Challenging Proposition 8

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Star litigators Ted Olson, partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and David Boies, Chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, are best known for opposing each other in the case Bush v. Gore. But last year they teamed up to challenge California’s Proposition 8 in court. The trial, which rested in January, is a high-profile challenge to state constitution gay marriage bans, and whatever the outcome in this round, the case is widely expect to go all the way to the Supreme Court.


David Boies, and Ted Olson,

Comments [34]


Part Two:

2) While I'm not gay, I believe I understand fully why anyone who is gay would want to be recognized by gov't, et al., outside of receiving insurance and other benefits. Validation is essential in our society and if I was a gay woman, I would want that for myself and my partner. Once the laws are in place for gay couples everywhere, then other obstacles aren't as difficult b/c validation takes place. Just as Ellen Degeneres said recently, being able to get married and be recognized legally as a married couple has made their life seem normal, whereas before, it was not.

Since TCS causes such a facial difference, those affected are often bullied throughout childhood and made to feel different and not 'normal.' All I ever hear from these kids is that they want to be accepted. They want to be picked for the team at school, they want to go places like others, they want to do what everyone else does - they don't want to hide just b/c they happen to be a minority and look different. Since they can contribute to society the same as anyone else, they want to be treated like the typical population.

So if I was a gay woman, like Angel said, the argument would be about a lot more than just benefits, hospital visits, etc. I would want validation and recognition that I am like anyone else who contributes and is a part of this society (something I instill in my daughter everyday). Only with education and acceptance can we stop ignorance and prejudices against people and concepts that are out of our comfort zone.

Mar. 17 2010 12:55 AM

I told myself I would not comment further because it is obvious you are a group of very articulate people, and I really do not fall into this group well enough to debate with you. (I came upon this site initially only b/c Treacher Collins syndrome was mentioned, and my internet "TCS" Alert informed me of such.) However, I find myself wanting to comment once more. I do like reading the debate comments.

I have to do this in two parts b/c of the length:

1) First I just have to say that genetics just has no place in this argument. Genetic science is far too complicated as it is, and certainly when talking about genetic diseases (syndromes) that get passed on spontaneously, and when these diseases have no obvious markers to test for (meaning those whose mutations have not been discovered yet within a gene to even know where to test) - then we are talking about genetic causes that often are unforeseen, which are many. Therefore, all genetic diseases cannot be lumped together, so putting 'offspring with genetic anomalies' from a couple into this argument just doesn't apply.

As a matter of fact, we all know (and this is precisely what was alluded to in this debate) that there are genetic mutations that are passed down in generations and since those mutations are known, those parents have to make the decision whether to have a child or not, and further, should those parents be allowed to have a child they know will have these medical issues? But, then take the case of all the other genetic situations that 'just happen' out of nowhere. Did you know that scientists feel that maybe having strep throat or a bad flu in childhood could 'turn this gene on' or 'turn that gene off' -- which means that anyone has a chance of a random mutation occurring as a result, which then could mean having a child with issues. So my point is that children with genetic issues is a whole debate within itself, not one to be associated with this argument, in my opinion.


Mar. 17 2010 12:53 AM
Angel from Brooklyn

Do you people really think that the reality of gay marriage is that we only want to reap the same benefits enjoyed by hetero marriages? Has the reality of gay Americans being openly treated as second-class citizens (more so than any other minority group) had any effect on your analysis?

Mar. 15 2010 01:27 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

I came back to check and see if the truth, and others who may feel as she does, had any reply as to whether state issued civil marriage contracts should only be prefaced on successful reproduction and the health, safety, and general wellbeing of children since it is the reason du jour for denying civil marriage to same-sex couples . She did not reply.
If anything, the comment I posted @ #26 and subsequent post by #27 show how flawed that argument is less it lead to a quite realistic slippery slope of “won’t someone think of the (potential) children” in determining who gets married.

Mar. 11 2010 01:50 PM

I read the one posting too quickly and didn't see the very end - sorry, I guess my posting is not exactly relevant to the topic. But it does clarify TCS and educate those who didn't know this much about it. :)

Mar. 11 2010 01:46 PM

I have Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) and contribute hugely to many causes. My brother has TCS and is intellectually gifted. My daughter has TCS and is very artistically gifted in art, dance, piano, writing, etc.

None of us should have been born?

Being "subjected" to Treacher Collins syndrome is personal and individual - the great percentage of us don't feel like victims and contribute just like anyone else.

Many have read about Juliana and assume that all cases of TCS must go through all the medical interventions she has (Juliana is a rare case with more than one syndrome), but actually, there are many cases of TCS (and I'm one of them) that are mildly affected and actually escape detection throughout life.

