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Author Topic: Prop 8 struck down.  (Read 18714 times)

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Offline Caeli

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #175 on: August 10, 2010, 12:05:04 AM »
Quote
Main Entry: 1pride
Pronunciation: \ˈprīd\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English prȳde, from prūd proud — more at proud
Date: before 12th century

1 : the quality or state of being proud: as
     a : inordinate self-esteem; conceit
     b : a reasonable or justifiable self-respect
     c : delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship <parental pride>
2 : proud or disdainful behavior or treatment : disdain
3
     a : ostentatious display
     b : highest pitch : prime
4 : a source of pride : the best in a group or class
5 : a company of lions
6 : a showy or impressive group <a pride of dancers>
Quote
Main Entry: proud
Pronunciation: \ˈprau̇d\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English prūd, probably from Old French prod, prud, prou advantageous, just, wise, bold, from Late Latin prode advantage, advantageous, back-formation from Latin prodesse to be advantageous, from pro-, prod- for, in favor + esse to be — more at pro-, is
Date: before 12th century

1 : feeling or showing pride: as
     a : having or displaying excessive self-esteem
     b : much pleased : exultant
     c : having proper self-respect
2 a : marked by stateliness : magnificent b : giving reason for pride : glorious <the proudest moment in her life>
3 : vigorous, spirited <a proud steed>
4 chiefly British : raised above a surrounding area <a proud design on a stamp>

— proudĚly adverb

Merriam Webster: pride, proud

Your definition, also, states "a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit or superiority"; it does not necessarily have to refer to believing oneself superior to others. In the second, "pleasure or satisfaction" doesn't denote any sense of superiority. Believing that something reflects credit upon oneself is hardly the same thing is believing that you're better than everybody else.

Offline Noelle

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #176 on: August 10, 2010, 12:08:24 AM »
Reflecting credit for what, exactly? That you had a mutated gene that caused you to have attraction for the same gender? That you happen to have an extra X chromosome?

Also, I'm sure the people on the other side of the issue would be just as appreciative of not being automatically labeled a bigot. There are bigots on both sides. Supporting gay marriage doesn't automatically make you the most progressive, free-thinking, open-minded individual ever. You can be a bigot and be on the right side.

I'm also curious to know if the same degree of impartiality towards this judge's ruling would be extended if a judge with potential bias ruled unfavorably on another issue you feel strongly about.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 12:11:25 AM by Noelle »

Offline Caeli

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #177 on: August 10, 2010, 12:28:34 AM »
Reflecting credit for what, exactly? That you had a mutated gene that caused you to have attraction for the same gender? That you happen to have an extra X chromosome?

I haven't the slightest clue. You'll have to ask Jude; he was the one who put that definition up, I'm merely trying to interpret it.

Quote
Also, I'm sure the people on the other side of the issue would be just as appreciative of not being automatically labeled a bigot. There are bigots on both sides. Supporting gay marriage doesn't automatically make you the most progressive, free-thinking, open-minded individual ever. You can be a bigot and be on the right side.

My comment was in response to Jude's comment regarding bigotry and supposed superiority of my own ethnicity. Either way, it had completely no relation to Proposition 8 whatsoever.

Quote
I'm also curious to know if the same degree of impartiality towards this judge's ruling would be extended if a judge with potential bias ruled unfavorably on another issue you feel strongly about.

It would be complete hypocrisy to not extend the same degree of impartiality, would it not? I don't always trust in people, or in the legal system, but I can accept that someone who has a potential bias could make an impartial ruling - or one that was as impartial as possible, taking personal beliefs into account. I might not be happy about the outcome, but neither would I accuse said judge of having a stake in the outcome and putting his personal agenda before his vow to faithfully and impartially perform his duties as a judge.

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Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #178 on: August 10, 2010, 02:15:57 PM »
I think Caeli has covered this pretty well. 

          Although I am astonished how long -- and how loosely! -- some of you are going on about alleged bias.  Or in some cases, about the supposed importance of maintaining appearances when your criteria for good PR are so obviously far beyond anyone's reach.  It would appear (I think logically, and not only politically) that since you don't have an argument on the merits, wild swings at character assassination are your alternative of choice.  But the supposed "standard" getting proposed there for character, is patently ridiculous.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cenk-uygur/would-a-black-judge-have_b_675152.html

Quote from: Uygur
The obvious question is - would a straight man not have a bias? Prop 8 would maintain straight people's monopoly on marriage. Wouldn't a straight person have a conflict of interest in deciding a case about whether they get to have more rights than other people in society? Presumably a lot of straight people voted in California to take away the right of gay people to get married - wouldn't they be biased in favor of protecting their own rights and taking away the rights of gays in California?

How about a devoutly religious judge? If that person believes it is an abomination against God to have gay people get married, wouldn't that create an obvious bias? Should we look into how religious each judge is before we let them decide cases like this? How about Antonin Scalia, who has on many occasions talked about how deeply religious he is? Should he be recused if this case reaches the Supreme Court? Clarence Thomas? Samuel Alito? How many justices will be left to decide this case?

Now, let's think about it a different way. What if there was a black justice on the Supreme Court when they were deciding Brown v. Board of Education? Would he be biased in favor of having the same rights as white Americans? Should he have stepped down from the case because he would obviously want the same constitutional rights as any other American? Bias!!

