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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)

Gay marriage isn't a "violation of God's will;" physical intimacy between people of the same sex is. Proposition 8 doesn't outlaw gay sex; it says that only marriage between one man and one woman is valid and recognized in California. For those of you who are citing "God's will" or "God's law" in reference to Proposition 8, either you don't know what you're talking about or you're doing a poor job of disguising you're prejudice against homosexuals. -- and if it's the latter, then you're a coward, because if you want the state to outlaw sodomy or the love between two people of the same sex, then you should put THAT law on the ballot and see whether or not it passes. Defining marriage via secular legislation has nothing to do with "God's law," so stop using His or Her name as a defense for your vote on Proposition 8 - or have you forgotten the 2/3 Commandment: "Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord in Vain."

> "A Constitutional amendment is, by definition, Constitutional."

By California law, if an amendment changes something in the Constitution, it is considered a revision and cannot be done as a voter initiative, it must first be approved by Legislature before being voted on.

The Supreme Court decided the right for gay couples to marry is part of the Constitution. (Try reading their decision sometime, rather than harping about activist judges legislating from the bench.) Arguably, Prop 8 changes that portion of the Constitution. Therefore it may be considered a revision.

Yay Antonovich!!!
So glad i'm in your district!

I bet the same people who are rioting against the passage of Prop 8 are all happy with B.O. in the white house. I vote we ask the court to overturn the election of B.O. because I don't like the fact he will take away some of my rights. How about that radical gay activists? Are you OK with that vote be overturned?

I am wondering how uninformed *are* these people on this board claiming that a barely-majority VOTE is a suitable method for rescinding civil rights? There is not much thinking going on here, and a tremendous amount of reactionary, religious-desire-to-legislate-beliefs-onto-others going on. It's repulsive to me that Americans, fellow Californians, cannot understand how ridiculous it is to "vote" away any minorty group's established civil rights. One PURPOSE of law is to protect minorties (of any type) from mob abuse by any "majority". Come on, people, pay attention. Do you really want a slim "majority" to someday try to vote away YOUR rights?

Church and state are designated as separate by the U.S. Constitution. Stop trying to legislate YOUR religion into MY personal life. (And I'm not even gay, OR a "minority", unless you count femaleness.) The point is the protection of the US Constitution, which ought to keep everyone's religion OUT of legal matters, period.

Thank you to the Supervisors who stood up for the law and civil rights. That took courage, but it was the right thing to do.

YES ON 8!!!!!!

The State of California and the federal government have three branches of government, and it is the duty of the courts to strike down laws which violate the constitution. This is Civics 101 which many people on here seem to have flunked or wish to ignore.

For example, in 1963 the California Legislature passed a law banning discrimination in the sale or rental of housing (the "Rumford Act"). In 1966, led by the realtors' association, the voters passed an initiative striking down that law. The proponents of the initiative appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the California Attorney General at the time, Tom Lynch, successfully argued that the repeal of the ban on discrimination in housing violated the Constitution. That decision is still the law in
California.

Similarly, the California Supreme Court ruled in May that the laws limiting marriage to straights violated the equal protection clause and the right of privacy of gay and lesbian couples. Whether you agree or disagree with that decision,
it is well founded in case law dealing with the rights of homosexuals and the rights of African-Americans to marry persons of a different race.

Prop 8 tries to overturn that decision.

The courts have the duty to review Prop 8, which has not been done, to decide if it violates any laws or the state or federal constitution, once a proper case is brought.

The California and U.S. Constitutions do not create a pure democracy but a republic, in which the courts have the final say, and everyone has a duty to support the courts' decisions.

Even if the courts do uphold Prop 8, it will be back on the ballot for as many times as it takes to repeal it because it is not consistent with treating gays and lesbians as equal citizens, as the California Supreme Court correctly held.

There is no legal or constitutional basis for Prop 8 supporters to claim that gays and lesbians and their supporters cannot or should not bring this issue back to the voters. Younger voters do not share the prejudices against gays and lesbians, and as time goes by, Prop 8 will be overturned because that is the right thing to do.

For those of you spouting "will of the people" you have absolutely no sense of California's or our countrys history. For those of you spouting "we need to save the children." From who? Gay people won't exist now that Prop 8 has passed? Marraiage is not discusses in California schools. For those of you who supported Prop 8 you don't get one important thing. The supporters of Prop 8 were smart enough to scare you that gay marriage would harm children- but they never told you how children would be harmed. The supporters of Prop 8 knew Californians would never pass a proposition that took away rights of a segment of the population- so they used the scare tactic of saving children. You were duped by organized religion. If you are married you only have a 50% chance that your marriage will last. I haved an idea, if you want to preserve marriage and save children, outlaw adultry and divorce. For you bible thumpers- what did God say about adulterers and what did he say about divorce?

