Thursday, August 05, 2010

Prop 8 judge to religious believers: It's not about you. Damn straight, It's about time!

Hundreds Rally in Support of Prop 8 Ruling

He is absolutely right!
The ruling overturning Proposition 8 -- the ban on gay marriage in California -- is a fascinating document. If you have 20 minutes (you might skip some legalese) to read the ruling you will find Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's portrait of 21st century marriage will, depending on where you start, cheer or horrify you.

But since F&R focuses on religion, I'll zero in on the relevant quotes in Walker's ruling that address the interests of religious institutions, clergy and believers. You could summarize it pretty quickly, Walker seems to be saying, "'Believers, it's not about you."

The ruling says:
Marriage in the United States has always been a civil matter. Civil authorities may permit religious leaders to solemnize marriages but not to determine who may enter or leave a civil marriage. Religious leaders may determine independently whether to recognize a civil marriage or divorce but that recognition or lack thereof has no effect on the relationship under state law.

Walker also writes,

Proposition 8 does not affect the First Amendment rights of those opposed to marriage for same-sex couples. Prior to Proposition 8, no religious group was required to recognize marriage for same-sex couples.

He cites the California constitution that...

[A]ffording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.

Walker examines about how several major religious groups -- Catholics, Mormons, conservative evangelicals such as the South Baptist Convention, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod -- condemn either homosexual identity or behavior or both, citing documents from the Vatican to denominational resolutions.

But he spells out in all capital letters in the decision:


California's obligation is to treat its citizens equally, not to "mandate [its] own moral code."

Undeterred Prop 8 judge to religious believers: It's not about you Damn straight! It's about time, now that truth should be applied in every instance and in every State.


Weaseldog said...

I've had a number of people in life, tell me that if gay marriage were legal in Texas, they wouldn't know if they would marry a man or a woman.

This leads invariably to a discussion about whether they are happy, trapped in a relationship with a woman, and if they ever intend to come out of the closet and admit their homosexuality.

Soon after, comes the freak out as they vehemently explain they aren't gay. Which I then invariable ask, "Then why are you thinking about marrying a man?"

Silly people... They shouldn't repeat things other people say, without thinking about it first.

Border Explorer said...

Good one, Jim! You had me at the title!! :-D

Tim said...

I think it a great thing that a federal judge has said Gays have the same rights as everyone else. For me it's that separation of Church and State. I firmly believe in that.
You know in ten years we will be wondering what all the fuss was about.

an average patriot said...

That's funny Wease. Me I just think what someone else does is none of my business as long as they don't bother me. We are all supposed to be equal and in my eyes we are.

an average patriot said...

Hi Billie, nice to see you! It is about time and should be applied to the entire country if it is unconstitutional

an average patriot said...

Right on Tim again we agree. I am sick of those religious freaks trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else. Fundamentalist are often religiously perverted. They can have their beliefs just keep them to themselves like the rest of us.

One Fly said...

Put up some of the same Jim and thanks for expanding on this. This is a common sense ruling that has been needed for years.

And yes it's not about religion. Thank you Judge Walker!

Keep your back to the wall if you are smart Judge!

an average patriot said...

I think it's great Tom! They can have their beliefs but keep them to themselves. That should frigging apply to everything period!