Of course, there was a black man in the courtroom at the time. The man who was the winning attorney on Brown v. Board of Education and would later become the first ever African-American justice on the Supreme Court - Thurgood Marshall. Should the court have told him that he couldn't litigate the case because it would be biased of him to want the same rights as white people?

Should Marshall have also recused himself from every case that involved race when he was on the Supreme Court? If so, why did the white justices get to rule on those cases?

As you can see, although the bias argument might seem appealing at first blush to some, it is quite absurd when you break it down. If you're not already convinced, let me give you one last example. What if California decided to take away women's right to vote - could a female justice not rule on that case because they would be biased in favor of keeping their own constitutional rights?

Offline Noelle

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #179 on: August 10, 2010, 03:16:48 PM »
I feel like a broken record and your assumptions are making me roll my eyes. Character assassination? Isn't that just a little exaggerated and dramatic? Criteria "obviously" beyond anyone's reach? Uh, what?

Asking for a judge that isn't so closely related to the issues is not criteria "beyond" reach. It's asking for someone who may have less involvement in the case. Does anyone know how much this issue means to him? Does anyone know for sure if he was or wasn't even a little biased? No, and I'm not claiming that I absolutely know anything, but voting on the "right" side of things is not an automatic grant to bypass fair and unbiased process. I'm honestly shocked that it doesn't seem obvious that a gay person could have a very clear and obvious conflict of interest in a case that involves gay people. It's being made to sound like it's absolutely ludicrous that a gay person could be biased at all, as if it's totally impossible that something like that could ever happen.

Yay, quoting the Huffington Post, what a great news source for people who want a left-wing alternative to the Drudge Report fair and unbiased news. But since being fair and biased seems to be of no real importance, here's my response to your quote of choice.

1. The post conveniently forgets the option of looking at a judge's ruling record to see if they have a history of slant or stays moderate, which seems like the obvious choice, but let's jump straight to the most extreme and go on and on about religious judges instead.

2. To say that it's okay to allow people on the stand for a case where they have a conflict of interest just because they ruled on the "right" side is incredible hypocrisy. It doesn't matter what the case is, justice should always be served fairly, not only when it conveniences your cause. Remember that both sides think they're right, so for any religious conservative to bring this up again, maybe in California, maybe in another state, I'm almost positive you'd be looking at their choice of judge suspiciously, as well. What, you don't think a religious judge could make their ruling in an unbiased manner? Wait until they rule against it.

3. Comparing it to civil rights is weak, at best. It's a completely lopsided comparison. Being unable to get married and receive benefits puts gays at the level of any straight, unmarried person in the US who, coincidentally, also cannot have the same benefits as married people, minus the actual choice to do so -- denying minorities the right to vote, sit at the front of buses, take a position in the court (which, hey, gays can even do during their movement!), the ability to hold a notable job, to live in an integrated neighborhood, and economic independence, to name a few, are nowhere near on the same level. And, for the record, I would feel the same way about a minority judge during civil rights. The Huffington Post article is ridiculous to say, "Oh, you want the same rights? You must be biased" -- it's attacking the wrong thing, which is part of the reason they're such a poor choice for news. The issue isn't and has never been with the fact that he wants and deserves equal rights. It makes it sound like anyone who thinks he could be biased doesn't want to give him equal rights, and that is blatantly false. It just doesn't follow. It should never be a battle of proving your cause by getting just the right person on the stand, but it seems that a lot of people don't care how they get their way so long as it's done.

4. Nobody in this thread is claiming that the judge absolutely was biased. I've stated again and again that no, I don't know for sure that his ruling was biased, that I am still happy with the outcome, but that I am dubious as to his level of impartiality. And you know? You have no idea that he wasn't, either. If that's character assassination to admit you can't come to an absolutely certain answer about someone, then I guess I'm guilty.


So ultimately, to make a quick and easy conclusion for you, here's a summation: No, nobody can know for sure that his own personal standing had any impact (if any) on his ruling. I would prefer to assume it didn't (yes, very 'character assassination' of me to assume the best of him). No, I don't think asking for someone who has nothing to gain or lose from a ruling is an impossible standard. Yes, I am happy with the ruling because I do think gays deserve equal rights.

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Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #180 on: August 10, 2010, 05:16:14 PM »
Quote from: Noelle
It's asking for someone who may have less involvement in the case.  Does anyone know how much this issue means to him?  Does anyone know for sure if he was or wasn't even a little biased?
          What do you mean by that?  I don't see proof in the procedure that he has undue involvement.  Being gay alone (if he even is) would certainly not be sufficient.  I would say most everyone is "a little" biased.  Ethnographers are pretty much agreed on this.  We don't throw away all the findings because of it.   

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No, and I'm not claiming that I absolutely know anything, but voting on the "right" side of things is not an automatic grant to bypass fair and unbiased process.
          There is also bias toward more egalitarianism, and bias toward less.  The 14th Amendment effectively means, the government shall be strive to make itself biased in favor of more and not less.  So there is a process aspect to this.  It's a little bit like innocent until proven guilty.  I think it would be easier to argue the judge was biased if the ruling was not supported by some evidence and not so related to Equal Protection.  That goes back to merits though, not to his orientation.

