Saturday, May 23, 2009

So We Wait for the California Supreme Court to Decide our Fate: Married or Lesser Thans?

Aug. 24th, 2008 pic by Shoshanna Weston. photographer.

So here we wait, my spouse Mina and I , Sharon, to find out whether we are part of the equal human race when it comes to marriage rights. Tuesday I am told is the big day. Do we express our anger or celebrate a victory. Experts seems to think we will be dealt a blow by the California Supreme Court saying Proposition 8 which won by a slim margin of voters in June 08 will be upheld excepts, perhaps, the portion that pertains to the 18,000 of whom Mina and I are part who married when it was legal in California August of 08. the irony is it is the same State Supreme Court that decided it was right and legal for us to marry in the first place.

The issue seems to revolve around whether the state initiative to ban Gay Marriage was legal and constitutionally valid at the time it was put on the ballot. Jerry Brown, our Atty. General, argued in what appears to be a minority argument that the people of California have no right to take away certain basic rights that have been granted in this case by the same Supreme Court. Other legal proponents of Gay Marriageargued on the basis the initiative process was flawed and should not have been introduced and that by taking away these recently approved rights, Lesbian and Gay will be hurt by a news lowered status. This is true.

It is hard to imagine that this high court is going to take away Mina and my and others right to be and to stay married. If we are allowed to stay married, I think the ruling will be further flawed by not going the whole way by thwoing out the initiave. The State should not have its cake and eat it too. Yes, I am hurting our case by saying this but I think the court is in a pickle and our situation further aggravates and points out the inequities in this absurd situation that the right wing fundamentalist and other anti-Gay forces have put them (the Ca. High Court) in. So we wait knowing we have little chance of winning though the new 6 states that now have approved Gay Marriage should be a strong feather in the cap of Gay effort to support Gay Marriage in our State (California) too. California should have been the first state to approve Gay Marriage and not be way down the line among states dealing with the Lesbian and Gay Marriage issue.

So we wait to hear our fate. Are we Equalsl or Lesser Thans? How will we feel either way? If we lose, I think way down deep, we will be shocked by the narrow stupidity of it all and the slap in the face. If we win, it will be a shock to our systems too but then we can celebrate and say in the end, it was worth all the protest and effort to be equal within the boundaries of a system with so many flaws and limitations. I never thought the institution of marriage was a wonderful thing but I do know it helps protect the spouse who is financially weaker and it helps both couples in terms of morale and in helping gain support and caring of family and friends even those who have doubts. Once federally recognized, my spouse would also be eligible for social security and over a 1,000 other rights and privileges. Let it

Sharon Raphael, (We have been a couple for 38 years, since 1971) (We are legally married as of this date (May, 23, 2009)
We also were married in SF in 2004 and that marriage was voided) (Hope it is not something we have to experience twice)

Friday, May 22, 2009

California Supreme Court to Issue Decision ( Prop 8)

San Francisco Sentinel Friday 22nd of May 2009

22 May 2009

The California Supreme Court announced today that it will rule Tuesday on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that resurrected a ban on same-sex marriage.

The ruling, which will be posted at 10 a.m., will also determine whether an estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages will continue to be recognized by the state.

Gay rights lawyers have argued that the ballot measure was an illegal constitutional revision rather than a more limited amendment. Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown urged the court to reject the measure on different grounds. He contended the proposition was unconstitutional because it took away an inalienable right without compelling justification.

Prop 8 Challenge Legal Team to Hold Press Conference Following Supreme Court Ruling

(Los Angeles, May 22, 2008) — The California Supreme Court has announced that it will rule Tuesday, May 26, 2009, on whether Proposition 8, passed by a slim majority of voters on November 4 and eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry, was a valid amendment to the California Constitution.

At 10:30 a.m. – approximately a half-hour after the expected posting of the ruling – attorneys for plaintiff couples and community leaders will hold a news conference to discuss the ruling and what it means for California’s same-sex couples and their families, communities of color, and the future of LGBT rights in California. Clergy members will deliver an invocation at 9:45 a.m., shortly before the ruling is announced.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
9:45 a.m. Clergy Invocation
10:30 a.m. News Conference

Lucy Florence Cultural Center
3351 W. 43rd Street, L.A., CA 90008


Ron Buckmire, Jordan Rustin Coalition

Jenny Pizer, Lambda Legal Marriage Project Director and Co-counsel, Strauss v. Horton

Mark Rosenbaum, Legal Director, ACLU of Southern California

Rocky Delgadillo, City Attorney of Los Angeles

Nancy Ramirez, Western Regional Attorney, MALDEF

Rev. Eric Lee, President/CEO, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California
Marc Solomon, Equality California (organizational plaintiff in Strauss v. Horton)

Jorge Amaro, Latino Equality Alliance

Doreena Wong, API Equality

Lorri L. Jean, CEO, L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center

Chief Justice Ronald M. George and Justice Joyce L. Kennard will cast key votes in the case. They were part of the four-judge majority that gave gays the right to marry last May, but both indicated at oral argument that they were not persuaded the measure was unconstitutional.

