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CA: Federal judge in Calif upholds U.S. gay marriage ban
Bakersfield Californian ^ | 6/16/05 | Lisa Leff - AP

Posted on 06/16/2005 4:12:52 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Deciding one of the few lawsuits arguing the case for gay marriage in federal court, a California judge on Thursday ruled that a 1996 law recognizing only unions between a man and a woman as valid does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

But U.S. District Judge Gary Taylor also declined to rule on whether a state ban on same-sex marriage violates the civil rights of a gay Southern California couple while a separate legal challenge to California's laws works its way through the state courts.

"The question of the constitutionality of California's statutory prohibition on same-sex marriage is novel and of sufficient importance that the California courts ought to address it first," he wrote.

Taylor's ruling came in a case brought by Christopher Hammer and Arthur Smelt, a Mission Viejo couple, who filed it last year as an alternative to the case advanced in the state courts by the city of San Francisco and a dozen same-sex couples. A state trial judge ruled in March that California's marriage laws run afoul of the state Constitution and the case is now on appeal.

In upholding the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, Taylor said that even though the law "has a disproportionate effect on homosexual individuals," the government's desire to promote procreation is a valid reason for infringing on the rights of gay couples.

"The Court finds it is a legitimate interest to encourage the stability and legitimacy of what may reasonably be viewed as the optimal union for procreating and rearing children by both biological parents," Taylor wrote, echoing the arguments often advanced by groups opposed to same-sex marriage.

Byron Babione, a lawyer for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, said Taylor's statement was a victory for advocates who want to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples.

"This court has defended the rights of voters to express what we know about marriage: that it is, was and always will be a union between a man and a woman," Babione said. "Marriage isn't right because it's traditional, it's traditional because it's right."

But the judge's declaration that families headed by opposite-sex parents are the best environment for raising children drew indignation and disbelief from gay marriage advocates, who called it a disservice to the thousands of children being raised in same-sex households.

"To say it would encourage procreation for heterosexual couples by denying same-sex couples the right to marry is illogical," said Jennifer Pizer, senior counsel for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. "It's a mistake to think that denying marriage to same-sex couples has any effect on whether heterosexual couples have children and raise those children well."

In refusing to decide whether California's marriage laws run afoul of the U.S. Constitution, Taylor noted that the Defense of Marriage Act explicitly empowers states to set their own marriage policies, even if they conflict with the laws of another state.

"The California state statutes touch an important and sensitive area of a social institution, particularly within the province of a state," he said.

Hammer and Smelt's attorney, Richard Gilbert, said that his clients would appeal Taylor's decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals and if necessary, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gilbert compared the men's struggle to efforts by Dred Scott to seek freedom from slavery in 1857. The ruling in that case that Scott did not have standing to sue because he was property has been a lasting blemish on the nation's highest court.

"If the justices of the 9th Circuit or the Supreme Court were to rule against these plaintiffs, they will leave a legacy for themselves not much different from the justices of the Dred Scott court," Gilbert said. "The fact that they may not rule in our favor is not a reason not to force them to address the issue."

California recognizes only marriages between a man and a woman. The federal Defense of Marriage Act allows states to disregard gay marriages performed in other states and foreign countries, and holds that for federal purposes such as Social Security, marriage is "a legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife."

Nearly all efforts to legalize gay marriage are being fought in state courts around the country. Last year, a group of gay couples in Florida decided to drop lawsuits similar to Hammer and Smelt's after a federal judge there dismissed their claim challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: babione; ban; byronbabione; california; constitution; constitutionallaw; federal; gaymarriage; homosexualagenda; judge; law; lawsuit; ruling; samesexmarriage; upholds

1 posted on 06/16/2005 4:12:53 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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U.S. District Judge Gary Taylor

Bush appointee 1990


2 posted on 06/16/2005 4:15:30 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Good!


3 posted on 06/16/2005 4:16:59 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: NormsRevenge
In upholding the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, Taylor said that even though the law "has a disproportionate effect on homosexual individuals," the government's desire to promote procreation is a valid reason for infringing on the rights of gay couples.
4 posted on 06/16/2005 4:18:34 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: NormsRevenge

later read


5 posted on 06/16/2005 4:19:43 PM PDT by Mo1
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To: NormsRevenge

Wow, I'm surprised.


6 posted on 06/16/2005 4:20:33 PM PDT by hattend (Alaska....in a time warp all it's own!)
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To: hattend

Actually NJ also upheld a Gay Marriage Ban just 2 days ago.

The judges opinion was bvery well written


7 posted on 06/16/2005 4:22:53 PM PDT by atlanta67
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To: NormsRevenge
In upholding the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, Taylor said that even though the law "has a disproportionate effect on homosexual individuals," the government's desire to promote procreation is a valid reason for infringing on the rights of gay couples.

Infringing on their rights? The "right" never existed in the first place. This is like saying the state infringes on the right of pedophiles to engage in sex with infants.

8 posted on 06/16/2005 4:26:18 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: NormsRevenge

Poor Dred Scott is still being abused by America.


9 posted on 06/16/2005 4:28:40 PM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real political victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: NormsRevenge
in a case brought by Christopher Hammer and Arthur Smelt

So would it be Christopher Hammer Smelt or Arthur Smelt Hammer?
(And that's okay, Arthur. Don't tell me how me smelt.)

TS

10 posted on 06/16/2005 5:19:40 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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Wooo Hooo - Later pingout!


