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Since recent events have caused the issue of Lesbian and Gay marriage to become one of heated national debate and political importance, I thought it would be best to start this all-inclusive topic on the subject.
Those wishing to review this topic's precursor can see it at:

Help mess up an anti-gay marriage poll

The courts in Massachusetts have recently ruled that restricting marriage to a man and a woman violates the state constitution and have given the state legislature until May to correct this. As of this writing, the lawmakers have been unable to do so.
President Bush entered the fray when he announced during his January State Of the Union Address that he supported outlawing "same-sex" marriages, by amending the Constitution if necessary.
And, most interestingly, this past weekend, Gavin Newsome, the mayor of San Francisco, ordered the County Clerk to change the applications for marriage licenses to be non-gender specific, and to permit same-sex unions without discrimination.
Opponents say that this violates 1974 state law and have sought an injunction, which was denied consideration until Tuesday. Mayor Newsome apparently came to his decision in Washington while attending President Bush's speech.
As of this writing over 2,000 such licenses have been issued in San Francisco. The first couple to receive their marriage license were none other than Lesbian movement pioneers Del Martin, 83 & Phyllis Lyon, 79, founders of the legendary Daughters Of Bilitis in 1953, editors of The Ladder, one of the first same-sex literary and political magazines. The couple has, BTW, been together for 51 years.

On a personal note, I must admit due to my reluctance to have the state sanction anything of what I might view as my personal life, I had previously been rather lukewarm on this issue, much as I had been on the gays in the military issue. I guess it is my general "Don't tread On Me" attitude. Now I am completely galvanized. The opponents have become so mean-spirited in their arguments, and their claims of exclusivity have really raised my hackles, that I have now been writing to Congress and Council alike demanding the right to marry!
One could only hope that our Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, would have the guts to do what SF's Mayor Newsome has done. Fat chance! Our mayor is only concerned with kissing the asses of our war-mongering President and the RNC and getting ready to welcome the Republican Convention here.

[This message was edited by hatches on 02-16-04 at 01:12 PM.]
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Wow! I have not heard of amending the constitution in recent history.I have large gaps of memory missing regarding that sort of thing. Does the straight and narrow minded fear us that much? If Mike B. is not down with us then I would be the first one to throw a pink brick through the punks window. And then a bunch of band-aids but you get my point!

Lady King

It takes a Lady to know a Lady.

[This message was edited by Lady King on 02-16-04 at 06:49 PM.]
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I have never thought I want to be married in that conventional sense of the word, but last week's editorial in Time by Andrew Sullivan (full disclosure- not many times do I agree with what he rights) really made a lot of sense.

Why the M Word Matters to Me

Separate by "equal" has not worked historically in our country, and at this point I think that ALL men and women deserve the right to get married, and all the trimmings that go with that. History is going to play out over the next year over this issue, so we shall see what happens.
50 orgainized religonists are trying to keep 5000 homosexauls from marrying? and they think they have the right to take others rights away and represent so few people?

separate has been designed not to be equal throughout history. it is an intentional device to keep people from being equal. and yes hatches, it was never a major issue here either. it's just that seeing how designed all this legal mumbo jumbo is. how intentionally discriminatory all this stuff is..... it makes one want to find the loop holes in the laws and use them to laugh.

bush has signed christian discrimination into law, which allows organizations to discriminate against anyone they choose while taking federal dollars for their social programs.
I have enough trust in the essential genius of the Constitution to believe that President Bush will NEVER be allowed to amend the Constitution to create a second-class citizenship. He's grand-standing, but it's good because it's getting our dander up. This is as well a separation of Church and State issue. Just on that score they CANNOT go there.

I know what you mean Randella, the institution of marriage has never appealed to me, but I'm ready to fly to San Francisco, propose to the first girl I see, and storm City Hall myself.
Another battle won. But the outcome of the war is far from over .....

Judge Leaves City's Approval of Gay Marriage Intact For Now
Published: February 17, 2004
Filed at 3:06 p.m. ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- In the first of two such hearings, a state judge delayed until at least Friday a ruling on whether to block San Francisco from continuing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay said Tuesday morning he was not prepared to rule on a lawsuit to block the marriages, more than 2,300 of which have taken place since last Thursday.

Another judge was scheduled to hear a similar case Tuesday afternoon. Peter Ragone, a spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom, said the city would continue to issue licenses until it knew the outcome of the second court hearing.

Opponents are seeking to nullify the marriages and block the city from continuing to distribute the licenses that began last week under an order from Newsom. The newly elected mayor's decision to permit gay marriages, while still legally unsettled, has intensified the national debate over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

In a heavily crowded courtroom across the street from City Hall, where hundreds have lined up for the marriage certificates, Quidachay told lawyers for the Campaign for California Families that they had not given the city enough notice to obtain an emergency injunction.

``The court itself is not prepared to hear the matter,'' Quidachay said.

Campaign for California Families, a conservative group, said California voters in 2000 espressly limited marriages recognized in the state to unions between a man and a woman. The group also said state law defines marriage as ``a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman'' and that the mayor lacks the authority to amend the California Family Code.

Newsom has argued that the equal protection clause of the California Constitution makes denying marriage licenses to gay couples illegal.

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's court cases, the final judicial decision on the matter is expected to come later from the California Supreme Court as both sides have promised to appeal.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in November ruled that that state's constitution permits gay marriages. Lawmakers there are debating a constitutional amendment to ban them.

This has turned into a gorgeous bit of civil disobedience! Can anyone tell me when a mayor, a city, and a county have done something like this before? Certainly, some Southern states & municipalities individually tried something similar regarding desegregation in the 1960s (and that was really a dispute between the Feds vs. the states,) but never all three at once, and in collusion.

The ADF (Alliance Defense Fund) was simply asking the judge for an injunction against any further same-sex marriages while he considered their contention: that SF was performing these marriages illegally, in violation of the state law.
San Francisco's case is quite brilliant, stating that denying same-sex marriages is in violation of the state constitution's equal protection clause. They also claim that:

-"Local officials are not barred from advancing their own interpretations of the state constitution..."

-"That the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that continuing to issue licenses for same-sex couples would cause the irreparable harm necessary to obtain a court stay..."


-"That denying same-sex couples the right to marry would cause a greater harm."

Astoundingly, not a peep has been heard yet from Sacramento concerning this issue!
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"This page fully supports the right of gay men and lesbians to marry, and we believe that in time they will have this right across the nation. But we also see a practical value in how the issue is currently unfolding. Louis Brandeis, the great Supreme Court justice, said he believed that the states should serve as social laboratories for the nation. Massachusetts and California "” and Vermont, before them, with its civil unions law "” are fulfilling that role right now. They have already started a national discussion of gay marriage, a very healthy thing in itself. If gay marriage takes hold in Massachusetts or California "” in both states, the issue is still up in the air "” it will allow the residents of slower-moving states to observe the experiment in action.

"Opponents of gay marriage have been loudly calling for a constitutional amendment prohibiting any state from recognizing gay marriages. Despite the parade of horribles they haul out, their greatest fear appears to be that giving gay men and women the right to join legally and permanently with the ones they love will work out just fine, and that the American people will see that the fears being foisted on them are unfounded."
Schwarzenegger urged to arrest S.F. mayor
Group says Newsom should face prison for false marriage licenses

Posted: February 17, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2004

A Christian legal group wants California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to arrest the mayor of San Francisco for issuing nearly 2,000 marriage licenses to homosexual couples in defiance of state law.

