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May 3, 2011

Gay Marriage Opponents Push Appeal of Prop 8 Judge, Iowa Court Impeachment

Activists seeking to overturn court decisions in favor of same-sex marriage are focusing on the judges. In the on-going court process over California's Prop 8, those opposing same-sex marriage filed an appeal last week claiming that federal judge Vaughn Walker should have recused himself because he is in a long-term relationship with a man.

Alliance Defend Fund (ADF) lawyers representing ProtectMarriage.com (Proposition 8's sponsors) said that Walker's sexuality per se was not an issue. “It is important to emphasize at the outset that we are not suggesting that a gay or lesbian judge could not sit on this case,” said the appeal.

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Instead, the ADF and ProtectMarriage.com claimed that Walker would have benefited from the same-sex marriage California because he was in a long-term relationship with a man.

ADF lead attorney in the case, Andy Pugno, said in a statement, “The American people have a right to a fair judicial process, free from even the appearance of bias or prejudice. Judge Walker’s 10-year-long same-sex relationship creates the unavoidable impression that he was not the impartial judge the law requires.”

During the Proposition 8 trial, talk of Walker's sexuality were rumors. Earlier this month, however, Walker told reporters that he did not recuse himself because no one asked him too and because it did not think it was relevant.

“If you thought a judge’s sexuality, ethnicity, national origin (or) gender would prevent the judge from handling a case, that’s a very slippery slope. I don’t think it’s relevant,” Walker said.

In Iowa, freshmen legislators are also attacking the credibility of judges.

The Iowa state Supreme Court ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage violated the state's constitution. Voters reacted by removing three of the justices last November, a rare case of judges being removed by an electorate. Freshmen legislators in the Iowa legislature introduced resolutions of impeachment for the remaining four justices for "malfeasance in office.”  The charge is based on the claim that the court usurped the legislature and violated the separation of powers.

Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) has blocked the impeachment effort. “While I agree with much of the reasoning behind the impeachment resolutions, I disagree with this remedy. I do not expect it to be debated on the floor of the House, and if it is, I will vote no,” Paulsen said

The freshmen do not have enough votes to force a vote, which means that the Iowa justices are unlikely to be impeached this year.

According to the National Center for State Courts, several states each year attempt to remove or impeach sitting judges. Many involve hot-button issues of family, child-rearing, and marriage, and few are successful.

Comments

Grow up guys.....
Cheers, Joe Mustich, CT Justice of the Peace, USA.

Marriage is firstly a civil and contractual matter in America. Period. So the marriage cops need to retire and just play some bingo..

"Marriage is firstly a civil and contractual matter in America. Period. So the marriage cops need to retire and just play some bingo.."

The marriage innovators need to go jump in a lake. Marriage has always been between a man and a woman - except in the perverted minds of gays.

Really, Dan? Your flippant dismissal of homosexuals is neither loving, nor empathetic - both of which are emblematic of Jesus' lifestyle.

This is not about marriage 'innovation', but about extending equality to all people. The claim that "marriage has always been between a man and a woman" is a weak argument when given an historical context. At one point, slavery was "always" legal in the U.S. - do those that 'innovated' that law need to jump in a lake, as well?

That's the problem-it isn't just about "equality". They want to push it in schools to children as young as 5 years old, and even younger, that homosexuality is a "good" thing. Many Christians still follow the Bible and know that God says it is an abomination. We don't want gay, lesbian, transgender agendas shoved down our throats and especially not our children's throats. California, one of the biggest school book buyers, is already ordering books pushing their agenda, and other states are sure to follow. We don't believe the lie that it's just about "equality". Many of us want our children to be children and not have things taught to them at too young an age. Parents should decide this, not schools pressured by the gay organizations. And as for the argument that parents can sign a waiver, we have all heard too many stories of things being taught to our children and the teachers "forgetting" about the waiver. If you think the parades showing the sickening display of the variety of people in this group help your cause, they certainly do not. It's an abomination, just as God's Word says. I'm thankful I have been able to send my children to a Christian school, but many people can't afford to, and so some of us need to start standing up for the biblical view.

Barbara:

I respect your viewpoint, but I think we simply have to agree to disagree. I would claim that homosexuality is a "good" thing, inasmuch as I would claim that heterosexuality is "good". Both are natural human impulses; nothing more, nothing less. And even though homosexuality is in the clear minority, that does not make it some great evil (as is left-handedness, redheads, etc.).

