Federal judge strikes down Va. ban on gay marriage

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posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 07:32 AM
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A federal judge in Norfolk struck down as unconstitutional Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday night, saying the country has “arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.”

U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen issued a sweeping 41-page opinion that mentioned at length Virginia’s past in denying interracial marriage and quoted Abraham Lincoln. She struck the constitutional amendment Virginia voters approved in 2006 that both bans same-sex marriage and forbids recognition of such unions performed elsewhere.


Source

So it looks like Virginia will be the next state to recognize gay marriage. Of course the ban hasn't been repealed yet. The case still needs to go to the Court of Appeals. In her decision Judge Arenda Wright Allen referenced the 1967 court decision to repeal the ban on interracial marriage saying: "Tradition is revered in the Commonwealth, and often rightly so. However, tradition alone cannot justify denying same-sex couples the right to marry any more than it could justify Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage.”

Personally I see this as a good thing. If a state as historically conservative as Virginia is willing to recognize gay marriage then it is only a matter of time before it is recognized throughout the country. Plus, how can Virginia's motto be Virginia is for Lovers when they fail to recognize marriages from a whole demographic?




posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 07:44 AM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


This was expected, as was her stay, so it's another step and another case put "on hold" (by the deciding judge) until further court decisions are taken. And it is one more nail taken out of the coffin lid of gay marriage, which seems to be busting out all over.


She stayed her decision pending appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, meaning same-sex marriages will be not be immediately available in the commonwealth.


This was the case where Virginia's new attorney general, in consultation with the new Governor, announced that they would not defend the constitutional ban before the court, and I assume this will be the same going forward as it moves to the 4th Circuit.

edit on 14-2-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-2-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 08:16 AM
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The problem with same sex unions is that it can be exploited, abused.

2 roommates in college or out in the real world can rent an apartment together, claim to be gay and get all the benefits. There is no way to tell the legitimacy of their gay union. So then it is unfair for straight people who share accomodations. They will not get any benefits. So it is better for straight people to engage in sexual practices that fall outside of normal, tell the world you have sex with your roommate get temporarily married as you finish school or reap the benefits of 'marriage'.

These systems are being set up for abuse.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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Shadow Herder
The problem with same sex unions is that it can be exploited, abused.

2 roommates in college or out in the real world can rent an apartment together, claim to be gay and get all the benefits. There is no way to tell the legitimacy of their gay union. So then it is unfair for straight people who share accomodations. They will not get any benefits. So it is better for straight people to engage in sexual practices that fall outside of normal, tell the world you have sex with your roommate get temporarily married as you finish school or reap the benefits of 'marriage'.

These systems are being set up for abuse.


Yeah because only friends of the same sex would consider this sort of fraud.

Its a new and interesting anti equality argument you've invented there but.. oh wait you're being sarcastic! I get it now, my bad.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 10:16 AM
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Shadow Herder
The problem with same sex unions is that it can be exploited, abused.

2 roommates in college or out in the real world can rent an apartment together, claim to be gay and get all the benefits. There is no way to tell the legitimacy of their gay union. So then it is unfair for straight people who share accomodations. They will not get any benefits. So it is better for straight people to engage in sexual practices that fall outside of normal, tell the world you have sex with your roommate get temporarily married as you finish school or reap the benefits of 'marriage'.

These systems are being set up for abuse.


And that's more unfair than denying an entire demographic to the same rights you have?

Also, what's to stop a gay man and a lesbian marrying to "exploit" the system?



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 10:20 AM
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Cuervo

Shadow Herder
The problem with same sex unions is that it can be exploited, abused.

2 roommates in college or out in the real world can rent an apartment together, claim to be gay and get all the benefits. There is no way to tell the legitimacy of their gay union. So then it is unfair for straight people who share accomodations. They will not get any benefits. So it is better for straight people to engage in sexual practices that fall outside of normal, tell the world you have sex with your roommate get temporarily married as you finish school or reap the benefits of 'marriage'.

These systems are being set up for abuse.


And that's more unfair than denying an entire demographic to the same rights you have?

Also, what's to stop a gay man and a lesbian marrying to "exploit" the system?


EXACTLY. Why do people want to marry? Religious reasons? Monetary? Status? or just to say they can. Benefits should be awarded to any couple whether or not they have sex with eachother.

