It looked there for the longest time that to be a good citizen of the California Republic, wholly subscribing to a state constitution that spells out our considerable rights and freedoms, I’d have to abide by the declaration — article 1, section 7.5 — that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized.
This had me and, presumably, the other 46 percent of voters who said no to Proposition 8 twisting in all sorts of wind. What about our rights as citizens of the United States under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? Does it not say that no state, even our own magnificent West Coast miracle, shall deprive “any” person “the equal protection of the laws.”
If it was otherwise, I’d have ample legal license to treat some people as lesser beings just because they’re not like me.
So it’s with a sigh of relief that a federal judge in San Francisco cleared that up a couple of weeks ago in overturning Proposition 8, whereby a majority of voters in 2008 proclaimed that people of the same gender do not have the same right to marry in California as people of opposite genders. Striking it down, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker wrote that Prop. 8 “does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples … ”
Let me exhale more bad air now because the judge’s ruling may dampen the chances of our being tyrannized at will by the majority; of our rights and freedoms as human beings getting dashed because 50 percent plus one decided they only belong to them. What about our own state constitution, muddled as it may be in its definition of marriage, declaring that all people — all — are “by nature free and independent” and their “inalienable rights” include enjoying life and “pursuing and obtaining” happiness. Wedded bliss, anyone?
The judge reviewed tons of evidence that he said makes it clear married people are happier people and healthier in mind and body, too. Besides which, it makes no difference whether the married couple if same sex or opposite.
OK, so it’s one thing for us as a society to promote happy marriage, whether by two men to one another, or two women, but, gee whiz, please spare the children. Don’t turn them into gays and lesbians just because it works for the parents.
Judge Walker’s decision says that the children will not be harmed in a same-sex household. In fact, the studies suggest they may be as well off or better than if they’re brought up by parents of the opposite sex. In a nurturing environment, the judge wrote, the children fare better if the parents are married, period, regardless of gender and combinations thereof.
As for children becoming homosexuals because they are raised in a same-sex household, forget about it. The evidence made it clear to the court that people have no choice over their sexual orientation, and that their homosexuality — or heterosexuality, for that matter — cannot be cured by any manner of treatment.
In light of it all, wrote the judge, the “only rational conclusion” is that Prop. 8 makes it “less likely” that the children of the Golden Bear will be raised in stable households.
“The gender of a child’s parent is not a factor in a child’s adjustment,” the judge wrote. “The sexual orientation of an individual does not determine whether that individual can be a good parent. Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond
serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.”
He adds: “Children do not need to be raised by a male parent and a female parent to be well-adjusted, and having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted.”
However morally repugnant Prop. 8 proponents find same-sex marriage, it’s improper to use “moral disapproval alone” to deny gay men and lesbians their rights, wrote the judge.
“The evidence shows conclusively,” he added, “that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples.”
That’s something that will not do in a state and nation governed by the principle of equal rights and equal protection under the laws.
Filed Under: Not That You Asked