Prop 8 Overturned by the Ninth District Court [surprise, surprise]
So here we have the Ninth District [Federal] Court deciding that California’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, one that was voted for by the majority of voters in the state of California, is unconstitutional. And on what grounds?
Says Judge Reinhardt:
“All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation ‘marriage,’ ” the judge wrote, adding, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.”
He also says:
“Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently,”
He is saying here that this is not a Constitutional matter but, rather, a ‘judgment’ call. A Federal Judge is making a judgment call about the legitimacy of a law that was passed, by state constitutional amendment, by its’ citizenry. He has trumped the judgment and will of the citizens of the state of California on the basis of his own moral belief, not on the basis of law. His morality trumps those of the citizens making the law.
The citizenry have a right and obligation to define the civil society according to their own beliefs about how it will most benefit them. No federal law is broken here. Thus, no federal intervention permitted. This is the real beauty of our federation. Each state may enact laws and govern in a manner of their choosing, within the common boundary of the federal laws. And citizens are able to freely choose which of these states most benefits them.
Marriage is a civil matter. Even, perhaps, a religious matter. It is not a Constitutional right. The ‘legality’ of same-sex marriage, therefore, is a states-rights civil matter, not a federal matter at all. If the citizens of 37 states agree that same-sex marriage is a ‘right’ then they may try to amend the constitution. Until then….