Decisions June 26 by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding California’s Proposition 8 and a key provision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) do not sound the death knell for the marriage debate, according to John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention….
“The Court’s decisions do not surprise us, but they disappoint us for at least two reasons,” said Yeats. “First, the branches of our federal government continue to chisel away states’ rights to carry out the will of their people. Second, and more disturbing, they reflect the fact that a growing number of Americans increasingly embrace behaviors that violate natural law and biblical truth. The Supreme Court had the opportunity to uphold marriage and return authority for marriage policy to citizens and their elected officials but chose instead to legislate from the bench.”
Even so, the marriage debate continues, said Yeats. Instead of casting rocks at the Court or bemoaning the advances of the gay agenda, Christians should stand on Scripture and search their own souls. One reason Christians seem to be losing the debate is because our lives don’t show evidence that morality truly makes a difference.
“Our divorce rates, sexual immorality, and other worldly pursuits mirror those of society in general,” he said. “Our words about God’s power to transform lives ring hollow because too often our actions show we don’t really believe it. Our example should always be Jesus. He showed the deepest compassion for the greatest sinners, yet He never compromised on the truth of human sinfulness and the need for God’s forgiveness….”
@RepHartzler Your opposition to equality & love will forever be recorded as a mistake in the congressional record, Congresswoman. 11:43 AM – 26 Jun 13
Representative Vicky Hartzler (r): Good morning, everyone. We’re here today to respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. We believe the court got it wrong on these rulings. The court’s activist ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act ignored the votes of a bipartisan majority of Congress. This is a dangerous precedent which strips power away from Congress with respect to defining national marriage policy. We must work to defend the rights of Americans to make marriage policy. Additionally, the Proposition 8 ruling is a loss for the millions of Americans who have gone to the ballot box to voice their support for marriage between one man and one woman. California’s governor and attorney general who refused to defend the people’s wishes abandoned the people of California is a loss for democratic self government [sic]. With the Supreme Court denying them standing they have left the people voiceless. While California silenced the voices of their citizens the Supreme Court has not created a constitutional right to same sex marriage. Thirty-eight states have affirmed the belief of their citizens that marriage exists between a man and a woman and is a necessary building block of stable society. The debate over marriage will continue with the states leading the way. We must work to defend the rights of Americans to make [garbled] policy. We should work to promote the truth of marriage between a man and a woman. It is wise policy to uphold the reality that every child deserves a mom and a dad and society as a whole benefits when they do….
“…Thirty-eight states have affirmed the belief of their citizens that marriage exists between a man and a woman and is a necessary building block of stable society…”
….In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are. If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years. Other adult living arrangements-including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood-have all grown more prevalent in recent decades….
….The United States is by no means the only nation where marriage has been losing “market share” for the past half century. The same trend has taken hold in most other advanced post-industrial societies, and these long-term declines appear to be largely unrelated to the business cycle. The declines have persisted through good economic times and bad….
Damn. We’re all going to hell in a handbasket.
“…We should work to promote the truth of marriage between a man and a woman. It is wise policy to uphold the reality that every child deserves a mom and a dad and society as a whole benefits when they do…”
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8:
“I believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage and believe that it should be up to states’ to determine the definition of marriage. The people of Missouri have spoken and over 70% of Missourians’ decided that marriage should be between one man and one woman. I will always support states’ rights and the people of Missouri have made their decision.”
I wonder if she’ll join Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) in sponsoring those constitutional amendments banning divorce and enforcing shotgun weddings. Nah. States’ rights.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
No. 12-144. Argued March 26, 2013-Decided June 26, 2013
….We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.
Because petitioners have not satisfied their burden to demonstrate standing to appeal the judgment of the District Court, the Ninth Circuit was without jurisdiction to consider the appeal. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
It is so ordered.
This ruling effectively restores gay marriage in California, the Supreme Court ruling that the people who brought the case to overturn the overturning (think about that for a second) do not have standing to bring the case to the court.
…For the third time in recent years, this court is called upon to address a question under California law relating to marriage and same-sex couples…
…Accordingly, we conclude that each of the state constitutional challenges to Proposition 8 advanced by petitioners and the Attorney General lacks merit. Having been approved by a majority of the voters at the November 4, 2008 election, the initiative measure lawfully amends the California Constitution to include the new provision as article I, section 7.5…
…Finally, we consider whether Proposition 8 affects the validity of the marriages of same-sex couples that were performed prior to the adoption of Proposition 8. Applying well-established legal principles pertinent to the question whether a constitutional provision should be interpreted to apply prospectively or retroactively, we conclude that the new section cannot properly be interpreted to apply retroactively. Accordingly, the marriages of same-sex couples performed prior to the effective date of Proposition 8 remain valid and must continue to be recognized in this state…
An excellent three minute example of American musical theatre from composer Mark Shaiman. It has a sense of humor, a famous cast, and a paean to capitalism for the big ending. What’s not to like? This musical is destined to become a classic.
Early rally attendees took up spots on the north side of 47th Street, facing a handful of pro Proposition 8 pickets across the street.
Pro civil rights pickets on the north side of 47th Street.
This was the second group opposing the civil rights rally. They showed up right before the scheduled start, they took up positions on the south side of 47th Street, and stayed through the end. The first group, from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, left before the rally started.