Granted, the Bible does reference, in a few instances, homosexuality being an abomination. A few points on this, however:

- Other things are rendered to be an 'abomination' in Biblical text, which we don't take seriously, such as poor eyesight. (Lev. 21)
- Jesus never speaks on homosexuality

I also disagree about sheltering children from the realities of this world. I don't think that (most) advocacy groups are 'forcing' homosexual views onto children ... they simply are hopeful that homosexuality is not viewed as an evil, which many children are taught to believe at an early age.

Well put, Austin.

Additionally, arguing for Biblical views -to the exclusion of other religion's views- in public schools is in violation of the 2nd Amendment.

Next, there isn't just A Biblical view on sexuality & family choices. That's a term that is unclear and should not be used to justify a certain point of view. Christians who base their values on the Bible have come out for and against gay relationships.

I hope that those who base their opposition to gay marriage on their religious understandings (which they have every right to) will consider supporting gay civil marriage. By doing so, your church is still free to decide which marriages to provide, or not, based on it's beliefs. At the same time, civil marriage affords those American citizens who do not hold your view and are gay the 1000+ rights that only legal civil marriage can give.

*1st* Amendment. Sorry, got my guns and my religious freedomes swapped.

@Austin: 1.Flippant dismissal of homosexuals? What a silly thing to say! Homosexuality is perversion that God called an abomination in Lev. 18:22. God says in Gen. 2:24 that marriage is between a man and a woman. That kind of excludes marriage between two men or two women. Jesus repeats Gen. 2:24 in Matt. 19:5, and Paul repeats it in Eph. 5:31. You've got nothing else.

Thanks, Tina. And I'm with you on your points, as well. The rights that are afforded to only those that are married should be rights afforded to all. This is not about one's beliefs, sexuality, etc., but about extending the equality that our nation supposes itself to be founded upon.

@Dan: I have a hard time taking scripture from Leviticus seriously. As I mentioned in my second posting, Leviticus condemns those with poor eyesight, and contains myriads of other laws/statements that we do not abide by, believe in, or follow. You can't proof-text one verse if you are going to neglect the vast majority of the book.

Matt 19:5 is quite the vague verse, by the way. I don't hear any condemnation in Jesus' tone about homosexuality.

... and to tell me I've got nothing else is not a very cordial statement within the framework of discourse. We have our disagreements, yes - but that does not mean one has to speak disparagingly of another.
____
Unrelated, but I'll just throw this out there: why is the church at-large so worried about homosexuality? There are a handful of verses, at best, that decry homosexuality, while there are thousands of verses that speak of caring for the poor, and expressing love and selflessness.

What, then, is more important in emulating the life that Jesus lived?

Tobin,

It may have been more accurate to change the sentence:

"Voters reacted by removing three of the justices last November,"

to:

"Anti-gay activists waged a successful campaign to remove three of the justices last November,"

Dan, Who care what Lev 18:22 says, that same book says it's wrong to eat shellfish so why aren't you protesting Red Lobster?

As long as we're talking Genesis, when it says "It is not good for man to be alone," that rings true for gay folk as well. We're geared for relationship.

I wasn't going to write anything until i came across the lie that Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality. First of all Jesus in Matthew's Gospel says, if a Man looks at a Woman to lust it is the same as adultery. Man and woman is the norm. Again when questioned on divorce Jesus took the Pharisees to Genesis where it say in Chapter 1 and 2 the beginning God made them male and female in His image-again Man and woman is norm. Then he went on to say a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh-Look at the words father and mother (male-female), producing man who joins in marriage to woman. Again man and woman-norm. Paul the apostle reference the same verses from Genesis in His letter to Ephesians to encourages husbands love their wives as Christ loved the church. Paul wrote majority of the books of the New testament and his teachings on sexual relations from marriage, fornication and celebacy are well know to students of the Scripture. All major Christian doctrine are expounded and taught in his writings.If we take Christ's and Paul's word on the sacraments such as baptism and the eucharist why not the clear biblical teachings on the marriage relationship of male and female. If Jesus ever endosed homesexuality please prove it from scripture. His explicit endorement of Male female marriage excludes any other. The Apostles from Peter to Paul in marraige teaching and analogies clearly demonstrates God views marriage as between male and female. Homosexuality is sinful just as fornication, stealing, murder or blasphemy is. If we condone what God calls sinful what have we become? Jesus came to the World to save sinners of whom I am chief. He calls everyone to repentance from sin and faith in Him. Having rose from the dead He gives believers power over sin. John 1:12 says: But as many as recieved him he gave power to become the Children of God event to them theat believe on His name.