Even if a genetic mutation is known beforehand, there is no way to know what 'expression' of the syndrome the baby will inherit - whether mild, moderate or severe. And, only 40% of cases are hereditary anyway; the other 60% are spontaneous cases and there is no way to know beforehand. Anyway, just thought I mention that Treacher Collins does not fit into that 'set' of syndromes mentioned above for genetic markers. So what should happen to us?

Mar. 11 2010 02:22 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Also, the truth, in regards to rights such as hospital visitation, some state and federal laws are written only to guarantee certain rights to couples federally recognized as married. If a state or the federal government has said to a non-governmental entity that they must only honor the right of those with a state recognized or federally recognized contract of civil marriage, then going to a lawyer and drawing up a contract is moot.
Contract law pertaining to marriage for non financial issues like visitation and medical decisions, child care, self incrimination, death notification/remains and the like are only guaranteed by a state issued federally recognized contract.

Mar. 10 2010 02:13 PM
JP from NJ

the truth! from BKNY

"VOTER: all those people you list for the petition have individual ailments for not being able to reproduce, not the same and you know it."

I dont think you know it. I’m about to get married and both my future wife and I have absolutely no intention of procreating. Neither one of us have any ailments. So you’re saying we have no right to marry? And what about people who also can procreate but choose to adopt? Are you also saying single women who choose to procreate should only do so if they are married? Your arguments make no sense and are quite contradicting and hypocritical.

Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

Is it really wise that America take advice for social policy and issues from a mono religious country like Israel? Do you live in cave or something? I cant speak for Idrael but if you open your eyes you'll see there’s already a glut of kids that need to be adopted in this country. We need more people to adopt in this country, not less.

Mar. 10 2010 02:07 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

The truth,
1. Procreation: If the crux of your argument is that civil marriage is for procreation only, why should any non breeding pair be allowed the rights and responsibilities of civilly recognized marriage regardless of reason? In addition, my proposal also included genetic markers that negatively affect potential life. If your argument also includes the health and general welfare of the progeny of successfully breeding pairs, is it not amoral to permit parents who can subject an innocent life to Down’s syndrome, Treacher Collins syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, or Huntington’s disease et. al. to marry?
2. Recognition: Why does anyone need state recognized contracts or federal rights and responsibilities to be together? If the answer is procreation, please see above. Is it for financial reasons? Your comment on visitation and medical decisions is patently false. Such contracts are frequently ignored or usurped by blood relatives.

Mar. 10 2010 01:46 PM
the truth! from BKNY

STEPHEN: no of course not, the key word(s) in your statement "opposite sex couples"

Mar. 10 2010 01:14 PM
the truth! from BKNY

VOTER: all those people you list for the petition have individual ailments for not being able to reproduce, not the same and you know it.

Mar. 10 2010 01:13 PM
the truth! from BKNY

Listen everyone, no one is saying deny gay people their civil rights, but WHY in the world do you all need the government's approval to be together if not for financial reasons? That business about not being able to visit a hospital room is BS, a letter of instruction to the hospital can rectify that.

Mar. 10 2010 01:11 PM
the truth! from BKNY

There we go! Now that's what I'm talking about,now we have a healthy debate going:

VOTER: Why do you need a state recognized contract to be together? Please answer that

HJS: I am on board, just need to know why theyor you, need the legalities to be happy? and as far as John and I agreeing, worse things have happened.

Mar. 10 2010 01:09 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

I don’t think that was a fair statement in regards to the truth, she is very much living in the present where naked hatred is the norm. Human rights are still quite sparse on our planet of over 6 billion. That is not to say she’s correct, but she has plenty of company. She’s entitled to her opinion; however, I do feel she should be called on her hypocrisy (re: marriage only for mating pairs). She has the right to speak her mind, although, it is a right she as a woman would not have throughout the vast majority of her ancestral continent. Isn’t America grand.

Mar. 10 2010 01:07 PM
Robert T. from Manhattan

John from office,

Sorry the quest of rights for others that you take for granted is tiresome to you. We all pledge to get back to discussing only those issues that benefit YOU directly as soon as possible.

I guess you would have been pretty bored with the whole slavery and civil rights debates which both took decades (unless they affected you directly, in which case I'm sure you'd be interested).

And WNYC most certainly does have an agenda: fairness, truth, justice. How dare they!

Mar. 10 2010 01:00 PM
hjs from 11211

interesting, john and the truth agree on this. one of u must be wrong, but both of u should stop hating

Mar. 10 2010 12:57 PM
hjs from 11211

u are living in a time long gone. we now live in a time of science and human rights. u should join us.

Mar. 10 2010 12:52 PM
Stephen from Manhattan

To the truth from BKNY: Reproduction is not the sole or even the most important reason to get married. There are millions -- if not billions -- of opposite sex couples who love one another and wish to share their lives together but who cannot or choose not to have children. Would you deny marriage to them?

