The Federal Prop. 8 Trial / Gay Marriage Catch-All

Scalia and Thomas will vote to uphold Prop 8, just as they voted to uphold many laws criminalizing homosexual acts.

Kennedy, Ginsberg, Breyer are likely to vote to overturn, based on their past opinions in the same arena.

Alito and Roberts are wild cards in many ways. Alito is a Mini-Scalia. Their civil rights record is spotty. Not that they have been adverse, but more there has been a shortage of a lot of civil rights suits in higher federal courts.

Sotomayor and Kagan would likely go the pro civil rights route.

What is troubling is that if this goes down as a 5-4 decision it lacks a lot of punch. And I honestly would not be shocked to see the issue revisited in 5-10 years. What people often discount is the significance in Brown v. Board of Ed being a unanimous decision. It was likely to be an 8-1 decision, but with even one dissenting judge, you leave the matter very open to be revisited.

Anti Prop 8 people, pro gay marriage arguments would do well to stick clear of any privacy arguments in front of this court. Hammering on the law being inherently suspect for specifically mentioning a single group of minorities. The fact that that group has endured a long history of systemic and real persecution and bigotry is also key.

What the Anti Prop 8 people have are 2 of the brightest legal minds alive in the US today. Olsen and Boies are just brilliant. And to see 2 lawyers of such different politics and philosophies on the same side bodes well.

KingGorilla wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:

Just avoid everything outside a 16 count Crayola box.

It's what I do. Works great.

16? Well Ooh La La there Mary. You get 4 colors at the IHOP, like the good lord intended!

I'm kind of surprised that no one has done a text scan of a Bible for color words and said something like, "The Bible only uses these colors: X, Y, and Z. Therefore these are the only colors that actually exist, and all the other colors are Satan's lies." Or some such.

Man, I could make a mint off that book deal.

RadioLab actually kind-of addresses the issue of how our perception of color has changed over the centuries. Basically, it was a long time before humanity recognized blue as a color.

I'd be interested in that. I know there's several african tribes that can't see orange (it simply doesn't exist for them) and there's a blue-green color that most white americans and europeans can't see.

...

I just googled that radio lab piece and it looks like it hits on that. Thanks Mike!

Seth wrote:

there's a blue-green color that most white americans and europeans can't see.

We have a blue-green called 'appelblauwzeegroen' (appleblueseagreen) in Dutch.

IMAGE(http://cn1.kaboodle.com/hi/img/b/0/0/f9/3/AAAAC-aTXtEAAAAAAPk8vg.png?v=1286723253000)

You mean this one?

dejanzie wrote:
Seth wrote:

there's a blue-green color that most white americans and europeans can't see.

We have a blue-green called 'appelblauwzeegroen' (appleblueseagreen) in Dutch.

IMAGE(http://cn1.kaboodle.com/hi/img/b/0/0/f9/3/AAAAC-aTXtEAAAAAAPk8vg.png?v=1286723253000)

You mean this one?

If you're going to provide an image, provide an image! Your link is obviously broken.

Back to gay marriage:

You know what I don't get?

I don't get why gay marriage opposition wasn't backed up with scads of money; at least it wasn't in Maryland. It was early on we got "VOTE NO ON QUESTION 7" flyers and sh*t and I thought, "Here we go--wait what? That's the gambling issue. Gay marriage is Question 6."

I was expecting NOM or whoever or a "grassroots" movement dump good clean Christian money into the fight, and we got nothing. The pro-Question 6 effort was last minute and ad hoc. (Note to Question 6 activists: If you can't get your sh*t together to organize an ad buy until the day before the election, how the hell are you ever going to plan a wedding?)

Was Maryland written off as Sodom? Was the NOM effort spread too thin (tee-hee) what with having to fight in several states?

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

Back to gay marriage:

You know what I don't get?

I don't get why gay marriage opposition wasn't backed up with scads of money; at least it wasn't in Maryland. It was early on we got "VOTE NO ON QUESTION 7" flyers and sh*t and I thought, "Here we go--wait what? That's the gambling issue. Gay marriage is Question 6."

I was expecting NOM or whoever or a "grassroots" movement dump good clean Christian money into the fight, and we got nothing. The pro-Question 6 effort was last minute and ad hoc. (Note to Question 6 activists: If you can't get your sh*t together to organize an ad buy until the day before the election, how the hell are you ever going to plan a wedding?)

Was Maryland written off as Sodom? Was the NOM effort spread too thin (tee-hee) what with having to fight in several states?

