February 17th, 2004

  • cattack

BookClub Update

Because I've had very little sleep, and because our wonderful hosts--epilady and chestertodd--are currently en route from SF to NY, I've made the unilateral decision to postpone our book club.

We shall begin discussing The End of Gay on 25 February.

Hearts,
Alison
  • Current Mood
    peaceful peaceful

(no subject)

I never thought I would say I had so much fun at a wedding. OR I guess I should say weddings. Hundreds of them including my own. I don't think I have ever been around such a warm, loving, sharing atmosphere. City Hall in SF was the place to be these last few days. A major event in civil disobedience done with humor, love and style. I started crying when I realized that for years I have entered city hall for negative reasons or gone in with a mission to education, or protest. I've never been in there without feeling the heaviness of November 27, 1978.

Those emotions and bad karma feelings have been washed cleaned for the most part. Harvey Milk & George Moscone were there and loving it. I think a exorcism was performed since Thursday. The way only queer folks can perform one.

On March 21st 1979, with my body in a full back brace and me barely walking I threw a rock through the windows of City Hall. I wanted it to burn down. I wanted SF to suffer the pain I felt as a queer over the events since November 1978.

I think I helped tear the old down a bit this week. But the tearing down was a healing experience from deep within. I reclaimed a place that had rejected me in such a violent way. To watch city workers, elected politicians, sheriff personnel spend 3 days, on their own time, happily marrying Queer folk right and left all over city hall. To see Hispanic, Asian, African-American and every other color of the ethnic spectrum getting married and working to get people married. All the boundaries and disputes put aside for this time.

To be married with a group of 25 3rd graders watching and clapping. Because their teacher wanted them to see history being made.

link
  • cattack

Score! One Down, One to Go

Judge Leaves City's Approval of Gay Marriage Intact For Now
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 3:20 p.m. ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A judge delayed until at least Friday a ruling on whether to block San Francisco from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

The ruling occurred during the first of two such hearings Tuesday. Another judge was scheduled to hear a similar case in the afternoon.

In the early hearing, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay said he was not prepared to rule on a lawsuit filed by conservatives to block the marriages -- more than 2,300 of which have taken place since last Thursday.

Peter Ragone, a spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom, said the city would continue issuing licenses until it knew the outcome of the second court hearing.

Conservatives are seeking to nullify the marriages and block the city from granting the licenses that began last week with Newsom's blessing. The newly elected mayor's decision, while still legally unsettled, has intensified the national debate over whether gay couples should be allowed to marry.

In a heavily crowded courtroom across the street from City Hall, where hundreds have lined up for the marriage certificates, Quidachay told lawyers for the Campaign for California Families that they had not given the city enough notice to obtain an emergency injunction.

``The court itself is not prepared to hear the matter,'' Quidachay said.

The conservative group said California voters in 2000 expressly limited marriages recognized in the state to unions between a man and a woman.

Newsom has argued that the equal protection clause of the California Constitution makes denying marriage licenses to gay couples illegal.

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's court cases, the final judicial decision on the matter is expected to come later from the California Supreme Court as both sides have promised to appeal.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in November ruled that that state's constitution permits gay marriages. Lawmakers there are debating a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.

By Monday night, 2,340 same-sex couples had taken their vows at City Hall since the county clerk started issuing ``gender-neutral'' marriage licenses last week.

Hundreds of couples, aware their opportunity may be fleeting, spent a rainy Monday in a three-block-long line outside the ornate building waiting for the historic chance to wed with the city's blessing.

``We really felt that if we didn't make it by today that we wouldn't be able to,'' said Deb Agarwal, 40, after she and her partner of six years, Diane Pizza, 55, were married by an elected city supervisor, one of the dozens of city officials deputized to officiate at the nonstop nuptials.
  • Current Mood
    anxious anxious

It's all about the puncuation!

