Last January, when the federal trial to decide the legality of California’s Proposition 8 was just getting underway, I wrote, in How Will the Coming Legalization of Gay Marriage Affect Your Love For America?, that, for the exact reasons he cited, the judge of that case would rule exactly as he did last Wednesday.
“It’s inevitable that gay marriage will become legal in America,” I wrote (forgive me quoting myself!), “the same way it was inevitable that slavery would be outlawed, that women would win the vote, that interracial marriage would be deemed perfectly legal, that gay rights would be protected, that discrimination based on religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation would become illegal anywhere and everywhere in America.”
In his ruling overturning Proposition 8, Judge Vaughn R. Walker wrote, “The evidence shows that Proposition 8 harms the state’s interest in equality, because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender.”
As I say, no surprise there. A child could have seen it coming.
As surely as one day follows the next, gay marriage will become legal throughout America. “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property … nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” states the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. And that’ll wrap up that argument, every time.
People can fight against the legalization of gay marriage; they can organize rallies against it, win or lose ballot propositions, rail from the pulpit, gnash their teeth and rend their clothing. And all of it will be as futile as struggling against the movements of the planets. For as long as Americans choose to live in a democracy rather than a theocracy, the United States Constitution, its place in history secure as the greatest, most fair document ever conceived, will prevail in any clash which sets it against the Bible (whose ethos, let us not forget, so thoroughly informs it).
I love, love, love the Bible. But all the love for it in the world won’t change the fact that the Bible is not a political document, and so must fail as a final argument in any decision that is ultimately political.