@Emmanuel:

So in Jesus' declaration that a man lusting after a woman is adultery, we are to assume that he is condemning homosexuality? The argument that he is merely implying this is a bit far-fetched - let alone the assumption that this is explicit in any form.

I never stated that the Bible doesn't speak damningly of homosexuality - just that Jesus doesn't. Indeed, in the instances where homosexuality is condemned, the Bible is (in my humble opinion) in error.

But the point I want to make is this: even if you believe that the Bible is the ultimate, inerrant authority on life, and therefore believe that homosexuality is a 'sin', the fact remains that denying same-sex marriage establishes inequality. And as a nation that presupposes itself on the notion that all are created equal, we must grant all equal rights.

We are not a "Christian Nation"; we are a nation that explicitly claims to allow freedom of religion. We can not, therefore, allow the beliefs of one religion - even the dominant faith tradition in our culture - determine the rights of all citizens.

Not everyone lives their lives according to what your silly invisible friend "says". Indeed, the majority of people on this planet do not follow the teachings of Christianity. Nowhere in our Constitution does it ever mention the Christian God. It does, however, guarantee equal protections under the law to every citizen, whether they be male, female, gay, or straight. Gays and lesbians will win their fight for marriage equality, soon most likely, and the only thing you bigots will suffer from is the humiliation of having to consider them equals.

Hey Austin - That you obviously don't understand the Law of Moses is pretty evident. Read Galatians 3, 4, 5 (and Romans)to get up to speed. And read what Jesus said about the Law and the Prophets - Matt. 7:12 "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets." This is the Golden Rule which you gays like to quote at Christians, but it is based on the Law and Prophets! The Law and Prophets!! The same Law and Prophets that condemn homosexuuality! Obviously, Jesus took the Law a whole lot more seriously than you do. In fact Jesus said in Matt. 4:4 (a direct quote from Deut. 8:3) "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" Now Austin, here's one thing you should know - there is a difference between the moral law of God articulated in Leviticus and dietary/civil/ceremonial laws also contained therein. (sidebar thought: I don't ever recall reading anywhere in the OT where an errant Israelite was taken out and stoned for eating shell fish. C'mon - that dog don't hunt.) You know the Law made provision for those who could not keep the +/- 639 laws - they were called sacrifices. Paul said the Law was given to show 1)how holy and separate God is and 2)how sinful we are, and how utterly we fail at keeping the law of Christ. And you should understand, too, the moral law of God was never abrogated. [Another sidebar thought: since you think Lev. 18:22 should be excused, care to excuse any of the other sexual sins of Lev. 18? How about beastiality,for example? Since homosexuality is okay now, why not give those who practice beastiality their constitutional right to marry WHATEVER they want to. Or how about brothers marrying their sister? Or nephews marrying their aunts? Disregard verse 18 and you have a logical and moral quandary you cannot escape.] And just in case you missed it in your reading of the NT, the dietary laws were fulfilled in Christ and then abrogated - as were the other OT laws. (Matt. 15:11) The moral law of God, although fulfilled in Christ, is still the basis for our morality (Matt. 15 again). Only now we know the moral Law of God judges the thoughts and intents of our hearts as well as our outward conduct. Seriously, you gays need to come up with better theology/arguments if you are going to convince conservative Christians who know their Bibles.

~ ""In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets." This is the Golden Rule which you gays like to quote at Christians, but it is based on the Law and Prophets! The Law and Prophets!! The same Law and Prophets that condemn homosexuuality!"

You don't notice even the slightest hint of hypocrisy in that statement?

There are at least 2 conversations going on here:

1. Biblical interpretations on sexual orientation
2. Same-sex marriage

In America, we esteem our religious freedom to believe whatever we believe.

But we are not free to impose those beliefs on other who do not share them.

Opposition to civil marriage for gays that is grounded in religious beliefs flies in the face of the Constitution, freedom of religion (those whose religions affirm gay relationships), and individuals' freedom of conscience.

Forcing someone to act in accord with your beliefs is not consistent with mainstream beliefs about God- that He wants you to choose to follow him- that He did not make robots- that He wants us to choose Him.

Additionally, if you really want religion to be the basis of civil laws, will you be cool if the shoe is on the other foot and people of another faith push for civil laws that reflect their beliefs and would hold you accountable to them? I would argue against that as well.

