Well, we now know just what the will of the people, as expressed in as pure a fashion as possible, means when it runs up against the liberal mentality: absolutely nothing.
A federal judge has looked at the results of the referendum that banned gay marriage in an amendment to the state’s constitution — which passed 52% to 48% in November 2008 — violated the federal constitution, specifically the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment.
This decision could end up instituting gay marriage across the nation.
The court’s ruling says that states can not discriminate on the basis of sex when it comes to recognizing marriages. As this is a federal judge ruling, and citing the United States Constitution, the effects carry far beyond California’s borders.
I’ve long stated my support for gay marriage. I’m not going to recap my position here, but I’ll just say I don’t see any harm and a potential for quite a bit of good. However, my support has always been tempered by the condition that it be done the “right” way — by the will of the people, as expressed by either their elected representatives or public referendum.
That’s how it was done in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. And it’s been pretty uncontroversial.
On the other hand, in places where it is enshrined by judicial fiat, it ends up causing extremely heated fights. Massachusetts, California — the battles there have been epic.
My reasoning is simple: this is a major shift in the fundamental social structure of our culture. As such, it needs to be supported by the majority of the people, or it will cause tremendous turmoil. If it happens in a way that is seen as in defiance of the will of the majority, there will be a backlash.
By the judge’s ruling, we are seeing a potential overturning of every other law regarding marriage in every state. For example, each state sets rules restricting marriage based on other factors — age, consanguinity (the relatedness of the would-be couple), and whatnot. Those are also forms of discrimination, and are imperiled by the judge’s decision.
I had long believed that the biggest danger posed by judicially-imposed gay marriage was through the “full faith and credit” clause of the Constitution, which had the potential of allowing a single state’s authorization of gay marriage forcing all other states to recognize a union that would not be legal within their own borders. But this ruling shows that isn’t the only danger.
Folks, gay marriage is coming. It’s already in place in quite a few states, and remarkably uncontroversial in those states — those states where the people were allowed to decide it for themselves, and allowed to feel like they had a real say in the decision. In those states where the advocates said “screw you, you hateful bigots!” to the general populace and instead sought out a judge (or panel of judges) to impose their vision of “fairness” on the situation, there’s been no end of strife.
Yes, just getting a judge to agree with you is a lot cheaper and quicker than finding a way to get a majority of the citizens to do so. But only in the short term. If you want to win, and win in a way that will actually stand for more than a very brief time, the extra effort is the only way to guarantee it.
As I said, accepting gay marriage is a massive shift in the cultural status quo. And if that isn’t done with the active participation and consent of the general culture, you’re just asking for trouble.
Ask California. Ask Massachusetts.
As they’ve learned, if the people feel like they’re not being listened to, they tend to shout.