Ga. gay-rights groups see hope in California ruling, politicians oppose it

Thursday, Aug 5, 2010 5:25 PM
Last updated 5:28 PM
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ATLANTA -- Gay-rights groups in Georgia see reasons for hope in the ruling of a federal judge who struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage, but Georgia politicians vow to fight it here.
All three major-party candidates for governor said today they favor keeping the gay-marriage ban in Georgia’s constitution. Voters approved it overwhelmingly in 2004.
The Georgia Supreme Court upheld a 2006 challenge to how the amendment was structured on the ballot, but it has never ruled on the state constitutionality of barring same-sex couples from marrying.
The federal court ruling Wednesday did by concluding that it heard no evidence that the government had a rational interest in prohibiting homosexual marriage, which it called a violation of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it discriminates against gays and lesbians.
“Indeed, the evidence shows (the ban) does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples,” wrote U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker.
Walker’s decision is almost certain to be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the U.S. Supreme Court. Until the nation’s high court hands down a decision, Walker’s opinion has no bearing on Georgia’s ban.
“I think it’s premature to say this would make a change in Georgia,” said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. “… It may begin the process that may lead to challenging the ban in Georgia.”
The gay-rights group Georgia Equality estimates as many as 25,000 couples in the state could be waiting for a chance to marry should the ban end here. The group’s executive director, Jeff Graham, felt positive.
“It does give us hope here that this judge has acknowledged that our relationships, our families, are not a threat to others,” he said.
But neither Roy Barnes, the Democratic nominee for governor, nor Karen Handel and Nathan Deal, the candidates in Tuesday’s runoff for the Republican nomination, want to lift Georgia’s ban. All issued statements opposed to Walker’s ruling.
“I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Barnes said. “I’m not in favor of changing state law.”
Handel agreed, adding that it is similar to laws that prohibit marriage between siblings, multiple marriages and those of people under the age of consent.
“Freedom to marry is not a right,” she said. “… We have a right as a society to determine who can marry, and we have decided that marriage should be between a man and a woman."
Deal’s campaign manager Brian Robinson argued over which of the candidates best would defend Georgia’s ban.
“He’s also reminding them that his principles won't wave like a field of grain based on which way the wind is blowing that day,” Robinson said.

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jiclemens
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jiclemens 08/05/10 - 05:36 pm
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"Freedom to marry is not a

"Freedom to marry is not a right,” she said. “… We have a right as a society to determine who can marry, and we have decided that marriage should be between a man and a woman."
You go girl. The party of hate will once again be forced to eat its words, just like Georgians did with slavery and civil rights. The "we" she throws around and spits on is US. She's obviously not old enough to know what a dictator is.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 08/05/10 - 05:45 pm
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Handel just sounds like a

Handel just sounds like a complete boob. Freedom to marry is not a right? Uhhh......how about government has no right to legislate any aspect of marriage other than it wants to make some money off of it by issuing marriage licenses? Marriage is by the church and for the church. Government has only the right to grant equal freedoms and rights to all Americans.

American society, fueled by by biblical passages, also determined that blacks were to be owned by whites. It has been and always will be wrong to discriminate against other law-abiding citizens.

twj92
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twj92 08/05/10 - 05:52 pm
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They better read the BIBLE

They better read the BIBLE and see what GOD will do. He and Woman for a Man. Stop this mess people, its a curse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 08/05/10 - 06:00 pm
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GA politcians are bigots.

GA politcians are bigots.

freeradical
1097
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freeradical 08/05/10 - 06:51 pm
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Interesting how just a few

Interesting how just a few years ago among these same most hip,

most progressive members of society, the institution of marriage was

mocked, laughed at, portrayed as an outdated legalistic system of

narrow minded neanderthals,etc,etc, etc,,,,.

Suddenly,among the very same crowd it is the greatest thing since sliced

bread.

Totally desirable for hijacking.

Dixieman
15338
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Dixieman 08/05/10 - 06:55 pm
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I am SO TIRED of being ruled

I am SO TIRED of being ruled by judges (and I am a lawyer!).

dougk
3
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dougk 08/05/10 - 07:26 pm
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You mean you're tired of
Unpublished

You mean you're tired of being over-ruled by judges, Dixieman. Doesn't that mean you're on the "wrong side" of an argument?

justthefacts
22203
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justthefacts 08/05/10 - 07:43 pm
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Let em marry, why should they

Let em marry, why should they be so happy?

dougk
3
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dougk 08/05/10 - 07:54 pm
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justhefacts @
Unpublished

justhefacts @ 7:43......Priceless. Thanks for comedic relief.

baronvonreich
0
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baronvonreich 08/05/10 - 08:08 pm
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Marriage is an antiquated

Marriage is an antiquated institution but if people want to enter into it then so be it. That is their right. Government shouldn't even recognize marriage much less grant special rights to married people or have special tax codes for married people. However, if America's runaway government wants to have special rights for married people, then it sure as heck can't turn around discriminate on who can and can not get married.

