Cross-posted from Uncommon Right.
The most interesting, most controversial, and most watched ballot item after the race for the White House was California’s Proposition 8. The initiative to amend the California Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage. It predictably came down to a battle between religion and secularism. At least, in general. There are of course religious people who opposed the measure, and secular people who in turn supported it.
The Proposition is in reaction to the California Supreme Court overruling a previous initiative that defined marriage as “between one man and one woman”. The court tossed that notion out, and legalized same-sex marriage in the State.
Several churches banded together to support Proposition 8 including the Roman Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Knights of Columbus, and the Union of Orthodox Jews of America, to name a few.
Proposition 8 passed 52.5% to 47.5%.Today opponents of the amendment descended upon the LDS temple in Los Angeles. The people were furious at the LDS church for its organized and influential support of Proposition 8. Despite the ballot passing with millions of non-LDS votes, the church is being demonized for its rather organized and successful fund-raising efforts to support the amendment. The bitterness directed toward the church is nothing short of what can always be expected from the megaphone classes of the Left.
The Left loves to come unhinged at supposed violations of human rights. And they have no more favorite target than religion. Bill Maher has made a career (and an awful movie) mocking the sacred lives of millions of Americans. The only answer to what the angry Left has bitterly labeled as bigotry, is bigotry.
To equate gay marriage to the civil rights movements of the 1960s is an insult to the people who put their lives on the line during that volatile time in American History. But history for the Left is simply a tool to be manipulated for their own personal and political gain.
However, the beauty of the United States is in the freedom people have to determine public policy. As Lance Starr wrote concerning Proposition 8,
It is my stated belief that if the citizens of a certain state feel that they wish to extend the benefits and privileges to same sex partners, that is their legal right, and while I think it makes for poor public policy, the right to enact bad public policy rests with us all. I do, however, vehemently object to imposition of same sex marriage on a populace via judicial fiat.
He goes on to point out that,
There is no question that the state (meaning a democratically elected government) has the right to try to encourage behaviors that are beneficial to the state while simultaneously trying to discourage behaviors that are not. This fact is so ingrained into our governmental fabric that no one even notices it any longer.
The people of California have, yet again, voiced their opinion on the matter of same-sex marriage, and once again the majority does not favor them being legal. Will the court this time honor that voice?
In fact it can be argued that Proposition 8 was less about same-sex marriage, than it was about the Rule of Law, and maintaining constitutional principles. The issue behind the proposition could have been school vouchers, a hand gun ban, or a mundane change to when and how often the state congress should meet. The issue was, frankly irrelevant. It just happened in this case to be a very emotionally driven subject that is often debated not with reason or logic, but with passion and conviction.
Proposition 8 was, in effect, a chance for Californians to tell the activist judges who disregarded the will of the people to go to hell. It was a chance for citizens to stand up for the Rule of Law, for the democratic process and for citizens rights. Real rights. Not imagined or fabricated.
Marriage is not a right. It is a custom and tradition. The government does not determine the validity or legality of custom or tradition. The people do. That is the right of the people. A right protected under the United States Constitution. And when the people speak, the government is bound by their voices to listen.
Which is why activist judges are a threat to the Rule of Law.
For the minority in any issue to be angry, disappointed, or to feel disenfranchised is normal and expected. But screaming bitterly into the air, proclaiming that the majority is evil, rotten, hateful and ignorant is fruitless. Such behavior undermines any merits to the original argument, and furthers any stereotypes that the minority is such because of their inability to recognize the ideological superiority of those who oppose them. Regardless of what ideology (if any) is actually superior.
The success of Proposition 8 has not ended the same-sex marriage debate. And neither has it ended the judicial stomping of the Rule of Law. But it was a significant victory for the principles that bind this nation together. If the Rule of Law fails, then so will the Republic.