Californians not allowed to vote against gay marriage

The state of California, at one time, decided to permit gay marriage, but voters rallied and overturned that law.  Now a federal appeals court has overturned that vote on constitutional grounds.  See Court Rejects State Ban on Gay Marriage – WSJ.com.

We have been told both by conservatives and liberals that the question of gay marriage should just be left up to the states.  That way, different values across this great country can find expression.  But here the people of a state are not allowed to have a say in the matter.  State legislators can legalize gay marriage.  But the actual citizens of a state cannot vote to reject gay marriage.  (In this case, the people who do not want gay marriage are from California–California!–presumably the most culturally cutting-edged in the nation.)

It looks like gay marriage will be decided by the courts after all. And if it is construed as a constitutional issue, then a decision for gay marriage must apply to the whole country.  This case will be appealed to the Supreme Court, which will have to settle the controversy one way or the other.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael B.

    “Californians not allowed to vote against gay marriage”

    Yes. The rights of a minority should not be decided by the majority.

    On another note, polls show that support for gay marriage is increasing. Support for gay marriage enjoys much more support from younger people. (http://www.pewforum.org/PublicationPage.aspx?id=647) Gay marriage supporters will be in the majority soon, if they aren’t already.

  • Michael B.

    “Californians not allowed to vote against gay marriage”

    Yes. The rights of a minority should not be decided by the majority.

    On another note, polls show that support for gay marriage is increasing. Support for gay marriage enjoys much more support from younger people. (http://www.pewforum.org/PublicationPage.aspx?id=647) Gay marriage supporters will be in the majority soon, if they aren’t already.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Michael @ 1: sorry, but gay marriage is not a “right.” Marriage is an institute established by God and regulated by His commands. The state does not have the right to interefere with this and play God.

    More evidence that the world is becoming more and more hostile toward God (I Timothy 3:13).

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Michael @ 1: sorry, but gay marriage is not a “right.” Marriage is an institute established by God and regulated by His commands. The state does not have the right to interefere with this and play God.

    More evidence that the world is becoming more and more hostile toward God (I Timothy 3:13).

  • helen

    Anybody But Christian!

  • helen

    Anybody But Christian!

  • #4 Kitty

    @J.Dean #2

    Sorry but marriage is recognized as a right. For example there was a time in this country when it was against the law for blacks to marry whites. And yes, at that time God once again was invoked in order to defend bigotry and discrimination. This from Leon M. Bazile (a Virginia trial judge) in 1959: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    However, this nonsense did not go over well when the trial was brought to Supreme Court (Love v Virginia 1967) where the court wrote:
    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law.

    So, you see in this country anyway the majority cannot invalidate the rights of the minority.

  • #4 Kitty

    @J.Dean #2

    Sorry but marriage is recognized as a right. For example there was a time in this country when it was against the law for blacks to marry whites. And yes, at that time God once again was invoked in order to defend bigotry and discrimination. This from Leon M. Bazile (a Virginia trial judge) in 1959: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    However, this nonsense did not go over well when the trial was brought to Supreme Court (Love v Virginia 1967) where the court wrote:
    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law.

    So, you see in this country anyway the majority cannot invalidate the rights of the minority.

  • Kirk

    @J. Dean

    So God dolls out the civil benefits of marriage?

  • Kirk

    @J. Dean

    So God dolls out the civil benefits of marriage?

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m opposed to gay marriage, but I also don’t think the structure of marriage–and the catalogue of rights in general–is something to be determined via electoral procedures. Shall the demos also vote on whether or not habeas corpus is a “right”?

    Contra Kitty #4, I also don’t think marriage should be discussed or legislated in terms of “rights.” The point is that Proposition 8 set a number of disturbing precedents, from reducing marriage to a state-granted “right” to allowing the majority to determine what actually constitutes a right. Bad news bears.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m opposed to gay marriage, but I also don’t think the structure of marriage–and the catalogue of rights in general–is something to be determined via electoral procedures. Shall the demos also vote on whether or not habeas corpus is a “right”?

    Contra Kitty #4, I also don’t think marriage should be discussed or legislated in terms of “rights.” The point is that Proposition 8 set a number of disturbing precedents, from reducing marriage to a state-granted “right” to allowing the majority to determine what actually constitutes a right. Bad news bears.

  • Kirk

    *doles

    embarrassing

  • Kirk

    *doles

    embarrassing

  • kenneth

    To suggest that race is an issue settling legal precedence is disgusting. We could be marrying ameoba’s to dogs nest.

  • kenneth

    To suggest that race is an issue settling legal precedence is disgusting. We could be marrying ameoba’s to dogs nest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    If marriage is a “right”, then how come you have to get a license to exercise it?

    What other rights require a license to exercise?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    If marriage is a “right”, then how come you have to get a license to exercise it?

    What other rights require a license to exercise?

  • Tom Hering

    Gun rights?

  • Tom Hering

    Gun rights?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Yes. The rights of a minority should not be decided by the majority.”

    This makes me think of the Arab Spring.

    Now the Libyans and Egyptians can use democracy to do exactly that.

    Anyway. Gays already had the exact same rights as every one else and more. They want special status above and beyond the rest of us. Marriage is a sexual relationship that can produce people. Such a union is not possible for gays, so government has no interest in it. It is really nothing more than friendship.

    They really want to use antidiscrimination law eject from the public square institutions, such as churches, that have traditional social mores, and that provide competition to the power of the state. Right now religious institutions (along with lots of secular institutions) are in major partnership with the government on healthcare, education, provision of welfare, adoption and so forth.

    The goal of course is a massive expansive of the state, which you should care about because that is a diminishing of all of us as individuals. This is why regimes of the 20th century made the elimination of the church their first and top priority, while leaving 100 million dead worldwide. Totalitarianism’s biggest hindrance is the church and people of faith, and if the public square is closed to all but secular institutions by force of law, you consciously or not facilitate their totalitarian designs.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Yes. The rights of a minority should not be decided by the majority.”

    This makes me think of the Arab Spring.

    Now the Libyans and Egyptians can use democracy to do exactly that.

    Anyway. Gays already had the exact same rights as every one else and more. They want special status above and beyond the rest of us. Marriage is a sexual relationship that can produce people. Such a union is not possible for gays, so government has no interest in it. It is really nothing more than friendship.

    They really want to use antidiscrimination law eject from the public square institutions, such as churches, that have traditional social mores, and that provide competition to the power of the state. Right now religious institutions (along with lots of secular institutions) are in major partnership with the government on healthcare, education, provision of welfare, adoption and so forth.

    The goal of course is a massive expansive of the state, which you should care about because that is a diminishing of all of us as individuals. This is why regimes of the 20th century made the elimination of the church their first and top priority, while leaving 100 million dead worldwide. Totalitarianism’s biggest hindrance is the church and people of faith, and if the public square is closed to all but secular institutions by force of law, you consciously or not facilitate their totalitarian designs.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Gun rights?”

    In Texas, concealed weapons require a license, but not the gun in your trunk, backseat or home.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Gun rights?”

    In Texas, concealed weapons require a license, but not the gun in your trunk, backseat or home.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So, you see in this country anyway the majority cannot invalidate the rights of the minority.”

    But the minority can invalidate the rights of the majority.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So, you see in this country anyway the majority cannot invalidate the rights of the minority.”

    But the minority can invalidate the rights of the majority.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Sg – so the union of two people where one or both are infertile, is by your definition not a marriage? Careful there…..

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Sg – so the union of two people where one or both are infertile, is by your definition not a marriage? Careful there…..

  • Tom Hering

    “But the minority can invalidate the rights of the majority.”

