Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 27, 2013

After midnight

Filed under: Alameda, Warm Fuzzies — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

So this post will not be Alameda related but given the significance of the news it really does deserve coverage even on small microblogs like this one.   Yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States released two rulings.  One on the Defense of Marriage Act and one on California’s Proposition 8.  The Supreme Court essentially ruled DOMA unconstitutional, here’s the money quote from an LA Times article:

“By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute” violates the Constitution, he said

The “he” in this case is Justice Kennedy who wrote the opinion for the majority.

The Proposition 8 case was dismissed because the justices ruled that the folks who brought the appeal did not have standing to bring the appeal so the ruling by the lower court stands.   That ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Prop 8 paving the way for same sex marriages in California.

So this is really amazing news and it came on the heels of some pretty impressive maneuvering in the Texas Legislature the night before that lit up social networks everywhere and made an overnight star of Texas Senator Wendy Davis.   Senator Wendy Davis took to the podium to filibuster for 11 hours after a special session was called by the governor to pass an extremely restrictive bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks gestation, even in cases of rape and incest.   It also would have placed strict building codes on the books which would have shut down most of the clinic existing in Texas.

Now unlike the US Congress, Texas has some hardcore filibuster rules in that you can’t get help from anyone else, you can’t sit, you can’t lean on your desk, you can’t go to the bathroom, and you can’t eat or drink.   Wendy Davis was censured two times, once for talking about Planned Parenthood and sonograms and the second time when another Senator attempted to help her put on a back brace.   After the third censure — it’s three strikes and you’re out — the other Democrats stalled for another two hours on a parliamentary procedure debate and at the end despite a mad scramble to vote before the clock ran out on the special session at midnight, they didn’t get the vote in on time.

It really was an awesome news day yesterday.



  1. It IS great news.

    But damn it would have been nice to get a blanket ruling. The Court’s cowardly refusal to give a national ruling for this very simple & basic right dooms us to years of lawsuits & controversy. It’s clear that all Americans will one day have marriage equality. Why not do it now?

    Comment by dave — June 27, 2013 @ 6:42 am

  2. What encourages me is that what the people want is being upheld in spite of the agendas of special interests, industrialists, and power brokers. What discourages me is how close a call it always seems to be.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 27, 2013 @ 7:47 am

  3. It IS great news, Texas Democrats continued their long term harvesting of democrat fetuses proving once again that the most dangerous place for democrat kids is in their mother’s womb. The long term goal, and it is reachable, is to reduce the Democrat fertility rate to below 1.4 which, coupled with gay marriages is a slam dunk.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 27, 2013 @ 7:57 am

  4. @3. A perfect non-sequitor!

    If you want to talk about demographics, there are now more deaths than births for white Americans and the emerging Hispanic/minorities tend to vote for Democrats.

    Republicans are winning increasingly larger numbers of the white vote (which is shrinking every year) … sounds like a great plan for oblivion.

    Comment by alameda — June 27, 2013 @ 8:19 am

  5. 3. I’m so sick of this attitude. Just because you support a woman’s right to choose does not mean you would ever make that choice yourself. All it means is that you think it’s a choice the individual should make, not the state. No one I know is “in favor” of abortion. I think most people agree it should be avoided and unwanted pregnancies should be prevented whenever possible. The Texas law would have forced victims of rape and incest to give birth, making them victims not only of their attackers but of the state itself. If the state wants to force women to give birth, no matter the circumstances, than the state must be willing to support the children who are born against their mother’s will. If you give government the power to force these issues, whose to say that one day, under a different regime, woman who want their babies could be forced to abort them?

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 27, 2013 @ 9:08 am

  6. “couldn’t be” (really wish I could go back and edit after I post.)

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 27, 2013 @ 9:10 am

  7. Thank you, Denise. A woman’s right to choose is just that; she gets to choose whether or not to get pregnant (ready access to birth control for all women and men), whether or not to give birth, if pregnant by accident or against her will (rape, incest). Those opposed to the right to access to contraception as well as to abortion do not understand that fewer unwanted pregnancies will result if contraception is readily available to those who want it, and therefore, abortion would be rare. The sad facts are that the same people in Congress and in state legislatures who want to remove reproductive health funding and demand that all contraception and women’s other care, including health screening and preventative medicine be de-funded, also want to remove funding for food stamps, housing, social services, and children’s health care. These, they claim foster dependency, so these kids had better just go out and earn some money so they can have these things because they earned them. So they protect the unborn and throw the little children under the bus. They also want to throw the sick and the elderly under the bus because they too, are “dependents.”

    Supporting choice does not mean that the individual supporting it will choose a certain way; it just means that the supporter of choice believes that all should have the right to privacy, to make decisions in their own interests, and allow self-determination. Since self-determination isi such a bedrock idea for the libertarians and the tea partiers, it is bewildering to me that it is demanded for all areas, except for the “pelvic issues.”

    As a practicing Catholic who fully understands the principle of the informed conscience as it applies to each of us, I do not feel that I am called to judge or to demand that others do as I do, and that is why I beleive in choice. I also believe that the Gospel demands that we provide for those who have less than we (those kids, sick and elderly) we are going to throw under the bus. It is not presented as an option, but as a mandate.
    So sayeth the Church Lady.

