Are you ready for some good news?
For the last decade California has been a battleground state in the debate whether to redefine the meaning of “marriage” to include same-sex couples. Last November, 7 million Californians—roughly 53% of those voting—voted in favor of Proposition 8 which amended the state constitution with these fourteen words: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
The people spoke. Case closed. Right?
Not so fast.
Unhappy with the outcome, homosexual activists immediately appealed the passage of Prop 8 to California’s highest court. They hoped that these seven justices would overturn the will of the people. This strategy has worked for them before—whatever the same-sex marriage advocates can’t get done at the ballot box, they push through the courts.
In this case they sued arguing that Prop 8 was an impermissible “constitutional revision” (which requires state legislature approval) rather than a “constitutional amendment” (which voters can simply add to the ballot box through the petition process as they did with Prop 8).
Yesterday, however, in a 6-1 decision, the California Supreme Court did the right thing by ratifying Proposition 8 and banning same-sex marriage in the Golden State. They are to be commended for their action. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said, “California’s Constitution gives its citizens the right of self-governance, and we are pleased that the court resisted demands to strip the right of the people to amend the state constitution. Even this widely recognized liberal court understands that overturning Proposition 8 would represent a repudiation of the state Constitution it is sworn to uphold.”
While I’d say the overall news is good for pro-traditional marriage and family supporters, there’s one aspect of the high court’s decision that’s certain to cause some difficulty down the road. (A full copy of the court’s decision can be read HERE.) I’m talking about the 18,000 same-sex couples who were “married” prior to yesterday’s decision. The court unanimously voted to allow those couples to retain their marital status.
Should those same-sex unions have been nullified?
Is the court sending a mixed message?
Isn’t it a crazy to define marriage one way and then permit the existence of something quite different?