Court Issues Ruling On Transitive Verbs In Gay Marriage Case

A California Court has ruled that proposition 8 — which, if passed, will change the California constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry — can be officially described as: “Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.”

The folks behind proposition 8 had sued to… well, to prevent voters from being told exactly what their measure does. Apparently they feel that the more voters know what proposition 8 does, the fewer will vote for it.

Best line from the judge’s ruling (pdf link):

There is nothing inherently argumentative or prejudicial about transitive verbs, and the Court is not willing to fashion a rule that would require the Attorney General to engage in useless nominalization.

Personally, I’d enjoy watching the news if high government officials were required to engage in useless nominalization at all times.

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5 Responses to Court Issues Ruling On Transitive Verbs In Gay Marriage Case

  1. 1
    DSimon says:

    Personally, I’d enjoy watching the news if high government officials were required to engage in useless nominalization at all times.

    Or, heck, just useless nomation. No, as a matter of fact, I can’t resist any urge to propagate silly Internet memes. Why do you ask?

    Terminology’s an important fight, even though it shouldn’t be; how many people base their votes and opinions entirely off the first line? Perhaps it would be better if D’s and R’s were forced, with every proposal, to compromise on boring but straightforward names (i.e. not “No Child Left Behind”, but not “Let’s Merrily Screw Over Our Kids” either, just something like “Increasing Standardized Testing Emphasis”).

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  3. 2
    Chino Blanco says:

    Considering that ProtectMarriage.com has decided NOT to appeal the ballot language, what chance do you really see for Prop 8 to pass? I just don’t see a majority of Californians voting YES on a proposition titled ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY.

    Once the churches realize that Prop 8 is an almost guaranteed loser, are they going to do the right thing and let their members know? If not, what happens after Prop 8 loses by 40-60 (or worse), and then the members find out that the church leadership was privy all along to internal polling that predicted a crushing defeat? Do the members get their money back?

    Or do they get stuck paying for ads that were run by a campaign that knew it was going to lose but ran them anyway!

  4. 3
    Thene says:

    A few years ago a friend in, iirc, Michigan, told me how misleading language had led her to be coerced into signing a petition to have an anti-same-sex-marriage proposal put on the ballot. The people she’d talked to had pretended it had been about some other issue entirely. When it went to ballot here in Georgia, two women I know who both firmly support gay rights went to vote together, and one voted ‘yes’ to a bizarrely-worded proposition, the other ‘no’, and to this day neither of them knows which of their votes reflected their true intentions.

    This is a serious issue, but one that betrays the weakness of anti-gay arguments; they know that even in supposedly conservative states, people are far more likely to let their amendment pass if they have no frigging idea what it means. LGBT organisations on the ground have to be prepared to work against this, by making the real meaning of such measures as clear as possible.

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