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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 It argues that the same-sex marriages are no longer valid.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)

DJ, you're a bigot (and there are a lot more of us than you think). Anyone who supports prop 8 is at the very least ignorant (all 52% of you). The courts are there to protect the vulnerable minority from mob rule. They will decide in favor of the minority in March. My partner of 10 years and our 4 year old son will thank them.

Shelly

Ok, Jesus and the Bible should not be in this discussion. Since WHEN does the bible decide laws? Church and State are two very different things. The Yes on 8 campaign used bible-thumping and scare tactics to try to make an argument, albeit, an argument that is terrible. I have YET to hear a decent argument FOR prop 8. Without using The Bible, Jesus, or the 'fact' that gay marriage would lead to pedophilia or beastiality, because that's just ridiculous. So please, start having a REAL discussion, and that means NO Bible or Jesus, because that has no standing in politics in this country.

The separation of church and state is a legal and political principle derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ."

Meaning no laws shall be created to specifically cater the views of any religious establishment. And no laws shall be made to limit or deter their beliefs either.

You don't have to be a genius to figure out what the constitution says. The bible is what people seem to have trouble interpreting. They should all be put in a huge pile and burned.

The separation of church and state is a legal and political principle derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ."

Meaning no laws shall be created to specifically cater the views of any religious establishment. And no laws shall be made to limit or deter their beliefs either.

You don't have to be a genius to figure out what the constitution says. The bible is what people seem to have trouble interpreting. They should all be put in a huge pile and burned.

The separation of church and state is a legal and political principle derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ."

Meaning no laws shall be created to specifically cater the views of any religious establishment. And no laws shall be made to limit or deter their beliefs either.

You don't have to be a genius to figure out what the constitution says. The bible is what people seem to have trouble interpreting. They should all be put in a huge pile and burned.

My woman and I live together for 25 years now, through good times and bad times. Same sex couples I know have happy family's. In the Netherlands we got same sex marriage as a consequence of the law on equal rights. After several years nobody is complaining anymore about this. So if you give time to this practice of same sex marriage, the people get used to it and start to accept homosexuality being equal to heterosexuality. Religion has little to do with this. Christ preached love not hate. And hate is what I read from some christian people on this weblog. Who cares with whom I am happy with? It's not your business! Taking away human rights from people is a crime against humankind. Remember: "All men are born equal", the words of Martin Luther King.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Ghandi.

Let's take away the Biblical aspect of this altogether. That is an endless fight and only leads to more hatred and anger on both sides and becomes the battle cry for ideals that are far from godlike.

Poplular vote would leave us with women still not having the right to vote. It would leave us with blacks and whites unable to marry. it would take away from us many, many rights that we have right now. So don't use the majority won argument either. This proposition should never have been allowed to even exist and that is the fight that needs to be won.

So to all christians..........u guys r fake!!!!! u guys need to leave people alone!!!!! if i remember right Church and STATE are separate!!!!! so your religious views are nolinviod!!! you christians cant just mind your own buisness can you!! you guys think you are special or something......WELL YOUR NOT!!! my best-friends brother is special!!! doesn't say in the bible to like love each other for who they are not what they are!!! AND HERES A QUESTION FOR ALL CHRISTIANS............. doesnt god love everyone no matter who they are as long as they believe in them!!!! and so many christians say how merciful there god is yet they always throw god into hateful sits. when it suite their purpose!!!! hmmmm makes me wounder!!!! well all im going to say is im pagan and im gay!!!! so peace out and blessed be all of you!!!!

Roy Cohn. J. Edgar Hoover. The list goes on. Point made?

What a Nazi this Ken guy and those whom think like him. I don't understand I thought all humans evolved together. Apparently some still prefer living in a cave.

IThe word marriage should be deleted from the law completely and that good hard working people who are living thier life be allowed to make thier own descision on thier partners. Don't bring the Bible in it , that is open to various interpetations anyway and I am pretty sure we or none of us are GOD , so stop judging everyone one else for the differences we all have. The constitution of California is the issue and not the Bible. OMG can't you think of anything elese that would be important to the state than this. Mind your own Business, teach aceptance - What good is going to come of this, really what good? tell me the changes that are going to be so significant to the people? Let's see we need a new type of racism to promote - Ken Starr is nothing but a trouble maker. Old out of touch and promotes hatered.
Has any of you considered that?