Missouri State Senator Jolie Justus (black scarf, center left) listening to an early speaker. She later addressed the crowd.
There was a substantial amount of supportive horn honking from passing traffic. The people on the picket line would cheer enthusiastically for each honk. This driver had been leaning on her horn in the traffic stopped for the signal. She turned to happily take a picture of the picket line.
Polyester. Sometimes the necessity of protest is the mother of sarcastic picket signs.
At 12:30 p.m. today in Kansas City there was a rally at the J.C. Nichols fountain at 47th Street and Main near the entrance of the Plaza in opposition to the passage of California’s Proposition 8 in the recent general election (removing the right of marriage for many in the California Constitution). Approximately four hundred people attended the rally. The local NBC affiliate reported that two hundred people were in attendance. There were also a few people who were in opposition to those at the rally.
There were a few opposing pickets across the street from the rally site before it started.
I spoke with Timothy Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church:
Show Me Progress: So where are you all from?
Timothy Phelps: We’re from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.
SMP: Okay. You came out here today to…
Timothy Phelps: To, uh, show a little bit of truth in this so called debate that’s going on about the, whether or not homosexuals should have the right to marry. Um, and by that I mean it’s not really a debate going on. The two sides are two sides of the same coin. Neither of them properly understand or properly respect the word of God. So, we’re laying that message out.
SMP: Okay. I noticed by your sign that you’re not, uh, very fond of the president elect.
Timothy Phelps: You mean my sign that says “Fag Lover Obama”?
Timothy Phelps: That’s just a statement of facts. It’s not anything to do with my fondness for him. It has to do with, uh, the reality that it’s a foregone conclusion in his administration that this issue’s settled. This issue, amongst others, is settled. [wind noise] He’s going to be the foremost advocate for the rights, you can put that in quotes, these filthy beasts, not only in the United States, but worldwide. And it’s gonna be under his regime that there’ll be laws against people even preachin’ the Bible. In this nation. About what these beasts do. That’s what were headed under his regime, so that’s what this sign means.
SMP: …Thank you for your time.
Timothy Phelps: Thank you.
This is what the rally opponents faced across 47th Street before the rally started:
The Westboro group left rather hurriedly as the rally across the street near the fountain started to get underway. They were replaced by another group on the south side of 47th Street.
There were several speakers, including Dan Winter (ACLU) and Missouri State Senator Jolie Justus. The sound system was not adequate for the size of the crowd – most of the time it was difficult for anyone not within a few feet of the speakers to understand what was being said.
This individual started haranguing the crowd about fifteen minutes after the rally started. For the most part he was ignored. At one point he ran around the perimeter of the crowd.
A lady saw my media identification, approached me and said, “You tell people that there are mothers here today.” She then walked away. I followed and asked her if I could talk with her:
Show Me Progress: Why are you here today?
Jean Hoover: To support gay, lesbian, and bisexual, and transexual rights. Because we need to make people aware of the humanity and the equality of all people.
SMP: You mentioned earlier that you’re a mother.
Jean Hoover: Yes I am.
SMP: And so you’re here as a mother?
Jean Hoover: I’m here as a mother. I have, uh, a gay son who’s been with a partner for ten years. So that means I have two sons. And I have several adopted sons in the group.
SMP: Thank you…And where are you from?
Jean Hoover: I’m from here, from Kansas City.
SMP: Thank you for your time.
Jean Hoover: Oh, thank you. And where is this going to be?…
After the rally most of the crowd made it back to the picket line facing 47th Street. Some individuals mixing in with the opposition on the south side of 47th Street.
Bonny Russell (left) and Jan Garbosky (right)
I spoke with Bonny Russell and Jan Garbosky after the rally:
Show Me Progress: You’re all from California.
Bonny Russell and Jan Garbosky: From San Diego, yes.
SMP: And you came out here…
Bonny Russell and Jan Garbosky: We actually came out here to see my family and then when we, we’ve been activists in San Diego in working on No on Prop 8. And so we, when we heard that a rally was going to be here we decided we had to be here.
We’re here because Bonny’s brother, who’s 85, couldn’t come to our wedding six weeks ago in San Diego. So we came to him, and his wife.
SMP: So, so you got married …
Bonny Russell and Jan Garbosky:…six weeks ago today…
SMP: …in California and now it’s in danger.
Bonny Russell and Jan Garbosky: Now we believe we’re still married and that if there’s a lawsuit needed to, uh, make sure that that’s the case that’s so what’s happening, But, everyone we know believes we’re married. We were married in our church in front of almost thr
ee hundred people. So, we feel married.
We’ve been together twenty years and, uh, you know, we have lots of support from all of our children and grandchildren and, uh…
…You know, so, we’re really blessed and the support of everybody and, uh, our church. Jan’s the president of our church. And so, you know, we feel so fortunate. And then when we have to see all the hate and all the ugly things that go on it’s very sad. It’s very disappointing.
And to think that we have had this precious love for twenty years and now married for six weeks and that anybody could think that our love is wrong or immoral…
…or less than…
…is, is such a deep hurt. Because we, um, have, are retired educators. We’ve given to, uh, working for racial and ethnic, ethnic justice in our schools in San Diego. And, uh, this is very hurtful, uh, what our friends and neighbors have said about us and people like us.