In Context: 5 Web Perspectives On A Story In The News

California gay marriage goes to court

(CBC) Gay marriage is up for debate again in the California courtroom. Three U.S. judges in a federal appeal court in San Francisco will reconsider the state ban on gay marriage. Proposition 8 made gay marriage illegal in 2008, five months after it was made legal by the California Supreme Court. Prop 8 was approved by 52 per cent of state voters in a referendum. A federal judge threw out the legislation saying it's unconstitutional. The appeal will begin with oral arguments on legal issues of the case and whether they should be allowed to be appealed. Gay activists have placed pressure on the courts to televise the story so that they can win over the public and the court. If the judges decide the legislation has no standing, same-sex marriage will be legal in California. If the case continues, it could end up in the United States Supreme Court.


Marriage is between a man and a woman

Protect Marriage
Protect is a California-based organization run by people from California Family Council, Santa Ana Unified School District and Coalition of African American Pastors that supports Proposition 8 and the definition that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." It supports the proposition because it maintains the definition of marriage that is held by the majority of voters and approved by human history. It also protects children from being taught in public schools that same-sex marriage is the same as "traditional" marriage. The site gives a good perspective on the arguments and beliefs behind opposition to gay marriage, including the belief that opposing gay marriage does not mean the organization opposes gay people. The website cites reports on why how society benefits from different-sex marriages.


Equality is for everyone

Equality California
Equality California is an organization that supports protecting the civil and legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, it is affiliated with several other California pro-equality, pro-gay rights groups. The organization says Prop. 8 is devastating for gay couples and their families. It puts children at risk, devalues relationships and discriminates against LGBT individuals. It says it derives from an agenda built on fear mongering and disregarding the truth. This website is important because it gives readers the other side of the argument and shows why people believe their civil right to marry is being ignored. It provides a background on the proposition and what the organization is doing to fight for the banning of Prop. 8.


Covering the trial as it happens

Prop 8 Trial Tracker
Prop. 8 Trial Tracker is a project organized by the Courage Campaign, a California-based online network that helps organize more than 700,000 grassroots campaigns for change and equality. The trial tracker allows anyone to experience the trial as it happens through live-blogging and live-tweeting. This site is useful because it gives readers a constant flow of information. The CBC story said activists were hoping to reach people outside of the courtroom and this site is a way for people supporting gay marriage to do this.


Same-sex marriage in California is unique

The Wikipedia entry on same-sex marriage in California explains how California is unique compared to the rest of the United States because it's a state that used to give same-sex couples marriage licenses, but then stopped. The entry explains the history of Proposition 22, Prop. 8's predecessor, and the legal battles that have come out of Prop. 8 legislation. It also gives a timeline and statistics for the state. This website gives a clear and brief overview of the complicated legal history of gay marriage in California. It's useful to understand how much history this issue already has in order to understand the current trial taking place.


Study says gay marriage will help California economy

Policy Archive
A study put out by the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles in 2008 says that giving marriage rights to same-sex couples will result in a boost to the economy. The study estimates that the money will come directly from weddings and tourism. It predicts that it will help create and sustain 2,178 new jobs. This study shows how important money is and that it is possible to look at an issue like same-sex marriage not from a political or religious or moral standpoint, but from an economic one.


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