The American Family Association Center for Law and Policy called Mayor Gavin Newsom's decision to oversee the nation's first officially sanctioned same-sex weddings Thursday "an arrogant stunt" proving "the radical homosexual movement will trample the rights of all who stand in their way."

The AFA's law center wrote Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Bill Lockyer Friday insisting the mayor not only violated civil law, but criminal law as well.

Schwarzenegger and other state officials have remained silent on the issue.

The letter cites California's penal code Section 115, which "prohibits the knowing procurement of any false or forged instrument to be filed or recorded in any public office."

The penalty for the felony, the letter notes, is up to three years in prison. The AFA says this means three years for each false certificate issued.

With the clerk's office kept open over the weekend, more than 1,700 same-sex couples have been issued licenses since Thursday, when the city became the site of the first officially sanctioned "gay marriage" in American history.

Opponents of same-sex marriage are confident they will convince San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay to issue a temporary restraining order after a hearing this morning.

The motion filed on behalf of the pro-family lobby group Campaign for California Families by the public-interest firms Lively & Ackerman and Liberty Counsel presents an "irrefutable argument" that Newsom and Clerk Nancy Alfaro had no authority to redefine marriage in direct conflict with California law, asserted the group's president and general counsel Mathew Staver.

"The rule of law will be restored in California," Staver said. "The mayor and the clerk have no right to act as tyrants, ruling San Francisco as their personal dictatorship."

The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund sought an emergency hearing Friday afternoon but was rejected for failing to give defendants the 24-hours notice required by law.

A hearing in ADF's lawsuit also will be held today.

Newsom argues homosexuals should be able to marry based on the California Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law. The 36-year-old mayor, who began his term Jan. 8, insists he merely is fulfilling his duty.

"I'm not interested as a mayor in moving forward with a separate but unequal process for people to engage in marriages," Newsom said Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "The people of this city and certainly around the state are feeling that separate but unequal doesn't make sense."

But the Alliance Defense Fund – representing state Sen. William Knight, author of a successful state ballot-measure that limited marriage to a man and a woman – argues the San Francisco County Clerk has no authority under the state's constitution to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"This isn't civil disobedience on the mayor's part; its sheer unfettered anarchy and complete disdain for the rule of law," ADF chief counsel Benjamin Bull said. "No mayor, not even the mayor of San Francisco, has the authority to defy the laws of the state in which they reside."

The statutes under the family code specify marriage is reserved to a man and a woman, and Bull points out no court has declared that section to be unconstitutional.

"Officials charged with solemnizing marriages must enforce those statutes on constitutional grounds when issuing marriage licenses, regardless of what [Mayor] Newsom orders them to do," said Bull.
and the sad truth is his statements are no worse than those of our own Democratic presidential candidates, Kerry and Edwards. You should have heard Kerry on Sunday night's debate, giving the whole "marriage is between a man and a woman" schtick and all the hockey about civil unions and actually hedging on whether he'd support a constitutional ban. It was really sad. Personally I think San Fran's mayor deserves the Nobel Peace Prize and a Medal of Valor for being so bold. He's not gay, but he's courageous and moral enough to be on our side and telling the naysayers to just get over it. I wish more politicians were like him.

The New York Post

February 18, 2004 -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last night called for San Francisco to terminate its ongoing gay-marriage marathon.

"Californians spoke on the issue of same-sex marriage when they overwhelmingly approved California's law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. I support that law, and I encourage San Francisco officials to obey that law," the former actor said.

It was the first time Schwarzenegger weighed in on the controversy since San Francisco's new mayor last week ordered city officials to lift the ban on gay marriages there, a move that openly defies the state's Proposition 22.

Schwarzenegger has said he opposes gay marriage but supports domestic partnerships.

Conservatives have gone to court to argue that San Francisco is violating the state's constitution. A judge yesterday delayed ruling on the case until at least Friday.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley enters the gay marriage debate. It's hot !!!

Will Chicago be next city to issue gay wedding licenses?

Mayor: 'Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage. Don't blame the gay and lesbian community.'

February 19, 2004

CHICAGO "” Mayor Richard Daley said he would have "no problem" with Cook County issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in Chicago, the nation's third largest city.

Entering a national debate over gay marriage, Daley urged sympathy for same-sex couples because "they love each other just as much as anyone else."

Daley also dismissed a suggestion Wednesday that marriage between gay couples would undermine the institution.

"Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage," he said. "Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community."

Daley said only the county clerk's office can issue marriage licenses, and he stopped short of saying he would follow San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom by approving marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

County Clerk David Orr said he was "game to looking at options," but only if a consensus could be built between Daley, city and county government and advocacy groups.

"I'm fed up with people being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation," Orr said. "(But) whatever you do when it comes to challenging laws, you want it to be effective and not knee-jerk."

Last fall the county board authorized Orr to issue certificates of domestic partnership that carry no legal rights.

Rick Garcia, political director for the gay rights group Equality Illinois, welcomed Daley's comments, saying they represent "another step in the right direction."

At least 38 states, including Illinois, and the federal government have approved laws or amendments barring the recognition of gay marriage. Meanwhile, gay and lesbian couples from more than 20 states and Europe have flocked to San Francisco since city officials decided to begin marrying same-sex couples last week.

Massachusetts' highest court also recently ruled that its state constitution allows gay marriages.

This in The Daily News from our buddy in the State Assembly.


Acting to further the equal protection and nondiscrimination provisions of the California Constitution, San Francisco officials went beyond the "man and a woman" definition of marriage in state law last week by issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
On the same day, the New York City clerk disregarded not only constitutional principles, but also existing state statutes by refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Unlike California law, New York's matrimonial law does not restrict marriage licenses to persons of the opposite sex, in the view of leading legal authorities.

A 1997 report published jointly by three committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and endorsed by the association's committee on matrimonial law concluded that New York's current domestic relations law is gender neutral. The association concluded that marriage licenses can and should be issued now to same-sex couples under existing law. A supplemental joint committee report by the association in 2001 reaffirmed this conclusion.

The report states: "Nowhere in Article 3, which sets out the requirements and procedures for entering into a marriage, is there any requirement that applicants for a marriage license be of the opposite sex. Nor are same-sex marriages among the categories of marriage that are void or voidable."

In Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Ontario and British Columbia, courts have found state or provincial marriage laws unconstitutional for failing to offer equal rights to same-sex couples. But no such court action is necessary in New York. Local licensing authorities can simply follow the words of the statute and issue licenses to all couples regardless of gender who meet age, health and contractual capacity requirements.

Denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples denies their right to equality under New York law, while simply following the statute honors those rights. Local authorities can abide by both the constitutional principle of equality and the plain wording of the statute by issuing licenses now.

Understanding this point is crucial, since there is little likelihood, given the seemingly permanent control of the state Senate by Republicans, that New York will amend its domestic relations law to explicitly permit issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

On the other hand, it is equally unlikely that once marriage licenses are issued that the Legislature would act to ban them. The New York State Democratic Party, in resolution adopted last September, has committed itself to supporting full marriage rights for same-sex couples. Given this official party position, the Democratically controlled Assembly should be able to resist any pressure to amend the law.

New York City has adopted an admirable domestic partnership law, but so far neither the mayor nor the City Council have called upon the city clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Unlike San Francisco, New York would be acting in accordance with current state law and constitutional principles by issuing marriage licenses to qualified same-sex couples. It is high time we do so.

Moss is a lawyer in Manhattan and chairman of the Reform Caucus of the New York State Democratic Committee.
The situation outside San Francisco's City Hall escalates as gay marriage opponents begin passionate protests. San Francisco (which is both a city and a county) has now stepped up the battle with a lawsuit of its own against California state. What's fierce to me in all of this is how many of the local and even state officials, most of them heterosexual, are in favor of Mayor Newsom's decision. Even if all these gay marriages happening now are later invalidated, this historic event has begun to wake up the general public to the fact that the gay marriage issue is really about equal rights and human rights.

