May 15, 2008

More on the California Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Here are some reactions to today's California Supreme Court ruling that declared the state's law against same-sex marriage unconstitutional:

Los Angeles Times report

Lambda Legal
It's an unforgettable day for same-sex couples and advocates of fairness and opportunity across the nation! The California Supreme Court has ruled that the state may no longer exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage. We are so proud.

Lead counsel NCLR, Lambda Legal, the ACLU and Equality California have been fighting for this victory for four years and today we have made history! But we must all do what we can to make sure that discrimination is not written into the state constitution in California through a ballot initiative.

Liberty Counsel
Today, the California Supreme Court abandoned the rule of law and common sense when it handed down a 4-3 decision that rewrote the definition of marriage. This ruling will unite the people of California and will propel their efforts to amend the state constitution. Liberty Counsel represents the Campaign for California Families (CCF) in the defense of the state’s marriage laws.

On March 4, 2008, Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, presented oral argument at the California Supreme Court in defense of the marriage laws. The court hearing lasted more than three hours, as each side debated the issue. Liberty Counsel became involved in February 2004.

Commenting on today’s ruling, Mathew Staver said: "This ruling defies logic. It is a gross departure from the rule of law. It is outrageous. Traditional marriage is common sense. Yet, this decision is nonsense. No matter how you stretch California’s Constitution, you cannot find anywhere in its text, its history, or tradition that now, after so many years, it magically protects what most societies condemn. Same-sex marriage is not part of our history nor is it woven in the fabric of fundamental freedom. The California Supreme Court has defied logic, undermined the will of the people, and weakened our future. This decision will ignite California voters to amend their state constitution to protect marriage and prevent judges from wrecking marriage."

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
This is an extraordinary victory for Californians and all Americans who hold fairness and opportunity as fundamental American values. Today, once again, California is leading the way in affirming the inherent dignity of all people. Today, in our hearts, we are all Californians."— Rea Carey, Acting Executive Director

Truth Wins Out
“We are thrilled to be a part of history and experience a monumental victory for marriage equality,” said Wayne Besen,’s Executive Director. “The court made a bold decision and confirmed that all relationships, regardless of sexual orientation, are equal in California.”

“Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest,” the court said in a majority decision. “Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional.”

The California court also said that the right to marry in the state’s constitution
“guarantees same-sex couples the same substantive constitutional rights as opposite-sex couples to choose one’s life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized, and protected family relationship.”

“This ruling is a devastating blow to ‘ex-gay’ cults, because it undermines their propaganda, which claims that same-sex relationships don’t work,” said TWO’s Besen. “The images of happy couples marrying undercut their efforts to recruit vulnerable people.”

The ruling will take effect and marriages will begin in 30 days. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement that said he will “respect the court’s decision and will “uphold its ruling.” He also said that he “will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.”

Family Research Council
"It's outrageous that the court has overturned not only the historic definition of marriage, but the clear will of the people of California, as expressed in Proposition 22." said FRC President Tony Perkins. "The California Supreme Court assumed the powers of a legislative body by imposing same-sex 'marriage.' However, in 2000, the people of California spoke loudly and clearly on the value of marriage when 61 percent of voters approved Proposition 22."

"The California Supreme Court has taken a jackhammer to the democratic process, and the right of the people to affect change in public policy. Four judges discarded the votes of 4,618,673 Californians who approved the state's 'Defense of Marriage Act.' Voters understand that children should not be deprived of a mother or a father," added Perkins.

FRC urged Californians to support a marriage amendment to the state's constitution, which is slated to appear on the ballot in the November election. "Anticipating this ruling from a court of activist judges, over 1.1 million California voters signed petitions placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot this November. The California Marriage Protection Act will provide voters with the opportunity to correct this exercise in judicial activism and to permanently protect the definition of marriage," said Perkins.

"This decision put marriage at risk all across the nation and again highlights the need for a Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution so that this divisive campaign for the oxymoron of 'same-sex marriage' will be ended once and for all."

The Christian Post
Matt Barber of the pro-family Concerned Women for America believes the ruling by the California Supreme Court was the “worst kind of judicial activism today” and represented a rejection of the court’s supposed role “as an objective interpreter of the law.”

"So-called 'same-sex' marriage is counterfeit marriage. Marriage is, and has always been, between a man and a woman,” he said in a statement shortly after the court’s decision.
Although pro-family groups were undoubtedly disheartened by the court’s decision, they were adamant that citizens would vote positively on a constitutional amendment to ban gay “marriage” during this year’s election in November.

Over 1 million signatures have been collected to place the measure on the ballot for the public to vote on. The initiative is still being processed by the State Registrar.

If a majority of state residents vote positively on the ban, the amendment will overturn and nullify the decision by the California Supreme Court.

"The majority of Americans recognize the fact that legitimate marriage and family are cornerstones of a healthy society,” CWA’s Barber noted.

Ron Prentice, executive director of the Sacramento and Riverside-based California Family Council, stressed the importance of the November vote after Thursday’s high court decision.

"We have not been able to count on the legislature or the courts of California to adhere to the will of the people," Prentice told the Los Angeles Times. "This is yet another example why the people need to go to the polls in November to defend the historic and natural definition of marriage."

Matt Daniels, president and founder of the Alliance for Marriage Foundation, called California “ground zero” in the battle to protect traditional marriage. “[T]he fight in California must now be joined in the Congress,” he said.

The two sides seem to agree on one issue: California is now THE battleground state for same-sex marriage. Right-wing opponents have shown they WILL NOT stop fighting to restrict GLBT peoples' rights. We'll soon find out just how deep the resolve is in the GLBT community and among their allies to gain equality.

Join me in praying that enough people dig deep and look inside their hearts to determine what is the right thing to do and

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