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I'm honestly shocked that it doesn't seem obvious that a gay person could have a very clear and obvious conflict of interest in a case that involves gay people.
         Well of course he could, and so could anyone regardless of orientation.  What bothers me, is that the first reason you offer for checking is his orientation.  Show me the evidence of bad process first.  Establish that, if it exists.  Then one can go on speculating indefinitely about motive.   

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Yay, quoting the Huffington Post, what a great news source for people who want a left-wing alternative to the Drudge Report fair and unbiased news.
         Oh, yes, I know.  Everyone in this thread only reads the most centrist material for ideas or they should be shot. ::)   
         Simply someone who had already wrote pretty much what I might have said.  It was a logical argument about the principles involved.  You might find something more high philosophy (look up "reflexivity" in anthropology and ethnography, for instance).  Dredge up a few of those judges and look at the history yourself, if you think the basic history is being distorted (what, Scalia wasn't White?).  The logic works out, or it doesn't.

Quote
1. The post conveniently forgets the option of looking at a judge's ruling record to see if they have a history of slant or stays moderate, which seems like the obvious choice, but let's jump straight to the most extreme and go on and on about religious judges instead.
          Well, I suppose that before waving red flags of discomfort about how he just "might" be biased, you might better start by looking at that history.  I don't see that you have tried.  You've left it to anyone who would dare defend the suspect minority to do all the work to prove they have good people, while you merely sit back and murmur about suspicion it might be otherwise simply due to their orientation.  Funny how there is so much waving about "possible" bias by a gay judge on the basis of orientation alone.  How often do we hear that about straight ones?  Without evidence of misdoing, it often comes across as just whispering, fear, and yes a character attack.  So... Yes, this is an Op-Ed, but it claims to describe the prior conventional wisdom about Walker.  Do you see anything more methodical that says he has been all off kilter?  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/05/AR2010080504766.html

Quote from: Robinson, Wash Post
  Federal judges hate it when journalists note which president appointed them, because they reject the notion that being named by a Republican or a Democrat has any bearing on how they interpret and apply the law. But in this case, which seems likely to achieve landmark status, it's worth noting that Walker is no card-carrying liberal. Known as a conservative with a libertarian streak, Walker was first nominated to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987. His appointment was stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee, however, because a group of House Democrats -- led by Nancy Pelosi -- claimed he was insensitive to gays and the poor. George Bush the elder renewed Walker's nomination in 1989 and managed to get it through.

It is also worth noting that both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times have reported that Walker is gay. The judge has neither confirmed nor denied the reports, and the legal team defending Proposition 8 did not raise the issue -- perhaps because Walker has shown no hesitation to rule against gay plaintiffs or defendants when that is what the law requires.

I'd add, there was ambivalence about Ted Olson on the prosecution, given that he stood up for Bush in the 2000 election vote controversy.  And of course, now the right is busy with whispers he's secretly gay because then there just "could" be a reason to doubt his procedure too...  On and on.

Quote
2. To say that it's okay to allow people on the stand for a case where they have a conflict of interest just because they ruled on the "right" side is incredible hypocrisy. It doesn't matter what the case is, justice should always be served fairly, not only when it conveniences your cause. Remember that both sides think they're right, so for any religious conservative to bring this up again, maybe in California, maybe in another state, I'm almost positive you'd be looking at their choice of judge suspiciously, as well. What, you don't think a religious judge could make their ruling in an unbiased manner? Wait until they rule against it.
          We can go on all day about alleged conflict of interest.  Everyone's got some to go around.  The opposition is sometimes alleging more significance than it deserves.  That is why in political campaigns, it's known as character assassination or attack and fear ads -- typically more negative spin on candidate "character" than relevance to the issues.  We might just as well do the other standard Republican card, and look for any hint of "improper" sex all year.  So, what about the merits of the case?  Proposition 8 was phrased to confer state approval upon a specific interpretation of marriage.  Finding that to have unequal material effects on people, does not require a whole lot of bias.  It happens to be quite reasonable.   

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3. Comparing it to civil rights is weak, at best. It's a completely lopsided comparison. Being unable to get married and receive benefits puts gays at the level of any straight, unmarried person in the US who, coincidentally, also cannot have the same benefits as married people, minus the actual choice to do so
         Show me what you mean?  If it were about unemployment benefits, for example, I read that straight California couples about to be married can apply for them and receive them.  Gay couples cannot under Prop 8, because the existing legislation ties those benefits to the status of marriage.

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-- denying minorities the right to vote, sit at the front of buses, take a position in the court (which, hey, gays can even do during their movement!), the ability to hold a notable job, to live in an integrated neighborhood, and economic independence, to name a few, are nowhere near on the same level.
     That seems a bit like saying Blacks once had 10% of White equality, maybe now have 65%, but there is no comparison because gays might have 85% of straight status.  Irrelevant.  Civil rights and the gay movement are both in pursuit of absolute equality.  Equal Protection does not say people are entitled to a just some percentage of institutional protection.  It says no one can be denied "equal protection of the laws." ( http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment14/ ).  We can still find many communities where it is much more difficult for gays to live without fear than others and where law enforcement, for instance, does not treat them as well as others.  Employment discrimination on the basis of orientation continues under other excuses, much as it does for race.  Forget "level" here.  The issue is about principle.

