“Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged before You. Put them in fear, O LORD; let the nations know that they are but men.” (Psalm 9:19-20)
Yesterday the California Supreme Court decided to legalize same-sex marriages in California. It was a very sad day for me, and I really do feel the need to speak out about this. I hope you can hear me out about why I disagree with this on many levels.
First and foremost, as a Christian myself, I know that people will stick those “Your religion cannot be our government” banners in my face. But my firm belief is that God’s design for human relationships is meant to bring us benefit, and if I sincerely wish for the good of the people around me, I hope that at least they’ll consider that God specifically designed marriage as a perfect human union in terms of one man and one woman. However, I will not dwell too much on the biblical texts here, except to say that, if you’re interested in learning more, please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to share with you. In fact, our church happens to be doing series of sermons on marriage this month. You are welcome to come, if you speak Cantonese, that is.
But turning to the judicial level, to me the majority opinion of the California supreme court justices just don’t make any logical sense. I’m referring to the California supreme court opinion document on this case, which is summarized in the court news release NR26-08. Here is my critique of the court’s majority opinion:
1. The court’s majority opinion compares overturning the same-sex marriage ban to the 1948 case when the interracial marriage ban was overturned
In the 1948 case Perez v. Sharp, the court overturned a law enacted by California legislators in 1850 which banned interracial marriage. The decision in the 1948 case was to overturn the legislator’s old law from almost 100 years ago. But in the case of the same-sex marriage, the California voters (not just the legislators, but the people of California) voted in 2000 to confirm the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in California Proposition 22. You cannot just overturn the will of the people a mere 8 years later and say that you’re doing something similar to the 1948 case. It is not analogous at all. In fact, if we compare the two, we can clearly see that today’s decision is an abuse of judicial court authority.
2. The court’s majority opinion claims that we cannot deny people the right to marry
Clearly the California supreme court justices are confused. The “right to marry” issue is different from the issue of “same-sex marriage.” Everyone already has the right to marry, including homosexuals. Under the current law they already have the right to marry to people of the opposite sex. The issue is not the “right to marry” but whether marriage can be redefined. Bringing up the “right to marry” issue shows that the supreme court justices are confused.
3. The court’s majority opinion claims that the same-sex marriage ban violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution because it discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation
Does defining “marriage” just between a man and a woman really constitute discrimination against homosexuals? That is faulty logic. If we follow the same logic, we might as well say we’re also discriminating against people who want marry children (age discrimination?) or even people who want to marry animals (in fact someone did try to challenge a Missouri court whether he can marry his horse). For something to be a “standard,” it’s necessary to be restrictive and have qualifications. Requiring someone to be able to see before he/she can drive a car is not discrimination against blind people.
4. The court’s majority opinion claims that it is not necessary to have a narrow definition of marriage between one man and one woman because it does not serve to protect marriage of opposite-sex married couples, nor does lifting the same-sex marriage ban hurt the marriages of opposite-sex married couples
By this same logic, you can redefine marriage in a thousand different ways and still claim you’re not hurting the heterosexual married couples. But sociological studies show that homosexual relationships differ from heterosexual relationships on many levels. Also, while the court claims that the ability to “care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation,” children in homosexual relationships differ fundamentally from children in heterosexual relationships: in the former case, children are never conceived naturally from the couples, but typically in the latter case the children are conceived naturally. To me, as a parent, I’m more concerned with how redefinitions of marriage would confuse kids, to the point they don’t know what a family is, what “mom” and “dad” or “moms” and “dads” really mean, and whether it is necessary for them to have biological relationships with their parents. This leads the definition of marriage down a slippery slope of allowing you to claim that marriage can be anything, which makes it nothing at all. When you have counterfeit money, real money gets cheapened.
I’m saddened that we have supposedly educated officials in the California supreme court who follow obviously faulty logic and even abused their power to force their own sociological opinions onto the people of the whole state of California. May 15, 2008 is a sad day indeed.