, Obama’s big government vision counteracts some of that benefit. Hopefully, at some point racial preference programs become a thing of the past.

dedalus on March 12, 2009 at 7:01 PM

Crybabies.

Let’s see how they do as serfs in the coming Caliphate.

HondaV65 on March 12, 2009 at 7:10 PM

To all of you who believe removing the language of marriage from domestic partnership contracts would strip the institution of its meaning and cultural significance: why do we rely on the state to uphold our fundamental societal structures? If we are worried about the health of the institution of marriage, maybe we should be looking outside of the government and its laws for the source of that ailing condition… the sanctity of marriage is granted by our families and our faiths, and perhaps those are losing importance in American life. Putting our faith in the government to reinforce ailing social institutions gives over just as much power to the government as liberals who try to use the law to override the will of the people.
For a long time, the treatment of marriage was responsibly administered by the state. The state has now shown that it cannot be trusted to maintain the institute of marriage according to the values of many here. Why not lift marriage out of the hands of a meddling government, whose aims change with the winds of popularity and political correctness?

LockeFox on March 12, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Exactly!

Talismen on March 12, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Montana on March 12, 2009 at 2:08 PM

You’re absolutely right. Most Christians don’t even know about the war waged against them. In fact, most are useful idiots who’ve fallen victim to the sensuality and illiteracy cartels established by the Frankfurt School faculty and alumni. As the saying goes: a fish doesn’t know it’s wet.
1. Economic Marxism will not work in nations with a strong patriarchal systems (i.e. nations whose culture is based upon the Christian model of masculine and feminine roles).
2. The Marxists had to change tactics: Antonio Gramsci, György Lukács, among a few others, sought to develop Cultural Marxism based upon the pseudoscience of psychology. Their desire was to first undermine the Christian patriarch through use of state-run education, use of aesthetics in Hollywood and print, and the church itself (e.g. what they called the “long march through the institutions” and “cultural terrorism”).
3. At the same time, the feminists, whose roots also stem from Marxism, sought to “liberate” women from the protection of the Christian patriarchal system. We’ve seen how this has helped destroy the family structure in America. The purpose: like you say, for people to look to government to be their priest, prophet, provider, and protector as opposed to the Biblical model for the father.
4. This act, to potentially abolish marriage, is merely another stage in the Marxist shaping operations in preparation for achieving total control of this nation.
5. I see no reason why the Marxists won’t win. Americans, especially the Christians in this country, do not collectively have enough understanding of history, culture, and/or unconventional warfare to overcome what’s before us. In the end, our fellow citizens will ask for socialism.

Send_Me on March 12, 2009 at 7:21 PM

I know what I need to know”…and in essence they allow themselves to pick and choose what fits their desires.

Sounds like every Christian I know. If you aren’t a literalist or a fundamentalist, you fit this description.

maleman on March 12, 2009 at 7:26 PM

What happened to individuality? What happened to the power of the individual to make his or her life into what they wish it to be (within legal bounds)?
Talismen on March 12, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Please define “within legal bounds” for me. How are the “legal bounds” determined? What is the foundation of these “legal bounds”?

Send_Me on March 12, 2009 at 7:29 PM

(snip)

Americans, especially the Christians in this country, do not collectively have enough understanding of history, culture, and/or unconventional warfare to overcome what’s before us. In the end, our fellow citizens will ask for socialism.

Send_Me on March 12, 2009 at 7:21 PM

Quite a broad brush you’re using there.

One thing to remember: YOUR perception and understanding of YOUR religious beliefs will be, by default, different than someone else’s. We each have an individual relationship with our Lord and Savior, and it’s as individual as our DNA. It is ours, and no other’s.

What the writers of the Bible translated as “faith” is most often from the Greek “pistis,” which much more closely approximates “trust”. Trust is something that one gives of one’s own accord, for reasons generally known only to oneself.

