Local gay couples say 'I do' | July 4, 2008 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |


Mountain View Voice

News - July 4, 2008

Local gay couples say 'I do'

Mountain View couples wed after state Supreme Court ruling

by Casey Weiss

It is a warm Friday afternoon with the sun lighting the fountain in C.W. Hobbs and Stephen Carney's back yard. The two jokingly say they originally bought the property for the garden, and the Eichler just happened to be attached.

Next month, this yard will be the setting as the Mountain View couple exchanges vows. Plans for the ceremony were made soon after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage on May 16.

The couple will marry on Aug. 1, their 27th anniversary, during a ceremony with a close group of family members and officiated by Supervisor Ken Yeager, the first openly gay elected official in Santa Clara County. They join thousands of gay couples exchanging vows following the ruling, which held that a same-sex marriage ban violated the state Constitution's equal protection guarantee.

"I wasn't planning on getting married, but now it's an option," Hobbs said.

California residents will vote on a constitutional amendment in November to ban same-sex marriage.

Mountain View played a special role in the ruling since two of the plaintiffs, Art Adams and Devin Baker, are former Mountain View residents and were active in the gay community here. After the ruling they celebrated with their friends Tom Ammon and Gary Lawson, also Mountain View residents, who are tying the knot this Monday in Arroyo Grande — 28 years after they first moved in together.

Ammon and Lawson, both 56, live near Huff Elementary School, and have helped raise four foster children. They tried to get married in 2004, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom briefly legalized same-sex marriage, but this time they know the state is behind them.

As for Carney, 50, and Hobbs, 55, they wore rings on their fingers long before the ruling. Both couples are classified as domestic partners, meaning they receive many of the same rights that married heterosexual couples do, including visitation rights in the hospital.

But the new ruling grants "fundamental rights," Hobbs said.

"It is for real. You are a first-class citizen," Carney said. "Separate is not equal," he added, saying domestic partnership unfairly distinguished his relationship from those of straight couples.

The two say they intend to speak out on the issue, at least until November when California votes on the same-sex marriage ban. Instead of asking for presents, they requests that friends and family make donations to the Equality for All campaign, a coalition working to defeat the November initiative.

"We already have a toaster," Hobbs said.

Both couples are involved with Outlet, a subgroup of the Community Health Awareness Council for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

"We are not political activists, but it helps to put a face on things," Hobbs said. "We can be the face for our neighborhood."

Lawson said that even "living our lives the way we do" is a political act.

"Wearing wedding bands and telling people, 'I am married, and my husband's name is ...' that is political."

Still, Lawson and Ammon said the Bay Area is different from most the country on the issue of gay marriage.

"The Bay Area is a bubble," Lawson said. "We just got back from Kentucky, so we were reminded how life could be."

E-mail Casey Weiss at cweiss@mv-voice.com


Posted by Betty, a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 4, 2008 at 12:26 pm

I don't recall voting for gay rights. Not everyone is happy with the courts ruling.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Betty, I suppose that you were against desegregation, too? Do you feel wronged that you didnt get to vote to close the internment camps after WWII?

This harms you not at all. Repressing the freedom of others is unamerican

Posted by Betty, a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2008 at 6:57 pm

One should not compare freedom, slavery, to gay rights. The San Francisco judge has lost his mind.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2008 at 12:12 am

I didnt mention slavery. So, you're saying that only SOME rights and freedoms are important? A lot of people said that giving women the vote was crazy, too. Who gets to pick which liberties matter- you?

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 6, 2008 at 3:07 pm

I just went to my friend's wedding. They had been married for many years at their Church, but they decided to go to the county and do it. My wife and I were witnesses. It last 6 minutes! Is that why Betty is so upset? God wasn't mentioned once. The State has no business interfering with religion and religion has no business interfering with the state. Quite frankly, their religious ceremony was way more moving and far more gorgeous. This ceremony down the county was pedestrian! Everyone should have the right to a pedestrian wedding, if you ask me... it's up to the Churches if they want to allow them a moving and gorgeous ceremony in their pews.

Don't be so upset Betty... Judges have the right to change what the majority has voted on. If we had coward judges, we would still have many immoral laws (slavery, segregation, women without the right to vote, etc... ) so chill, it's summer. Have a mojito and be happy!
Nobody is going to steal your husband (or future husband)!

Posted by Mary, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 6, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Congrats C.W> and Stephen. God Bless you!

