Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

Prop 8 Marriage Decision Stings But Doesn't Shock

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2012 Feb 08

Posted by Jim_Daly Feb 7, 2012

I suspect more people were surprised with the New York Giants victory in the Super Bowl than were shocked to learn that two members of a three-member panel of the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have once again ruled California’s Prop 8 marriage vote to be unconstitutional. The decision will now be appealed and we’re optimistic that the United States Supreme Court will agree to hear the case.

Still, although there is no shock regarding today’s decision, it stings. Here’s why:

To think that two individuals have summarily ignored and dismissed the majority perspective of the California voters is a difficult reality to process. Nearly 7 million Californians affirmed the multi-millenial definition of traditional marriage in 2008.

It’s a curious thing.

Initiatives are regularly vetted and scrutinized before being placed on a ballot. So to allow the question to be asked suggests that the question of its constitutionality was already settled in 2008. To strike it down at this point leaves one with a single conclusion:

The petitioners disagreed with the outcome of the vote, not the matter of the vote itself.

My colleague at Focus, attorney Bruce Hausknecht, has read the entire decision. I always appreciate his keen insight and analysis. Here was his reaction:

Opponents of Prop 8 insist on changing the definition of marriage for everyone, including children who deserve the opportunity to grow up in a home with their own married mother and father. 

But no judge has the right to re-define marriage. Doing so redefines parenthood, and offers yet another instance of social engineering based on the desires of adults rather than the interests of children. We’ve already seen, and continue to suffer from, the effects of divorce, unwed births and fatherlessness on children and families. This latest tinkering with marriage to remove mothers and fathers as an essential element of family poses serious ramifications for future generations.

Many of those who are advocating for same-sex marriage are doing so under a false premise. They suggest its legalization will strengthen the family by broadening the institution’s definition when it actually would do the exact opposite. The deconstruction of marriage endangers its stability on many social levels.

And lost within this whole debate is a fundamental misunderstanding of the very essence of marriage itself. At its core, marriage is a selfless institution that unites the two parts of humanity – male and female. It is about serving and sacrificing for your spouse, not using it to fulfill your own wants and needs. Yet, the language of same-sex marriage advocates arguing for its legalization is steeped in selfish terminology. It’s about the pursuit of their rights, and their dreams and their desires. Their arguments are selfish, not selfless oriented.

Whether it’s regarding the definition of marriage or the president’s recent overreach regarding mandated healthcare coverage, I believe we should be emboldened by the truth and clarity of God’s word and the charity and conviction displayed by Christ’s example of behavior. Now is not the time to be discouraged by the vote of a couple of rogue justices. Now is the time to stand up and speak up, committing ourselves anew to communicating God’s point of view regarding marriage.  

Fasten your seatbelts.

I welcome your thoughts.

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