July 9th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

San Francisco considers banning sale of pets, except fish. Good idea?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

San Francisco has had its fair share of crazy ideas... but here's one that's not half bad.

The city is considering banning the sale of all pets, except fish.

That would mean everything... from cats and dogs to hamsters, mice, rats, parrots, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, lizards... and on and on. The city's commission of animal control and welfare calls all these critters "companion animals."

The chairwoman tells the San Francisco chronicle that people buy small animals all the time as an "impulse buy"... they don't think about what they're getting into. and after the people decide they no longer want the animals, they often wind up at a shelter or euthanized.

Hamsters are apparently the biggest problem. People buy them because they think they're cute and cuddly... but quickly change their mind once the rodents start biting them or racing around on their exercise wheels in the middle of the night.

The proposed ban - believed to be the first of its kind - would require San Francisco residents who want a pet to either go to another city, adopt one from a shelter, or find it in the classifieds.

Pet store owners are up in arms - they call it a terrible idea and say they'd have to go out of business. Other critics call it an "anti-pet proposal from people who oppose the keeping of pets."

At a hearing last night, city officials decided to table the measure for now.

Here’s my question to you: San Francisco is considering banning the sale of pets, except fish. Good idea?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Animals • Pets
July 9th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Agree with judge who says gay marriage ban unconstitutional?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In a ruling that could have far-reaching implications, a Boston federal district court judge has declared the federal ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
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Judge Joseph Tauro says the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act - which defines marriage as between a man and a woman - denies same-sex couples equal protection under the law.

Massachusetts believes the federal ban denied benefits - including Medicaid - to gay married couples; and the judge agreed, saying the ban on gay marriage forces the state to discriminate against its own citizens. Same-sex unions have been legal in Massachusetts since 2004.

The judge added that the federal ban also goes against the long history of letting states set their own marriage laws, which they've been doing since before the American revolution. Judge Tauro says that laws that once barred interracial marriage caused as much debate as the current battle over gay marriage.

Gay rights activists are, of course, thrilled with this ruling... calling it a "landmark decision."

Opponents say they're sure the decision will be overturned on appeal. They call the ruling "judicial activism" and the work of a "rogue judge." Noting that, when voters go to the ballot box, they consistently reject gay marriage proposals.

Nonetheless - it's really worth watching what happens from here. So far the justice department is only saying it's reviewing the decision; and hasn't decided whether or not to appeal it.

But if a higher court were to hear an appeal and agree with the ruling, the impact of this decision could spread. It could also encourage other attorneys general who are against the federal gay marriage ban to sue.

Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with the judge who says banning gay marriage is unconstitutional?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Gay Marriage