Two roommates are working together in many ways, they too should have the rights of the married.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 10:42 AM
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This ruling should hold up on appeal, because one of the cores of the anti-gay marriage argument, the point that gays cannot procreate a new life, has nothing to do with marriage. Older people who can't have babies still can marry, as long as they are one guy and one girl. A couple with infertile issues, who can't have a baby, can still marry (one lady, one gentleman). So using that argument, which is inexplicably being used in all the anti-gay marriage court fights, seems to not be very smart. It has nothing to do with the legal question.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by Shadow Herder
 



EXACTLY. Why do people want to marry? Religious reasons? Monetary? Status? or just to say they can. Benefits should be awarded to any couple . . .


You know, there is another option. And sitting here thinking about it, I like it more and more. Remove all benefits, federal and state, provided to a married couple.

No one can know, of course, but I would not be surprised if the demand for gay marriages would drop by 90%. It would also eliminate many of the arguments for having gay marriages. There seem to be only two general arguments for gay marriages. One, it deprives a tiny section of society of some benefits which the rest of society can get. And, two, if gays can call themselves married, people will accept them more easily.

The question of gay marriage ceases to be a concern to more than about 1 in 500, and the government spends less money.

So, how about it?



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 10:50 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Hey Charles!

I don't think your proposal will work for two reasons:

1. There will be a LOT of upset straight married folks.

2. It will defeat the whole purpose of why the state provided these benefits in the first place - to create more stability in our communities. I would think we want more stability in the homosexual population as well, no?



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 12:42 PM
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reply to post by kaylaluv
 

Dear kaylaluv,

You are among the indispensable posters, thanks a lot. You raise excellent points, and I agree with one of them. I feel kind of "marshwiggly" about your thoughts, though. (I might explain that word some time, I just made it up.)


1. There will be a LOT of upset straight married folks.
You're absolutely right, but could that be compensated for? For example, tax benefits are often used as a reason for gay marriages. We could eliminate them and beef up the benefit for having dependent children, or for donating to a child's educational costs. Benefit the children, in other words, without specifically benefiting the marriage. I suspect that a lot of tax benefits going to straight couples, could be rerouted to children.

Benefits like "Next of Kin" designation? I don't see the problem. The law would assume that next of kin would be the spouse, but a card or some other identifier would be available to show someone else is next of kin. Problem solved.

I also wonder whether the "upset straight married folks" might be mollified by the declaration that there will be no gay marriages recognized in the Us. But it's an excellent point, and requires some research and polling.


2. It will defeat the whole purpose of why the state provided these benefits in the first place - to create more stability in our communities. I would think we want more stability in the homosexual population as well, no?
Here, dear kaylaluv, I must disagree slightly, or perhaps I don't understand you.

I don't believe stability in our communities is the goal of marriage. I think the state's goal in encouraging marriages is to encourage new citizens to continue the existence of the state, and to do it in a way which allows those children to be brought up under the best circumstances, in a stable home.

Some family structures, generally speaking, are more beneficial for children than others. That is agreed upon. The only disagreement is which structure (or structures) should be encouraged to attain the goal of well raised children from stable families. The state made it's choice a long time ago. The very best that can be said for gay marriages is that some of the research indicates that a gay marriage may be as beneficial to the child as a traditional family. The state (and states) have largely taken the position that there is insufficient scientific evidence to change the meaning of this fundamental relationship.

Certainly Obama, Hollywood, the Media, and lobby groups have worked hard to change peoples' beliefs for a long time, and in a few cases it is beginning to have that effect. But these political efforts never focus on the children, which is where true success is measured.

As always, you are thought provoking, and I would enjoy talking with you about any of this.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 12:50 PM
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The only real issue at hand, in any of these "questions" is: is the US Constitution still the law of the land?

If it is, then under Amendment 14, States cannot discriminate against US Citizens.

If marriage is offered to any citizen, it must be offered to all regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, religion, etc.

It's really NOT much of a question, actually. The outcome is certain if the Constitution wins.

I always find the cynicism of those who opposed marriage equality shocking. For example, someone above is willing to gut the laws that protect and assist millions ... just to provide a better argument for continued discrimination.

