Gay marriage opponents not giving up yet

Less than 24 hours after California started issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, lawyers for the sponsors of the state's gay marriage ban filed an emergency motion Saturday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the weddings being performed in San Francisco.
Associated Press
Jun 30, 2013

Attorneys with the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom claim in the petition  the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acted prematurely and unfairly on Friday when it allowed gay marriage to resume by lifting a hold that had been placed on same sex unions.

"The Ninth Circuit's June 28, 2013 Order purporting to dissolve the the latest in a long line of judicial irregularities that have unfairly thwarted Petitioners' defense of California's marriage amendment," the paperwork states. "Failing to correct the appellate court's actions threatens to undermine the public's confidence in its legal system."

The motion was filed as dozens of couples in jeans, shorts, white dresses and the occasional military uniform filled San Francisco City Hall on Saturday to obtain marriage licenses. On Friday, 81 same sex couples received marriage licenses.

Although a few clerk's offices around the state stayed open late on Friday, San Francisco, which is holding its annual gay pride celebration this weekend, was the only jurisdiction to hold weekend hours so that same sex couples could take advantage of their newly restored right, Clerk Karen Hong said.

A sign posted on the door of the office where a long line of couples waited to fill out applications listed the price for a license, a ceremony or both above the words "Equality=Priceless."

"We really wanted to make this happen," Hong said, adding that her whole staff and a group of volunteers came into work without having to be asked. "It's spontaneous, which is great in its own way."

The timing couldn't have been better for California National Guard Capt. Michael Potoczniak, 38, and his partner of 10 years, Todd Saunders, 47, of El Cerrito.

Potoczniak, who joined the Guard after the military's ban on openly gay service was repealed almost two years ago, was scheduled to fly out Sunday night for a month of basic training in Texas.

"I woke up this morning, shook him awake and said, 'Let's go,'" said Potoczniak, who chose to get married in his Army uniform. "It's something that people need to see because everyone is so used to uniforms at military weddings."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Proposition 8's backers lacked standing to defend the 2008 law because California's governor and attorney general have declined to defend the ban.

Then on Friday, the 9th Circuit appeared to have removed the last obstacle to making same sex matrimony legal again in California when it removed its hold on a lower court's 2010 order directing state officials to stop enforcing the ban.

Within hours, same sex couples were seeking marriage licenses. The two couples who sued to overturn Proposition 8 were wed in San Francisco and Los Angeles Friday.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks said on Saturday  the Supreme Court's consideration of the case isn't done because his clients still have 22 days to ask the justices to reconsider the 5-4 decision announced Wednesday.

Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to request a rehearing. While such requests are almost never granted, the high court said that it wouldn't finalize its judgment in the case at least until after that waiting period elapsed.

The San Francisco-based appeals court had said when it imposed the stay that it would remain in place until the Supreme Court issued its final disposition, according to Nimocks.

"Everyone on all sides of the marriage debate should agree that the legal process must be followed," he said. "On Friday, the 9th Circuit acted contrary to its own order without explanation."

Many legal experts who had anticipated such a last-ditch effort by gay marriage opponents said it was unlikely to succeed because the 9th Circuit has independent authority over its own orders — in this case, its 2010 stay.

While the ban's backers can still ask the Supreme Court for a rehearing, the 25-day waiting period is not binding on lower federal courts, Vikram Amar, a constitutional law professor with the University of California, Davis law school, said.

"As a matter of practice, most lower federal courts wait to act," Amar said. "But there is nothing that limits them from acting sooner. It was within the 9th Circuit's power to do what it did."

Also waiting to wed Saturday were Scott Kehoe, 34, and his fiancé, Aurelien Bricker, 24. After finding out on Facebook the city was issuing same sex marriage licenses Friday, the San Francisco couple rushed out to Tiffany's to buy wedding rings.

"We were afraid of further legal challenges in the state," Kehoe said.

The city, home to both a federal trial court that struck down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional and the 9th Circuit, has been the epicenter of the state's gay marriage movement since then-Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered his administration in February 2004 to issue licenses to gay couples in defiance of state law.

A little more than four years later, the California Supreme Court, which is also based in San Francisco, struck down the state's one-man, one-woman marriage laws.

City Hall was the scene of many more marriages in the 4 1/2 months before a coalition of religious conservative groups successfully campaigned for the November 2008 passage of Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to outlaw same sex marriages.

Standing amid the beaming couples on Saturday, John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney of the advocacy group Marriage Equality USA looked like proud fathers. The men have been together 26 years, got married in February 2004, had their union invalidated six months later and then became one of the 18,000 couples estimated to have tied the knot in California before Proposition 8 was enacted.

"I don't think getting a license means as much to anyone who hasn't worked so long for it and fought so hard for it," Gaffney said. "It's been a very long engagement."




Re: "1 Corinthians 2:6-16"

Paul only "channeled" Jesus. Even the Apostles thought that he was a bit weird.


Re: "spends eternity suffering"

Heck, most people can't even remember what they had for dinner two weeks ago to the day.

Time is a man-made concept. "Eternity" is meaningless.

The Christian concept of H*ll was largely adapted from the ancient Grecian myth of Hades.

If you wanna scare yourself with myths and fables that's entirely up to you.

Forcing others to adapt to your beliefs and lifestyle amounts to tyranny.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Not just Hades but Hel is the name of the Norse goddess who was the protector of the underworld, also known as Hel (or Helhiem to avoid confusion). In order to make inroads into western Europe, Christianity had to adapt its story to the myths and cultures of the Germanic barbarians, Vikings, and the Druids/Pagans of the British Isles. That is why we have Christmas at the Winter Solstice and Easter, Christianity's most sacred holiday (and for understandable reasons!), is based on the cycle of the full moon.

