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Monday, March 14, 2005

We Gotta Find a Brand New Hero...

...because we can't count on the courts any more to uphold the law, or at least try not to be so nakedly obvious in their activism. Forgive the Reel Big Fish reference.

* * UPDATE - more thoughts, and a link, below the original post. * *

Judicial activism has run amok again, as the armada of activists seeking to circumvent the will of the people and the legislative branch continue carrying forward the gay marriage banner to its next destination, California.

A judge had ruled that California was unconstitutionally preventing gay couples from marrying each other in the state - a ruling that, if it does survive appeal, placing the most-populous state in this country behind Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed. The judge actually likened the ban to laws requiring segregation in schools, essentially repeating what activists had the unmitigated gall to say after the Massachusetts ruling. He goes on to say that he sees no rational purpose in denying marriage to gay couples.

Apparently, he thought what Hawaii did in 1993 was a good thing, when the court there ruled that gay marriage was legal in that state. The ensuing raft of states passing laws defining marriage as between a man and woman, as well as the Defense of Marriage Act, quickly proved that Hawaii's courts had overstepped its authority. Now we get the same go-round with Massachusetts and now California.

I mean, is it only obvious to me and a lot of other people that the court does not possess the power to make these grandstanding decisions from the bench, essentially writing laws that the legislature has no hand in doing? The obvious problem for these activists is that they can't make a cogent argument to a state legislature, so they try and turn a few judges to do the heavy lifting for them. I'm sure that if they devoted the energy and money that they put into these court cases into a campaign for laws to be changed in their state, they'd have much more favorable results. I mean, if someone wants something bad enough, they'd work hard to get it, right? Instead, they're creating their own PR nightmare by appearing to be weasels - people who can't persuade others to their side, so they get judges to do the work for them. It's lazy and sneaky work, and the courts should not tolerate and give their approval for it. Judges know that they're not supposed to be tools of a larger PR campaign, but this judge is essentially behaving that way.

Hat tip to Kevin Aylward of Wizbang for the story (who also notes how he essentially said this would happen a while ago, with a New York court's own recent decision).

* * * * * *
The Moderate Voice (who linked to this post when I first posted it) raises an interesting point that I hadn't thought of before - how is Governor Schwarzenegger going to publicly treat this ruling? He originally came out against gay marriage, but follows up later by saying something to the effect of him "following the will of the people" either way that they decide on the issue. Which raises an interesting conundrum: is he going to actively campaign for/against an amendment to the California constitution, or keep out of it. I suspect that he will stay out of this fracas, at least for the most part, because he's that canny of a politician. Taking a guess, he'd stay out of this because the prospect of his ultra-macho public persona would likely knock those on the fence about the issue into the Pro-Gay Marriage camp, just based on the more liberally-attuned public in the state. Or, frankly, it could knock them the other way - but its a lot less probable.

If the state legislature manages to pass the gay marriage ban amendments to their constitution, this may just put the issue well out of the hands of the pro-gay marriage legislators and the courts. Naturally, the legislature could very well reverse itself at a later date by passing a pro-gay marriage amendment, repealing the ban (assuming this actually does pass). Which brings me to what I said earlier - if the gay and lesbian activists had spent the time and effort into convincing the legislature and the public about the fairness of gay marriage, I don't think they'd have half the problems of public perception that they do now. I absolutely cannot stand the fact that the rights of the majority of citizens is being subverted here by someone who is sympathetic to a cause, but chooses to ignore the law and their duty. I'm still scratching my head over the judge in Massachusetts finding something in the state's constitution that would support gay marriage. Considering, you know, it was written by the most God-fearing people on Earh.

One of the oft-cited arguments for gay marriage is the rather high amount of divorce cases in the country. Can someone tell me how the divorce rates of straight couples has anything to with the marriage rights of gays and lesbians? I mean, what if their own rates turn into the same figures as straight couples? I submit, then, that the whole thing would be pointless. Before anyone even attempts to give me the line "Oh, well, it'll never happen with gay marriages!", thats the same thing people said about heterosexual marriage. Using divorce rates as a reason for supporting gay marriage is flimsy at best, a total non-sequitor at worst, and arrogant the entire way through. It is not the way to win people to your side.

This is an example of a PR campaign gone horribly, horribly awry. These activists are cheating everyone out of their fair say in the matter, and they make the moderate activists look like fools when they're the ones working harder for tolerance and acceptance. Subverting the rights of citizens and having the court shove this down their throats is absolutely unacceptable, and only succeeds in making moderate gays and lesbians look bad, or tacit supporters of cheating.