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SCOTUS Will Hear Gay Marriage Cases

But no decision until June
US News • Views: 20,263

Big Supreme Court news today, as SCOTUS decides to take on the issue of gay marriage. And they’re going after the big fish — California’s Proposition 8 ban and the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will take up California’s ban on same-sex marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.

The justices said Friday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban, though on narrow grounds. The San Francisco-based appeals court said the state could not take away the same-sex marriage right that had been granted by California’s Supreme Court.

The court also will decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay couples of federal benefits otherwise available to married people. A provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act limits a range of health and pension benefits, as well as favorable tax treatment, to heterosexual couples.

The cases probably will be argued in March, with decisions expected by late June.

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79 comments

1 aagcobb  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 1:29:50pm

Since the Prop 8 ruling is so closely based on Kennedy's opinion in Romer v. Evans, and I have a hard time imagining how you can justify the federal government treating some legal marriages as non-existent, I am cautiously optimistic.

2 Obdicut  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 1:32:03pm

I'm surprised. I figured they'd punt it. The most the conservatives can hope is another decade of gay repression.

3 kirkspencer  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 1:32:18pm

I am not looking forward to the circus.

I am also curious how much attention will focus on the fact 6 of the 9 justices are catholic -- and come to think of it, what the reaction will be when some archbishop implies a waiting excommunication for a wrong decision.

4 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 1:38:05pm

re: #3 kirkspencer

I am not looking forward to the circus.

I am also curious how much attention will focus on the fact 6 of the 9 justices are catholic -- and come to think of it, what the reaction will be when some archbishop implies a waiting excommunication for a wrong decision.

exommunictions are a joke. Doubt even Roberts worries about that. There is nothing the Church can do to him. NOTHING.

6 Jaerik  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 1:39:00pm

Would have preferred to let the lower court decision stand, allow gay marriage in CA by default, let a few more states demonstrate the undeniable momentum of history, and only then bring it to SCOTUS.

There's a non-zero risk of another Plessy v. Ferguson here. Scalia has already pre-announced that he is against gay rights as a no-brainer, meaning there's at least two, and likely four, votes against it right off the bat.

I would have faith in Kennedy, but his assertion in Citizens United that unrestrained anonymous contributions would not, in his own words, "lead to corruption or even the appearance of corruption," makes me think he's not particularly logically reliable anymore.

7 dragonath  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 1:51:39pm

re: #6 Jaerik

I would have faith in Kennedy, but his assertion in Citizens United that unrestrained anonymous contributions would not, in his own words, "lead to corruption or even the appearance of corruption," makes me think he's not particularly logically reliable anymore.

Speaking of which:

Newly elected members race to set up leadership PACs

Power is money. And it corrupts.

8 engineer cat  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 1:58:09pm

re: #5 dragonath

U.S. Patent Office Preliminarily Invalidates Apple's 'Steve Jobs Patent' on the iPhone

the patent office routinely denies the first version of any patent in about 98% of cases, pending revisions to the patent application to make the examiners happy

9 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 1:59:00pm
10 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:02:54pm

All I can say is "all men are created equal" means everyone that the government doesn't have a compelling reason to prevent from enjoying the freedoms that are delineated in the US Constitution. There is no social, medical, or scientific reasons for preventing LGBT marriages nor is there any compelling reason from preventing LGBT from garnering the same rights as others which are prevented in DOMA. Religious reasoning against both are invalid.

11 gwangung  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:04:32pm

re: #9 Charles Johnson

[Embedded content]

Gov. Jindal, weren't you the one complaining about volcano monitors? And aren't you supporting creationism?

Seems to me that you don't need any help at all in being called stupid....

12 engineer cat  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:05:47pm

o.t. technical question

if i have mysql or pl/sql code that returns a string result rather than change data in a sql database - how could i execute the code and see the returned value?

13 dragonath  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:06:00pm

re: #9 Charles Johnson

Yeah, I enjoy hearing him being called dumb and ignorant too.

14 wrenchwench  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:07:05pm

re: #9 Charles Johnson

[Embedded content]

...