San Francisco Sues State Over Same-Sex Weddings
Published: February 20, 2004
The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 19 "” Officials here moved on Thursday to force a constitutional showdown with opponents of same-sex marriage by suing the State of California over state laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman.

The lawsuit backs the core assertion by Mayor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, that marriage definitions in the state's family code violate the State Constitution. It was also certain to inflame tensions further over Mr. Newsom's directive last week to issue same-sex marriage licenses, which has already led to two legal challenges by conservative and religious groups.

"The City and County of San Francisco is going on offense today in protecting the mayor's action," City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. "Mayor Newsom took a bold step last week, and we fully agree with him that his position is justified and that the California Constitution provides that there should be equal opportunity under the law, and not just for straight people but for gay and lesbian people as well."

The state attorney general, Bill Lockyer, who had been silent about the same-sex marriages, said in a statement that "it is the duty of my office to defend" the state against the lawsuit. The city contends in the suit that the state family code violates both the Constitution's equal protection clause and its due process clause by not giving equal opportunity to same-sex couples.

"The issue of whether state statutes prohibiting same-sex marriages violate constitutional protections is emerging as one of the great legal and civil rights issues of our day, and the question must be answered by our courts," Mr. Lockyer said.

Mr. Lockyer, a Democrat, also offered a hint of the political minefield that Mr. Newsom seems to have laid by making a personal observation that sounded a lot like an endorsement of the mayor.

"As a lifelong defender of civil rights, due process and equal protection for all," Mr. Lockyer said, "I do not personally support policies that give lesser legal rights and responsibilities to committed same-sex couples than those provided to heterosexual couples."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said Mr. Lockyer "has assured me that he will vigorously defend the constitutionality of the law." The governor also said that the altered marriage licenses in San Francisco, which must be filed with the State Department of Health Services, "fail to meet legal standards."

"I will abide by the oath I took when I was sworn in to uphold California laws," Mr. Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

The lawsuit, which was filed in San Francisco Superior Court, also named two conservative groups that last week sued to block the same-sex marriage policy. By including the groups in the lawsuit, the city wanted to make sure that any court decisions in those cases took into consideration the city's constitutional arguments.

"What we are doing is trying to ensure that the constitutional issue is addressed," Mr. Herrera said. "It's doing what any good lawyer would do and ensure that you are protecting your client's position on all available fronts."

Lawyers for the groups that filed the lawsuits against the city said the city's new legal offensive was an acknowledgment that Mr. Newsom's case was weak.

"They are in a defensive posture, and frankly I think it's an admission that they didn't do things in the right way in the first place," said Richard D. Ackerman, a lawyer for one of the groups, Campaign for California Families.

Another group, the Alliance Defense Fund, which represents backers of Proposition 22, a ballot measure opposed to same-sex marriages that passed in 2000, said in a statement that the new lawsuit was "an implicit concession that the city lacks legal authority" to issue the same-sex marriage licenses.

"It is trying to retroactively validate its lawless activity," the statement said.

Mr. Newsom's directive on Feb. 12 set off a blitz of gay weddings, numbering more than 3,000 by the close of business on Thursday. People waiting in line for a license applauded the city's new legal move, but in a sign of the growing rancor surrounding the marriages, opponents began picketing outside City Hall.

Several people carried posters, including one that said "Homosexuality is sin," while others used megaphones to issue dire warnings to the couples waiting in line on the sidewalk. "You don't have to go to hell," one protester shouted.

Mr. Newsom, who had called a news conference to announce several changes in the top echelons of the Police Department, was bombarded with questions from reporters about the new lawsuit and the growing turmoil over his marriage policy.

"I think what we have done, is we have affirmed marriage in San Francisco," Mr. Newsom said. "We have affirmed it because we're celebrating people coming together in their unions. I feel affirmed as a married man by what's happened here in San Francisco."
By broadcasting the images from SF City Hall, the media have given same-sex marriages "a human face." No longer can the religious right claim that gay relationships are solely based on "lust" when it has been noted that these couples have been together for up to 50+ years.
And President Bush will continue to make himself look bad if he continues to speak out against these unions. An overwhelming majority of Americans view marriage as the sole domain of the states, and resent the Feds getting involved to any degree.
we are watching history in the making. the best predictor of the future is the past. last century we saw women fight for suffrage and then later for the right to choose, the civil rights movement bring equality for african americans, and now look how far the gay rights movement has come in 30+ years- from out, loud & proud to now wanting equality in the institution of marriage.

of course Bush is "troubled" (that one is ripe fodder for comedians all around) about 1000s of couples getting married, because Hattie you said it, there is now a human face to gay marriages. the PR fallout from invalidation of these marriages could be devastating for Bush, and he even brought his milktoast librarian wife into the picture by having her comment on the issue.

it will be very interesting to see how this plays out within the context of the coming election because it is an issue the candidates have to address. the legal battles between cities, states, and the nation will most likely end up with cases going to the Supreme Court, which could be a scary thing depending on who the judges are sitting up there, and the next president most likely will place one or two judges on the bench tipping the delicate balance between conservative & liberal.

approximately 60% of americans polled though are against gay marriages, but when it was happening in history, how many were in support of women's suffrage? or for equality for african americans?
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I just found this article. It has tomorrow's date on it but whatever. Take that, Mrs. Bush!

Dozens line up for gay weddings in New Mexico county
By Susan Montoya Bryan
The Associated Press
Saturday, February 21, 2004 - The Denver Post

BERNALILLO, N.M. "” Gay and lesbian couples lined up to tie the knot today in this northern New Mexico town after the county clerk agreed to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, joining San Francisco.

Roughly 15 couples had been granted licenses by late morning, the Sandoval County clerk's office said. A sign-up list for applications had grown to 38 couples. Outside the courthouse, two ministers conducted impromptu marriage ceremonies.

Meanwhile, two state senators and the county commissioner called for a quick opinion from the attorney general on whether the licenses were legal.

New Mexico law defines marriage as a civil contract between contracting parties but it does not mention gender.

Among the first to get their license were two women who got married in a brief ceremony in front of the courthouse.

"When we heard the news this morning, we knew we couldn't wait. We had to come down here," Jenifer Albright said after she and Anne Schultz, 34, both of Albuquerque, exchanged vows in front of the courthouse.

James Walker and Michael Palmer took extended lunch breaks from work for a moment they said they'd waited 26 years for. The men were married in Toronto last year, but that didn't give them rights in the United States. Walker said a marriage certificate from Sandoval County "would give us a lot of rights and benefits that have been denied us as a couple, including the rights associated with property ownership and the rights associated with medical decisions."

"Look at the sincerity here," pointing to a pair of women holding hands and exchanging vows, said the Rev. Pearl Gabaldon, who was conducting ceremonies.

County Clerk Victoria Dunlap, a Republican, said Thursday that she knew of no laws prohibiting licenses from being issued for same-sex couples. She said she sought an opinion from her county attorney after she got a call earlier this week from someone asking about same-sex ceremonies.

"This has nothing to do with politics or morals," she told the Albuquerque Journal. "If there are no legal grounds that say this should be prohibited, I can't withhold it ... This office won't say no until shown it's not permissible."

She said County Attorney David Mathews told her that New Mexico law is unclear on the issue.