I dare you Yes on 8 proponents to watch this...and I forgot to say something to you people who keep using the term four 'reactionay, communist, wrong headed, liberal- whatever term you give to the state judges who overturned prop 22- 3 of those judges were appointed by conservitive republican governors. Odd, proposition 22 was also heavilly favored by the Mormon Church. How many of you Yes on 8 people are aware the Mormon Church was also against the passage of the equal rights amendment.

http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/invite/SpecialComment

Reading some of these comments really sickens me... protect marriage huh??... i'm sorry, i never knew that marriage was in danger! Jeezus, don't push your beliefs on me and I say let the gays marry whomever they like. It is wrong to take away rights from them or from anybody!! You people give rights to animals before you give rights to the gays?? How wrong does that sound?? Stop being scared/homophobs and let them live their life how you live yours. Marriage is not a priviledge... it's a right!!

Our tolerant, loving gays just attacked an old woman with a cross. It is all all the news now and all over youtube.

All hail our new gay nazi overlords. Can't pick a fight with a regular guy, so they went after an old woman.

These nazis are going to do everything they can to impose their degenerate behavior upon us. FIGHT!

SOMEONE WROTE:

"California Musical Theater official Scott Eckern is on the verge of losing this job because he donated money to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign. Homosexual activists are demanding his termination for making a financial contribution to a cause he morally supports. What is truly outrageous is that this man could lose his job for expressing his religious and moral beliefs.

This is a hate crime against all of us who voiced our opinion in favor of prop 8"

RESPONSE:

Ridiculous.

This man's bread and butter is the gay community. We're talking musical theater, for crying out loud!

He threw his artists (not to mention much of his audience) under the bus and expects to thrive leading them?!

Please.

The man should have known better than to compromise the dignity of those off of whom he made a living.

good for you. changing the constitution to eliminate rights of one group while the remainder of california citizens continue to have the same rights available to them is simply un-American. it took 67% of voters to approve improving freeways. why only 51% to rewrite the constitution? let's not forget broader American tenets like separation of church and state, justice for all, equal protection under the law, no taxation without representation and, most importantly, all men are created equal.

It would have been better to have thrown out prop 8 before the election, but it must be overturned by the courts. It is ridiculous to think that a majority vote can deprive people of basic equal rights. It is the function of the constitution to protect the civil rights of everyone. Those who wrongly call gays and lesbians "sick"
or say that sexual orientation is a choice and therefore not the basis of a healthy lifestyle are wrong. It is time to end unfair discrimination against minorities once and for all.
I hope that with Barak Obama as our new president it is "fair game" to honestly address prejudice present in ALL walks of life by everyone. We simply must get along with each other for our society to move forward towards a better life for all.

Trojan Fan, there are also many, many of us who believe that religions have been and continue to be the cause of a great deal of misery in the world. And the nice thing about our society is that you entitled your beliefs and I an entitled to mine. But we are all citizens and taxpayers. Thus it gets very tiresome to read so many of these posts from "voters" who are so stuck on the word "marriage" from a religious standpoint that they simply cannot respect that a sizeable majority of citizens view marriage as a civil and not a religious institution. We have many, many married atheists and agnostics. Would you also say that these marriages are not valid? Is marriage a strictly religious institution in our society as practiced today? No. Do people marry strictly to produce children? No. But many heterosexuals marry for status and money. Are these also less valid? Where do we draw the line? We can all be thankful for the judiciary to save us from the ignorant masses who vote not based on higher-order reasoning but out of fear and ignorance, and in this case, mostly bigotry. That the majority of people would vote to take away equal rights from a group whose "lifestyle" (whatever that means) they don't agree with is exactly why I would fear living in a country such as Iran or Saudi Arabia. And it is disgusting that women would support Prop 8 in view of their second-class status in much of today's world. Remember that there is much "historical precedent" used to support the ongoing subjugation of women all over the world.

People need to seriously read this... We have a lot of fly-by-night "lawyers" voicing opinions that are simply not true.
http://johnnycalifornia.com/?p=1313

In summary:
1. Since the California Supreme Court already declared that gays and lesbians were a “suspect class” who were being discriminated against and denied a “fundamental right”, Prop. 8 goes beyond amending the California constitution; they claim that Prop. 8 completely violates the “constitution’s core commitment to equality for everyone be eliminating a fundamental right form just one group – lesbian and gay Californians.” ...Prop. 8 can’t come along and take away that right from one group.