The imagery of fire and brimstone aside, Hell as a concept isn't so much a place as it is a state of being. When you are without God you are in Hell, which is understandable why it is considered to be about the worst thing ever.


Re: "When you are without God you are in Hell,"

If God is omnipresent, that is not possible.

I refuse to believe in a diety that is so insecure that it needs me to praise it's *ss. Reads: Co-dependent.

The Greeks largely believed that the gods were pains in the *sses.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”

- Seneca

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Possibly, but presumably he can withdraw his purview of you and leave you dangling in the wind. That said, God allows Satan to exist in the role of a foil to do the job he is doing. It would probably be very hard, if not impossible to be completely without God for the reason you stated, but He can ignore you or just let you do what you will. So that's a close second. After all if God left you, as Satan, saying "I don't even care any more, just do whatever" that is pretty brutal since we are social beings who inherently need contact with others, especially superiors such as pack alphas or parents/mentors.


Re: “Hell as a concept isn't so much a place as it is a state of being. When you are without God you are in Hell…”

Very well stated! This is also my concept of hell, eternal separation from God. There may or may not be flames or a red horned devil poking people with a pitchfork. lol


Re: "This is also my concept of hell, eternal separation from God."

Either the Judeo-Christian God is omnipresent or He is not - which is it?


Re: "There may or may not be flames or a red horned devil poking people with a pitchfork."

Obviously Christianity is a cafeteria-style religion.

And the popularly depicted image of Santa Claus is from a Coca-Cola advertisement. :)

It's all about the money.




You will be there first.


Re: "God allows Satan to exist in the role of a foil to do the job he is doing."

And God created Satan - but for what purpose?

A study of the "Book of Job" tends to show them as being equals playing games with humanity.

Kinda reminiscent of the god of light, Ahura Mazda and the god of darkness, Ahriman from Zoroastrianism.

Overall, the Western concept of an omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent being is a pretty boring character.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

By the by, thanks for the book suggestion earlier. You may make my already crowded bookshelf weep. Hmm I feel like I should be dressed in a toga lately when commenting. It is fun. Et tu, Contango?


Looking for intelligent life within the comment sections can be painstaking. You are a breath of fresh air.


In the beginning, man created god in his own image.

looking around

You guys have me confused now....there is or there is no beer in heaven?


Why is the government getting more and more involved within our lives? This type of case should not be needed between two consenting adults any more than the government having the right to decide who gets benefits and who doesn't.

If these people want to live their life-styles, so be it. It should have NOTHING to do with benefits, rights or compensation. It isn't the provence of the federal government to decides who gets what through sexual orientation. Just another sign that our government wants to overtake EVERY phase of our lives.


You close the argument when you say that "it should have nothing to do with benefits." You're right. But that's the point behind the groups pushing for gay marriage. They believe that homosexual couples are being discriminated against by the government because they don't get the same legal perks that male/female married couples do. The issue (obviously) is that the government is already thoroughly involved in marriage, and it shouldn't be.

You'll note that one of the two High Court decisions last week was made on a case involving two women who'd been married for years. When one died, the other was hit with a massive estate tax because she wasn't legally recognized as her partner's spouse. The ruling said that that tax hit was discriminatory since it wouldn't have been applied the same way if the couple had been heterosexual.

In essence, this really IS all about benefits and rights. The morality issue is up to individuals and their consciences and/or faiths.


I suppose the next frontier will be marriage between adults and children or even people and animals. These people engage in an unnatural act of lust and we're expected to provide benefits? Modern day Sodom and Gamorrah


@ The Hero Zone:

If you haven't, pick up a copy of "A Course In Miracles."

A great bit of gnostic literature.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I'll recommend back to you a book called "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn.

looking around

After over sixty years on this rock I don't profess to know everything or understand everything but I do make observations and develop opinion on what I see or experience. I don't know if your born gay or evolve with life's experiences, but either way there is a wire crossed somewhere. The "couples" I have been watching on the news both male and female run the gamut from very professional and outwardly normal to outright flamboyant. It intrigues me that in all cases they refer to each other as either husband or wife a hint of male or female dominance, so there is a pitcher and a catcher so to speak. While they fancy themselves as more tolerant than straight folk, I've heard and seen enough to know that you don't want to get between either or they both will turn on you. Try asking a dykes interest to dance or buy her a drink! Or let a female get to close to a male counterparts love interest.

From a psychological standpoint they have excluded the opposite sex on both fronts, now straight couples will do the same when they deal with threat or jealousy but it's different because both in a homosexual relationship have decided they are not attracted to but merely tolerant of the opposite sex. I'm not a psychologist but this is my perception.

I don't hate these folks, I understand aspects of their legal battle and benefit concerns but there problems have just begun and new legislation will never make their position more acceptable by mainstream norm, they must understand this?

I do have one objection that I'm sure to draw fire on, that being that I strongly feel that they should not be able to adopt children. Obviously they can not conceive. I will hear arguments that research has shown that they raise well adjusted and normal children. What is your definition of well adjusted and normal? Obviously the ones rearing them have issues with the opposite sex and normalcy, so how in the developmental stages can these children be raised well adjusted and normal? These children will face issues children raised by heterosexual couples would never. That's how I see it. What goes on behind closed doors is no business of mine. What legal papers they have protecting their combined interests and benefits is ok with me but leave the child raising to heterosexual folks.