This helps explain why it’s wrong to assume this ruling centers on discrimination. It doesn’t. We’re doing more here than just renaming an already existing arrangement. What we call -- or don’t call -- marriage actually matters. And there has to be some objective criteria. It can’t be left to each individual to decide what marriage is; the state has a crucial role to play. Otherwise, why can’t a man marry his sister? Or his daughter? Or his dog, for that matter? Why can’t he have multiple wives?
The fact is, the California Supreme Court has indulged here in the purest form of judicial activism -- operating not from a desire to interpret the law as written, but to force the result it wanted from the beginning, regardless of whether it was correct (or whether it violated the will of the people).
According to the Heritage experts:
As with Roe v. Wade, this decision is troubling from three angles: on the process, on the reasoning, and on the substance.
* It was an instance of the judiciary usurping the political process.
* It was poorly reasoned, abandoning the original meaning of California's constitution in order to invent a right to same-sex “marriage.”
* It was wrong on the substance, comparing support for traditional marriage to racism, disregarding the nature and purpose of marriage, and ignoring the reasons for which the state has always set marriage apart from other household forms.
There’s a good reason marriage has always been set apart like this. It is, quite simply, the cornerstone of civilization. It is deeply rooted in nearly every society, blessed by all the world’s major religions, and proven over centuries to work best when it’s limited to one man and one woman. Study after study, many of which you can find on familyfacts.org, show marriage’s unique value. Raised in its loving embrace, children thrive.
That apparently means nothing to the judges who handed down this decision. But then again, they haven’t even shown respect for their own profession. They’ve abused their authority to do what they want -- never mind what the law actually says.
But their tactics may well backfire, says Heritage Senior Legal Fellow Robert Alt. “By removing the issue from the political branches and constitutionalizing the policy question, the court's decision makes compromise less likely and leaves a state constitutional amendment as the only possible response -- one in which same-sex marriage advocates are not likely to prevail,” he writes in a recent commentary.
In short, it’s up to the people. Let’s hope they rise to the challenge.