Prop 8 Supporters / by Simmon Li

I am a little baffled by people that oppose the overturning of Prop 8 on any kind of psudo-rational way. If they oppose it because of an ideological or religious position, then more power to them, but this guy on CNN is holding a sign up that says "stop judicial tyranny", and I just feel kind of bad for him. Now I've read a lot on this whole issue, and the judge's ruling makes perfect sense to me, regardless of whether he is gay or straight. From Newsweek:

Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it. ((http://www.newsweek.com/2010/01/08/the-conservative-case-for-gay-marriage.html))

And another excerpt from the same article:

Marriage is a civil bond in this country as well as, in some (but hardly all) cases, a religious sacrament. It is a relationship recognized by governments as providing a privileged and respected status, entitled to the state's support and benefits. The California Supreme Court described marriage as a "union unreservedly approved and favored by the community." Where the state has accorded official sanction to a relationship and provided special benefits to those who enter into that relationship, our courts have insisted that withholding that status requires powerful justifications and may not be arbitrarily denied.

What, then, are the justifications for California's decision in Proposition 8 to withdraw access to the institution of marriage for some of its citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation? The reasons I have heard are not very persuasive. ((Ibid.))

And the closing is a killer:

Americans who believe in the words of the Declaration of Independence, in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in the 14th Amendment, and in the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and equal dignity before the law cannot sit by while this wrong continues. This is not a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American one, and it is time that we, as Americans, embraced it. ((Ibid.))

Ted Olson is a prominent conservative lawyer, and he's arguing that this issue is not a left/right ideological issue, but rather an American/un-American issue. It makes a lot of sense to me. On Fox News, during an interview with Chris Wallace, he countered an assertion Chris made by saying: "We do not put the Bill of Rights to a vote." ((http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Krpwo2YsI#t=0m50s)) Going back to the guy on CNN with that sign? Ted Olson responds to Chris Wallace in a way that's relevant: "This is what judges are expected to do. It is not judicial activism.  It is judicial responsibility in its classic sense. " ((http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Krpwo2YsI#t=3m50s))

Marriage is a civil bond in this country as well as, in some (but hardly all) cases, a religious sacrament. It is a relationship recognized by governments as providing a privileged and respected status, entitled to the state's support and benefits. The California Supreme Court described marriage as a "union unreservedly approved and favored by the community." Where the state has accorded official sanction to a relationship and provided special benefits to those who enter into that relationship, our courts have insisted that withholding that status requires powerful justifications and may not be arbitrarily denied.

What, then, are the justifications for California's decision in Proposition 8 to withdraw access to the institution of marriage for some of its citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation? The reasons I have heard are not very persuasive.