Quote
It makes it sound like anyone who thinks he could be biased doesn't want to give him equal rights, and that is blatantly false. It just doesn't follow. It should never be a battle of proving your cause by getting just the right person on the stand, but it seems that a lot of people don't care how they get their way so long as it's done.
          I think it's more emphasizing that the people who are only talking about his orientation have the onus upon themselves to first prove he's actually done something wrong.  Be skeptical if you like, but where is the empirical evidence to warrant pages of postings hissing about orientation as motive -- as if the ruling were already shown to be procedurally flawed.  Motive is notoriously difficult to prove.  The courts will review the case anyway.  Don't ask me when it will be "done."  What's bothersome to me and I think to Uyghur, is that we can't see that Walker's critics have made a case apart from going on about "What, is he gay?" 

Quote
4. Nobody in this thread is claiming that the judge absolutely was biased. I've stated again and again that no, I don't know for sure that his ruling was biased, that I am still happy with the outcome, but that I am dubious as to his level of impartiality. And you know? You have no idea that he wasn't, either. If that's character assassination to admit you can't come to an absolutely certain answer about someone, then I guess I'm guilty.
       It's redundant to demand that he be reviewed on the basis of orientation, when he's going to be anyway.  It's a little crass to harp on orientation at length as a possible motive, while the same is not normally done for straight people whenever they make a ruling about so many other issues which do affect gays.  And when people start trying to shut down material, legitimate complaints of identities with really sweeping attacks on displays of "pride" or upon orientation as a choice... 

          When people start using terms like intolerance and bigotry to make more room for repeated, redundant and ultimately unprovable suspicion of someone's judgment -- particularly when the terms are being used against groups that in fact have been on the losing side of real, historical discrimination and not yet able to restrain the institutional direction of those attitudes in the society -- Yes, then I start to say character attack, etc.  There's a point at which people cannot reasonably use slandering words like "bigot" or "racist" in their own name.  It starts to show when they have latched themselves to agendas that are generally ignorant of how insitutional, cultural, and macro-level discrimination and inequality actually work.  And often, when they refuse to connect the dots across the history of multiple identities.

Offline Florence

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #181 on: August 10, 2010, 05:32:45 PM »
What kylie said pretty much >_>

Find evidence that he didn't do things by the book, THEN talk about motives he may have had. You can't just ASSUME he had a bias and therefor the entire thing should get thrown out. I do think it may have been more prudent of him to recuse himself as to avoid this entire fiasco, however I also don't see anything indicating he did anything but follow the book here.

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #182 on: August 10, 2010, 06:04:30 PM »
The long, mountainous post was nice, it would just be nice if you actually read what came before it long enough to see he has a record of ruling in favor of homosexuals in addition to being gay, thus the justification for being suspicious.

EDIT:  And for the record if there was a black judge assigned to brown v board of education who had a record of ruling in favor of blacks, I would be complaining much the same.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 06:07:38 PM by Jude »

Offline Kip

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #183 on: August 10, 2010, 07:02:34 PM »
I'll argue this point again and again  -

It may be generally accepted within the media - but evidence of his sexuality has just been pure speculation.  All the media is jumping on it and it's a big deal to claim a lack of impartiality as a result but it is just speculation. 

The other thing is his record.

Using wikipedia (and I assume here because the wording used is exactly the same) as the basis for the judicial record is flawed.  You've listed two cases as proof of a record in favour of homosexuals and dismissed one against (that was used to suggest he was anti-gay) as a trademark issue.  Even the wikipedia talk page says that the use of just those cases as proof of his judicial record is justified given the topic of this case.

Suspicion is all well and good but if suspicion is going to be based upon 1) speculation and 2) a trial record without reference to the validity of the cases then I think it's irrelevant.  If that argument is going to be used, the decisions he made need to be flawed and biased as well.  Suspicion of bias as a result of suspicion of bias seems circular to me.

Edit : Also dismissing Kylie's post as long and mountainous without reference to any points raised within doesn't immediately invalidate her arguments.

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Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #184 on: August 10, 2010, 07:04:34 PM »
Quote from: Jude
The long, mountainous post was nice, it would just be nice if you actually read what came before it long enough to see he has a record of ruling in favor of homosexuals in addition to being gay, thus the justification for being suspicious.
         That isn't what I saw being reported at a little Google.  This is actually the third or fourth time I've read that he has been considered conservative in the past, although I don't recall exactly where the others were over the month or so.   Would you care to point me to that source specifically?  There is a lot of text up there, much of it repetitive, some ugly and some fairly silly.  At times, many of us get tired of things that just don't connect, and skim.

Quote
EDIT:  And for the record if there was a black judge assigned to brown v board of education who had a record of ruling in favor of blacks, I would be complaining much the same.
        At some risk of being too demanding, if you're trying to suggest a history of patently unfair rulings in favor of this or that group, then please say exactly that.  Otherwise, we have issues.  You are effectively saying (as it stands) that you're not comfortable with people ruling on issues that are of any interest to them.  While we're at it, why not throw out the idea of jury of one's peers.  Anyway:  You've done nothing substantial to convince me that the actual judge in question did not follow due process, nor that a typical straight judge is any less interested than gay ones (although some may swear they don't think the status of marriage affects their own lives -- wow).  Nor for that matter, that White ones have less invested than Black ones when it comes to race.  Hardly. 

