Wednesday, in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, federal Judge Vaughn Walker declared California's Marriage Amendment ("Proposition 8") unconstitutional, ruling that the state must allow same-sex marriage (see opinion, here). But, apparently, Judge Walker saw "marriage" in the U.S Constitution, even though it is nowhere to be found there, which most people understand to mean that it is an issue for each state to decide (i.e., the 10th Amendment). However, there is a stay on the ruling through today, so that opponents of the decision can appeal it to a higher court and ask for a stay until that appeal is ruled upon. This deplorable decision has the potential to gut the definition of marriage as well as the integrity of the democratic process — a single, unelected federal judge, undoing the votes of more than seven million Californians who voted for this state constitutional amendment in 2008. That November, when California voters chose Barack Obama for president (who has stated he believes marriage is between one man and one woman, see interview with Jake Tapper of ABC News), they also passed Proposition 8 (52 to 48 percent) declaring marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Sadly, when special interest groups fail to win either in the legislature or on the ballot, they turn to the courts to overturn the will of the people. This is precisely what happened in California. In fact, according to Dan McLaughlin at RedState.com (please read for a detailed analysis of Judge Walker's flawed "reasoning"), even in a bad year for conservatives:
49 percent of white voters, 58 percent of black voters, 59 percent of Latino voters, 49 percent of women, 54 percent of men, 53 percent of independents and 67 percent of voters over age 65 voted in favor Proposition 8.
Can't get more diverse than that. Ironic, huh?
An accurately defined democratic process should not allow for a handful of activists to overturn what a majority has conclusively and legally decided. Fortunately, yesterday's opinion is far from final. Pro-family advocates have immediate plans to appeal the ruling to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. There is a good chance that the case eventually will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
In his opinion, Judge Walker singularly waived off as irrelevant any "moral and religious views [that] form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples." Some have called into question Judge Walker's impartiality, as he is openly homosexual. Adding to the skepticism, Judge Walker will rule on today's request to place a stay on his own ruling.
In Virginia, the homosexual lobby has lost time and time again, both on the ballot and in the General Assembly. While this activist judge is redefining the centuries-old meaning of marriage, the people of Virginia have stated very plainly that they don't want anything like that to happen here.
Counterfeit forms of marriage cheapen and undermine real marriage. The union of a man and a woman in a committed marriage is the foundation of a stable society. Social science is clear that men, women and children benefit far more in a stable, traditional family. That makes traditional marriage and family far too important to society to experiment with to advance a political agenda. Especially when it's done by one man against the will of seven million people.