Monday, January 11th, 2010

'Perry V. Schwarzenegger': So Much Hilarity

To make a far-too-early prediction? Charles Cooper, who is defending Prop 8 in court today, is going to get his ass handed to him. His craaaazy interpretation of Loving v. Virginia cannot possibly sit well. We particularly enjoyed (rough transcript):

"Judge Walker: If the President's parents had been in Virginia when he was born, their marriage would have been unlawful. Doesn't that show a tremendous change in the institution of marriage?"

"Cooper: Racial restrictions were never a feature of the institution of marriage. [Laughter in our courtroom.]"

9 Comments / Post A Comment

hockeymom (#143)

(Not)Shockingly, the Supreme Court intervened and is preventing live broadcast of the events.
I know Breyer dissented, don't know how everybody else voted.

hockeymom (#143)

never mind…only breyer dissented.

HiredGoons (#603)

Can somebody enlighten me on the LEGAL definition of marriage as it exists? NOT the religious definition.

HiredGoons (#603)

(I'm looking at you Karen)

Rod T (#33)

I think it's when you finally lower your standards and accept that you're not so hot as you thought and decide the resulting drop in self-esteem and take it out on children.

HiredGoons (#603)

ding! ding! ding!

KarenUhOh (#19)

Sorry, HG, dear. Karen was at the vet w/ kitty yesterday. As Setec A helpfully points out, marriage "legally" is a matter of state law and policy. In CA, e.g., it's summarized as,

"The word "marriage" signifies, in the first instance, that act by which a man and a woman unite for life with the intent to discharge toward society and toward one another those duties that result from the relation of husband and wife. According to the definition in the Family Code, marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the parties capable of making that contract is necessary. It is also said to be the union of one man and one woman, so long as they shall both live, to the exclusion of all others, by an obligation which, during that time, the parties cannot, of their own volition and act, dissolve, but which can be dissolved only by authority of the state. Nothing short of this is marriage."

Footnotes omitted.

Here in Illinois, it's never defined in the statutes per se, but it's clearly contractual, between a man and a women–licensed, solemnized and registered. Probably requires a notary.

Further, "A marriage between 2 individuals of the same sex is contrary to the public policy of this state." Common law marriages after June 30, 1905 are invalid (sorry, Grandma).

If you go elsewhere and "there contract a marriage prohibited and declared void by the laws of this state," it's legally null and void here. I.E., the courts won't help you get unmarried, or help make your contracted love partner be a good boy/girl.

In short (bet you wish I'd done that a while ago), the law doesn't define it, it defines around it, and, at the end of the day, the separation from cultural and/or religious forces holds a mighty sway.

One might ask if legal sanction is more or less rational for those who do than for those who can't. In any event, it's stupid to parse who can and can't, only when you say that, you get your polygamy and NAMBLA arguers, and they have dirty pictures.

NeonTrotsky (#2,249)

Ah, the Old Dominion is full of wonderful case law regarding sex and marriage. Until 2005, sex between any unmarried couple in Virginia was illegal, considered a Class 4 misdemeanor…

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