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — June 27, 2013 @ 10:18 am

  8. 7. Let the church say, “Amen”!

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 27, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  9. On the subject of women’s health issues (particularly in Texas), this article is infuriating and fascinating. It won the National Magazine Award last year and is well worth a read. Caution — it will make your blood boil.

    And on the issue of marriage equality, I wonder how a former candidate for local office feels now about his decision to oppose marriage equality in the California Supreme Court? If the California Supremes had listened to him, there would likely not be marriage equality in CA today.

    Comment by Oh the Irony! — June 27, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

  10. I think in fairness to Traiman there were a lot of the LBGT Community who felt that this issue was not ready to go to the US Supreme Court in 2008. This Amicus Curiae preceded Prop 8. It was the ruling in CA Supreme Court S14799 that actually was the impetus for Prop 8. In the two cases yesterday there was no ruling of ‘marriage equality’ on a Federal Level. As Lauren pointed out it was kicked back to the original lower Court ruling because the Plaintiffs didn’t have proper standing. As far as DOMA goes it ruled on ‘equal protection’ for individual States where Gay Marriage is Legal. There is a lot that has changed in peoples attitudes since 2008. I think it the SCOUS had upheld Prop 8 by some stretch of the imagination that there would have been a Ballot Initiative to repeal it. Personally I can think of other Ballot measures that ought to be repealed.

    Comment by frank — June 27, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

  11. Didn’t realize Kennedy and Sotomayor were in the minority for the verdict on Prop 8 … I thought it was the usual 5-4 split.

    The vote in the California case was also 5 to 4, but with a different and very unusual alignment of justices. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion, and he was joined by Justice Scalia and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan. The four dissenters — Justice Kennedy and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Sonia Sotomayor — said they would have decided whether Proposition 8 was constitutional. But they did not say how they would have voted.

    Comment by alameda — June 27, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  12. 10 — If Traiman’s position had been adopted by the Cal Supremes, same-sex marriage would have been illegal under Prop 22 even if Prop 8 had not existed (and in any event Prop 8 was already in the works before the Cal. Supremes decision in S147999), So if Traiman’s argument had prevailed, same sex marriage would have remained illegal under California law regardless of what happened with Prop 8. Worse yet, for his argument to prevail, the Cal Supremes would have had to find that same-sex couples were not entitled to equal rights under the California Constitution — which would have been a truly awful outcome. Moreover, the basis of Traiman’s argument (that domestic partnership rights might be compromised) seems pretty alarmist even by 2008 standards. Although attitudes have evolved over the last 5 years, I doubt that in 2008 most Californians would have supported the elimination of domestic partnership rights for same-sex couples even if they did not support same-sex “marriage.” So even in the context of the times, his position seems horribly misguided. (Which, in my opinion, seems to be pretty much standard operating procedure for him.)

    In any event, just because the pursuit of civil rights carries the risk of backlash, does that mean that those rights should not be pursued? If we lack the moral courage to pursue those rights just because we are scared of a backlash, we might still have segregated schools. And if there is no risk, there is little chance of reward.

    Comment by Oh the Irony! — June 27, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

  13. Traiman route was to have registered Domestic Partnerships Eventually qualify for Federal Benefits. There are a lot of States that recognize Domestic Partnerships and if DOMA was attacked based on Equal Protection then all States that have Domestic Partnerships would qualify for Federal Benefits (both gay and Heterosexual). The SCOUS just declined to take up two more “Gay Rights” cases where AR and NV attempted to cut off State Benefits (Health and Welfare) for Domestic Partners.

    Traiman wrote the original Berkeley Domestic Partner Law which the State modeled the CA Law. This whole thing was a ‘crapshoot’ . I am happy that there will be legalized Gay marriage in CA but Traiman wasn’t the only one urging caution back in 2008.

    Comment by frank — June 27, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

  14. I totally agree with #5, the state has no business inserting itself in any matter concerning what a person does with her/his body, so it amazes me to read # 7 and see that ‘no state intervention’ means intervention in everything but the ‘pelvic issues’. In other words, Quick, in #7 wants state handouts and intervention from birth to grave except, of course, in anything she disagrees with. Sorry, but you can’t have it that way…Denise stated it right in the tail end of # 5.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 27, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

  15. #14 If you are asserting that provision for those (kids, sick, elderly) is “intervention”, rather than acting responsibly to protect the vulnerable is somehow a wrong thing for us to do, we certainly disagree. What I object to is intervention in matters of privacy, particularly women’s health and reproductive choice, while insisting that in all other matters, people should sink or swim as they are able or desire. But women’s health is different? O.K for the government. to mess with?

    Comment by Kate Quick — June 27, 2013 @ 8:57 pm

  16. That’s no such thing as privacy anymore, Kate. The government decides everything and the cloud bows.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 27, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

  17. Hear, Hear Jack! Medical record/procedure privacy is an oxymoron. More so especially since the PPACA has placed medical ethics squarely in the hands of the insurance companies & health care under the supervision of the IRS. Guaranteeing that everyone has health insurance is no guarantee that everyone will receive health care. The only private abortion is one the woman performs on herself-isn’t that what legalization was supposed to prevent?

    Kate, someday someone is going to arrest you for impersonating a Catholic. Have you considered becoming Episcopalian?

    Comment by vigi — June 28, 2013 @ 9:41 am

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