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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)

@ Sara Luther - "dictator judges?" Was the Supreme Court that ruled in Brown v. Board of Education also composed of dictator judges? I mean, they too overturned the will of the people in the south, yes? You folks make it too easy for me; every time I hear "activist judge," I know I'm listening to a moron - there's no need to listen for nuance, sophistication nor a basic grasp of American civics.

Why the heck is the County of Los Angeles getting involved in this issue? Why don't you idiot leaders try balancing the budget or find a way to reduce taxes instead of jumping on the Gay band wagon? I guess you don't have enough to do at your present jobs. Perhaps you all should resign, since you don't have any important city business. For your information, the voters passed Prop 8!

Marriage is between a Man & a Woman! Period... "whether you like it or not"

Ahh...the Tyrrany of the Majority.

A majority of the people didn't have a problem with slavery in the 18th century. A majority of people in Germany didn't have a problem with the Nazis coming to power. Sometimes the majority are idiots, and its up to those who've we've elected for their judgement to do the right thing when what the people decide is wrong.

BRAVO!!!!

How come none of the yes side understands that the U,S, and CA are a Democratic Republic - NOT a democracy? It was set up that way on purpose - that way "the tyranny of the many couldn't overpower the few". I'm surprised how many people don't know the history of their own country and are so fast to judge the very people that they elected to protect them from crap like this. The only failures are the ones who DON'T stand up to protect the minoirity. If no one stood up to the tyranny of the many we'd still have slavery. Read your history books and learn about the country you live in - because most people from other countries know more about it than you do!

Everyone talking about the "Will of the Voters" please, Get a clue. Prop 187 was "the will of the voters," it was wrong, and deemed unconstitutional by the Courts. Prop 8 was wrong and should be viewed the same way. If Prop 8 was about taking away Women's rights, and passed, it too would be unconstitutional and overturned.

What the LA supervisors recognize is that Proposition 8 should have never been placed on the ballot, PERIOD!! It is a violation of civil rights, and it is unjust! Those who say, "The people have spoken! No same-sex marriage!" CONTINUALLY ignore the fact that the Supreme Court found that it was discriminatory to deny same-sex couples the right to marry! Let me put it another way; would it have been just and fair to gather signatures and put an initiative on the ballot back in 1948 when the California Supreme Court struck down the prohibition on interracial marriages in their ruling on Perez v. Sharp? No--absolutely not. It would have been a travesty of justice, and a gross violation of civil rights. This is the same, EXACT thing, whether any of you want to admit or not!

Bravo county supervisors! It's sad that people don't seem to get that in approving they voted to TAKE EXISTING RIGHTS AWAY. Looking back now, do you think it would have been a good idea to let white folks in the South vote on whether to approv the Civil RIghts and Voting Acts of the 1960s? Hell no! The rights granted through those acts would have been taken away by the voters in a minute! Should the people been allowed to vote by popularity contest when the Cal. Supreme Court struck down laws forbidding the interracial couples could marry in the early 1960s?! If so, the people of this state likely would have done so! Voting on rights already granted to people just doesn't seem constitutional on the face of it.

As to comments about why not give gays all the same rights available through civil unions and just continue to label them as such, here's an analogy: Remember the segregated public drinking fountains in the South before the civil rights movement? Typically, one would say "Whites," the other right next to it that said "Coloreds." Would you say that's wrong?...it's separate, but equal. It's a gesture that says, "you're not equal to us and we don't want you drinking from our fountain, but we'll be nice and give you you're own fountain."... Sorry, unacceptable. No group of people's relationships are "better" or "more sacred" than others. We all pay our taxes and the granting of marriage licenses is a tax payer provided service.

To all of the people who say that marriage is a religious institution and that gay couples should only be allowed civil unions or domestic partnerships, I have two comments:

1. If civil unions are exactly the same thing as marriages (as many "pro-Prop 8 people claim to justify their stance), how do you respond to the claim that "separate but equal" is never really equal?
and perhaps more importantly
2. If marriage is a religious institution, what valid argument would you make against the argument that ALL civil "marriage" (i.e., a contract under state law) should be abolished, and every couple (straight and gay) may have a civil union (i.e., contract), but only religious institutions may perform marriages?

