Friday, May 16, 2008

Calif. Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage Riles Religious Right

Don’t these people have better things to do like feed the poor, help the homeless or some earthquake survivors or something? Or maybe go take a few U.S Government courses at the local community college for a refresher on what separation of church and state actually means.

Religious Right activists want to see their religious perspective on marriage imposed on everyone.

From Joseph L. Conn at Americans United:

LINK: Marriage Spat: Calif. Supreme Court Decision Sparks Church-State Discussion

The California Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage has opened an important discussion about the relationship between religion and government. The justices in the court majority made it clear that they were ruling in favor of civil-marriage equality and not religion. Religious communities will remain free to perform same-sex marriages or not, as their theology dictates.

A lot of people rightly see that as an important expression of judicial respect for the separation of church and state.


According to Baptist Press
, the Rev. Barrett Duke, vice president for governmental affairs for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said he was “saddened for the people of California.”

“The California Supreme Court ruling not only overruled the very clear will of the people, it also proposes to overrule God’s design,” Duke said. “These judges may think they know more about marriage than the rest of us, but I am confident they don’t know more about marriage than God. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman….That’s not only my opinion and the opinion of most of the people in this country, it’s God’s opinion, and His opinion overrules the opinion of any judges.”

The Rev. Clyde Grubbs, pastor of the Pasadena’s Throop Unitarian Universalist Church says:

“Our religion is in favor of (gay) people getting married, and they are saying that under someone else’s religion, that is wrong,” said Grubbs. “There is no secular reason for that position, so it must be a religious test and a violation of the First Amendment.”

The Religious Right needs to give this up and just let people live their lives.


DB said...

The day the religious right gives up shoving their definition of morality on us, is the day religion is dead. Not crossing my fingers.

Tommy said...

Quick, lock your doors and hide your children so that the homos don't get their hands on them and force them into gay marriages!

Jason H. Bowden said...

I believe the California SC did not refer to the first amendment, but to a California ruling 60 years ago that struck down interracial marriage as a precedent. Somehow they got from no discrimination based on race to the notion that the government must recognize all religious practices in the domain of matrimony, lest we fall into bigotry.

Please consider the implications of this. The Unitarian quoted above perversely claimed the issue isn't separation of Church and State, i.e. the establishment of a religion. He argued the government cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion! Some people's religion allows gay marriage, so in the spirit of religious tolerance, the court thinks the government must recognize everything. By the same logic and the precedent they just established it cannot interfere with free exercise of polygamous religious practices of the Mormons and Muslims either. When creepy cults present and future start marrying children in religious ceremonies, on what basis do We the People have to disagree? We can pass laws against of course-- but the courts (if the California decision becomes adopted universally) must overturn our efforts.

Tommy said...

When creepy cults present and future start marrying children in religious ceremonies, on what basis do We the People have to disagree?

Jason, society recognizes that children do not have the capacity to make an informed consent to enter into marriage, so I don't think we have to worry about that.

Stardust said...

When creepy cults present and future start marrying children in religious ceremonies, on what basis do We the People have to disagree?

To marry, one must be of age of consent. So, minors must always be protected by laws despite religious practices of their parents and caretakers. Consenting adults are free to make choices concerning their relationships. I think that those who are in committed relationships who want to have a legal attachment one to another is no big deal to me and really none of my beeswax. They are going to live together no matter what, and have relationships, so why not be allowed to marry for legal benefits.

And as for heterosexual marriage, all new heterosexual marriages today have only a 40% chance of lasting:

*Number of marriages: 2,230,000

*Marriage rate: 7.5 per 1,000 total population

*Divorce rate: 3.6 per 1,000 population (46 reporting States and D.C.)

How come these same people aren't squawking about that? (Oh...maybe it's because most of these divorcees are Xians, many of whom are from the religious right variety?) No one is concerned about the quality of children's care in dysfunctional heterosexual homes where children have no choice who they were born to. But when a child is adopted, then that child was truly wanted and that matters more than a parent's sexual be loved and cared for and raised to be good people.

There are already so many problems in the world that we do not need to be making a problem out of something that is not.

Jason H. Bowden said...

"So, minors must always be protected by laws"

Upholding laws is precisely what is contested in the California decision.

We cannot uphold moral norms through legislation if activist judges dictate from the bench. People are free to practice their religion, but they are NOT entitled to have their practices recognized by the State.

Stardust said...

People are free to practice their religion, but they are NOT entitled to have their practices recognized by the State.

Exactly, and is why the ban on gay marriage was overturned because the ban was based on the religious beliefs and practices of others.

Whether you approve of homosexuality or not, it is not relevant. Many people do not approve of people having children. Many people do not agree with the institution of marriage at all. But that doesn't change the legality of a union of two adults no matter what their sexual orientation.

Jason H. Bowden said...


