In short, Judge Walker ruled based on the evidence presented, as any trial judge should, and regardless of his own personal sexual orientation or biases, Prop 8 supporters simply did not make a viable case for themselves. Sloganeering may have won the election but did not win a trial where real evidence was required. Prop 8 supporters may later look at the ruling and claim it was wrongly decided but as this essay points out, the reality is that they did a poor job presenting their evidence and only put two witnesses on the stand, both of whom had previously written statements that contradicted their testimony in favor of Prop 8. When both of these witnesses were neutralized, Prop 8 advocates had nothing left with which to prove their case and any effort by any judge to add in facts to uphold Prop 8 would have been the very definition of judicial activism.
There is presently much debate about gay marriage in California, and the roots for the argument come from several directions. In 1967 the United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether marriage was a fundamental right. Granted it had to do with people of the opposite sex, but the arguments for the State of Virginia which forbade interracial marriage were primarily religious in nature.
When you think about it, 1967 was not very long ago. If you are older than 42, if your parents were from sixteen states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, South Carolina, Georgia, or Florida, and were from different races their marriages would have been illegal. In California, interracial marriage was illegal until 1948.
An epic battle played out on two levels at the California Supreme Court on March 5. On a surface level, attorneys fought over a technical issue of whether the Proposition 8 prohibition on gay marriage represented a revision or an amendment. On the deeper level, the question asked was whether there are any limits on the majority to impact the rights of the minority.
PLEASANT GROVE, UTAH – The U.S. Supreme Court today will hear an argument where two religious groups are fighting over whether one or both of them have the right to have their viewpoint heard. Summum, a small religious group wants to erect a monument on public land listing of the “Seven Aphorisms,” but conservative Christian groups oppose it on the basis that it does not reflect their traditional values. The small plot of land already has a 10 comandments monument that has been there since 1971.
The plan is to mobilize the same religious factions that joined forces in California to deter lawmakers from “taking on this divisive social issue while we are in the middle of a huge financial crisis,” Gallagher said.
“Barriers remain to both major parties if they seek to appeal to religious voters on the economy. You’re either for or against gay marriage or abortion rights, but no one supports foreclosures and layoffs. Differences arise over solutions, and analysts say it can make more sense for campaigns to make general pitches on the economy than faith-based appeals.”
“In my view, if we are not prepared to protect the rights of those with whom we disagree, we are not serious about religious freedom.”
Former associate general counsel of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Mitch Tyner, asks questions about the legal process, lawsuits between believers, separation of church and state, and addresses the controversy about gay marriage.
In this law review article, Cardozo Law School professor Daniel Crane argues that marriage has traditionally been in the province of faith, not of the state, and that this should be taken into consideration when evaluating proposed marriage amendments. The full article is available in PDF format at http://www.cardozolawreview.com/PastIssues/CRANE.WEBSITE.pdf Here is a brief excerpt (citations…
John V. Stevens, Sr., an experienced religious liberty advocate, responds to Professor Crane’s article “A Judeo-Christian Argument for Privatizing Marriage” from his perspective as a Seventh-day Adventist. He has provided his kind permission to reproduce it here. I hope that this can be a springboard for discussion on this important issue facing all Americans regardless…
From the BBC – A marriage registrar was harassed for refusing to conduct same-sex ceremonies, a tribunal has ruled. Lillian Ladele, who said the civil partnership ceremonies went against her Christian faith, hailed the decision as a “victory for religious liberty”. The tribunal ruled that Miss Ladele was discriminated against on grounds of religious beliefs…