This is very disappointing. At the same time, we can be thankful that ProtectMarriage.com has worked diligently this spring to gather over a million petition signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would define once-and-for-all that marriage is between one man and one woman in California.
The California Supreme Court overturned a ban on gay marriage Thursday, calling such a prohibition unconstitutional and paving the way for California to become the second state where gay and lesbian residents can marry.
In the 4-3 decision, Chief Justice Ron George wrote for the majority that domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage.
In striking down the ban, the court said, "In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual's sexual orientation — like a person's race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights."
I've already shared my convictions about gay marriage here, here, and here, so I won't cover that territory again. However, I do want to point out two problems with Chief Justice George's reasoning:
- First, he puts homosexuality on the same plane as gender and race. But this is a misnomer. Gender is a matter of human identity, and race is a matter of ethnicity. Homosexuality, on the other hand, is a matter of morality. Homosexuality is a desire that, if not restrained, will develop into sinful thinking, which can lead to sinful behavior, and will eventually become a sinful lifestyle. It's not a matter of predetermined orientation nor of mere sexual preference; the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:9-10). But like all humans created in God's image (Gen. 1:26-27), we must show respect and compassion toward homosexuals. And most importantly, we must share God's loving invitation to freedom and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
- Second, the Supreme Court says they do not want to "deny or withhold legal rights." But in what sense is marriage a "legal right"? Marriage is a legal and spiritual union between one man and one woman. It's an institution that carries with it great privileges. But it's not a constitutional "right" promised to anyone, anywhere, in any context. Marriage is freely available to all people who are willing to abide by the rules, which have been defined both biblically and historically as one man + one woman. But by calling gay marriage a "legal right," the California Supreme Court has arbitrarily changed the rules. They have brazenly ignored the will of the people, taken the law into their own hands, and created a "right" that never existed in the first place.