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Kenneth Starr to defend gay marriage ban before state Supreme Court

Kenneth Starr

Kenneth W. Starr, the former U.S. Solicitor General who led the inquiry into President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica L. Lewinsky, will argue the case in favor of upholding a ban on gay marriage before the California Supreme Court.

Starr was today named lead counsel for the official proponents of Proposition 8. This afternoon, the group filed court briefs defending the legality of the proposition, which was approved by 52% of California voters last month throwing into question thousands of marriages performed during the five months the practice was legal in the state.

The briefs are in response to a spate of legal challenges filed by gay rights advocates, including the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Opponents of the proposition argued that it amounted to a constitutional revision instead of a more limited amendment.

A revision of the state constitution can only go before voters after a two-thirds vote of the Legislature or a constitutional convention. Proposition 8 was put on the ballot after a signature drive. The case poses a series of provocative legal challenges.

The first among them is that California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who opposed Proposition 8 but is legally bound to defend the state’s laws, must now weigh in on the challenge. Brown has in recent days been called upon to declare it a revision. In the past, he has said he plans to “defend the proposition as enacted by the people of California.”

But he has also said he believes that the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages performed between June and November should remain valid.

Because it did not trust Brown to mount a staunch defense of the proposition, the group Protect Marriage intervened in the case and filed its own brief. It argues that the same-sex marriages are no longer valid. Brown’s briefs are due later today.

The court could hear oral arguments as soon as March.

-- Jessica Garrison

Photo: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (114)

Jerry Brown is a striaght shooter, no matter what. The pro 8 group are in a panic to outmanuever his participation because they know he is a progressive and that is something they cannot accept regardless.
if the law requires the 3/4 majority action? then so be it.

It's so DISGUSTED that America's liberals and democrats ALWAYS try to change the agreed-upon-play-rules after loss. Is it this nation is a nation of law?

In their attempt to negate 18,000 marriages, proponents of Prop 8 believe they are protecting marriage. No true follower of Jesus would ever believe that you can "sow destruction and reap something good" ... what has happened to the Christian faith? Has it become consumed with divisiveness and hypocrisy? I would like to ask Christians, do you really believe the Jesus that taught that we are to "love one another" would have anything to do with this?

Why was it ever on the ballot in the 1st place. Legislating Morality? OMG. When will we EVER fiigure out to MIND our OWN Business???/

Starr is the ultimate bad penny.

Kudos to CA and MA too.

Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
Washington CT 06793 USA


Why would anyone be against love and commitment....?

I suggest that the word "marriage" should be eliminated from the law completely. It does not go conform with the principle of separation of church and state. The state can only recognize a legal union between to individuals regardless of gender, essentially just a contract.
If someone wants to get married to somebody or something he can find a church which will do it, but this wont have any legal consequences.

I would like to nulify all marriages, do away with spousal and child abuse, divorces, adultery, etc. It is a degraded institution that no one should want to participate in. I shall continue to fashion the kinds of sustaining relationships that have enriched my life based solely on love and sharing and sharing, without any societal demands or expectations. As for these religious zealots, stay out of my life and I will stay out of yours.

Why is it that someone is always trying to change what the Bible states or what Jesus "would do" in THIER favor? The Bible "CLEARLY" states that homosexuality is a SIN, it's that plain and simple. Yes, Jesus says, love the sinner, BUT HATE the sin. Where in the Bible does it state that one MUST "tolorate" SIN? Perhaps Jesus didn't speak of homosexuality in general, BUT he did state the following: " for this reason man will leave their mother and father to be married with their wife". He didn't say or imply boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other. Jesus was GENDER specific. Being GOD in the the flesh, I don't think Jesus would support, agree or approve of the SIN of homosexuality. To oppose Prop 8 is to say that GOD is a lier.

How VERY appropriate that MISTER HyperUltraMorality, Kenneth Starr, wil be taking the legal lead in this ongoing war, on behalf of the HyperUltraMoralistic Fundamentalist Right Wing -- those kind, sweet family-oriented folks who suckered various good people (including large numbers of Latinos, Blacks, and Mormons) into supporting Proposition 8.