No one was imposing religious views. Voters collectively decided that they wanted to keep the traditional definition of marriage in the eyes of the state, just as the state does not recognize marriages with minors, polygamous marriages, marriages with a dolphin, and so forth. Think about it. You personally want to keep marriage with minors illegal, which has been the tradition. Are you imposing a religious view?

The opposing argument is that some Churches want to marry gays, and if we don't have the State recognize them, we're violating their religious freedom. We're opening a huge can of worms with this kind of judicial activism -- ***in principle***, there is no reason for the court not to overturn other laws.

If the people of California collectively decided to allow gay marriage, there wouldn't be a problem -- we do have the freedom to pick and choose what we're going to allow and what we're not. The courts in contrast have a wider scope-- they get to decide what is a valid law and what is not. They do not pick and choose-- they set precedents. And here, they've decided when the people via voting decide the state shouldn't recognize a matrimony ceremony of a religion, the law is de facto "bigoted" and must be overturned.

Court-legislated polygamy is now just a matter of time.

rmacapobre said...

one woman and one man? during biblical times and in some parts of the world (middle east) a man can have N wives ..

BEAJ said...

I think Jason makes some good points.
Though the children getting married is not one of them because of the law.
Polygamy may be looked at in the future. Is it illegal and why would it be considered illegal, especially if we are dealing with consenting adults?
I'm talking about the real legal argument against polygamy.
I'm curious, can a brother and sister get married in California or any other state?

Tommy said...

The thing is, if we recognize that voters should have the say as to whether it is legal or not for gays to marry, then why stop at that. How about putting everyone's marriage up for a community vote?

I mean really, someone like Britney Spears can get married and then divorced, and be an irresponsible parent, but if she wants to marry someone else tomorrow, she can legally do it. How about letting the voters decide whether or not Britney Spears can get marred again? And I'll tell you what, it wouldn't surprise me if the vote was majority against her marrying again.

Stardust said...

if we recognize that voters should have the say as to whether it is legal or not for gays to marry, then why stop at that. How about putting everyone's marriage up for a community vote?

This is almost like the "traditional" question that was asked in the middle of a marriage ceremony for centuries "whoever can show just cause why these two should not be married, let him speak now or forever hold their peace"...that is biblical. The general public was allowed to voice their objections and were seriously considered. This is basically the same thing with gay marriage. The public is voicing a left-over religious view on certain people via the voting system. Suppose they voted to do away with atheists like I have run into many who want to do via the internet? Should that be allowed because it was a public vote? It's like a witch-hunt.

Whether homosexuals marry or not, it matters not to the rest of us. Like I said, they live together anyway so no biggie if their union is recognized by a piece of paper if they want that. It doesn't really change anything...unless you want to vote to outcast homosexuals like they do in Iran?

Children are a whole other matter. There is a legal age of consent whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, whether their parents are homosexual, or not. And no one bothers to vote if toothless,fundie (islamic and xian) ignorant, abusive, filthy, delusional, radical, psychotic adults can marry. And these are the ones we really have to worry about..and they are multiplying like rabbits. Oh no...those nice, polite and law-abiding homosexuals are the bigger problem...(snark)

BEAJ said...

Yep, this shouldn't even be up for a vote.
I use the example of a state with a high percentage of Christians voting on topics like calling it a marriage if a couple only get married in a Christian church, regardless of whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc.
That could pass. But it should never have been voted on in the first place.

Jason H. Bowden said...

"There is a legal age of consent"

An age of consent has no legal basis, even if majority approved, if courts have determined that the basis of this majority approved law is unconstitutional. That's what sucks about judicial activism.

Voters do not have the right to outcast people. In fact, if we obey the principle of Rule of Law, we should not know which specific individuals a law applies to in advance. For example -- "no driving over 65mph" is a valid law, but "Barack Obama cannot drive over 65mph" is not.

The voters weren't even saying that gays could not get married. They were only giving the state a criterion by which they would recognize marriages.

I'm less concerned about polygamy in the present -- the judges obviously are making things up as they go along. Everyone knows it is judicial activism-- they don't care what is legal, but whether they think the ruling promotes social justice. I know liberal judges can by fiat dictate that polygamous Muslim marriages don't count, but gay marriages do. Dictating without consent however is what dictatorships do, not democracies.

Stardust said...

Dictating without consent however is what dictatorships do, not democracies.

Isn't religious folks telling everyone how to live and setting the "traditional" rules according to their religious "standards" a form or religious "dictatorship"?

Stardust said...

We need to get this into perspective. We are talking about people getting a piece of paper to make their union "official" or whatever.

It's just a piece of paper. Homosexual couples will be together with or without it. And without the piece of paper, the one will not have legal connection to the other.

What is the big deal if two people simply want an official legal connection for legal reasons? I don't see what the big deal is...except for the religious moral concerns the objectors have.

Stardust said...

On another blog's comment thread, this commenter made a good point about why homosexual couples want their union recognized as marriage...

