Just by readig statements from the national gay organizations and their allies, you’d think that it was opponents of gay marriage who seek to change society by taking away a “right” long since recognized by American governments. They act as if marriage has always been defined as a union between two loving individuals, rather than one between individuals of different genders.
Until they understand that they are the ones pushing for change and can make a compelling case for that change, they won’t be able to convince wary citizens who define marriage by that gender difference of the need to expand the definition of the institution to include same-sex couples.
Now, via an e-mail from a national gay organization, I witness yet again the advocates of gay marriage twist reality to advance their cause. Last week, in a release announcing that the California Supreme Court would hear challenges to Proposition 8, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) release reported:
The lawsuits allege that, on its face, Proposition 8 is an improper revision rather than an amendment of the California Constitution because, in its very title, which was “Eliminates the right to marry for same-sex couples,” the initiative eliminated an existing right only for a targeted minority. If permitted to stand, Proposition 8 would be the first time an initiative has successfully been used to change the California Constitution to take away an existing right only for a particular group.
Gosh, it seems their understanding of history goes back to sometime this summer. The proponents of the ultimately successful ballot initiative did not author the ballot language. The Democratic Attorney General (and initiative opponent) Jerry Brown did. Amazing that the opponents of Prop 8 would rely a tactic by an initiative opponent, opposed by the authors of the initiative, to overturn it. What a cheap rhetorical (and perhaps also judicial, depending on the language of their brief) stunt.
That “right” only existed because the state Supreme Court said in May that it did. It was not part of the original meaning of the constitution nor could it have even been inferred given that, until about fifteen years ago (or so) no one ever thought of marriage as anything but a union between a man and a woman.
The initiative is not changing the constitution to take away a right that was there. It is changing the state Constitution to prevent courts from finding things there that its framers never intended.
I would rather the new amendment not be part of the state constitution, but regret that those who seek to remove it were not playing word games with California constitution. And wish they could make a better case for the change they wish to effect.