There *was* scads of money spent in Washington. However, it's worth pointing out that the pro campaign vastly out-raised the NOM-led anti campaign (through it's subsidiary Preserve Marriage Washington).

http://mynorthwest.com/11/2127380/Ga...
Supporters of gay marriage raised roughly $13.6 million for the R-74 campaign, compared to the $2.7 million brought in by their opponents, Preserve Marriage Washington.

Quite what the implication of that is, I don't know. I haven't tried to follow the money on the pro side, so I'm not sure whether that 13.6 million dollars was largely private or corporate donations.

Jonman wrote:

Quite what the implication of that is, I don't know. I haven't tried to follow the money on the pro side, so I'm not sure whether that 13.6 million dollars was largely private or corporate donations.

The Washington United for Marriage folks said they had some 20,000 donors. The top named donors were responsible for just shy of 30% of their final tally.

This top donor list was was from back in July, so it's way outdated:

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, $2.5 million
Steve Ballmer, $100,000
William Gates, $100,000
Freedom to Marry Action Inc., New York, $100,000
SEIU Wash. State Council, $100,000
Joe Curiel and Tony Raugust, $50,000
Joel Spiegel and Karen Van Dusen, $50,000
Lawrence Stone, $50,000
Jennifer Cast, $25,000
Laurene Powell Jobs, $25,000
Bradford L. Smith, $25,000
Benjamin Waldman, $25,000

I believe Gates subsequently went in with his wife and made an additional donation of $500,000. NYC's Bloomberg had a $250,000 matching grant. I think TMobile chipped in $25,000 as well.

Woo, states' rights, bitches!

OG_slinger wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Quite what the implication of that is, I don't know. I haven't tried to follow the money on the pro side, so I'm not sure whether that 13.6 million dollars was largely private or corporate donations.

The Washington United for Marriage folks said they had some 20,000 donors. The top named donors were responsible for just shy of 30% of their final tally.

This top donor list was was from back in July, so it's way outdated:

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, $2.5 million
Steve Ballmer, $100,000
William Gates, $100,000
Freedom to Marry Action Inc., New York, $100,000
SEIU Wash. State Council, $100,000
Joe Curiel and Tony Raugust, $50,000
Joel Spiegel and Karen Van Dusen, $50,000
Lawrence Stone, $50,000
Jennifer Cast, $25,000
Laurene Powell Jobs, $25,000
Bradford L. Smith, $25,000
Benjamin Waldman, $25,000

I believe Gates subsequently went in with his wife and made an additional donation of $500,000. NYC's Bloomberg had a $250,000 matching grant. I think TMobile chipped in $25,000 as well.

Hmmm, do any of those names work in the Wedding Industrial Complex? Maryland wedding venues? Tuxedo rentals? Flower companies? Caterers? Jewelers?

Tie the Knot, Jessie Tyler Ferguson's charity went live today. He and his husband-to-be are selling bow ties to raise money for marriage equality. And MAN do they have some awesome designs!
IMAGE(http://www.tietheknot.org/images/ties/fall2012/ttk-tie0.jpg)
IMAGE(http://www.tietheknot.org/images/ties/fall2012/ttk-tie4.jpg)
IMAGE(http://www.tietheknot.org/images/ties/fall2012/ttk-tie14.jpg)

Here we go again.

A Christian legal group on Monday sent a memorandum to marriage officials in the three states where gay marriage was legalized in last week's elections, advising them they "do not have to violate their faith or conscience by personally issuing licenses to applicants who are of the same sex."

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF, formerly Alliance Defense Fund) a American conservative Christian nonprofit organization, sent the advisory to municipal clerks and other officials responsible for issuing marriage licenses in Maine, Maryland and Washington.

The memos stated:

[...] In light of the three states’ “recent redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples,” some clerks and auditors “might believe that they face a serious dilemma: either resign their positions or violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”

However, those officials “can readily resolve this potential religious conflict” by acting on the authority they have to appoint their responsibilities to deputies or assistants.

Any government official that is unwilling to issue a bona fide government license to anyone who meets the governmental criteria needs to be terminated and barred from public service ever again.

There is absolutely no justification for anyone using their personal beliefs (religious or otherwise) to deny a legally obtainable government license to anyone for any reason.

Phoenix Rev wrote:

Here we go again.

A Christian legal group on Monday sent a memorandum to marriage officials in the three states where gay marriage was legalized in last week's elections, advising them they "do not have to violate their faith or conscience by personally issuing licenses to applicants who are of the same sex."