Republican state Sen. Steve Komadina, R-Corrales, criticized Dunlap's decision and urged state Attorney General Patricia Madrid to issue a prompt opinion. Sandoval County Commission Chairman Daymon Ely also sought a legal opinion.

A spokeswoman for Madrid said an opinion could be issued next week. Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, has said he opposes same-sex marriages.

"I feel badly that action was taken before an answer was obtained," Kominda said. "That was very irresponsible and will cause heartache to people on all sides of the question."

The clerk's decision came as a surprise to Linda Siegle, a lobbyist representing the Coalition for Equality in New Mexico, a gay rights group.

Siegle said she assumes Dunlap was trying to force a decision on gay marriage in New Mexico.
"It's not our primary issue right now but it has to become one of our primary issues," Siegle said.

Melinda Foster, a clerk's administrative assistant, said people have been calling from across New Mexico, interested in filing. Dunlap was not immediately available for comment today.

To get an application, would-be married couples had to show up with a photo ID, social security card and $25 to receive an application. In getting their stamped licenses, they were handed pink "newlywed bags" with coupons and other items.

On Thursday, Mathews said he was concerned that refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples could open the county to legal liability.

The only New Mexico law that mentions gender is a 1961 statute that created the form used for marriage licenses and which asks for information about the male and female applicants.

But the Equal Rights Act of 1973 outlaws discrimination based on sex, Mathews said.

Dunlap said she would issue marriage licenses to same-sex applicants until Sandoval County receives a legal opinion from the attorney general.

Mathews said he did not want Sandoval County to become a test case for same-sex marriage in New Mexico and that the county does not have a position on the issue.

"This is a statewide issue, and we need some guidance," he said.

Clerks in nearby Santa Fe and Bernalillo County said they would not issue same-sex marriage licenses.

"My position is I took an oath to uphold the law, not change the law," said Rebecca Bustamante, Santa Fe County clerk. "I wouldn't do it because I just don't think I can."

Mary Herrera, Bernalillo County clerk, said she has no plans to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She cited the 1961 law.

San Francisco has sanctioned about 3,000 gay unions since it began defying a California law banning same-sex marriages.

Even before the San Francisco weddings, gay marriage had emerged as a volatile election-year topic, largely because of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's ruling last year that the state must start recognizing gay marriages as of May 17.

Cambodian king says gays should be allowed to marry

Friday, February 20, 2004
©2004 Associated Press

(02-20) 13:11 PST PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) --

After watching TV images of gay weddings in San Francisco, Cambodia's King Norodom Sihanouk said Friday that homosexual couples should be allowed to get married.

Since the Cambodian government chose in 1993 to be a "liberal democracy," it should allow "marriage between man and man ... or between woman and woman," the king said in a signed statement in French posted on his Web site.

The king, currently on a medical visit to Beijing, also said that transvestites should be "accepted and well-treated in our national community."

Sihanouk is a constitutional monarch with no executive powers but is highly respected in his country. Gay couples are not allowed to marry in Cambodia.

San Francisco has issued more than 2,800 marriage licenses to gay couples in the past week, amid a growing debate in the United States over whether such unions should be allowed. Sihanouk said in his Web site statement that he saw TV footage of gay weddings there.

Unfortunately Sandoval County, New Mexico has now ceased to issue same-sex marriage licenses after receiving a letter from the NM Attorney General stating, "It appears that the present policy of New Mexico is to limit marriage to a man and a woman." The letter also invalidated the previously issued licenses.
It remains to be seen if this ruling will be challenged in court. It is not clear whether this decision stems from actual state law or is simply a matter of NM public policy.
State Senator Ramsey Gorham has said that she will ask NM Governor to call a special session to put a referendum on gay marriages on the ballot in November.

So we have it: Massachusetts, San Francisco, New Mexico,the mayors of Chicago and Salt Lake City speaking out in favor of same-sex unions-- and New York City, with the largest Gay & Lesbian population in the US, remains glaringly silent on the issue.
I would like to know-- where does Mayor Bloomberg stand concerning same-sex marriages?
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Courtesy of

"In response to Governor Schwarzenegger's directive to him that he take immediate action to stop the San Francisco Mayor's issuing of marriage licenses in violation of state law, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer stated the following: "The governor can direct the Highway Patrol. He can direct the next 'Terminator 4' movie if he chooses. But he can't direct the attorney general in the way he's attempted to do."
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From NY times today...

"Mr. Schwarzenegger said. 'In San Francisco it's a license for marriage of same sex... Maybe the next thing is another city that hands out licenses for assault weapons and someone else hands out licenses for selling drugs "” I mean, you can't do that. We have to stay within the law. There's a state law that says specific things, and if you want to challenge those laws, then you can go to the court.'

"If Mr. Schwarzenegger's perspective on the law was not popular... other comments he made about the marriage licenses on television also raised ire beyond here. The governor told Tim Russert, the host of Meet the Press, that when he was in San Francisco on Friday, 'all of a sudden we see riots and we see protests and we see people clashing. The next thing we know is there's injured or there's dead people.'

" 'The San Francisco police have reported no violence related to the same-sex marriage certificates,' said Hallye Jordan, a spokeswoman for Bill Lockyer, the California attorney general. She suggested that Mr. Schwarzenegger might have confused his visit to San Francisco with 'part of his next movie.'

" 'There is no public safety emergency, and we disagree with the governor's use of that type of rhetoric,' Ms. Jordan said."
Gay men are marrying gay men and lesbians are marrying lesbians in San Francisco.

Gay couples in Massachusetts will have the right to marry in a few short months.

The mayor of Chicago has spoken out loudly in favor of same-sex marriage.


While the mayors of San Francisco and Chicago have courageously stood up for our community's freedom to marry, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has
steadfastly refused to act on the issue.

Mayor Bloomberg has the power to make same-sex marriage a reality in New York City. Why isn't he in the lead in requiring his city to issue
marriage licenses to same-sex couples?

Please come to a planning meeting for a demonstration at City Hall to demand that Mayor Michael Bloomberg make this happen in New York City.

Friday, February 27
6:30-8 pm
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center
208 West 13th Street
between 7th and Greenwich Avenues
Room 101

The meeting will be listed at the front desk as the "Same-Sex Marriage
Working Group."


Best regards,
Andrew Miller
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A despicable election year trick, intended to drive a wedge between the queer community and our hetero neighbors. While depressing, this article is highly informative and I love the quoted reactions from DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, the ACLU and others. And though the Democratic presidential candidates are not THAT much better, at least they are against a constitutional amendment and Kerry can boast that he voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

Congress Is Urged to Begin Process to Amend Constitution
Published: February 24, 2004
The New York Times

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 "” President Bush said today he supported a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, declaring that such a measure was the only way to protect the status of marriage between man and woman, which he called "the most fundamental institution of civilization."

In an announcement fraught with social, legal and political implications, Mr. Bush urged Congress to act on the amendment quickly and send it on to the state legislatures. Quick action is essential, he said, to bring clarity to the law and protect husband-and-wife marriages from a few "activist judges."

"The voice of the people must be heard," Mr. Bush said in a brief White House speech that Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, called an attempt to find "a wedge issue to divide the American people."

Two-thirds of each house of Congress would have to approve the proposed amendment. It would then have to be approved by at least three-fourths of the state legislatures, or 38, to become part of the Constitution. The process can take many months, even years, whether an amendment passes or not.

"An amendment to the Constitution is never to be undertaken lightly," Mr. Bush said. "The amendment process has addressed many serious matters of national concern, and the preservation of marriage rises to this level of national importance."

Mr. Bush did not suggest specific wording for an amendment, but his remarks were immediately welcomed by his conservative backers, many of whom had been urging him to speak out, and denounced by gay-rights supporters.

