Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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California Supreme Court and Gay Golfers

The California Supreme Court, according to The Washington Post ruled today that: "country clubs must offer gay members who register as domestic partners the same discounts given to married ones _ a decision that could apply to other businesses such as insurance companies and mortgage lenders." California instituted the "domestic partners" registry after the state voted overwhelmingly a few years ago NOT to permit gay marriage. I’m no country club Republican but I don’t think the courts have any place in deciding what kind of rules should govern a PRIVATE club.

Discussions - 40 Comments

I skimmed the article. It is pretty vague, but it sounds like the law applies to private businesses, much like the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Not sure what the constitutional basis of the law is? Does something in California’s state constitution allow the regulation of private clubs (you guys have a 1,000,000 amendments out there), or is a golf club considered commerce? The court’s decision had to rest on some sort of law, because the Equal Protection Clause (14th Amend.) only applies to govt action, so it would not apply in this case. Conservatives should have fought the bill before it was law, I do not think the court can be blamed, it seems to be faithfully applying the law. I would like to read the text of the law though.

Do Domestic Partnerships Equate to Same-Sex Marriage? Courts are Inconsistent!

The California Supreme Court stated that domestic partners must be treated the same as married spouses because as California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno stated "the Legislature has granted legal recognition comparable to marriage.’’

But doesn’t that mean that the Legislature violated the state constitution by amending Prop. 22? There is a glaring inconsistency in the California court system when it comes to the issue of whether domestic partnerships laws have made them significantly similar to marriage.


Craig DeLuz

Visit The Home of Uncommon Sense...

You can’t really mean that a private club should be free of legal regulation. Let’s say a club has rules that require members be hazed in a violent and dangerous manner. Should the laws of assault, etc. be suspended because the offensive activity takes place in the context of a private club? As well, in this case, as the previous commentator suggests, this kind of private club is also probably a business offering services to the public.

The real question raised by private clubs is the relationship of exclusionist associations--based on race, gender, etc.--to the values of freedom and equality on which are liberal democracies are based. The historical legacy is complex, because the exclusionist practices of such clubs are definitely part of a pattern of discrimination and subordination that we would like to overcome. On the other hand, there is an argument that minorities or other victims of discrimination (women) need their own exclusionist private associations as means of empowerment and solidarity.

I don’t think there is a simple answer here. Liberalism depends on a private/public distinction and yet the distinction is unstable, not least because "private" institutions, associations etc. have such a big role in shaping public life in America (Tocqueville) and determining the fate of the guarantees of equality (equality of opportunity) upon which the regime is premised. But we cannot live without some notion of the private or at least privacy (thus a right to privacy is not a whim of the court that decided Roe, it is implicit in the liberal foundation of the constitution itself); if there is no protection for intimacy, there is no security of the individual in any zone of life, which renders not only freedom illusory (see Montesquieu) but also risks tyranny.

One can criticize the balance being struck by our legislators and judges in individual cases, but they seem guided by some kind of intuition about the sort of equilibrium needed to allow for what is best in the regime, and more importantly perhaps, to avoid what is worst.

The court has no business telling private associations etc. what they and can not offer in discounts. Many will talk about the rights of the citizens but what about the rights of the country clubs. Look, I would give gay couples discounts personally, as long as it increased my business. But the court has not right forcing people to do such a thing.

Yeah, you’re right "..." What about the rights of country clubs to be homophobic? Or racist, for that matter? It’s their right to keep those nasty sodomites from getting a discount!

Sorry ..., the court DOES have a right (actually an obligation) to apply the law, which it has apparently done in this case.

Phil, it seems you miss the point. Mr. Howse makes a Constitutional argument based on how private institutions are part of the social fabric. Therefore, there is a legitimate extent to which the government may regulate private institutions.(at least I think this is the basis of his argument. He says it better than I do.)