         We're at some risk of an argument that boils down to "if a judge rules too often in favor of this or that minority, then obviously something's wrong."  Or, you might say we're at risk of the inverse.  If we honestly believe there is some kind of legitimate principle that can be interpreted with a modicum of consistency and a reasonable procedure to be followed in the courts, then neither is so obvious.  Then we have to start with an argument about the procedure and principles of law.  Not about what hats a judge may wear aside from trying to be a fair judge.  Or else, every single trial comes up for the same audit since most everyone has other roles in life.

          I can imagine one situation where frequency of who wins would be a ready predictor of judicial activism, but it's not an especially useful one to speak of legality about.  It would be obvious on the grounds of frequency alone, if we actually started from an assumption that the law is completely open to arbitrary interpretation and then who wins is simply an outcome of your politics.  But under that sort of logic, no one was really concerned about due process in this sort of case to begin with.  Everyone could take their ball and go back to whichever jurisdiction rules their way at the moment.  There won't be any basis for agreement then.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 07:07:10 PM by kylie »

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #185 on: August 10, 2010, 07:32:03 PM »
Can't find the site I got it from initially (I assume that's where Wikipedia stole it from) but this particular link covers everything:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wirestory?id=9598659&page=1

The bottom line is, in every case that he's presided over regarding homosexuality since becoming a judge he's ruled in favor of the gay party.  He is most likely gay, as reported by several reputable local newspapers and organizations.  And he's conservative in a libertarian sense, not a Republican sense:  just recently he ruled against the Bush Administration on warrant-less wiretaps.  The only evidence people can give that he isn't biased is based on his conduct as a lawyer before becoming a judge.

I wonder if he's ruled against the Prop 8 supporters before? (what the hell does their internal private communications have to do with the constitutionality of the law to begin with)

And if you recall he tried to get the trial aired publicly (which was struck down by the higher court as illegal because of the intimidation factor).

So what evidence do you have that he's not biased?

EDIT:  Do you truly believe that the average person is going to see this as anything less than utter disenfranchisement and an abortion of Democracy considering not only was popular opinion recalled, but it was done by someone who stood to gain specifically from the decision?  I'm absolutely stunned at the disregard that gay marriage supporters have shown on this thread for the opinions of those who disagree with them -- not because I believe that they innately deserve respect, sure, criticize them all you want, but because it's so ridiculously counterproductive for the cause when you ignore bias and anti-Democratic tactics because the "end justifies the means."
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 07:39:07 PM by Jude »

Offline Noelle

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #186 on: August 10, 2010, 07:34:54 PM »
          What do you mean by that?  I don't see proof in the procedure that he has undue involvement.  Being gay alone (if he even is) would certainly not be sufficient.  I would say most everyone is "a little" biased.  Ethnographers are pretty much agreed on this.  We don't throw away all the findings because of it.

I'm not asking that his findings be thrown away. I'm repeating myself constantly to say that I recognize that he didn't just come to his conclusion because he's gay, that he has factual leadup to the final decision. I keep saying that I cannot prove that there was any bias involved, that at this point it can be neither proven nor disproven for absolute certain, and that I am more on the side that there wasn't any at all. I am simply skeptical of to what level his own involvement might have swayed him. We REALLY don't have a lot we're disagreeing on.

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Show me what you mean?  If it were about unemployment benefits, for example, I read that straight California couples about to be married can apply for them and receive them.  Gay couples cannot under Prop 8, because the existing legislation ties those benefits to the status of marriage.

I am a single, unmarried woman. I am not entitled to the same benefits as married people. Gay people who cannot get married are not entitled to the same benefits as married people. Your assumption of what the point was is off. My point wasn't to say "they should be happy with the percentage they have," (I'll say it again -- I am for equality for homosexuals) it's to point out that it's not just a problem of being allowed to be marry, but who receives benefits period (which really transcends the whole gay marriage issue entirely), and homosexuals aren't special snowflakes in that they're not the only ones missing out; I would dare even say the only thing that separates them from the average, unmarried hetero American in this case is the choice to marry at all (the statistics about the number of gays who actually do marry are kind of interesting, too).

My addendum about civil rights is mostly just my own exasperation at this being compared to being on the same level as the civil rights movement. Yes, on a grand level, they're both aiming for equal rights, but let's keep things in perspective, gay people are not and haven't been living like minorities in the 1950's and before.

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It's a little crass to harp on orientation at length as a possible motive, while the same is not normally done for straight people whenever they make a ruling about so many other issues which do affect gays.  And when people start trying to shut down material, legitimate complaints of identities with really sweeping attacks on displays of "pride" or upon orientation as a choice... 

Mostly because being straight has little to no stake in whether or not homosexuals are given equal rights. It's other factors than orientation that typically cause bias in straight judges, such as, yes, religion. If a judge in the future ruled against granting equal rights to homosexuals, I would be just as skeptical of his credibility and what facts he used to come to his conclusion. This isn't some latent paradox in my beliefs that says "I believe homosexuals deserve equality, but I refuse to believe gays ever", I would extend the same level of scrutiny in either case. I'm not really sure where you're going with that last part.

