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California's Same Sex Marriage: A Word from George Takei

After the state's Supreme Court decision to legalize same sex marriage on May 15 took effect Monday evening (when most county clerk's offices were closed) - so today, the rush is on.

One of the first gay couples that got married a marriage license are Star Trek actor George Takei and longtime partner Brad Altman. Takei, who played Sulu in the Star Trek: The Original Series, wrote:

Our California dream is reality. Brad Altman and I can now marry. We are overjoyed! At long last, the barrier to full marriage rights for same-sex couples has been torn down. We are equal with all citizens of our state!

The California Supreme Court has ruled that all Californians have a fundamental right to marry the person he or she loves. Brad and I have shared our lives together for over 21 years. We've worked in partnership; he manages the business side of my career and I do the performing. We've traveled the world together from Europe to Asia to Australia. We've shared the good times as well as struggled through the bad. He helped me care for my ailing mother who lived with us for the last years of her life. He is my love and I can't imagine life without him. Now, we can have the dignity, as well as all the responsibilities, of marriage. We embrace it all heartily.

The California Supreme Court further ruled that our Constitution provides for equal protection for all and that it cannot have marriage for one group and another form - domestic partnership - for another group. No more "separate but equal." No more second-class citizenship. Brad and I are going to be married as full citizens of our state.

Read more of what George wrote in his official website:

I know this subject is controversial, and I do respect your opinions, whether you agree with the ruling or not - but please keep the discussion civil.

That's absolutely wonderful! It's about time we stopped pretending that "domestic partnership" is not the same as "colored entrance". Seperate but equal is just an excuse to discriminate.
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Great for them and the state of California. Amusing how the very same hypocrites that are trying to stop this are the very same people complaining that "they" are "forcing" their lifestyles on them.
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Homosexuality is common among many species maybe even all species. I do not see why so many people refuse to accept it and allow same sex marriages.

I know what it is. It is that damn religious bull crap.
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Goodness, this excited me so much, getting the news from the HRC... But seeing it on Neatorama makes my day. And I'm glad that none have said anything negative in the comments. It's exciting that California, unlike Massachusetts, doesn't have residency laws for marriage. Unfortunately, that still means the marriages will only be recognized in states whose constitutions do not specify that "a marriage is between a man and a woman". Which is basically Massachusetts, New York, and California. Nevertheless, it's a big step. I'm 17 and gay, and looking forward to being able to marry one day... even though I'm in Pennsylvania. :]
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I'm glad so many people are accepting of this. Personally, I'm glad that homosexuals have the same chance to be miserable that the rest of us take for granted.
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congratulations to them, and especially to all the people who have fought for so many years to ensure equality for all.

it is truly an historic day.
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I remember reading his Star Trek biography, where he talked about his life, but not one whisper about his sexuality. He wrote (if he did write it) more about the Japanese internment camp he was in as a child.

It's good to see he finally decided to be honest with the world about who he is. It must have taken him a long time to open that closet door.
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No worries Thomas and others, only the enlightened and open ones will write on this thread. The usual suspects will conveniently ignore this one, as they say, if you can't say something good about something, don't say it at all.
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Support gay divorce !!!

I'm kidding. I like to refer to gay marriage as andro-matrimony, until I realized that term leaves out lesbians. I myself am homosexual and someday I will find the happiness that George and Brad have.

I do hope that the courts and the voters of California don't overturn gay marriage.
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"Homosexuality is common among many species maybe even all species. I do not see why so many people refuse to accept it and allow same sex marriages.

I know what it is. It is that damn religious bull crap."

Eating your own feces is also common among many species.
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"Eating your own feces is also common among many species."

And I support the right for anyone to eat their own feces! Though, I'll pass on it myself :P
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I never knew he was gay before now, but I hope they're happy together. I've never really cared about other people's sexual preferences, and I still don't. I bet the divorce lawers are liking this - more potential clients!
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I'm so glad to read this news! I hope to see other states follow California's fine example, thought I believe it will take some time before we see similar legislature in my home state of Texas.

Congratulations to all the couples whose marriages are finally recognized by the state!
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One correction; They haven't been married yet, but they were the first in Hollywood to get the license.

As for coprophagy, it's only among the non-vertibrates that it's a main form of nutrition; dung beetles and bacteria. It's a good thing they do, too, or we'd all be up to our armpits in shit. Domestic dogs only eat the feces of cats that have been feed commercial foods--it's a behavior that is caused by human domestication of canines and felines.