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF, formerly Alliance Defense Fund) a American conservative Christian nonprofit organization, sent the advisory to municipal clerks and other officials responsible for issuing marriage licenses in Maine, Maryland and Washington.

The memos stated:

[...] In light of the three states’ “recent redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples,” some clerks and auditors “might believe that they face a serious dilemma: either resign their positions or violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”

However, those officials “can readily resolve this potential religious conflict” by acting on the authority they have to appoint their responsibilities to deputies or assistants.

Any government official that is unwilling to issue a bona fide government license to anyone who meets the governmental criteria needs to be terminated and barred from public service ever again.

There is absolutely no justification for anyone using their personal beliefs (religious or otherwise) to deny a legally obtainable government license to anyone for any reason.

This "legal" group needs to be investigated as well.

I assume they sent a similar letter to everyone currently issuing divorces, too?

SixteenBlue wrote:

This "legal" group needs to be investigated as well.

One of their lawyers was just arrested for child pornography...

I love the irony of these idiots being able to say what they want due to the protection of the same amendment they clearly don't agree with when they try to create these laws banning gay marriage or telling government officials to use their faith to make legal decisions.

Mixolyde wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Quite what the implication of that is, I don't know. I haven't tried to follow the money on the pro side, so I'm not sure whether that 13.6 million dollars was largely private or corporate donations.

The Washington United for Marriage folks said they had some 20,000 donors. The top named donors were responsible for just shy of 30% of their final tally.

This top donor list was was from back in July, so it's way outdated:

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, $2.5 million
Steve Ballmer, $100,000
William Gates, $100,000
Freedom to Marry Action Inc., New York, $100,000
SEIU Wash. State Council, $100,000
Joe Curiel and Tony Raugust, $50,000
Joel Spiegel and Karen Van Dusen, $50,000
Lawrence Stone, $50,000
Jennifer Cast, $25,000
Laurene Powell Jobs, $25,000
Bradford L. Smith, $25,000
Benjamin Waldman, $25,000

I believe Gates subsequently went in with his wife and made an additional donation of $500,000. NYC's Bloomberg had a $250,000 matching grant. I think TMobile chipped in $25,000 as well.

Hmmm, do any of those names work in the Wedding Industrial Complex? Maryland wedding venues? Tuxedo rentals? Flower companies? Caterers? Jewelers?

When I worked at a jewelery store we used to LOVE when lesbians would come in and buy engagement rings for each other.

OG_slinger wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

This "legal" group needs to be investigated as well.

One of their lawyers was just arrested for child pornography...

And not just possession, either. Ugh.

And this is why DOMA is a tool of the Devil (and, apparently, Boeing):

Today the Boeing Company told union negotiators that it intends to deny pension survivor benefits to same-sex married couples, even though Washington State voters decisively approved a marriage equality law earlier this month.

Representing 23,000 Boeing engineers and technical workers, Ray Goforth is executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001. He was sitting at the negotiation table today—as part of ongoing talks over retirement benefits—and says the company's position "says to employees that they can be discriminated against based on who they are."

Goforth explains that his union has long sought equal pension benefits for same-sex domestic partners, to no avail. But since voters approved same sex marriage—establishing parity with married straight couples—Goforth re-framed the proposal to apply to his union's gay Boeing employees who wed. "Their answer was that they had no intention of granting pension survivor benefits to legally married same-sex couples because they didn't have to," Goforth explains. Boeing representatives told him that pensions are governed by federal law, which doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, thereby trumping the state law on the matter.

So, Washington State will allow gay marriage in just a few weeks, but Boeing is using DOMA as a shield in order to deny survivor benefits to the surviving spouse of a same-sex marriage. Despicable.

The only silver lining is that Boeing has been getting a huge amount of push back and has softened its stand:

Doug Alder, a spokesman for the aerospace giant, says that "any assertion that Boeing discriminates is blatantly false and, quite frankly, offensive." Late this afternoon, Boeing issued a statement to its employees saying it will assess the impacts of Referendum 74 on company policy. "Boeing is taking a closer look at how R-74 might impact company policies once it takes effect in December," the statement said.

Asked directly, however, if Boeing did in fact refuse these benefits at the negotiating table today, Alder evaded the question. "Nothing is ever final in negotiations until they're over," Alder told me. "What we said today is that [these pension benefits] are not currently addressed in the contract."

This, of course, begs the question of why the survivor benefits is governed by DOMA today, but not later with negotiations?

Again, despicable.