Frank says:

Information is not knowledge,
Knowledge is not wisdom,
Wisdom is not truth,
Truth is not beauty,
Beauty is not love,
Love is not music
and Music is THE BEST.

And Bobby Jindal is tone-deaf.

15 Political Atheist  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:10:50pm

re: #3 kirkspencer

I would hope little to none. (Nun?)

16 Decatur Deb  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:12:43pm

re: #9 Charles Johnson

[Embedded content]

He was a Rhodes scholar, so can't hide behind 'dumb'. His crap is explained if he's a cynical SOB. (And possibly a bit crazy in choosing a YEC, do-it-yourself exorcist, shade of Catholicism.)

17 dragonath  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:14:04pm

Love the Buchanan-esque "elite" media dig. It's like the 90s all over again!

18 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:14:16pm
19 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:16:50pm

re: #4 Holidays are Family Fun Time

exommunictions are a joke. Doubt even Roberts worries about that. There is nothing the Church can do to him. NOTHING.

"Don't make me do it, don't make me pick up the Pope's GodPhone™ and tell God to banninate you from heaven forever!"

20 A Man for all Seasons  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:17:17pm

re: #12 engineer cat

o.t. technical question

if i have mysql or pl/sql code that returns a string result rather than change data in a sql database - how could i execute the code and see the returned value?

Maybe a tool called TOAD? Charles will know the answer

21 Lidane  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:19:34pm

There isn't a single valid legal argument against gay marriage. Not one.

I'm not going to hold my breath, but it would be awesome if SCOTUS struck down DOMA and Prop 8.

22 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:22:54pm

re: #12 engineer cat

If it's MySQL the most direct way is to use the mysql client program in a Linux terminal, and just type in the sql statement.

If you have phpmyadmin, you can use its SQL command.

23 Mark Winter  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:27:55pm

Marriage is not about sex but about love.
If 2 men or 2 women want to let society know that they love each other and want to be responsible for each other, what does this "take away" from a man and a woman who do the same?
As a heterosexual man I don't see the institution of marriage "threatened" by homosexual couples. Quite the contrary.
And to quote Thomas Jefferson: "It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

24 wrenchwench  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:29:33pm

I am told this is an oldie, but it's new to me.

Image: 399239_416050285134778_854092470_n.jpg

25 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:30:32pm

This is one of the articles that got Bobby Jindal's goat: The Fiscal Ignoramus Factor.

26 HappyWarrior  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:30:47pm

re: #9 Charles Johnson

[Embedded content]

When you act dumb, you will be called as much Bobby.

27 ReamWorks SKG  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:32:27pm

I was hoping they'd punt on CA's challenge, and let the lower courts ruling (overturning proposition 8) stand.

But I'm glad they're hearing the DCMA challenge. It's a big mess for people to be legally married in their state but not in the eyes of the Federal Government. I hope they fix that.

(Full disclosure! I was gay-married in California.)

28 Dancing along the light of day  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:33:51pm

re: #14 wrenchwench

Frank says

Diamonds on velvets on goldens on vixen
On comet & cupid on donner & blitzen
On up & away & afar & a go-go
Escape from the weight of your corporate logo!

29 HappyWarrior  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:34:02pm

I really hope SCOTUS does the right thing here. There is no reason why gay couples shouldn't be able to enjoy the same rights in marriage as straight couples. No reason at all. This really is the Roberts' court chance to separate it from the Rehnquist court.

30 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:37:02pm
31 wrenchwench  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:54:14pm
32 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:55:59pm

If you were following the latest flare-up of the gun rights debate over here:

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com...]

I just posted a comment with some important info about the Democratic state senator involved, showing that he's anything but a "gun-grabbing Dem" as Dark_Falcon described him. He's actually a moderate on gun control - has voted against some pro-gun bills but for others.

There's a concerted right wing smear campaign going on against Donne Trotter, based on a distorted fear-mongering caricature that he's "anti-gun."