"We are delighted the president has stepped forward on this issue and his announcement serves as a critical catalyst to energize and organize those who will work diligently to ensure that marriage remains an institution between one man and one woman," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice, which describes itself as an international public interest law firm specializing in constitutional law.

But even though Mr. Bush insisted today that the amendment he favored would not undermine tolerance and respect for all individuals, his remarks were condemned.

"Not since the days of Jim Crow segregation has our nation faced the prospect of discrimination written into law in such a shameful way," said David Tseng, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. "Millions of Americans are disappointed that their president, George W. Bush, has bowed to political pressure to support the codification of hatred into our beloved Constitution."

Pressure had been mounting on Mr. Bush to speak out, especially since the highest court in Massachusetts ruled recently that it was contrary to the state constitution to bar gay couples from marriage. The Massachusetts court held in part that civil unions, as opposed to full-fledged marriage, subjected gay couples to second-class status.

Soon after the Massachusetts ruling, the City of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses for gay couples. More 3,000 gay weddings have been performed even as opponents of the concept have gone to court to try to stop them.

The president had repeatedly described himself as deeply troubled by the developments in Massachusetts and California. Against such a backdrop of events, he said today, there is only one recourse.

"If we are to prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in America," he said. "Decisive and democratic action is needed because attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country."

Mr. Bush said an amendment was needed because the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the legal union between one man and one woman, has been under siege, even though it was passed overwhelmingly by both houses and signed by President Bill Clinton. Moreover, Mr. Bush said, 38 states have so far passed laws similar to the federal statute.

Mr. Kerry was one of 14 senators to vote against the 1996 law "” a fact that is sure to be raised in the campaign, should he get the nomination.

"I believe President Bush is wrong," Mr. Kerry said today. "All Americans should be concerned when a president who is in political trouble tries to tamper with the Constitution of the United States at the start of his re-election campaign."

Mr. Kerry added: "While I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, for 200 years, this has been a state issue. I believe the best way to protect gays and lesbians is through civil unions. I believe the issue of marriage should be left to the states, and that the president of the United States should be addressing the central challenges where he has failed: jobs, health care, and our leadership in the world."

Mr. Bush was not specific today about the wording he would like to see Congress adopt in beginning the constitutional-amendment process. He did not, for instance, mention legislation proposed by Representative Marilyn Musgrave, Republican of Colorado.

Mr. Bush said the amendment he envisioned "should fully protect marriage while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage."

"America's a free society which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens," Mr. Bush said. "This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefinition of one of our most basic social institutions. Our government should respect every person and protect the institution of marriage.

"There is no contradiction between these responsibilities."

Mr. Bush's announcement came less than a day after he effectively kicked off his re-election campaign with a speech to the Republican Governors Association, where he defended his own record and ridiculed Mr. Kerry as a fence-straddler on many issues.

The prospects for a constitutional amendment are by no means clear, especially in a year when many Washington lawmakers, along with their state counterparts, must run for re-election. But the depth of emotion and the seemingly unbridgeable gulfs of opinion on the issue became obvious in the hours after Mr. Bush's announcement.

"An amendment to the Constitution is never to be taken lightly, and is an extremely difficult endeavor, but it is now an essential step to preserve this fundamental building block of society," said Matthew Spalding, director of American Studies for the Heritage Foundation.

The Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman and founder of the Traditional Values Coalition, offered a similar opinion. "Call it same-sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnership, it is all part of a carefully calculated campaign to provide the appearance of normalcy to homosexual behavior," Mr. Sheldon said. "It will be unmasked and defeated and President Bush's leadership on this issue will make the difference."

But Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, "President Bush's endorsement of this mean-spirited amendment shows that he is neither compassionate nor concerned with the rights of all Americans."

Mr. Romero added: "Gays and lesbians are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends. They serve as firefighters, police, doctors and professional athletes. They laugh at the same jokes and worry about car payments and credit card debt. Amending the Constitution to deny them the same rights we all take for granted just isn't very American."

Democrats were eager to criticize Mr. Bush.

"President Bush is tinkering with America's most sacred document in a shameful attempt to turn our attention away from his record as president," said Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "Since he can't run on his record of shipping jobs overseas, failing schools, and rising health care costs, he has to change the subject."

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts said, "This nation has made too much progress in the ongoing battle for civil rights to take such an unjustified step backwards now."

And Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, called the president's proposal "shameful."

"By stating his support of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the president is trying to write discrimination into the Constitution, for the first time amending our sacred document to deny civil rights to a large number of Americans," Mr. Nadler said.

Nor was the reaction entirely along party lines.

"The amendment before Congress not only would define marriage, it would jeopardize civil unions and it would potentially even jeopardize domestic partnership legislation," said Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay party members. "You can't discuss tolerance and at the same time talk about writing discrimination into the Constitution. The president would have been better today discussing an attack on infidelity and divorce than on gay and lesbian families."

The president, perhaps tacitly acknowledging the emotion that has accompanied the debate over gay marriage, closed by saying: "We should also conduct this difficult debate in a manner worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger. In all that lies ahead, let us match strong convictions with kindness and good will and decency."

Here's the letter from LCCR opposing Bush's proposal to amend the U.S. constitution to preserve homophobia as a way of life:

Dear Member of Congress:

We, the undersigned organizations of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation's oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, urge you to oppose the "Federal Marriage Amendment" (H.J. Res. 56, S.J. Res. 26), a radical proposal that would permanently write discrimination into the United States Constitution. LCCR believes that this highly divisive amendment is a dangerous and unnecessary approach to resolving the ongoing debate over same-sex marriage, and it would turn 225 years of Constitutional history on its head by requiring that states actually restrict the civil rights of its own citizens.

As a diverse coalition, LCCR does not take a position for or against same-sex marriage. The issue of same-sex marriage is an extremely difficult and sensitive one, and people of good will can and do have heartfelt differences of opinion on the matter. However, LCCR strongly believes that there are right and wrong ways to address the issue as a matter of public policy, and is extremely concerned about any proposal that would alter our nation's most important document for the direct purpose of excluding any individuals from its guarantees of equal protection.

The proposed amendment is antithetical to one of the Constitution's most fundamental guiding principles, that of the guarantee of equal protection for all. For the first time in history, it would use the Constitution as a tool of exclusion, restricting the rights of a group of Americans. It is so far-reaching that it would not only prohibit states from granting equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, but also may deprive same-sex couples and their families of fundamental protections such as hospital visitation, inheritance rights, and health care benefits, whether conveyed through marriage or other legally recognized relationships. Such a proposal runs afoul of basic principles of fairness and will do little but harm real children and real families in the process.

Constitutional amendments are extremely rare, and are only done to address great public policy needs. Since the Bill of Rights' adoption in 1791, the
Constitution has only been amended seventeen times. LCCR believes that the Bill of Rights, and subsequent amendments, were designed largely to protect and expand individual liberties, and certainly not to deliberately take away or restrict them.

LCCR is particularly troubled by the virulent rhetoric of some organizations working to enact the proposed amendment, and their animus towards gays and lesbians. The attacks made by many of the most vocal proponents, such as the Traditional Values Coalition or the American Family Association, are disturbingly similar to the sorts of attacks that have been made upon other communities as they have attempted to assert their right to equal protection
of the laws. This is, of course, an element of the debate that the civil rights community finds deeply disturbing, as should all fair-minded Americans.

