Skip to comments.Knight: Gay marriages 'absolutely illegal'
Posted on 02/14/2004 9:45:48 AM PST by BenLurkin
As same-sex couples tied the knot in San Francisco, "My first reaction was they have lost their minds," the Palmdale Republican said.
City officials in San Francisco started marrying same-sex couples Thursday at the behest of Mayor Gavin Newsom, and the civil unions were expected to continue throughout the weekend as lines formed outside City Hall.
Calling the unions a "sideshow," Knight said he only hopes the same-sex couples realize that their marriages are not legal. "It's absolutely illegal. Those departments do not have the authority to change California law," he said.
In March 2000, two-thirds of California voters passed Knight-authored Proposition 22 defining marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.
But proponents of same-sex marriage challenge the right of the voters to put in place legislation that violates the California Constitution.
"Prop. 22 did not amend the constitution. When you have a battle between a state law and the constitution - the constitution always wins," said Lorri L. Jean, attorney and chief executive officer of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.
"People can not pass an initiative that violates the constitution," Jean said.
But Knight doesn't see it that way at all. A lawsuit filed in the Superior Court against San Francisco's treasurer and clerk by the Alliance Defense Fund, representing Knight, was brought to court Friday and held over for a hearing on Tuesday.
"We are asking the courts to provide for an injunction," Knight said.
Though the push by states against the legalization of same-sex marriage has taken on a sense of urgency, some legislators are going against the grain in what they say is a matter of civil liberty.
Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, decided this week to introduce his "Marriage License Non- Discrimination Act," which seeks to legalize same-sex marriage, and was expected to have at least 20 co-sponsors.
The legislation would amend California family's code definition of marriage from "between a man and a woman" to "between two persons."
Advocates of same-sex marriage say denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry is a violation of the California Constitution that illegalizes all forms of discrimination.
"In this country marriage is not a religious institution making it a civil right," Jean said.
Saying the marriages are more symbolic than anything else, Jean said their significance is twofold .
"It sets in motion a legal case to determine whether the constitution does indeed require that all Californians be treated equally regardless of sexual orientation," Jean said.
Secondly, these are the very first government sanctioned same-sex marriages that have ever occurred in this country, she said.
Knight challenges the argument that denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples is discrimination.
"They are defining discrimination. I say there is no discrimination in the fact that they can marry whomever they want so long as it's a woman," Knight said.
"They can't marry their dog, their horse or their daughter or their son," Knight said. If we were going to discriminate and say they could only marry females of their ethnic background, that would be discrimination," Knight proffered as an example.
"They are saying they are discriminated against because the definition of marriage doesn't allow them the liberty to marry another man (or woman)," Knight said.
Knight chastised city officials in San Francisco for what he said is misleading and unfair to the couples.
"It's going to be a big letdown and it kind of appears they are taking advantage (of the couples)," Knight said.
Jean said couples are being told that their rights can not be enforced.
"I think that people in San Francisco know exactly what this means and doesn't mean and like all civil rights movements, gains are made incrementally sometimes it advances the cause and sometimes it doesn't," Jean said.
While some legislators scrambled to seek an injunction against the marriages, others took the opportunity to follow suit.
In a press release Friday, Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, urged the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to join San Francisco, taking a stand against discrimination toward same-sex couples by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognizing those granted in San Francisco.
"Marriage is a basic human right. Denying same-gender couples this right is a violation of the nondiscrimination clause of the California Constitution," Koretz stated.
"Armageddon will not arrive, heterosexual marriages will not crumble by the thousands," Jean said. "Life will go on and no one will be hurt."
Give them time, give them time.
Response: He is right. However, being correct will do nothing to stop it. The doctrine of "abstract Rights" in action.
On that note, it is unconstitutional to deny people the right to own assualt weapons, hand grenades, land-mines, and tactical nuclear weapons. Darn it, I want my own Pershing Missile! I'm being discriminated against!
X-15 Pilots: Pete Knight
"Pete Knight grew up in Noblesville, Ind., and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951. After receiving his commission through the aviation cadet program, he completed pilot training in 1953.
"Flying an F-89D for the 438th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, he won the prestigious Allison Jet Trophy Race in September 1954.
"After completing his undergraduate education with a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1958, he attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base where he graduated later that same year. He remained at Edwards where he served as project test pilot on the F-100, F-101, F-104 and, later, T-38 and F-5 test programs.
"In 1960, he was one of six test pilots selected to fly the X-20 DynaSoar which was slated to become the first winged orbital space vehicle capable of lifting reentries and conventional landings. After the X-20 program was canceled in 1963, he completed the astronaut training curriculum at the new U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards in 1964 and was selected to fly the X-15.
"He had more than his share of eventful flights in the airplane. While climbing through 107,000 feet at Mach 4.17 on June 29, 1967, the aircraft suffered a total electrical failure and all onboard systems shut down. After arching over at 173,000 feet, he calmly set up a visual approach and, resorting to old-fashioned "seat-of-the-pants" flying, he glided down to a safe emergency landing at Mud Lake, Nev. For his remarkable feat of airmanship that day, he earned a Distinguished Flying Cross.
"Months later, on Oct. 3, 1967, he accomplished a major milestone, as he piloted the modified X-15A-2 to a speed of 4,520 mph (Mach 6.7) a speed which remains, to this day, the highest ever attained in an airplane. During 16 flights in the rocketplane, Knight also became one of only eight pilots to earn astronaut's wings by flying an airplane in space when he climbed to 280,500 feet on Oct. 17, 1967. After nearly 10 years of test flying at Edwards Air Force Base, he went to Southeast Asia in 1968 where he completed a total of 253 combat sorties in the F-100.
"Following his combat tour, he served as test director for the F-15 System Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In this capacity, he became the 10th pilot to fly the F-15 Eagle and completed some of the initial evaluations of the fighter. Following a subsequent assignment as director of the Fighter Attack System Program Office, he returned to Edwards Air Force Base as vice commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center in 1979, his last active duty assignment.
"During this assignment, he remained an active test pilot in the F-16 Combined Test Force. After 32 years of service and more than 7,000 hours in the cockpits of more than 100 different aircraft, he retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1982. In 1984, he was elected to the city council of Palmdale, Calif., and, four years later became the city's first elected mayor. In 1992, he was elected to serve in the California State Assembly representing the 36th District and, since 1996, he has continued to serve as a state senator representing Californias 17th Senate District.
"Among his many honors, Col. Knight was awarded the Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Harmon International Trophy, the Octave Chanute Award, and the Air Force Association Citation of Honor. He was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame (1988), the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1990), and the International Space Hall of Fame (1998)."
Cep't those a**holes that don't cover up real quick.
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