Monday, July 15, 2013

Around The Nation

The latest effort to re-litigate California's Prop 8
By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON -- Arguing that the right of same-sex couples to get married in California actually exists in only the two counties affected by the Proposition 8 legal case and not in California's fifty-eight other counties, supporters of Prop 8 asked the state's Supreme Court Friday to issue an order to block further marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
According to attorney's for Protect Marriage and Yes on 8, the sponsors of Prop 8, California Governor Jerry Brown lacked the authority to order all county clerks to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples because he relied on a ruling that granted marital rights to only two couples.
"Executive officials have attacked, failed to enforce and undermined state laws affirming traditional marriage," said attorneys with Protect Marriage, which sponsored Prop. 8, and Alliance Defending Freedom, another conservative Christian organization.
This lawsuit had been expected since the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the “Proposition 8″ backers did not have a right to be in federal court to defend their measure last month. 
Instead of returning to lower federal courts, they chose to go to the state’s Supreme Court, arguing that that tribunal is the only one that can now provide a remedy for their support of “Proposition 8.”   The state’s highest court had ruled earlier that they had the legal right to become defenders of the measure when state officials refused to do so.
In the new ninety-two-page filing in Hollingsworth v. O’Connell, the proponents argued that the August 2010 decision by a federal judge in San Francisco striking down “Proposition 8″ only applied, legally, to the two couples who had pursued the court challenge.  Both of those couples have now been married.   Thus, the petition contended, not one of the state’s fifty-eight county clerks — the officers who grant marriage licenses — had authority to ignore the “Proposition 8″ ban for any other couples.
As a fallback argument, however, the petition asserted that the 2010 injunction against the measure only applied to county clerks in the two counties directly  involved in the lawsuit:  Alameda and Los Angeles Counties.  So, as an alternative argument, the petition asked the California Supreme Court to issue orders to at least the other fifty-six county clerks to continue enforcing the ban written into the state constitution by California voters.
Their plea for enforcement is based upon another provision in the state constitution which says that state officials must continue enforcing a state law that has been challenged until it has been found invalid by an appeals court.  The one appeals court that has ruled on the validity of “Proposition 8″ — the Ninth Circuit Court, which struck it down — has now been found by the Supreme Court’s decision not to have authority to have ruled on the measure because its sponsors lacked “standing” to defend it in a federal appeal. 
Speaking with a unified voice against the legal effort, overwhelmingly a majority of those who commented on various news sites are against this latest developmental and place the blame on religious zealotry. [ Select Random Comments from the San Francisco Chronicle]
When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity; when many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.
If these people were the Christians they purport themselves to be, they would have used the millions they've spent trying to interfere with other people's civil rights on something useful, like feeding the poor or helping Habitat for Humanity in their mission. They should quit calling themselves Christians, because there is a huge gulf between what Christ taught and their petty, hateful beliefs.
Good people aren't necessarily Christian and "Christians" aren't necessarily good people. (note that I have it in quotation marks) Those who claim to be Christian, however, should read beyond the Old Testament to what Christ taught. (Christian = followers of Christ, right?) All are qualities that would make for a better society, such as charity, compassion, kindness and tolerance.
All that hating, I can't imagine wasting so much energy on trying to ruin another persons happiness. Miserable. As with anything nowadays where a god is supposedly the guiding for some, extremists have taken over. Is it any wonder that throughout history..periodically..these mutants are the cause for much unrest..needless commotion..and..when they get really extreme pushing their god's agenda of goodness tolerance and compassion..killing other people in his name.
I bet these Right-Wing Christians don't realize that the oft-quoted Leviticus passages were not written by God. These are called the Holiness Code were written by Jewish Elders in order to separate their people from their captors, the Babylonians. Let's not forget this code includes banning the eating of shellfish, wearing blending fabrics.
Polls consistently report that 30-40% of Americans self-describe themselves as "born again" or "evangelical," and report their belief that all of the Bible is literally true and that Biblical prophecies set forth a specific sequence of end-times events, likely to occur within their lifetimes. Their leaders control both the vast Christian broadcasting movement and much of the Republican Party at the precinct and state level. 
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life estimates that groups representing these citizens spend about $390 million each year to lobby the government to impose their religion-based agenda making the Orwellian argument that their own religious freedom requires the rest of American society to live their lives in accordance with the dictates of their so called Christian religious beliefs. This strain of Christian fundamentalism is not disappearing and, despite the recent successes of the marriage equality movement, in great swaths of the country they are winning the "culture war" they have fought for 30 years.
Although the "culture war" debate centers on abortion, contraception, gay rights, school prayer, creationism, and what are often referred to as "social issues," the primary agenda of the Christian fundamentalist movement is political. Americans living in cities and states where the evangelical influence is minimal consistently underestimate both the ambitions and power of the religious right.
One observation noted:
We need to wake up and pay attention: for those of us who value civil liberties and the separation of church and state, the most serious mistake we could make would be to think that it can't happen here.
Our Founding Fathers knew how dangerous theocracies could be. They gave us a constitutional democracy in large part to protect minorities from the yearnings of a religious majority.....their design of a secular state, with no religious belief receiving preference over any other, should be celebrated common ground for all Americans, whether conservative or liberal, religious or secular. and so on.
UPDATE: The California Supreme Court Monday refused to stop same-sex weddings while it is considering a legal bid to revive Proposition 8. The court rejected a request by ProtectMarriage, the sponsors of the 2008 ballot measure, to halt the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples while considering the group’s contention that a federal judge’s injunction against the ban did not apply statewide. The court is not expected to rule on the group’s petition until August at the earliest.