In addition, supporters of the Federal Marriage Amendment cite "judicial activism" as a reason to enact it. Terms like "judicial activism" are alarming to LCCR and the civil rights community because such labels have routinely been used in the past to attack judges who made courageous decisions on civil rights matters. When Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the unanimous Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), for example, defenders of segregation cried "judicial activism" across the South and across the country. Many groups and individuals demanded that Congress
"impeach Earl Warren." The Supreme Court's ruling in Loving v. Virginia (1967), which invalidated a state anti-miscegenation law, resulted in similar attacks. Fortunately, our nation avoided taking any radial measures against the "judicial activists" who made those decisions, and we believe a similar level of caution is warranted in this case.

At a time when our nation has many great and pressing issues, Congress can ill afford to exert time and energy on such a divisive and discriminatory constitutional amendment. We implore you to focus on the critical needs facing our nation, and to publicly oppose this amendment. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Rob Randhava, LCCR
Policy Analyst, at (202) 466-6058, or Nancy Zirkin, LCCR Deputy Director, at (202) 263-2880. Thank you for your consideration.


Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Teresa Heinz Kerry says U.S. will one day accept gay marriage

BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
©2004 Associated Press

(02-24) 14:25 PST SAN FRANCISCO (AP) --

Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry, said Tuesday that she believed the country would eventually move toward acceptance of gay marriage.

"I think with time and without a lot of politicization of this, we'll get there," said Heinz Kerry, who is on a three-day campaign swing through California, which holds its primary next week. "I think our country is basically a tolerant country."

Heinz Kerry was campaigning for her husband Tuesday in San Francisco, which has become the epicenter of the gay marriage debate since the city began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

She told reporters she was "not surprised" by President Bush's support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. She said she expected the Bush campaign would use her husband's views on the issue against him in the presidential race if Kerry became the Democratic nominee.

"It's a campaign year, what can I say?" Heinz Kerry said. "They'll use everything, everything."

Her husband, John Kerry, opposes gay marriage but supports same-sex civil unions. In 1996, he was one of just 14 Senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition of gay marriages licensed in individual states.

Heinz Kerry said she sees the same sex marriage debate from the perspective of a mother because she has many friends struggling to come to terms with children who are gay.

"I think culturally we're going through a huge change," Heinz Kerry said. "I look at it in a human context because I have friends in those situations, and it's terrible. All we owe people is dignity, respect and civil rights. I think the country will evolve."

Heinz Kerry has three grown sons from her first marriage to the late Sen. John Heinz, a Pennsylvania Republican.

Kerry issued a statement Tuesday condemning Bush's decision to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

"I believe President Bush is wrong. All Americans should be concerned when a President who is in political trouble tries to tamper with the Constitution of the United States at the start of his re-election campaign," Kerry said. "He is looking for a wedge issue to divide the American people."

At a rally where she picked up an endorsement for her husband from local firefighters, Heinz Kerry praised the firefighters for their work on homeland security and sharply criticized the Bush administration for using legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security as a political tool against Democrats.

"What is the most damaging, I think, to all of us about many of the actions of this administration," Heinz Kerry said, "has been the cynicism with which they have perpetrated their positions and in which they have moved to trap us and, in a sense, terrorize us. Because it paralyzes us."

©2004 Associated Press

sit back relax........ now we can watch this show unfold and none of us has to do another thing to push this titanic on its way. it's gonna get so ugly and mean spirited, and all we got to do is sit on the sidelines and watch these social conservative monkey minds fall over over each other in this moment of their public shame they know not. they gonna have us all verbally abused into jail, in hell and/or not allowed to enter by the front door anywhere before they are over themselves.

merlin has seen the 'no blacks allowed' sign before. the first sign merlin saw was a 'no coloreds' sign above the door of a laundra mat and all merlin could think is where do they do their other clothes if they can only do their whites here? gawd merlin was dumb. yes melrin has seen a no blacks water fountains. no blacks in the orchestra section of the theatre, no blacks at the bowling alley, the no blacks motel and no blacks allowed restaurant signs. except these guys didn't use the word black last time. what are they gonna call the rest of us now?

and like the bull fighters of old we can just step aside at the perfect moment as this social war begins, cause these guys smell blood and have that wild look in their eyes that they think they are gonna get us. and they just may seem to for some time....... they killed manhattan what else they planning?

it's gonna take some swartznauzi to step up to the mike and say all the right wrong things politely using hatre speach and against diversity at that right moment in history that will shame those that are promoting sexual apartied.

rosa parks ain't dead yet and they pulling this homosexauls to the back of the bus?


Karen, thank you for that reprint. Bush has now revealed himself as a complete ignoramus on the subject of how to create a constitutional amendment. A gov101 student could have told him, NO WAY!! He would have been better off just sticking with his religious grandstanding, the homophobic "point" would have then had its own integrity. Merlin is right. We could just sit back and watch them slime each other with their fetid mentations, though one still should voice loud and intense displeasure over the
shamelessness of this attempt to "rewrite the constitution," as Kerry put it, as part of his campaign for President.

The attitudes will only get uglier. As the groundswell grows against his asinine opinions, in desperation to win his dirty tricks will come out of the bag. Kerry should beef up his security big-time. And a hundred gold stars to Mrs. Kerry for being out there and eloquent on the issues. Very cool.
Rosie O'Donnell to marry girlfriend in San Francisco
LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, February 26, 2004
©2004 Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Rosie O'Donnell flew across the country Thursday to marry her longtime girlfriend in the city where more than 3,300 other same-sex couples have tied the knot since Feb. 12.

The couple traveled to San Francisco from New York on Thursday morning, said Cindi Berger, O'Donnell's publicist. They have a 1 p.m. appointment to pick up a marriage license, according to the mayor's office.

"We, too, have a dream of equality for all families," the comedian and former talk show host said in a statement. "The only way changes are made in society is when people like Mayor Gavin Newsom have the courage to stand up against injustice."

City officials didn't know who O'Donnell wants to officiate when she marries her girlfriend, Kelli Carpenter, said Francisco Castillo, a spokesman for the mayor. The women plan to take their vows on the steps of City Hall, according to Berger.

Earlier Thursday, O'Donnell announced her wedding plans on ABC's "Good Morning America," just two days after President Bush called for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

She said the president's call is what inspired her to come to San Francisco, where city officials continue to perform same-sex weddings even as state courts are considering the legality of those marriages.

"I think the actions of the president are, in my opinion, the most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a sitting president," O'Donnell said on the program. "I am stunned and I'm horrified.

"I find this proposed amendment very, very, very, very shocking. And immoral. And, you know, if civil disobedience is the way to go about change, then I think a lot of people will be going to San Francisco. And I hope they put more people on the steps to marry as many people as show up. And I hope everyone shows up."

O'Donnell said she decided to marry Carpenter, a former dancer and marketing director at Nickelodeon, during her recent trial in New York over the now-defunct Rosie magazine. During the case, she referred to Carpenter as her wife.

"We applied for spousal privilege and were denied it by the state. As a result, everything that I said to Kelli, every letter that I wrote her, every e-mail, every correspondence and conversation was entered into the record," O'Donnell said. "After the trial, I am now and will forever be a total proponent of gay marriage."

"But the debate over the idea of gay marriage has brought out concerns by one extremist end that it will lead to people marrying their livestock to Gay Gestapo charges of homophobic bigotry against those opposed to same-sex nuptials.

Neither accusation is valid, so as an independent gay woman, I think it's time to make a few things clear. First of all, despite what you hear from the Gay Elite, there is not a consensus in the gay community about this issue. We do not all operate in the cultural or political equivalent of a Vulcan mind-meld."
The extreme right is employing a number of faulty arguments in their fight against common sense civil rights.