Just My Opinion
5712
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Just My Opinion 08/05/10 - 08:54 pm
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The same type of politicians

The same type of politicians who are pushing gay-marriage rights are the same type of intellectuals who passed the Colorado law that allows male cross-dressers and male homosexuals to use public ladies restrooms! Yeah, look it up. Now tell me that this country is not going to hell in a handbasket (whatever that saying means!). And baron, I think it's sad that you haven't found a good woman who you WANT to be legally, morally, and spiritually wed to. And I'm not talking about some floozy that thinks so poorly of herself to shack up with some guy and give herself up to him, rather than get married. Not that they give 2 cents want I think, but I lose so much respect for a woman who does that. Oh, well...that's really for another article, isn't it?

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/05/10 - 09:08 pm
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Like justthefacts said, let

Like justthefacts said, let them marry.

I know what the Bible says about homosexuality. I also know what the Bible says about everybody not "getting it", it being, the Word of God. Some people are just bound to serve eternity in Hell.

I have a couple of gay friends. I still love them just the same and I continue to pray for them just the same as I do all of God's people.

Maybe we as Christians should stop trying to legislate our faith and start living our faith. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Dixieman
15338
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Dixieman 08/05/10 - 09:19 pm
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I might lose the case if I

I might lose the case if I were arguing it, but that does not mean I am 100% wrong. Some things get lost 51-49 with good and respectable arguments and positions on the losing side. Y'all also need to do some research on the contrast between "living Constitution" attorneys and judges and "originalist" adherents -- both have their supporters and detractors in law schools and on the bench. The former would agree with the California judge; the latter would not.
I will bet all of you who made nasty personal remarks about me here that when the case is decided by the US Supreme Court -- and inevitably it is going there -- the decision will be 5-4. Even if it is 5-4 against me, that still means I have 4 good and learned Justices on my side. I will get CJ Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito. Breyer, Kagan, Ginsburg and Sotomayor will go the other way and Kennedy will be the deciding vote. Any takers on the bet?
Some things should be decided by courts under our system. But not everything. Some things should be decided democratically. Read the Constitution. Some of you posting here have not figured that out.
If it matters to any of you (it does not matter very much to me), I went to Harvard Law School and did pretty well there and on the bar exam and in my career as a lawyer ever since.
I will take a moderate, middle-of-the-road position and go so far as to agree that y'all can get engaged!

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/05/10 - 09:34 pm
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I wouldn't admit to going to

I wouldn't admit to going to Harvard Law around these parts. lol.

I feel that if the voters of a state decide on a ballot that they do not want to allow gays to marry, then issue solved. If Georgia voters want to restrict divorces to fed up men and women, then so be it. If Vermont voters want to allow gays to divorce each other for "irreconcilable differences" then so be it.

dougk
3
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dougk 08/05/10 - 09:35 pm
0
0
Yes, Dixieman....away with
Unpublished

Yes, Dixieman....away with the US Constitution....let the voters decide. Heck, we could still be enjoying our slaves down here.

Dixieman
15338
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Dixieman 08/05/10 - 09:55 pm
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dougk - so we citizens get to

dougk - so we citizens get to vote on...what, in your view?
Or are we relegated to the status of industrious, timid sheep whose only function is to produce income that can be taxed by our political masters?
Still no takers on my Supreme Court handicapper bet? C'mon, folks, have the courage of your convictions if you think I am wrong!
Gotta notice that the nasty post from the blogger with the gay flag icon telling me I must have gone to a crap law school and barely passed the bar has now been deleted! Thanks!

mrrhodes89
0
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mrrhodes89 08/05/10 - 09:47 pm
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"Enjoying our slaves"? Gotta

"Enjoying our slaves"? Gotta love that cheap labor.

mrrhodes89
0
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mrrhodes89 08/05/10 - 09:54 pm
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"dougk - so we citizens get

"dougk - so we citizens get to vote on...what, in your view?
Or are we relegated to the status of industrious, timid sheep whose only function is to produce income that can be taxed by our political masters?"

Sounds like slavery to me! How about that. lol Maybe Obama and the Democrats are trying to pay back white people for slavery. lol

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 08/05/10 - 09:56 pm
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mrrhodes89 Thursday, Aug. 5

mrrhodes89 Thursday, Aug. 5 9:34 PM I feel that if the voters of a state decide on a ballot that they do not want to allow gays to marry, then issue solved
---------------------------
You had better think long and hard about that statement.

States don't have the right to usurp the constitutional rights of some people just because the majority of voters for for or against something and you better hope they never do until some states secede.

corgimom
33224
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corgimom 08/05/10 - 09:56 pm
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“Freedom to marry is not a

“Freedom to marry is not a right"

It isn't?

And then this:

"The same type of politicians who are pushing gay-marriage rights are the same type of intellectuals who passed the Colorado law that allows male cross-dressers and male homosexuals to use public ladies restrooms!"