33 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:56:33pm

Hmm...I am seeing a pattern here with Bryan Fischer's tweets, his links are always to questionable Right Wing sources. CNS, HotAir, Breitbart, American Thinker, PJMedia, FrontPageMag, ChristianPost, or some YouTube video of himself talking into the microphone.

I don't understand, how could his listeners ever get to be such misinformed and ignorant bigots when they have such a wealth of information right at their fingertips?

I am shocked, shocked I say!

///
sigh...

34 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:56:52pm
35 Obdicut  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:00:46pm

re: #34 Gus

Elders react to Psy:

36 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:01:34pm

re: #34 Gus

Update: In a statement Psy apologizes.

"As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song in question -- from eight years ago -- was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time," the statement read. "While I'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self I've learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words.

"I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months -- including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them -- and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology," the statement concluded. "While it's important we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that though music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology."

37 Obdicut  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:03:35pm

re: #36 Charles Johnson

That's a pretty classy-ass apology.

38 ReamWorks SKG  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:03:56pm

(I wrote DCMA instead of DOMA, but you all knew what I meant.)

39 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:05:28pm

re: #36 Charles Johnson

Update: In a statement Psy apologizes.

That'll sooth the Fox viewers nerves. //

40 jaunte  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:05:42pm

re: #9 Charles Johnson

[Link: twitter.com...]

He just doesn't get that flipping the economy into austerity suddenly is a bad idea.

41 Lidane  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:07:37pm

re: #36 Charles Johnson

Update: In a statement Psy apologizes.

ZOMG! Apology tour!

///

Kidding, of course. That's a classy statement.

42 ReamWorks SKG  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:14:37pm

I'm out of touch! I had to google to learn who Psy was and why the Gangnam district is now so popular.

43 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:15:26pm
44 Obdicut  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:22:51pm
45 Turkey Jihad  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:30:58pm

re: #43 Charles Johnson

[Embedded content]

Face sawp?

46 engineer cat  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:39:49pm

ignatz cat is being a big pain in the ass today

he wants to go play outside, but everytime he gets let out he discovers that it's still the outside that's too cold and damp for his comfort. so he wants to get let back in. but he wants to go play outside...

47 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:40:43pm

" ... from Sea to Shining Sea..."


Nebraska Kids to Learn America Is Awesome, Climate Change Is Just a Theory

Students in Nebraska are getting new standards for social studies curriculum, after weeks of intense debate. The state Board of Education reached agreement on two items of controversy this week: whether to include "American exceptionalism" and how to teach about climate change, the Lincoln Journal Star reports.

The fight had been over whether to explicitly teach the idea of American exceptionalism, as one board member proposed, and whether to include information about climate change, which the current standards do not mention. The board approved the standards after making some changes:

The words "American exceptionalism" do not appear in the final draft, but the concept does. In the sixth- through eighth-grade U.S. history standards, one of the “indicators” -- examples of what to teach -- is the "unique nature of the creation and organization of the American Government, the United States as an exceptional nation based upon personal freedom, the inherent nature of citizens’ rights and democratic ideals."

Likewise, climate change appears in the sixth- through eighth-grade geography standards, but is presented as a theory, not as fact, asking students to evaluate "recent global climate change theories, and evidence that supports and refutes such theories."

Is it just me, or does it seem to you that in that last paragraph one could swap out "climate change" for "evolution" and it would sound just like the wording creationists have tried for decades?

48 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:43:09pm

I would hope that students would study science all through school, through 12th grade, and the physical science basis of climate change is based upon the physical principals that, IIRC, I learnt from 4th through 12th grade.

The fear of climatology is about as irrational as one can get.

49 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:43:59pm

I remember that in 5th grade we did a little experiment to demonstrate that our breath contains carbon dioxide. I wonder if that will be acceptable in Nebraska these days?

50 engineer cat  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:45:54pm

re: #48 freetoken

I would hope that students would study science all through school, through 12th grade, and the physical science basis of climate change is based upon the physical principals that, IIRC, I learnt from 4th through 12th grade.