"I am game. Give me a good argument why the traditional view of marriage should be abolished and a new one should be held."

It already has been. Did you get or give a dowry when you married? Was your marriage arranged by your parents for economic or social reasons? Or did you choose your partner in the newfangled way for love, something your great-grandparents would have thought of as "irresponsible"? If you are a woman, are you the property of your father, if unwed, and your husband, if wed? If you are a man, are you allowed to beat your wife and kids?

Gay marriage is a symptom, not the cause, of the great change in marriage from a partnership for economic, social and breeding purposes, in which one partner owns another, to the relationship of equals for the purpose of love, friendship, and companionship. In the previous tradition, there was some reason to exclude gay people, as breeding and the enforcement of gender roles were more important to the definition of marriage than was love and companionship. In modern marriage, love and companionship matter more than gender roles or the ability to have children, then there is no reason to exclude gays- and if you argue that children and gender roles still matter more, you have to tell me why you would not divorce my friend from her husband, whom she married after her hysterectomy, or why you wouldn't divorce my parents, when my mother works and my dad does the cooking.

If you want to declare that "traditional" means "good", what is your justification for getting rid of all of the traditions that modern folk find appalling? Why is "traditional" solely equated with "heterosexual?" What is your justification for getting rid of the tradition of stoning non-virginal brides or throwing a girl who has premarital sex or is raped out of the family to become a prostitute on the streets, for example? Or the tradition of having spouses chosen by parents rather than each other? Or of viewing money and property as more important than love in selecting a marriage partner? How about the tradition that the wife and children are the property of the husband, and so is any income his wife may bring in to the family - so that even if he deserts them, and she works hard to earn money to care for her kids, he can come back and take her earnings away to get drunk with, and she has no recourse?

The new definition of marriage as a loving partnership for mutual support - a definition which leaves no justification for excluding gays, who also form loving partnerships and need mutual support - is superior to the other because it treats adults as adults who may make their own free choices. It encourages the raising of children in loving families rather than cold and uncaring ones, protects women and children from abuse, and ensures that even if a woman is deserted by her spouse, she may support herself and her children with the fruits of her own labor. It ensures that people are not trapped in unloving or cruel relationships against their will. I would not trade my own personal egalitarian love marriage for anything.

As for separation of church and state, I fail to see how you believe that principle supports prop 8, which imposes some people's religious beliefs on other people's marriages. Let me provide an example. The Catholic Church does not choose to marry previously divorced folks. Nonetheless, the civil marriage of previously divorced people - even practicing Catholics - is quite legal. The Church does not have to marry them, nor to recognize their marriages as "real" in a Catholic sense, but it may not prevent them from marrying in civil court or in another religion's church. The same ought to be true for gay people.

Mike - you may be surprised to find that the Constitution protects the right of an American citizen to make choices that are deemed "sins" under the Bible, or by Jesus. You have no right to use the civil laws to enforce your religion's idea of "sin," any more than a Jew or a Muslim has the right to make pork consumption illegal on the grounds that it is sinful according to the laws of their faith. The Bible may not say that you have to tolerate sin, but the Constitution does, and this nation is governed by the Constitution. If you wish to live by the Bible and not the Constitution, and to force your neighbors to do likewise, then please go form a theocracy somewhere else. This is a free republic, and most of us would like to keep it that way.

To oppose proposition 8 is not to say that God is a liar, any more than a Jew is calling God a liar by allowing his Gentile neighbor the legal right to eat a pork chop, or allowing his Hindu neighbor the legal right to pray to Ganesh and Lakshmi and Shiva. But opposing prop 8 is to say that God's law is for God to enforce, not the courts or the civil government. Or don't you believe your God is up to that task?

I can't believe this country is still having this debate. With technology, where none of these comments will disappear after everyone comes to their senses, some people are going to regret the prejudice and hateful words they are saying. How sad that the next, more accepting generation will read this and judge us as we judge slave owners and racists.

 
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