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The Danger in Appeasing Gay Rights Activists
Human Events ^ | 05/16/2008 | Ernest Istook

Posted on 05/16/2008 6:40:17 PM PDT by Zender500

The law was just a plaything to California’s Supreme Court, and the justices twisted logic into a pretzel as they legalized same-sex marriage by judicial fiat.

The court also exposed the danger created by wishy-washy lawmakers who push “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” as a supposed middle-ground compromise. That actually is a deadly policy of appeasement. It was the very existence of such laws that the justices used to justify this outrageous decision.

By trying to appease homosexual rights activists, those who have refused to stand up for traditional marriage helped to create this court ruling. They are the Neville Chamberlains of the cultural wars.

In essence, California’s highest court yesterday decreed that society cannot have a “separate but equal” matchmaking plan for same-sex couples.

The moment California or any other state adopts civil unions, this decision makes clear, it’s on the slippery slope that makes same-sex marriage inevitable.

This ruling also further disenfranchises citizens and voters. The court not only usurped legislative power, it ignored the clear will of the 61 percent of California voters who in 2000 placed into law this language: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

A lone justice, Marvin Baxter, wrote a clear dissent describing how radical the ruling is and what he called the “legal jujitsu” used by the majority to rationalize its decision. Two other justices dissented, but not as forcefully as Justice Baxter.

The high court ruled that the existence of a “domestic partners” statute compelled it to overturn California’s marriage law and permit same-sex marriages. Otherwise, the court said, it would be a denial of equal protection if same-sex couples could get advantages similar to marriage but not actually be married as opposite-sex couples can.

The lesson? Lawmakers across the country who have promoted domestic partnerships as a compromise now are exposed as enablers of the full same-sex marriage agenda. They should be held accountable accordingly.

And places that have adopted such civil union laws should repeal them right away, lest they invite a blitzkrieg of more court decisions from activist judges, mimicking the California edict.

As the majority wrote for California’s Supreme Court:

“California . . . in recent years has enacted comprehensive domestic partnership legislation under which a same-sex couple may enter into a legal relationship that affords the couple virtually all of the same substantive legal benefits and privileges, and imposes upon the couple virtually all of the same legal obligations and duties, that California law affords to and imposes upon a married couple.

“Accordingly, the legal issue we must resolve is not whether it would be constitutionally permissible under the California Constitution for the state to limit marriage only to opposite-sex couples while denying same-sex couples any opportunity to enter into an official relationship with all or virtually all of the same substantive attributes, but rather whether our state Constitution prohibits the state from establishing a statutory scheme in which both opposite-sex and same-sex couples are granted the right to enter into an officially recognized family relationship . . . but under which the union of an opposite-sex couple is officially designated a ‘marriage’ whereas the union of a same-sex couple is officially designated a ‘domestic partnership.’”

But Justice Baxter correctly noted that California’s high court made a three-way power shift that violates American principles of constitutional law:

• It usurped the state legislature’s authority to make laws, violating separation of powers. • It usurped the people’s authority to make laws via initiative and referendum. • Because the state constitution prohibits legislators from repealing laws passed by popular vote, the court gave the lawmakers a new power to repeal such laws indirectly.

Justice Baxter said it well. He wrote in his dissent:

“Nothing in our Constitution, express or implicit, compels the majority’s startling conclusion that the age-old understanding of marriage -- an understanding recently confirmed by an initiative law -- is no longer valid. California statutes already recognize same-sex unions and grant them all the substantive legal rights this state can bestow. If there is to be a further sea change in the social and legal understanding of marriage itself, that evolution should occur by similar democratic means. The majority forecloses this ordinary democratic process, and, in doing so, oversteps its authority.

“The majority’s mode of analysis is particularly troubling. The majority relies heavily on the Legislature’s adoption of progressive civil rights protections for gays and lesbians to find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. In effect, the majority gives the Legislature indirectly power that body does not directly possess to amend the Constitution and repeal an initiative statute. But a bare majority of this court, not satisfied with the pace of democratic change, now abruptly forestalls that process and substitutes, by judicial fiat, its own social policy views for those expressed by the People themselves.

“Undeterred by the strong weight of state and federal law and authority, the majority invents a new constitutional right, immune from the ordinary process of legislative consideration. The majority finds that our Constitution suddenly demands no less than a permanent redefinition of marriage, regardless of the popular will. “In doing so, the majority holds, in effect, that the Legislature has done indirectly what the Constitution prohibits it from doing directly. Under article II, section 10, subdivision (c), that body cannot unilaterally repeal an initiative statute . . . Yet the majority suggests that, by enacting other statutes which do provide substantial rights to gays and lesbians -- including domestic partnership rights which, under [Family Code] section 308.5, the Legislature could not call ‘marriage’ -- the Legislature has given ‘explicit official recognition’ (maj. opn., ante, at pp. 68, 69) to a California right of equal treatment which, because it includes the right to marry, thereby invalidates section 308.5.

“I cannot join this exercise in legal jujitsu, by which the Legislature’s own weight is used against it to create a constitutional right from whole cloth, defeat the People’s will, and invalidate a statute otherwise immune from legislative interference.”

California’s high court noted that other states are looking at this equal-protection argument as a basis for moving all the way to full-blown same-sex marriage in places where civil unions or domestic partnerships have been established.

Those who support traditional values -- and an orderly democratic process that lets the people and their elected officials make decisions about marriage -- should recognize the dangers inherent in this California decision. Any law that mimics marriage by another name needs re-examining and probably repeal as well, lest it become full-blown same-sex marriage.

