Thomas Jefferson, a deist, and Alexander Hamilton, an Episcopalian, anchored opposite ends of the political spectrum in the early years of the republic but agreed on one basic proposition: The nation's laws must follow God's laws.
U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled last week from a courtroom in San Francisco that "same-sex marriage" is a constitutional right, views Americans who agree with Jefferson and Hamilton as religiously motivated bigots.
"Good and wise men, in all ages ... have supposed that the Deity, from the relations we stand in to Himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is indispensably obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever," Hamilton wrote in 1775. "Upon this law depend the natural rights of mankind."
A year later, Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" and that "to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men."
In declaring that the Constitution guarantees two men a "right" to marry -- and become parents of children through, if necessary, "assistive reproductive technology" -- Judge Walker said, "The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples."
"A private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples is not a proper basis for legislation," he said.
The judge struck down California's voter-approved state constitutional amendment that reserved marriage to one man and one woman as illegitimate under the federal Constitution because, he said, it was based on the voters' understanding of morality.
By the same logic, he could have struck down the laws against theft or murder.
Now, some might say: But thieves and murderers violate the rights to property and life of the people from whom they steal and take the lives. Who are the victims of two men who simply want to "marry" each other? What rights of these victims are violated?
Children form the first set of victims. If the Supreme Court upholds Walker's ruling, many children nationwide will be denied a mother or a father by acts of government.
In his opinion, Walker issued specific "findings of fact" that children do not need both a mother and a father and, by implication, that children have no right to a mother and a father that needs to be respected by the state.
"Children do not need to be raised by a male parent and a female parent to be well-adjusted, and having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted," he wrote in finding of fact No. 71.
"Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted," he wrote in finding of fact No. 70. "The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology."
(In fact, the very brochure from the American Psychological Association that Judge Walker cited as evidence for this claim states: "Few studies are available regarding children of gay fathers.")
The judge also approvingly pointed to California laws that prohibit that state from preferring that a child have a mother and a father as opposed to two fathers.
"California law permits and encourages gays and lesbians to become parents through adoption, foster parenting or assistive reproductive technology," he wrote in finding of fact No. 49.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown, he approvingly noted, "admits that California law protects the right of gay men and lesbians in same-sex relationships to be foster parents and to adopt children by forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."
Concomitant with Judge Walker's "right" to marry comes the right of two men to contract with someone to conceive a child for them through "assistive reproductive technology," engage a woman to gestate that child for them in her womb, and then take custody of that child once the umbilical cord can be snipped.
Whose God-given inalienable right is violated here?
Does a child have a right to be conceived and raised by a mother and a father? Or do two men have a right to hire a technician to secure an ovum for them, unite it with a sperm in some laboratory, and implant the child so conceived in a woman treated not as a mother but as a gestational mule?
There is no doubt what "the laws of nature" say: A man cannot conceive a child by another man.
In the same place that God said "you shall not kill" and "you shall not steal," he also said, "Honor your father and mother."
Judge Walker takes a different view. "Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians," he wrote in finding of fact No. 77. To support this view, he disapprovingly pointed to teachings of the Southern Baptist, Evangelical Presbyterian, Free Methodist, Lutheran-Missouri Synod, Orthodox and Catholic churches.
The Founding Fathers understood the laws of nature, the Ten Commandments, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution to be wholly consistent with one another. Judge Walker and the same-sex marriage movement have declared war on them all.