There are those who argue that San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsom, has ignored the rule of law, setting the stage for rogue public officials across the country to plunge America into a state of anarchy. (California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, used the word "anarchy" when describing the state of affairs in San Francisco.)

What is next, these hysterical thinkers ask? Will the anti-choice mayor of Fresno shut off access to family planning clinics? Will Hallmark launch a line of congratulatory cards for men marrying their goats and brothers marrying their sisters? Will all of civilization as we know it crumble?

Suggesting the Newsom's actions are anarchistic is sloppy thinking. Mayor Newsom argues that the California constitution commands him to offer equal protection under the law for all of its citizens. Some people disagree, and are taking the matter into the courts. So far, two judges have denied an injunction against the same sex marriages in San Francisco. These marriages are not causing irreparable harm to anyone, they've said thus far. Moreover, these judges understand that there is a legal process underway that will address these concerns.

Here we have an elected official, supported by scores of other elected officials in San Francisco and California, who recognize the spirit of the law as proscribed in the California constitution. Moreover, they are pursuing their case in the courts. This is hardly anarchy, a system that is defined as the absence of government.

It remains to be seen what the courts will decide, but Newsom's position is in stark contrast with that of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who refused to remove his monument of the Ten Commandments from the court house, even AFTER all the relevant courts ruled that he was in violation of the law. Moore's actions do qualify as lawless.

Newsom is working to uphold the constitution. If the courts find that his actions have no basis in law, then the marriages will stop. Moore flouted the law. Those who stand opposed to anarchy would serve their cause well to recognize this distinction.

Tammy Bruce's clumsy comparison of Newsom's actions to a hypothetical rogue mayor of Fresno is woefully inadequate.

Those who arguing that legalizing gay marriage will lead to bestiality, incest, and more, are employing classic red herring tactics. They can't win the argument that gays and lesbians should be denied equal protection under the law. Thus, they confuse the issue by suggesting that the real gay agenda goes beyond gaining the right to equal protection for their relationships under the law, and actually includes a call for all sorts of unsavory behavior. If they say it enough then, right or wrong, it will enter the public discourse.

While I talk about the right to marry my partner, they talk about man-on-goat sex. On the face of it, their arguments are free of intellectual heft. Moreover, it calls into question the inner workings of their minds.

The extreme right speaks of tradition. Gay marriage, they often say, will lead to end of civilization, as we know it. That is the point!

In the name of tradition the extreme right has argued for the preservation of slavery. In the name of tradition the extreme right has argued for the continued subjugation of women. In the name of tradition the extreme right has argued for archaic environmental laws, regressive tax structures, racist voting laws, and a Christian-based America. And in the name of tradition the extreme right argues against equal protection for gay Americans.

I understand tradition and it is my most sincere hope that gay marriage (along with other progressive initiatives) will undermine it, as defined by the extreme right, to its very core.

I will no longer bite my tongue when someone refers to the bible as a historical document. There is overwhelming evidence that proves it is anything but a historical document.

The bible isn't history. It's Christian mythology. I have no doubt that one day the Christian bible will be looked upon in the way as Greek or Roman mythology. Jesus will take his rightful place among the ranks of Zeus, Apollo, and Poseidon.

The bible, both old and new testament, is a horribly oppressive document that calls for slavery, murder, and tyranny. There are parts of it that call for a more peaceful approach to life, but the extreme right picks and chooses among the verses with a self-serving recklessness. The extreme right claims that America is a Christian society. To the extent that they are correct, I will stand against them. I will fight against public policy that is based on this cruel mythology.

Will gay marriage undermine tradition? I can only hope.

Tammy Bruce suggests that gays look to the government for love and approval. She cites Andrew Sullivan as an example of just such a gay. The salient point here is that Tammy Bruce is a sloppy thinker. It would be easy for anyone, on the left or the right, to make a point, cite someone (say, Sullivan) as an example, and then apply it to an entire group of people. Bruce argued that there is no "Vulcan mind-meld" among gays. Yet, to make her ill-conceived point, she suggests that most gays do think alike on that point.

Perhaps gay marriage represents government love for Bruce. But for most gay people marriage represents thousands of rights and obligations granted by the government concerning taxes, inheritance, hospital visitation rights, and so on.

If the word "marriage" is the issue – and perhaps it is – than the government should get out of the business of granting marriage licenses to anyone, instead granting full benefits to all couples, straight and gay, under whatever name it sees fit.

But as long as the government grants marriage licenses, it must grant them equally to all.

Lastly, Bruce cavalierly dismisses gays and lesbians who condemn gay marriage opponents by referring to them as "Gay Gestapo" and "brown shirts." She is comparing those who demand equal protection under the law to genocidal components of Germany's Nazi party. Even if she thinks the arguments put forth by gay marriage proponents (Can one be too heavy handed in calling for the end of oppression?), to compare them to murderous Nazis is repugnant.

Bruce, many Republicans, and the extreme right are using desperate hyperbole (e.g. bestiality, incest, Gay Gestapo, brown shirts, etc.) in an all-out effort to stop this nascent chapter in the ongoing civil rights movement.

This is one battle I do not wish to watch on the sidelines. If we stand up to them now, we can win this fight for basic civil rights, and hopefully quash their "culture war." I'd hate to wait-and-see, risking a loss, only to wish I had done something sooner.
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I rarely, if ever agree with him, but I think Andrew Sullivans comments on his website reflect the feelings of most of the Gay Community.

WAR IS DECLARED: The president launched a war today against the civil rights of gay citizens and their families. And just as importantly, he launched a war to defile the most sacred document in the land. Rather than allow the contentious and difficult issue of equal marriage rights to be fought over in the states, rather than let politics and the law take their course, rather than keep the Constitution out of the culture wars, this president wants to drag the very founding document into his re-election campaign. He is proposing to remove civil rights from one group of American citizens - and do so in the Constitution itself. The message could not be plainer: these citizens do not fully belong in America. Their relationships must be stigmatized in the very Constitution itself. The document that should be uniting the country will now be used to divide it, to single out a group of people for discrimination itself, and to do so for narrow electoral purposes. Not since the horrifying legacy of Constitutional racial discrimination in this country has such a goal been even thought of, let alone pursued. Those of us who supported this president in 2000, who have backed him whole-heartedly during the war, who have endured scorn from our peers as a result, who trusted that this president was indeed a uniter rather than a divider, now know the truth.

NO MORE PROFOUND AN ATTACK: This president wants our families denied civil protection and civil acknowledgment. He wants us stigmatized not just by a law, not just by his inability even to call us by name, not by his minions on the religious right. He wants us stigmatized in the very founding document of America. There can be no more profound attack on a minority in the United States - or on the promise of freedom that America represents. That very tactic is so shocking in its prejudice, so clear in its intent, so extreme in its implications that it leaves people of good will little lee-way. This president has now made the Republican party an emblem of exclusion and division and intolerance. Gay people will now regard it as their enemy for generations - and rightly so. I knew this was coming, but the way in which it has been delivered and the actual fact of its occurrence is so deeply depressing it is still hard to absorb. But the result is clear, at least for those who care about the Constitution and care about civil rights. We must oppose this extremism with everything we can muster. We must appeal to the fair-minded center of the country that balks at the hatred and fear that much of the religious right feeds on. We must prevent this graffiti from being written on a document every person in this country should be able to regard as their own. This struggle is hard but it is also easy. The president has made it easy. He's a simple man and he divides the world into friends and foes. He has now made a whole group of Americans - and their families and their friends - his enemy. We have no alternative but to defend ourselves and our families from this attack. And we will.
- 1:23:42 PM