"No State can so deem a class of citizens a stranger to its laws"
Justice Kennedy

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I don't see problem with this, way to go you 2

Posted by We're getting married too!, a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Congrats! My partner and I are getting married this month by our pastor, in our church, with our children :-)

I think it's fine to be against same sex marriage, it's your right. It's also our right to be for it! What is wrong with people loving each other? Being against sam sex marriage means your against people loving one another. A study was done that showed people who felt strongly against homosexuality, were actually more aroused by homosexual content than people who felt neutral! Google the study :-P

Posted by Virginia, a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 7, 2008 at 9:14 am

Why would you think you get to vote for someone else to have rights? Equality under the law, ever hear about it, Betty?

Posted by Liz, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2008 at 4:33 pm

All I can say is congrats to all the new couples. I wish you lot's of love and joy with your partners. For those who do not like the idea of Gay Couples getting married I say get over it. I'm not gay but I feel if you love someone why not be able to express your love.

Posted by An Old Joke, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Betty - it's an old joke, but fitting...if you don't support gay marriage then don't marry a gay person.

Congrats to all the new engagements and new marriages.

Posted by art, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2008 at 5:00 pm


Let us recall that we live in a country where religion is separate from our government. Marriage is not neceesarily a religious institution, it is also a civil one. Countries including Spain and Canada grant marriages to same sex couples and the US should too. California is leading the way in providing marriage to gay couples-this is a good thing! Amen!


Posted by Repent Now, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 9, 2008 at 3:38 am

[Post removed by Mountain View Voice staff.]

Posted by Repent Now, a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2008 at 4:01 am

God told me to that I should repent for the last comment I made. Sorry about that.
God Loves all of us.

The people of California already voted against Gay Marriage. We know that Marriage should only be defined as between a Man and a woman, because all marriages are not equal. Gay Marriage is confusing children and teaches that all marriages are equal. The Liberals are pushing the gay agenda because they are funded by the NWO's plan for the breakdown of society and the family structure.

They are also using this issue to take attention away from the real issues. Trillions of dollars are being spent on war. The federal reserve is screwing this nation's currency. That is why Gas prices are so high. Our constitutional are rights being taken away in the name of nation security. The Government funds Al Queda. The Global Warming Scam which is going to tax the people to death and limit families to a one child policy which is funded by the top eugenics people who are Nazi Scientists. There is a mind going on for your mind
Check out infowars.com

Posted by Betty, a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 9, 2008 at 11:55 am

To repent thanks

Posted by Steve, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 9, 2008 at 4:48 pm

To Betty and Repent: THANK YOU!

Thank you for reminding me how important it is to speak out against homophobia and hatred. I'll always make sure my voice is heard.

Thank you for reminding me that some people will always view me and my current domestic partner/soon-to-be husband as second class citizens. I'll never let my guard down.

Thank you for reminding me to be proud of who I am.

Thank you for pointing out that I have the right to love and marry who I choose and so does everybody else.

Thank you for reminding everyone why it is so important toget out and VOTE AGAINST THE BAN.

Posted by Bible Reader And Straight but not narrow, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 9, 2008 at 10:03 pm


I hope you don't eat shrimp! I hope you don't have gates around your garden so that those who walk by may eat the fruits you have planted. (It's all in the Bible)

Also Betty, if your husband were to die, your brother in law, according to the Bible, should impregnate you! -- that to me, would be far more of a threat to the fabric of this society than a bunch of gay people getting married!

Oh yeah... then there is Saloman:

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine."

-- Song of Soloman


Yes, the question of gay marriage is pushed up to the top so we forget the real issues. But that is not a trick of those supporting gay marriage, but a trick used by those against it who also happen to be responsible for the sorry state this country is in.


Congrats to all of you who are getting married. I think you are all fools for wanting to joint what is a failed institution (have you seen the stats on divorce rates? Spouse abuse? Child abuse by parents? Cheating?)

Congratulations anyways. Every citizen of this country should have the right to hell if they want it!



Let's not embarass ourselves by blaming 2,000+ years of imperfections of our marriages on those who until now had no right to marry at all. Vote against the constitutional ammendment in November. It is important that we do not write discrimination into document that is to protect citizens, not to make their lives miserable!

Just my 2 cents!

Posted by Ned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 10, 2008 at 7:16 am

Let's open up Mountain View to low-income, illegal, latino gay couples with gang backgrounds. Then we can all strip naked and jump into the Eagle Park pool and celebrate the city's diverstiy!

Posted by Resident, a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2008 at 8:38 am

Bible Reader

You can have your opinions, you are entitled to them.

