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Why the California Marriage Decision Must Be Appealed

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

In the latest act of judicial arrogance, California district court judge Vaughn Walker has overturned California’s state marriage amendment. The amendment was enacted through a successful 2008 referendum in which more than 7 million Californians affirmed marriage between one man and one woman in their state constitution. attorneys will appeal this outrageous decision.


Those who still believe that America should be a nation of, by, and for the people agree that this ruling strikes at the heart of who we are as a people. It also provides an opportunity to bring this debate into clear focus.

Advocates for marriage between one man and one woman rely on diverse, profound, and goodwill arguments in favor of marriage. Ugly caricatures of pro-marriage Americans invented by those attacking marriage—and tragically adopted by Judge Walker—don’t hold up to examination.

Americans don’t support marriage out of a lack of respect and compassion for those who practice homosexual behavior. Accusations of bigotry and animus, made repeatedly by same-sex “marriage” activists, are an assault on the dignity of millions of honorable Americans. By and large, marriage supporters recognize that all fellow citizens, regardless of their personal choices, can be loyal friends, dedicated community leaders, and beloved sons and daughters. But Americans have many good reasons to support marriage and refuse to surrender its future.

For the entirety of the history of Western Civilization, the union of one man and one woman has stood as the cement that provides stability to societies worldwide. Same-sex relationships have never been equivalent to marriage between a man and a woman. One San Francisco judge ordering it so was an arbitrary, heavy-handed act with no other basis than a demand from a powerful activist group. Unless this is overturned, the same playbook will be used to try to institutionalize group marriages, polygamy, and every other iteration of human relationships until marriage is utterly obliterated. Polygamists are doing just that in a Canadian lawsuit right now. Americans have good cause to be concerned.


Everyone should be honest here. It is inconceivable that the authors of the Constitution intended to create a “right” to same-sex “marriage.” For accomplished attorneys like those representing the plaintiffs to argue such is just astonishing. Americans honor our Constitution and don’t appreciate it being devalued as a mere plaything to be remolded in the image of San Francisco-style radicalism.

Today nearly 45 states with populations totaling nearly 295 million Americans affirm marriage as one man and one woman. In all 31 states in which they have been given the opportunity to vote on the issue, Americans have decided that we should protect marriage. For one judge to declare his will sovereign over the other nearly 300 million of us is unfathomably arrogant. Americans know injustice when they see it, especially coming from what is supposed to be a seat of justice.

Even the youngest child recognizes the differences between the two halves of humanity – men and women. The unique, natural benefit they provide in union are the reason marriage is defined as it is. No other relationship, no matter how close, can duplicate marriage, especially a relationship between two men or two women. It is not “discrimination” to treat different things differently. Most Americans recognize the unique and valuable contribution of marriage to society and thus believe it deserves protection.


This is precisely where the fallacious racial discrimination analogy employed to slander good-faith marriage supporters fails. The claim is that those who reject same-sex “marriage” are like those who opposed interracial marriage. Wrong. There is no basis for equating sexual behavior with race. This is not a “civil rights” discussion. No one disagreed that interracial marriages were marriages. The issue was that the same things (marriages) were being treated differently. That’s not the case here. The union of one man and one woman is fundamentally different from any other relationship and may—should—be treated so.

The effort to impose societal acceptance of homosexual behavior has already threatened the religious liberty of those with deeply held religious convictions about marriage and sexual behavior. This is happening in states that have already radically changed marriage and those that haven’t.

A Christian photographer in New Mexico was ordered to pay $6,637 in attorney's fees after she refused to photograph a “commitment ceremony” between two women. A Georgia counselor was fired after referring a woman seeking affirmation of a homosexual relationship to another counselor. Catholic adoption and foster care programs in Massachusetts, California, and the District of Columbia were forced to cease operations or limit services because of laws that would have forced them to place children in homes where homosexual behavior is taking place. These are just a few of a growing number of examples. Americans value our First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty and are beginning to recognize the clear and present threat to our cherished freedoms. This case has raised that danger to an unprecedented level. The plaintiffs even entered doctrinal statements from America’s two largest denominations as examples of bigotry. Chilling.


Finally, the question is often asked, “How does same-sex ‘marriage’ harm your marriage?” This is the wrong question because of the concerns mentioned above but also because marriage supporters aren’t merely asking, “What’s in it for me?”

Marriage supporters are considering society as a whole. Government interest in marriage has to do with sustaining a healthy society. And a state-decreed elimination of distinctions between men and women—the very basis for the time-tested definition of marriage—is a signal that moms and dads don’t really matter to children. State endorsement of this tragic idea would lead to more homes that deny children their right to the mom and the dad they need. Americans are all too acquainted with the disastrous consequences of the social experiments of the last generation that have put the wants of adults over the needs of children.

Americans are a people of goodwill and common sense. Americans believe in our Constitution and cherish our fundamental liberties. Americans believe that our will, expressed through the legitimate democratic process, should not be ignored and overturned by one judge. Americans know deep down that every child deserves—and needs—both a mom and a dad. Hopefully, the U.S. Supreme Court, where most believe this case will ultimately be decided, understands the good that marriage offers society and that it deserves the highest level of protection.


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