Friday, July 11, 2008

“Bitter” Americans Stick to Their Guns in Kern California

On June 10, 2008, just days before the days of illegal “marriages” in California, the Kern County board of supervisors, citing their desire to cling to their religious beliefs, ceased all ceremonies solemnizing civil marriages in that county. Four weeks later, on July 8, 2008, despite already exposing the County to a deluge of lawsuits presided over by an antagonistic monkey court, this “bitter” California county felt that they had not yet done enough. To do more to rebel against California’s Supreme tyranny, the Kern County Board of Supervisors considered a motion to begin issuing legal marriage licenses, licenses that said “husband” and “wife” and that could not be used by couples that needed to be subtitled “Party A” and “Party B.” The Kern County Board of Supervisors eventually backed down, but not from cowardice, but from courage and integrity, the qualities sometimes named bitterness by the truly enlightened.

Kern County had been presented with a detailed legal briefing explaining that for a marriage to be legal it must comport with the law. The United States Justice Foundation (USJF) briefing concluded that Proposition 22 was always an unnecessary gesture and that the abundance of California statutes that say marriage takes place between a man and a woman still have legal status. For same sex “marriages” to be legal, all these statutes must be rewritten by California’s legislature. Additionally, pointed out the brief, the Kern County Board of Supervisors is beholden by oath to uphold the law, not the rulings of any Court, or the illegal actions of the executive branch. At Wednesday night’s meeting “bitter” American after “bitter” American encouraged the Board of Supervisors to issue the new Kern County marriage licenses. There are reports form sources close to the board that several of the Commission’s “Party A’s” also pleaded that the board move forward. Additionally, several studies had demonstrated that a flood of tax and tourist revenue would have been spawned by the crowds of Californians that were willing to come to Kern. Studies estimated that thousands of Californians would be willing to travel to Kern for the sake of keeping the sentimental “husband” and “wife” title part of their marriage.

But it was not to be. In the end nothing could move this “bitter” County Board; their personal integrity could not be so easily swayed. Legally, Kern County does not have the authority to distribute marriage licenses. Marriage licenses can only be issued by the State of California. It did not matter that the Mayor of San Francisco issued illegal licenses and was rewarded by the Supreme Court of California with a sweeping rewrite of California law and an unconstitutional ruling in his support. Not even the prosperity of the unjust would shake this Board’s “bitterness.” Their integrity was not to be undermined by examples from this world. May Pennsylvania’s Americans prove half as “bitter” when their time comes, and, yes sir, it’s on its way.

Supervisor Rubio proposed a revisiting of the ban on civil ceremonies citing the 2,000 civil marriages performed last year, many for minority couples. On this, the board again demurred, still granting licenses, but not ceremonies to petitioners. If I had just a little more bitterness, or a little more forsight, I would have urged this bitter board to cease the dispensation of all illegal marriage licenses beginning in August. Let it be what it is in truth. The California Supreme Court has, somehow, with an unconstitutional process, tyrannically banned all lawful marriages in California. I urge all bitter Americans in California civil government to let it be what it truly is. If you don’t have the power to issue legal certificates, at least refuse to issue illegal ones.


gr8inferno said...

My opinion, Kern County has to grow some know what.
They're all playing politics, just because majority of people are leaning towards unethical way of life this does not mean they have give up on what they believe in.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

Paul (and others), let me ask you something. If the majority of California voters reject Proposition 8 in November (as today's Field Poll suggests they will), would you then accept same-sex marriage?

paulbenedict said...

Howdy T.L.,

I hadn't heard from you for a while. Welcome back. I'm glad you found the comments about the executive branch failures being responsible for illegal marriages.

As tangled as things get, striking down Prop. 22 was not the same as rewriting the legislative statutes in California marriage law. If, as even the court in its own opinion stated, the statutes of California and the case laws surrounding them plainly intend and expect marriage to be between a man and woman, then the laws and statutes must be rewritten before the issuances of the licenses. Issuing licenses must be according to the law --yes?