Unbelievable.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 01:06 PM
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double post
edit on 14-2-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by Gryphon66
 




I always find the cynicism of those who opposed marriage equality shocking. For example, someone above is willing to gut the laws that protect and assist millions ... just to provide a better argument for continued discrimination.


It's scary isn't it? Check this out! Kansas legislature is so scared people may have to accept marriage equality, they're set to pass a bill allowing sweeping discrimination.


On Tuesday, the Kansas House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a measure designed to bring anti-gay segregation—under the guise of “religious liberty”—to the already deep-red state. The bill, written out of fear that the state may soon face an Oklahoma-style gay marriage ruling, will now easily pass the Republican Senate and be signed into law by the Republican governor. The result will mark Kansas as the first state, though certainly not the last, to legalize segregation of gay and straight people in virtually every arena of life.
www.slate.com...


THE BILL


Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no individual
or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity to do any
of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious
beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender:
(a) Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities,
goods, or privileges; provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other
social services; or provide employment or employment benefits, related to,
or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil
union or similar arrangement;
(b) solemnize any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or
similar arrangement; or
(c) treat any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar
arrangement as valid.


This deserves a thread of it's own, but I'm so predisposed to want to host the amount vitriol such a thread will produce.



edit on 14-2-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Regarding your first points, I would say that's a fair amount of trouble to go through (re-writing tax code and next of kin laws). It would be easier to just give out marriage licenses to gay couples, wouldn't it? That's a win-win in my book: straight couples keep getting their benefits, and gay couples now get those same benefits.

Regarding your second points, I would say there is an equal amount of scientific evidence on both sides of the issue. For every study you can find that says children do worse raised by gay parents - I can show you a study that says the opposite. We DO have consistently good studies that tell us children are worse off in poorer homes than they are in homes with more money, but we don't tell poor people they aren't allowed to have children, or that they can't get a marriage license, or have the same tax/legal benefits for being married. Why is that?

I still stand by my point that stability is good for both children AND adults - gay or straight, rich or poor. I think the main (and most defensible) objection to gay marriage has been the religious one. I don't want to remove anyone's right to have a religious objection to gay marriage, but since our government espouses freedom of and from religion, I don't think our government should refuse to hand out marriage licenses and/or associated benefits based on religious views.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 03:48 PM
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Windword:


It seems like a lot of work to protect churches (I assume) from being required to perform marriages.

I guess Kansas just lost a lot of easy marriage dollars until it gets overturned.

I think the law fails at 1(c) on its face; Kansas does not have the right to supercede other sovereign States, i.e. declaring a marriage from Massachusetts "invalid."

I'm pretty sure that the law will generally fail under "establishment of a religion" ... i.e. if one gains a statutory privilege based solely on religious beliefs, seems hard to argue that the State is not thereby establishing "a religion" in that case.

Seems ironic that a entity supposedly believing in "smaller government" is glad to use the governmental pen to add unnecessary law and levels of bureaucracy when it suits their own pet beliefs, eh?

edit on 15Fri, 14 Feb 2014 15:48:37 -060014p032014266 by Gryphon66 because: That ... that's chaos.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 04:45 PM
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You know you live in the south when gay marriage is illegal and beastilaity is legal.

Welcome to the 21st century Virginia.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 09:08 PM
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reply to post by Gryphon66
 

Dear Gryphon66,

It's a shame that we haven't had the opportunity to talk earlier. If we had you would have known a bit about my attitudes.

I always find the cynicism of those who opposed marriage equality shocking. For example, someone above is willing to gut the laws that protect and assist millions ... just to provide a better argument for continued discrimination.

Unbelievable.

Had we the chance to talk before you would have known that nearly every word in that quote, as applied to me, is completely false. A new idea, inspired by this thread, popped into my head and I wanted to discuss it to see if there was merit to it, or if it could be developed into something interesting. Rather than consider the idea, you decided to attack me. I suppose that may be fun for a certain type of person, but it doesn't advance the discussion or aid learning.

If you thought my reasoning was to provide a better argument, you're clearly wrong. I wanted to explore an idea.

