Bill Murchison

Marriage isn't just the chief underpinning of society or, for that matter, a raunchy comedy routine. In the minds of easily the great majority of Americans, marriage is an institution reflective of divine intent concerning human relationships and duties.

Well, never mind. The California Supreme Court doesn't seem to mind, having ruled by the margin of a single vote that California can't constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.

Um ... Can't? Can't affirm, in a judicial finding, the large, historic, profoundly rooted beliefs of the human race? Seemingly not.

Only in California. Or Massachusetts. Or certain other cutting-edge American addresses not worth the trouble of naming. There's a tendency to laugh aloud at the sheer presumption of people with law school educations in lecturing fellow citizens on their outmoded modes of belief, and, correspondingly, on the need -- NOW! NO BACK TALK!! -- to get with the new program.

If no judicial decree can make marriage anything other than an institution reflective of the large realities in which humans participate, there's no cause for alarm. Two people of the same sex holding hands before a judge or clergyman is ... two people holding hands before a judge or clergyman, nothing more.

Marriage it ain't. That's between people of opposite but complementary attributes and physiologies. The merger, so to speak, of those attributes and physiologies is what we call marriage. Flap your arms and attempt to try an aerial passage across the Grand Canyon: You'll have as much luck at that as at same-sex marriage. Can't do it. Period.

The problem, in California, isn't that you can't do it. The problem is that the state's highest court has attempted this metaphysical heavy lifting in defiance both of logic and popular sentiment.

As one dissenting justice, Marvin R. Baxter, wrote in the gay marriage case, "[A] bare majority of this court, not satisfied with the pace of democratic change, now abruptly forestalls that process and substitutes, by judicial fiat, its own social policy views for those expressed by the People themselves."

It's what they do in North Korea and Iran, in case we've forgotten: Decide in the People's name what the People need -- then give it to them, to choke on, as often as not.

I can't forbear from noting that John McCain promised, if elected president, to put on the federal bench judges unwilling to torture constitutional or statutory language to secure particular outcomes. California's high court, though not a federal venue, demonstrates what he means. .

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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