Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 28, 2013

Same-sex marriage backers hail court ruling

Santa Clara County awaits guidance before issuing licenses to gay couples

by Chris Kenrick

Backers of same-sex marriage celebrated Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court rulings clearing the way for issuance of marriage licenses to gay couples in California.

But it could be days or weeks — probably at least 25 days — before the legal dust settles and gay marriages resume here.

In separate decisions, the high court ruled unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act's denial of federal benefits to married same-sex couples and said defenders of a 2008 California proposition defining marriage as "between a man and a woman" lacked standing to make their case.

The Santa Clara County Clerk's Office said it was waiting for a go-ahead from county lawyers before issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Gov. Jerry Brown said the effect of the ruling is that the 2010 federal district court's decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional is left intact and the proposition cannot be enforced.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris said all 58 counties in the state must now recognize the right of same-sex couples to legally marry. Harris asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to lift its stay on the 2010 district-court ruling and allow same-sex marriages to take place.

It was speculated that the Ninth Circuit would wait 25 days to lift its stay on the 2010 ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker — the period in which petitioners technically can seek a rehearing before the Supreme Court.

In Palo Alto, the Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern of the Unitarian Universalist Church had promised to offer free weddings for one day should the court rule against Proposition 8.

Morgenstern is out of the country until July 23 but will likely offer the weddings when she returns, a church staff member said Wednesday morning.

Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, who married his partner of 26 years, Dennis McShane, in 2008, said he welcomed the Supreme Court rulings.

"Marriage equality has been a priority and a dream of the LGBT community for decades," said Gordon, who chairs California's Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus.

"Today, with the Supreme Court's announcements, we are realizing that dream and we now celebrate equal marriage rights for all Californians.

"We must also remember that our work is not yet done. Only 13 states and the District of Columbia have achieved the dream," Gordon said.

"However, public opinion is rapidly changing," he continued, citing the legalization of gay marriage in Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota in May and a poll that showed support of a majority of Americans.

"With momentum on our side, we will not rest until every American can exercise their right to marry who they love," he said.

U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, also praised the decisions.

"Today, the decisions of the Supreme Court make real the words and promise of our constitution by striking down unfair barriers for same-sex couples and returning marriage equality to California," Eshoo said.

"Now the fullness of our constitution reaches into the lives of millions of Americans, making our nation a more perfect union."

Supporters of California's Proposition 8 said that the ruling, which was made on the basis of standing rather than the court's stance on the broader issue, "does not directly resolve questions about the scope of the (Ninth Circuit) trial court's order against Prop. 8."

"We will continue to defend Prop. 8 and seek its enforcement until such time as there is a binding statewide order that renders Prop. 8 unenforceable," said Andy Pugno, general counsel for the Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund.

Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at ckenrick@paweekly.com.

Comments

Posted by Yipee!, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 26, 2013 at 10:17 am

No surprise. You can't base a legal argument on what your religious book of choice says. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by j'equality, a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 26, 2013 at 10:21 am

They had no standing.

Maybe the out-of-state Mo's will run another [portion removed] proposition, dump another ten million into bamboozling Californians about facts.

Think they'll win this time?

Me neither.


Posted by Gethin, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 26, 2013 at 11:08 am

An excellent decision from the Supreme Court


Posted by businessdecision, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2013 at 11:23 am

Haters? Here we have it once again, that people who are opposed to gay marriage hate homosexuals. Interesting.

No thought given to the possibility that some people opposed to gay marriage question whether marriage is a nice thing to inflict on gays.

How about giving some thought to that now?


Posted by parent, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 26, 2013 at 11:28 am

Now that it is the law of the land, can we stop calling it "gay marriage", as if that is a lesser kind of marriage. Just call it "marriage". Americans used to use the terms "black marriage" and "interracial marriage" to imply lesser types of marriages, but you don't hear those anymore.


Posted by National responses, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm

The local [portion removed] have all given up. We won't see nearly as much of them compared to a year or two ago when they were convinced they were 'right'. Now? Only tears.

One has to look to the twitterverse to find the truly wacko.

[Portion removed.]




