The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the referendum passed by California voters in 2008 that restored the definition of marriage in that state to being between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.
The grounds for this split decision was the panel’s reading of the 14th Amendment, contending that the voter’s decision in California violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution. This is the newest instance of many where the equal protection clause has been used for purposes of social engineering.
There is a very real danger in such social restructuring being handed down by judicial fiat. The people of California under their Constitution have the ability to pass such a referendum and the court is trampling on the sovereignty of the people of California.
This judicial panel likewise used the argument, first that “marriage” is merely a subjective term that society gives to certain relationships and secondly that anyone has a “right” to use the term to describe their relationship. Following this logic to its natural conclusion creates a very slippery slope and could present a legal nightmare.
Let’s face it, if marriage is a “right” could it not also be an entitlement? What if somebody cannot or will not find a spouse? Should the government go fetch one?
This decision will also have the potential to negatively impact religious institutions and individuals who recognize marriage as a covenant rooted in universal laws over which the government has no authority. The state’s interest in marriage as a key component in society will also be affected in various negative ways, as significant social engineering will have to take place in order for homosexual marriages to achieve the full status that the LGBT activists wish for it to achieve.
With over half of all States, including Virginia, having passed amendments to protect marriage, this issue will be debated for some time to come.