George Takei Speaks Out Against CA Supreme Court Ruling on Prop 8 [UPDATED]

Last September the original Sulu, George Takei wed his long-time partner Brad Altman (see TM story), but in November California voters amended the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Today the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, but also declared marriages completed before Prop 8 (like Takei’s) to be valid. However, Takei is still not happy about the ruling and has made a statement. [UPDATED: more Takei statements on video]


Takei talks out
This afternoon Takei tells TV Guide:

They decided to be indecisive. It was a ruling that doesn’t resolve anything because there is still inequality. It’s like [George Orwell’s Animal Farm] — some pigs are more equal than other pigs. We’re more equal than some of the other gays and lesbians.

Takei remains hopeful that voters will change their mind with a new Proposition in 2010, or the the US Supreme Court will overturn the state ruling.

More on the California Supreme Court ruling at LA Times, More on Takei’s reaction at TVGuide.

Brad and George at the September wedding joined by Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig (AP)

UPDATED: Takei on Video

George Takei has given more statements today regarding the ruling. Here is one from AP:

And here is Takei debating the issue with Rev. Lou Sheldon on KTLA:


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I am sad to hear that institutionalized inequality is still practiced in this country.

We see it in laws regarding marriage and those who decide to serve in our military.

The government really needs to get its nose out of relationships, who one loves, etc.

Hopefully, in TREK’s time this will all be a historical footnote.

California has voted. After all, the US is a democracy and the majority has spoken. Good luck Brad and George.

I would hope that all posters below remain respectful, despite opinions on both sides.
I can see his point, even though I disagree with their life choices. It’s not my place or the states to determine who can marry, IMO.

Fortunately, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so to speak. The fact remains that a future ballot initiative could re-establish marriage equality. 2% is a pretty narrow margin.

The ruling was stupid… and how appropriate that Takei speaks out against it. I’d love to see the idea of homosexuals (among others) with the exact same rights as everyone else.We’ve a LONG way to go to reach the utopia of Trek’s Earth, but it’s so appropriate to have Takei as a cast member speaking out. The cast still stands as an excellent representation of a melting pot of equality.

I’ve heard people elsewhere comment that they hope for his own sake that he moves to a more tolerant place. I hope he stays in my state and fights for his rights.

The problem with what just happened in CA is that they have allowed tyranny of the majority over the minority. This can, and has caused all kinds of problems throughout human history.

California has voted Brad?

To those who are opposed – stop and think what Star Trek stands for – diversity and tolerance, not just phasers and photon torpedoes. It stands for a world where everyone has the right to be with the being they choose – same sex, opposite sex, Vulcan, Romulan, Hologram – and so on.

To those who would say, well it doesn’t affect ME, so why care – you have to ask yourself, what if it WERE me? Or what if the ruling said that Blacks or Hispanics could not get married – would you be so quick to support Prop 8?

Actually, the US is a representative republic with its representatives (officials) chosen by a democratic process. Just sayin’.

And saying, as you did, good luck to Brad and George. Continued best wishes!

Of all the things for the government to get all hedged up and confused about. You have two people who love each other and are willing to make a commitment that IN NO WAY takes away from anyone else’s commitment. And the government, and by the same token, fearful populace, can’t let go of their incorrect pre-conceptions about someone else’s lifestyle to allow them to make their commitment to each other legal.

What a sad day it is when ignorance and fear wins out over love.

7. Claystation:

So, can we say the same about Obama’s election?

9. THX-1138

Sooo true. When will the ignorance and fear over polygamy, pedophilia, and incest ever end? It’s all about love!!

I honestly hope that ALL the posts here remain respectful. As for the matter of gay marriages I think it’s none of the state’s nor the majority’s business how other people decide to live their lifes. So I totally agree with Mr. Takei.


I’d prefer that we leave articles of this nature out of

George is 100% entitled to his comments and I support his stance. I’m certain we’ll get to the point that any two people, regardless of gender or any other difference, will be allowed to have a full, legal union recogonized by the state.

However, the ruling today was about the voters right to use the proposition system to adjust the constitution. It was not about same-sex marriage, even though that is the immedate effect.

So, please report it properly, or leave it out.
This is not the forumto debate these issues.

I don’t know what kind of canon-defending Gene Roddenberry Trekkie would step up and disrespect George Takei here…

Can’t really picture Mr. Spock as an opponent of equal rights.

I’m gay. I’d like to get married some time. When can I look forward to voting on straight peoples’ rights?

