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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Personal opinion takes precedence over duty

Uploaded: Jul 4, 2013

Pardon me, but this 4th of July missive will be substantive instead of celebratory.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued several significant rulings in the final two weeks of its term, but the overturning of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 (marriage is between a man and a woman) in California, deservedly received lots of media coverage here.
What's remarkable to me is how few reports and commentaries on Prop. 8 get to the heart of the issue. The court did not rule on the validity of the proposition that was placed on the ballot through the initiative process by citizens. Instead, it ruled on what amounted to a technicality—did the proponents of Prop. 8 have "legal standing" to pursue the defense. The court decided they did not and thus the ruling by the first federal judge that was upheld by the 9th Circuit held.
The entity that had standing was the state of California. Its citizens approved the proposition in the same election that President Obama was elected in 2008—an overwhelming turnout by Democrats and young people. The proposition that marriage was defined as between one man and one woman won with about 52 percent of the vote.
The "out" for the Supreme Court came when Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris decided not to defend the will of the people of California.
To my mind, both of them violated their oath of office to defend the state constitution and instead let their personal views over-ride their responsibility as elected officials.
It was shameful and it is too bad that they were allowed to ignore their duty because of their political preference. Of course, President Obama made the same decision about the federal law that Bill Clinton signed 17 years ago when he was in the office—Obama declined to have the feds defend the law of the land because he disagreed with it.
Do you want a further example of what's wrong with government?
Check out the statement by Kathleen Sebelius, federal secretary of health and human services, when she and the Obama administration ran roughshod over the Catholic Church and its related charities (universities, hospitals, St. Vincent DePaul Society). Obamacare mandates coverage of birth control and the morning-after pill regardless of the moral beliefs of the employers.
Her statement said, "The health care law guarantees millions of women access to recommended preventative services at no cost."
Really. Somebody is going to pay—doctors and drug companies are not giving away their services and products.
It is an attitude that is prevalent in the current administration that the government can mandate programs and nobody has to pay the cost.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School,
on Jul 4, 2013 at 10:15 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Tim, Denying any group of people all the rights conveyed to other groups of people is wrong (my opinion, of course) no matter how many California voters attempted to do it. We've seen these changes before with the end of slavery and giving the right to vote to all.

Posted by Casanova_Frankenstein, a resident of Old Towne,
on Jul 4, 2013 at 10:33 am

Casanova_Frankenstein is a registered user.

Praise Jesus! At last someone has the gumption to speak up for the oppressed Christian minority! Tim, you are a credit to heterosexual white Christian males everywhere!

Please, tell us more about what women should be allowed to do with their bodies, and, for the heathens out there, please explain to them why homosexuality is a grievous sin in the sight of the Lord and should be abolished in this Christian nation! By now, hasn't it been irrefutably proven that homosexuality will lead to bestiality and child abuse? Just ask Judge Scalia! And has it not also been proven that a fetus is a full-fledged American citizen with an empirically detectable soul? It's basic science and Constitutional awareness, people!

After all, did Jesus hang out with women and homosexuals? Heck no! He, like all the other disciples as well as his holy Mother, remained pure from the polluting influence of sexual temptation, in accordance with the scriptures. What's more, didn't Jesus tell us not to render unto Caesar our taxes? Didn't he tell us to place Mammon over God? Didn't he tell us how easy it would be for those who valued earthly riches to get into heaven? In other words, Taxed Enough Already! ESPECIALLY when those taxes go to non-white, non-straight, non-Christian, non-males.


Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community,
on Jul 5, 2013 at 10:53 am

jimf01 is a registered user.

I agree that "Denying any group of people all the rights conveyed" to everyone is wrong. Absolutely wrong under the premise of equal protection. In the case of HHS and Sebelius, the Constitution guarantees all the right to free exercise of religion. When a law like Obamacare is passed, no 'rights' are conveyed. So no one, in this case is denied their rights.

