Chief U. S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled on Wednesday that California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage to be “only between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” was deemed unconstitutional under due process and equal protections provisions in the U.S. Constitution.
In an odd pairing, former Solicitor General Ted Olson and lawyer David Boies worked together to overturn Prop 8. Olson and Boies were on opposite sides of the table in Bush v. Gore in 2000. But in California, their formidable talents were used to overturn the will of the people. Prop 8 was passed with 52% of the vote in November 2008 when a coalition of religious people of all races came together in support of traditional marriage. It was a short-lived victory.
Walker made his decision in a lawsuit filed by two homosexual couples who claimed the ban violated their civil rights. Olson said the ruling “vindicates the rights of a minority of our citizens to be treated with decency and respect and equality in our system.”
Jim Campbell, a lawyer on the defense team for Protect Marriage, said, “In America, we should uphold and respect the right of people to make policy changes through the democratic process, especially changes that do nothing more than uphold the definition of marriage that has existed since the founding of this country and beyond.”
I know what the liberals are saying. “If we went by the majority, slavery and Jim Crow would still be around,” says the chorus of talking point liberals. This is about the sanctity of marriage and about what role government should have in it. I would personally like the government to get out of the marriage business all together. City Hall can issue licenses for anything it wants, but it won’t be a marriage.
There will be an appeal and the judge has been asked to suspend his order while the proponents of the traditional definition of marriage pursue their appeal. Both sides are submitting written arguments on the suspension of or upholding of the order.
After that, the appeal will go first to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, busy with an upcoming appeal on Arizona’s immigration law, where Judge Walker’s decision will probably be upheld. Then, if the Supreme Court agrees to hear it, I predict a 5-4 vote to overturn Judge Walker.
In typical California flakey form, the original defendants, California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, refused to support Proposition 8 in court and thus, support the people of California. Their abdication of their responsibility resulted in the group, Protect Marriage, who successfully sponsored the ballot measure, to defend the people of California.
Supporters of same-sex marriage say, and the judge agreed, that Proposition 8 plays on fear mongering against gays. “Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples,” the judge wrote in his ruling.
Protect Marriage put up very few witnesses as they contend Supreme Court decisions already support their position. Currently, same-sex couples can only legally wed in Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C.
This is a disappointing day for Californians and traditionalists across America.
This is the left defining the culture.
We need to get government out of our lives and out of our bedrooms. Some years ago, I spoke to two groups with predominantly homosexual audiences. The first was Log Cabin Republicans and the second was a Creative Loafing Panel on Same Sex Marriage. One group was conservative and one was liberal and they both supported same-sex marriage. I made my case for traditional marriage and we agreed to disagree. Then, I made the case for tax reform that would stop picking winners and abdicating privacy and many people lined up afterwards to tell me I was a “nice conservative.”
Marriage is not a civil right, it is a sacred trust. It’s true that many straight people have not treated the sanctity of marriage respectfully. But because the people are imperfect in the practice of marriage, does not mean the institution needs to be changed. Marriage is a gift given to the people by God and only God can define it. Government never should have gotten in the business of social structure. This is about money by way of tax benefits, it’s not about love.
Let’s get the government out of the marriage business and let’s get the government out of our business and we can solve this problem outside of the courts. It won’t happen that way and we have a big fight ahead of us. My prediction is, the traditional family loses in the 9th Circuit and wins at the Supreme Court. But fasten your seat belts, this is only the beginning.