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  1. I think you’re spot on. I would just add that if he overturns the will of the people (Walker is a GHWBush appointee, mind you, which means the Souter potential is very high), it will add a great deal of fuel to what is already an anti-Democrat bonfire nationally.

    One man overturning the will of a large majority of Californians? On Constitutional grounds??? When SCOTUS has already rejected gay marriage on Constitutional grounds?

    The American people do not take kindly to overlords.

    Comment by American Elephant — August 4, 2010 @ 6:20 am - August 4, 2010

  2. Bench Memos on NRO has a pretty good history of this judge’s procedural malfaence.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 4, 2010 @ 6:37 am - August 4, 2010

  3. a court which overturned by fiat

    Ugh. This is precisely the kind of thing that the judicial branch was intended to do. If this is a decision ‘by fiat,’ then every judicial decision is as well. What you’re doing here is arguing against the very existence of the judicial branch, do you realize this?

    I believe Prop 8 should be overturned, but by the voters, not the courts.

    Why do you believe that Prop 8 should be overturned? Presumably, you believe that it is a bad law? The judicial branch is designed to deal with bad laws. Literally dude, this is fifth grade civics. ‘The voters’ is not one of the co-equal branches of government and as a law that was passed with a ballot initiative, Proposition 8 is on shakier Constitutional footing than any and judicial decision striking it down.

    What you’re doing here is making excuses for the Republican party, which in recent years has been depending on some anti-gay sentiment in their conservative base to get votes. It’s very telling that instead of condemning the anti-gay elements in your party, you prefer to trash the American judicial system. It’s clearly more important to be a loyal Republican than to be an American that appreciates the value of our revolutionary judiciary.

    Comment by Levi — August 4, 2010 @ 8:58 am - August 4, 2010

  4. I’m a lawyer who married my partner in DC in May. Yet, my home state of FL (and the federal government) won’t recognize my marriage. Why? Because of misguided “conservatives” who fear progress and social justice. Why is relief for gays coming from the courts? Because, as the framers of the Constitution recognized, minorities will never be protected by popular vote. Sad but true.

    Comment by J C — August 4, 2010 @ 9:40 am - August 4, 2010

  5. And again, Levi fails civics 101.

    The Courts are designed to deal with the constitutionality of the laws. Not if they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. If you’re saying the courts can only strike ‘bad laws’ Levi, are you saying that Kelo was a ‘good law’? Or that Dred Scott was?

    Besides, the courts have already said that states can define marriage. Surely since Levi worships at the altar of ‘men in black robes’ he should be silent on this topic?

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 4, 2010 @ 9:57 am - August 4, 2010

  6. Oh, and forgot to add ‘shakier constitutional grounds’ for Prop 8. Again, Levi fails since the referrundum process is part of the CA constitution.

    Sorry, it took two posts. I’m always amazed at how much stupidity Levi can put in one.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 4, 2010 @ 9:59 am - August 4, 2010

  7. Levi,

    1. 53% of Californian voters are not “the Republican base”, and
    2. You haven’t the faintest clue what the proper Constitutional role of the Judiciary is.
    3. You’re correct, voters are NOT a “co-equal” branch of government. They are SUPERIOR to government as the ONLY source from which government derives its authority and legitimacy is the consent of the governed. Ring any bells?

    Of course not, you’re a Democrat, you favor the long train of abuses and usurpations that is the legacy of this Democrat government.

    Comment by American Elephant — August 4, 2010 @ 10:01 am - August 4, 2010

  8. Guys, have you forgotten how a bill becomes a law? Levi is dead right.

    First the legislative branch passes the law after extensive research, open hearings and consultation with the public.

    Secondly, it is sent to the executive authority for review and signing.

    Then, third, it goes to the judicial branch to see if it is a bad law. Only until the judicial branch stamp it with the “good law” seal of approval does it become law. Then, it is allowed to carry the Good Housekeeping Seal and certified to help fight tooth decay.

    Look, I know that Levi sometimes gets stuff a little wrong, but you have to fess up here. He is so right.