    What majority right? The right to deny rights to minorities? It doesn’t exist – not in our democratic republic.

  • Tom Hering

    “But the minority can invalidate the rights of the majority.”

    What majority right? The right to deny rights to minorities? It doesn’t exist – not in our democratic republic.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The real issue here is what is the role of the State is wrt Marriage. If we go according to J Dean, we have a theocratic state, imposing Biblical law. Do we want that? Or, if we go the current general trend, it is that the state defines marriage. Most people here do not want that.

    Of course, long ago we had this same debate ere, and I dated the point that the “control” of marriage by the state is a relativel new thing, mostly dating back to the nineteenth century. And prior to that, control of marriage by the church dates back to the late medieval times only. Prior to that, for as far as human history goes, it has always been a contract between two people / two families.

    My argument is that the state should merely recognise the existence of a contract, and that all marriages should be, from the state’s perspective, Civil Unions only. The state is not God, nor is it the Church. it cannot define Christian marriage, but it can recognise the existence of a union.

    Problem solved.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The real issue here is what is the role of the State is wrt Marriage. If we go according to J Dean, we have a theocratic state, imposing Biblical law. Do we want that? Or, if we go the current general trend, it is that the state defines marriage. Most people here do not want that.

    Of course, long ago we had this same debate ere, and I dated the point that the “control” of marriage by the state is a relativel new thing, mostly dating back to the nineteenth century. And prior to that, control of marriage by the church dates back to the late medieval times only. Prior to that, for as far as human history goes, it has always been a contract between two people / two families.

    My argument is that the state should merely recognise the existence of a contract, and that all marriages should be, from the state’s perspective, Civil Unions only. The state is not God, nor is it the Church. it cannot define Christian marriage, but it can recognise the existence of a union.

    Problem solved.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    KK, you can’t use exceptions to make rules. The infertile are not the general case. If they were, the government would have no interest. The reasonable assumption is of fertility.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    KK, you can’t use exceptions to make rules. The infertile are not the general case. If they were, the government would have no interest. The reasonable assumption is of fertility.

  • mikeb

    Michael B. @ 1

    The rights of a minority should not be decided by the majority.

    Under what authority should such a dictum be enforced? How do we decide that your belief, your values are any more just and right than mine?

    I believe Dr. Veith’s question was more of a practical nature:

    We have been told both by conservatives and liberals that the question of gay marriage should just be left up to the states.

    The Left and Right say this should be a local issue then the Left does their best to Federalize it. Why doesn’t the 10th Amendment apply? What authority is reserved to the states and to the sovereign people? And what does the equal protection clause mean under these circumstances?

    Given that this issue is now likely to be decided by the Supreme Court, it would seem that nine people (a definite minority) will decide what is just and right for 300-million. How do we square that in a representative democracy–where nine unelected and unaccountable jurists can overrule a majority of California voters, not to mention a majority of voters in every state where the question has been put on the ballot?

  • mikeb

    Michael B. @ 1

    The rights of a minority should not be decided by the majority.

    Under what authority should such a dictum be enforced? How do we decide that your belief, your values are any more just and right than mine?

    I believe Dr. Veith’s question was more of a practical nature:

    We have been told both by conservatives and liberals that the question of gay marriage should just be left up to the states.

    The Left and Right say this should be a local issue then the Left does their best to Federalize it. Why doesn’t the 10th Amendment apply? What authority is reserved to the states and to the sovereign people? And what does the equal protection clause mean under these circumstances?

    Given that this issue is now likely to be decided by the Supreme Court, it would seem that nine people (a definite minority) will decide what is just and right for 300-million. How do we square that in a representative democracy–where nine unelected and unaccountable jurists can overrule a majority of California voters, not to mention a majority of voters in every state where the question has been put on the ballot?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The state is not God, nor is it the Church. it cannot define Christian marriage, but it can recognise the existence of a union.”

    In the case of California, which has civil unions, what additional privileges would be provided by having the word “marriage” on the document?

    Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who wrote the majority opinion, offered this:

    the only fact found by the district court that matters to our analysis is that “domestic partnerships lack the social meaning associated with marriage” — that the difference between the designation of ‘marriage’ and the designation of ‘domestic partnership’ is meaningful.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/02/the-8-biggest-lessons-from-yesterdays-prop-8-ruling/252738/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The state is not God, nor is it the Church. it cannot define Christian marriage, but it can recognise the existence of a union.”

    In the case of California, which has civil unions, what additional privileges would be provided by having the word “marriage” on the document?

    Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who wrote the majority opinion, offered this:

    the only fact found by the district court that matters to our analysis is that “domestic partnerships lack the social meaning associated with marriage” — that the difference between the designation of ‘marriage’ and the designation of ‘domestic partnership’ is meaningful.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/02/the-8-biggest-lessons-from-yesterdays-prop-8-ruling/252738/

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SG, I do not think 15% of couples qualifies as an “exception”?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SG, I do not think 15% of couples qualifies as an “exception”?

  • Tom Hering

    “How do we square that in a representative democracy … ?”

    You don’t, if by “representative” you mean a direct democracy. But we ain’t got one of those.

  • Tom Hering

    “How do we square that in a representative democracy … ?”

    You don’t, if by “representative” you mean a direct democracy. But we ain’t got one of those.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “What majority right? The right to deny rights to minorities? It doesn’t exist – not in our democratic republic.”

    Free speech, now called hate speech if directed at certain groups by certain groups but not others.

    Equal protection. Hate crimes make it a worse offense for A to commit a crime against B than for B to commit the same crime against A.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “What majority right? The right to deny rights to minorities? It doesn’t exist – not in our democratic republic.”

    Free speech, now called hate speech if directed at certain groups by certain groups but not others.

    Equal protection. Hate crimes make it a worse offense for A to commit a crime against B than for B to commit the same crime against A.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Sg – I do not know enough about the situation in California, but speaking off the top of my head, I would say the relevant issues pertaining to a union are mostly legal, and pertain to goods and property ownership (in/out of community), inheritance laws, medical coverage, pensions, evidence in court and that type of thing. Since we are now in a situation where fewer and fewer children are living with their biological parents (very sad but true), the courts/state should recognise the existence of biological parents, and guardians, where the latter could be (and hopefully will be) the same person as the former.

    This is an entirely different situation than the Church, which recognises man and wife, parents and children, without deferral to the State for those definitions.

    We should not confuse State, Church and Family, or try to make the one in the image of the other. The world-improvers on the left want to make the Church into the image of the State. The world-improvers on the right want to make state into the image of the Church. This has been an ongoing process, especially since the mid 1800′s. It is not a new thing. I reject both options.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Sg – I do not know enough about the situation in California, but speaking off the top of my head, I would say the relevant issues pertaining to a union are mostly legal, and pertain to goods and property ownership (in/out of community), inheritance laws, medical coverage, pensions, evidence in court and that type of thing. Since we are now in a situation where fewer and fewer children are living with their biological parents (very sad but true), the courts/state should recognise the existence of biological parents, and guardians, where the latter could be (and hopefully will be) the same person as the former.

    This is an entirely different situation than the Church, which recognises man and wife, parents and children, without deferral to the State for those definitions.

    We should not confuse State, Church and Family, or try to make the one in the image of the other. The world-improvers on the left want to make the Church into the image of the State. The world-improvers on the right want to make state into the image of the Church. This has been an ongoing process, especially since the mid 1800′s. It is not a new thing. I reject both options.

  • mikeb

    Tom Hering @ 21

    We have a representative democracy. The people choose representatives to govern. The authority of those governing comes from the consent of the governed, the people who chose them in the first place. Yeah, we don’t got a direct democracy. We got a representative democracy. A republic.