I’d hate to live in the USA, bible bashing government just as bad as a Muslim state. They’ll be stoning gays in America next !!!! Glad George got in quick (“,)

We should eliminate the state’s ability to regulate marriage… If a union is sanctioned by the state, it’s a Civil Union… if you want to be “married’, find a church that will perform the ceremony. The bigger issue is not what California decides, but whether the Federal Government will move to make same-sex unions recognized, which would then allow for sharing of benefits between partners. California already has such laws on the books, so that partners within recognized “civil unions” have the same rights as married individuals (though not by the same name). Even if the California Prop was overturned, married couples in California would not get their same-sex partner’s Social Security benefits, etc. The prop really didn’t do anything except define marriage as between and male/female couple, but civil unions in our state carry the same general benefits. This is not true in other states, but the Federal issues are much bigger.

#2 ……Your right the majority did speak in California…….Just like the Majority spoke in all of the Southern and some Northern States in the first part of the 20th century in numerous laws taking numerous rights away from African Americans, and had it not been for the Federal Supreme Court FORCING states to desegregate, we could still have Legally, Majority voted for Segregation against African Americans.

It was not until 1999 that an interracial couple could marry in South Carolina. There certainly was not a “Moral Majority” in South Carolina that overturned that law, I suspect had their been a voter referendum here in South Carolina in 1999 it would have upheld that law with a similar majority to California’s Prop. 8. But as you said, we are Democracy, so as long as we vote in Majority to discriminate it’s ok.

Funny, I don’t think Spock would follow that logic, I know I don’t.

=== decloaking ===

15. Cheka

By voting against Prop 8, you are voting on straight people’s rights.

Actually, if it were up to me, the government would have no say in anyone’s marriage. Government involvement takes an agreement between two people who come together in love into a legally binding contract (with men getting the short end).

But then government involvement is what Obama is all about.

=== recloaking===

Let me just throw a question out there…

Forget the California constitution for the time being. Would Prop 8 stand under the Federation Charter and other Trek law that we’ve seen discussed about over the years?

Maybe there’s something about marriage rights in the Fundamental Declarations of the Martian Colonies…

And it never comes to your mind that most people are just plain stupid? If you have the opportunity to vote for one of two options and one option is as massively advertised and supported like it was with Prop 8, most people who actually don’t have an opinion will vote for that option.

“By voting against Prop 8, you are voting on straight people’s rights.”

#19, can you explain that to me please? Correct me if I’m wrong, but allowing same-sex couples to marry does nothing to heterosexual marriages.

Dunsel Report:

Can’t really see Spock or the Federation advocating the killing of innocent, unborn human life, but I’m fairly confident that’s the default position here.

Besides,this argument is not about equality anyway. This is about legitimizing and forcing a particular lifestyle upon the public. We all have the same, equal right to marry any person of the opposite sex we choose.

(Just to show you how the argument would go in Star Trek)

Worf and Jadzia’s marriage should be invalidated!!!

We must protect our children from the savageness of Klingon culture!

If Worf and Jadzia are allowed to get married, the whole fabric of our society will come unraveled!!

21. Markus:

Yeah. Like there’s no adverstising or mass media campaign on tv and movies and the news all pushing the gay marriage agenda. Please. We are practically bullied into agreeing with it.


I don’t understand how a basic human right can become something to be voted on. What’s next do you vote on taking away existing rights? Do you vote on a woman’s right to vote?

A proud Canadian


=== decloaking===

22. Cheka

See 23. JH



Take it from Gene Roddenberry Himself;

“Mass communications is our language today between one another, and we can’t say, ‘Well, let’s not talk about anything serious on television.’ That is a criminal statement and a criminal intention. In my opinion, the audience is way ahead of our government leaders. I think the government leaders should catch up with our audience, and then we’d have 21st century dreams right now.”

“We grow – we humans actually grow.'” (In reference to the fact that women didn’t like a fellow woman as second-in-command in the original pilot).

“I have always been reasonably leery of religion because there are so many edicts in religion, ‘thou shalt not,’ or ‘thou shalt.’ I wanted my world of the future to be clear of that.”

“Although we were in a seemingly simplistic medium (television), this simplistic medium allowed us to really ask very deep questions. And we didn’t always give deep answers, because it wasn’t possible. That’s why the audience, over the last 25 years has stayed with ‘Star Trek’.”

The Creator of Star Trek said all of that, not me………..

#11 –
What can I say? Your ignorance is simply amazing!! In your twisted, very little mind gay marriage between two loving and commited people = polygamy, incest, and pedophelia?


