Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

California Crisis

Teetering at the edge of bankruptcy with Arnold Schwarzenegger facing a reprise as the Terminator, this time of public employees, the big political issue in the Golden State is whether or not Ellen DeGeneres' marriage is legal.

Sponsors of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage last month, now want to nullify thousands of unions between gay and lesbian couples performed after the state Supreme Court ruled them constitutional last May.

Fittingly enough for California, the legal battle is shaping up with an all-star cast of yesteryear, like a remake of "Sunset Boulevard," with Kenneth Starr and Jerry Brown in the leading geriatric roles.

Starr, the Inspector Javier of Bill Clinton's impeachment, will be defending the ban, presumably with all the zeal he brought to saving America from the threat of Monica Lewinsky's semen-stained dress over a decade ago.

Opposing him will be the State's Attorney General, Jerry Brown, who stirs nostalgia for his time in the 1970s as the quirky populist California governor who refused to move into the executive mansion and, as a bachelor, became famous for dating Linda Ronstadt.

In a surprise move, Brown, who is charged with enforcing the new law, yesterday asked the Court to invalidate Proposition 8 on the grounds that it "deprives people of the right to marry, an aspect of liberty that the Supreme Court has concluded is guaranteed by the California Constitution."

Amid the economic chaos that the outgoing Bush administration has brought America, its backers are determined to stay on the job wreaking cultural havoc. Millions of homes may be foreclosed in California over the coming months, but until then, they will be spending the state's time and money to make sure that those bedrooms aren't being legally occupied by the wrong people.

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