  • mikeb

    Tom Hering @ 21

    We have a representative democracy. The people choose representatives to govern. The authority of those governing comes from the consent of the governed, the people who chose them in the first place. Yeah, we don’t got a direct democracy. We got a representative democracy. A republic.

  • Jon

    No person has been denied the equal protection of the law on account of the definition of marriage. The law applies equally to all males and females. Any man or woman can qualify for marriage, it’s really quite easy to do!

    The law, with its limits on capacity to marry, is there to promote the general walfare of society; to protect the basic, natural family unit to ensure our ability to have successful successive generations.

    The product of M+M or F+F does not, can not, will not, by laws of nature, lead to successeful, successive generations.

  • Jon

    No person has been denied the equal protection of the law on account of the definition of marriage. The law applies equally to all males and females. Any man or woman can qualify for marriage, it’s really quite easy to do!

    The law, with its limits on capacity to marry, is there to promote the general walfare of society; to protect the basic, natural family unit to ensure our ability to have successful successive generations.

    The product of M+M or F+F does not, can not, will not, by laws of nature, lead to successeful, successive generations.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    From the 14th Amendment:
    “… nor shall any State … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ”

    Notice that “person” is singular. The equal protection clause applies to individuals, not assortments of people.

    A “gay” couple is not an individual. It is a partnership of individuals.

    The equal protection clause is not being violated by disallowing “gay” marriages. Each individual in a partnership has the same equal protection under the law as anyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    From the 14th Amendment:
    “… nor shall any State … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ”

    Notice that “person” is singular. The equal protection clause applies to individuals, not assortments of people.

    A “gay” couple is not an individual. It is a partnership of individuals.

    The equal protection clause is not being violated by disallowing “gay” marriages. Each individual in a partnership has the same equal protection under the law as anyone.

  • Jon

    And, further, to those who argue there is no harm done simply by allowing M+M or F+F, I ask what is the point of that? Just to make them feel good, or less bad, by either being an empathetic/sympathetic supporter? What does the state get out of that redefinition? Can a civil union couple, or even a single person not adopt a child? What possible purpose could requiring the state to redefine marriage serve in helping the aim of protecting the most basic, natural method of successive generations for the good of society?

  • Jon

    And, further, to those who argue there is no harm done simply by allowing M+M or F+F, I ask what is the point of that? Just to make them feel good, or less bad, by either being an empathetic/sympathetic supporter? What does the state get out of that redefinition? Can a civil union couple, or even a single person not adopt a child? What possible purpose could requiring the state to redefine marriage serve in helping the aim of protecting the most basic, natural method of successive generations for the good of society?

  • DonS

    How about a little background, to inform the conversation on this thread a little better?

    In 2000, the voters of California passed an initiative statute simply saying that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Around that time, civil union statutes were passed granting unmarried couples of any gender mix the exact same rights granted by the marriage laws, to ensure that same gender couples would be able to pass property to their partner, make health decisions for their partner, etc. In 2007, seeing the mischief being wrought by gay rights advocates through the courts around the country, and the fact that gay marriage had become law in a few states, decided to qualify an initiative that would amend the state constitution, rather than merely being a statute, to provide a stronger protection for traditional marriage. Between the time the initiative qualified and the election in November 2008, the California Supreme Court overturned the 2000 statute in June 2008, despite please for them to wait until the 2008 initiative had been decided, in order to avert confusion and uncertainty. They refused, overturned the statute on a 4-3 vote, in a rambling 133 page ruling based in the equal protection clause of the California constitution. For 5 months gays could marry, until Proposition 8 passed in November 2008.

    This 9th Circuit decision essentially held that, because California had passed a civil union statute AND because the California Supreme Court had overturned the will of the people as expressed in the 2000 statute, and granted gays the right to marry, there was no rational basis for the people of California to retract that right with Proposition 8, under the equal protection clause of the U.S. constitution. They ruled on as narrow a basis as they could conceive — it only applies to the state of California, even though it is rooted in federal constitutional principles. It is absurd. At bottom, they ruled that the people had no right to correct the CA Supreme Court’s awful misinterpretation of the CA constitution, by amending the constitution back to its historic interpretation.

    Now, why did they make their holding so narrow? To try to entice Anthony Kennedy, the swing justice on the Supreme Court, to not vote to take the case. Why is that? Because the 9th Circuit panel knows it will be reversed if the Supreme Court takes the case. Stephen Reinhardt, the writer of the opinion, is the most reversed appellate circuit justice in U.S. history, because of his absurdly liberal and unlawful rulings. Worse yet, his wife, Ramona Ripston, was the longtime head of the southern CA ACLU chapter at the time this case was brought up, and her organization participated in the briefing of this case at the district court level. And yet, he refused to recuse himself, and had the nerve to actually write the opinion.

    Michael B. @ 1: “On another note, polls show that support for gay marriage is increasing. ” — I happen to agree with you. So, why in the heck does the left insist on using the undemocratic courts to impose its policy preferences on the people by force, instead of working through the democratic process and convincing the people to enact those policies democratically?

  • DonS

    How about a little background, to inform the conversation on this thread a little better?

    In 2000, the voters of California passed an initiative statute simply saying that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Around that time, civil union statutes were passed granting unmarried couples of any gender mix the exact same rights granted by the marriage laws, to ensure that same gender couples would be able to pass property to their partner, make health decisions for their partner, etc. In 2007, seeing the mischief being wrought by gay rights advocates through the courts around the country, and the fact that gay marriage had become law in a few states, decided to qualify an initiative that would amend the state constitution, rather than merely being a statute, to provide a stronger protection for traditional marriage. Between the time the initiative qualified and the election in November 2008, the California Supreme Court overturned the 2000 statute in June 2008, despite please for them to wait until the 2008 initiative had been decided, in order to avert confusion and uncertainty. They refused, overturned the statute on a 4-3 vote, in a rambling 133 page ruling based in the equal protection clause of the California constitution. For 5 months gays could marry, until Proposition 8 passed in November 2008.

    This 9th Circuit decision essentially held that, because California had passed a civil union statute AND because the California Supreme Court had overturned the will of the people as expressed in the 2000 statute, and granted gays the right to marry, there was no rational basis for the people of California to retract that right with Proposition 8, under the equal protection clause of the U.S. constitution. They ruled on as narrow a basis as they could conceive — it only applies to the state of California, even though it is rooted in federal constitutional principles. It is absurd. At bottom, they ruled that the people had no right to correct the CA Supreme Court’s awful misinterpretation of the CA constitution, by amending the constitution back to its historic interpretation.

    Now, why did they make their holding so narrow? To try to entice Anthony Kennedy, the swing justice on the Supreme Court, to not vote to take the case. Why is that? Because the 9th Circuit panel knows it will be reversed if the Supreme Court takes the case. Stephen Reinhardt, the writer of the opinion, is the most reversed appellate circuit justice in U.S. history, because of his absurdly liberal and unlawful rulings. Worse yet, his wife, Ramona Ripston, was the longtime head of the southern CA ACLU chapter at the time this case was brought up, and her organization participated in the briefing of this case at the district court level. And yet, he refused to recuse himself, and had the nerve to actually write the opinion.

    Michael B. @ 1: “On another note, polls show that support for gay marriage is increasing. ” — I happen to agree with you. So, why in the heck does the left insist on using the undemocratic courts to impose its policy preferences on the people by force, instead of working through the democratic process and convincing the people to enact those policies democratically?

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  • Jon

    Yes, and then will be a case of Michael B’s majority imposing its will on the minority again? Only because, in that instance, he feels he and the rest of his new majority are in the moral right side in his mind, so it’s OK, right?

