Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2)
California Court Strips Children of Right to Mother and Father
By Terence P. Jeffrey
CNSNews.com Editor in Chief
May 16, 2008
(CNSNews.com) – In Thursday’s 4-3 decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the California Supreme Court stripped children of the right to be raised by a mother and a father.
Most of the media coverage of the California Supreme Court’s decision has focused on the court’s declaration that there is a right to same-sex marriage. The ruling invalidated California’s Proposition 22, a state ballot initiative that passed with 61 percent of the vote in 2000, and which banned same-sex marriage in the state.
But the California Supreme Court decision goes beyond simply giving same-sex couples the right to call their unions a “marriage.” It also strips children of the right not to be artificially conceived or adopted by people other than a mother and a father.
Indeed, the court does not recognize that children have any right whatsoever to a mother and a father.
In the decision, the California court sees children primarily through the eyes of same-sex couples who want to secure custody and control of children. The court makes emphatically clear that it deems this to be a right of same-sex couples that is equal to–and identical to–the right of married mothers and fathers to adopt or conceive and raise their own children.
In making this argument, the court addresses biological parenthood as an accident of nature that can be swept aside by the court in its pursuit of what the court understands to be justice. To explain this vision of justice–and where children fit into this vision–the court equates same-sex couples to infertile heterosexual married couples.
“A person who is physically incapable of bearing children still has the potential to become a parent and raise a child through adoption or through means of assisted reproduction, and the constitutional right to marry ensures the individual the opportunity to raise children in an officially recognized family with the person with whom the individual has chosen to share his or her life,” the court said.
Two homosexual men joining together and contracting to have a child artificially conceived, gestated and handed over to their custody, it concludes, is a question of the “liberty and personal autonomy” of the homosexual men, but not of the child who would be so conceived and raised.
“Finally, of course, the ability to have children and raise them with a loved one who can share the joys and challenges of that endeavor is without doubt a most valuable component of one’s liberty and personal autonomy,” said the court.
“Although persons can have children and raise them outside of marriage,” the court said, “the institution of civil marriage affords official governmental sanction and sanctuary to the family unit, granting a parent the ability to afford his or her children the substantial benefits that flow from a stable two-parent family environment, a ready and public means of establishing to others the legal basis of one’s parental relationship to one’s children and the additional security that comes from the knowledge that his or her parental relationship with a child will be afforded protection by the government against the adverse actions or claims of others.”
In constructing its vision for a new type of “family,” the court rhetorically worked its way around the biological certainty (in a pre-human-cloning world) that all children have a mother and father (whether they are ever afforded the right to know them or not), by adopting a parental lexicon that features not moms and dads but “opposite-sex couples” and “same-sex couples.”
“Extending access to the designation of marriage to same sex couples will not deprive any opposite-sex couple or their children of any of the rights and benefits conferred by the marriage statutes, but simply will make the benefit of the marriage designation available to same-sex couples and their children,” said the court.
“While retention of the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not needed to preserve the rights and benefits of opposite-sex couples,” said the court, “the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable harm upon same-sex couples and their children.”
California Supreme Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban
By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 16, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO — — The California Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday in a broadly worded decision that would invalidate virtually any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.
The 4-3 ruling declared that the state Constitution protects a fundamental “right to marry” that extends equally to same-sex couples. It tossed a highly emotional issue into the election year while opening the way for tens of thousands of gay people to wed in California, starting as early as mid-June.
The decision was a bold surprise from a moderately conservative, Republican-dominated court that legal scholars have long dubbed “cautious,” and experts said it was likely to influence other courts around the country.
But the scope of the court’s decision could be thrown into question by an initiative already heading toward the November ballot. The initiative would amend the state Constitution to prohibit same-sex unions.
The campaign over that measure began within minutes of the decision. The state’s Catholic bishops and other opponents of same-sex marriage denounced the court’s ruling. But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who previously has vetoed two bills in favor of gay marriage, issued a statement saying he “respects” the decision and “will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn” it.
Gay groups planned celebrations up and down the state.
“I can finally say I will be able to marry John, the man that I love,” said Stuart Gaffney, one of the plaintiffs in the case, referring to his partner of 21 years, John Lewis. “Today is the happiest and most romantic day of our lives.”
Conservative and religious-affiliated groups denounced the decision and pledged to bring enough voters to the polls in November to overturn it. Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, called the decision “outrageous” and “nonsense.”
“No matter how you stretch California’s Constitution, you cannot find anywhere in its text, its history or tradition that now, after so many years, it magically protects what most societies condemn,” Staver said.
The decision came after high courts in New York, Washington and New Jersey refused to extend marriage rights to gay couples. Only Massachusetts’ top court has ruled in favor of permitting gays to wed.
The court’s ruling repeatedly invoked the words “respect and dignity” and framed the marriage question as one that deeply affected not just couples but also their children. California has more than 100,000 households headed by gay couples, about a quarter with children, according to 2000 census data.
“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,” George wrote for the majority. “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.”
Many gay Californians said that even the state’s broadly worded domestic partnership law provided only a second-class substitute for marriage. The court agreed.
Giving a different name, such as “domestic partnership,” to the “official family relationship” of same-sex couples imposes “appreciable harm” both on the couples and their children, the court said.
The distinction might cast “doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples,” George wrote, joined by Justices Joyce L. Kennard, Kathryn Mickle Werdegar and Carlos R. Moreno. All but Moreno were appointed by Republican governors. George was appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1991.
The ruling cited a 60-year-old precedent that struck down a ban on interracial marriage in California.
The three dissenting justices argued that it was up to the electorate or the Legislature to decide whether gays should be permitted to marry.
In 2000, 61% of California voters approved a ballot measure, Proposition 22, that said “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.”