NewsThu Aug 5, 2010 - 12:15 pm EST
Pro-family Leaders Aghast at Gay Judge’s Decision to Overturn Prop. 8
By Peter J. Smith
SAN FRANCISCO, August 5, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-family leaders have reacted with outrage at Wednesday's ruling by a homosexual federal judge to overturn California's constitutional amendment banning same-sex "marriage" by alleging that there is no "rational basis" to limit marriage to one man and one woman.
Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California struck down Proposition 8 in a lengthy 138-page judicial activist ruling, saying that an anti-homosexual animus was the only reason for Californians enacting the amendment by referendum in 2008. The amendment states "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
"It's an outrageous decision, but not unexpected," Brian Brown, President of National Organization for Marriage told LifeSiteNews.com.
"It essentially will overturn, if upheld, every single state definition of marriage, every single initiative in which voters have their say, and in every state that has defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman when they've had their chance, and impose a same-sex 'marriage' regime upon this country through the act of one judge."
Walker is one of three known openly homosexual judges in the federal judiciary, and said in his decision on the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case that the ban on same-sex "marriage" violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," ruled Walker. "Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples."
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, a public education project of the National Organization for Marriage, however, said Walker essentially was reducing marriage to a "government registry of friendships."
"Judge Walker's reasoning today in overturning Prop 8 illustrates that he does not understand the essential public purpose of marriage, which is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. He replaces this public purpose with private purposes of adults' feelings and desires," said Morse.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called Walker's decision "outrageous" and indicated that Congress needed to act on a constitutional amendment to protect the natural definition of marriage on the books in 45 states.
"Congress now has the responsibility to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman as our national policy," he said.
Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), called the Walker decision a "strike at the heart of our representative democracy."
"Judge Walker has declared, in effect, that his opinion is supreme and 'We the People' are no longer free to govern ourselves," said Wright. "The ruling should be appealed and overturned immediately."
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a strong statement, accusing Walker of misusing the law to declare the popular defense of the millennia-old definition of marriage both irrational and contrary to the U.S. Constitution.
"Citizens of this nation have uniformly voted to uphold the understanding of marriage as a union of one man and one woman in every jurisdiction where the issue has been on the ballot. This understanding is neither irrational nor unlawful," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Chairman of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage. "Marriage is more fundamental and essential to the well being of society than perhaps any other institution. It is simply unimaginable that the court could now claim a conflict between marriage and the Constitution."
Bishop George McKinney a member of the Church of God in Christ, and a leading voice among Californian black church leaders, condemned Walker's legal reasoning equating defenders of traditional marriage with the racists of yesterday.
"Seven million Californians went to the polls on November 2008 to vote to protect marriage. This federal judge in San Francisco has taken away our right to vote for marriage as one man and one woman, using specious and outrageous comparisons between same-sex unions and interracial marriage," said McKinney.
"America is at a political crossroads. The people must now decide for themselves if they want unelected and unaccountable judges setting policy and over ruling the will of the American people. Elections have consequences," said Raymond L Flynn, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and former Democratic Mayor of Boston. Flynn is also an advisor for the group Catholics for the Common Good, a Catholic social apostolate enlisted by the California Catholic Conference of Bishops to assist in voter education to pass Prop. 8.
Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, however, warned that homosexuals seeking to impose their agenda through the courts would only further polarize the country.
"This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage,' overturning the marriage laws of 45 states," he warned. "As with abortion, the Supreme Court's involvement would only make the issue more volatile."
Read Judge Walker's ruling here
See previous coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:
UPDATE: Federal Judge Rules Proposition 8 Unconstitutional
San Francisco Chronicle: "Open Secret" That Prop. 8 Judge is "Gay"