  • Jon

    Yes, and then will be a case of Michael B’s majority imposing its will on the minority again? Only because, in that instance, he feels he and the rest of his new majority are in the moral right side in his mind, so it’s OK, right?

  • DonS

    Jon @ 29: The whole point of a democracy is that the majority imposes its will on the minority. That’s life. The Constitution protects certain enumerated rights of the minority from governmental interference otherwise created by majority rule.

    Gay marriage is not one of those enumerated rights. AS THE 9TH CIRCUIT PANEL ADMITTED. Which, of course, is why they tailored their ruling so narrowly.

  • DonS

    Jon @ 29: The whole point of a democracy is that the majority imposes its will on the minority. That’s life. The Constitution protects certain enumerated rights of the minority from governmental interference otherwise created by majority rule.

    Gay marriage is not one of those enumerated rights. AS THE 9TH CIRCUIT PANEL ADMITTED. Which, of course, is why they tailored their ruling so narrowly.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Californians not allowed to vote against gay marriage

    Why?

    Answer: Liberals are the true aggressors in culture wars

    Excerpt:

    Liberals are the aggressors in the culture war (and not always for the worse, as the civil rights movement demonstrates). What they object to isn’t so much the government imposing its values on people — heck, they love that. They see nothing wrong with imposing their views about diet, exercise, sex, race and the environment on Americans. What outrages them is resistance, or even non-compliance with their agenda. “Why are you making such a scene?” progressives complain. “Just do what we want and there will be no fuss.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Californians not allowed to vote against gay marriage

    Why?

    Answer: Liberals are the true aggressors in culture wars

    Excerpt:

    Liberals are the aggressors in the culture war (and not always for the worse, as the civil rights movement demonstrates). What they object to isn’t so much the government imposing its values on people — heck, they love that. They see nothing wrong with imposing their views about diet, exercise, sex, race and the environment on Americans. What outrages them is resistance, or even non-compliance with their agenda. “Why are you making such a scene?” progressives complain. “Just do what we want and there will be no fuss.”

  • P.C.

    Mike @26,

    Well said. Your succinct rationale blows away the comments of the liberals above. As a Californian, the 9th Circuit Court just invalidated my vote, and about 7.7 million others, to define marriage as between a man and a woman…something that really irritates me.

  • P.C.

    Mike @26,

    Well said. Your succinct rationale blows away the comments of the liberals above. As a Californian, the 9th Circuit Court just invalidated my vote, and about 7.7 million others, to define marriage as between a man and a woman…something that really irritates me.

  • formerly just steve

    Why isn’t anyone concerned about the rights and feelings of people who are inclined towards M+F+F+F or F+F+F+M arrangements? I still don’t get why they are different if we’re moving away from traditional M+F forms of marriage.

  • formerly just steve

    Why isn’t anyone concerned about the rights and feelings of people who are inclined towards M+F+F+F or F+F+F+M arrangements? I still don’t get why they are different if we’re moving away from traditional M+F forms of marriage.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    “California!–presumably the most culturally cutting-edged in the nation”

    Yes, we out here on the left coast are on the cutting edge of decadence. We will soon be changing our name to Gomorrah (apparently ‘Sodom’ is not PC) because, even though the original Gomorrah’s narrative ended tragically, we think they had the right idea and we fancy we know a bit more than our primitive ancestors. After all we are Americans, we’re practical and innovative and we can work our way around fire and brimstone.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    “California!–presumably the most culturally cutting-edged in the nation”

    Yes, we out here on the left coast are on the cutting edge of decadence. We will soon be changing our name to Gomorrah (apparently ‘Sodom’ is not PC) because, even though the original Gomorrah’s narrative ended tragically, we think they had the right idea and we fancy we know a bit more than our primitive ancestors. After all we are Americans, we’re practical and innovative and we can work our way around fire and brimstone.

  • Grace

    JD Loofbourrow @ 34

    I was born and reared in California. There are a great many people who are liberal, but there are also a great number of those who are conservative. If that were not so, PROP 8 would never have been voted upon. The vote against same sex marriage is proof that this state is not as liberal as one might think.

    This isn’t over yet, it most likely will go to the Supremes, we will see. Our votes DO COUNT.

    This all came down from San Francisco. Does that mean anything? You bet it does. We lived up there, it’s no different than the dump called West Hollywood, which I lived and worked near.

    The truth is, the majority of Californians voted against same sex marriage. San Francisco, West Hollywood, areas such as Laguna Beach, North Park San Diego, and a few other locations are known habitats for the homosexual community, they are not the majority, as the rest of the country imagines.

    Give this time, it will go to the Supreme Court!

  • Grace

    JD Loofbourrow @ 34

    I was born and reared in California. There are a great many people who are liberal, but there are also a great number of those who are conservative. If that were not so, PROP 8 would never have been voted upon. The vote against same sex marriage is proof that this state is not as liberal as one might think.

    This isn’t over yet, it most likely will go to the Supremes, we will see. Our votes DO COUNT.

    This all came down from San Francisco. Does that mean anything? You bet it does. We lived up there, it’s no different than the dump called West Hollywood, which I lived and worked near.

    The truth is, the majority of Californians voted against same sex marriage. San Francisco, West Hollywood, areas such as Laguna Beach, North Park San Diego, and a few other locations are known habitats for the homosexual community, they are not the majority, as the rest of the country imagines.

    Give this time, it will go to the Supreme Court!

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    As I recall prop 8 passed by a very slim majority (52% to 47%). If what others are saying about an increased approval of homosexual behavior and activism is true then it’s really only a matter of time. The Homosexual issue is only one of a plethora of serious moral problems in this state (from top to bottom). This state seems to be doing everything in its power to separate it self form the True Vine and eventually it and the US will go the way all nations do.

    It seems to me that these are the days (or at least nearly the days) when the church, as a people, need to choose loyalty to their Lord or loyalty to their Land. It seems to me, that we may soon need to distinguish ourselves from the American nation. This is only because America is working hard to distinguish it self from the church. That’s not to say we should run for the hills, I’m not saying that we should back away from the public square, I’m just saying the church as a group needs to make up its mind about who it is going to follow (which, I think, is obvious). May not be very patriotic from an American point of view but I am a Christian before I am an American.

    I should move but I would hate to find out at the border that I and my wife were two of the “ten” and have to watch as California slipped off into the ocean. I think it might be better for me to stay and intercede until angels physically remove me.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    As I recall prop 8 passed by a very slim majority (52% to 47%). If what others are saying about an increased approval of homosexual behavior and activism is true then it’s really only a matter of time. The Homosexual issue is only one of a plethora of serious moral problems in this state (from top to bottom). This state seems to be doing everything in its power to separate it self form the True Vine and eventually it and the US will go the way all nations do.

    It seems to me that these are the days (or at least nearly the days) when the church, as a people, need to choose loyalty to their Lord or loyalty to their Land. It seems to me, that we may soon need to distinguish ourselves from the American nation. This is only because America is working hard to distinguish it self from the church. That’s not to say we should run for the hills, I’m not saying that we should back away from the public square, I’m just saying the church as a group needs to make up its mind about who it is going to follow (which, I think, is obvious). May not be very patriotic from an American point of view but I am a Christian before I am an American.

    I should move but I would hate to find out at the border that I and my wife were two of the “ten” and have to watch as California slipped off into the ocean. I think it might be better for me to stay and intercede until angels physically remove me.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    SG, I do not think 15% of couples qualifies as an “exception”?

    Why?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    SG, I do not think 15% of couples qualifies as an “exception”?