The fear of climatology is about as irrational as one can get.

they're replacing it with the teaching of cosmetology

51 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:48:24pm
52 engineer cat  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:52:19pm

re: #20 A Man for all Seasons

re: #22 Charles Johnson

thank you, boss. i have downloaded the phpmyadmin

i also had to download oracle sqldeveloper becuz it seems it's necessary, annoyingly, to provide both pl/sql as well as mysql versions

53 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:54:16pm

re: #50 engineer cat

they're replacing it with the teaching of cosmetology

Speaking of that, I see the next "cycle" of ANTM will include men.

54 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:55:18pm
55 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 3:58:08pm

A play script, in one part, for two voices:


TEXAS GOP: KILL PLANNEDPARENTHOOD!

Texas Statistician: we now have more brown babies, and they will cost us more aid money.

TEXAS GOP: MORE BIRTH CONTROL!

56 Ojoe  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:03:57pm

IMHO having the state marry anyone at all is a vestigial church-state relationship. Better to issue civil unions only and be done with it.

57 jaunte  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:05:34pm

"Proposed “truth in education” legislation by Republican state Sen. Dennis Kruse of Auburn won’t mention the terms “creationism” or “intelligent design” or “evolution,” but don’t doubt for a second that this is one more attempt to force a religious debate into science classrooms. The General Assembly should have none of it."

58 gwangung  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:06:59pm

re: #56 Ojoe

IMHO having the state marry anyone at all is a vestigial church-state relationship. Better to issue civil unions only and be done with it.

You got it backwards. Marriage started out secular and religion glommed onto it later.

59 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:11:35pm

Hertzberg summarizes just how atavistic DeMint is:

HERITAGE DIAGNOSED: SEVERE DEMINTIA

60 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:16:18pm
61 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:24:18pm

New Zealand's WAR ON CHRISTIANITY!! continues:


Bible teachers dropped for preaching at kids

[...]

Churches Education Commission (CEC) chief executive Simon Greening said he removed the three volunteer teachers for deviating from the organisation's strict code of expectations, and that there may have been others around the country.

In the latest of the three Auckland incidents this year, Mr Greening said a teacher of the Christian-based weekly class at a South Auckland primary school was investigated following a complaint two months ago for an "inappropriate" Bible lesson on Adam and Eve.

Mr Greening would not elaborate on the content but the volunteer was removed from the CEC's national base of 2800 Christian Religious Education (CRE) teachers.

[...]

He said he had dealt with six complaints and three stand-downs in his 14 months as head of the organisation, which runs the Bible-based classes in 730 secular schools nationwide.


The other two teachers stood down volunteered at South and West Auckland schools and Mr Greening said those were only the stand-downs he was involved in.

Two of the six complaints, which did not lead to stand-downs, were over teachers telling the class Santa Claus did not exist.

WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!

Claims by the Secular Education Network that children had been told they would "go to hell" had not been lodged as official complaints to CEC, Mr Greening said.

"If people are saying you'll go to hell for your sins, that is a breach of our code and we'll investigate that and we'll stand that teacher down. We're there to educate, not evangelise."

In August Mr Greening apologised to parents who didn't know the weekly half-hour programme was Christian-based education after it was reported the CEC told followers schools were an "under-utilised mission field".

[...]

Hmmm...

62 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:24:27pm

re: #59 freetoken

Hertzberg summarizes just how atavistic DeMint is:

HERITAGE DIAGNOSED: SEVERE DEMINTIA

What the hell is that? That's neither religion or science. DeMint is just making shit up.

The thing that we’ve conceded as a people that we’ve got to fix, is turning the education of our children over to the government…. Let ’em go to a school where they can learn that God created this earth—because we know he did. Scientists more and more are—are being trapped or backed into this whole idea. As they see the whole genome experience, experiment, or they research all the DNA, they realize that this had to be created. It could not have happened by accident. It’s impossible. So we can go out with confidence that we are created, we are given unalienable rights, and God has blessed this country beyond anything we could have imagined. And he’s put us in charge of this vineyard we call America.
-- Jim DeMint

63 goddamnedfrank  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:28:32pm

re: #56 Ojoe

IMHO having the state marry anyone at all is a vestigial church-state relationship. Better to issue civil unions only and be done with it.