Talismen on March 12, 2009 at 7:33 PM

A lot of emotion being generated.
To the Christians expressing themselves two thoughts
(1) “When you were in the world you lived as the world now that you are in Christ live as Christ.” This is repeated in at least 2 Epistles of Paul. If you are having difficulties with the Christian life given the help of the Holy Spirit, why are you trying to impose a standard of living on those of the world that even you can’t achieve. I repeat Pauls directive is that you live as Christ not the world. Remember Paul lived in Roman times which was far more sexually libertine than now and Marriages were performed by the various religious sects not the government. I will acknowledge that I haven’t found any support for Gay Marriage in Greek or Roman Culture which had very active Gay Communities. Those cultures were very accepting of Gay Behavior while Jewish and Christian groups forbid among their adherents.
(2) If marriage is returned to the Churches and the State gets out of it, then the divorce issues returns to Churches to determine rules as they see fit. This would be a win-win situation all around.
I myself am a 4 legged conservative. Social, Small government, fiscal and military. My vows to my wife of 37 years were made before God not before man.(yes I have a state issued marriage license but that is not why I have stayed married) It is my responsibility to Honor my word before God. The government can’t require or coerce such a level of honor for anyone not withstanding any piece of paper. The government may control the aspects of civil contracts within a union, but that has no bearing on the requirements of honoring my commitments to my wife. Remember Jesus said to Honor your word once given. No one forces you to make a vow to another person but once you do keep it
If we accept as we tacitly have Gay civil unions then as much as we may find polygamy repugnant we will have to hold our noses and live with them also.
Like some of the postings my major issue is that the argument isn’t about live and let live it is about one side or the other forcing their morals on the other. This would have to be clearly spelled out. If you want me as a Social Con to accept your right to live by your conscience then you (the gay community) need to accept my right across the board to live by my conscience. We can have reasoned arguments in the marketplace of ideas and agree to disagree and go our separate ways at the end. Fines imposed by the state on private groups for adhering to their conscience isn’t reasoned arguing it is using the force of the state to impose your cultural viewpoints (morals) on others.

chemman on March 12, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Please define “within legal bounds” for me. How are the “legal bounds” determined? What is the foundation of these “legal bounds”?

Send_Me on March 12, 2009 at 7:29 PM

My intention was to use the term in this context:

If a man and woman marry, and then decide that “making their life what they want it to be” would involve robbing banks…similar to the lives of Bonnie and Clyde….that is OUTSIDE legal bounds.

Talismen on March 12, 2009 at 7:36 PM

There is no reason for the state to regulate marriage. It should be a matter of contract. The contract can and should take religious considerations into account. The state should enforce those provisions. Especially in California and other lib states, religious institutions and practitioners would be way better off. Religious considerations are presently irrelevant. Misconduct? Who cares?

Parental rights will still be a matter for the court. But if the marriage contract ends up in the court’s general division, the family court can become part of the juvenile system and using custody to jockey for asset and alimony position should be less prevalent.

EconomicNeocon on March 12, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Who are half these people? Whenever there is a gay topic they just pour out of the woodwork on both sides. Do the regulars dare to enter the fray? Not today I’m off to watch the “Watchmen” so you guys have fun in here but keep it down. The sitter will be in the living room if you need anything.

DFCtomm on March 12, 2009 at 7:46 PM

1. I’ve seen a lot of arguments similar to this floating around:

SCOTUS has consistently told the states to back off when they’ve tried to restrict an individual’s desire to marry or have children.

SCOTUS was dead wrong to intervene on this point. They took the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and split it into Substantive DP and Procedural DP. What a farce! There may be a natural rights to marriage and child-bearing, but since when does the federal government get to enforce this? Leave it to the States, peeps!

2. I’ve also seen some hints of “equal protection” as it applies to gays. This, too, is dead wrong. Traditional marriage laws apply equally to everyone, it’s just that a gay man doesn’t take advantage of his right to marry a consenting adult woman. Naturally, SCOTUS also screwed this up in the Lawrence case, the same decision in which SCOTUS ruled that “morality” is not a legitimate state interest. Say what?!

3. Y’all don’t go there on Christianity. Too many folks have it all mixed up and probably should refrain from speaking on the topic, including some well-meaning believers. Christ recognized the importance of the Mosaic law, which in many respects was the “civil” or “human” law of Ancient Israel, and which provided for marriage/divorce. However, Christ also pointed to the divine/natural law best illustrated by the Creation story: “marriage” not as a contract, but as a covenant–something more permanent in nature.

In a fallen world such as our own, marriage as it was meant to be could not be sustained without enforcement by the state. This is just as true as any other contract/agreement. If we all kept our commitments, there would never be divorces or breaches of contract. As it is, the law must necessarily regulate the family unit when it comes undone.