The court’s majority decision should be revealed in the first or second page of the ruling and reiterated in its last paragraph. Separate concurring and dissenting opinions follow.

Counting votes may be tricky because the court is dealing with three different legal issues: the revision challenge, the attorney general’s challenge and the fate of existing same-sex marriages.

The court’s vote on whether Proposition 8 is an impermissible revision, for example, will probably differ from its vote on whether existing marriages should continue to be recognized by the state.

Justices who disagree with the majority file dissents. If they agree with only part of the majority decision, they file an opinion called a partial concurrence and dissent.

During oral argument in March, every justice expressed support for upholding existing marriages. Justice Carlos M. Moreno indicated he believed Proposition 8 was an illegal revision, indicating he would dissent on that question

Moreno might be joined by Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, a former civil rights lawyer who stressed the court was dealing with a novel legal question. Werdegar, however, did not join Moreno in voting to put the measure on hold pending the court’s ruling.


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Some PIcs at Long Beach Gay Pride May 09

Four of these pics were taken by my friend Cristina Vegas at the Long Beach Gay Pride Parade event in May 09, the second pic
with 5 people was taken by my friend Linda Barra. Sharonthen Mina or in the first 2 pic., 3rd pic includes Mina, Barbara Kalish, Cristina Vegas,Sandy Tappin, and me, Sharon Raphael with my head crooked. It was a fun day though very cool the first several hours and warmer toward noon. We are sitting on Ocean blvd. near Junipero in Long Beach.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nancy Pelosi is Wrong Target

All this media attention on Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative, about her knowledge of CIA led Torture of "enemy combatants" by the Republicans and a few biased liberals i.e. Jon Stewart is driving me nuts. As a matter of fact, it was the Republican led Congress and Dick Cheney's brain trust child George W. Bush and the C.I.A. who actually made the torture happen and actually believed that torture was a good thing to do in the name of our old US of A. Pelosi admits she was briefed but not told that torture had been put into effect. It seems Cheney and the rest purposely set a trap ahead of time for Pelosi so they could say later she approved it so the Republicans can say "See, we are all in this together".

I believe from all I can tell and hear and see with my own eyes that Nancy Pelosi is an honest person, Steny Hoyer, her longtime colleague in the House, confirmed this opinion in the news accounts today (5/18.09). Pelosi says the CIA misled her and I believe it. Perhaps, there is some technical detail Pelosi has missed i.e. not reading the fine print as some of us might not do after getting a complicated form to read after a major insurance purchase or the like. I believe Cheney and his gang set up a way to make sure, they "got" Pelosi if the details of their torture plans ever came to light and backfired. Pelosi has a history of standing up for what I would call the right causes. Her first instinct is anti-War and anti-cruelty. It was her party that made sure the hate crimes bill passed not the Republicans. If Pelosi is let go as the sacrificial lamb of the Democratic Party, the Party will be smaller if they buckle to this latest insanity. Pelosi has been a target of the right for as long as she has been powerful.

I believe because Pelosi is a powerful woman that is the reason for all this backlash and constant targeting of her position and person. She is an older woman and the barrage of jokes about how she looks as a result of her buying into ageism and lookist thinking is very sad indeed. Powerful men never get this kind of idiotic jabbering and attacks against how she looks. Now she is depicted as the cowardly one when it comes to the torture debate. All I know is if she has to leave, there will be one huge empty space in the Congress, the number one space when it comes to leadership. Northern California will suffer if she is forced to leave her post and I know Nancy Pelosi has been good for all of California. I also fault Chris Matthews for buying into some of this madness. Olberman hasn't bought into the hype,but Matthews seems to need the ratings. He did the same thing to Hillary. Although I find Matthews keeps my attention and I like some of his thinking on controversial issues, I don't like the fact he is exploting the Pelosi targeting of Pelosi on his TV show.

I know there are a lot of people out there who don't do deep political thinking but who don't like Pelosi for the simple reason people like Matthews and Fox News in particular get on her case, for baseless and stupid lookist and ageist reasons, fpr a laugh or for cheap commercial reasons-i.e. more listeners, more watchers. Please, when will this insanity end and the target be focused on the right people, the ones who ordered torture, condoned torture and carried it out. Pelosi has taken a bad rap and I hope more people i.e. Hoyer speak out on her behalf. Personally, I do not believe this is the end for Pelosi. In the end, the people will see through this nonsense.

Sharon Raphael