NathanialG wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Quite what the implication of that is, I don't know. I haven't tried to follow the money on the pro side, so I'm not sure whether that 13.6 million dollars was largely private or corporate donations.

The Washington United for Marriage folks said they had some 20,000 donors. The top named donors were responsible for just shy of 30% of their final tally.

This top donor list was was from back in July, so it's way outdated:

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, $2.5 million
Steve Ballmer, $100,000
William Gates, $100,000
Freedom to Marry Action Inc., New York, $100,000
SEIU Wash. State Council, $100,000
Joe Curiel and Tony Raugust, $50,000
Joel Spiegel and Karen Van Dusen, $50,000
Lawrence Stone, $50,000
Jennifer Cast, $25,000
Laurene Powell Jobs, $25,000
Bradford L. Smith, $25,000
Benjamin Waldman, $25,000

I believe Gates subsequently went in with his wife and made an additional donation of $500,000. NYC's Bloomberg had a $250,000 matching grant. I think TMobile chipped in $25,000 as well.

Hmmm, do any of those names work in the Wedding Industrial Complex? Maryland wedding venues? Tuxedo rentals? Flower companies? Caterers? Jewelers?

When I worked at a jewelery store we used to LOVE when lesbians would come in and buy engagement rings for each other.

Who wouldn't want twice the commission?

Phoenix Rev wrote:

And this is why DOMA is a tool of the Devil (and, apparently, Boeing):

Today the Boeing Company told union negotiators that it intends to deny pension survivor benefits to same-sex married couples, even though Washington State voters decisively approved a marriage equality law earlier this month.

Representing 23,000 Boeing engineers and technical workers, Ray Goforth is executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001. He was sitting at the negotiation table today—as part of ongoing talks over retirement benefits—and says the company's position "says to employees that they can be discriminated against based on who they are."

Goforth explains that his union has long sought equal pension benefits for same-sex domestic partners, to no avail. But since voters approved same sex marriage—establishing parity with married straight couples—Goforth re-framed the proposal to apply to his union's gay Boeing employees who wed. "Their answer was that they had no intention of granting pension survivor benefits to legally married same-sex couples because they didn't have to," Goforth explains. Boeing representatives told him that pensions are governed by federal law, which doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, thereby trumping the state law on the matter.

So, Washington State will allow gay marriage in just a few weeks, but Boeing is using DOMA as a shield in order to deny survivor benefits to the surviving spouse of a same-sex marriage. Despicable.

The only silver lining is that Boeing has been getting a huge amount of push back and has softened its stand:

Doug Alder, a spokesman for the aerospace giant, says that "any assertion that Boeing discriminates is blatantly false and, quite frankly, offensive." Late this afternoon, Boeing issued a statement to its employees saying it will assess the impacts of Referendum 74 on company policy. "Boeing is taking a closer look at how R-74 might impact company policies once it takes effect in December," the statement said.

Asked directly, however, if Boeing did in fact refuse these benefits at the negotiating table today, Alder evaded the question. "Nothing is ever final in negotiations until they're over," Alder told me. "What we said today is that [these pension benefits] are not currently addressed in the contract."

This, of course, begs the question of why the survivor benefits is governed by DOMA today, but not later with negotiations?

Again, despicable.

Boeing has always been one of the douchiest companies out there with a long history of questionable business practices. This doesn't surprise me. Douchebaggery is almost part of the corporate culture.

Well Phoenix, Boeing is more or less just begging for a lawsuit from the union. I am not sure where Boeing got their information, but labor bargains and contracts in general are governed by state law almost exclusively.

KingGorilla wrote:

Well Phoenix, Boeing is more or less just begging for a lawsuit from the union. I am not sure where Boeing got their information, but labor bargains and contracts in general are governed by state law almost exclusively.

But the benefits of those contracts are sometimes governed by Federal laws like ERISA; from GLAD:

Employers may provide tax-free health benefits to their employees’ different-sex spouses. However, DOMA prevents recognition of marriages by same-sex couples for federal tax purposes. Therefore, if a same-sex spouse receives health benefits through the partner’s employer-sponsored plan, the fair market value of those benefits is treated as income to the employee and subject to federal income tax.

Another reason for women to support gay marriage--if you don't, lesbians will marry your boyfriends.

So funny.

CheezePavilion wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

Well Phoenix, Boeing is more or less just begging for a lawsuit from the union. I am not sure where Boeing got their information, but labor bargains and contracts in general are governed by state law almost exclusively.