4. Tax policy re: marriage and children is really not that unreasonable if you think about it. You’re simply permitting one spouse to work in the home and taxing the couple per capita, just as singles are taxed. Is anyone really suggesting that a married man with kids and a wife at home should be taxed the same on his income as a single man with no dependents?

Now, tell me this, why would we want to encourage gay couples to keep a wage-earner at home for no good reason? Seems we’d lose out on an otherwise productive member of society. And with our social welfare system racing toward bankruptcy, we could sure use a bigger workforce!

cackcon on March 12, 2009 at 7:46 PM

If backers get enough signatures, any new marriages in the state would only get recognized as domestic-partnership contracts:

No, Ed, that’s how California’s initiative process would work if it was implemented like Card Check.

We (the general electorate) still get to vote on it, since the signatures Brown is trying to gather are only sufficient to get it onto the ballot.

I’ll be careful not to sign anything over the next few months.

unclesmrgol on March 12, 2009 at 7:48 PM

I can’t wait for the “big one” to come to Cali.

Smart people of Cali, conservatives, people who believe in God… GET OUT NOW!

madmonkphotog on March 12, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Now, tell me this, why would we want to encourage gay couples to keep a wage-earner at home for no good reason? Seems we’d lose out on an otherwise productive member of society. And with our social welfare system racing toward bankruptcy, we could sure use a bigger workforce!

cackcon on March 12, 2009 at 7:46 PM

If the gay couple has kids, someone has to attend to them, drive them around, make sure they eat, brush their teeth and do their homework.

You are right that the Court may be finding emanations that weren’t originally there, but it is the law of the land until the current Court changes it and they probably won’t.

Re: Christianity. Christ did speak on divorce and defined it as adultery. It was a rare case of recorded disagreement with Mosaic law. Of course subsequently Paul and James would exempt non-Jewish Christians from much of Mosaic law.

dedalus on March 12, 2009 at 8:08 PM

There is no reason for the state to regulate marriage. It should be a matter of contract.

Amen to that!

Who are half these people?

I’m just new here :D

LockeFox on March 12, 2009 at 8:08 PM

chemman on March 12, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Very well said.

Disturb the Universe on March 12, 2009 at 8:51 PM

so this is how western civ dies eh?

angryed on March 12, 2009 at 8:57 PM

Is anyone really suggesting that a married man with kids and a wife at home should be taxed the same on his income as a single man with no dependents?

Ooooh ooohh ooohh me, me.

It is that man’s choice to have a wife and kid. It is also that wife’s choice not to work. Sorry but I don’t think it’s fair that I should have to subsidize that man and woman because they want to breed. You wanna have kids? Fine. Have away. But don’t expect me to pay for them.

angryed on March 12, 2009 at 9:01 PM

angryed

so you’re okay with not paying school taxes?

MNDavenotPC on March 12, 2009 at 9:13 PM

DFCtomm on March 12, 2009 at 7:46 PM

There’s only so many times one can argue the same subject. I had my fill of this topic long ago.

SouthernDem on March 12, 2009 at 9:14 PM

This is what they want! Once they’ve destroyed marriage, then they’ll move on to their next target: birth.
Then where will we be?
Sorry, but this conservative would be just fine with the gov out of the marriage business. Gay unions don’t affect my own any more than another couples adultery or divorce does.

Trent1289 on March 12, 2009 at 9:41 PM

After reading this I feel sick. Like an indigestion sort of feeling. These sore losers won’t give up. How can less than 4% of California get the Government to stick it’s head into something it shouldn’t? I thought separation of church and state worked both ways! I didn’t know the state could violate this but not the church!

FontanaConservative on March 12, 2009 at 10:27 PM

We really need to saw this state off the continent.
Either that or pray very hard for the “big one.”
California has become another country and one that I neither want to visit nor pay federal funding for.

Jenfidel on March 12, 2009 at 11:17 PM

Getting the state out of marriage is what should be. There should be contracts that clarify hospital visitation, inheritance, etc. This idea that you need a despicable organ like the state to give you some kind of blessing is nonsense. If you hold marriage in such a high regard why the hell would you want to cast your pearls among the swine that is the state? If it takes a pissing contest over gay marriage to achieve this who cares? Actually from a libertarian perspective this the most likely way that this would come about, two sides are so divided on how they want the state to intervene in their lives that they both take the pathetic toys home.