    Think a bit deeper. “The Judicial Branch is designed to deal with bad laws.”That is why they practice the time honored tradition of “catch and release” with illegal aliens. That is why they have such vivid imaginations so they can find what is unsaid but creating a pulsating glow in laws. These guy are mystics of the first order.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 4, 2010 @ 10:17 am - August 4, 2010

  9. Heh, now I have an image of Billie Burke with a black robe and a wand standing over the little bill from Schoolhouse Rock. “Are you a good law or a bad law?”

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 4, 2010 @ 10:41 am - August 4, 2010

  10. Um, JC, instead of blaming conservatives, why don’t you try to make arguments to change their minds.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 12:35 pm - August 4, 2010

  11. Just like anything else in human experience, the judicial branch is hardly some perfect institution that gets things right in every situation. But it can hardly be argued that the primary role of the judicial branch is to dispel bad law. I know it’s the tendency around here to be completely facetious when you’re dealing with me, and you’d like to pretend that ‘activist judges’ go around hand out laws based on their fragile emotional states or to assuage their white guilt or whatever, but the judicial branch is charged specifically with overturning unconstitutional laws.

    Citizens used their constitutional rights to have their day in court, they argued their case, the Proposition 8 defenders argued their case, and now the judge is deciding the constitutionality of Prop 8 based on those arguments. By all accounts, the Prop 8 defenders did terribly and are likely to lose. This is American democracy in action – there is nothing sinister about it, there is nothing authoritarian or democracy-compromising, this is how the system was built to work.

    But, excuse me. I know you’d all like to get back to flinging your poop around, don’t let me get in the way.

    Comment by Levi — August 4, 2010 @ 12:36 pm - August 4, 2010

  12. Strangely enough, the Constitution does not allow for the courts to find ‘bad laws’ Levi. But hey, don’t let things like linear time, reality, or your own words get in the way of this argument, they never have before.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 4, 2010 @ 12:42 pm - August 4, 2010

  13. #11: “This is American democracy in action – there is nothing sinister about it, there is nothing authoritarian or democracy-compromising, this is how the system was built to work.”

    Please. Everyone. Let’s tuck this choice quote away somewhere safe and bring it out when it’s time to test Levi’s real tolerance for “American democracy in action.” You know, the next time he becomes completely unhinged with leftist rage when anything like the following occurs: the courts actually get something right within their limited, Article III powers; a Republican wins an election fair and square; some random agency in the Executive Branch decides to enforce a law without regard to skin color, sexual orientation, or gender; Congress simply votes to repeal a law; or millions of patriotic Americans are allowed to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights without being rounded up and thrown in jail for being “hate-mongering racists” and threats to national security.

    We’ve seen what the progressive, anti-American left considers “sinister,” “authoritarian,” and “democracy compromising” while they HAVE control of the mainstream media, the Presidency, and Congress. It will be a hoot to see how much more broadly they define those labels as they begin to LOSE some of that power.

    Comment by Sean A — August 4, 2010 @ 1:20 pm - August 4, 2010

  14. dan, you’re gay and conservative. why don’t YOU man up and change the minds of conservatives, instead of bitching about everything progressives are doing to extend marriage rights to you.

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 2:20 pm - August 4, 2010

  15. oh, chad, do you even read my posts? Do you even know that I’m ambivalent on gay marriage, preferring to push for civil unions?

    If you did read my posts, you would know that I have put forward a strategy whereby those who have made gay marriage their issue could influence conservatives.

    And if you really thin I am “bitching” about what the self-anointed progressives are doing, why do you spend so much time on my blog?

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 2:39 pm - August 4, 2010

  16. i’m glad to see that your ambivalence stops short of using the issue as a blunt object to attack your political foes. classy move.

    and for the record, i’ve stopped reading your blog on a regular basis, mostly because i can’t stand your stank-ass attitude. thanks for the reminder.

    just out of curiousity, how many conservative minds have you changed on the marriage issue? how successful has your “strategy” been? or are you waiting, as you typically do, for someone else to do all the work?

