Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Prop8 briefs are all filed

From the SF Chronicle:
In thousands of pages, the combatants in the Proposition 8 fight have made their case to the state Supreme Court.

On one side: the people's right to amend their Constitution and define marriage. On the other side: the courts' duty to protect minorities, such as gays and lesbians, from the tyranny of the majority....

The next step is a court hearing, perhaps by the first week of March in San Francisco. A ruling, due 90 days later, should be the last word on the validity of the Nov. 4 initiative and the 18,000 same-sex weddings performed before it passed, at least until the losing side puts the issue on the ballot again.....

James Sweeney, a lawyer for the California Catholic Conference, also representing congregations of Seventh-Day Adventists and Orthodox Jews, said religious institutions might be sued for acting on their beliefs against same-sex marriage - for example, by excluding gay or lesbian couples from married student housing at a church college - if Prop. 8 were overturned.

A group of more liberal denominations, led by the 4,000-member California Council of Churches, argued that Prop. 8 could open the door to religious persecution. The Rev. Mark Shirilau of Riverside, who founded the gay-friendly Ecumenical Catholic Church in 1987 and has congregations in several states, said the measure's declaration that only male-female marriage is recognized in California is false because his church performs and recognizes same-sex weddings.


Anonymous said...

religious institutions might be sued for acting on their beliefs against same-sex marriage - for example, by excluding gay or lesbian couples from married student housing at a church college - if Prop. 8 were overturned.

Opinions? [Doc Primrose?]

It seems to me, that religious colleges can---many already do!---set up Morality Codes which could ban students in same-sex partnerships. Ergo, the question of student housing is really a diversion.

{{{IT & BP}}}

James said...

Agreed, JCF - they have to create strawman arguments (or domino arguments) buceause they can't gain sympathy any other way.

If a religious institution was going to be sued for refusing to marry a couple (or grant them full rites in the church), the RC church would be in court on a daily basis.

Religious institutions discriminate on a daily basis and it's legal.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a very persuasive argument. For example, yesterday the California Court of Appeal decided a case called Doe v. California Lutheran High School. (The Lutherans involved here were part of the Wisconsin Synod, which makes the Missouri Synod seem like flaming liberals in comparison.)

The first couple of paragraphs summarize the case:


Defendant California Lutheran High School Association (the School) owns and operates a private religious high school. It expelled plaintiffs Jane Doe and Mary Roe on the ground that they had a homosexual relationship, in violation of the School's "Christian Conduct" rule. Plaintiffs then sued the School and its principal, the Reverend Gregory R. Bork, alleging, among other things, that the School had discriminated against them based on sexual orientation, in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Civ. Code, § 51 et seq.) (Unruh Act or section 51).

The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of defendants, ruling, in part, that the School was not a "business enterprise" and therefore not subject to the Unruh Act. Plaintiffs appeal. In the published portion of our decision, we will affirm this ruling.


The court decided that the school was more like the Boys Scouts, which was not a "business enterprise" and could therefore discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and less like a private country club, which was a "business enterprise" and could therefore not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

This case of course concerns a secondary school and in this and similar contexts the courts have been more concerned about primary and secondary schools than colleges. But I have a hard time believing that the California courts are going to FORCE private religious colleges to house married gay and lesbian couples in their married student housing. I also have a hard time believing that very many married gay and lesbian couples would even want to attend a college run by groups like the Wisconsin Synod, much less live in their married student housing.

Anonymous said...

I was going to say "I hope country clubs don't turn religious, as a basis to discriminate"...

...but of course, such a thing already exists (and on a large scale): the YMCA.

Country club/business? Or religious organization/non-business?

In my neck of the woods (Lansing, Michigan) there's such a case right now: 'Y' soon may review policy on domestic partners

It's weird that this would be decided on a case-by-case basis: what have other 'Y's, across the US, done?

[Sorry to drag this thread off-topic---it's part of the Real World, without marriage, for same-sex couples. >:-/]

IT said...

Well, JCF, you have just articulated the problem with non-marriage (DP). Because everything gets litigated to test whether it is really "equal". There isn't a statute that says marriage is "this this and this", it is usage (and case law) that does it. So every single thing is challenged. Too many people have been denied DP "rights" to think that it is equal.

On non-topics, there was a terrible murder suicide in Southern Cal today where a man who lost his job killed himself, his wife, and their five beautiful children. Spare a thought for the despair that can lead to such horror, and the innocents who died.

Also non-topic, I drove down a street in LA today, where a well-dressed young woman was holding a huge printed sign saying "Jesus saves". About 15 feet away, a grimy homeless man with a handprinted cardboard sign "hungry, will work" was panhandling the drivers stopped at the red light.


David G. said...

People go out and slaughter there In Laws, .... People cruise around town get bored and cause Havoc in a neighborhood, ... Idiots get DRUNK and KILL the first NIGGA they see .. BUT

It's all swept away with financial news, like I personally give a flying Fuck!!

I've always been broke,..so I'm teaching people now!!

June Butler said...

May justice be done!

And, sadly, I believe we'll see many more suicides before the economy turns around.

Erp said...

I checked the local Y (Silicon Valley) and they don't define family but the forms state first and second adult (not husband/wife) and one page on financial assistance refers to spouse/partner.

I have a feeling these ones don't discriminate between same-sex and opposite-sex relationships.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but Erp, you're in the Bay Area. That'sprobably the most liberal and accepting place in the country!


Erp said...

We have our local spots of bigotry and blindness though (I had an encounter with that on Tuesday which left me shaking [nothing violent, just an organized frank discussion between a local minister [not lgtbi friendly] and another person [lgtbi friendly]]).

I note the Boy Scouts still discriminate in this area (though I suspect the number of troops that just keep quiet about their atheist/gay members is quite high).