Personally I always thought of marriage as a sacrament and never knew why the homosexual community had such a big issue over semantics. I have said for a long time that if they really wanted gay marriage just form a sect of Christianity or whatever religion that accepts gay marriage and claim religious freedom.

Finally we need to eliminate tax breaks for married couples, it is discriminatory against single people who are at higher financial risk than married couples because if they lose employment the household just lost their total income. I have seen the 14th amendment perverted to mean everything under the sun, if there is anywhere that it is applicable it is the marriage tax break.

LevStrauss on March 12, 2009 at 11:35 PM

This is what they want! Once they’ve destroyed marriage, then they’ll move on to their next target: birth.
Then where will we be?
Sorry, but this conservative would be just fine with the gov out of the marriage business. Gay unions don’t affect my own any more than another couples adultery or divorce does.

Trent1289 on March 12, 2009 at 9:41 PM

The problem is that government is already deeply involved in every aspect of private life, never more so than today. Why should marriage be the only business they don’t have their hands in? And even if Congress and the President should decide, in some ridiculously uncharacteristic burst of libertarianism, to extract the government completely from the marriage business effective April 1st 2009, how long do you suppose they would stay out?

I’d like to see a whole lot less government social engineering than we have today, but seeing as how we just added another trillion dollars of it, we are unlikely to reach anything resembling a state of complete freedom from government in these areas, any time soon. I think one must also consider the aggressive nature of the militant gay movement, aligned with various other elements of “progressivism” that have a vested interest in destroying anything resembling the nuclear family. If married couples persuade the government to leave them alone now, it will only be back in a couple of years, tugged along by gay activists who have found another pretext for declaring some aspect of traditional family life unfair or exclusionary. (To the average, non-militant gay reader who might object to this and say the extremists don’t speak for him: oh, yes they do, and they will until you stop them.)

Of all the countless aspects of society government tries to engineer, traditional marriage is one of the most useful and productive. From a purely practical standpoint, leaving moral and religious considerations aside, it is by far the best environment for the raising of children – we have the shattered wreckage of various alternative lifestyles as empirical proof, including the sad truth that being raised in a single-parent home is one of the most reliable indicators of crime, drug abuse, and other pathologies. This should come as no surprise, because raising a child is immensely difficult – especially in an information-age society that makes parents acutely feel the loss of freedom, income, and leisure time when they have a child.

In an America of soaring taxes, expensive medicine, and wonderful technology that doesn’t come cheap, the decision to raise one child – let alone the two or three required to grow the population over replacement level – is an act of faith and love that defies the cold calculations of reason. It is a leap from the lion’s head that should be encouraged and honored, not treated as equivalent to signing a contract with your buddy to buy a fishing boat together. I am equally free to buy a lifetime subscription to “Hustler” or join the military and fight for my country, but one of those choices deserves far more respect than the other, and a healthy society recognizes that.

The family unit is the essential building block of a robust democracy: children to parents to clan to state to nation. A strong family is more likely to see itself as responsible for building a community and a nation, rather than wailing for the state to come and save them. We laugh at the people who were willing to go on TV or YouTube and beg Barack Obama to pay for their house, but in the generations before us, such people would have been viewed with scorn and disgust – in no small part because doing something like that cast shame upon your family. The strong families, and the sense of respect and honor they imparted, helped our grandfathers defeat the Axis without the help of any “community organizers,” and that was true of black and white families alike.

When a free man or woman stands before his fellow citizens, with his father and mother, and their fathers and mothers, behind him, his posture is different than someone who stands alone, and sees their name as just a collection of letters on their Social Security card. And the families that remain together have the strength to lend a hand to those who are not as fortunate. I can say from experience there’s no better feeling for a child of divorce than to be welcomed into the families of your friends.

So, that’s why I think marriage and families are important, and California once again flirts with the first steps down the road to civilizational suicide – a road that increasingly seems to be marked in bright red on all their maps.

Doctor Zero on March 12, 2009 at 11:50 PM

Let Cali be the great experiment in destroying society. It will be the lesson for those who pursue pure libertarianism as to why pure libertarianism does not work. I am sure many conservatives thought Roe wouldn’t be so bad either from a libertarian point of view. Sometimes we need to see the disaster of a thing in order to understand what is right.