That’s just offensive. Allowing gay marriage does not “force a particular lifestyle” (and I’ve never liked that word – I can tell you honestly, it is not a choice. With the amount of bullying I got in school because of it I sometimes wished I was straight). Nor does banning gay marriage make said “lifestyle” disappear.

If gay marriage was legalised, we would simple have the equal right to marry the person we love, whoever they are.

#23: Spock, anti-abortion? But he’s from a planet that lets its seven-year-olds risk being killed by monsters in the desert during the Kahs-Wan ritual. I doubt the Vulcans are locking up OB/GYNs.

Prop 8 was passed by:

1) An explosion of the Hispanic population in CA in recent years. Most of them are Catholic, have as many kids as possible, and see homosexuality as a sin.
2) An overwhelming percent of African Americans voting for Proposition 8, which is ludicrous since they were once a repressed minority

“Sooo true. When will the ignorance and fear over polygamy, pedophilia, and incest ever end? It’s all about love!!”

Well…this is evidence that IGNORANCE hasn’t ended.

“This is about legitimizing and forcing a particular lifestyle upon the public. We all have the same, equal right to marry any person of the opposite sex we choose.”

It’s not a “lifestyle” and how exactly is it forcing it on YOU anyway? I’m a straight woman and it’s pretty clear that hets have no moral ground to stand on when it comes to marriage!

Good luck George! And I’m glad your marriage is still reconized.

The sad matter of fact is that governments cannot legislate what is an innate component of a person’s life–but it tries; it cannot legislate a person’s feelings–but it tries; it cannot legislate a person’s opinion(s)–but it tries.

Government cannot legislate acceptance–this comes from maturity, which, we as a people, has trouble achieving.

What government can do is protect individual rights when it comes to matters of one’s being (that should be a private matter)–but it doesn’t try hard enough.

Another sad matter of fact is that this argument always seems to devolve into angry voices, largely stemming from bigotry, misunderstandings and a lacking of empathy of anything that doesn’t fit into a perceived norm.

An argument always seem to come up that people choose this (which empirical evidence concludes is not the case), but even so, is this not the tenant of what our country was founded upon? — the freedom of choice and the right to lead a life with dignity, peace and happiness.

Sadly, what too many folks forget is that when the government steps in permitting and accepting institutional inequality and bigotry, it is just one step from denying other rights in some far off day.

Might does not make right yet some say this is democracy in action. BUT democracy does not mean we should accept the bullying of minorities. Democracy means protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

If one accepts this is democracy, then our government was not in the wrong when it permitted slavery, or when instructed its Army to destroy Native American populations; or when it permitted the rounding up of Japanese-Americans during WWII; or when it denied African-Americans voting rights (sadly, the list is too extensive to fully detail here).

Thank you, Anthony for not shying away from what will surely become a hotly contested topic and a headache as it has so often been in past threads.

To the people determined to be stuck in the dark ages:

Within a few decades, gay marriage will be a fact and it will be taboo to question it, just like how African Americans can now sit anywhere they want on the bus, use the same drinking fountains, and vote. Deal with it.

I have no clue how anyone can love the values that Star Trek represents yet hold such bigoted views about fellow human beings.

There had better be a gay guy or lesbian in the next Star Trek film…it’s pretty much bull-f’ing-sh*t that there hasn’t been an out character yet in a franchise that supposedly prides itself on its inclusivity.

It’s doubly frustrating because there are SO many gays that work behind the scenes (and likely in front of the camera, too…like perhaps Zachary Quinto, or so I’ve heard).

29. Brian Kirsch

You obviously missed the point. If this is all about love between committed people, why stop at gays? Aren’t YOU the one being small minded? Does love stop at numbers, or age, or genetics?

You see, your side has no argument. That why you always resort to name calling like “small minded” and “ignorant.”

11. No you can’t say the same about Obama’s election.

Is marriage really a right or a privilige?

Are rights granted by a God/Creator, or other humans?

These two questions must be answered clearly before an argument that gay marriage is a right.

Marriage is a curious thing when one thinks about it.

It is fundamentally an institution based on religious precepts, that has enough variations to become secular in the eyes of many.

The arguments against Gay Marriage are based primarily on the religious text of the Bible that classifies homosexuality as an “abomination”.

The arguments FOR Gay Marriage couch it as a Human Rights issue.

When I look at this, I see an unfairness, but no human right has really been violated, if Marriage is a privilege or right granted by God.