But the benefits of those contracts are sometimes governed by Federal laws like ERISA; from GLAD:

Employers may provide tax-free health benefits to their employees’ different-sex spouses. However, DOMA prevents recognition of marriages by same-sex couples for federal tax purposes. Therefore, if a same-sex spouse receives health benefits through the partner’s employer-sponsored plan, the fair market value of those benefits is treated as income to the employee and subject to federal income tax.

Ah, but this is about a union negotiated contract, not merely health benefits for any at will employee. This Union seems to have counsel stating that the present contract does in fact extend benefits to spouses, regardless of gender or sexual identity. If that Collective Agreement is neutrally worded, it does not matter what DOMA says. Now, our present Supreme Court has not been shy about using Federal Supremacy to stamp out areas often seen as a state jurisdiction, such as criminal legal enforcement. Pot is apparently part of interstate commerce when Nixon declared a war on drugs.

KingGorilla wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

Well Phoenix, Boeing is more or less just begging for a lawsuit from the union. I am not sure where Boeing got their information, but labor bargains and contracts in general are governed by state law almost exclusively.

But the benefits of those contracts are sometimes governed by Federal laws like ERISA; from GLAD:

Employers may provide tax-free health benefits to their employees’ different-sex spouses. However, DOMA prevents recognition of marriages by same-sex couples for federal tax purposes. Therefore, if a same-sex spouse receives health benefits through the partner’s employer-sponsored plan, the fair market value of those benefits is treated as income to the employee and subject to federal income tax.

Ah, but this is about a union negotiated contract, not merely health benefits for any at will employee.

I don't see how that changes anything, though.

This Union seems to have counsel stating that the present contract does in fact extend benefits to spouses, regardless of gender or sexual identity.

Well, sure, just like I'm guessing Boeing have their lawyers saying the opposite.

If that Collective Agreement is neutrally worded, it does not matter what DOMA says.

I wouldn't be so quick to jump to that conclusion. This is why DOMA is such a headache--it keeps popping up in the least expected places.

Phoenix Rev wrote:

And this is why DOMA is a tool of the Devil (and, apparently, Boeing):

Today the Boeing Company told union negotiators that it intends to deny pension survivor benefits to same-sex married couples, even though Washington State voters decisively approved a marriage equality law earlier this month.

.

Some backstory here - that's my union, and it's my contract that's currently under renogotiation.

Boeing is playing hardball this time around. Their first contract offer was laughably/insultingly poor, and was almost unilaterally rejected by the union's members in a vote. They are starting to give some ground on that original terrible proposal, and negotiations are ongoing.

So what's my point? I believe that provisions like this are offered in early contract offers so that the company can then "grant" them in later offers to put themselves in a good light. It seems to be the tactic that the company is pursuing this round of negotiations.

That is, until the contract is signed, don't necessarily assume that this is the company's stance so much as a negotiating gambit.

On a side-note, the company is trying to hamstring the pension scheme all over the board - they're attacking it from all different directions (the current negotiating position is to discontinue the pension scheme for new employees as well as decrease the pension for existing employees). This is just one thread of that overall strategy.

For the record, Boeing is actually pretty good on gay rights, they have strong anti-discrimination policies, have recognized domestic same-sex partnerships for years now.

Jonman wrote:

For the record, Boeing is actually pretty good on gay rights, they have strong anti-discrimination policies, have recognized domestic same-sex partnerships for years now.

Perception is reality and right now the perception is that Boeing is so greedy that it's going to purposely screw the survivors of its gay employees out of the benefits they deserve.

Such a tough position might help them a little in the contract negotiation, but their brand and goodwill just took a massive hit (and one that is likely much greater than whatever they hoped to gain by nickle and diming their gay employees).

OG_slinger wrote:
Jonman wrote:

For the record, Boeing is actually pretty good on gay rights, they have strong anti-discrimination policies, have recognized domestic same-sex partnerships for years now.

Perception is reality and right now the perception is that Boeing is so greedy that it's going to purposely screw the survivors of its gay employees out of the benefits they deserve.

Such a tough position might help them a little in the contract negotiation, but their brand and goodwill just took a massive hit (and one that is likely much greater than whatever they hoped to gain by nickle and diming their gay employees).

Well, no. Perception is not reality. Reality is that nothing has changed for Boeing's gay employees as I write this. Reality is that no-one can currently tell you how the new, as yet un-inked, contract is going to affect employees, gay or otherwise.

My point was to not let arguments over the negotiating table be reflected as reality, because until there's a contract that's accepted by both parties (company and union), everything you hear from both sides is bluster.