NotCoach on March 12, 2009 at 11:52 PM

Very simple; this will also guarantee the legality of polygamy and community marriages, since it would be nothing to restrict multiple partners from being included (any attempt to do so wouldn’t stand court challenge).

Nice to know old-style Mormons and Muslims will again be able to have herds of wives (my great-grandmother was #3 of 4 in Utah) and those 60s-style communes can be codified that same as traditional marriage. I’m sure that will go over big with the voters; opponents need to make this clear.

Of course, I’ve always considered polygamy a self-punishing crime myself; kind of like suicide, only less severe.

michaelo on March 13, 2009 at 12:29 AM

I presume, if there are no marriages, there is no way to enforce a bigamy statute. How would you file a Federal tax form as married filing jointly if there is no marriage?
How would this change divorce laws? Would every partnership contract have its own unique provisions?

So many questions. No answers so far.

KW64 on March 13, 2009 at 12:35 AM

And I’m still looking for a logical differentiation between gay marriage and polygamy/communal marriages. Especially with polygamy having in-depth historical and religious precedence. One ‘discriminates’ based on gender, the other based on number.

I am not an advocate of any of the three ‘extensions’, but want to see the whole camel trying to get into the tent, not just the arse-end.

michaelo on March 13, 2009 at 12:37 AM

I am sure many conservatives thought Roe wouldn’t be so bad either from a libertarian point of view. Sometimes we need to see the disaster of a thing in order to understand what is right.

NotCoach on March 12, 2009 at 11:52 PM

Would those be the anti-federalist, pro-big-government, libertarian leaning conservatives?

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 12:37 AM

Nice to know old-style Mormons and Muslims will again be able to have herds of wives

Of course, I’ve always considered polygamy a self-punishing crime myself; kind of like suicide, only less severe.

michaelo on March 13, 2009 at 12:29 AM

As long as we live in a country where men and women can chose whom they marry, I think anyone stupid enough to want polygamy deserves their self-punishment…

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 12:40 AM

If you are having difficulties with the Christian life given the help of the Holy Spirit, why are you trying to impose a standard of living on those of the world that even you can’t achieve.

You seem to be saying that the only reason a Christian would attempt to impose a moral order on society is due to personal motives. I disagree.

Now is your chance to remake America as a libertarian, do-what-you-like, dope-smoking paraside. Good luck.

aengus on March 13, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Would those be the anti-federalist, pro-big-government, libertarian leaning conservatives?

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 12:37 AM

Probably.

NotCoach on March 13, 2009 at 1:16 AM

Now is your chance to remake America as a libertarian, do-what-you-like, dope-smoking paraside. Good luck.

aengus on March 13, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Yeah, because your multi BILLION dollar war on drugs worked out soooooo well.

If I wanted to get high, I know of three or four people I could call right now, and have somthing here within an hour…

If I wanted to live with multiple women… and sleep with em all, as long as they are consenting adults, the only thing I would NOT get is a tax break…

IF I was gay, I could live with my partner, and the only things that would be hard are insurance, which is government controled, some adoption, and tax rules…

Those realities already exist… people are yelling and screaming over meaningless labels.

Romeo13 on March 13, 2009 at 1:35 AM

Romeo13 on March 13, 2009 at 1:35 AM

These are not meaningless symbols, they are the backbone of our society. Yes, the war on drugs is a waste of dollars, but that does not mean drugs should be legal. Yes, you can whore yourself out, but that does not mean society should not disapprove. We destroy society by allowing ourselves to believe that nothing is bad and all things are permissible. There is no more shame and very little moral expectation left in this country. Please explain to me how this has improved our society.

Government backed marriage promotes a certain lifestyle over another and that is a good thing in my view. For one hundred years now we have been slowly destroying the family structure and its impact on society shows. We don’t need laws to try and stop you from being a whore. But some laws that promote a certain moral prerogative over others help to keep society strong.

NotCoach on March 13, 2009 at 1:50 AM

Brown also “controversially” wrote the title and summary to Prop 8.

Not to put a dent in the snarky joy of this reader, but Brown’s writing of the title and summary of Prop 8 was indeed controversial.