Posted by Yipee2, a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Congratulations to all gay folks who would like to be able to marry. Agreed....gay marriage = marriage


Posted by businessdecision, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

You generalize, National responses


Posted by National responses, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Generalizing how? Like using Gohmert's words to show he's a fool kind of generalizing?

Guilty.


Posted by businessdecision, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Saying everybody's like that--

No, the really delicious thing about this whole issue was how it opened a door people really wanted opened - the door to talking about how much hatred there is in the breasts of backward people.

I am going to miss that!


Posted by The_Dudely_Lama, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm

To National Responses: +1 Well said.


Posted by Too Funny, a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 26, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Too funny! Maybe someone should finally tell the Palo Alto City Council and City Manager that they have been flying the LGBT (Gay Pride?) flag upside down for the past two months. Not that it matters, as the flag is not recognized by any federal or state law or statute. The flag was simply created by a San Francisco street vendor to make a buck off tourists. Oh well......


Posted by Lord Rochford, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

The only shame is that it took so very long!


Posted by Eileen Altman, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm

First Congregational Church of Palo Alto Web Link would be happy to work with any couple to arrange a ceremony that reflects your faith and your unique relationship to one another. Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here.


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Who is really smiling today?..... Divorce lawyers ;)


Posted by Not an issue, a resident of Community Center
on Jun 26, 2013 at 6:21 pm

This is a great day for California and the country. About time that this intolerance based on sexual orientation is removed.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm

The strong editing makes any discussion here futile!


Posted by businessdecision, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2013 at 7:27 am

It's true that nearly every blog is wrecked by the host.

I think maybe Not an Issue has the most stuff removed....


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2013 at 7:54 am

I have been looking into the history of marriage and found some interesting facts.

Prior to WW1, marrying for love almost never happened. Most marriages were for convenience, financial, security and property/power reasons, not for the idea of romantic love. Woman had so few rights that finding a husband was more often done by her parents for her future wellbeing and arranged marriages rarely took the feelings of the couple into account. A suitable husband had to be a good provider and a suitable wife was expected to be able to bear many healthy children. Only for second marriages (after the death of a wife in childbirth, for example) was the ability to look after children considered a required attribute of a suitable wife.

This happened in many cultures and literature and traditions reflect this. The traditional vows of "love, honor and obey" are because it was assumed that there was no love at the time of the wedding and that love would grow, therefore it had to be vowed. Reading classical literature, Shakespeare, Austen, Bronte and even Dickens show that marriages took place for economic reasons and love was often not considered to get married if the couple were not suitable in other ways. Romantic love was such an uncommon motive for marriage that some of the literature which included marrying for love became popular escapism rather than a reflection of life.

So it is very interesting to think about this very modern ideal of marrying for love rather than security and procreation.


Posted by Huckster, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 27, 2013 at 10:09 am

Why was the post about Huckabee's quote removed? It was factual, made by a national (albeit large and odd) figure.

Huck claimed Jesus wept.

He did.

Tears of joy.

That's what unabashed liberals who believe in equality and fighting for the oppressed (i.e. Jesus) do.


Posted by businessdecision, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Resident, thanks for your contribution.

Expect marriages of convenience NOW. Older people with wealth find themselves suddenly with more potential partners to choose from (personally I was hoping these changes wouldn't go through so I wouldn't face dilemmas). Thinking about your estate being able to pass to a spouse, and having a wider range of potential spouses to choose from...


Posted by businessdecision, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Come to think of it, marrying for love paved the way for
a) a very high divorce rate
b) gay marriage


Posted by businessdecision, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Come to think of it, marrying for love paved the way for
a) a very high divorce rate
b) gay marriage


Posted by Marriage, a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm

The big question, why does anyone want to get married? Not the greatest institution on planet earth. Better to be free to do your own thing, and not shackled to nagging, control freaks.

Congratulations!


Posted by Not an issue, a resident of Community Center
on Jun 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm

The court of appeals lifted the Injucntion-- gay marriage can proceed as of now. A great victory. Can't wait to see the reaction of huckabee and cordileone.


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