You, however, go the racial/homohobe route. It seems race and homosexuality are such personal subjects for you that whenever they are brought up, you automatically categorize the entire topic in the racist/homophobe zone. They are therefore illegitimate in your mind. So what about organizations such as the NAACP, BET, Equality Virginia, women organizations, and other gay organizations? Are they illegitimate in the same manner? Before you answer, think of what your instinctive response would be to imaginary organizations (National Association for the Advancement of White People, White Entertainment Television, The People of Virginia for a Heterosexual State) composed in the same manner in regards to white males.

Perhaps you should rethink the basis of your categorizations.

So, Phil, you think that the government has an obligation to enforce thought-crimes? That’s what your statement amounts to...any action that might be interpreted as homophobic must be regulated, even when it concerns private convenants between a finite set of contractees? So I guess the Catholic Church (or any other religion) has no right to enforce its various doctrines within its own organization? Phil, I hate to say it, but that’s totalitarian. Freedom means having the right to think your own thoughts, whether some people approve of them or not. It also means have the right to desist from taking actions that violate your conscience (whether it hurts a third party or not).

So Fred, you see NO difference in an organization like the KKK and the NAACP? Or a difference between your hypothetical White Entertainment Television (there probably is a station called "WET," but I would guess it’s not the kind of channel you were referring to) and BET? In case you don’t see the difference, I will point it out: MINORITIES haven’t exactly been on a level playing field with white men. It could be argued that BET isn’t exactly helping black people, but the point is that nearly every other station might as WELL be "White TV." You know, huge hit shows like "Friends" and "Seinfeld," with no major characters who were minorities. Imagine if it were reversed, and the entire country was going on and on about the last episode of "The Hughleys" or whatever (as America did about the last episode of "Seifeld")- "What an amazing cultural phenomenon!" And imagine that you didn’t necessarily feel like you were a part of that culture. You might want your own station, your own organization. I’m not saying we should allow clubs that say "No Whites Allowed!" But suggesting that the NAACP is the equivalent of "Advancement for White People" is absurd. We already HAD the advantage when the NAACP was formed.

Dain, your argument makes little sense. I’m not talking about "any action that might be interpreted as homophobic." I’m talking about a specific action that is OBVIOUSLY homophobic. If you think it’s not, tell me, then, what is the reason the country club does not want to extend its discount to gay couples? Does it threaten their own marriages? As the irritatingly named "...." pointed out, you’d think the club would offer the discount to increase business, if for no other reason. So the fact that they DO NOT suggests they REALLY don’t want gay couples playing there.

whoops. Comment 8 is by me and not Fred (in case that isn’t obvious).

Oh, are so...liberal. First, saying that restrictive convenants are OK for minorities but not whites (or Christians, etc.) based upon power differentials is nonsense. It treats whites, Christians and other "majority" groups like monoliths, when in fact they aren’t. Second, ultimately the quest for civil rights (or, in your mind, equality) must be predicated on individual harm. Telling one group of individuals they can’t restrict their membership (thereby perhaps doing them harm as individuals) while telling others the opposite (thereby doing them good, supposedly) only perpetuates discrimination based on ascribed status. You need to pick a consistent position.

I don’t think it’s smart here to talk about homosexuality as a nature state or the rights of homosexuals to marry, etc. I’ve been accused too often of getting off-topic. I will only say this -- science does not yet confirm that homosexuality is "natural," and even it if did, I see no reason NOT to treat it like any other disease. Would we elevate blindness, palsy, spina bifida or schizophrenia into status-groups and accord them total equality (like driving, operating machinery, etc.)...I think not. If homosexuality is natural, then it should be studied like other abnormalities, not celebrated as an "alternative lifestyle." There are clear social reasons to do so, but I won’t get into them here. Maybe someone at NLT will be thoughtful enough to start a thread on gay marriage as a social phenomenon.

So Fred, you see NO difference in an organization like the KKK and the NAACP?