He took it on himself to reword the language that was approved by the voters, in what was, I do believe, an unprecedented action by an AG.

He changed the language from “Affirms that only the marriage of a man and a woman is valid and recognized in CA” to “Bans all same sex marriage in the state of CA.”

However you feel about the validity of the language, the fact of the matter is that the public approved the former, and it should have gone on the ballot as the former.

It still passed despite the resulting loss of votes (it polled higher phrased the first way), but Jerry Brown did and has done everything in his power to sabotage Prop 8.

He, as CA’s Attorney General, was supposed to defend the people’s vote on this matter against legal challenges, but again, in what I believe was unprecedented, he is standing against his own voters.

It is fortunate that the CA Supreme Court allowed ProtectMarriage.com, the sponsors of Prop 8, to intervene and argue on its behalf. You know, the job Jerry Brown just won’t do.

—————–

Now, with regards to this thing, I wonder the following:

1) Do community property rules still apply in a domestic partnership? Off the top of my head, I believe they do. I could be wrong.

2) Assuming CP does not still apply, will the same hardcore feminists who moonlight as gay marriage activists be so quick to support a measure that removes the right of the female to lay claim to 50% of all the assets purchased in a marriage?

Gotta love CA. This thing is going to be a battle here for years to come.

Hawkins1701 on March 13, 2009 at 1:57 AM

Would those be the anti-federalist, pro-big-government, libertarian leaning conservatives?

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 12:37 AM

Probably.

NotCoach on March 13, 2009 at 1:16 AM

Who fits in this category? It seems somewhat oxymoronic.

But some laws that promote a certain moral prerogative over others help to keep society strong.

NotCoach on March 13, 2009 at 1:50 AM

Applying the death penalty to adulterers would probably cut back on adultery. Yes this is extreme, but some societies apply this form of justice to keep their societies strong.

Here’s an example that’s not as extreme. Perhaps we should put all people in jail that use hate speech – whatever that definition may be. A society where people speak nicer to each other should be stronger, right?

Who sets the moral standard? The government?

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 2:02 AM

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 2:02 AM

Unfortunately you do not know how to read. I was quite clear in my post that I am opposed to laws that punish people for private behavior. I support laws that promote certain moral behavior. And it is society through government that sets the standard. That should be clear to you since we are quickly heading towards no standard when it comes to accepted norms while adopting a fascist view of speech regulation through such things as hate crime laws and the like.

NotCoach on March 13, 2009 at 2:16 AM

Who fits in this category? It seems somewhat oxymoronic.

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 2:02 AM

David Frum.

NotCoach on March 13, 2009 at 2:17 AM

NotCoach on March 13, 2009 at 2:17 AM

I’m not going to defend Frum (I think he would be classified a neoconservative), but I think it’s impossible to be a big-government libertarian leaning conservative… I did read your post about how the whore’s shouldn’t be punished by the government – I’m relieved.

I support laws that promote certain moral behavior.

What are these laws? Give us an example.

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 2:26 AM

*whores*

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 2:27 AM

What are these laws? Give us an example.

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 2:26 AM

The example is what this blog post is about. Marriage and how we define it legally.

NotCoach on March 13, 2009 at 2:49 AM

NotCoach on March 13, 2009 at 2:49 AM

So let me ask you the following. Do you trust the government to define marriage and yet not impose itself into individuals’ marriages?

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 3:02 AM

If yes, why do you have this trust?

Upstater85 on March 13, 2009 at 3:02 AM

WOW, BET NO ONE SAW THAT ONE COMING…..

AMERICAN VETERAN on March 13, 2009 at 3:20 AM

I think social conservatives need to start thinking along these lines, turn it on its head and put it to their advantage. I mean really, am I married because the effing government says I am? Beyond the financial contract (that can be so effectively broken)?

Anyhow, time to stop playing defense people. STOP LETTING THE LEFT FRAME THE DEBATE. FFS.

Security Mom on March 13, 2009 at 3:42 AM

Do the regulars dare to enter the fray?

DFCtomm on March 12, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Well okay sure. I’ve been here for a while, I guess I qualify as a regular.

Thing is, I trust individuals to decide what their own marriage is. If it’s got a lot of personal, religious, traditional or family significance then they know – morally – what they as individuals are supposed to do.