If you cannot agree with the suggestion in point #2, it is clear that you wish to make your religious institution a civil matter.

We will _not_ have discrimination written into the state constitution. This is not 1948 Deep South, this is 2008 California.

The many elected officials whose duty it is to uphold the constitution are now using their offices to undermine the constitution. This is dereliction of duty. It is akin to a police officer aiding in the commission of a crime. They have proven themselves unfit for their role. They should be removed from office and replaced by those that respect the democratic process and have the capacity to fulfill their responsibilites, even if it isn't popular among their vocal constituents.

APPARENTLY, THE MAJORITY OF CALIFORNIANS ARE NOT READY TO DEAL WITH GAY MARRIAGES.

WE CAN ALL STILL LIVE IN CALIFORNIA AND BE HAPPY, LETS MOVE ON.

WE AS CALIFORNIANS CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS. I LOVE LIVING IN CALIFORNIA, DON'T RUIN IT. I LOVE THE SUN, THE WEATHER, THE BEACHES, MOUNTAINS, THE MELTING POT OF THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CULTURES AND CARING PEOPLE.

STOP THE HATE ON BOTH SIDES. BE THANKFUL WE LIVE HERE IN CALIFORNIA! (YOU ARE SCARING AWAY THE TOURISTS!)

Gay people seek acceptance and have received it. Now they need to accept themselves. Marriage for 6000 years has been a union between one man and one woman. As for all of us each man can marry any woman who is willing to marry him and each woman can marry any man who is willing to marry her. It is in the above stated sequence that all men and women have equal protection under the law. It is trajic when ones mental wiring and physical plumbing are in disagreement. It is even more trajic when such a small group of people are continually trying to brainwash society into giving homosexual marriage legitimacy. Marriage has always been a union between a man and a woman and God help us will continue to be only between a man and a woman.

Please get this straight (no pun intended). Marriage under California law is a civil contract. Civil marriage is NOT a religious institution. Moreover, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Unitarian Church and the Metropolitan Community Church all SUPPORT same sex marriage. It is an intolerable intrusion into the liberties of those religions to tell them what couples they can and cannot marry. This whole Proposition 8 affair is nothing but an attempt by some to force others to conform to their reading of scripture. Nobody really wants to return to "traditional marriage" because that institution ONLY permitted people of the same race to marry.

If Prop 8 is a "revision", simply because it changed a ruling that was all of 3 months old, what does that mean about the legitimacy of amendments like Prop 13? After all, that changed the entire structure of CA government, top to bottom. Surely if Prop 8 is a revision, Prop 13 was.

Further, the "revision" argument, if sucessful here, will gut the right of initiative as nearly all meaningful changes will be attacked on this basis. SInce the bar is being set so low, it is hard to imagine any future initiative amendment having much effect.

While I voted NO on Prop 8 (and 22 back when), I will go well out of my way to sign a recall petition against any judge who overturns or enjoins Prop 8.

Democracy means that you accept losses. Otherwise we might just as well have a dictator (or 7).

The only "sweeping overhaul" of the state constitution has been by the radical California Supreme Court, NOT Prop. 8. Prop. 8 merely restored the laws that existed before the Court decided to "find" rights that do not appear in the document and were never contemplated by the drafters of Constitution. The California Constitution has never, and still does not, provide a universal right to marriage or provide for homosexuals to be a suspect class.

What the constant meddling of the California Supreme Court and the LA Supervisors (the MAJORITY of whose constituents actually voted for Prop.8) puts in jeopardy is the loss of the most fundamental right of all of us: the right of self governance.

Wait a minute, I voted for Ron Paul and I lost. Should I riot? I didn't ask for a bullet train either. Where do I sign up to protest. I want to beat up old ladies too and make a scene because I didn't get my way or I can't force my minority views down anyone's throats!