I hope that his blue-nosed reputation will stand out loud and clear, among the more-modern and more-understanding voters of California -- so that the legal defense of Prop. 8 will go the way of the doomed impeachment efforts against President Clinton.

What a sorry excuse for an American! It's people like Starr who would deny a group of people their constitutional rights to serve their own interests and have NO idea what our Constitution is about. Such narrow minds; I really fear for our democracy! But the good news is his name is synonymous with unfair practices and we all know what he's about.

What a surprise! The man who would be our moral leader, making sure that none of us commits a sinful act. This guy belongs in the 19th century.

No true follower of Jesus would ever believe that you can "sow destruction and reap something good"

yes, we haven't seen hate from the gays now have we.

for those that don't understand, this is about forcing businesses to cover the health costs of high risk individuals.

What is disgusting is the care and compassion flowing for gays and aids and how white gay men still refuse to wear a condom.

You should have seen Liza Minelli at the Life Ball in Vienna. She was getting the cold shoulder when she started talking about condoms.

I believe in allowing civil unions. But to force businesses to start picking up the cost of high HIV risk is not going to help create a more utopian society.

There is no reason Prop 8 should have been voted on in the first place. When has the majority EVER protected the rights of a minority? Does anyone really think in the 60s that Alabama would have voted away Jim Crow laws on their own? Or that women were *given* the right to vote by the masses?

These "fundies" are so focused on hating people who've done nothing to them---good, tax paying American citizens, that their fanatic fervor against gays looks no different than that of fundie Islam. The hypocrisy is frightening. Leave people alone---Freedom is a good thing!---and for the love of Christ, stop persecuting gay people--they should have equal rights.

Ken Starr, I was so proud of you when you argued clemency cases against capital punishment. I believed then that you were a decent man. Now I am saddened to see you argue this indefensible position.

Jesus would protect marriage between a man and a women and wouldn't be intimidated when people yell insults at him

This is a no brainer-marriage involves opposite sexes
same sex marriage would remove childrens rights of a father and mother
are we really this confused in society or is it the minority mob mentality trying to distort truth

Why can murderes on death row get married?
Why is common-law marriage legal in some states? California recognizes common-law marriage created in other states...so you live in sin for seven years and you are awarded marriage??? Makes a lot of sense

I find it particularly fitting that Starr would defend Prop 8 -- an ugly law now has an equally appalling face.

"what has happened to the Christian faith? Has it become consumed with divisiveness and hypocrisy?"

You best look in the mirror Bates. Anyone that scams the public best be worried about joing perverts in hell.

My rights as a citizen were denied by the other citizens of California. I no longer feel that I can fairly serve on a jury and judge these people fairly. How will I feel if an African Americain appears accused before me and I am asked to dispense justice. I think every gay citizen should bring this feeling up when brought before the judge as a pontential juror. Deny the legal system 10% of its potential jurors and let the good citizens of California serve additional time as a result.


We are here discussing the Constitution of California, not the Bible.

What a joke! I don't care what your opinions are. The PEOPLE of CA voted. And the job of Attorney General is to defend laws that the PEOPLE of CA pass. I don't care what he feels... Why won't he resign and go work for the gay community and have them pay him. Not me!!! His job is to defend the laws of California. Whether he agrees with it or not. Where is common sense? where is the gov OF THE PEOPLE and FOR THE PEOPLE? Seems like its the gov of the gay only... Excuse me, 52% of US PEOPLE voted. Until the % changes, Mr.Brown you get your little butt to work for THE PEOPLE!!!

Mike, you seem to be confusing the United States for a theocracy. The Bible says a lot of things that the Christianists don't follow. Eating seafood without scales or fins is a sin, yet Red Lobster is still in business. Likewise, divorce is a sin, yet you don't see a ban on divorce in this country. So, why exactly is it that the Christianists cherrypick so readily from the Bible to suit their own lifestyles and agenda?

Just not, lest ye BE judged...........

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