But, if you do read the Bible then you realise that you were quoting out of context. For example, if you read the book of Solomon, you will know that it is about a love story between a man and his bride and the story of their marriage. The "me" is quoting the wife and it is not Solomon speaking in the first person.

Posted by Tho. Jefferson, a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2008 at 11:16 am


Whatever bro. ... I guess there was some kind of point you were making there?

The Bible says x, y and z about gays and marriage. Modern people say a, b and c about it. None of that matters. What matters is that this country continues to hold dear one of her proudest traditions: the separation of church and state.

Posted by What?, a resident of Castro City
on Jul 10, 2008 at 1:09 pm

So Ned... what really was your point dude? I do like your suggestion though I grt the irony. If Americans had more fun we'd not be bombing other countries as a distraction...

Posted by Matt, a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2008 at 1:52 am

First, I want to say how sad I am that my neighborhood, between Old Middlefield and 101 doesn't have a name.

Second, I want to correct Steve of Shoreline West. It was not judges who ended slavery and gave women the political right to vote. It was Congress and 2/3 of the state legislatures that amended the Constitution. Judges had nothing to do with it. (You might also be surprised by the fact that both of these amendments were passed by Republican controlled Congresses. Republicans have always been out front on the political rights of women and blacks.)

Third, I am appalled that judges would over-rule the will of the people for any reason.

Fourth, I do not understand the description of equality that many people seem to offer. Prior to the judiciary's unseemly behavior no one could marry someone of the same sex. In that we were equal. Is it the courts reasoning that anyone should be permitted to marry anyone as long as the parties agree? If so, and I really am not trying to be inflammatory, why is polygamy still against California law? Are we treating polyamorists unequally? If we accept the reasoning of the California Supreme Court, yes, we are.

4. There seems to be some kind of strange disconnect between modern legal thought (e.g. Marriage is about love and happiness) and the legal thought of the preceding thousands of years (e.g. Marriage is about children and property). We are on untested ground. How long before someone sues me because I do not make them happy? How long before someone sues you because you do not make them feel loved? Property can be accounted for. Judges can issue orders to bad parents to provide food and shelter and clothing for their children. But who can measure happiness and love? How can those non-physical goods be managed by the courts? The court should get out of the love and happiness business.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2008 at 10:32 am

Matt, there are so many holes in your arguement that I dont know where to begin.

- It is the PURPOSE of the Judicial branch to protect citizens and their individual rights from "the tyranny of the majority". It is a concept rooted in the oldest seeds of our democracy-- it is the most basic, core concept of democracy and what seperates it from mob rule. The judicial branch did not abolish slavery, as you accurately point out, but is has overturned countless laws where the "will of the people" stripped certain groups of basic liberties.

- The actions of the Republican party from over a century ago could not be less relevant. I dont recognize the party compared to that of 12 years ago.

- The polygamy argument is an utter red herring not worth discussing.

- I agree- marriage IS about children and property rights-- an excellent argument in favor of gay marriage (most gay couples I know personally have kids and/or own property together). It is also a personal freedom-- a choice. Your 19th century Republicans were champions of that. What happened?

Posted by Homer, a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2008 at 10:51 am


I actually kind of like your argument, although eric accurately pointed out its problems. He noted this too, but I'd like to elaborate on your comment "Republicans have always been out front on the political rights of women and blacks" ... it's really more like "HAD always been out front." Nixon pioneered the modern divide-and-conquer strategy which put Republicans on the wrong end of civil rights (they were angling for all the angry racist "Dixiecrats" in the South, who felt betrayed by Johnson's Civil Rights Act) and Reagan perfected it. Unfortunately, the GOP never looked back.

Posted by Homer, a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2008 at 10:52 am

Oh and as for your neighborhood, what should we call it?

Posted by Matt, a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:45 pm


They weren't my 19th century Republicans. I'm a micro-government libertarian.

I don't object to the judiciary protecting the rights of minorities. But until the court made its decision no such right existed in California. I think that your statement that the court protected minorities when "'will of the people' stripped certain groups of basic liberties" is correct. But that is not what happened. Homosexual couples did not have a right stripped away. They never had the right. The court said they should even though the legislative voice of the people said "no". You don't think that is offensive? What other rights might the court invent? It is frightening to contemplate. And the reason it is frightening is that every individual right is enforceable on the rest of the population. If you have a right to your property it means no one else can have it, even if others think private property is a fiction. If someone has a right to marry homosexually, everyone else must treat that relationship as marriage, even if they think it is fiction. But it can go on an on. What if the court decides that every child has a right to college education? What if the court decides there is a universal right to own car? Do you see what happens? Everyone else must act to protect that right, and even provide the right, for what good is a right that can't be enjoyed? My argument isn't against homosexual marriage, per se. It is against the power the courts have assumed.