11 posted on 06/16/2005 5:20:28 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: Tanniker Smith

LOL

I should have smelt that one coming and put the hammer down.


12 posted on 06/16/2005 5:21:39 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: NormsRevenge

About time! Finally, there is a judge who follows the law!


13 posted on 06/16/2005 5:27:37 PM PDT by RasterMaster (Saddam's family were WMD's - He's behind bars & his sons are DEAD!)
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To: little jeremiah; NormsRevenge

Just wow.


14 posted on 06/16/2005 5:28:54 PM PDT by glock rocks ( There are not enough liberals in Utah to bother to appease. - Warren Keuffel)
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To: little jeremiah
If you notice, any of these decisions of late upholding our right to regulate marriage by statute (which I do support) never mention Reynolds v. United States.

Why is that?

15 posted on 06/16/2005 5:37:34 PM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Can't wait for the 9th Circus to rule on Dred Scott too!


16 posted on 06/16/2005 5:54:46 PM PDT by A.B.Normal
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To: A.B.Normal

Does this mean we can get rid of Gavin Newsom the SF mayor? He needs to be prosecuted.


17 posted on 06/16/2005 6:06:19 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: Tanniker Smith

Now that's just creepy.


18 posted on 06/16/2005 6:08:50 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: NormsRevenge
The headline implies that there's a US law against gay marriage that was upheld by the court. That is false. The law that was conditionally upheld (pending further reveiew, once the time for that is "ripe,") is a California law.
19 posted on 06/16/2005 6:11:45 PM PDT by sourcery ("Compelling State Interest" is the refuge of judicial activist traitors against the Constitution)
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To: NormsRevenge

The Federal Judge in question upheld the law, nothing more, nothing less.

Contrary to what leftist orthodoxy claims, that's all a judge is supposed to do.


20 posted on 06/16/2005 6:13:50 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
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To: NormsRevenge

If the rats don't stop this nonsense, they'll never be elected again. Hopefully this is not the reason for upholding gay marriage ban...but it'd not surprise me if there are smarter rats trying to nip their support of gay marriage in the bud...even though they actually support it but must look like they don't.


21 posted on 06/16/2005 6:49:02 PM PDT by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
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To: NormsRevenge
This isn't the end of it. The Nine Circus could use this as a vehicle to declare the same sex marriage ban unconstitutional in its circuit.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
22 posted on 06/17/2005 12:22:58 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: NormsRevenge

This part of the decision bothered me as well. If a majority wants things to be a certain way, the judge seems to say the majority opinion is only valid if there is a good reason to want things that way.

And the branch of government who gets to decide if there was a "good reason" is the unelected Judidiary. As it is we only seem to win because this particular judge thinks desire for procreation is a good reason.


23 posted on 06/17/2005 5:05:23 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT
I find it surprising that, in this debate, the human and civil rights of children are never mentionned. Same-sex marriages deprive children of their human and civil rights. These "marriages" create a "second tier" class of citizens that, at the outset and by design is intentionally deprived of its full rights and privileges as a human. If divorce law tells us that, in redefining a family, the best interests of the child are paramount, with the needs of the adults subordinate to this fact, then how can the reverse argument be made in our courts when considering the codification of same-sex marriages?
24 posted on 06/17/2005 6:12:35 AM PDT by Saynotosocialism
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To: CharlesWayneCT
I find it surprising that, in this debate, the human and civil rights of children are never mentionned. Same-sex marriages deprive children of their human and civil rights. These "marriages" create a "second tier" class of citizens that, at the outset and by design is intentionally deprived of its full rights and privileges as a human. If divorce law tells us that, in redefining a family, the best interests of the child are paramount, with the needs of the adults subordinate to this fact, then how can the reverse argument be made in our courts when considering the codification of same-sex marriages?
25 posted on 06/17/2005 6:18:09 AM PDT by Saynotosocialism
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To: NormsRevenge
NO! This couldn't happen in California, I mean Kalifornia. Everyone, absolutely everyone there, is a raging homosexual leftist liberal...aren't they? I heard it on the news.
26 posted on 06/17/2005 10:19:32 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (I'm sick and tired of being sicked and tired!)
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To: NormsRevenge

What "rights" of gay couples?


27 posted on 06/17/2005 11:54:30 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: glorgau

Thje problem is the balmy notions of Herry Blackmun and his successors on the High Court. Thr new book by Greenhouse of Blackmun makes it clear that the new ruling on sodomy is a logical outcome of the contraceptions and abortion cases and the "right of privacy"


28 posted on 06/17/2005 9:01:35 PM PDT by RobbyS (chirho)
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To: NormsRevenge
Taylor, Gary L.

Born 1938 in Los Angeles, CA

Federal Judicial Service:
U. S. District Court, Central District of California
Nominated by George H.W. Bush on August 3, 1990, to a seat vacated by Ferdinand F. Fernandez;
Confirmed by the Senate on September 28, 1990, and received commission on October 1, 1990. Assumed
senior status on December 8, 2004

Education: University of California, Los Angeles, A.B., 1960

University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D., 1963

Professional Career:
U.S. Army, 1964-1966 Private practice, 1966-1986
Judge, Orange County Superior Court, 1986-1990

Race or Ethnicity: White

Gender: Male

 

29 posted on 06/18/2005 10:19:49 PM PDT by Smartass (Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: NormsRevenge

ALl they have to do is keep suing until they win the legal lottery.


30 posted on 06/21/2005 6:13:19 AM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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