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Emotional Board of Supervisors backs Prop. 8 challenge*

Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this afternoon to join a lawsuit filed by the City of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Clara County challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative voters passed by a narrow margin this month.

The vote was carried by the board’s three Democrats: Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky, who proposed the board join the lawsuit, and Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, who voted in support.

Of the two Republicans, Supervisor Michael Antonovich was out of town, and Supervisor Don Knabe left the meeting just as speakers began.

More than a dozen speakers appeared in support of the board’s vote and opposition to Proposition 8, including Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo, San Francisco City Atty. Dennis Herrera and several gay couples. Both Molina and Yaroslavsky, who have officiated at same-sex wedding ceremonies since California legalized them in June, said they acted out of a sense of duty and personal responsibility.

Yaroslavsky pointed out a couple he married who were among those speaking in support of the vote.

“Some of us may ask why the county supervisors would be involved and get so involved in this issue,” Molina said, citing the board's responsibility to supply marriage license, uphold the law and “balance the enforcement of Proposition 8 with recognizing the constitutional right of all our citizens.” Molina added, “On a personal note, I am here to say that the passage of Prop. 8 saddened and angered me on various levels.”

Yarolslavsky noted that was “a close call” given how divided the state and county have been on the question of gay marriage. He said that he was not always a supporter of gay marriage (he supported civil unions instead) but said he “was persuaded” by colleagues and his children.

“It’s very important for the County of Los Angeles to be at the table on this,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt anybody. It doesn’t adversely affect anybody else.”

*Update: Antonovich had earlier said he would not support the legal challenge. His statement: "The appropriate time to have raised legal objections was prior to the election –- not after the people have once again voted on the issue. This move will disenfranchise voters who turned out in record numbers to participate in the process and have their voices heard.”

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (336)

And you are spending 52 percent of your constituents money how? Time to throw all the bums out. Remember this next election.

It is just amazing how politicians cannot accept the recent vote.

One man one woman.

You say, ". . . Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative voters passed by a narrow margin this month."

Proposition 8 passed in California with nearly the same margin of victory that Obama received in the national popular vote. Is Obama being described in your paper as "the candidate voters elected President by a narrow margin this month"? Let's keep it honest, LAT.

I'm glad the Board decided to do the right thing.

No surprise here...it's always the democrats who support the Godless agenda.

I don't understand why gays are still fighting this issue, we the people have spoken and on election day we voted and we chose YES on 8, what part of
"YES ON 8" don't they understand? Whats next? Child molesters and rapist will also demand we respect and allow their sick sexual orientation .
All these people are sick.

How wonderful to hear - some true California leadership on this important issue of civil rights! Remember to join the nationwide Prop 8 protests at a City Hall near you THIS SATURDAY at 1:30 p.m. - head to www.jointheimpact.com to see where there'll be a location near you! Let's fight for equality together! <3

The state constitution is unconstitutional? How can a lawfully approved constitutional amendment be unconstitutional?

The real danger here is that people will no longer abide by the constitution! The people have spoken clearly on this issue TWICE. Just because someone's feelings are hurt does not mean that you can violate the constitution.

We will end up in anarchy if this bone headed protests succeed. What's next? Overturning free speech?

We are headed to a new uncivilized and lawless dark ages.

I feel like religion is being shoved down my throat. What is up with the Obsession? I challenge all heteros to chose gay for a week. The thought of partnering with the opposite sex is as repulsive to me as two boys kissing is to you. Repulsive not the best choice of word but affective

Either all of us are free Americans with all the same rights or we are not free at all. I applaud all the groups who have agreed that these rights should not be taken away. When I think of my gay friends, neighbors and co-workers who are the backbone of volunteer groups, human rights issues, animal rights issues, childrens' issues, it makes me very sad that anyone could dare think that their rights are superior to the gay people I know. I was so happy about our new president being elected, and that happiness was short-lived when I realized that the wonderful people I know are not accorded the same rights as everyone else. It broke my heart. Prop. 8 cannot stand.

I am outraged by those people protesting the passing of Prop. 8. This is an insult to the majority who had voted for it's passage. This only shows the true character of these people. It is already done. The people had spoken and they should respect that just as Obama was chosen as President. The people had chosen to keep morality thrive and I as a Christian wouldn't allow this society to rot more and infest the next generation. What would they want to pass too ? Bigamy,Polygamy, Incest ?

As I voted my convictions when I voted FOR Prop 8 I will do so again against every supervisor who is involved with this action. The prople of California have spoken loud and clear....TWICE!!!!!! When will homosexuals and those who support the lifestyle get it and accept the fact that the lifestyle they lead is is not the same as hetrosexuals and therefore should not be defined as marriage. This was never about "rights". It was and always will be about legitamacy. Putting a "marriage" stamp on a homosexual relationship validates it to society as a whole and a vast majority of Americans do not want to do that. Any by the opponents attempting to circumvent the will of the people AGAIN, they are not helping their cause.

“It doesn’t hurt anybody. It doesn’t adversely effect anybody else.”