Thanks to a semicolon, gays and lesbians keep marrying in San Francisco


DAVID KRAVETS and LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writers
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
©2004 Associated Press

URL: sfgate.com/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2004/02/17/state1932EST0125.DTL


(02-17) 16:33 PST SAN FRANCISCO (AP) --

Two judges delayed taking any action Tuesday to shut down San Francisco's same-sex wedding spree, citing court procedures as they temporarily rebuffed conservative groups enraged that the city's liberal politicians had already married almost 2,400 gay and lesbian couples.

The second judge told the plaintiffs that they would likely succeed on the merits eventually, but that for now, he couldn't accept their proposed court order because of a punctuation error.

It all came down to a semicolon, the judge said.

"I am not trying to be petty here, but it is a big deal ... That semicolon is a big deal," said San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren.

The Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund had asked the judge to issue an order commanding the city to "cease and desist issuing marriage licenses to and/or solemnizing marriages of same-sex couples; to show cause before this court."

"The way you've written this it has a semicolon where it should have the word 'or'," the judge told them. "I don't have the authority to issue it under these circumstances."

The judge said he'd read the voluminous briefs submitted to him, and had done his own research, reviewing all the relevant statutes. His conclusion, he said, was that the conservative groups appear entitled to get their stay eventually.

But until they write their proposed court order correctly, Warren indicated that he would not order an immediate halt to the marriages of gays and lesbians that continued throughout the day across the street at City Hall.

Lawyers for both sides then spent hours arguing about punctuation and court procedures during the hearing, which was still continuing late Tuesday afternoon.

Gay couples from as far away as Europe have been lining up outside the ornate City Hall since Thursday, when city officials decided to begin marrying same-sex couples in a collective act of official civil disobedience.

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay said Tuesday that he was not prepared to rule until at least Friday in a separate challenge of the marriages.

Mayor Gavin Newsom has said the city will keep marrying gays until the courts order them to stop. And then, the city will pursue the constitutional challenge through the courts. Newsom says the equal protection clause of the California Constitution makes denying marriage licenses to gay couples illegal.

"What trumps any proposition is the California Constitution," said City Attorney Dennis Herrera before the hearing.

The conservatives want the courts to nullify the marriages and block the city from granting any more of the "gender-neutral" licenses. The newly elected mayor's decision to permit gay marriages, while still legally unsettled, has intensified the national debate over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and enjoy the many benefits only married couples receive.

Quidachay told lawyers for the Campaign for California Families that they had not given the city enough notice to obtain an emergency injunction. "The court itself is not prepared to hear the matter," Quidachay said.

Campaign for California Families said state law explicitly defines marriage as "a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman." The group also is arguing that San Francisco is violating Proposition 22, a ballot measure approved by California voters in 2000 that said only marriages between a man and woman are valid.

"If the mayor can't read the law, we're hoping a judge can read it for him," said Randy Thomasson, president of the conservative group.

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's court hearings, the final judicial word is expected to come later from the California Supreme Court, as both sides have promised to appeal.

After issuing a record-number of 750 wedding licenses on Monday, San Francisco officials scaled back the size of their operation on Tuesday as city staffers who had been recruited to help handle the flood of newlyweds returned to their regular jobs. City Assessor Mabel Teng estimated that 30 to 50 gay couples would be married Tuesday, after being given numbers so that they wouldn't have to stand outside in the rain.

Not everyone in the gay community is in favor of San Francisco's constitutional challenge -- some have expressed concern that it will backfire and harm efforts in Massachusetts to derail a proposed ban on gay marriages. Lawmakers there are debating a constitutional amendment to ban the marriages after the state's Judicial Court ruled that Massachusetts' constitution currently permits gay marriages.

©2004 Associated Press
me

Still Going...SF LGBTQ MARRIAGE

both courts refused to halt the same sex weddings. the later court issued a non-binding cease and desist that requires a return to court in march.

mayor and city will continue with the marriages..beginning at 8 am tomorrow morning.

conservatives will appeal court decisions...until any further rulings marriages will continue...


(ps..the 'straight conservative' interviewed on TV for the family group? can we say HO-MO-THETHUAL ?? )