How would you know that a cross-dresser in a ladies' room is a man? I certainly don't check on anybody in a ladies' room, do you? I've never seen that, have you?

I read the Colorado bill. Please point out to me where it says that men can enter ladies' bathrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa. Because I must have missed that. And just because James Dobson says it, doesn't make it so.

But I'll tell you one thing. I'd rather have a cross-dressing man in a ladies' rest room than these ridiculous mothers that bring 8, 9, 10, 11 year old boys into ladies rooms. I see that freqently, and I don't want it or like it. What I really want to see is a law passed that says no child of the opposite sex over the age of 5 can come into a public restroom.

mrrhodes89
0
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mrrhodes89 08/05/10 - 09:58 pm
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mrrhodes89 Thursday, Aug. 5

mrrhodes89 Thursday, Aug. 5 9:34 PM I feel that if the voters of a state decide on a ballot that they do not want to allow gays to marry, then issue solved
---------------------------
You had better think long and hard about that statement.

States don't have the right to usurp the constitutional rights of some people just because the majority of voters for for or against something and you better hope they never do until some states secede.
---------------------------------------

I know that I better tread lightly on that kind of talk. Cause soon the talk will turn from allowing gays to marry to reinstating slavery and that will not benefit me in the least way. lol

soldout
1280
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soldout 08/05/10 - 10:00 pm
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There is a freedom to sin but

There is a freedom to sin but no special rights because you do sin. All sin is a choice

momster59
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momster59 08/05/10 - 10:03 pm
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mrrhodes - thanks for coming

mrrhodes - thanks for coming to the same conclusion I was going to make. When it comes to protecting the constitutional freedoms of the minority, it should not be left to popular vote.

Had popular vote decided we would still have slavery, people could not marry outside of their race, minorities and women could not vote, children would be forced to be segregated in schools, and a whole lot of other issues we don't want to go to.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 08/05/10 - 10:08 pm
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Sorry soldout but government

Sorry soldout but government is errr should be blind to sin. They certainly aren't in any position to define it or legislate it. Sin, like the tooth fairy and santa claus is a belief system some people believe in as they think it is a better way to live their lives. That is their right to live however they choose until they infringe upon the rights of others regardless of the centuries of oppression and violence your religion has justified to you based on their cruel and unusual belief system.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 08/05/10 - 10:19 pm
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Notice they didn't ask the

Notice they didn't ask the Libertarian candidate for Governor?

The proposition system in CA is the closest to pure democracy that we have. Its also a way that 51 percent of the population can try to take the constitutional rights away from the other 49.

There is a reason we are a REPUBLIC and have a constitution.

dichotomy
33564
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dichotomy 08/05/10 - 10:21 pm
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Hmmm. I think that instead of

Hmmm. I think that instead of allowing gay marriage, the whole idea of a government sanctioned joining of two people into some trumped up institution should be questioned. I REALLY don't know why it would apply to gay couples. After all, marriage was an invented institution mainly for the financial protection of the female and offspring and being gay kind of puts the hoodoo on both of those. Marriage should just be done away with all together. There ought to be a form you download off of the internet and fill out that says xxxxxxxx is my current spouse and is authorized to visit me in the hospital, etc. etc. Serious stuff could be handled with a full/limited Power of Attorney or a "pre-nup". There should be NO government benefits or penalties for being "married" or having a declared partner.

dougk
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dougk 08/05/10 - 10:29 pm
0
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Sounds like a reasonable and
Unpublished

Sounds like a reasonable and equitable option, Dichotomy.

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/05/10 - 10:36 pm
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I like that too Dichotomy. I

I like that too Dichotomy. I know I'm tired of always looking at my pay stub and seeing "Ga. Single". Getting taxed at a higher rate because I don't want to be bothered with having a wife. lol

Sargebaby
4693
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Sargebaby 08/05/10 - 10:38 pm
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So, throw the Bible out

So, throw the Bible out altogether? Thank God the majority of Americans disagree with you, dichotomy!

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/05/10 - 10:52 pm
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Sarge, when will we as

Sarge, when will we as Christians stop telling non-believers how to live their lives and start showing them? We need to stop legislating scripture and start living scripture. You know the number 1 source of atheists in this country are Christians who are not fully in-step with their walk with God. We keep drawing attention to the splinters in our neighbor's eye, while we casually neglect to see the plank in our own. Many people have stopped going to church because of the people in the church! Yes, Satan goes to church and he knows scripture too!
Instead of trying to force people to be like Christ, we ourselves need to work better at being like Christ. We don't like being taxed and whatnot, so how can we expect non-believers to like believing something they don't want to believe?
We are called to go forth and disciple, not go forth and legislate. Yes we as Christians will be persecuted by the law, as Christ was Himself. That is part of the journey. Remember that we are only passing through this life. This is not permanent. Whatever we sow today, we will reap on the Day of Judgment. They can either believe the Word or not. I'm not going to force anybody to. Heaven ain't for everybody.

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