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 2:48 pm - August 4, 2010

  17. just out of curiousity, how many conservative minds have you changed on the marriage issue?

    Prop 22 passed in 2000 with over 60% of the vote. Prop 8 passed in 2008 with only 52%.

    Comment by NYAlly — August 4, 2010 @ 3:01 pm - August 4, 2010

  18. @17: my question was rhetorical, since i strongly suspect dan can’t actually say he’s changed anyone’s mind about gay marriage. his primary interest is in attacking supporters of gay marriage.

    but in the figures you show, how do you know that the shift from 60% to 52% took place amongst self-identifying conservatives?

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 3:16 pm - August 4, 2010

  19. Chad, do you even read the comments in response to your comments — or even consider the words you quote from them?

    If you did (or were familiar with ideas I have expressed regularly on this blog), you wouldn’t need ask the questions you do in your concluding ¶ in comment 16. Despite my ambivalence on the issue, I convinced a couple of people to vote “No” on 8 and succeeded in getting a few others to agree to leave the ballot blank on that issue.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 3:17 pm - August 4, 2010

  20. Missed your comment 18 while I was writing comment 19. Well, now at least, you’ve revealed your prejudices, Chad, and your ignorance.

    If you search the archives of this blog, you will find abundant evidence of me praising advocates of gay marriage — those who actually make the case for gay marriage.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 3:20 pm - August 4, 2010

  21. so, 2, 3 people? wow. great job dude.

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 3:23 pm - August 4, 2010

  22. name-calling? what are you, 12?

    this is precisely why i stopped frequenting your blog. you can’t really respond with civility to anyone who disagrees with you.

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 3:28 pm - August 4, 2010

  23. First, Chad, read my posts, it might help you confront your prejudices. I say this because you don’t follow up on points I make challenging your assumptions. It’s clear you’re not here to debate, but to vent and attack?

    At a meeting to organize LA Republicans against 8, I gave my card to a representative of the “No on 8″ campaign and told her I’d be glad to speak out against the Proposition. She never contacted me. She may have been upset that I suggested she run commercials featuring Ward Connerly opposing the intiative.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 3:33 pm - August 4, 2010

  24. so you talked to one person and were unable to convince her about the merit of your idea. sounds like you’ve got a winning strategy! since when do you need the approval of a campaign manager to make the case for gay marriage to your fellow conservatives? stop blaming others for your failures.

    look, i’ve read your blog; i’ve considered your ideas; i find them lacking in merit. that’s not prejudice, it’s a difference of opinion.

    you felt the complusion to advise me to read your blog and encounter my ignorance, so now allow me to impart some advice to you. ditch the attitude. not everyone who disagrees with you is ignorant or prejudiced.

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 3:53 pm - August 4, 2010

  25. Chad, if you find my ideas lacking in merit, you should easily be able to challenge them. On a number of occasions — in this thread alone — you have misrepresented them.

    When I call you on that, you either ignore my point or mock my response.

    Your ignorance–lack of familiarity with my points.

    Your prejudice–your assumptions about my attitudes.

    No, not everyone who disagrees with me is ignorant or prejudiced, but your responses certainly suggest that you are.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 4:00 pm - August 4, 2010

  26. Um, JC, instead of blaming conservatives, why don’t you try to make arguments to change their minds.

    This is absurd, principally because the conservative objections to gay marriage are themselves absurd. While I think it would be really great if we could resolve all of our differences with just some polite conversation, this is simply naive and unrealistic, especially when so much of the opposition to gay marriage is rooted in religion.

    Gay marriage opponents present ridiculous arguments; that we must respect their sense of tradition, that children from gay parents are in some way not adjusted, that legalized gay marriage necessitates legalization of pedophilia and polygamy, etc. None of these arguments contain even a semblence of coherent logic and they fail utterly at hiding their religious underpinnings. These are not secular opinions about how society should be organized, they are religious beliefs that the rest of us are being forced to accomodate – which goes against the core ideas that founded this country.