I want the government out of it. Let there be tax deductions for dependent minors, as there already are for parents and non-parental guardians.

If someone is a devout Catholic, for example, aren’t the religious factors the ones that matter anyway? The wedding Mass means a lot more than the signing of legal paperwork already. So have your huge party, become joined together in the eyes of God, declare to all and sundry your commitment to your marriage, and go forth and behave accordingly.

Sign a contract if that matters too. Or if you just want the contract without the other things then that’s up to you.

Marriage is really none of the government’s business.

Gilda on March 13, 2009 at 5:17 AM

Health care for spouses of federal employees looks like it will be the next battle. In the Times article Gary Bauer voiced criticism of a Court of Appeals decision overturning the federal government denial of benefits to gay couples. The court found the DOMA unconstitutional in this area. It could go to the Supreme Court or Obama could try to work around DOMA.

dedalus on March 13, 2009 at 10:07 AM

I am a Jedi.

MadisonConservative on March 12, 2009 at 2:17 PM

LOL! As an ‘old’ Star Wars fan, I salute you!

RegularJoe on March 12, 2009 at 3:00 PM

I agree. People have no tact or forward thinking these days.

Rambler on March 12, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Would be nice though if people didn’t talk out of their a$$e$ when they say something to someone, however.

Badger40 on March 13, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Whatever you might think of this proposal I’ve been suggesting it for over a decade to all who would listen.
 
Remove the term marriage from secular law. Make it exclusively the realm of religions. Substitute a new term for the secular equivalent of marriage; and, allow any two people who are stupid enough (or who have children) to contract for the new civil equivalent of marriage.
 
Children SHOULD have both a mother and a father who are responsible for their wellbeing. Lacking that they should have two adults responsible for them. Given today’s broken home situation I suspect it’s better to have two caring men or two caring women than only one as parents.
 
We already have laws against molestation and sexual predation against minors by anybody, including parents. So nominally the children are protected. And more of them will benefit from two parents than would suffer predation because the two parents are the same sex.
 
Put to rest the nonsense. Leave that for the churches and step out of their way in this regard.
 
{^_^}

herself on March 13, 2009 at 12:05 PM

And I’m still looking for a logical differentiation between gay marriage and polygamy/communal marriages. Especially with polygamy having in-depth historical and religious precedence. One ‘discriminates’ based on gender, the other based on number.

Don’t hold your breath here Michealo. I’ve made this same argument myself many times to gay marriage supporters and have yet to receive a consistant logic response. What’s really behind the gay marriage/polygamy inconsistancy is what I call the “ick factor”. As recently as a generation ago, the concept of gay marriage was laughable. For most people, it was just “icky” to think of people of the same sex marrying one another. Over time, mainly through the influence of the media and pop culture, the continuous portrayal of homosexuality as healthy and normal has diminished the feeling for most people that gay marriage is something icky. That’s not true of polygamy which has not been portrayed as normal in our culture, so that most people’s gut reaction is that polygamy is just “gross” or icky. What we’re dealing with now in our culture are emotional reactions to both gay marriage and polygamy, based on cultural conditioning. As you’ve pointed out, from a standpoint of reason and logic alone, it’s ridiculous to make an argument that one is a “right” but the other is not.

frank63 on March 13, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Only 4 pages? Come on you lightweights…thump a few more bibles or something.

This is the way to go – get gubmint out of the ‘marriage’ business entirely.

Hard to believe there’s some sense coming out of California

LimeyGeek on March 13, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Holy cow, even STRAIGHT people dont seem to understand marriage and why its important.

Encouraging marriage is one of the few things that government does well.

First, we encourage marriage because its incredibly beneficial to society. If you want to know what a country without marriage would look like, look at those communities where 70% of children are born outside of wedlock. Almost all if not ALL the problems in the black community (crime, poverty, low education, etc) are the direct result of children growing up in sinlge parent households.

If we want a country with vastly more children born out of wedlock, more crime, more dropouts, more illiteracy, more dependence on government, worse health, more violence, etc… then by all means, get government out of the marriage business. turn marriage into something that only “those crazy Bible-thumpers” do.

Anyone who thinks government should stop encouraging marriage in order to protect marriage is, frankly, an IDIOT!

American Elephant on October 24, 2009 at 8:53 PM

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