    Why?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SG, 1 in 7 is a sizeable number, I would harldy term it “an exception”, that’s all I’m saying.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SG, 1 in 7 is a sizeable number, I would harldy term it “an exception”, that’s all I’m saying.

  • Michael B.

    @JD Loofbourrow @36

    “I should move but I would hate to find out at the border that I and my wife were two of the “ten” and have to watch as California slipped off into the ocean. I think it might be better for me to stay and intercede until angels physically remove me.”

    You are my new favorite poster. Sg, you’re fired.

  • Michael B.

    @JD Loofbourrow @36

    “I should move but I would hate to find out at the border that I and my wife were two of the “ten” and have to watch as California slipped off into the ocean. I think it might be better for me to stay and intercede until angels physically remove me.”

    You are my new favorite poster. Sg, you’re fired.

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “Marriage is a sexual relationship that can produce people. Such a union is not possible for gays, so government has no interest in it. It is really nothing more than friendship.”

    This has a lot of problems, and infertile couples are just the beginning. What about an elderly couple that gets married? What about me and my wife when we’re old and we aren’t able to reproduce anymore? Will we then be just “friends”?

    This post does show how fundamentally different we see marriage. I see marriage primarily as a committed loving relationship between 2 people, whereas you see it primarily as a vehicle for offspring.

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “Marriage is a sexual relationship that can produce people. Such a union is not possible for gays, so government has no interest in it. It is really nothing more than friendship.”

    This has a lot of problems, and infertile couples are just the beginning. What about an elderly couple that gets married? What about me and my wife when we’re old and we aren’t able to reproduce anymore? Will we then be just “friends”?

    This post does show how fundamentally different we see marriage. I see marriage primarily as a committed loving relationship between 2 people, whereas you see it primarily as a vehicle for offspring.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B. (and Klasie),

    Actually, historically and anthropologically speaking, sg is absolutely correct. Marriage has always been understood as the official sanction and obligatory duties placed upon a procreative relationship. The “original” purpose for marriage is specifically to protect the children that result from sexual relationships. Now, this doesn’t mean human beings can’t and haven’t imputed other meanings to marriage–romantic love, glory to God, means of grace, whatever–but those meanings are always secondary.

    The State/society does have a profound interest in ensuring that husbands and wives remain materially faithful to one another, and that they stick around to raise their children (because, biologically speaking, males especially are prone to seek other conquests, and have few natural incentives to raise a child past a certain point). The States does not have any interest in sanctioning romantic relationships for their own sakes. For social purposes, love is irrelevant. When you obtain a marriage license, the registrar doesn’t ask whether you love your prospective spouse. And when you seek a divorce, an absence of love or romantic feeling does not constitute, even in our divorce-crazed society, a legitimate grounds for marital dissolution.

    sg is also correct: exceptions don’t disprove these sorts of general social institutions. You can’t claim that the institution of marriage, as purposively established to protect children and social stability, is illegitimate because some couples turn out to be infertile. It wouldn’t make sense to demand a fertility test before granting marriage licenses. But it makes even less sense to grant marriage licenses to pairings (or triplings or…whatever! slippery slopes do apply here once we abandon the actual political meaning of marriage) that, by definition, have nothing to do with procreation.

    In the end, if homosexual couples want to sustain open romantic relationships, I don’t have to like it, but they can feel free to find apostate churches that will sanction their romances and call it “marriage.” But there is no reason that the State should go out of its way to encourage actively homosexual relationships (which is what marriage licenses, with all the attendant legal benefits and responsibilities, involve: the active encouragement of monogamous, procreative relationships).

    tl;dr: Love is irrelevant when discussing whether marriage should be extended to other arrangements than the traditional one. Sg is correct.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B. (and Klasie),

    Actually, historically and anthropologically speaking, sg is absolutely correct. Marriage has always been understood as the official sanction and obligatory duties placed upon a procreative relationship. The “original” purpose for marriage is specifically to protect the children that result from sexual relationships. Now, this doesn’t mean human beings can’t and haven’t imputed other meanings to marriage–romantic love, glory to God, means of grace, whatever–but those meanings are always secondary.

    The State/society does have a profound interest in ensuring that husbands and wives remain materially faithful to one another, and that they stick around to raise their children (because, biologically speaking, males especially are prone to seek other conquests, and have few natural incentives to raise a child past a certain point). The States does not have any interest in sanctioning romantic relationships for their own sakes. For social purposes, love is irrelevant. When you obtain a marriage license, the registrar doesn’t ask whether you love your prospective spouse. And when you seek a divorce, an absence of love or romantic feeling does not constitute, even in our divorce-crazed society, a legitimate grounds for marital dissolution.

    sg is also correct: exceptions don’t disprove these sorts of general social institutions. You can’t claim that the institution of marriage, as purposively established to protect children and social stability, is illegitimate because some couples turn out to be infertile. It wouldn’t make sense to demand a fertility test before granting marriage licenses. But it makes even less sense to grant marriage licenses to pairings (or triplings or…whatever! slippery slopes do apply here once we abandon the actual political meaning of marriage) that, by definition, have nothing to do with procreation.

    In the end, if homosexual couples want to sustain open romantic relationships, I don’t have to like it, but they can feel free to find apostate churches that will sanction their romances and call it “marriage.” But there is no reason that the State should go out of its way to encourage actively homosexual relationships (which is what marriage licenses, with all the attendant legal benefits and responsibilities, involve: the active encouragement of monogamous, procreative relationships).

    tl;dr: Love is irrelevant when discussing whether marriage should be extended to other arrangements than the traditional one. Sg is correct.

  • Jon

    Of course infertility is not a reason to deny marriage. On the flip side, however, fraud based on inability to consummate is a grounds for annulment. Again, this is because of the presumption that M+F=C(hild), which is what marriage is designed to protect; the natural, orderly procreation and child rearing for successive generations–i.e., self-preservation for the state. It’s not to make people feel good about themselves.

  • Jon

    Of course infertility is not a reason to deny marriage. On the flip side, however, fraud based on inability to consummate is a grounds for annulment. Again, this is because of the presumption that M+F=C(hild), which is what marriage is designed to protect; the natural, orderly procreation and child rearing for successive generations–i.e., self-preservation for the state. It’s not to make people feel good about themselves.

  • Jon

    Let’s pray you’re still friends for your sake. But more than that, the state hopes you’ll be parents and grandparents, and maybe great-grandparents of future tax paying, contributing citizens.

  • Jon

    Let’s pray you’re still friends for your sake. But more than that, the state hopes you’ll be parents and grandparents, and maybe great-grandparents of future tax paying, contributing citizens.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “You are my new favorite poster. Sg, you’re fired.”

    I think this should be part of the definition of a blog troll: gratuitously insulting.

    Most people can be provoked to incivility, but the blog troll is gratuitously uncivil.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “You are my new favorite poster. Sg, you’re fired.”

    I think this should be part of the definition of a blog troll: gratuitously insulting.

    Most people can be provoked to incivility, but the blog troll is gratuitously uncivil.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “1 in 7 is a sizeable number, I would harldy term it “an exception”, that’s all I’m saying.”

    I would, but I know involuntarily infertile people and how sad they are and sometimes angry and emotionally torn by the condition. Those who choose childlessness are psychologically exceptional.

    So, really we are talking about two different exceptions each at opposite ends of the spectrum.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “1 in 7 is a sizeable number, I would harldy term it “an exception”, that’s all I’m saying.”

    I would, but I know involuntarily infertile people and how sad they are and sometimes angry and emotionally torn by the condition. Those who choose childlessness are psychologically exceptional.