Typical gay activists who will protest until their dying day until they get what they want. We in the mainstream have learned to tolerate but we will not accept your lifestyle. If you don't like the fact that marriage was designed to be between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN, take it up with God!!!
In the meantime, based on last week's election....SCOREBOARD!!!!!!!

the united states of america is a republic not a democracy...to me this means a majority cannot decide issues concerning and against a minority (if such issue is found in violation of a constitution)...the judicial branch plays a CRITICAL role in this process...some seemed surprised at this...would they really want to live in a pure democracy?

i pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the united states of america...and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands...

Minorities used to be defined by race. It makes sense that minority races should have all equal rights as the white majority race. Now a few people decided for us all that minorities are also defined by sexual preferences. So should polygamists, pedophiles and incest lovers also be considered minorities with equal marriage rights? If not then why not, they love each other and they're not hurting anybody right? We're already throwing out the traditional marriage definition from dictionaries, other cultures and religious books. We're now trying to throw out marriage definition from the laws. Then why can't groups of people, blood relatives, and minors also have equal marriage rights? Maybe some of you think there is nothing wrong with these relationships. All it takes is 1 or 2 judges to declare them as minorities and we will have polygamous, pedophile and incest marriages in maybe 50 years or so. Some kids might have three moms and two dads, or mom and dad/grandpa, or mom and mom/aunt. But they love each other and not hurting anybody so we dare not impose right? So the kids might become utterly confused, but again they are not hurting anybody yet so its not our problem right?

Why do people feel so threatened by gay marriage? That's something I don't understand. How does it detract from your own life? Will you and your spouse no longer be able to enjoy your heterosexual marriage? Gay marriage has been legal in Canada and in Massachusetts for a while now, and they're still standing.

By the way, for everybody who says that homosexuality is a "choice" -- religion is also a choice. Yet for some reason, it is wrong to discriminate against religious people. If we are supposed to respect your choices, then you should respect ours.

(Of course, I also implore everybody to "choose" to be gay for a week, and see how that works out for you.)

Dear President elect Obama,

The people have spoken and continue to speak. They say that "Separate is Equal" in regard to marriage equality for all Americans. The voters also say that domestic partnership is equal, same sex couples don't deserve the label marriage.
So please listen to the people and enact federal legislation today to make domestic partnerships 100% equal to marriage with taxes, inheritance, hospital visitations, etc.
Let's settle this once and for all in all 50 states. So that we can stop wasting valuable resources and focus on the economy. Give marriage to the religionists. The rest of us both gay and non-gay can share the glorious new institution of legal unions.

1. If you want to protect traditional marriage, ban divorce. Let's see how many people vote Yes on that.

2. Marriage has a religious context and a secular context.The court ruling didn't say your religion had to change, it said the secular, legal definition had to change. It didn't infringe on your religious freedoms; if your specific church wants to discriminate, it would still have been allowed to do so. Some churches (Metropolitan for example) don't discriminate, and would accept "gay" marriage. Does Prop. 8 now violate their religious freedom? Using the same faulty logic, Prop 8 needs to be overturned because it violates the Metropolitan Church's religious freedom.

3. With the exception of one, those "activist judges" who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage were appointed by Republicans. This isn't a democratic/liberal/progressive agenda. It's just the right thing to do to allow for equal protection under the law. If conservative judges can see that, maybe there's something to it.

4. We're all people. If some are happy being married to someone of the same sex, why would you want to take happiness away from them just because you're uncomfortable. That's just mean and self-centered.

I see people have brought up the old lady who was confronted/assaulted at the No on 8 rally. Well, I'm hardly surprised, since out of the tens of thousands of people who've shown up to these protests so far, there's bound to be a couple whackos. Let's not forget the two Yes on 8 guys arrested for beating up a teenage girl in San Mateo: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime/ci_10905770

"Around 4 p.m., a man in his 20s holding a "Yes on 8" sign crossed the street and attacked a 17-year-old girl opposing the proposition, knocking her down and striking her in the head, San Mateo police Lt. Mike Brunicardi said.

A man then ran up and spit in the girl's face, police said."

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Marriage is one man, one woman. Not 1 man and another man. Sometimes I want one man, two woman. But that is against the law. And I respect the law. Why can't LA politicians respect Prop 8. It is the law.

 
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