However, there are several BILLION human beings who regularly eat their own god, sometimes several times a week. Oddly enough, it's those same theophages who say that marrying the consenting adult of your choice is wrong. Don't believe me? Check out your neighborhood Catholic Church.
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How many couples stay together for 21 years, or like the lesbian couple that also got married today, for 55? Can anyone reasonably argue that what these people live--every day for years--is not love? Giving them the chance to have legal rights that frame caring for each other in life and death is sensible and long overdue. Now let's drop this "controversy" and focus on some real problems, like horrid education and useless politicians (I mean you, Dubya.)
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I'm the "MAN's MAN' so to speak. You know the one that goes fish'in and Hunt'in and all that stuff. I was even an Infantryman in the Army. So to the good stuff IT'S ABOUT TIME WHEN GOVERMENT IS ALOWED IN OUR BEDROOMS LOOK WHAT HAS HAPPEND. If a homosexual is second class i guess I don't even rank on the scale personally i don't want on the scale if we keep judging people by there skin, religion, nationality, and sexual preference. Because lets be honest this is a preference not a judge of there character. I could go on but i wont. Thanks Neatorama.
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Congrats to George + Brad = <3! The world needs more love, and they're giving it.

No need to overcomplicate things: happiness in abundance is far better, and even infinitely preferable than volumes of sadness.
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As far as I can ascertain, the most common arguments against homosexuality and, by extension, gay marriage, come from the Bible. And since we know the Bible has many other rather dubious prohibitions that are conveniently ignored, it always amazes me that people manage to cherry-pick the admonitions that seem to support their prejudices and still keep a straight face.

I think I'd respect the anti-gay contingent more if they just said, "We don't have a good reason. We fear the unfamiliar."

I can think of plenty of reasons to support, or at least not be bothered by, gay marriage, but I can't really think of any reason to attack it, or any way it affects anybody else negatively (bizarre notions of gay contagion aside).
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This is wonderful news -- for the folks who want to get married, and those for whom that possibility now exists.

I'm only 42, and when I was born it was still illegal in the US for people of different races to marry. Hopefully before I'm 84, it'll be legal for same-sex couples to marry nationwide.
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Hooray! Though I'm with a guy right now and would be able to marry anyway, this was a genuine concern when I had a girlfriend. I love my state, go California!!!
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Guess it's about time someone wrote something contrary here. I for one could care less if two gay people choose to get married. (none of my business) However It's sad that the laws of individual states can be overturned by 5 people. This ruling for no other reason was a bad one because the supreme court has no business creating laws as they see fit. That's not there jobs. The proper course of a judicial ruling is to clarify gray areas within the laws. Californians voted on this already. Why is the supreme court overturning laws of individual states? According to the constitution each state has a right to govern themselves as they see fit. Federal laws are to be created through congress not by judges.

Before you label me as anti-gay or a bigot. I have several very dear gay friends and support them whole heartedly. I am just sad about the legal aspect of this ruling.
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In certain Muslim countries men can have up to four wives. Those marriages have as much bearing on my heterosexual, one-man-one-woman marriage as do the marriages of gays. Viscerally I understand the argument for heterosexual-only unions, but none of the arguments hold up. Lots of het couples choose not to have kids, for instance, so why is the question of procreation a factor? Yadda yadda... So anyway... good for you, George and hubby. I am truly happy for you. Good for all y'all out there. And for the cynical, yes, added potential divorce revenues benefit the economy. It's a win-win!
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gay rights has always been such a touchy subject because the main opposition has come from the religious standpoint and many of the most outspoken objectors view same sex unions of any kind as an attack on their beliefs as a whole, which is completely untrue. As George says, he and his partner are truly in love, and no one, definitely not a group of legislators lounging in an oak-paneled assembly hall has the right to tell them that they can't be.
A lot of my oldest and best friends are gay and they are some of the most caring and supportive people I know. Why some people want to treat them like second-class citizens is beyond me.
I clicked on this link halfway expecting a lot of ignorant flaming, but I'm so glad I was wrong. Thanks people!
Congrats to all of the future couples!
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Thing is, all arguments against gay marriage are ultimately based in religion. To prohibit gay marriage, therefore, is to force ones religious beliefs on another person, which is not supposed to be allowed in the good ol' USA.

Secular type arguments against gay marriage simply don't hold water and are based in fear and homophobia, so I don't see the problem here. I just hope that this doesn't get overturned in CA, because that would be such a setback for humanity as a whole.
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This was a decision by the California supreme court not the federal supreme court. Also this is a state law not a federal law that was overturned.

This is why the state supreme court of California was allowed to over turn the ban on gay marriage in California.

Most state supreme courts have implemented "discretionary review," like their federal counterpart. Under such a system, intermediate appellate courts are entrusted with deciding the vast majority of appeals. For certain limited categories of cases, the state supreme court still operates under mandatory review, usually with regard to cases involving the interpretation of the state constitution or capital punishment. But for the vast majority, the state supreme court possesses the discretion to grant certiorari (known as review in states that discourage the use of Latin). These cases usually pertain to issues which different appellate courts within its jurisdiction have decided differently, or highly controversial cases involving a completely new legal issue never seen in that state.