    Again, this is the type of issue that the judicial branch is uniquely equipped to handle. Just because you can cobble together some coalition that based on their religious perspective, votes to repress and divide people, doesn’t mean that your efforts are legitimate, and that’s where the judiciary comes in. This branch more than any other was built to keep majorities from treading over the Constitutional rights over minorities, and that’s all that is going on here.

    Of course, none of that matters if you don’t view opposition to gay marriage as a backwards and mean-spirited attempt to diminish and marginalize gay people, and instead view it as some high-minded states right issue or whatever. I’ve heard all about how you think that for liberal gays, the marriage issue is mainly about throwing a little pity part because they want to feel validated by the government, or something, so spare me, please.

    Comment by Levi — August 4, 2010 @ 4:10 pm - August 4, 2010

  27. get off the cross, dan. you’re making the same assumptions: “…your responses certainly suggest that you are [ignorant or prejudiced].” assume much? doesn’t that make you guilty of the same prejudice and ignorance that you impute to me?

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 4:12 pm - August 4, 2010

  28. Levi, I note that in your rant, you don’t address one single conservative critique of state recognition of gay marriage.

    Chad, please note that in this very thread, I made specific responses to your comments to show your ignorance of my actual views on issues. Please scroll up and read them. And my archives are available and easily searchable should you wish to confront what I have called your prejudiced views.

    Please note that a prejudice is “an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason“. I have demonstrated that you formed your unfavorable opinion without knowledge. It’s all there in this thread. Review at your leisure.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 4:29 pm - August 4, 2010

  29. i’m not debating the meaning of prejudice with you. it’s sufficient for me to point out that you’ve also made assumptions about my beliefs in this thread as well, which by your standard, makes you just as ignorant and prejudiced.

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 4:48 pm - August 4, 2010

  30. ok, chad, please specify the assumptions I’ve made about your beliefs. Thanks.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 4:53 pm - August 4, 2010

  31. OK! As of 2:00PM, Federal judge strikes down California’s same-sex marriage ban. (Source: Yahoo! Website)

    Comment by Totakikay — August 4, 2010 @ 5:00 pm - August 4, 2010

  32. Levi, I note that in your rant, you don’t address one single conservative critique of state recognition of gay marriage.

    Actually Dan, I did give a little list:

    that we must respect their sense of tradition, that children from gay parents are in some way not adjusted, that legalized gay marriage necessitates legalization of pedophilia and polygamy,

    Now, I consider all of these arguments to be completely illegitimate in a public conversation and self-refuting. What is there to be said about passing oppressive laws because of one’s tradition? This is 21st century America, not Medieval Europe. The children argument is equally silly; children of gay parents are just as likely to succeed as children of straight parents, and straight parents are just as likely to be terrible parents as are a gay couple. And last but not least; the horrific slippery slope argument that gay marriage laws will invalidate laws against raping children and beastiality. What this demonstrates more than anything is just how despisable gays are in the eyes of their opponents – all it does is equate homosexuality with all the vilest forms of sexual deviance. That’s leaving aside that there is no logic behind this attack whatsoever – it is never explained how allowing two gays to marry compels the state to allow kids and brothers and animals to marry.

    These simply aren’t arguments – there is no conservative critique of gay marriage that is in any way legitimate or understandable. Basic concepts of American justice and equality have to be shelved if you want to start making laws based on a favored groups religious tradition, or if you allow yourself to be persuaded by a slippery slope argument meant only to further diminish a persecuted group of people. Opposition to gay marriage is not couched in secular reasoning, it is couched in fear and religious belief, and it therefore should have no bearing in the public square.

    It also goes against everything conservatives purport to believe in. “The government MUST stay out of my life, but they’d better get in between those two gay people!” The hyopcrisy just keeps on rolling….