First things first, I said nothing about the KKK, and would not attempt to compare it to the NAACP. I used the hypothetical in order to make a comparison between two groups with the same purpose/end by way of the same actions/means. The KKK uses different means, and therefore is not an adequate comparison to the NAACP. (A better comparison for the KKK might be the Black Panther Party)

In regard to your other point, it seems you beg the question. The argument is about multiculturalism and whether or not government ought to be actively involved in enforcing it. You assume the question is answered by saying:

[I] will point it out: MINORITIES haven’t exactly been on a level playing field with white men. It could be argued that BET isn’t exactly helping black people, but the point is that nearly every other station might as WELL be "White TV."....And imagine that you didn’t necessarily feel like you were a part of that culture.

Personally, I couldn’t care less about whether private cable stations orient the content of their shows to particular races, sexual orientation, etc. My point was that you categorize issues as legitimate/illegitimate based on whether or not it fits your particular "cultural tastes." You assume that a gigantic culture void exists based on every difference human beings have, and I don’t think that’s the case.

How far does it go? Does it come down to every shade of skin color, freckles, origin of birth, etc.? It seems that if we grant the multicultural premise, then we fall into an infinite regress. The obvious answer to the questions above is that the people decide in their opinions toward others. But can that be regulated? Do we want that regulated? Why don’t we hold individuals accountable based on their actions instead of their opinions? That would seem to be the proper role of government in a free society.

The other option assumes that human beings already hold some bias opinion from which they cannot escape, and therefore government must construct "proper opinion" propaganda through regulation in order to create a good society. I would rather have society formed by the people (basis of democracy) with government regulating action.

P.S. Just to make clear, I’m advocating the formation of the aforementioned groups, I was just using them to show how Phil is in the multicultural camp.

Mistake: P.S. Just to make clear, I’m advocating the formation of the aforementioned groups, I was just using them to show how Phil is in the multicultural camp.

Should have read: "P.S. Just to make clear, I’m NOTadvocating the formation of the aforementioned groups, I was just using them to show how Phil is in the multicultural camp."

And Phil, if you insist that the multicultural premise is true, how were you (able to (and how do you expect government to be able to) escape from the cultural void and see how things ought to be?

No Phil, I said I would offer discounts if it increased business. Which is why you as a consumer you could chose to come to my business but I am not about to say that the courts or the governments should force anyone to do such a thing. If I was a competing country club and started collected probits because of this most likely the other one would follow suit as it saw the potential. If it didn’t follow suit then it would only add to my business (which in this hypothetical would benefit me and my customers) The power of businees speaks in this situation because if they don’t come around (and some or most won’t) then they suffer from decreased business.

I see no difference between the NAACP and the KKK.

I think the main difference is one group has a history of lynching people and an ideology of hate. I mean, that seems the most obvious.

OK, the KKK added the lynching part. Little difference?

I would guess that most Democrats and KKK’ers never lynched anybody.

What does that mean Mr. Kelso?

There is little modern difference between the KKK and the NAACP.

Both preach hate, but the NAACP has more power.

Steve, are you serious? The NAACP preaches hate? Fred, Dain, do you agree with Steve on this?

I assume Kelso is referring to Julian Bond’s comments about President Bush. However, even if Mr. Bond hates the President, it hardly establishes the NAACP as an organization "preaching hate." Certainly not on the level of the KKK, which is the most disgusting group ever to gain significant power in American politics.

I’m afraid I do, Phil. True, the NAACP "lynches" organizations financially rather than individuals physicially, but it’s all the same...they’ve turned into partisan thugs. As for preaching hate, I suggest you read Julian Bond’s comments at the "Take Back America" conference. If that’s not preaching hate, then I don’t think "hate-speech" is a meaningful term.

Dain, come on:

[The NAACP] "lynches" organizations financially rather than individuals physicially, but it’s all the same...