California voters probably will vote this fall on changing their statutory marriage protection into stronger constitutional protection. Voters there and in other states would be wise to elevate this matter into an election issue in every other state as well, because it is elected officials who created this opportunity for wayward judicial activism by trying to placate a radical agenda rather than standing up against it.. Those elected officials should not be permitted now to blame it all on the judges, wringing their hands and trying to deny their complicity.

It’s time to hold accountable those lawmakers who have opened the door for this court ruling by trying to appease homosexual rights activists with laws that allow civil unions. You cannot have peace at any price with those who seek to conquer and vanquish our values.

Ernest Istook calls himself a "recovering Congressman" from Oklahoma. He is now a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: 110th; homosexualagenda; istook; samesexmarriage

1 posted on 05/16/2008 6:40:18 PM PDT by Zender500
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To: wagglebee

For the ping list?

2 posted on 05/16/2008 6:46:26 PM PDT by Das Outsider (Chocula '08: Get Counted.)
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To: Zender500

When will the first recall petition hit the streets? I’ll sign one!

3 posted on 05/16/2008 6:49:22 PM PDT by dcwusmc (We need to make government so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub.)
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To: Das Outsider; Zender500; AFA-Michigan; Abathar; Agitate; AliVeritas; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; ...
Homosexual Agenda Ping

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the homosexual agenda ping list.

Be sure to click the FreeRepublic homosexual agenda keyword search link for a list of all related articles. We don't ping you to all related articles so be sure to click the previous link to see the latest articles.

Add keywords homosexual agenda to flag FR articles to this ping list.

4 posted on 05/16/2008 6:54:56 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Zender500
They are the Neville Chamberlains of the cultural wars.

A "piece" in our time!

5 posted on 05/16/2008 6:57:25 PM PDT by Old Sarge (CTHULHU '08 - I won't settle for a lesser evil any longer!)
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To: Zender500
In brief if Governor Schwarzenegger had any cojones he'd toss this bunch in prison and convene the legislature by force and direct them to remove all of them from office.

But, alas, Schwarzenegger has no cojones and is looking forward to a few homosexual marriages himself ~ no doubt encouraged in that direction by his Robert Kennedy look-alike wife.

Didn't this happen to that guy who was married to that crazy Greek woman out there, Arianna Huffington?

6 posted on 05/16/2008 8:32:45 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Zender500

This is so true.

I’m not even really all that anti-gay, I mean, I think it’s a sin, but there are an awful lot of people out there committing sins, you know? It’s not at the same kind of level as murder. If the gays would just shut up and do their thing quietly with other consenting adults and not bother anybody else then it would be between them and God for the most part. And if they wanted to be monogamous about it so much the better.

But no, that isn’t good enough for them, they want to force everybody else to validate them all day long and wreck our institutions and destroy our beliefs and teach our children about them in school and they just never shut UP.

You can’t give these people an inch without them taking a mile. It’s too bad because I think a lot of folks like me would be willing to just live and let live, but we can’t, because any time you give them anything it does become an appeasement. They’re just not willing to get out of our faces.

7 posted on 05/16/2008 8:34:44 PM PDT by CatherinePPP
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To: Zender500

Bump for later reading.

8 posted on 05/16/2008 9:23:04 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: CatherinePPP
They’re just not willing to get out of our faces.

And why should they when it seems to work?

9 posted on 05/16/2008 10:48:52 PM PDT by Hildy
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To: Zender500

Nominees for the Neville Chamberlain Award on this issue?

How about...


“I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s what a state chooses to do so. I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. States ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others.”

Bush also made it clear that he disagrees with the Republican Party platform on the “civil unions” issue. On Good Morning America only days before the 2004 election, interviewer Charles Gibson pointed out that the GOP platform opposes civil unions, to which Bush replied, “Well, I don’t.”

Gibson pressed the point, asking, “So the Republican platform on that point, as far as you’re concerned, is wrong?”

“Right,” Mr. Bush replied.


“All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation. While he does not support gay marriage, Mitt Romney believes domestic partnership status should be recognized in a way that includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship.” (Romney for Governor 2002 campaign website)

“Mr. Romney yesterday told TV news stations that he would support a Vermont-style civil union law in Massachusetts, but reiterated his support for a constitutional amendment that would clarify that ‘marriage is an institution between a man and a woman.’” - Washington Times, 11/20/2003

“In 2002, before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared same-sex marriage protected by the Constitution, Romney denounced as ‘too extreme’ the effort by pro-family groups to enact a preemptive state Marriage Protection Amendment prohibiting homosexual marriage, civil unions and same-sex public employee benefits.” - Boston Phoenix, May 14-20, 2004

“Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney campaign spokesman, said Romney opposes gay marriage but also opposes the amendment, since he sees no reason to change the current laws, which allow for domestic-partner benefits to public employees.” - Boston Globe 3/22/2002

“Romney was unaware his family members had signed the amendment petition said Fehrnstrom, and he does not support the ‘Protection of Marriage’ amendment. ‘He is opposed to gay marriage but in the case of the Defense of Marriage amendment, Mitt believes it goes too far in that it would outlaw domestic partnerships for non-traditional couples. That is something he is not prepared to accept.” -Bay Windows 3/28/02

Rudy too, of course.

On “civil unions,” Chamberlains all.

10 posted on 05/17/2008 11:46:20 PM PDT by AFA-Michigan
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