Agreed. Though shouldn't it be "adversely affect" anyone else? Effect is a result, affect is a stimuli - I think affect would be more appropriate in this case. Regardless, well written article.

I love this. Now that Prop 8 has passed and there is nothing more to be done about that fact, politicians are coming out of the woodwork denouncing the passage.

What a safe position!. Denounce in public and yet realize that the decision has been made. I will bet many of these politicians actually voted yes. Now they can look 'good' to their constituents.

I am taking names and anyone deouncing the passage of Prop 8, will not get my vote or the votes of the groups I represent in any future election.


And here I thought the Supervisors had a sense of duty to the voters of Los Angeles County. Prop. 8 did pass in LA County...or haven't you heard.

>>>Both Molina and Yaroslavsky, who have officiated at same-sex wedding ceremonies since California legalized them in June, said they acted out of a sense of duty and personal responsibility.

The best politicians money can buy!

So the will of the people doesn't matter? There was a vote, by a majority a prop was passed, now the court is supposed to have the final word. What am I missing here? I thought I lived in a democracy...THE DEMOCRACY of the world. Oh yeah, I forgot, it's called tyranny of the minority.

If it was left to the American voter we would not have inter-racial marriage or inter-religious marriage. If it had been left to the voter before 1920, women would not have the vote. In the 19th C., Catholics were one of the last religions to be allowed to vote in England, if it had been left to those allowed to vote then, they may still not have the privilege. The same is true of the current opposition to Gay marriage. It brings out the worst in people whose prejudices are reinforced by bigoted religious leaders. I find it amazing, ironic and depressing that Blacks, who lived for centuries being humiliated and disenfranchised, have voted overwhelmingly against Gay marriage in California. As for Arkansas voting not to allow adoption by unmarried couples, both Straight and Gay, believing it better for a child to be housed in a loveless institution rather than a loving home demonstrates how little the Religious Right and Fundamental Ministers actually care about the welfare of children.

The Board of Supervisors is to be commended for taking this courageous action, especially given the amount of anger that surrounds the issue of restoring gay marriage in California.

How much will the board of supervisors spend on this? With county services such as libraries, recreation, and family services sure to be affected by the state budget shortfall, what is the rationale? Does the county have money to spend on lawyers but not services to the citizens who will be suffering from the cuts? This is strictly for the benefit of the supervisors image. They are spending this money so they can cite their largesse in their reelection campaigns.

That's strange, what are they opposing?
This was something that was voted on by a majority of Californians
It was a fair vote, and a fair accounting of the election tally
Why is it that when the people vote to enact something that no one wants to adhere to the will of the people who voted?

We all saw the adds saying people should all be treated fairly, and I think the people that voted to enact this legislation should be treated fairly also. I don't have a problem with people who love each other getting benefits of hospital visits inheritance etc, but I do have a problem changing the definition of marriage. I don't care what you call it, (civil union, life partner, etc) but you can't call it marriage.

I'm very glad tohear that the L.A.County board of Supervisors Is standing up for what is the right thing to do.

Read the usatoday artcle on how Elton John feels about gay
"marriage". (posted today)

Hey, Superdummies -- L.A. County voted FOR Prop. 8. Why don't you try to honor the will of your constituents, rather than undermine it. It is outrageous that politicians would use the public's money to try to suppress a vote of the public.

Folks, whatever you think of gay marriage, this is an outrageous abuse of political power!

Yarolslavsky is wrong when he stated that, "it doesn’t adversely effect anybody else", because gay marriage will negatively affect everyone in American society. For most people, marriage signifies a physical, emotional, and (to some) spiritual relationship extending well beyond legal responsibilities. Marriage is the building block of families, biologically-compatible institutions naturally designed to effectively allow our children to grow and learn. Just because some married couples do not have children does not eliminate the primary, family-building purpose of marriage. Granted, some homosexual couples are great parents and are doing a good job of raising their children. The benefits of marriage will help them do a better job. However, we have to balance the benefits of homosexual couples and children with the negative effects gay marriage will have on marriage. Once marriage no longer signifies a deep commitment to family building, marriages lose some of their meaning. Less meaning will lead to less marriage and weaker marriages. On balance, I feel the detrimental effects of re-engineering the institution of marriage to allow same-sex marriages outweighs the benefits that homosexual couples with children will gain in marriage. Yarolslavsky is wrong because when marriage is weaker society is weaker, and we are all harmed by weak society.

I voted against prop 8 and think it is completely absurd and blantantly unfair. However, from a legal point of view, it seems pretty solid. Prop 22 attempted to ban gay marriage. Prop 22 passed, but was later said to violate the CA constitution. So what did the homophobes and religous nuts do? They decided to create another proposition which bans gay marriage by amending the constitution itself. This amendment passed. As much as it pains me to say, I think from a legal stanpoint it's valid. If we shoot down the amendment that prop 8 created (or creates?) then we are essentially saying that the voters have no right to amend the constitution by vote. Some are arguing prop 8 is unconstitutional, but how can it be if the proposition changed the constitution itself? The only way to change it back is to re-amend the constitution.

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