Nobody gave a shit about civil marriage twenty or thirty years ago. The position you take above is just a reaction to the controversy of gays getting vocal about demanding equality. Marriage is just a word, a synonym for union. There's nothing intrinsically religious about it.

64 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:29:27pm

re: #62 Gus

Wait till you see who DeMint is pushing as his replacement:

Potential new S.C. senator, if chosen, would be promotion of significance

Rep. Tim Scott likes to say that his political ambitions depend on what God has in store for him.

God may be about to place the likeable South Carolina lawmaker with the broad smile in the United States Senate.

It would be a big move for Scott, who is completing his first term in the House of Representatives, and an even bigger move for a Republican Party desperately seeking diversity.

[...]

He's a Tea Party fave because he is highly religious:

In 1997, Scott supported having the Ten Commandments posted outside the county council chambers, saying it would remind members of the absolute rules they should follow. The county council then unanimously approved the display and Scott nailed a King James version of the Commandments to the wall. Shortly after, the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued. After an initial court ruling said the display was unconstitutional, the council settled to avoid accruing more legal fees.[11] Regarding the costs of the suit, Scott said, "Whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal (of displaying the Commandments) is worth it".[11]

65 Bubblehead II  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:30:22pm

re: #54 freetoken

Page opens up and tells me I am missing a plugin. What type of video is this?

66 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:30:53pm

re: #64 freetoken

Wait till you see who DeMint is pushing as his replacement:

Potential new S.C. senator, if chosen, would be promotion of significance

He's a Tea Party fave because he is highly religious:

It's the Christian Brotherhood.

67 engineer cat  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:30:53pm

re: #62 Gus

What the hell is that? That's neither religion or science. DeMint is just making shit up.

And he’s put us in charge of this vineyard we call America.

according to some definition of 'us' that doesn't include you, hippie

68 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:33:53pm

re: #62 Gus

Sounds like an Idiot's Guide to Intelligent Design.

69 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:34:54pm

re: #68 Charles Johnson

Sounds like an Idiot's Guide to Intelligent Design.

Intelligent Design dumbed down.

//

70 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:35:13pm

re: #65 Bubblehead II

Page opens up and tells me I am missing a plugin. What type of video is this?

Whoops! My bad. I linked to the UNFCCC video (which requires a plug in.)

I should have linked to the story on the Texas Republicans now rethinking the abolition of all birth control funding.

71 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:35:59pm

Here's the link to Texas and birth control:

[Link: www.rawstory.com...]

72 The Mountain That Blogs  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:39:42pm

re: #69 Gus

re: #68 Charles Johnson

I actually read Of Pandas and People once. At one point there was a graphic that just said "INTELLIGENT DESIGNER" with an arrow pointing toward a fossilized dinosaur, and then another arrow pointing toward a mammal. That was its description of evolution.

73 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:42:53pm

Whoa. YouTube changed their homepage again.

74 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:43:45pm

re: #73 Charles Johnson

Whoa. YouTube changed their homepage again.

Again, again?

75 freetoken  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:44:36pm

The American Geophysical Union has been holding their annual meeting this week (in SF), and many presentations have been recorded. Most are rather particular and frankly boring. However, some are intended for a wider audience.

One of the invited lectures is about the development of climate models. As the science deniers love to (wrongly) throw out misunderstandings about this field, it's a good thing to have someone restate the development of the field:

Schneider Lecture: GC43H. The Transformation of Climate Models to Earth System Models and their Role in Policy Development and Decision Support

There's some formal opening, then the meat of the lecture:

76 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:46:22pm

Cat. Invaded. Table.

77 Charles Johnson  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:46:35pm

Looks like the whole design of YouTube changed today.

78 wrenchwench  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:48:05pm

re: #71 freetoken

Here's the link to Texas and birth control:

[Link: www.rawstory.com...]

But contraception is a social issue, not a fiscal issue!!!

79 Gus  Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:50:39pm

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 Frank says:

May your shit come to life and kiss you on the face. -- to Mrs. Gore about parental advisory labels on album covers