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When people start using terms like intolerance and bigotry to make more room for repeated, redundant and ultimately unprovable suspicion of someone's judgment -- particularly when the terms are being used against groups that in fact have been on the losing side of real, historical discrimination and not yet able to restrain the institutional direction of those attitudes in the society -- Yes, then I start to say character attack, etc.  There's a point at which people cannot reasonably use slandering words like "bigot" or "racist" in their own name.  It starts to show when they have latched themselves to agendas that are generally ignorant of how insitutional, cultural, and macro-level discrimination and inequality actually work.  And often, when they refuse to connect the dots across the history of multiple identities.

Again, I'm not sure if this is accusing someone here of using 'intolerance' and 'bigotry' in terms of being dubious of this judge, and if not, I don't know the relevancy of including that, but it sounds to me like you're saying that people who have been on the "losing side" can't be just as narrow-minded and one-sighted as those they oppose. I would argue there are more numerous and certainly more extreme bigots on the side that opposes gay marriage, I would not equate the two that way, but the self-righteousness I see, the "I can do no wrong" attitude is extremely off-putting and the smugness and condescension of some views turns even me, both a bisexual woman and an advocate for gay rights, away from the issue entirely.

The rest I'm leaving to Jude's latest post, I feel it would be redundant to tack on to that otherwise.

Offline Kip

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #187 on: August 10, 2010, 08:08:01 PM »
Can't find the site I got it from initially (I assume that's where Wikipedia stole it from) but this particular link covers everything:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wirestory?id=9598659&page=1

The bottom line is, in every case that he's presided over regarding homosexuality since becoming a judge he's ruled in favor of the gay party.  He is most likely gay, as reported by several reputable local newspapers and organizations.  And he's conservative in a libertarian sense, not a Republican sense:  just recently he ruled against the Bush Administration on warrant-less wiretaps.  The only evidence people can give that he isn't biased is based on his conduct as a lawyer before becoming a judge.

I wonder if he's ruled against the Prop 8 supporters before? (what the hell does their internal private communications have to do with the constitutionality of the law to begin with)

And if you recall he tried to get the trial aired publicly (which was struck down by the higher court as illegal because of the intimidation factor).

So what evidence do you have that he's not biased?

Alright,

The fact that he has ruled in favour of gay plaintiffs before doesn't mean he is biased.  Percentages wise, three cases are listed with gay themes - he's come down 'pro-gay' 66% of the time, 'anti-gay' 33% of the time.  It's not proof - it's not researched and it's not a sustainable argument in my opinion.  It's false logic - proper logic would be to point to where the rulings were blatantly wrong legally and then there would be a valid point.   If he is biased, it would show in his rulings and in the legal conclusions he has made - noone has ever come out and said that - it has only been an argument based on 'trends' in his decisions.  That's not bias - it's suggestion and speculation.  If he has made correct interpretations of the law then he is doing his job in a professional appropriate manner.  It's almost impossible to argue against bias because the position arguing for bias isn't based on anything really tangible in my opinion. 

I've read the ruling he made in the Prop 8 case.  He's made extensive findings of fact and, if anything, I believe that the case was poorly argued, poorly evidenced from the defendant's side.


EDIT:  Do you truly believe that the average person is going to see this as anything less than utter disenfranchisement and an abortion of Democracy considering not only was popular opinion recalled, but it was done by someone who stood to gain specifically from the decision?  I'm absolutely stunned at the disregard that gay marriage supporters have shown on this thread for the opinions of those who disagree with them -- not because I believe that they innately deserve respect, sure, criticize them all you want, but because it's so ridiculously counterproductive for the cause when you ignore bias and anti-Democratic tactics because the "end justifies the means."

Do I truly believe? Yes.  Couching it in terms that make it seem ridiculous that I'd answer in any other way isn't going to change my response.  I can't speak for the average person because it's hard to define what the average person believes.  Even using the original prop 8 results, it was very close to 50-50 in the result so saying that the average person voted one way or the other isn't valid in my opinion.

With regards to the democracy argument, the courts are not there to rubber stamp things - the courts are there as a separation of powers.  In many cases, people would like it to be otherwise but, without a removal of those checks and balances, that's not going to happen.  It's been said before that the US is a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.  With such a form of government, this is the result and you can't point to popular vote as the absolute decider of a position.

I can't speak for others but I've shown no disregard for those that don't agree with me - I think that the position is wrong but I've said nothing against the people holding it.  As such, I'm not going to respond here because it has no bearing on the debate I've been involved in - it can be raised with those that you think are taking that stand.  If you think I'm taking that position, tell me how and where I did.

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #188 on: August 10, 2010, 08:25:36 PM »
Where are you getting 66% 33% from?  He's ruled in favor of gay plaintiffs every time.  This is the third time, that would make 3/3, 100%.  The situation with the Gay Olympics he was not a judge for;  he was representing a client during that time, and it had nothing to do with gay rights at all.  It seems a little strange to want to include his legal career (if that is what you are doing), considering lawyers don't make decisions they argue the pre-established cases of their clients.  Even then it would be 75%, 25%.