Civil marriage for gays allows for freedom of religion, while bringing us a step closer to liberty and justice for all our citizens.

@Dan:

We are at an impasse. You fail to see it possible to appreciate the Bible, without holding it literal ... and this is the perspective that I come from.

That said, you still haven't shown how some laws from the OT are to be taken seriously, while others have been, as you put it, "abrogated". Sure, there are different categorizations, but to say that 'this is a moral law, so it is always relevant' sounds more like an excuse to condemn homosexuality and ignore Jewish cultural laws than it is an honest examination of the Bible's intent.

I'm done throwing Bible verses back-and-forth. I knew that was an impossible debate to enter to begin with - because we will never see eye-to-eye, and we can always go back and forth without any real progress.

Tina's words, however, summarized much of what I wanted to say this entire time. I'm not telling you what you can and can't believe, but I am stating that you can't oppress others with your beliefs, particularly in a nation that portends to encourage diversity and equality.

Finally, Dan, please note the following:

I am not gay. Ordinarily, it wouldn't bother me to be called a homosexual (as it is not an 'evil' or 'negative' trait) but the manner in which you derisively call me gay is quite offensive. In your assumption that I am gay, you were attempting to buttress your own argument while being dismissive of my thoughts. That is a straw-man that doesn't exist.

I know it is crazy, but you don't have to be gay in order to believe in the sanctity of gay marriage.

"Judge Walker’s 10-year-long same-sex relationship creates the unavoidable impression that he was not the impartial judge the law requires.”

No matter what your position, this is a reasonable conclusion.

And regarding my invisible friend - since I can't see you, maybe you don't exist either.

"In your assumption that I am gay, you were attempting to buttress your own argument while being dismissive of my thoughts. That is a straw-man that doesn't exist." You're thinking way too hard about this, Austin. I do apologize, though, for referring to you as gay as I don't assume others who comment are gay or straight unless they identify themselves as such. And I didn't assume you were gay either - I simply made a mistake in my reference to you, and as I said, I apologize. As for your analysis: I don't need to buttress my argument with anything other than God's word. It alone is sufficient. If God's word isn't true and authoritative in this matter then anyone's opinion will do, and in fact we have no reason to deny anyone their particular preference, be it beastiality, polygamy, polyamorous arrangements, incestuous arrangements, etc. In fact, if there is no God, all things are permissible.

You do understand, Dan, that the civil rights of Americans are based on the American Constitution, not the superstitions and absurdities in religious books. And our Constitution is based on the principle of equal rights under the law -- so your Bible is entirely irrelevant to American law and the rights of Americans.

Regarding gay marriage, apparently the unenlightened civilizations of the past 5000 years of recorded history do not share your insights, nor did the framers of the constitution share your view of equal rights under the law. And as it stands the supreme court today does not recognize your unique insights into constitutional law. So your irrational opinions of what is constitutional are entirely irrelevant to American law and the rights of Americans.

"If there is no God, all things are permissible."

This blog is on an evangelical christian website. I am surprised anyone reading this blog would expect anything less than an argurment from a biblical perspective. The point is we christians are a light to the world and the salt of the earth. We should make a case for a righteous society based on our scriptural understanding. This is why we are against societal ills like prostitution, illicit drug use, lack of helathcare for the poor, child labor and abuse, subjugation of minorities and women, out of wedlock pregnancies, slavery, and yes, even homosexuality. The basis of our arguements are if a nations follows God's precepts the nation will prosper. Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34). Our constitution was flawed when it permited slavery and restricted women from voting. It is the work of humans. The Bible is the Word of God and as such is not flawed and is unchanging. Jesus says man say live by every Word that comes out of the mouth of God.If you disagree with Jesus, that's your choice. In this nation We the people get to decide what we want through our laws, courts and societal norms. Let us who believe in scripture serve as light to the world's darkness and freshen its sourness with the the salt of our faith.

Well said, Emmanuel!

For Austin's benefit, the civil and ceremonial laws of Israel were for that specific theocracy. Christ fulfilled those (2 Cor. 3). However, the moral law, the law that has to do with the very nature and design purpose of God, is as eternal as God (since it is grounded by Him). Christ always reaffirmed the moral law. In fact, He intensified it (see the sermon on the mount). Christ established a covenant of grace by which our sins are no longer covered by ceremony and sacrifice, but by His blood. But sin is still sin.

We drive on the right side of the road, the Brits don't. But murder is always wrong.

Seriously, bossmanham is my son - as in biological son. He did a nice job.