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May 28, 2008
Column #1,396
Advance for May 31, 2008
What's Wrong with California's Same-Sex Marriage?
By Mike McManus

In 2000, by a wide margin, 61 to 39 percent, California voted in favor of Proposition 22 that "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Recently, the California Supreme Court overturned that vote of 4,618,673 people by a single vote in a 4-3 decision, an alarming example of raw judicial activism. Thus, America's largest state became the second, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex couples to marry.

What's wrong with this decision?

The court conceded that California passed laws granting same-sex couples "virtually all of the legal rights and responsibilities accorded married couples." However, in not allowing gays to call their unions "marriage," Prop 22 was "discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, a characteristic that we conclude represents - like gender, race and religion - a constitutionally suspect basis upon which to impose differential treatment."

Is traditional marriage discriminatory?  No, according to nine other state and federal courts. Even in liberal Maryland, its Supreme Court concluded that "marriage enjoys its fundamental status due, in large part to its link to procreation." Therefore, limiting marriage to opposite genders is "safeguarding an environment most conducive to the stable propagation and continuance of the human race (which) is a legitimate governmental interest."

New York's highest court put it more plainly, "The Legislature could rationally believe that it is better...for children to grow up with both a mother and father. Intuition and experience suggest that a child benefits from having before his or her eyes, every day, living models of what both a man and a woman are like..."

"By limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples New York is not engaging in sex discrimination.  The limitation does not put men and women in different classes, and give one class a benefit not given to the other. Women and men are treated alike - they are permitted to marry people of the opposite sex." (See www.marriagedebate.com.)

To rationalize its decision, California noted that Canadian courts hold that same-sex marriage is grounded in the human right to form families of choice, and "to have government sanction all family forms as having equal dignity," writes Maggie Gallagher, founder of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. "Polygamy anyone?" she asks.

It's a legitimate question. If two homosexuals or two lesbians can marry, they are presumably as equally able to parent children as a married man and woman. And if they can do so, why not one man with two or three wives?

There is another, more insidious danger, which Gallagher calls Canada's new passion to "Persecute in the Name of Tolerance." Two weeks ago, the "Human Rights" Tribunal of Ontario ruled that Christian Horizons, a charity that runs homes for developmentally disabled adults, engaged in illegal discrimination when it tried to ensure that its employees were practicing Christians who accepted Christian sexual teaching on adultery, fornication and homosexual sex.

The group had to pay a $23,000 fine and even submit to a re-education plan to change its attitudes!

What's the crime here? Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims who support the historic definition of marriage are racists who must be punished.  Religious liberty and free speech are jettisoned on the altar of same-sex sanctimony. Do you doubt that? Gary Bauer points to two recent examples:

Crystal Dixon was Associate Vice President of Human Resources at the University of Toledo when she wrote a letter to the newspaper expressing her belief as a black woman that it was inaccurate to compare the homosexual movement to the civil rights movement. 

Result: she was fired!

Jon and Elaine Huguerin were fined $6,000 by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission for refusing to photograph a homosexual "commitment ceremony."

As Bauer writes, "If we lose this fight, you will be asked not only to `tolerate' same-sex marriage - you will be required to promote it."

Fortunately, there are two pieces of good news.  First, Californians are likely to be able to vote for a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite gender couples. To put an issue on the ballot, 690,000 signatures are required, and 1.1 million were gathered. Therefore, certification of the vote is quite likely.

Second, a poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times after the Supreme Court decision found that Californians oppose the decision by 52 to 41 percent.

However, the Human Rights Campaign, America's largest homosexual rights lobbying group, is investing $500,000 to defeat the amendment.

This same-sex marriage battle must be fought and won. Fortunately, the activists who gathered the signatures for the vote are trying to raise $10 million to fight for true marriage.
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