August 5th, 2010
10:59 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Charles Cooper

A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that California’s Proposition 8, a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional. Chief U.S District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco granted a temporary stay, which stops his decision from taking immediate effect.

Cooper, an attorney who represented proponents of the measure, argued that the plaintiffs were attempting to override the wishes of California voters, and that the issue is a state matter that shouldn’t be decided in a federal courtroom.

Cooper said at trial that marriage should be a union between a man and a woman, and it is essential to the “survival of the species,” according to a report in the San Francisco Public Press.

"Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians," Walker wrote in a 136-page decision. "The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite sex couples."

San Francisco Public Press: Prop. 8 gay marriage ban overturned; ruling unlikely to be last word

San Jose Mercury News: Federal judge strikes down California ban on same-sex marriage

Bibi Aisha

The 19-year-old Afghan woman was mutilated by her husband, her ears and nose cut off in what she calls an act of Taliban justice for the crime of shaming her husband’s family.

"I was a slave," she said. At 16, she was handed over to her husband's father and 10 brothers, who she says were all members of the Taliban.

She ran away but was caught by police in Kandahar. Her father-in-law found her, and she was tried in a Taliban court for dishonoring her husband's family and bringing them shame. The court ruled that her nose and ears must be cut off, an act carried out by her husband in the mountains of Oruzgan, where they left her to die.

With the help of an American provincial reconstruction team in Oruzgan and the organization Women for Afghan Women, she received help and protection. The Grossman Burn Foundation in the United States will provide her with reconstructive surgery.

CNN: Afghan woman whose nose, ears cut off travels to U.S.

Time: Afghan women and the return of the Taliban

Ambassador John Roos

 The Obama appointee will be the first American representative to attend the Japanese annual memorial ceremony commemorating the August 6, 1945, bombing of Hiroshima.

Roos, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, will attend the ceremony Friday "because it is the right thing to do," U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

While no formal apology will be made, the ambassador will be there to recognize the suffering of all involved, Crowley said.

"The Japanese government welcomes this," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said Wednesday. "The event will become an opportunity for major nations' officials to deepen their understanding of our desire for nuclear disarmament and resolve never to allow the misery of A-bomb attacks to be repeated."

Bloomberg: U.S. ambassador will attend Hiroshima memorial ceremony for first time

U.S. State Department: Ambassador to Japan John Roos

Naomi Campbell

The supermodel testified Thursday in the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is charged with crimes against humanity, including murder, sexual slavery and violence, and enslavement. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Taylor gave Campbell a diamond during the brutal war in neighboring Sierra Leone, contradicting Taylor's testimony that he never handled the precious stones - or blood diamonds - that fueled the conflict.

Campbell, 40, told a special tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, that she received a gift of "dirty-looking stones" that she assumed was from him. She said she was handed the stones following a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela in 1997.

New York Times: Model testifies at war crimes trial

Sky News: Campbell given 'gift of dirty-looking stones'

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Implications

    Getting rid of the ban on gay marrige finally? It's like the US is finally growing up. Shame that so many people are going to baww over the fact that 'them gays can get married hurr durr offended'. Because other people's happiness is totally my business and I should stop them from being happy.

    Only thing I hate more than that is that it's now 2010 and we're still trying to come to an agreement if it's right or wrong for gays to marry. They should've been allowed to from the get-go instead of a bunch of rule-setting bigots trying to set up america like their playground and play by their rules. Stupid.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Rene

      The people voted and that judge was out of line to overturn the wishes of the people he represents. I hope they overturn his ruling and would love them to invalidate all gay marriages that have been performed. At least some who were planning to get married can't do it as someone had the sense to stay the ruling.

      August 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dave

    Marriiage is for procreaction, one man and one woman to have babies. That is why we do not let woman over 50 get married.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • :3

      At first I angry-faced, then I saw what you did there.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • AnneSD

      Not to mention why we don't allow divorce for couples with children...

      August 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      That law forbidding sterile and impotent men from getting married was a good idea, too.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer CA

      I agree. "Well said." I wonder if that argument had been presented in court.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neeneko

      Sad thing is, it was not that long ago that infertility was grounds for annulment or divorce; back when you required a 'fault' for a divorce to be legal.

      August 6, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Robert

    Well said, Dave, well said, indeed.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sally Sue

    Why is a "judge" capable of overturning a law that was voted on by the people of California. Is he some "supreme being" that knows better than the people what they want. The "PEOPLE" voted that they want to ban it and that should be it, not some liberal judge deciding otherwise. Why is it that his views carry any more weight than that of the people?

    August 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shut Up Sally

      Yes, because although people need to take a test to drive a car, they do not have to be tested in any capacity to vote. Go take your conservative views and move to some dictator-led country, Sally. This country is about freedom. Not freedom for some. Freedom for ALL.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Wow, you are either stupid, very young, or from some foreign country. Do you even know what a judge is?

