California’s Prop 8: Yes, No, Maybe?

When a California judge ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional,  most were not shocked.  The victory at the polls on November 5, 2008 was to be short lived and those who supported California Marriage Protection Act knew that the battle was far from over.  On August 4, 2010, U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker decided that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution.  The voters of California have voted twice to make marriage defined as “between a man and a woman”.  Proposition 22, voted on in 2000 and passed with 61% of the vote, was ruled unconstitutional under California’s constitution. Interestingly, the statute is very close in wording to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, enacted in 1996 by Congress.  Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment initiative, was drafted to override the Court’s ruling by using the language in Proposition 22, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” as a constitutional amendment.  It too passed with 52.24% of the vote.

On Monday, August 16, 2010, a federal appeals court put a hold on U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker‘s ruling, halting the same-sex marriages in California until at least December.

Loyola Law School professor Richard Hasen stated,

“I think there are strategic reasons why even the most ardent supporter of gay marriage could opt for a stay,” said Hasen, an expert on federal court stays. “The concern is that rushing things to the Supreme Court could lead to an adverse result [for supporters of gay marriage.] If this case takes another year to get to the U.S. Supreme Court, there could be more states that adopt same-sex marriage and more judicial opinions that reach that conclusion.”

Sadly, this argument adopts an evolutionary legal philosophy which holds that precedent and legal opinion somehow trump foundational truths found in the Constitution, as well as thousands of years of tradition.  Again, the virus of ethical relativism has infected all areas of life and spreads the disease using the ideology of tolerance and progress.

Those who stand for morality must never “rest on their laurels”, for the opponents will not rest either.  A battle may be won, but another will emerge, for that is the nature of this world; but to gain ground, only to lose due to complacency, is not an option.  The citizens in California who voted for Proposition 8 must continue to press the issue, and not cave to activist judges and an irate gay community.   Morality is not a shifting sand ideology, but one based on a foundation that is immovable.  It can however be covered with layers of superficial silt, produced by activist judges and a society with no moral tether.  Be diligent, don’t sleep and continue the good fight.

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