A.G. to Court: Allow Gay Marriages Now

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Attorney General Kamala Harris is asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the stay on Judge Vaughn Walker's decision striking down Prop. 8 last year. In unusually emotional language for a state's "top cop," Harris's court filing reads, in part:  "For 846 days Proposition 8 has denied equality under law to gay and lesbian couples. Each and every one of those days, same-sex couples have been denied their right to convene loved ones and friends to celebrate marriages sanctioned and protected by California law. Each one of those days, loved ones have been lost, moments have been missed, and justice has been denied. The preconditions for a stay are lacking on this record. The stay should be vacated."

  Her request follows that of the legal team representing two same-sex couples in the Prop. 8 case (Perry v. Schwarzenegger) and comes on the heals of President Obama's Justice Department declaring the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. It's also a personal issue for A.G. Harris: Her brother-in-law Tony West is married to her sister Maya and is Assistant A.G. for Civil Rights at the U.S. DOJ.

   As for chances of success in dropping the stay? Don't bet on it. The 9th Circuit is treading carefully on this one --as evidenced by asking the California Supreme Court to weigh in on a central question of legal standing. Prop. 8 backers would appeal lifting of the stay to the U.S. Supreme Court in a New York minute. The Supremes practically make a hobby out of reversing the Ninth ... so it's unlikely the 9th Circuit panel of judges hearing the Prop. 8 appeal will test them on this. Besides -- if the stay is lifted, more couples get married and Prop. 8 is ultimately upheld, those couples would then be "unmarried" again. Talk about emotional roller coasters!

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  • George Vreeland Hill

    When two people get married, it is because they love each other.
    They want to be together in a bond that makes them one with each other forever.
    It is a wonderful thing to have such a bond.
    It is special.
    It is love.
    When a man and a woman get married, no one blinks an eye.
    If two men or two women do the same, then many people do not approve.
    They claim that it is not right or that it soils the real meaning of marriage.
    What is the real meaning of marriage?
    The answer to that question is in line one of this article.
    It is because they love each other.
    Does it matter if the couple is gay or straight?
    Should it matter?
    No!
    After all, why should it.
    Gays want their equal rights and among those equal rights is the right to be married.
    I agree with wanting equal rights.
    We are all people which means we are all the same.
    It does not matter if someone is gay, white, black, a man, a woman, tall, short, young, old or whatever.
    We all want our equal rights.
    That is our right.
    However, we need to go beyond equal rights when it comes to gay marriage.
    Society needs to understand that any marriage is not about the right to be married.
    It is about wanting to be married as a loving couple.
    Love is not something that should be decided on by voters.
    It is not a court issue either.
    It should not be an issue at all.
    Marriage is between two people in love.
    It is not between two people, the voters, the courts and anyone else who has an opinion.
    Gay marriage does not bring down the meaning of marriage.
    It makes the true meaning of marriage even better.
    That is what love does.
    It makes things better.
    Society has come a long way in the last fifty years in terms of equality, but we still have a long way to go.
    It is a shame that love is something that needs to be fought for.
    I am not gay, but I am the same as you as you are to me.
    May love conquer all.

    George Vreeland Hill