Do you really think that lynching someone physically is the same as "lynching organizations financially?" I think there is a gigantic difference between attempting to implement change through the political process (obeying the rule of law, as the NAACP does) and trying to do so outside of the poltical process (undermining the rule of law, as the KKK does). Even if both groups have the wrong political aim, one acts within the city, the other outside of it.

Phil, Fred-- hang in there! You’re doing great.

Isn’t this about the club’s refusal to obey a law that has already been passed? As I understand it, the law recognizes same-sex unions as a legitimate basis for rights that are enjoyed (legally and contractually, such as spousal benefits). The far-right is appeased, since this is not "gay marriage," and those who support equal rights are appeased because gay partners now have access to benefits that previously were not available to them.

So, the issue really isn’t about gays at all, it is about what to do with a club that fails to obey the law.

What are the requirements in California for registering as "domestic partners?" Does it require a same-sex union?

Fung, as far as the article allows, it seems the Country Club had obeyed the law in accordance with the ruling of two lower courts, but an appeal to the California Supreme Court found in favor Birgit Koebke and reversed the previous decisions. I think the original issue of the post is that the State should not be involved in how private clubs chose regulate admissions/policy.

I advise you to read the speeches of Bond and several other black "leaders," both inside and outside the NAACP.

Just because you feel guilty because folks of your race treated black people bad does not mean that you can excuse the rise of black bigotry today.

Hate is hate, period.

I don’t think anyone is "excusing" hate here. I think this is more about actually giving out some evidence as to why the NAACP is a hateful organization. We all know that the KKK is, but it’s really hard for me to believe (without evidence) that a group founded on the idea of advancing the station of black people as hateful. Links, Kelso, not vague, generalized rhetoric.

Kelso, I’ve yet to see where Bond said something along the lines of "White people are inferior to blacks and should not live among them," which is the reverse of the basic message of the KKK. Hating Bush is not exactly the same as hating all white people (as Fred already pointed out), so you need to give more evidence of the NAACP’s being a hateful organization.

I realize we’re getting way off the original topic, but now that we’re here, I’d like to continue this. Dain, you and I are almost always 180 degrees apart on various subjects, but I can usually at least see that you genuinely believe you’re right and why you think that. But this just seems weak. You’re telling us that you really see no difference between "financial lynching" (what does that mean, exactly, anyway?) and actually stringing a person up and hanging them until they die? Could you at least concede that the KKK is maybe even a LITTLE more hateful? Let me ask this- which would you prefer: To be white and go to an NAACP meeting, or to be black and attend a KKK rally? Be HONEST.

It is not my job to do your work for you, Andrew. Only someone with head firm planted in the sand could not recognize what the NAACP has become. I do not care why it was started, I am talking about what it has become. Many orginizations created for good reasons have veered far left-ward.

Still, here’s a few for ya:

Scroll down here for a little of the campaign hate-speech that they have been involved in. I can’t find a link to that infamous "Chains" add, but it was the worst piece of lowdown hate that I have ever witnessed! I am sure that you remember that. Here too.

Let us not forget exactly what Bond has said:

" the dark underside of American culture, to that minority
of Americans who reject democracy and equality. They [Republicans] preach racial neutrality and practice
racial division..."

"...Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and Confederate swastika flying side by side."

He has also compared Republicans (white in his eyes) to the Taliban.

That should be a nice start for you, but the examples are legion. The NAACP’s support for racial quotas and reperations for slavery is racism in action, pure and simple.

Phil: I apologize for jumping in on a question Dain. Of course the physical violence is worse that the hate speech from the NAACP, but today’s Klan ain’t exactly powerful--the NAACP is.

No one said that they were exactly the same in the way that they hate, but hate the NAACP does.

You can’t say that you have a view of black people as equal to you if you hold them to lower standards. I’ve got news for you, black people are more than capable of doing and being anything that any other person can. All it takes is a little freedom. Freedom from hate as well. (Not accusing you of being racist.)