I also see that Christians who hold certain parts of the Bible to be true would find it offensive to have a fundamental part of their religious practice legally forced to allow something in violation of their faith.

This should be understood, and often isn’t taken for the faith-based opposition it really is, and more often is somehow attributed to Hatred and Bigotry.

Christian opponents to Gay Marriage, on the other hand, have to understand that Marriage is NOT unique to the Christian faith, and has a variable definition and rules associated with it.

Whether one opposes or supports Gay Marriage, one must take the time to understand the legitimate parts of each other’s positions, and to eliminate the preconceptions both sides have of each other.

Proposition 8 is constitutionally and legally correct. The Law is NOT morality, but a reflection of collective will.

Down the line, Prop 8 may be repealed, and again reflect the will of the people of California.

I know more homosexual couples with stonger, more honest and healthier relationships than I do straight couples. As a gay man myself, I really haven’t figured out if marriage is a route I’d be willing to take. But it’s an option I want on the table. Why should who I love, want to spend the rest of my life with and leave everything I have to be anyone’s business but my own. Where do other people, let alone the government, get off telling me how I can live my life and who I can marry?

Social change takes time, this I realize. It seems as though for every win that advances our cause we get hit with losses that take us three steps back. It’s not like if gay marriage were recognized the same as hetero marriage that everyone would suddenly be gay. Who thinks that? Why is the argument that legalizing gay marriage would destroy the institution? I don’t care what straight people do. Half of them get divorced anyway. How is this more destructive than that?

I think comparing homosexuality to pedophilia and incest is in extremely bad taste. And, unfortunately, ignorance always wins out over intelligence. Where’s the change the majority of this country voted for in November? Empty political rhetoric get us nowhere as a nation. It doesn’t help the economy and it certainly doesn’t help the gay movement. Actions are so much more powerful than words. It starts by standing up for your rights for free speech, freedom of association and the freedom to believe whatever you want and love whomever you want. Isn’t that what we all want? If it is, how can one group deny that to another group?

Okay, rant over. ;-)

There is one underlying falsehood in these arguments: the assumption that marriage is a right. Can someone point me to the article of the constitution that ensures marriage is a right that every American is entitled to?

The majority getting the vote seems like the most logical way to do it anyway. How else would you do it. If the majority decided gay marriage should be allowed and those votes won, that would still make sense. But I like some people’s comments on here like Jim’s on comment number 8. He’s got a good point.

JH –
You really aren’t that insecure in yourself, are you? How exactly does this affect you, personally? Does it harm your rights to marry whom you wish?

And, BTW, it’s a life, not a “lifestyle”. There is a BIG difference that maybe you can’t grasp. I laugh at people like you that attack the gay “lifestyle” as a choice. Just when did you choose the straight “lifestyle”?


The government has no reason to be involved in marriage whatsoever. It’s a religious institution.

It should provide civil unions for ALL couples, gay or straight.

#13: “This is not the forum to debate these issues.”

Why exactly would this not be the forum to debate these issues?

“Star Trek” has always been a forum for discussing human rights (although it hasn’t done a very good job of being inclusive of this very issue).

Should a forum exclude this topic because it is a sore subject for some? Should we exclude a topic because it offends your sensibilities, or that it is too easy to dismiss and ignore… This really is an issue that will not go away until a mature resolution has arrived– and Prop 8 is not it.

And the Obama haters need to go kiss an ape’s harry a**.

One sad thing about it is that there’s going to be conflict either way. I hadn’t thought about it until last night but I realized, what if my aunt wants to get married at some point? I’d hate to see her denied a right that the rest of us have. So I have do sort of have a stake in this.

The problem is the California referendum model entirely. Not just with this issue. Proposition 13 has killed the state’s government for decades, and will soon be bankrupt because of it. This is why the founders chose representative democracy over referendum. Because that is how you protect the minority in any issue.

Nope. Just believe in defending traditional marriage, as it has always been defined throughout all of human history. No great thinker, philosopher, or religion has ever advocated for same sex marriage. I just wish for once your side would acknowlege that you are the radicals and extremists, not us. Seems to me it’s up to your side to make the case to us, not go around name calling and bullying your opponents.

Marriage is the foundation of civil society and I won’t stand by while those like you seek to destroy it for narcissistic purposes.

And I don’t care if you think it’s a life or a lifestyle. Even by scientific standards, it’s unnatural.

Now, everyone call me a bigot.

The real kicker here is that the marriages that took place before the Prop 8 ban ARE STILL LEGAL! The California State Government has just legalized discrimination! WHOLLY UNBELIEVABLE!