Friday, October 17, 2008

The Myth

Great article in the SacBee HERE.

The myth of "right" to same-sex marriage.

My favorite passages (the whole article is a gem):

Thus, we are told, a vote to retain the historic definition of marriage as understood in our constitution since the inception of our statehood would strip away a 4-month-old "right" the court created when it overturned the people's right to keep the traditional definition of marriage.

Compounding the confusion, after the court's decision, state officials changed the measure's ballot summary from the original – "Amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California" – to "Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry," followed by the traditional marriage definition.

"The California Constitution says nothing about the rights of same-sex couples to marry," wrote Justice Marvin Baxter in his dissent to the court's decision. "California statutes that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman are explicit." Only two other states, Massachusetts and Connecticut, have recently recognized the right of same-sex marriage. Congress and virtually every other court to consider the issue have rejected it, Baxter noted.

The court thus relied "on the Legislature's adoption of progressive civil rights protections for gays and lesbians to find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage," wrote Baxter. "The notion that legislation can become 'constitutionalized' violates the constitutional scheme by which only the People can amend the state's charter of government."

The court "simply does not have the right to erase, then recast, the age-old definition of marriage, as virtually all societies have understood it, in order to satisfy its own contemporary notions of equality and justice," wrote Baxter.

Abraham Lincoln once said that "if the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by a decision of the Supreme Court, the people have ceased to be their own ruler, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."

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