On that Proposition 8 Ruling

February 8, 2012

IN a ruling that surprised only that guy who recently woke up from a 20 year coma, the ultra-left 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of a gay lower court judge (Whose orientation had no bearing on his ruling. None. Don’t even go there now) that Californians don’t have the right to define marriage in a way that offends the gay rights advocates.

Interestingly the ruling is predicated on the fact that Californians had previously extended civil unions to gays in such a way that gave gay couples marriages in every way but the official label.

So it seems the takeaway from this is if a state’s citizens want to maintain the traditional definition of marriage, they should avoid giving gay couples any official sanction at all.


Sanity Briefly Returns to California

August 16, 2010

Court temporarily blocks California same-sex couples from marrying

A federal appeals court in San Francisco, California, has blocked same-sex marriages in that state from resuming immediately, until the three-judge panel hears broader questions over the constitutionality of such marriages.


Observations: Addendum

August 9, 2010

I hadn’t read this before I wrote the post below, but Ross Douthat echoes many of the themes I mentioned in his excellent post in the NYTs today. An excerpt:

[Traditional marriage] is a particularly Western understanding, derived from Jewish and Christian beliefs about the order of creation, and supplemented by later ideas about romantic love, the rights of children, and the equality of the sexes.

Or at least, it was the Western understanding. Lately, it has come to co-exist with a less idealistic, more accommodating approach, defined by no-fault divorce, frequent out-of-wedlock births, and serial monogamy.

In this landscape, gay-marriage critics who fret about a slippery slope to polygamy miss the point. Americans already have a kind of postmodern polygamy available to them. It’s just spread over the course of a lifetime, rather than concentrated in a “Big Love”-style menage.

Definitely worth a read.


Analysis of a Legal Farce

August 6, 2010

In a recent essay, Matthew J. Franck director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in New Jersey, devastates much of the legal reasoning of Judge Walker’s legal reasoning in the San Francisco Prop 8 case.

Of particular interest are two claims made in the opinion, the first being that, “gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage”. As Franck note:

Judge Walker seems to have committed the fallacy of composition—taking something true of a part and concluding that it is also true of the whole of which it is a part. If it is true that “gender” no longer matters as it once did in the relation of husband and wife, he reasons, therefore it no longer matters whether the relation is one of husband and wife; it may as well be a relation of husband and husband or of wife and wife, since we now know that marriage is not, at its “core,” a “gendered institution.” But restated in this way, it is quite plain that the judge’s conclusion doesn’t follow from his premises. To say that the status of men and women in marriage is one of equal partners is not to say that men and women are the same, such that it does not matter what sex their partners are. The equalization of status is not the obliteration of difference, as much as Judge Walker would like to pretend it is.

Another critical aspect of this statement is that it is a tacit acknowledgement of the purpose of marriage – that gender considerations were essential to the origination of marriage. And why would that be? Quite simply it is because it is the relationship of opposite genders that is essential to procreation and the successful creation of a family wherein children can be born, raised, and reach their fullest potential. In stating that gender is no longer essential to marriage, Judge Walker isn’t expanding marriage, he is denying its value and validity.

The second declaration Franck addresses is the statement by the Judge is that, “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.” in his Findings of Fact section of his decision:

But for Judge Walker there is an odor of illegitimacy about merely “moral” views expressed in legislation, especially when morality finds support in religion. Thus he declares that Proposition 8 expresses only a “private moral choice,” not a considered public morality. And thus in his tendentious “findings of fact” (about the purpose of which, see this editorial in National Review), he makes the astonishing claim—purporting to be a fact found at trial, not a judgment of his own—that “religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful . . . harm gays and lesbians.”

Beside the fact it is impossible to evaluate the reasoning of the thousands of voters who voted for the Proposition 8 (which was the original basis of the trial, completely missed in the final outcome), this claim sets a very frightening precedent – namely it sets the state directly against a fundamental religious view in such a way that lays a clear foundation for future religious persecution. If the state can annul laws based on their perceived association with religious belief, then Christians will be increasingly denied a voice as citizens in this society. Judge Walker’s opinion not only relies on spurious reasoning, but is threatening to essential religious liberties.

One can only hope the contagion of such reasoning doesn’t spread beyond California.


The End of Marriage

August 4, 2010

In California anyways.

In a ruling that has surprised no one given the fact that he telegraphed his intentions long before the trial began, Judge Walker has officially and single handedly taken it upon himself to subvert the democratic process and the will of the people, and re-made a fundamental human institution in accordance with his own will.

No longer, “the union of husband and wife in heart, body and mind”, it is now any two people who want to hang together for awhile and have the state give them the stamp of approval, or as the judge put it, merely “a union of equals”.

 For those who don’t live in California, be thankful for now – and pray that the inevitable ruling in the Supreme Court will preserve the democratic process. Barring that, it is obvious a constitutional amendment is in order.  One may be in order anyway. It will definitely be an issue (well another issue) this November.

What God has joined together, man has corrupted. It’s a very sad day for California, for our nation, for humanity.