The California Supreme Court has now legalized same-sex marriage, overturning the will of the people. In 2000, 61 percent of Californians voted for Proposition 22 which reads, simply and clearly, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” In November, voters will have the opportunity to write this identical language directly into the California Constitution and prevent future state courts from thwarting their will ever again.
Here’s why California voters should protect traditional marriage:
• Same-sex marriage is legally unnecessary. Homosexual couples in California already enjoy all of the legal rights and privileges of marriage, short of the name. They can already adopt, utilize sperm banks and access surrogacy services to create legally recognized family units. They don’t need marriage in order to do so.
• Where it has been legalized, same-sex marriage decreases the total number of marriages while increasing illegitimacy. Nine European nations have had same-sex marriage since the early 90s—and just 2 percent of same-sex couples in these countries ever bother to marry, while there has been a 46 percent increase in out-of-wedlock births. Same-sex couples simply do not marry in significant number when given the legal right to do so, while more heterosexual couples will not bother to get married before having children. In these nations, 70 percent of all births now take place outside of marriage, and among first-time mothers, 80 percent are unmarried. Same-sex marriage will result in fewer total marriages and more children born out of wedlock.
• Both religion and political philosophy recognize that it is for the common good that states preserve, protect and promote successful marriages and healthy families in order to produce the maximum number of healthy children who later become productive citizens. However, since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, we have increased the number of broken families producing damaged children, and these damaged children have burdened both the size and cost of the welfare state.
The combined effects of the pill, condom distribution, abortion on demand, no-fault divorce and the acceptance of illegitimacy have been socially and economically devastating. Half of all American marriages now end in divorce. One-third of all American children are now born outside of marriage—including one-half of all Hispanic kids and nearly three out of four African-American kids. Half of all urban freshman never graduate high school. Our prisons are overflowing. As all social science research has proved time and again, illegitimacy begets poverty, poverty begets crime, crime begets social decline and social decline begets higher taxes to pay for the bigger government necessary to care for the social and economic costs associated with the millions of “at risk” children who, disproportionately, become unproductive citizens.
The trillions of dollars spent on the wars on poverty, drugs and crime have failed to create the Great Society, for these are but symptoms of the disease. Our social problems are not due to a lack of spending, but to a lack of moral values. The answer to our social and economic problems is not to grow a bigger welfare state that will only hasten our moral decline, but to strengthen the American family and return to the Judeo-Christian values that created our prosperity to begin with. Abstinence, “till death do we part” marriage, then children born into a nurturing family—this was the path to American greatness. Illegitimacy, no-fault divorce and broken families is the path of our destruction.
• Same-sex marriage will inevitably lead to polygamy and perhaps “consensual” incest. The collective wisdom of Western civilization, and the Judeo-Christian value system beneath it, have always restricted marriage to two people, not closely related, one man and one woman, of legal age. For over 2,000 years, there have been laws against bigamy, polygamy, incest and minor marriage. No society in history has ever granted same-sex marriage while maintaining prolonged prohibition of polygamous and incestuous relationships. The California court asserts some version of a “constitutional right to same-sex marriage” at least 78 times before undermining that very claim in Footnote 52 on page 79 of the opinion, which reads:
We emphasize that our conclusion that the constitutional right to marry properly must be interpreted to apply to gay individuals and gay couples does not mean that this constitutional right similarly must be understood to extend to polygamous or incestuous relationships. Past judicial decisions explain why our nation’s culture has considered the latter types of relationships inimical to the mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by the constitutional right to marry…. Although the historic disparagement of and discrimination against gay individuals and gay couples clearly is no longer constitutionally permissible, the state continues to have a strong and adequate justification for refusing to officially sanction polygamous or incestuous relationships because of their potentially detrimental effect on a sound family environment…. Thus our conclusion that it is improper to interpret the state constitutional right to marry as inapplicable to gay individuals or couples does not affect the constitutional validity of the existing legal prohibitions against polygamy and the marriage of close relatives.
If the 2,000 years of Western tradition was insufficient to maintain this court’s prohibition against same-sex marriage, how can this court appeal to that same tradition to prohibit incest and polygamy? If past generations have found incest, polygamy and same-sex marriage “inimical to mutually supportive and healthy family relationships” because of their “potentially detrimental effect on a sound family environment,” how can this court accept the traditional prohibitions against incest and polygamy, while rejecting the traditional prohibition against same sex marriage? If this court can overturn tradition and find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, what will prevent future courts from similarly overturning tradition to find a constitutional right to incest and polygamy?
Same-sex marriage is a giant leap in the wrong direction. We must turn around while our course is still reversible.