Those of you who read this blog regularly probably know that gay marriage, pro or con, is not my issue. My basic stance is that states should be allowed to decide for themselves, but that states which follow the traditional view of marriage as between a man and woman are being neither unconscionably discriminatory nor arbitrary.
Therefore yesterday when a federal judge struck down the clearly-expressed will of the people of Utah to defend a view of marriage that until a few short years ago was considered neither unconstitutional nor bigoted nor even controversial, I was troubled by the judiciary’s need to impose its own view on the people of the state (and for those who would compare this to courts striking down anti-miscegenation laws, I’ve already pointed out the large differences between the two in this lengthy article).
Part of yesterday’s ruling:
The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason,” wrote U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby in the 53-page decision. “Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”
There are many rational reasons to deny this right, although Judge Shelby may not think they’re rational, nor share them. What’s more (as the Utah Attorney General pointed out), no 10th Circuit court has ever established marriage as a “fundamental right.” The people of Utah certainly don’t think so, nor do the last couple of thousand years of fundamental Judeo-Christian ethics, law, and belief.
But isn’t that what this is all about? The trend—whether it be an act as extra-judicial as A&E’s firing Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson for remarks that reflected centuries of Biblical beliefs about homosexuality, or the very-judicial action of Judge Shelby to overrule a popularly-passed law in Utah that affirmed the traditional view of marriage—is to relabel these ideas as unconscionable and unacceptable bigotry. This trend disturbs me far more than either Robertson’s remarks, Utah’s gay marriage ban, other states’ legalization of gay marriage, or gay marriage itself.
[ADDENDUM: I have to mention this excellent Mark Steyn column on the Robertson flap, which includes the following joke Bob Hope made in 1975: "I’ve just flown in from California, where they’ve made homosexuality legal. I thought I’d get out before they make it compulsory.”
Hmmmm. Do you think that, if the folks in California get wind of that one, they'll petition to rename Bob Hope Airport in Burbank after someone else?]