    So, really we are talking about two different exceptions each at opposite ends of the spectrum.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Prop 8

    Yes 52.24%

    No 47.76%

    Just double checking. Is 4.5% considered very slim?

    I know 60/40 is a landslide, and that is a 20 point spread.

    Is 55/45 just regular, at 10%?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Prop 8

    Yes 52.24%

    No 47.76%

    Just double checking. Is 4.5% considered very slim?

    I know 60/40 is a landslide, and that is a 20 point spread.

    Is 55/45 just regular, at 10%?

  • Michael B.

    @Cincinnatus@41

    In your scenario, you still don’t explain what gives the right for elderly heterosexual couples to marry. Also, what about the families where gay parents have adopted children? Doesn’t the state have an interest in seeing for their stability? Finally, and most troublesome about your post, you imply that people only have the right to marry because the state recognizes the marriage is in its best interest. So much for small government and liberty.

  • Michael B.

    @Cincinnatus@41

    In your scenario, you still don’t explain what gives the right for elderly heterosexual couples to marry. Also, what about the families where gay parents have adopted children? Doesn’t the state have an interest in seeing for their stability? Finally, and most troublesome about your post, you imply that people only have the right to marry because the state recognizes the marriage is in its best interest. So much for small government and liberty.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.

    No one, heterosexual or homosexual, has the “right” to marry. Marriage, for the purposes of this discussion, is a civil institution created by the state in which only those licensed are privileged to participate. There’s actually nothing controversial about this statement–at least there would not have been until maybe two decades ago, at most.

    Obviously, marriage also participates in other institutional spheres–most notably the religious sphere. Perhaps, for instance, Presbyterian churches are willing to recognize homosexual marriage as a religious ordinance. Maybe some cult somewhere believes that people should marry dogs. Fine: such churches have the “right” to do that. But the state need not acknowledge or “protect” such marriages. As a state institution, the purpose of marriage is to protect the legitimate offspring of procreative sex. Period.

    However, it’s always been acknowledged that it would be overburdensome–both to personal privacy and to state resources–for the government to scrutinize every proposed marriage for fertility, procreative intentions, etc. Thus, the general rule is this: legitimate offspring (until the very recent invention of in-vitro fertilization–a technology I find ethically problematic) are always the result of heterosexual relationships. Again, period. It makes sense, then, for the general institution of civil marriage to be granted to any heterosexual couple who applies. If they have children–and the vast, vast majority will–then the institution is serving its civil purpose. If they don’t, then no real harm done to the institution itself. There’s no use debating the legitimacy of a generic institution because there are obvious exceptions (infertile couples, old people).

    But it makes no sense whatsoever to extend marriage to homosexual pairings–or, for that matter, polygamous unions, etc. If we do that, then we’ve jettisoned the civil purpose of marriage altogether. Again, it’s irrelevant to me how various religious sects and private groups might define marriage for their own purposes. For example, as a high-church Anglican, I recognize marriage as a sacred, sacramental institution that images Christ’s relationship to His Church (and the interrelationships within the Trinitarian Godhead). But that has nothing to do with the State or civil marriage. Similarly, I have many, many homosexual friends who consider themselves “married” (I’m in a fairly “progressive” town here) and refer to one another as “wife” or “husband,” even though gay marriage is actually illegal in this state. But, again, that has nothing to do with the civil institution of marriage because civil marriage has nothing to do with romance, love, or companionship–or with rights.

    And what about gay adoptions, you say? Guess we should have legalized that abominable practice, huh? Since we have, though, it would make prudential sense to provide a special legal provision for such children that would extend the same legal protections to them that are due to the offspring of legitimate marriages. Or not. Most couples these days choose to forgo civil marriage altogether, even when they have children (don’t get me wrong: I find this practice morally and socially pernicious, but I’m just citing the fact as an empirical example). So why should the very few homosexual couples who have legally adopted get special protections?

    In short, we wouldn’t be having this debate if we remembered what civil marriage is actually for in an entirely non-religious, non-sectarian sense. But that’s our contemporary predicament, isn’t it? We’ve forgotten what anything is for–marriage, the family, the Church, the State, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.

    No one, heterosexual or homosexual, has the “right” to marry. Marriage, for the purposes of this discussion, is a civil institution created by the state in which only those licensed are privileged to participate. There’s actually nothing controversial about this statement–at least there would not have been until maybe two decades ago, at most.

    Obviously, marriage also participates in other institutional spheres–most notably the religious sphere. Perhaps, for instance, Presbyterian churches are willing to recognize homosexual marriage as a religious ordinance. Maybe some cult somewhere believes that people should marry dogs. Fine: such churches have the “right” to do that. But the state need not acknowledge or “protect” such marriages. As a state institution, the purpose of marriage is to protect the legitimate offspring of procreative sex. Period.

    However, it’s always been acknowledged that it would be overburdensome–both to personal privacy and to state resources–for the government to scrutinize every proposed marriage for fertility, procreative intentions, etc. Thus, the general rule is this: legitimate offspring (until the very recent invention of in-vitro fertilization–a technology I find ethically problematic) are always the result of heterosexual relationships. Again, period. It makes sense, then, for the general institution of civil marriage to be granted to any heterosexual couple who applies. If they have children–and the vast, vast majority will–then the institution is serving its civil purpose. If they don’t, then no real harm done to the institution itself. There’s no use debating the legitimacy of a generic institution because there are obvious exceptions (infertile couples, old people).

    But it makes no sense whatsoever to extend marriage to homosexual pairings–or, for that matter, polygamous unions, etc. If we do that, then we’ve jettisoned the civil purpose of marriage altogether. Again, it’s irrelevant to me how various religious sects and private groups might define marriage for their own purposes. For example, as a high-church Anglican, I recognize marriage as a sacred, sacramental institution that images Christ’s relationship to His Church (and the interrelationships within the Trinitarian Godhead). But that has nothing to do with the State or civil marriage. Similarly, I have many, many homosexual friends who consider themselves “married” (I’m in a fairly “progressive” town here) and refer to one another as “wife” or “husband,” even though gay marriage is actually illegal in this state. But, again, that has nothing to do with the civil institution of marriage because civil marriage has nothing to do with romance, love, or companionship–or with rights.

    And what about gay adoptions, you say? Guess we should have legalized that abominable practice, huh? Since we have, though, it would make prudential sense to provide a special legal provision for such children that would extend the same legal protections to them that are due to the offspring of legitimate marriages. Or not. Most couples these days choose to forgo civil marriage altogether, even when they have children (don’t get me wrong: I find this practice morally and socially pernicious, but I’m just citing the fact as an empirical example). So why should the very few homosexual couples who have legally adopted get special protections?

    In short, we wouldn’t be having this debate if we remembered what civil marriage is actually for in an entirely non-religious, non-sectarian sense. But that’s our contemporary predicament, isn’t it? We’ve forgotten what anything is for–marriage, the family, the Church, the State, etc.

  • Michael B.

    “As a state institution, the purpose of marriage is to protect the legitimate offspring of procreative sex. Period. ”
    –Says who? You said this several times in your last post. Where did you get this definition? You just declare this by fiat, and then use this to explain why gays can’t get married.

    “If they don’t, then no real harm done to the institution itself”
    –How does granting licenses to homosexuals hurt the institution of marriage? I never understood this.

    “I have many, many homosexual friends”
    –Lie

    –Finally, you’ve brought up the argument about why people can’t marry dogs or what not in both posts. This better answers the question:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/how-gay-rights-is-nothing-like-legalizing-beastali

  • Michael B.

    “As a state institution, the purpose of marriage is to protect the legitimate offspring of procreative sex. Period. ”
    –Says who? You said this several times in your last post. Where did you get this definition? You just declare this by fiat, and then use this to explain why gays can’t get married.