2. Prop 8...interferes with the job of the Supreme Court to protect “suspect classes” from discrimination and deprivation of their “fundamental rights.” In other words, Prop. 8...[is] telling the California Supreme Court how to interpret the constitution. It was decided back in the olden days that the Supreme Court is the only entity that can interpret the constitution into law and nobody can tell the Court how to interpret it. Or more simply, it’s illegal to pass a law that tells the Supreme Court how to do it’s job.

3. Ballot propositions are only allowed to “amend” the constitution and that Prop. 8 actually “revises” the California constitution. What’s the difference? There’s no hard and fast definition, but the suit claims that since Prop. 8 goes so far in altering the California constitution and the role of the Supreme Court, that it actually changes the very structure of the state government, which means it’s a “revision.”

It wasnt too many years ago that other races in the united states were not allowed to marry outside of their race? is that the right thing to do? it wasnt then and its certainly isnt now to dictate what human rights should be. It saddens me that in this economy there are people that are more concerned about who others are in loving caring relationships with then the state of our economy! I wonder how many religous freaks are still hiding in closets, cheating on their wifes, and beating their spouse and children then turning around and in public are the holy ones!! I think not! look within before you turn on others

Wow, the lack of intelligence displayed by the anti-gay comments is not only apparent in their 'arguments' but in their use of grammar and spelling. It's sad that people who don't even know the difference between ARE and OUR (ahem, Kelly H) are voting on whether or not to take away existing rights from a specific group of people.

Of all of the lame, hateful arguments made in favor of prop 8, the one that I find the most ridiculous is "Hey, we, as a majority, voted to take away rights from this particular minority group--so that's the way it is." Clearly, these people do not understand that the courts are there to protect minority groups from mob rule! They are there to protect minority groups from the hateful amendment that is prop 8, and that has been their role throughout history. Come on, people! Put down your bibles and read a history book. Do you think that if we voted on slavery it would have ever been abolished? No.

Use your brain before you open your mouth. I hope the courts do what is right and just for all citizens and restore EQUALITY in California! Congrats LA County for doing what is right.

jchantgayguy: Well Said! It is very simple. The pro Prop 8 people say it is because of moral and religious beliefs. If this is the case than MARRIAGE is part of religious and should be kept out of government altogether. The government should then only be involved in Civil Unions and the word MARRIAGE should be left for religious ceremonies. I am gay and logical you must be too!

I AM UNBELIEVABLY DISGUSTED AT LA CITY, AND COUNTY'S MOLINA, YAROSLAVSKY, AND BURKE FOR THEIR EGOTISTICAL NEED TO CHAMPION OPPONENTS OF PROP 8, TO WIN FAVOR WITH LIBERAL WHITES, LESBIANS, GAYS, BISEXUALS, AND TRANSGENDERED(WHAT IS TRANSGENDER?). TO CROSS A BOUNDARY SUCH AS WHAT THE SUPERVISORS HAVE DONE,USURPS THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, THE WILL OF MANY OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS, AND USING THEIR POST TO DO SO MAKES ONE INCINED TO VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE. REDIRECTION WAS INDICATED, A REFERRAL TO THE COURTS . SUPERVISORS, THIS WAS YOUR OBLIGATION, NOT JOINING A LAWSUIT ON MY BEHALF. VOTERS RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TAKEN AWAY. MOLINA WILL NOT GET MY VOTE AGAIN. BOUNDARIES HAVE BEEN SEVERELY CROSSED
A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST THE SUPERVISORS AND THE CITY OF LA IS INDICATED.

Why not just amend "civil unions" to have the same rights as married couples? Instead of amending marriage which is already defined as a union between man and woman....

47% of the American voters are not happy with the presidential election. Should they protest, destroy property and assault old ladies?

@adoptivefather - President-elect Barack Obama wasn't elected anything by the national popular vote; he will be elected President by the electoral college, and that vote will be by a considerably wider margin than Prop 8's victory.

I can't believe how many people on this board think it's OKAY to vote on the rights of a minority.

Let's try a few different versions, shall we?

"The majority of voters agree that blacks can't get married."

:The majority of voters agree that Catholics can't get married."

"The majority of voters agree that Irish-Americans can't get married."

Do you get the point? THE ONLY REASON that doesn't happen is becaues "Activist Judges" do their job, and protect the rights of even the most unpopular minority from the cruelty of the majority.

ALL of us are minorites in some way....insert YOUR minority status and see how it feels.

another example of leaders without a backbone,

 
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