In my view the people of California could define something besides marriage as a marriage, if they want to... Who cares? However, the core of the Supremes of California's opinion and ruling has serious constitutional problems because it makes marriage equality by reducing all marriages to civil unions. As I argue in another place, Log Cabin Republicans would be better off voting for Proposition 8 so that the ruling of the Court has no effect and cannot be appealed.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

Respectfully Paul, I don't think there needs to be any substantial rewriting of statutory law to accommodate same-sex marriages. As I've argued elsewhere, we can expect only a tiny percentage, much less than 1%, of marriages to be between same-sex partners.

I'd like to understand your remark that "the people of California could define something besides marriage as a marriage, if they want to... Who cares?" with the subsequent remark, "the core of the Supremes of California's opinion and ruling has serious constitutional problems because it makes marriage equality by reducing all marriages to civil unions"; my impression is the one statement contradicts the other because the second statement implies that civil unions are somehow inferior to marriages and therefore this is a matter that we should care about. I think maybe I've missed something in your argument; as I've said before, it's very unlikely we're ever going to change one anothers' minds about this issue but I'm reading your blog because I would like to at least understand your point of view better.

paulbenedict said...

Yes, becasue same sex couples cannot get married, the idea is that, to be fair, the state will not acknowledge any marriages. It is a little hard to speak more plainly because the Court's new definition is so unclear. If you know of places in the opinion that state, or even seriously imply, what the Court now views a "marriage" to be, I'd be appreciative of a well documented quote or two.

paulbenedict said...

..."a substantial rewriting of the statutes!" Well, that's progress I reckon. If Prop 8 could really put a wooden stake through the Court's ruling, everyone, Log Cabin Republicans too, should avail themselves.

Sadly, I doubt that this court that seems so inept, even cares what happens in November. Its ruling will provide an abundance of cases that will drag themselves through the U.S. Courts over the next few years.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

I think you need to reread section VI of the majority opinion (pages 119 to 120). The result that you reach -- that marriage is no longer available to anyone -- is explicitly and clearly rejected by the court:

When a statute’s differential treatment of separate categories of individuals is found to violate equal protection principles, a court must determine whether the constitutional violation should be eliminated or cured by extending to the previously excluded class the treatment or benefit that the statute affords to the included class, or alternatively should be remedied by withholding the benefit
equally from both the previously included class and the excluded class. A court generally makes that determination by considering whether extending the benefit equally to both classes, or instead withholding it equally, would be most consistent with the likely intent of the Legislature, had that body recognized that unequal treatment was constitutionally impermissible. (See, e.g., Kopp v. Fair Political Practices Com. (1995) 11 Cal.4th 607, 626-662; Arp v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd., supra, 19 Cal.4th 395, 407-410.)

In the present case, it is readily apparent that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples clearly is more consistent with the probable legislative intent than withholding that designation from both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples in favor of some other, uniform designation. In view of the lengthy history of the use of the term “marriage” to describe the family relationship here at issue, and the importance that both the supporters of the 1977 amendment to the marriage statutes and the electors who voted in favor of Proposition 22 unquestionably attached to the designation of marriage, there can be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples, rather than denying it to all couples, is the equal protection remedy that is most consistent with our state’s general legislative policy and preference.

In other words, equal protection requires that both same-sex and opposite-sex couples must be given equal access to the "designation of marriage." The Court had to ask itself whether it was better to offer the "designation" to both kinds of couples, or to neither. Where you seem to have gone astray is that you think the Court has opted for "neither." In fact, the Court opted for "both," as set forth in the quote above.

paulbenedict said...

Hi LT,

I expanded my article "Marriage is Not a School" when I posted at Nolan Chart. Here's the link:
The expansion includes a paragraph that explains the continuing use of circular reasoning by the California Supremes. The passage you quote indulges in the same logical fallacy. The Court assumes that marriage is not between a man and a woman and then "expands" its designation to something that is not between just a man and a woman.

I guess you had no more success than I did finding an explicit definition of marriage in the Court's opinion. Somewhere in there the court does emphatically add that whatever marriage is it does not include polygamy... Did you find that section?