Similarly with marriage laws, man cannot convey rights, so the ugly realization now is that government getting in to the (lucrative) business of regulating marriage should not have ever happened. It has given rise to various groups clamoring for the same 'rights' that government purportedly bestows on a man and a woman seeking to get married.

But the plain truth is that government does not bestow that right. They only regulate the process. Now a man and a woman can marry, and in some places a man and a man, or a woman and a woman can also. So the question is out there. What will we do when other groups come looking for the same right? What about a man who wants to marry two women? What about men who want to marry young boys? What about a man or a woman who wants to marry an animal? Shouldn't these groups have 'rights' as well?

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School,
on Jul 5, 2013 at 11:44 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Would it be too simple to define marriage as being between one consenting adult and one other consenting adult? It removes all the other options.

What options are there for those people who are religious (but are denied a marriage ceremony in their church as a same sex couple) or for those who are not religious (heterosexual or homosexual) to get married other than some government process?

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Jul 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

casanova has correctly pointed out what we minorities (white males) in Calif. have had to deal with: that white Christian people are the lone target that ignorant leftists can discriminate against. Somehow, it's OK to be a bigot when it comes to bashing the group that more than any other is responsible for building this once great country.
Now, it' open season for the weak minded to take pot shots at their superiors in an effort to bring them down to their level.
Casanova, maybe you would be better served to spend more time studying the scriptures you think you know so much about....and learn a thing or two about women, while you're at it.

Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jul 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

"It was shameful and it is too bad that they were allowed to ignore their duty..."

What's shameful is that people, such as yourself Mr. Hunt, place your beliefs on everyone else, no matter how they live. I am gay and your beliefs do not effect my life in any way, shape, or form. And the same goes for my beliefs; they do not effect your life.

This whole marriage is a religious, sacred event between a man and woman is bull. Marriage began before Christianity was even invented and took place between groups of men and women, before evolving to marriages between a MAN and his many women just to keep his blood line going.

One event would be amazing to witness: if a Proposition was to be put on a ballot that would over turn Prop 8, I believe that it would pass with flying gay colors. Times are changing, just as they did in the early 1900's for women, and us gay people, lesbians, transgenders, bisexual- anyone that doesn't fit in the heterosexual, Christian lifestyle- will not be going anywhere.

Posted by, a resident of Birdland,
on Jul 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

"This whole marriage is a religious, sacred event between a man and woman is bull. Marriage began before Christianity was even invented and took place between groups of men and women, before evolving to marriages between a MAN and his many women just to keep his blood line going."
Hilarious, that you fruits can ignore centuries of human history and/or attempt to rewrite history to fit your perverted agenda. One thing you mentioned is definitely're not going anywhere. Good luck trying to change the process of procreation as you make yourselves extinct.

Posted by Ben J., a resident of Birdland,
on Jul 10, 2013 at 10:38 am

Ben J. is a registered user.

PToWN94566, you are absolutely wrong. Your beliefs have affected peoples lives. A segment of our 'elected' officials refusing to uphold their oath to office and the constitution of our state, in effect, to appease a segment of their voting/reelection constituency, does affect our lives in the way new laws are passed or existing laws ignored. (These officials, by law, should be punished and removed from office.)
By your reasoning, if an elected sheriff or judge refused to prosecute or dismissed a case of a hate crime committed against any group of people, that is perfectly legal and reasonable. But, we know it is not. It is their duty, by law, to uphold existing laws and the constitution of our state, and not pick and choose because of their personal beliefs.
We have a system to change laws and/or our state constitution. The backers of Prop 8 went through the entire process and the 'citizens' of the state voted to change our constitution. But, typical by their nature, a small group of liberals cried foul, even though it was done correctly and legally.
You claim that a proposition to overturn Prop 8 , if put on the ballot, would pass with ease. Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong. So why didn't the opponents of Prop 8 pursue that channel? Because they knew they had judges in California who were sympathetic to their cause, and would neglect their oath to office too. And, that it would probably take more years than they wanted to actually get it to pass.
So please, don't tell me your views don't affect anyone. They have and always will, in the elected officials who wish to continue to get your vote.

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