Because there was a California constitutional ban on gay marriage there were a certain amount of people that appealed the decision in the California court system to the California supreme court by saying it violated their California constitutional rights of equality. And since they hear appeals that deal with interpretation of the California constitution, they heard this appeal and based on the appeal, interpreted it to conflict with a person's right of equality as described in the constitution of California. Therefore they overturned the law based on it being unconstitutional with the state of California's constitution.

If there is ever such a horrible day that the American people decide to vote for a federal ban on gay marriage through amending the Constitution of the United States, then the decision put forth by the California supreme court can be appealed to the federal supreme court. Because it can be argued that the state supreme courts ruling is in violation of federal constitutional law.

The duties of the federal supreme court are to interpret laws and can overturn laws they deem unconstitutional.

Both state supreme courts and the federal supreme court basically have the same duties and serve the same purpose the main difference is that the state supreme court deals with the jurisdiction of its respective state and the federal supreme court deals with federal law for the entire United States. And the decision of the federal supreme court trumps that of the state supreme court.

This is all part of the system of checks and balances set forth in the federal constitution of the United States and is used by the governments at state levels as well. All done to make sure no single institution could have all the power and in order to make sure laws are not put forth that violate the constitutional rights of individuals whether it be at a state or federal level.
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I'm not against gay partnerships and I wouldn't want to force my views on anyone.

But I feel obligated to mention that 'marriage' is one of those 'bullshit' religious institutions that religions 'force' on people.

If you don't agree, then how do you reconcile the fact that religious parents - if not outright forcing it - desire that their children marry before having sex?

It's ironic to me.. it's ironic because they're fighting for the right to be religious! After all what's wrong with a civil-union which already gives parnters equal rights?

Before anyone dismisses my comments here. As a Christian I think Christians should actually be at least content that gay couples have won the right to marry. Marriage in itself demonstrates commitment and it hopefully prevents sexual promiscurity.

The truth is that adultery and divorce ruin families, not gay people- and the church really has to get a grip on that before attacking other peoples sexual issues.
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After 21 years together, I doubt Takei and Altman will be contributing to the divorce pool. Its a shame they had to wait til they were elderly to make it legal. Look at the picture. You don't see that kind of happiness every day.
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Marriage isn't necessarily a religious union. And it sure isn't anymore. Its one of those financial agreements (hey, remember dowry's?) thats masqueraded with a bunch of Bible buzz words.
And while I'm sure many Gay couples would love to have the same kind of commitment and benefits as a married couple, a civil union and a marriage are not the same and they aren't recognized as the same.

Also, why hasnt anyone had the same kind of opposition to Atheists getting married?
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congrats to the newly engaged couple.

As it should be for any couple.

I'm not a US american, let alone a Californian, but there has always been one line from your countries history that I always thought should apply.

No taxation without representation.

The second class citizen status that the illegality of homosexuality, the banning of same sex marriage,the fact that life long partners could not be the beneficiarioes of pensions and had no rights in the event of death of their loved ones, always seemed that they were workling and being taxed but systematically excluded from being represented.

Nice to see that citizenship has become inclusive of all your gay and lesbian Californian brothers and sisters.
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I'm a Christian, and I was raised to believe that homosexuality is wrong. However, I have also been raised to respect the US Constitution, and that's why I'm glad that gays can marry, and I wish more states would follow California. The US Constitution promises that the government will not adopt any official religion. All arguments against gay (and lesbian) marriage are religion-based. So it is unconstitutional to prohibit gay marriage. By preventing gays from marrying, you are forcing Christian/Muslim beliefs on people who may not espouse those beliefs. The choice to marry homosexuals or not should be left up to individual people and churches, not the government.
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"Eating your own feces is also common among many species."

*heh* Somebody obviously hasn't been surfing the internet very broadly.

My joke about the detractors was along the lines of Vako, but the other direction. If they really wanted to stop gay marriage, they should have outlawed gay divorce. *rimshot*
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"And since we know the Bible has many other rather dubious prohibitions that are conveniently ignored, it always amazes me that people manage to cherry-pick the admonitions that seem to support their prejudices and still keep a straight face."
Beautifully said, Violet!! That is exactly true. I come from a fundamentalist upbringing (I have fully recovered, by the way) and remember asking my mom during a boring church service about one passage in Leviticus (same book that says homosexuality is a sin)--it said that a person shall not cut their hair, tattoo their skin or wear mixed fabrics. I guess with my rayon blend shirt, tattooed body and stylishly cut hair, I will be burning in hell with my gay brother. *shrugs* Oh well!!
Congrats to all the newlywed Californians!!
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I always knew there was something funny about Mr. Sulu; now I know.