And yes, I agree that isn't ironclad proof of his bias, but it's proof that since taking the bench he has ruled with gays every single time.  Is it possible that he did so because they were right every time?  Yes.  Are the facts enough to cast down on his decision?  They should be.

You know if this was a straight judge who'd ruled against it and he'd ruled against gays every time, this thread would have a decidedly different tone.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 08:27:23 PM by Jude »

Offline Kip

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #189 on: August 10, 2010, 08:50:46 PM »
Sorry I made an error there and was of the belief that he was a judge at the time - so point conceded. 

I'm now on my way to work and can't reply in detail - I will when I get home.

And for me - you're wrong.  I'd still be ignoring the judges orientation and looking to the detail of his rulings.  Don't use generalities that insult my intelligence.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #190 on: August 10, 2010, 08:52:05 PM »
Excuse me but isn't this the REASON there are appeals to a higher court in the justice system until you reach the Supreme Court at least?

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #191 on: August 10, 2010, 09:13:30 PM »
A ruling by the Supreme Court against this could set back the process of gays receiving universally recognized Federal rights by decades, and the court still leans 'socially conservative,' so I expect no less.  That is precisely why I am concerned:  I want to see gays have the right to marry, because they deserve it.  I agree 100%, when it comes down to it, that this is a civil rights issue.  Where I disagree is that my opinion on this matter is self-evident to the point that it needs to be imposed upon the rest of the country; I think doing so is a long-term impediment to the issue and the plight of gays, and now really isn't the time to be spending political capital on an issue that might lead to long-term backlash.

Offline Serephino

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #192 on: August 10, 2010, 10:06:31 PM »
All right, so the three times he's been a judge in a gay themed case he's ruled in favor of the gay people.  The thing to look at next is whether or not his ruling followed the law.  I'd look into it more, but I'm tired and don't want to.  But if they were discrimination cases, discrimination is against the law.  Employers, lenders, landlords, etc...  are not allowed to discriminate anyone based on gender, race, or orientation.  I've read this hundreds of times in credit card agreements, job applications, and probably a dozen other places.  So if the gay people felt they were being discriminated against, and they did a good job at proving their case, then this judge was not biased.  So one should look further into the details of the cases to determine whether or not legal procedure was followed.

And to say that a straight judge can't possibly be biased on this issue is bull.  It is a valid argument that if the judge had been a straight devoted Christian there could be bias because his religious book says homosexuality is an abomination; therefore, these horrible sinners should not be allowed to dirty the holy institution of marriage.  Is that to say all Christian judges would be biased?  No, but it is possible.

If a straight judge is just against gay marriage period like many other people, that is incentive to rule against it.  Would you be saying the same things if the judge had been straight, and had a record of ruling against gay issues?  What bothers me is that many would not.  Since Prop 8 passed by a small majority the people would just figure that he was upholding the will of the people. 

So really, it doesn't matter what side a judge is on any issue, there is always the potential for bias.  A white judge ruling on a black rights issue could be racist.  If that isn't bias I don't know what is.  Judges are human, so you'd have to find someone who is absolutely opinion-less to be absolutely sure that there was no bias.  Problem is, everyone has an opinion on everything.  You'd almost have to create an AI computer to judge for that. 

Also, I've seen it pointed out that unmarried straight people don't have the same benefits as married people.  What does that have to do with the price of oranges in China?  If a straight person is living with another person, but not married, it is a CHOICE.  Absolutely nothing is stopping them from getting married to get those benefits.  If the person is single and just hasn't met the right person, well, then there isn't a need to be able to add someone to their health insurance or get a tax break.  I used to talk to someone who married a man just so she could get on his health insurance plan.  She was able to do that.  I however, can't.  It isn't a choice for me.       

Offline Brandon

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #193 on: August 10, 2010, 10:11:11 PM »
And to say that a straight judge can't possibly be biased on this issue is bull.  It is a valid argument that if the judge had been a straight devoted Christian there could be bias because his religious book says homosexuality is an abomination; therefore, these horrible sinners should not be allowed to dirty the holy institution of marriage.  Is that to say all Christian judges would be biased?  No, but it is possible.

Lets not flame peoples faiths please.

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #194 on: August 10, 2010, 10:23:54 PM »
I'd like to see a quote where it was said that a straight judge can't be biased on this issue.

Offline Serephino

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #195 on: August 10, 2010, 10:27:15 PM »
Lets not flame peoples faiths please.

I'm not...  That was an example of how a Christian judge could potentially see things.  That is how some Christians DO see things.  Note I said some, not all.  It's more of an extremist view, but the whole point was that it does exist.  And it is in the Bible that homosexuality is an abomination, which is worse than a sin supposedly.  Don't remember the verse, but heard about it constantly from a hardcore Christian I tried to get along with that didn't know I was gay.  Gods that woman drove me nuts.

You also seemed to have missed the sentence after the bolded one.  "Is that to say all Christian judges would be biased?  No, but it is possible."

So I will say, please read things in context and don't jump to conclusions.  Jumping to the defense of Christianity seems to be a knee-jerk reaction for you.   



