A decision by the California Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional any ban on gay “marriage” is sending shock waves across the nation. The 4-3 decision announced Thursday not only legalizes gay “marriage” in the largest state in America, but it also overturns both the referendum of the people and the representatives of the people.
The only way the California Supreme Court could override the people is by saying that gay “marriage” is a natural right. But nowhere do we see this in the federal or state Constitutions. While the founders of this country wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men were created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” they never would have intended or imagined that those noble words would be used to support something like gay “marriage.”
In essence, these judges have created a new right out of thin air. Now, they base this decision, in part, on a precedent of the case in California declaring the ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional.
But over the centuries in Western civilization, public policy has recognized the vital role of the family—that the heterosexual family needed to be protected and defended in the law, because it provided crucial benefits for the well-being of society and family. That is different than a question of civil rights. Marriage always, everywhere until recent years, has been protected for the good of the state and the families.
Now, the problem is that the people of California cannot overturn this decision. Even an amendment to the California constitution will not help now. It all boils down to this: the need for a federal constitutional amendment—and soon, before other states start doing the same thing.
Well, there is at least one silver lining to this very dark cloud: Politicians can no longer hide behind the argument that we ought to leave this issue to the states.
A few years ago, members of my church sent 1,600 communications to Congress. Most of the congressmen answered by saying that they were against gay “marriage,” but they wanted the states to do it.
As a matter of fact, I talked to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) before the last vote in the Senate, who told me he was against gay “marriage.” But as a federalist, he thought the issue should be left to the states.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) told me very much the same thing, but said that if the states could not stop it, then he would consider a constitutional amendment. Well, we have just seen the largest state defy the overwhelming majority of public opinion and legalize gay “marriage”—and others will follow.
If these men and women are really against gay “marriage,” as they say, this is the time to put up—to take the only course of action possible to stop it, which is a constitutional amendment. There are no other options.
I guess I am not surprised by what happened in California. I have seen judges out of control for years. What I cannot fathom is how they would do it under the guise of natural rights. If the democratic process means anything, it means the consent of the governed. We cannot let the courts do this, or we do not have a democracy.
So get busy, and start talking to these candidates. I know it is tough; I know we lost some pro-family members in the last election. But we have got to make this effort now. And in all likelihood, one of three candidates is going to be the next president of the United States.
I don’t ever make partisan endorsements. But Christians, I believe, will be watching closely what these three candidates and others running for the House and Senate say about this issue.