PS: Black hate crimes against those of another race are increasing, but you can be sure that most authorities will not treat them as they would a crime by a white. When was the last time we spent two weeks talking about a crummy thing that a black person did to a white person? How often do we spend talking about the opposite?

For the most part I am staying out of this one. But did want to raise a concern. If the National Association For the Advancement of Colored People acted as it’s name implies they would be behind Ken Blackwell 100% (not that he needs their support). However, they are not because they care more about their partisan politics than anything else.

I will say this though about the agruement. I think the NAACP participates in hate speech quitte frequently but comparing them to the KKK is distasteful no matter how you put it.

I was not the person who made the direct comparison, but I think the KKK is a joke. The NAACP is not, however, and so it weighs more heavily in my mind. If there were an NAAWP, you could bet that people like Phil, Fung and Andrew would be all over it as a racist organization. The fact that blacks are perceived as "the underdog" does not excuse either their own racism or the perpetuation of race-based politics. The Leftist double-standards reek to high heaven.

Financial lynching is what Jesse Jackson is so famous for...hey, Corporation X, you don’t have enough minorities working for you. Pay me or I’ll make a stink (i.e., a public moral lynching). No, it’s not the same as the death of a single person, but the harm may be equal. And neither is correct, is it?

Moreover, what’s the NAACP’s position on Zimbabwe, or the differentials in interracial murder? Betcha they don’t have much to say or, if they do, it’s to excuse these facts.

I have to agree with ..... that though the leadership of the NAACP (I don’t know much about the leadership but from their website that Jesse Jackson isn’t involved in the structure...probably problematic to use him as an example of the NAACP’s hateful tendencies, Kelso) may engage in hateful rhetoric, it’s still distasteful to compare them to the KKK.

And c’mon, Dain. The NAAWP?

Without launching into an even long winded argument about black or white racism, I would like to say that the rhetoric engaged in by white supremecists (sp?) and NAACP leadership is a LOT different. The rhetoric of the NAACP leadership is at least an attempt to address problems in the black community (i.e. low graduation rates, high abortion rates, insert one of hundreds of problems facing black communities in America here). Of course, it’s problematic to blame the problems on white people in general, but damn, I can see where they’re coming from, you know? On the other hand, groups like the NAAWP or the KKK simply believe that the white race is superior to all others. I scratch my head at the absurdity of listening to people advocate racial superiority for the sake of it.

Eek. I hope I haven’t opened the floodgates. Probably did, tho.

When I posted earlier (comment #6)about the NAAWP, I was only making a comparison based on a hypothetical. I didn’t know the organization actually existed. Like I said before, I’m not an advocate of any of the aforementioned groups.

The NAAWP that Andrew points us too attempts to maintain credibility in their rhetoric with the standard: "Equal Rights for All
Special Privileges for None," but can’t keep up the facade with "beliefs" like:

High, illegitimate, minority birthrates - if allowed to continue - will one day make them the majority and give them political control of our country - just as they now control major cities.

Obviously they see an inescapable void between races, and are most likely white supremacists in some form. Needless to say, we all should be wary of any group that says they know "the truth."

However, they are a good example of why Americans should give up the whole racial-divide idea completely and begin to think in terms of individuals, equality, and all that implies.

Sorry, I had no idea that there was a real NAAWP. Looks like a bad joke, to be honest.

Andrew, you need to read more about the KKK if you think that hate was their only business. In the 1920s, when they were as powerful as the NAACP, they were a self-help organization, particularly in the deep South. Read about it, and then tell me analogies to the NAACP are wrong-headed.

You just keep sinking to new lows, Dain. Now you seem to be actually defending the KKK.

