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California's Gay Marriage Ruling

This is a great day for homosexual couples in California. The rule of law has prevailed and freedom for homosexuals is now guaranteed in that state as the Supreme Court overturned laws against Gay Marriage. But this is not why I want to write tonight.

The argument against the ruling by groups like the Family Research Council and others mindlessly twist the facts and take advantage of people who only partially pay attention to this issue. They assume that if you are prone to disagree with Gay Marriage that you will agree with them and don’t really give people all of the right information, or even allow them to intelligently consider the issue. In their press release, the FRC’s President Tony Perkins said the following:

“The California Supreme Court has taken a jackhammer to the democratic process, and the right of the people to affect change in public policy. Four judges discarded the votes of 4,618,673 Californians who approved the state’s ‘Defense of Marriage Act.’ Voters understand that children should not be deprived of a mother or a father.”

This is patently absurd on the face of it. The Supreme Courts of this country exist not to forward the will of the people. They are meant to be independent of the opinions of the populace. In this instance the court in California decided to overturn laws voted on by the people as unconstitutional. They did not say “the people were wrong”, but they said “the people are not lawyers”. This does not constitute a “change in public policy” as Mr Perkins says, but is an enforcement of existing public policy. The courts rarely, if ever, take an activist stance for the sole purpose of activism.

Law is difficult and nuanced. There is a reason that people go to school for many years and study as much as doctors to get Law degrees. These judges are some of the most seasoned lawyers in our country. To dismiss them out of hand demeans their status and their knowledge of the law in the favor of cynicism and sound-bites. This is irresponsible at best and reprehensible at worst.

I’m in no way saying that the opponents of this ruling don’t have a right to complain. They do. They should, however, take into account the institutions of this country and the intelligence of those that would hear them. Groups like the FRC claim to support families, but this sort of action only teaches children to blindly absorb what they hear and not think for themselves. Instead they should form an argument based on the facts as they see them instead of mindlessly attacking the court.

One Response to “California's Gay Marriage Ruling”

  1. May 16th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    criticaldemocracy says:

    “Children should not be deprived of a mother or father.” How about children should not be deprived of loving active parents? Never mind the fear tactic of calling gay marriage a threat to “traditional” marriage. Never mind the slippery slope argument of gay marriage leading to polygamy, bestiality, pedophilia. Never mind the oh so reliable bible quotes. There are many areas of law effected by marriage, such as insurance, adoption, social security, taxes. Arbitrary group discrimination crushes human potential and it is unconstitutional. Equal protection under the law is supposed to be the american way.

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