In a long-awaited ruling, Judge Vaughn Walker says the ban on same-sex marriage violates constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. The decision is expected to reach the Supreme Court.
The federal judge who overturned Proposition 8 Wednesday said the ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage was based on moral disapproval of gay marriage and ordered the state to stop enforcing the ban.
U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, in a 136-page ruling, said California "has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions."
"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. The ruling struck down Proposition 8 as a violation of federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.
I honestly expect to see some rather pointed hate mail as a result of this post, however just because I express an opinion which is radical, doesn't necessarily mean that I shouldn't express it.
There are several issues at play in this.
Firstly, why shouldn't same-sex marriage be allowed?
From a biblical perspective, same-sex marriages are ungodly and sinful. Now although you might disagree with the validity of the Bible in the first place (because I can not possibly know who is reading this), then that opens up an entire other discussion well beyond the scope of this post. The most obvious condemnations are listed below:
"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due."
—Romans 1:26-27 (NKJV)
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."
— 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV)
"Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,"
— 1 Timothy 1:9-10 (NKJV)
It doesn't really surprise me that the United States would overturn a state ban on same-sex marriage. The US Constitution itself explicitly denies that the country was ever a "Christian" country in the First Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
By definition, the United States is, and always was from its inception an athiest country. If you remove "moral and religious views" from shaping the law, then can you really expect any other outcome?
Secondly, what is a marriage in the first place?
I live in the swirling metropolis we call Sydney, in the Commonwealth of Australia. Thankfully, we don't have the stupidity and evil of the US Supreme Court, but rather we have our own legal framework which is probably subject to as much moral degradation.
Since I live in Australia, this is legal definition of marriage as provided by both the
Marriage Act 1961 and the Marriage Amendment Act 2004.
"marriage means the union of a man and a woman"
S.88EA Certain unions are not marriages
A union solemnised in a foreign country between:
(a) a man and another man; or
(b) a woman and another woman;
must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.
Specifically according to the Marriage Act 1961, the whole definition according to the law in Australia is thus:
Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
I think that's fairly straightforward.
Thirdly and more importantly... why?
If the Bible and the law specify something, then it follows that there must be a pretty good reason for it. The most important thing that I can think of is to do with the purpose of marriage the first place; the reason for its existence.
I believe that the main reason for the institution of marriage is to do with the formation of families; this includes fairly obviously, the raising of children, though isn't exclusively so.
The family is essentially the fundamental societal building block. It is the place where children are trained in how to live and function in society. We learn how to relate to each other primarily through how we were taught by out parents. If for some reason a child doesn't have either one or both parents through accident or divorce etc. then the children who grow up as a product of those conditions have a less than perfect model of how to live and function in society.
Laws themselves exist for three fundamental reasons: the regulation, protection and the standards of society. This is true for everything from road rules, building regulations, taxation, corporations legislation, town planning, crime, even things like distances, voltages, etc etc etc.
The definitions in the Marriage Act 1961 are there for precisely the same purpose. Namely the regulation, protection and the standards of society. Fiddle with the definition and society itself changes and usually for the worse.
The standard contained in the Act is in fact the best possible standard. I would just like to find someone to prove otherwise. Go on, I dare you.
The implications of that last paragraph are immense. In 25 February 2010, the Marriage Equality Bill 2009, with the view to change the definition of marriage at law to include same-sex marriage did not pass in the Australian Senate by a vote of 45-5, with only the Greens voting in favour and many senators not in attendance.
Furthermore the Greens manifesto for the 2010 Federal Election explicitly states that they intend to have another tilt at changing the definitions under the Marriage Act 1961.
Personally I think that it is the duty of every Christian in the country to put The Greens LAST* on your House of Representative ballot paper and to do likewise in the Senate. If The Greens were to get a substantial say in parliament, then they will do their best to change the law.
Actually it can be argued very easily that once the definition of marriage is changed, that same-sex couples should be given the same entitlements at law is normal married couples. If you then consider that this includes things like adoption and IVF rights, it is still a question of changing the fundamental societal building block, the family. Also, in particular with IVF, if you consider that same-sex couples can not through their own means produce children of their own, it does pose the rather pointed question if that is in fact parasitic in nature.
Lastly and leastly, this proves that no matter what or whom you vote for, democracy truly is a sham. Even if "we the people" want something and decide to make our voice heard through the ballot paper, those who are more vocal and better at manipulating the system are the people who run the show, despite and in spite of what the people voted for.
*Don't vote GREEN.