...if anyone realizes that this is, I believe, the fourth Constitutional amendment that Bush has proposed during his term? He is as quick to rewrite our founding documents as he is to quote his precious bible.
It was our "president's" actions that galvanized Mayor Newsome in the first place. I hope he continues to run his mouth off on the issue.
Perhaps all Gays, Lesbians, and T/S & T/G individuals should cease paying income tax this year, as we are second class citizens. I bet certain divorced trannies would jump on the bandwagon then.
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here is something merlin wrote to the chritians recently: the topic -- are homosexuals an abomination?

the solutions put up by pagean roman christians gainst homosexauls are racist solutions. the same solutions white christians used on african
americans is now being used against christian homosexuals. where are homosexauls allowed to sit? where are homosexauls allowed to eat?
where are homosexauls allowed to live? all this will be solved with a constitutional amendement? dont' think so.

merlin is deeply concerned about the level of violence the recent threats have risen to. the us or them attitude from bush seems over the top. activists judges made bush president, now activist judging is bad? lol.

there is so much gay bashing going on that physical violence cannot be far behind. just after the homophobic pagean christian group exodus was shamed into silence, during the period of the effect of their ruthless
countless false rumors and statement in the media spread by exodus about homosexauls, matthew was crucified on a tree by the side of the road. because someone in all this gave some young guys permission to beat up
and murder a gay man by using scripture and verbal messages heard in the media from the likes of jerry falwell and pat robinson and others.

this constant harranging and picking on homosexauls is dangerous for
everyone. it leads to real violence, it leads to extreme violence with the weaker among us acting out what many pagean christians seem to be wishing for against homosexauls. this constant drone of negativity and demeaning statements and talk of separate tho not equal rights is gonna get someone attacked physically. (separate tho not equal constitutional rights?)

fellow christians, please turn your hearts back to jesus love, get off the blood and guts stuff, get out of the business of theatening the lives of homosexauls, get off the blood drinking and human flesh eating rituals, get away from the war mongers and haters among you, and find some rituals that reinforce love charity compassion and beauty.

mell is trying to prove the pagean romans right, that violence is so impressive people will yield to a ruthless tyrant rather than
risk........... the torture was designed for the effect it had on your by rome to rule the world. as america is now trying to rule the world. such is the case of many christians in europe during the war also.

this idea that you can discuss while having tea whether to stone homosexuals to death or when homosexauls can actually marry, seems so
racist. homophobia is racism. the solutions put up against homosexauls are racist solutions.

in love with the living gay jesus,


since mel made jesus a cute euro boy, we can all make jesus in our
image? is it not all the same engraving?
This disturbed girl repeatedly slams the very same gay activists who fight for her human rights, excoriating "lunatic AIDS activism" and the "neo-Stalinists who run San Francisco" while decrying gays for making sex "central to the culture", as if her own bareback internet activities don't point to the same thing. Her attacks on AIDS researchers who dared to release studies about the rise in unsafe sex and HIV infection rates among gay men (after she declared the AIDS epidemic "over" as a health crisis) were destructive and morally reprehensible.

Now after years of bashing us we are expected to read her maudlin editorials favoring gay marriage and get misty-eyed. Please. If it had been left up to her and disgusting ilk, gay rights would never even be on the discussion table AT ALL. I find her attempt to sit at that table now an affront to the real gay liberationists who have fought and paved the way. Even in her rare moments of clarity, she still misses the fundamental point that we deserve those rights because we are human, not because we are "just like everyone else" or because we are "mainstream" or "ready to assimilate" into some elite WASP club as Miss Sullivan would have it. I just want my equal rights whether I chose to marry or not, and I don't give a damn what anyone thinks of my lifestyle.

While she is – for once – correct in her call to action that Lily posted, her belated cultural war talk will ultimately mean nothing because in the end she will vote for Bush anyway like the Devil's Handmaiden she is. Miss Sullivan will remain on her knees swallowing the poisonous jism of Dubya and his goon squad, who will surely ship her back to the ghetto once they've shot their loads and plundered her purse for her tax dollars and campaign contributions. But meanwhile in the delusional cess pool of her brain, scientists and health advocates who've studied AIDS for 20 years are "doom-mongers" and co-conspirators in a plot by "AIDS organizations eager to hit up donors for more money".

Miss Sullivan needs the government to love her because she clearly doesn't love herself. She has deeply internalized the homophobia of her upbringing, and it's sad. I would even feel sorry for her were it not for the dangerous power she holds as an influential public figure to wreck cultural havoc, sabotage our community and irresponsibly play out her personal demons in front of today's gay youth who might actually believe her rhetoric.

I urge all self-respecting gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans to ignore this repellent, back-stabbing queen and forge on with the fight for your rights. Pity her if you must, but shun her at all costs.
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And the battle comes at last to our soil.

I've always liked politicians like Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein and Barney Frank, but they've been in office for years and we've seen little action. Now they look like tired old buffalos next to the handful of mavericks like Mayor Newsome, Mayor Daley and New Paltz, New York's mayor, Jason West, who boldly go where no one has gone before. Rock on!

Gay Couples to Be Wed Today in New Paltz, Mayor Declares
Published: February 27, 2004
The New York Times

The battle over gay marriages has moved to the upstate college village of New Paltz, where the mayor announced yesterday that several gay couples would be married there today.

The mayor, Jason West, said his office expected to marry at least six same-sex couples today, in what appeared to be the first such ceremonies in New York State.

Mr. West, who is 26 and was elected last year on the Green Party ticket, said that marriages for gay couples were a matter of equal rights. "I will simply be fulfilling my oath of office as mayor to solemnize a marriage and provide equal protection under the law for all citizens," he said by telephone yesterday.

The national debate over whether gay couples should have the right to marry has gained momentum recently, as San Francisco began to issue licenses and the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to prohibit gay marriage. In New York State, advocates and opponents of gay marriage interpret the law differently.

``The people who would forbid gays from marrying in this country are those who would have made Rosa Parks sit in the back of the bus.''

His plans thrust New Paltz -- home to 5,400 people and a state university campus 75 miles north of New York City -- into a national debate over whether same-sex couples are entitled to marry.

On Thursday, the state Health Department said that New York's domestic relations law does not allow marriage licenses for same-sex couples and that state courts have validated marriages only between a man and a woman.

``A municipal clerk who issues a marriage license outside these guidelines, and any person who solemnizes such a marriage, would be violating state law and subject to the penalties in law,'' the department said in a statement.

West said he reads the law differently.

``For a marriage to be legal in this state all that's required is for it to be properly solemnized by someone with authority to do so,'' he told the CNN cable network Friday. ``I'm fully able to do that.''

Several legal experts also disagreed with the Health Department statement, saying the law does not specifically ban such weddings. New York's attorney general has not issued a ruling on the question.

Vincent Bonventre, a professor at Albany Law School, said nothing in New York law explicitly prohibits same-sex weddings, but that the framers ``clearly were contemplating opposite-sex marriages.''

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, applauded the young mayor's move. ``It's equal rights for gay couples who should be entitled to equal treatment under the law and to marriage and the protection of the family that heterosexuals have,'' she said.

Discussion of gay marriage heated up this month after the top Massachusetts court ruled that anything less than full-fledged marriage for gays there would be unconstitutional. Since then, San Francisco officials have begun performing same-sex marriages and have challenged their state law barring such unions. Earlier this week, President Bush endorsed a movement to amend the Constitution to ban the practice.

A bill in the New York Legislature would ban same-sex marriages. Similar bills have died without action in the past. At least 34 states have enacted so-called defense of marriage laws.

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