    Comment by Levi — August 4, 2010 @ 5:01 pm - August 4, 2010

  33. Nope, Levi, perhaps I should have qualified my comment written in haste by saying that you don’t address one “sensible” conservative critique and choose only the loopiest among them.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 5:04 pm - August 4, 2010

  34. From the decision, this sums up perfectly what I’m talking about:

    Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.

    No rational basis – That about says it all, doesn’t it? Proposition 8 supporters had their chance to argue their case in federal court, and the presiding judge said their arguments had no rational basis. So Dan, what was that you were saying about federal court decisions being the wrong way to move forward on this issue? Would you still prefer to try to convince a group of people whose arguments have been characterized as having no rational basis?

    Comment by Levi — August 4, 2010 @ 5:12 pm - August 4, 2010

  35. Nope, Levi, perhaps I should have qualified my comment written in haste by saying that you don’t address one “sensible” conservative critique and choose only the loopiest among them.

    Well, bring it on then. What is the non-loopy version of the conservative critique of gay marriage? That states should be able to choose? Something sarcastic about how gays are technically allowed to marry (they just can’t marry the people they want?) What is the ratio of loopy critiques to non-loopy critiques, anyway? I’ve been debating this issue with conservatives for years, and my generous estimate is 100%. In other words, there are no non-loopy versions.

    Okay, maybe if you go full-fledge crazy libertarian and assert that no government should recognize any type of marriage, gay or straight. While still loopy, that at least has some kind of consistency to it.

    Let’s see what you’ve got.

    Comment by Levi — August 4, 2010 @ 5:19 pm - August 4, 2010

  36. that’s the judge’s view, Levi.

    So, if one individual said you don’t have a rational basis for your animosity against conservatives, would you let go of your prejudices?

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 5:19 pm - August 4, 2010

  37. well, this conversation has given me a yearly dose of asshattery.

    let me note a few things: 1) you haven’t shown that i’m ignorant or prejudiced; repeating an unfounded assertion doesn’t make it true. 2) your claim that i’m ignorant of your views is directly contradicted comment 15. as you noted, i spent more time reading your blog in the past; i’m obviously familiar with your ideas.

    finally, your ugly accusation of ignorance and prejudice is a pretty transparent attempt to deflect my earlier criticism of your failure to convince conservatives about the merits of gay marriage. if you, as a fellow conservative, cannot convince your fellow ideologues then why should anyone adopt your strategy? maybe you need to reconsider your ideas, rather than continue to look for fault in others.

    ha, fat chance.

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 5:30 pm - August 4, 2010

  38. Chad, do you ever reply to the points I address to you?

    I accused you of ignorance and prejudice because of how you misrepresented my views. Instead of showing precisely how I was wrong, you continue to attack me, wondering instead why I don’t do something you believe I should do. Instead of respond to my points, you dwell on that one point.

    You never ask whether I have helped change conservative prejudices against gay people — or worked to secure their support for civil unions. Things I have done and do do on a regular basis. But, you just can’t plain understand my ambivalence on gay marriage.

    Simply amazing, how many chances you have had to justify your accusations against me and yet you continually fail to specify.

    If you’re going to spend so much time arguing with me, at least take the time to acquaint yourself with my ideas.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 5:37 pm - August 4, 2010

  39. Something sarcastic about how gays are technically allowed to marry (they just can’t marry the people they want?)

    And therein lies the answer.

    You state, Levi, that you should be able to marry whomever you want and that there should be no restrictions on this, correct?

    Then there is no legal basis for age, gender, species, number, blood relationship, or other restrictions on marriage. Since you must give a marriage license to whatever coupling or otherwise wants it, you must hand them out to incestuous, underage, plural groups, and whatnot.

    The solution is very straightforward. Marriage is not a right, it is a privilege, and like all privileges, the state may establish ground rules for when it is extended. That does not preclude ultimately including gay-sex couples, but it leaves the decision in the hands of those who actually wrote the Constitution in the first place — We the People.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 4, 2010 @ 5:44 pm - August 4, 2010

  40. we’re gonna have to call a draw on this one. i share your exasperation, dan. i wish that you were capable of understanding that having a different opinion than you doesn’t make me ignorant or prejudiced. i also wish you would understand the irony of calling me ignorant and prejudiced while exhibiting such hostility to opinions different than yours.