The MAJOR difference between any white power group and a group represnting a minority is just that: One type of group represents a people who already have the power and are already doing well. The other type of group (like the NAACP) exists to help a down-trodden group catch up. Now you’ll try to say that I’M the racist because this obviously proves I think black people can’t help themselves- except- whoops! The NAACP is an EXAMPLE of blacks helping themselves get caught up. As Andrew said, the black community has a much higher rate of teen abortion and low graduation rates, not to mention the overwhelming numbers of black men who do time. So here’s a group that tries to address those problems, and you guys insist that they’re racist. Pretending that everyone is on an even playing field and that there’s NO difference between races is B.S. White people used to insist that there WAS a difference between races, which is why now there IS. It’s not a genetic difference, but it’s a serious cultural divide that was created by white people.

Even though I am not part of the discussion, I would say this. You are right about what you said Phil. However, I personally do not believe that the NAACP does those things anymore to the potential they can. I think they waste a lot of time preaching hate and supporting political campaigns. Here is a question to anyone reading this thread. When you grew up, did you have a roll model (besides a relative) that you ever saw on TV or in the News that you wanted to be like or aspire to reach the level your role model did.? To Build off of this question, this is exactly what the NAACP no longer does(on a consistent basis). 2 Examples: How they demonize Bill Cosby. He is well respected figure whose words probably could have been taken to heart had they not blasted him. 2: Will the NAACP support Ken Blackwell and use him as an example to inner city children in Columbus of the potential they have in life?

Phil, don’t you ever read what I actually write? I’m not defending the KKK (indeed, my ancestors in a western state actually fought them for control of a county once upon a time)! All I said was that there are analogous behaviors between the KKK and the NAACP...all racially-motivated groups try to help the in-group and demonize (to varying degrees) the out-group. Please stop putting words into my mouth!

I also wasn’t aware that the NAACP was SOOO effective in eliminating innter-city poverty. I do know that they are pretty good soldiers for the Democrat Party, and they sure do hate white Republicans (and, actually, hate black Republicans with a special ferocity).

Finally, the notion of "racial superiority" as a moral divider between white and black racist groups is a red herring. We are talking about hatred here. I could hate you for supposed inferiority. I could hate you for supposedly oppressing me. I could hate you because you are rich. The reasons for hate are just is the hatred of an individual because of his group affiliations that matters. Stop trying to excuse black’s just as wrong as white racism.

I used Jackson as an additional example of the kind of rhetoric that the NAACP preaches. I invite you to read writing by followers of the Nation of Islam if you want to see blacks preach black racial superiority and white inferiority. The NAACP, created by whites and they still recieve major funding by whites, talk a good game, but the hate is obvious.

If you want to hear black people claim superiority, come off of your high horse and break bread with the community. You’ll hear exactly what you deny.

Bottom line? Dain is right, the NAACP hates. Period.

Dain, you sure seem to know a lot about your ancestors. First you tell us that they were Roman slaves (how you would know that is a real mystery); now you say they fought the KKK. It’s nice that you had such noble ancestors, but it doesn’t change the fact that you have no comprehension of modern race issues. I’m pretty much tired of arguing with you since it’s utterly pointless and goes on forever, but I will try one last time to make my point.

You keep acting as though any recognition of race at all is "racism." Yes, the NAACP seeks to improve the condition of black people in America, but that does not mean that they wish to WORSEN the condition of whites. Let’s put it this way: You seem to be saying that black people are equal to whites and therefore don’t need any preferential treatment, right? OK, so let’s pretend that right after the Civil War, we just said "Congrats, you’re free! Sorry about that!" (Actually, this won’t take much imagination- it’s not that far off, minus the apology) Say we had NO social welfare programs, no affirmative action, no black organizations, nothing. I am not saying black people aren’t just as capable of achieving success; I’m saying that ANY race, ANY group starting out as recently freed slaves would have a very tough time getting caught up.

Black Americans have done a remarkable job so far, but I think it’s obvious that they still have a ways to go and that an organization like the NAACP is necessary for that reason.

Kelso, as for you, I’m pretty sure we were talking about the NAACP and not the Nation of Islam, so I don’t know what your point is. And your ramblings about "breaking bread with the community..." yeah, I’m gonna have to admit I have no idea what you’re talking abou there, either.

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