All the comments regarding marriage being based in religion make me a little confused. Sure, most marriages are performed in churches, but that's a tradition thing. If you look at cultures where there is no formal religion, male/female marriage unions can still be identified easily, and marriage ceremonies are common. But look for same-sex marriages in those places... None to be found. From that I'd conclude that marriage between a man and woman is a natural thing, and homosexual marriage is not.

Do homosexual relationships occur in the animal kingdom? Occasionally, but it's rarer than those who bring it up in defense of same-sex unions care to acknowledge. And when it does occur it's usually something that helps males determine pecking order, not long-term relationships. You Darwinists ought to be able to confirm that homosexuality is one trait that would not likely be passed on to succeeding generations; if it is inherited it's an aberration at best. And in today's human society, I'd dare say that homosexuality for most individuals is more of a learned behavior than anything else.

And the claims that it's a civil rights issue... Not.
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I don't see how its not a civil rights issue. If I have the right to get married, why shouldn't the gays? Without same sex marriage, homosexual partners cannot get power of attorney over the other in the event of an accident that left one person in a coma. If there were no will, and one partner died, the other would get nothing, and all assets would go to next of kin instead of spouse. Hell, there are still several states where its totally legal to discriminate against gays in the workplace, even firing them for no reason other than being gay. Not a civil rights issue? Run that one by me again.
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I'm happy for them (and for all the others who will now be allowed to marry). Heck, after 21 years, they're a lot more committed than a lot of heterosexual couples!
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Benjamin Franklin said that democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

@Rectify made eloquently clear all the reasons for the checks and balances, but it's really very simply: the rule of the majority, but with protections for the minority.

Just because you are a minority does not mean you lose. It is supposed to mean that you are still protected under the law. "Equal protection under the law" is supposed to mean something, and finally it is starting to for this part of our population.
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Another bright ray in the gloomy modern world. And another is that, in 50-some comments on this thread, everyone seems okay with this. I'd expected a lot of reactionary homophobia and poorly-spelled name-calling from the resident Neanderthals.

Yes, marriage was originally a religious institution. But it has been thoroughly secularized and thus religious definitions of secular marriage can no longer apply.

Congratulations to George and Brad and all the other couples.
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George and Brad will be married in September. The measure to overturn this ruling is already on California's November ballot. Those who oppose gay marriage will be working very hard to see that measure passed.

I hope the voters insure that George and Brad will have many many uncontested years of matrimonial harmony.
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Congrats George and Brad! I am a happily married heterosexual woman, and I am thrilled that gay couples in CA can have the same rights and respect that my husband and I have. Love is so hard to come by in this world, I think it's a good thing in whatever form it takes. I'm pleasantly suprised to see all of the positive comments from others as well. As to those who object on religious grounds, anytime someone claims to KNOW absolutely what God thinks and wants and likes, I have to be very skeptical of what they say!
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I have yet to see a single argument against homosexuality that wasn't religiously based. Anyone who thinks this is 'wrong' should consider another aspect of something that is ultimately a birth issue. Should it be illegal for black people to get married? Why then can't gays get married?

Any justification against equal rights, religious or not, is discrimination.

And religious folks, I believe your very own Jesus said "Love one another, as I have loved you." Follow this advice more often, please.
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I, for one, am not surprised by the outpouring of support and overwhelming positivity here . . . Neatorama readers rule! I really appreciate that there are so many supportive people out there . . . the media would have us believe the whole world is against us. Nicely done, fellow commenters, nicely done. : P
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Marriage might be a religious institution for some, but it's primarily a legal institution, and that's all that SHOULD matter according to our government's rules (if they would actually adhere to the whole separation of church & state thing).

As for George and Brad.. how anyone can look at that photo and not be filled with joy and happiness for such a perfect couple is beyond me.
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"You Darwinists"

Looks like someone from the flat-earth society crashed the thread. So do you plan on riding dinosaurs when you get to heaven? LOL
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@ JamesM: "I have yet to see a single argument against homosexuality that wasn’t religiously based."

Apparently you didn't read my comments above?

@ Xinavera: Guess it didn't take long for the name-calling to start; didn't even require much prompting for you to bring up the Neanderthal thing. Thanks for nullifying your own argument.

A positive outpouring of support in forum like this isn't necessarily a sign of wider acceptance of this sort of thing.
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Good points Dave; it's funny that in the same breath people are defending one group while condemning another.

We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson
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Beautifully clear wonderfully informed argument. Thank you for posting it.
I am very pleased for couples in California. All happiness to them.
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Just as I am not able to do whatever I want. A Man and a woman has always been right. Man and man, is against nature, and is the sin of Sodomy. I hope you post this comment, But you prob will not. Be a real man or ladie and post this
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I can't see anything legally wrong with same-sex marriage, but I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God so I can't support same-sex marriage either. I believe that families are happiest when founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ. For more information on strengthening the family, read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” at Here's the link:
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