    Comment by Chad — August 4, 2010 @ 5:55 pm - August 4, 2010

  41. Chad, please scroll back, read my comments. I never said that “having a different opinion than” me makes someone “ignorant or prejudiced.” I have accused you of ignorance and prejudice precisely because of comments like this.

    Please scroll back and read the specific examples I gave of your ignorance and prejudice. And address those. Should you do so, I will certainly question my criticism.

    I’m not expressing hostility to views different from my own, but faulting you for making assumptions about my beliefs. Do you understand that distinction?

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 4, 2010 @ 5:59 pm - August 4, 2010

  42. that’s the judge’s view, Levi.

    So, if one individual said you don’t have a rational basis for your animosity against conservatives, would you let go of your prejudices?

    Well, it’s a good thing that judges aren’t charged with weighing the merits of entire political philosophies, and so I’ll never have to worry about that kind of hypothetical. I’d also never be in a position where I was arguing to limit the rights of others on something as arbitrary as sexual orientation. That just isn’t a very good analogy.

    Comment by Levi — August 4, 2010 @ 6:07 pm - August 4, 2010

  43. I’d also never be in a position where I was arguing to limit the rights of others on something as arbitrary as sexual orientation.

    Ahm, but you see, silly Levi boy, the law does not say that people who are attracted to members of the same sex are prevented from getting married. As we see, the law did nothing to stop “Bishop” Gene Robinson, Jim McGreevey, and umpteen other people who only discover that they are utterly incapable of loving or having a meaningful relationship with a member of the opposite sex AFTER marrying, having children, and proclaiming their love to the world for an opposite-sex spouse for years.

    Your argument is that you should be able to marry something based solely on whether or not you want to have sex with it. Again, since pedophilia has at least a partial genetic basis and has proven difficult to change, your argument is that pedophiles should be allowed to marry children. Certainly you would not be so hypocritical as to insist that denying someone the right to marry that to which they are sexually attracted based on arbitrary boundaries such as age is wrong, would you?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 4, 2010 @ 6:45 pm - August 4, 2010

  44. Your argument is that you should be able to marry something based solely on whether or not you want to have sex with it.

    Jesus Christ, no it isn’t. Why don’t you just go crawl back into your hole, dumbass?

    Comment by Levi — August 4, 2010 @ 7:32 pm - August 4, 2010

  45. #26 Levi:

    Gay marriage opponents present ridiculous arguments; that we must respect their sense of tradition, that children from gay parents are in some way not adjusted, that legalized gay marriage necessitates legalization of pedophilia and polygamy, etc. None of these arguments contain even a semblence of coherent logic and they fail utterly at hiding their religious underpinnings.

    1) that we must respect their sense of tradition: So, Levi, let’s chat about marriages that do not respect their sense of tradition shall we? How about pedophilia and polygamy?

    2) None of these arguments contain even a semblence of coherent logic: So, Levi, Let’s chat about how there is no semblence of coherent logic when your point in #1 supports the logic?

    Does your brain ever itch or do you just hit yourself with a brick if you start to think?

    Comment by heliotrope — August 4, 2010 @ 7:50 pm - August 4, 2010

  46. Jesus Christ, no it isn’t. Why don’t you just go crawl back into your hole, dumbass?

    Yes it is, Levi. You stated specifically that marriage should not be limited by something as “arbitrary” as sexual preferences.

    And as we see, you can’t respond intelligently, so you resort to insults. Very, very childish and immature.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 5, 2010 @ 11:11 am - August 5, 2010

  47. [...] like, only to have an appellate court stay the ruling.  Fellas, we’re back on the gay marriage roller coaster, elation one day at a favorable ruling, despondency the next week when another court acts contrary [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » What New Hampshire teaches us about gay marriage — August 18, 2010 @ 3:18 am - August 18, 2010

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