Divided Court Rejects Proposition 8
A federal appeals court has declared California's 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, concluding that the prohibition served no purpose other than to "lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians."
Washington State Senate Approves Gay Marriage
Two of the previously undecided Republicans, Sens. Joe Fain of Auburn and Andy Hill of Redmond voted in support of the measure Wednesday, as did two Republican colleagues, Sens. Steve Litzow of Mercer Island and Cheryl Pflug of Maple Valley. Litzow said he was voting for the bill "because I believe it's the right thing to do."
"I believe an adult should have the right to marry the person they love," he said. "It's that simple for me."
Justice Stephen Reinhardt Rocks
Some say the [Prop 8] issue remains far too weighty for the Supreme Court to ignore. But others suggest that Judge Reinhardt's opinion might have been written precisely to try to dissuade the Supreme Court from overturning it – and it could work.
In short, Reinhardt said the decision to overturn Prop. 8 was not founded on a fundamental right for gays and lesbians to marry. Rather, Reinhardt's decision was based on a 1996 Supreme Court decision, Romer v. Evans, which struck down a Colorado law – passed by state voters – that prevented local governments from enacting measures to protect gay and lesbian residents.The Supreme Court struck down Colorado's Amendment 2 because it "withdraws from homosexuals, but no others, specific legal protection," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion. So, reasoned Reinhardt, Prop. 8 also unfairly singles out gays and lesbians. It irrationally denies them access to the term "marriage," even though they already have the legal protections of marriage through domestic-partnership laws, and it also takes away a legal right they already had, Reinhardt wrote. (Earlier in 2008, a state Supreme Court ruling had made gay marriage legal.)
Justice Kennedy is seen as the key swing vote on the US Supreme Court, and “I think Judge Reinhardt absolutely wrote a narrow decision as if he were writing a letter directly to Justice Kennedy,” says Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
JC Penney Rocks
JC Penney is turning its back on One Million Moms, a group which called for the retailer to dump talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as its national spokeswoman because she is gay.
Hell has Frozen Over (aka, One of the Blowhards at Fox News Recognizes which way the Wind is Blowing)
As she endures an anti-gay group's fury over her new JC Penney spokeswoman role, Ellen DeGeneres has found an unlikely advocate -- Bill O'Reilly. The Fox News commentator came to DeGeneres' defense after conservative group One Million Moms, a division of the American Family Association, pressed JC Penney to replace the comedian and talk show host as their spokesperson because she is a lesbian.