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Published: 04/25/11

Judge's Gay Partner Raised in Proposition 8 Appeal

By  not in system - AOL News
Judge's Gay Partner Raised in Proposition 8 Appeal

SAN FRANCISCO -- Proponents of California's same-sex marriage ban filed a motion Monday asking that the historic ruling be overturned because the federal judge who struck down Proposition 8 was in a long-term relationship with another man. Lawyers for the ban's backers said in the motion in San Francisco's U.S. District Court that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should have removed himself from the case, or at least disclosed his relationship status, because his "impartiality might reasonably be questioned." Elaine Thompson, AP The sponsors of California's same-sex...

Published: 02/8/11

Paul Haggis and Scientology: 5 Juiciest Details From New Yorker Profile

By  Mary Phillips-Sandy - AOL News
Paul Haggis and Scientology: 5 Juiciest Details From New Yorker Profile

A new look at the secretive world of Scientology has revealed some shocking details. This week's issue of The New Yorker contains an epic profile of writer-director Paul Haggis ("Crash," "In the Valley of Elah"). Haggis spent 35 years as a Scientologist, but left the church in August 2009. Journalist Lawrence Wright -- who's also writing book about Scientology -- gained unprecedented insight to the church's inner workings, thanks to dogged research and Haggis' cooperation. Surge Desk breaks down some of his most noteworthy findings. 1. An undercurrent of homophobia Haggis, who has two gay...

Published: 12/6/10

Prop. 8 Arguments [LIVE VIDEO]

By  Steven Hoffer - AOL News
Prop. 8 Arguments [LIVE VIDEO]

(Dec. 6) -- A three-judge panel representing San Francisco's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing oral arguments on the California state ban on same-sex marriage today. California voters approved Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman, in the 2008 elections. The three-judge panel will evaluate whether a U.S. District Court correctly ruled that the voter-approved amendment is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. Today's oral arguments will take place in two hourlong sessions. The first hour will address issues. The second hour...

Published: 12/6/10

Televised Gay Marriage Hearing Draws Wide Audience

By  not in system - AOL News
Televised Gay Marriage Hearing Draws Wide Audience

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 6) -- The legal fight over California's gay marriage ban went before a federal appeals court Monday in a hearing that reached a nationwide TV audience anxious for a final decision on whether the measure violates the U.S. Constitution. The hearing before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also focused on whether supporters of voter-approved Proposition 8 have legal standing to challenge a lower court ruling that the ban was unconstitutional. The judges did not issue an immediate ruling and no timetable has been set. Jeff Chiu, AP From left,...

Published: 10/4/10

After a Dissent, Mormon Leaders Reaffirm Stance Against Gay Marriage

By  Paul Wachter - AOL News
After a Dissent, Mormon Leaders Reaffirm Stance Against Gay Marriage

(Oct. 4) -- Last month, a senior leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints apologized for the Mormon church's involvement in California's campaign in favor of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that outlaws gay marriage. "On the morning of Sunday, September 19, about ninety members of the Oakland, California stake (diocese) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with Elder Marlin K. Jensen, the Church's historian and a prominent member of the General Authorities, the ranking hierarchy of Mormon leaders," reports Joanna Brooks of Religion Dispatches magazine....

Published: 09/30/10

Walker, Judge Who Overturned Proposition 8, to Retire

By  Mara Gay - AOL News
Walker, Judge Who Overturned Proposition 8, to Retire

(Sept. 30) -- The federal judge who struck down California's same-sex marriage ban is retiring, his court has announced. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, the chief judge for the U.S. District Court Northern District of California, will return to the private sector at the end of the year. Walker, a Republican appointed by former President George H.W. Bush, ruled in August that California's voter-approved Proposition 8 defining marriage as a union between a man and woman was unconstitutional. "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial...

Published: 08/23/10

Obama's Evasion of Gay Marriage Issue Irks Left

By  Paul Wachter - AOL News
Obama's Evasion of Gay Marriage Issue Irks Left

(Aug. 23) -- Nearly a month after California's Proposition 8 was struck down in federal court, the state of same-sex marriage on a national level has scarcely been dicier. Over at The New Republic, for instance, James Downie has assembled a timeline of President Barack Obama's statements on gay marriage dating back to 1996. What they reveal, says Executive Editor Richard Just -- in a scathing post put up on Monday-- is an "evasive stance on a controversial civil rights issue from a liberal president; an insistence that the issue is primarily local, rather than national, in character; a...

Published: 08/17/10

Opinion: The Tyranny of the Majority

By  Philip Bump - AOL News
Opinion: The Tyranny of the Majority

(Aug. 17) -- In the two most frequently and passionately debated political issues of the past few weeks -- the rejection of California's Proposition 8 and the planned mosque and cultural center in lower Manhattan -- there is a common thread: claims by those in disagreement that those decisions are counter to the will of the people. Such claims are understandable. Proposition 8, after all, was passed by a majority of those Californians who voted, and polling consistently demonstrates that, outside of Manhattan, the Cordoba House project is highly unpopular. But what is without merit is the...

Published: 08/16/10

Same-Sex Marriages in California Will Wait, at Least Until December

By  Andrew Cohen - Politics Daily
Same-Sex Marriages in California Will Wait, at Least Until December

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit blocked on Monday afternoon the resumption of same-sex marriages in California until at least December, at which time the court will hear oral arguments over the legality of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage in the Golden State. The ruling rejects and reverses the Aug. 18 deadline set last week by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, the trial judge in the case of Perry v. California, who earlier this month ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional under the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution....

Published: 08/13/10

Most Americans Approve of Gay Marriage

By  not in system - AOL News
Most Americans Approve of Gay Marriage

(Aug. 13) -- According to a CNN poll, 52 percent of Americans believe that gay and lesbian couples should have the right to marry. While this is only one poll, it stands in stark contrast to a long-held assumption that a majority of Americans don't support gay marriage. It's a timely barometer, as another court ruling is due in the Prop. 8 case in California. Commentators debate the poll's finding and muse over whether the U.S. judicial system needs to get involved any more. Here's What the Poll Asked writes Raw Story: "Do you think gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to get...

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