Offline Brandon

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #196 on: August 10, 2010, 10:36:38 PM »
I'm not...  That was an example of how a Christian judge could potentially see things.  That is how some Christians DO see things.  Note I said some, not all.  It's more of an extremist view, but the whole point was that it does exist.  And it is in the Bible that homosexuality is an abomination, which is worse than a sin supposedly.  Don't remember the verse, but heard about it constantly from a hardcore Christian I tried to get along with that didn't know I was gay.  Gods that woman drove me nuts.

You also seemed to have missed the sentence after the bolded one.  "Is that to say all Christian judges would be biased?  No, but it is possible."

So I will say, please read things in context and don't jump to conclusions.  Jumping to the defense of Christianity seems to be a knee-jerk reaction for you.   


Considering the outright bias and theocism that floods these discussions like a plague your right its a knee jerk reaction. Im sick of it and I have been for a long time. Thats why I've been standing up against it. If I never had to stand up against it again I would be a lot happier around here.

You could have said this

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And to say that a straight judge can't possibly be biased on this issue is bull.  It is a valid argument that if the judge had been a straight devoted Christian there could be bias because his religious book says homosexuality is an abomination. Is that to say all Christian judges would be biased?  No, but it is possible.

but once again a religion is made out to be the worst thing in the universe. By just sticking to the facts (facts I dont dispute at all) you could have gotten your point across and I wouldnt have said a word but no, you had to go the extra mile by putting in an extra sentance of a philosophical outlook that paints a Christian as a bigot. Thats what I take offense to
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 06:12:57 AM by Brandon »

Offline Serephino

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #197 on: August 10, 2010, 10:42:23 PM »
Considering the outright bias and theocism that floods these discussions like a plague your damn right its a knee jerk reaction. Im sick of it and I have been for a long time. Thats why I've been standing up against it. If I never had to stand up against it again I would be a lot happier around here.

You could have said this

but once again a religion is made out to be the worst thing in the universe. By just sticking to the facts (facts I dont dispute at all) you could have gotten your point across and I wouldnt have said a word but no, you had to go the extra mile by putting in an extra sentance of a philosophical outlook that paints a Christian as a bigot. Thats what I take offense to

Dude, take a deep breath and chill.  Not only is it way out in left field as far as the topic is concerned, but you're getting emotional and attacking me in the process.  Sorry you took my wording wrong.   

Offline Noelle

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #198 on: August 10, 2010, 10:59:05 PM »
I'd love to go an entire thread without it being turned into a "stop criticizing religion" argument, and indeed I think it would make many people happy. Perhaps the mods can give their final word on it so we can move on with our lives?

I mean, really, does JGyll have to choke a bitch?



And to say that a straight judge can't possibly be biased on this issue is bull.  It is a valid argument that if the judge had been a straight devoted Christian there could be bias because his religious book says homosexuality is an abomination; therefore, these horrible sinners should not be allowed to dirty the holy institution of marriage.  Is that to say all Christian judges would be biased?  No, but it is possible.

I'm not really sure if anyone here is arguing that a straight person could absolutely never be biased. I argue that if they are biased, it's probably not because they're straight, given the fact that giving gays more or less rights has no bearing on how straight they are. That's where religion and the like comes in.

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If a straight judge is just against gay marriage period like many other people, that is incentive to rule against it.  Would you be saying the same things if the judge had been straight, and had a record of ruling against gay issues?  What bothers me is that many would not.  Since Prop 8 passed by a small majority the people would just figure that he was upholding the will of the people. 

I don't know if your 'you' here is directed at anyone specific, but I would venture to say the gay community would be just as vigilant in examining any bias or conflict of interest a judge has if it didn't rule in their favor, just as many conservatives and the like are doing now that it hasn't ruled in their favor. I dunno about others, but I've already stated that I'd be just as skeptical either way.

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Also, I've seen it pointed out that unmarried straight people don't have the same benefits as married people.  What does that have to do with the price of oranges in China? If a straight person is living with another person, but not married, it is a CHOICE.  Absolutely nothing is stopping them from getting married to get those benefits.  If the person is single and just hasn't met the right person, well, then there isn't a need to be able to add someone to their health insurance or get a tax break.  I used to talk to someone who married a man just so she could get on his health insurance plan.  She was able to do that.  I however, can't.  It isn't a choice for me.

You have just pointed out the exact problem with the system. Absolutely nothing is stopping them from getting married except that not only is it an abuse of the system as it is now, but it's also lengthy and costly to get a divorce should you go your own ways. There are people who simply don't want to be legally bound to someone else, especially if it has nothing to do with a relationship they want to be in, so why should they be denied benefits? If that single person who doesn't want to get married or hasn't met the right person has a roommate or best friend or neighbor or whoever that needs benefits and they're willing to put them on their plan, how is that any different? Oh look, disaster strikes, their roommate can't pay the rent due to medical bills, the person with the benefits loses half of the rent, they're screwed too. That's what it has to do with it.

Offline Jude

Re: Prop 8 struck down.
« Reply #199 on: August 10, 2010, 11:05:39 PM »
Even once gay marriage does pass and becomes federally accepted:  not ready to move onto that next stage with your significant other so you can join the lower tax bracket?  Too bad.  No ring, no special status.  It's government sponsored behavior.