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Lawmaker to reintroduce gay marriage bill

By ProtiusX ·
By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer
Last Updated 11:55 am PST Sunday, December 5, 2004
"SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Five weeks after voters in 11 states banned same-sex marriages and the issue was cited as a factor in John Kerry's defeat, a California lawmaker plans to reintroduce Monday a bill to make them legal.
Assemblyman Mark Leno's "Marriage License Nondiscrimination Act" would amend a section of California's family code that defines marriage as "a personal relationship arising out of a civil contract between a man and woman" to read "between two persons."

Despite the setbacks from the Nov. 2 election, Leno, D-San Francisco, said he was not worried his measure faces even greater hurdles in the upcoming legislative session than it encountered during the last.

"We proceed from a position of strength," he said over the weekend. "We are confident we will have the votes to get it off the (Assembly) floor."

Chief among the reasons for his confidence is the support Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez has pledged to the bill. In May, after the legislation had cleared one of the two committees it needed to reach the floor, Leno agreed to withdraw it temporarily with the understanding that Nunez would sign on as co-author in December.

Leno's decision to submit the bill on the first possible day signals his seriousness about getting his colleagues to deal with the bill, while the speaker's involvement means it will get priority treatment.

Nunez, D-Los Angeles, could not be reached for comment Friday, but he has said he sees gay marriage as a civil rights issue.

The legislation needs 41 votes to make it out of the Assembly and over to the California Senate, where it's expected to have an easier time.

In an interview, the Assembly's Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, offered a preview of the arguments opponents of gay marriage will marshal against Leno's bill.

For the Legislature to legalize marriage for same-sex couples would circumvent the mandate the state's voters expressed almost five years ago when they passed a ballot measure saying California only recognizes as valid marriages between a man and a woman, according to McCarthy.

"The people of California have handled it, and any action differently is going against the will of the people," said McCarthy, R-Bakersfield.

But Leno said the 2000 ballot initiative, Proposition 22, only applies to couples who have married elsewhere and want to have their unions legally recognized in California. Opponents of gay marriage claim it applies to in-state marriages as well, but neither theory has been decided in court.

Although California remains one of the most gay-friendly states in the nation - a law scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 gives same-sex couples who register as domestic partners nearly all the legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses - McCarthy said he thinks residents would prefer to see lawmakers grappling with the state's ongoing financial problems.

"If Mr. Leno is introducing it, he is misreading the election," McCarthy said. "This is not what California voters think should be introduced the first day and debated on."

Leno's legislation will move through the Legislature at the same time that a pair of lawsuits seeking to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriages moves through the courts.

Twelve couples and the city of San Francisco have sued the state, claiming a 1977 statute that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional because it discriminates against gays.

A hearing on the constitutional issues raised by the lawsuits is scheduled for Dec. 22 in San Francisco Superior Court."

Yes well, I guess the voters in California will just have to understand that one their vote doesn't matter and this "girly man" from the California state legislature is better suited to dictate law to them. What a load of Tosh!

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One side...

by JamesRL In reply to Lawmaker to reintroduce g ...

If the vote had gone the other way five years ago, would you be so quick today to dismiss the introduction of legislation that would make it illegal? Thats the acid test.

Seems to me that so many people are eager to overturn things that went against their beliefs, but are offended when others try to do the same. If you believe in referenda - then you live with the consequences.

Girly man - how Christian and charitable of you. If you want to argue about referenda, court decisions and legislative powers - please do, the political science major in me enjoys that kind of debate.

But if after all that you have to resort to insult and ad hominem to make your case, you don't have much of a case to make.


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The Governator

by ProtiusX In reply to One side...

They weren?t my words. I was quoting the Governor of the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia. I love the way Arnold says ?C-a-l-i-f-o-r-n-i-a?! Being from California originally I can say no power on God?s green Earth could force me to move my family back to that bastion of communistic hedonism.

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Love California

by DC_GUY In reply to The Governator

Can't wait to go home. Any place east of the Rockies feels like an alien planet. Even Easterners think D.C. is an alien planet, so here I am, two Starburst jumps away from home.

Once I found out that gay marriage was not going to be compulsory, I had no problem with it at all.

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by maecuff In reply to Love California

Your comment made me laugh out loud. Yes, as long as no one is going to FORCE me to marry another woman, I have no problem with gay marriage. It seems silly to get your panties in a bunch over it. Of course, I am a godless heathen who would love nothing more than weaken the moral threads of our society. I'm trying, I just can't seem to muster up enough intolerance.

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The big bone of contention

by JamesRL In reply to Funny..

in Ontario, where we have had legal gay marriages for some months, was whether churches would be forced to marry gay couples. And of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

Churches have always had the right to refuse to marry just about anyone they wish - people of different faiths, people who have been divorced etc. There is one mainline church and a few smaller churches, that do perform gay marriages today - and of course you can always go to City Hall.


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That's a good point James

by Oz_Media In reply to The big bone of contentio ...

I hadn't tossed that one around yet, but even the priest as an indivicual can refuse to marry two people he/she doesn't deem suitable for marriage as defined by HIS/HER understanding / interpretation of the bible.

I just don't like the constant references to how it is unconstitutional, this indicates a strong religious bias in the constitution. Especially in a country where all religions/faiths are 'said' to be accepted as equal.

Actually, now that I think about it, ther eARE gay churches in Vancouver. A former coworker was a priest for a gay church and was married to another man.

The problem is simply the government's inclusion of a specific religious term as a means for determining who is and isn't entitled to benefit, whether tax breaks or what have you and be seen in the community as a legally marrried couple.

Religion is deep rooted into government, a BIG mistake.

GWB said he doesn't descriminate and believes thay should all be allowed to be treated equally, then said that he believes that people married under the guidelines of HIS faith should reap the rewards of it, meaning tax breaks etc. So how does THAT demonstrate a tolerance and equal treatment?

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Hello Oz

by ProtiusX In reply to That's a good point James

Marriage is the union of a man and a woman. But we?ve discussed this before you and I. I am curious though (really and I am not being facetious)what your friends who are gay ministers think about the book of Romans?

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Fair question

by Oz_Media In reply to That's a good point James

I see what you aer getting at, I was replying to James and started thinking out loud, y'know ramblin' Oz,

Anyhow, I haven't seen those coworkers since the mid 90's, we all just went our separate ways when the company moved.

I do know that he wasn't outwardly religious, for lack of a better term. He never pushed his beliefs on others or quoted the bible at all, never spoke of his faith that much and was a fairly quiet and reserved man. His husband was a stand up comic ( a good one too!)unfortunately e is no longer with us and has gone to the only truly unpredjudiced place there is.


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I am sorry to hear about your friend

by ProtiusX In reply to That's a good point James

I am sorry to hear that he has passed away. If you see your other friend, give him my regards and let him know I said I am sorry for his loss. I don?t think there are enough comedians or good entertainers in the world. I had an employee who worked for me once who was about as blatantly gay as they come and his boy friend use to sing karaoke. Well one time my wife and I went out for our anniversary and we had dinner at a certain restaurant (that I shant name) and while we were eating this person started singing ?Fancy was my Name?. We went into the bar and saw this guy and my wife and I started to laugh because he was really good. I think he might have done a better job than Rebba did!

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He was a dummy

by Oz_Media In reply to That's a good point James

An that is from his hubby's mouth. Having multiple seizures daily, he decided to take a bath, alone while nobody was home.

I doubt I will run into him again, we live in different places now, IF he is even in Vancouver still.

His huby did lieave me with some funny memories and great smiles whenever I remember him though, isn't that just the BEST way to be remembered? I can ony hope.

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