"If you are married you get survivorship, eligibility for medical benefits as a spouse etc.
In civil union you dont get them automatically. You can assign survivorship thru a will. Businesses dont have to recognize your civil union wife as a spouse for inclusion on your medical. If you go into the hospital married partners can make decisions such as operations if you are incapacitated. Civil union ones may not even be able to visit you let alone make decisions for you."

Anonymous said...

I think you know my reaction to that ruling, Stardust! Wahooo!! lol
Although I may never meet that right "someone" to get married, I sure as hell think I deserve that right!
No bull-shit xtian should have the right to force me and others like me to have to resort to civil unions just because they read a part of that fictional book called the "bible" that says it is a sin. Of course these idgets ignore the rest of that part of the bible that declares that a child should be put to death if it curses its parents.. yada yada...

Oh heck with it! Why don't these xtians mind their own friggin business?

Stardust said...

Greg, I really don't know what people's objection is because as I point out to people that gay couples are going to live together anyway whether anyone approves or not and just because they can get a legal document doesn't mean that the whole universe will "turn gay". All it is is homophobia.

Someone brought up these points for debating xians and those who say that marriage should be between a man and a woman because of the "nuclear family" tradition, and for procreation then...

Should we not allow infertile heterosexual couples to marry? They cannot procreate.

Should we not allow old heterosexual people to marry? They cannot procreate?

Should we ban divorce because that will disrupt the "nuclear family" and undermines the tradition of marriage.

Should we not allow men to have vascectomies and women to have their tubes tied because lawd knows...they must procreate!

Shall we demand that married heterosexual couples procreate because that is what marriage is for?

People need to stop ant THINK exactly what marriage is. It's a bond to someone you love whether that person can have children or not. The love what is in the heart of two people, not what is between their two legs.

Jason H. Bowden said...


Religious institutions didn't vote. The voters did. You don't have to be religious to find cultural Marxism rotten and corrosive.

Liberals only judge policies and rulings by whether they agree with the intentions. I've complained how this leads to undesirable outcomes with the welfare state. Within the judiciary, this also leads to a brakedown of rule of law.

Liberals always say Bush is breaking the law. I don't want to debate the truth of this, but the principle involved. If the Constitution is a living document, and language is always "shades of gray," liberals logically forfeit any basis for complaint. This living document bullshit makes a joke of the entire judiciary, as if sound interpretations are a matter of one liking the interpretation.

Steve Chapman, a libertarian who supports civil unions/gay marriage, recently remarked

"The majority is not always right, and in that instance, I thought the majority was wrong. But democracy doesn't say the people will always be right. It merely says they have the right to decide most matters of public policy. Here, by contrast, the California Supreme Court says the citizenry has no right to define marriage the way it has been defined by custom and law for eons."

This is well-put.

For the record, I support gay marriage, and oppose civil unions. (For most politicians, it is the other way around.) Nuclear families constitute the building blocks of our civilization, which is why the state gives them (and should give them) a privileged status. If you want to marry a dolphin on your own time, knock yourself out.

The State is not obligated to recognize every form of matrimony people make up, no matter how much love Achmed has in his heart for minors and each of his wives. But it may be now.

Stardust said...

Concerning the definition of marriage, the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (1996) and it's definition of marriage is being questioned:

Critics of Defense of Marriage Act argue that the law is unconstitutional on several grounds including:

* Congress over-reached its authority under the Full Faith and Credit Clause

* the law illegally discriminates and violates the Equal Protection Clause

* the law violates the fundamental right to marriage (including same-sex marriage) under the due process clause.

For now this issue is at the mercy of each individual state and of fearful and bigoted voters.

On May 15, 2008 the California DOMA was thrown out by the state supreme court as a violation of equal protection and same-sex marriage became legal in California.

Seems like the Supreme Court of California actually took some time to re-evaluate. Maybe those who are up in arms about this should take another look at it, also.

Jason H. Bowden said...


Liberals think the equal protection clause and the due process clauses can mean anything -- they use the same reasoning to say you have a right to kill your baby. They do this with the rest of the Constitution-- for example, notoriously use the Interstate Commerce clause as an excuse to legislate, litigate, and regulate everything-- in pomo liberal eyes, words mean anything we want them to mean, except precisely what they do mean.

I wonder if Hillary will sue her way to the Democrat nomination. She can claim the Democrat delegate rules for Michigan and Florida violate the equal protection clause!!! This should be taken as a colossal joke, but comedy mirrors reality these days. It doesn't matter if it really does violate the clause or not -- all she needs to do is find a judge her husband appointed, and have the judge make the ruling by fiat, Chicago Democrat-style.

Stardust said...

all she needs to do is find a judge her husband appointed, and have the judge make the ruling by fiat, Chicago Democrat-style.

You mean sort of like how Dubya stole the election from Al Gore? ;)

Jason H. Bowden said...

"You mean sort of like how Dubya stole the election from Al Gore? ;)"

I guess that makes Hillary=Gore, and Obama=Bush. Ha!