Gay Marriage Makes a Comeback in California
A federal appeals court ruled today that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Same-sex marriage is legal again in California—at least for the moment.
Proposition 8 had amended the California Constitution so that the state would recognize only marriages “between a man and a woman.” Proposition 8, which passed in 2008, was a response to the California Supreme Court’s ruling earlier that year that gay couples had the right to marry under the California Constitution. Since the California Constitution can be amended with a simple majority of votes, just a little more than 52% of the vote was enough make gay marriage in California illegal again.
Charles Cooper, the lead attorney defending Proposition 8, argued that because of its “procreative purpose,” restricting marriage to heterosexual couples is “fundamental to the survival of the human race.” But witnesses for the defense conceded that studies show that children raised by same-sex couples do as well as children raised by straight couples. And when Judge Vaughn Walker asked what evidence Cooper had to support his argument, Cooper said, “You don’t have to have evidence of this.”
Theodore Olson, the former Bush Solicitor General who argued the case against Proposition 8, suggested that in fact the proposition's supporters had campaigned on the idea “that there is something wrong, sinister or unusual about gays, that gays and their relationship are not okay, and decidedly not suitable for children, but that children might think it was okay if they learned about gays getting married like normal people.”
"Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians,” Judge Walker wrote his ruling. Because proponents of Proposition 8 could not offer any rational basis for denying same-sex couples the right to marry, he wrote, it does “nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”
Judge Walker ordered that Proposition 8 be voided and same-sex couples to allowed to marry again immediately. Proposition 8's supporters have announced their intention to appeal the decision. They have already moved to seek a stay that would prevent any more same-sex couples from marrying before the appeal is decided. Judge Walker himself has said that his ruling simply lays the groundwork for the appeal process, which could take years.
The outcome of that process is far from certain. In spite of being located in San Francisco, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is not necessarily all that liberal. And, if the Supreme Court does decide to hear the case, it's no sure thing that there will be five votes for same-sex marriage. But for now gay and lesbian couples can get married again in California.
Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?
Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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