Thursday, August 5, 2010

The sadly obligatory California same-sex ruling post

A FaceBook friend playfully chided on her wall that we all needed to get over our homophobia now that a federal judge struck down Prop. 8 .

Because supporters of gay marriage wanted so badly for this to be about homophobia, they got exactly what they wanted and as a result this whole ordeal became about intimidation, smearing and undemocratic end- arounds.

Now, before we get into this too deeply, let’s just say that we’re of two minds or more accurately, perhaps, two emotions regarding the issue of gay marriage. Flatly stated, we believe marriage to be that between a man and a woman. Period. Having said that, our passion index for this is relatively low. You won’t ever see us at a Pro Prop. 8 rally (if for no other reason than the fact we might be “outed”. More on this later.) nor will you ever see us in a knock down, drag out argument over the merits or detriments of gay marriage. It’s tough for us to argue against what two consenting adults want to do and how they wish to define it. (The issue of same-sex partners rearing children is another matter altogether that won’t be addressed here.)

However, where our passion index is quite sky-high is when a solitary figure, in this case, U.S. District Judge Vaughan R. Walker, strikes down what the voters of California had clearly stated as to the definition of marriage not just once but twice. It’s a phenomena that is catching, apparently, as just last week, a federal judge struck down a law in Arizona that flanges up with a Justice Department program regarding cooperation between local and federal officers with respect to immigration enforcement – the very same Justice Department that is bringing suit against Arizona for this same law.

Judge Walker ruled that California "has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions” Really? So that explains why the issue of defining marriage has shown up on the ballot twice already. And in the absence of any constitutionally- (State or U.S.) defined state of marriage, the voters, both times, defined marriage as that between a man and woman.

The jurist, a Republican appointee who is gay, cited extensive evidence from the trial to support his finding that there was not a rational basis for excluding gays and lesbians from marriage. In particular, he rejected the argument advanced by supporters of Proposition 8 that children of opposite-sex couples fare better than children of same-sex couples, saying that expert testimony in the trial provided no support for that argument.

"The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples," Walker wrote.

That’s nonsense. It’s called cultural tradition. A cultural tradition that has existed for thousands of years and which has informed various people and societies around the world, absent any moral or religious bias, that marriage is between a man and a woman. That Walker implies homophobia as the sole reason for believing in traditional marriage, he displays his own narrow-mindedness in this matter.

The trial appeared to be a lopsided show for the challengers, who called 16 witnesses, including researchers from the nation's top universities, and presented tearful testimony from gays and lesbians about why marriage mattered to them.

The backers of Proposition 8 called only two witnesses, and both made concessions under cross-examination that helped the other side.

The sponsors complained that Walker's pretrial rulings had been unfair and that some of their prospective witnesses decided not to testify out of fear for their safety.
When Walker ruled that he would broadcast portions of the trial on the Internet, Proposition 8 proponents fought him all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won a 5-4 ruling barring cameras in the courtroom.

When we said earlier we would worry about being “outed”, this is exactly what we were talking about. The thug tactics of the left resulted in Prop. 8 maps where the names and addresses of Prop. 8 donors were flagged on Google maps. So, congrats, people – your win was aided by previously behaving like a pack of brown shirt goons thus chilling any hopes of a fair hearing by your opposition.

So, this will be appealed to the Ninth circuit court of appeals and from there to the Supreme Court where all indications point to the fate of same-sex marriage in this country resting in the hands of the swing man, Anthony Kennedy.

Previous to this, we had felt that were we ever invited to a same-sex wedding, we would be honored to attend because it was not about us nor how we felt about same-sex marriage but about the happy couple. However, because of the undemocratic and thuggish nature of how this whole thing played out, the results are completely illegitimate in our mind and we now feel we could not attend such an event in good conscious.

Again, Congrats. Hope it was all worth it.

Previous posts on same-sex marriage, here.


Anonymous said...

if same sex couples want to get married, that's fine. i have no problem with that. first, rework the definition of "marriage".

but this decision is purely bench activism (kinda like what kagan will be doing), and a first year law student could shoot holes through the decision.

we have entered an era of such political elitists that the will of the people, federal law, and the writings of the constitution are summarily ignored for personal bias.

Dean said...

Well said, drozz.

SarahB said...

Good piece. I think a lot of us are mostly worried about the slippery slope...both in terms of "family" and constitutional issues. God forbid the Gay community work this out with legislation and new concrete definitions for everything...but now we are in the wild west of legality on all this. And churches and family sovereignty will suffer.

K T Cat said...


Anonymous said...

Poor decision and rationalization by the judge. But we are getting ourselves worked up over the issue. The government should not be in the marriage business. Marriage is a contract sanctified by the church, but the contract is binding by law. But stop it. Get out of the business. Don’t give me the polygamy arguments; let them write a contract, so be it. Don’t give me a man and goat argument; a goat can’t enter a contract.