And I don't think the polygamy thing is a red herring. People who favor the courts decision say it is, but it looks to me that a case can be built for it in the courts own reasoning. Polyamorists are a minority who what to marry each other but we do not let them. It is number discrimination. (I do agree with supporters of the courts decision that the beastiality argument is a red herring. I can't see that in the courts reasoning. It assumes we can know the mind of an animal.) I wish you would explain how the polygamy argument is a red herring. I hear supports of the court's decision say it is but never explain why they say it is.

I'm sorry, but you misunderstood what I was saying about children and property. None of the homosexual couples you know produced children. Children produced by marriage have a an automatic claim on their parents property. Marriage protects the children of the wife from being deprived of their father's property. Until recently, in California children of other men were still entitled to the fiancial support of their mothers' husbands. For example, say woman commits adultery and becomes pregnant but the husband forgives her and does not divorce her. The child that is born has a right to the support of the husband.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Matt, if you read any of the decisions on this subject you'll see the polygamy argument addressed more eloquently than I can. If nothing else, it is a completely distinct issue that would be decided on its own merits.

All coservatives like to call themselves libertarians. Like most who try to apply that label, you clearly are not. The courts found that a right was being withheld from a certain group-- gay people have always had the moral authority- Natural Law, if you will, to live their lives as they see fit, but governments and churches have withheld their ability to have their rights recognized. The courts "created" nothing. A true libertarian would see that, and would have applauded my 'tyrrany of the majority' comment as defining the SOLE legitimate purpose of government.

Blacks never had the ability to vote, own property, etc, in this country prior to legislative and judicial intervention. Were these rights "created"?

Many gay couples produce children via surrogates or donors. You imply that adoptive parents, gay or straight, should be treated differently under the law. Is that really what you mean?

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 24, 2008 at 6:59 pm

eric, the way you constantly badger posters with your version of the world earns you the title of a little twit. Look it up if you don't know what it means. What it your problem? Are you a frustrated closet intellectual?

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2008 at 10:34 pm

I know-- its horrible when people debate issues and all, isnt it?

Posted by Liz, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 25, 2008 at 8:59 am

more like an obsession of eric forcing his opinion and always trying to get the last word in

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2008 at 10:39 am

Odd that the person I was disucssing the issue with hasnt complained, as we were going back and forth on various points of our repsective arguments-- you know, having a conversation, debating the facts, what have you

Posted by registered user, Don Frances, a resident of Mountain View Voice Editor
on Jul 25, 2008 at 1:20 pm


Eric is absolutely right, he's doing what Town Square was designed for: debating issues, in an intelligent and mature manner. By contrast, you call him a "twit." Comments like that are unwelcome here; we insist that posters rise above childish insults.

If you want to talk to me about this privately, call me at the Voice office or write editor@mv-voice.com.

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 25, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Don, a little santimonious I'd say coming from an editor that puts White Boy and Preggers in the headlines. I'll settle for [Post removed by Mountain View Voice staff.]

How about some coverage of the most recent homicide in Mountain View? Two weeks with no coverage or follow-up? What kind of paper is this?

Posted by registered user, Don Frances, a resident of Mountain View Voice Editor
on Jul 25, 2008 at 10:01 pm

The kind of paper you don't have to read. You're welcome to take your readership, and better yet your comments, elsewhere.

I don't mind your criticism of my work (it goes with the territory), but if you can't control yourself on Town Square, spare us both the trouble and post somewhere else.

Posted by PA resident, a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2008 at 2:34 pm


We love your type of debate in Palo Alto. If you are the Eric of Mountain View who often drops in on our conversation, you are welcome. We love debate and our Town Square is much more utilised than yours, but we do have our fair share of nutters too.

Posted by Brons, a resident of another community
on Aug 3, 2008 at 7:49 pm

On the off chance that CW and Steve stop by here and read this, Congratulations, guys! I'm glad that your state has followed suit with mine in recognizing the injustice of marriage inequality. My next contribution to Mass Equality or Equality for All will be a bit bigger, in your name.

Best of luck. Long time, no see.

JimB. aka Brons, late of ZK, still in Maynard.

Posted by CW&Stephen, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 9, 2008 at 9:18 am

Thanks for all the comments on both sides.

We had the ceremony on the 1st, Supervisor Ken Yeager came by the house to officiate.

As Brons knows, we met in ZK in 1981....