      August 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • dhuff

      Judges have had to overturn other, discriminatory laws in the past that were voted in "by the people." Cf. Loving vs. Virginia or Brown vs. the Board of Education. That's why we have *three,* co-equal branches of gov't.

      August 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      And if the people were to decide one day to kill all Christians then so be it, that is the will of the people right? The point is the majority cannot infringe on the basic civil rights of a minority. That is what this country is founed on and what it is all about.

      August 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kent

      Because judges in this country have been given way too much power in this country, more power then congress it seems. They are supposed uphold laws not cancel them. If a law does not make sence then they need to take it back to congress, or the people. If a majority of people vote on a law then a judge should not have the power to over turn that law. Their job is to dicide how the law applies to a case not to create law, which they have been trying to do for nearly a 100 years.

      August 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Well he is a JUDGE.

      August 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      It's the Judge's job to fix it when the "BAN"wagon people are wrong.

      August 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Kent needs to go back to third grade civics class.

      August 6, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBMD

      The judge is a conservative

      August 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cassandra

    The majority of the general public was against civil rights and integration, too. Man, I really wish that those dirty libs would have stepped aside and allowed the people's wish to perpetuate racism to go on for a few more decades. That certainly would have ensured civil liberties and made society better!

    August 5, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bubba

    "Survival of the species?" Boy, that guy is so full of himself he's about to burst.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tracey

    @Sally Sue – Shut up. Read the post and what he said in his ruling. Just because it bothers you that gay people want to get married, doesn't mean you have the right to vote on someone else's happiness.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • retired marine

      i think there is too much population growth. maybe we can pass a law to ban women getting pregnant. i dont like people driving toyotas- maybe i could get a law outlawing that. here is a better one- i dont like seeing people drinking alcohol- maybe we should outlaw that too, again. frankly, i dont like persons with "sue" in their name- how about a law banning people with the name ... see how stupid laws like this are???

      August 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cassandra

    ...incidentally, the problem in your statement is the phrase "what they want." The divisiveness of this issue has made people so narcissistic that they are consumed with how they want society to be. Maybe people should stop thinking about themselves and start thinking about how to ensure that every American citizen has the fullest liberty and freedom possible without harming anyone else (which, of course, gay marriage does not do. It hurts NOTHING).

    wow, look at that, the liberal stance is more patriotic on this issue than the conservative one. Huh, go figure.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bubba

    How many Americans would support cutting off the noses of gay people? Are we any better than the Taliban?

    August 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Yes, yes we are.

      August 6, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PaDoc

    "...essential to the “survival of the species,”? Oh. NOW we believe in Darwin? Right. And the earth is 10,000 years old.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      LOVE IT PaDoc! Same Christian zealots who like to use the bible to make their case against gay marriage don't acknowledge their own speaking out of both sides of his mouth. You can't have it both ways folks - Creationism or Evolution Theory – pick one, and please, have the backbone to stand by your choice. If you did, normal, everyday, sane, and rational human beings would be able to discern your crap and dismiss it for the benefit of everyone.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jen

    Except Mr. Cooper, that one does not need to be married or even in a relationship to procreate.

    If you look around, we do not have a problem with the population of the world dwindling.

    August 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mamalu

    Most of these posts, and news articles on the topic, completely miss the point. It is at least arguable that the government has no business telling anyone who can and cannot get married, except possibly enforcing age restrictions to keep people from forcing underage children into marriage. We are allowing the government to make moral decisions that should be individual. The current system is a holdover from European culture when the Catholic Church was law. If the states want to require a marriage license just to get the fee, fine, but it should be offered to anyone who wants to get married. And (I can hear you gearing up to argue this) as to laws prohibiting polygamy and bigamy, check your local marriage license bureau – I don't believe they even cross-check to see if applicants for marriage licenses have been married before or are already married. So who cares – let whoever wants to get married, and if you don't like gay marriage, don't enter into one.

    August 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. maeve

    This argument is just stupid. Sally Sue, you don't have to change your life and become gay. Why do you think you have the right to make someone else change their life–because you say so? If we could take all the time and money that has been wasted on this issue and spend it on something that really is a problem...maybe finding a cure for cancer. Spending money on an issue that deprives people of the ability to lead the life they want–is crazy. Marriage is for people who want to produce children? Tell that to the thousands of single parents or people who have decided not to produce children. Being gay or straight, is no one elses business. Get over it! By the way Sally Sue, it isn't contagious. Surprise, Sally Sue, you are not God. If you are a Christian, you know God is our judge, not Sally Sue or people like her.

    August 5, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    Oh Sally Sue. 40 years ago, the MAJORITY of a school board or parents of students surely would have voted that if a teacher was gay they should be fired. No facts or studies to show why that teacher should be fired, but just simply that the majority through their ignorance wanted it that way.

    August 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Syd Chaden

    This judge will be remembered ias one of the great Anals (spelled correctly) of history.

    August 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
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