Neither Hollingsworth nor Windsor demand that any church, even in states that allow gay marriage, be forced to conduct gay weddings. Moreover, these decisions do not affect the ability of churches to decry homosexuality or homosexual conduct as immoral.
The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled two days of oral arguments on two separate but related cases beginning on March 26, 2013. The Court will be hearing arguments on California’s Proposition 8 which amended the state constitution to disallow same-sex marriage is constitutional and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
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.