    “If they don’t, then no real harm done to the institution itself”
    –How does granting licenses to homosexuals hurt the institution of marriage? I never understood this.

    “I have many, many homosexual friends”
    –Lie

    –Finally, you’ve brought up the argument about why people can’t marry dogs or what not in both posts. This better answers the question:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/how-gay-rights-is-nothing-like-legalizing-beastali

  • Fws

    I still fail cincinatus to see why granting equal contrActual rights to gAYs to marry harms anything. Note “contractual ” rights. Legally one must qualify as contractually competent to enter into a contract. This eliminates animals. Besides! Now we have some test cases of some good durAtion. Mass. Tell us how legalized gay marriage has in any wAy at all been detrimental to public order. You can’t. Your views are purely religious ones. Nothing wrong with that in the private sphere

  • Fws

    I still fail cincinatus to see why granting equal contrActual rights to gAYs to marry harms anything. Note “contractual ” rights. Legally one must qualify as contractually competent to enter into a contract. This eliminates animals. Besides! Now we have some test cases of some good durAtion. Mass. Tell us how legalized gay marriage has in any wAy at all been detrimental to public order. You can’t. Your views are purely religious ones. Nothing wrong with that in the private sphere

  • Fws

    We live in a republic not a democrAcy don. Impeach the justices but it is wrong to decide constitutional issues by majority vote

  • Fws

    We live in a republic not a democrAcy don. Impeach the justices but it is wrong to decide constitutional issues by majority vote

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > … it is wrong to decide constitutional issues by majority vote

    Redefining words is not a constitutional issue.
    It’s also wrong to legislate by judicial fiat.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > … it is wrong to decide constitutional issues by majority vote

    Redefining words is not a constitutional issue.
    It’s also wrong to legislate by judicial fiat.

  • fws

    mike @ 52

    1) Your two arguments are specious:

    A) Technical words are constantly being redefined.

    We don’t need to feel threatened by this development. Why not? The underlying realities that the symbols called words label remain wholy unchanged. Biblical example: The antinomian (!) judge in luke 18 still does his job and delivers justice driven by the Law written in his conscience that is even dead to love. Moral: God will have his way regardless of our definitions. We don’t need to battle to assist God in maintaining this fundamental order with the culture wars. Why not?

    God is in control here in the Earthly Kingdom using the Law to extort His Will out of our Old Adams so that Mercy be done among men. Even… as the small catechisms states… out of those who are completely unworthy, without our prayer, and even among the wicked (those who actively seek subvert God’s Will that goodness and mercy be done).

    So definitions change. This is normal. And it is not wrong or subversive.

    Medical example: The clinical definition of the word “homosexual” was redefined as recently as the 1980s .

    Legal and business technical terms are also redefined constantly. In this case the word “marriage”. What I suggest you fail to remember is that words have different meanings depending in which discipline they are used. In religion “marriage , justice, mercy, grace, love, and God” ought to , no MUST, have a different meaning than in a court of law!

    So in a court “marriage” is about social contract. The parties entering a contract must have contractual capacity. These are very technical and specific things. Nothing to do with love. Nothing to do, per se, with your religious definition of marriage. Heck even in God~s theocracy I would point out that God himself sanctioned divorce. This was a redefinition of marriage in the civil sphere. Yet Jesus points out that in the religious sphere, in God~s eyes, marriage remained undivorcable! If you disagree with this you will need to take it up with God ok Miek? Summary: Different vocations use different defintions of words. This is true from the dawn of language. There is not subversiveness or hidden agenda in this at all Mike.

    B) I think it is safe to assert that almost ALL constitutional issues or arguments of Law hinge upon the definition and also the redefinition of words. “equal but separate” comes to mind. It was the definition of this phrase that changed and so the laws changed. The number of examples such as this equal the number of constitutional issues that have ever been before the court.

    Until 1860 the civil definition of marriage in the usa did not include blacks. Blacks literally jumped over a broom to become married. There was no legal import to this act of marriage. Blacks had no marital rights at all. And until 1970 a marriage between a black and a white was no marriage at all. It was null and void and an imprisonable offense in the state of virginia. This was definitional I suggest. Did these definitions conform to the religious defintion? nope. Did it conform to what? the law of the land. the contractual and technical definitions of that time. there were various definitions. and there was nothing subversive about it. And it was , of course, wrong. And society existed and marriage still managed to happen among blacks and mixed race couples all the same didnt it?

    Your arguments make no sense at all Mike.

    Besides…. the laws exist to put order in society and to promote the public good. tell me now how legalized gay marriage in mass and other states has subverted public order or been detrimental to heterosexual marriage in any way? you cant?

    yawn.

  • fws

    mike @ 52

    1) Your two arguments are specious:

    A) Technical words are constantly being redefined.

    We don’t need to feel threatened by this development. Why not? The underlying realities that the symbols called words label remain wholy unchanged. Biblical example: The antinomian (!) judge in luke 18 still does his job and delivers justice driven by the Law written in his conscience that is even dead to love. Moral: God will have his way regardless of our definitions. We don’t need to battle to assist God in maintaining this fundamental order with the culture wars. Why not?

    God is in control here in the Earthly Kingdom using the Law to extort His Will out of our Old Adams so that Mercy be done among men. Even… as the small catechisms states… out of those who are completely unworthy, without our prayer, and even among the wicked (those who actively seek subvert God’s Will that goodness and mercy be done).

    So definitions change. This is normal. And it is not wrong or subversive.

    Medical example: The clinical definition of the word “homosexual” was redefined as recently as the 1980s .

    Legal and business technical terms are also redefined constantly. In this case the word “marriage”. What I suggest you fail to remember is that words have different meanings depending in which discipline they are used. In religion “marriage , justice, mercy, grace, love, and God” ought to , no MUST, have a different meaning than in a court of law!

    So in a court “marriage” is about social contract. The parties entering a contract must have contractual capacity. These are very technical and specific things. Nothing to do with love. Nothing to do, per se, with your religious definition of marriage. Heck even in God~s theocracy I would point out that God himself sanctioned divorce. This was a redefinition of marriage in the civil sphere. Yet Jesus points out that in the religious sphere, in God~s eyes, marriage remained undivorcable! If you disagree with this you will need to take it up with God ok Miek? Summary: Different vocations use different defintions of words. This is true from the dawn of language. There is not subversiveness or hidden agenda in this at all Mike.

    B) I think it is safe to assert that almost ALL constitutional issues or arguments of Law hinge upon the definition and also the redefinition of words. “equal but separate” comes to mind. It was the definition of this phrase that changed and so the laws changed. The number of examples such as this equal the number of constitutional issues that have ever been before the court.

    Until 1860 the civil definition of marriage in the usa did not include blacks. Blacks literally jumped over a broom to become married. There was no legal import to this act of marriage. Blacks had no marital rights at all. And until 1970 a marriage between a black and a white was no marriage at all. It was null and void and an imprisonable offense in the state of virginia. This was definitional I suggest. Did these definitions conform to the religious defintion? nope. Did it conform to what? the law of the land. the contractual and technical definitions of that time. there were various definitions. and there was nothing subversive about it. And it was , of course, wrong. And society existed and marriage still managed to happen among blacks and mixed race couples all the same didnt it?

    Your arguments make no sense at all Mike.

    Besides…. the laws exist to put order in society and to promote the public good. tell me now how legalized gay marriage in mass and other states has subverted public order or been detrimental to heterosexual marriage in any way? you cant?

    yawn.