It's not true, but suppose I wanted to provide a better argument, was it successful? Now I want you to pause and think, don't just react. Would that idea, prompted by the OP, provide an argument that couldn't be easily countered? What if the population rose up as one and said "We will not accept government marriage benefits" and they were all repealed, so everyone is treated the same. How is that new argument rebutted? Surely, you won't claim that married couples have a right to certain benefits, will you?


The only real issue at hand, in any of these "questions" is: is the US Constitution still the law of the land?

If it is, then under Amendment 14, States cannot discriminate against US Citizens.


Unfortunately for your argument, the Supreme Court has not taken the position you have. Perhaps some day they will, but even if they give the fullest approval to Gay marriage, there is no Constitutional requirement that the married have to receive any benefits at all. Besides, look at the 14th again. Here's just the first section, but it's the one I believe you are relying on.

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Throw out some of the stuff that doesn't apply, and you're down to this.

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
As I say, the Supreme Court has never interpreted the 14th in the way you want them to. Is marriage a privilege or immunity of the United States Citizen? How can it be if the states control it?


If marriage is offered to any citizen, it must be offered to all regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, religion, etc.
That, of course, is currently false and will probably be false forever. Age of marriage is controlled by the state, as is degree of consanguinity. A state can certainly say to two citizens who are consenting adults, "You two can't get married." Try marrying your mother.


It's really NOT much of a question, actually. The outcome is certain if the Constitution wins.
It may be certain if what you want the Constitution to say wins, but not otherwise.

Anyway, I'm primarily exploring ideas here with the goal of learning. Help me out.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


I agree with you completely, in this day and age, there is zero reason married couples should get extra benefits. It had it's place back when it was damn near impossible to get a job as a women, one person now had to support two people. Why should people have the benefits now? It's discriminating to people that are single, or don't feel like getting married.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 09:34 PM
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reply to post by Gryphon66
 


While I agree with you that people should not be discriminated against based on the Constitution, I disagree that this is what the recent rash of court decisions is attempting to do.

What we are witnessing is an attempt to legislate acceptance rather than the changing of law. Notice how they always continue to throw "traditional" in there with marriage even when dealing with homosexuality. Traditional marriage is a man and a woman regardless of todays legal change or desire of a liberal judge.

Again we see the decision to stick with the magic number two. As if two people should be recognized as marriage, but any more than that is still illegal.

No, this was not about civil rights or fair treatment. This was just done so the homosexuals could say " see we are like you and we believe in traditional marriage too".

Yu want fair treatment and equality? Change marriage laws to state anyone can marry anyone. As long as : all parties agree, all parties are of legal age, and partners able to reproduce are not blood related. Anything short of that is simply trying to make a lifestyle more palatable to the masses.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by TKDRL
 

Dear TKDRL,


I agree with you completely,

I'm having trouble breathing. Has this ever happened before? Maybe I should incorporate this into my signature. But, before I pass out from astonishment, I have to dodge most of the credit (actually, all of it). Haven't you ever been in a situation where someone will say something like "SCUBA divers can be underwater for an hour on one air tank," and you think to yourself, "I wonder if we could outfit fish with water tanks?" That's basically what happened here.

All I did was take someone's idea, twist it inside out, and present it to the brilliant minds of ATS for a comment. I still don't know whether that's the best course to take, or if I'd recommend it, but it is a course to take and is worth a moment's thought.

I think in any day or age, married couples engaged in bringing up children should get all the benefits a government can provide. Having decently brought up and well-educated children is the future of a country. (I suppose that means dismantling public schools, too. Oh well.)


It had it's place back when it was damn near impossible to get a job as a women, one person now had to support two people.
As I understand it, it's now well nigh impossible for anyone to get a job.

It's discriminating to people that are single, or don't feel like getting married.
I think I may have touched on the answer a little earlier. Tax breaks are available to teachers, soldiers on active duty, and I don't know how many other groups. That's discrimination. In this case, I wonder if it could be solved by considering it as benefits for couples (or maybe singles) who are raising or are responsible for children?

The Government could say, "I don't care if you're Green, Gray, or Gay. If you're raising children in a stable environment you're doing something important for the state, and we'll give you a hand." (I had to go for the alliteration, it was far to tempting.)

What I'd like to especially thank you for, TKDRL, is your taking the time to think about the idea and offer your own perspective and thoughts. Salud!

With respect,
Charles1952





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