Mar. 10 2010 12:51 PM
y.z. from Manhattan

2 points:

1. Earlier in the show a distinction was made between bigotry and the attribution of anti-homosexuality to religious beliefs. I am SO tired of this pointless defending of both--just because bigotry can be rationalized does not mean it isn't bigotry, and religion is the sorriest excuse for it.

2. Human inequality shouldn't even be an issue anymore. This is the 21st Century. What we really need to be examining is not gays' right to marry, but the government's involvement in recognizing or officiating marriage. Marriage is a religious institution and it should remain exclusively as such. Couples who wish to adopt or visit each other in hospital should be allowed to do so without regard to their gender, that should go without saying. Meanwhile, if a particular religion doesn't want to honor a relationship, let them ostracize their potential members and fizzle out of existence on their own terms. The gay community is better off without religion interfering in their relationships, and the community at large is better off without the government defining our relationships for us.

Mar. 10 2010 12:51 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

The Truth,
Would you be willing to develop and administer a petition with me to prevent anyone who cannot natural reproduce from being able to enter into a state recognized contract of marriage? The list would include the sterile, cases of tubal ligation hysterectomy or vasectomy, menopausal and post-menopausal women, women or men unwilling to reproduce, men with low sperm counts requiring medical intervention and couples carrying genetic markers with high likelihood of congenital chromosomal abnormalities.

Mar. 10 2010 12:47 PM
the truth! from BKNY

VOTER: your "slave owning forefathers" probably still reminisce of a time when...but same sex interaction was then and always will be un-natural and abnormal my friend. But you are free to live standing on your head for all I care.

Mar. 10 2010 12:46 PM
the truth! from BKNY

I said it before I will say it again, this not at all about "civil rights" this is all about medical benefits, insurance coverage, beneficiary, estate inheritance issues et al...who is stopping them from doing what they do? There is no law saying they cannot live together, perform a ceremony, wear rings and all such things that simulate and emulate marriage? Why must this be a legal thing except for the benefits?

Mar. 10 2010 12:41 PM
Stephen from Manhattan

I can't wait until this case reaches the Supreme Court -- if the court has the guts to hear it. I fear the conservative majority -- lead by Scalia -- will dodge the issue and refuse to hear it.

Mar. 10 2010 12:38 PM
the truth! from BKNY

Black and white couples marrying is a whole horse of a different color than two men or two women marrying. The latter two couples cannot reproduce for a reason.

Mar. 10 2010 12:37 PM
fubie from bronx

how come all states don't use referenda

Mar. 10 2010 12:35 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

I know how you feel the truth, my slave owning forefathers felt the same way.

Jgarbuz, For clarification… A. Are you saying the United States of America should only follow the plurality of global nations or Israel when it comes to sovereign rule? And B. Are you saying male and only male adoptive couples pose a threat to children, especially the children of the poor?

Mar. 10 2010 12:35 PM
john from office

I am soooo tired of this subject. The purpose of the constant discussion to to numb people into accepting what is an unnatural act and arrangment.

So sad the amount of ink and verbiage given to this subject. WNYC has an agenda

Mar. 10 2010 12:31 PM
Betty Anne from UES

How soon do they expect this to hit the Supreme Court?

Mar. 10 2010 12:29 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

I think Mr. Lopate misspoke when he attributed the president’s opposition to same-sex marriage to his religious beliefs. Although his personal religious beliefs are most likely his reason for his legal and public policy positions, he has never publically stated a justification to the best of my knowledge. He should be forced to state his legal rational, however, he has not.

Mar. 10 2010 12:29 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

I am against civil marriage altogether. Not all nations have civil marriage. Israel does not have civil marriage. But my main opposition to gay marriage, particulary of males, is that it increases the pressure on poor couples to sell their children for adoption by them. It breaks up poor families. I have no opposition to civil unions, but gay marriage means equal adoption rights as with married couples, and that opens up a different can of worms.

Mar. 10 2010 12:28 PM
the truth! from BKNY

Not this again?!

Mar. 10 2010 12:27 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Which approach do your guests feel is the best with a divisive issue like universal civil unions between two competent and willing adults? Is a purely Constitutional (1st Amendment, 5th Amendment and 14th Amendment) and tax code argument best leaving out emotional language since questions of fairness typically fall on deaf ears when it comes to civil rights for minority classes?

Mar. 10 2010 12:22 PM
Rick from Manhattan

Can you ask what stage of the process this case is in and how long before they predict a ruling?

Mar. 10 2010 12:15 PM
Betty Anne from UES

Please thank your guests! They are on the RIGHT side of history. Our own president can't say this much nor can the leading gay groups. These men are heroes and will go down in history as such.

Thank you for fighting the good fight!

Mar. 10 2010 12:14 PM

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