  • fws

    mike @ 52

    I would suggest here why , precisely, your thinking is damaging to our Confessional Lutheran Doctrine. It is a bedrock principle of Lutheran Theology that words MUST have different meanings depending upon the context of the vocation and sphere in which they are used. I am asserting that this is a primary doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church dear Mike! So I suggest you should repent of your logic as being dangerously detrimental to sound doctrine.

    To not make this distinction is to fail to distinguish between the Two Kingdoms. And this is a failure to distinguish Law and Gospel. Two Kingdoms is not about a distinction between churchly things and the state! it is about the kingdom of heaven that comes invisibly in ways that cannot be seen through faith in Christ, versus…. the earthly kingdom where God rules by the Law. This earthly kingdom includes ALL we can see and do in our bodies, and especially the administration of word and sacrament. This is all Law stuff. In with and under all this God works faith by these Law means and never apart from them.

    Here is an example from Luthers Preface to his 1545 translation of Romans of how understanding that we MUST use different definitions in different spheres (kingdoms) is absolutely essential to the integrity of Lutheran Doctrine and the Christian faith. Many false doctrines have arisen precisely because men fail to maintain this distinction!…

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    and here is just a sample:

    To begin with, we have to become familiar with the vocabulary of the letter and know what St. Paul means by the words law, sin, grace, faith, justice, flesh, spirit, etc. Otherwise there is no use in reading it.

    You must not understand the word law here in human fashion, i.e., a regulation about what sort of works must be done or must not be done. That’s the way it is with human laws: you satisfy the demands of the law with works, whether your heart is in it or not. God judges what is in the depths of the heart. Therefore his law also makes demands on the depths of the heart and doesn’t let the heart rest content in works; rather it punishes as hypocrisy and lies all works done apart from the depths of the heart. All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart. Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not.

  • fws

    mike @ 52

    I would suggest here why , precisely, your thinking is damaging to our Confessional Lutheran Doctrine. It is a bedrock principle of Lutheran Theology that words MUST have different meanings depending upon the context of the vocation and sphere in which they are used. I am asserting that this is a primary doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church dear Mike! So I suggest you should repent of your logic as being dangerously detrimental to sound doctrine.

    To not make this distinction is to fail to distinguish between the Two Kingdoms. And this is a failure to distinguish Law and Gospel. Two Kingdoms is not about a distinction between churchly things and the state! it is about the kingdom of heaven that comes invisibly in ways that cannot be seen through faith in Christ, versus…. the earthly kingdom where God rules by the Law. This earthly kingdom includes ALL we can see and do in our bodies, and especially the administration of word and sacrament. This is all Law stuff. In with and under all this God works faith by these Law means and never apart from them.

    Here is an example from Luthers Preface to his 1545 translation of Romans of how understanding that we MUST use different definitions in different spheres (kingdoms) is absolutely essential to the integrity of Lutheran Doctrine and the Christian faith. Many false doctrines have arisen precisely because men fail to maintain this distinction!…

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    and here is just a sample:

    To begin with, we have to become familiar with the vocabulary of the letter and know what St. Paul means by the words law, sin, grace, faith, justice, flesh, spirit, etc. Otherwise there is no use in reading it.

    You must not understand the word law here in human fashion, i.e., a regulation about what sort of works must be done or must not be done. That’s the way it is with human laws: you satisfy the demands of the law with works, whether your heart is in it or not. God judges what is in the depths of the heart. Therefore his law also makes demands on the depths of the heart and doesn’t let the heart rest content in works; rather it punishes as hypocrisy and lies all works done apart from the depths of the heart. All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart. Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I don’t get the redefining words thing.

    I mean, say I leave all my personal effects to my daughter, all my real estate to my son and all my money to my husband. The someone comes along and redefines real estate, personal effects and money or for some real fun, redefines son, daughter or husband. Then they want to apply the new definitions retroactively. That changes what I intended because I was operating under the old definitions. Likewise, the US constitution was written with the certain meanings in operation at the time that the citizens ratified it. They ratified it based on the meaning, not just the words. Probably some folks voted for it after having it translated for them into German, French etc by their friends or family. They voted for the meaning. Also, there is an amendment process for changing the US Constitution. Things like the ERA, abortion, same sex marriage can’t be ratified as amendments because people will not vote for them.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I don’t get the redefining words thing.

    I mean, say I leave all my personal effects to my daughter, all my real estate to my son and all my money to my husband. The someone comes along and redefines real estate, personal effects and money or for some real fun, redefines son, daughter or husband. Then they want to apply the new definitions retroactively. That changes what I intended because I was operating under the old definitions. Likewise, the US constitution was written with the certain meanings in operation at the time that the citizens ratified it. They ratified it based on the meaning, not just the words. Probably some folks voted for it after having it translated for them into German, French etc by their friends or family. They voted for the meaning. Also, there is an amendment process for changing the US Constitution. Things like the ERA, abortion, same sex marriage can’t be ratified as amendments because people will not vote for them.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

  • Fws

    Sg

    You won’t ever get it by creating hypotheticals that are crazy. Imagine that the word “adult” is redefined away from the biblical definition to be 18,21,or 16. Or….. Imagine that “contractual capacity” gets redefined according to biblical norms and your act of bequeathing anything is therefore null and void since you are a female. Those are historical examples. Or imagine that civil marriage gets redefined to exclude polygAmous marriages and that you are in a polygamous union. You children are now illegitimate. You bequeathing is null and void.

  • Fws

    Sg

    You won’t ever get it by creating hypotheticals that are crazy. Imagine that the word “adult” is redefined away from the biblical definition to be 18,21,or 16. Or….. Imagine that “contractual capacity” gets redefined according to biblical norms and your act of bequeathing anything is therefore null and void since you are a female. Those are historical examples. Or imagine that civil marriage gets redefined to exclude polygAmous marriages and that you are in a polygamous union. You children are now illegitimate. You bequeathing is null and void.

  • fws

    mike @ 56

    the problem with your arguments is that you overgeneralize and so refuse the possibility that a word can have more than one meaning or a basket of meanings.

    For example: Marriage has always been a contract. However in biblical times the contract was a straight up purchase constract between the groom and the family of the woman. The woman has zero volition or choice. She was, legally, chattel property. The biblical metaphor of christ as groom and church as bride looses it´s meaning if the word “marriage” is redefined to it´s modern definition. Or would you argue that the parties to the contract do not speak to the essence of the institution? Adam and Eve did not marry. In a prefallen world there was no need for contract law. Yet they were married. But we need to define the essence in terms of the fall eh?

    there are many examples in law, engineering, medicine and theology where the common vernacular meaning is indeed the same as the technical meaning, yet at the same time the technical meanings change over time.

    None of this is illustrated by humpty dumpty is is? or is it?

    Another example:

  • fws

    mike @ 56

    the problem with your arguments is that you overgeneralize and so refuse the possibility that a word can have more than one meaning or a basket of meanings.

    For example: Marriage has always been a contract. However in biblical times the contract was a straight up purchase constract between the groom and the family of the woman. The woman has zero volition or choice. She was, legally, chattel property. The biblical metaphor of christ as groom and church as bride looses it´s meaning if the word “marriage” is redefined to it´s modern definition. Or would you argue that the parties to the contract do not speak to the essence of the institution? Adam and Eve did not marry. In a prefallen world there was no need for contract law. Yet they were married. But we need to define the essence in terms of the fall eh?

    there are many examples in law, engineering, medicine and theology where the common vernacular meaning is indeed the same as the technical meaning, yet at the same time the technical meanings change over time.

    None of this is illustrated by humpty dumpty is is? or is it?

    Another example:

  • Pingback: A Feminist Case Against Gay Marriage « Blacknright’s Weblog

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