Home > law > Court strikes down Prop 8 without actually addressing real issue

Court strikes down Prop 8 without actually addressing real issue

To marry next?

What is marriage?  That’s the question of utmost importance that was completely ignored by the District Court of Northern California judge when he ruled on whether Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.  Quick recap: Prop 8 was passed in California as an amendment to the California constitution.  The essence of it was to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, thereby not allowing gays to marry.  The California Supreme Court found it to comply with the California constitution because, well, it was a part of the California constitution.  So, some gay people who wanted to get married filed suit in federal court, arguing that the amendment violated the federal Constitution.  Got it?  Good.

In a 132 page opinion, the judge ruled that the amendment violated the federal Constitution because it denied gay people the fundamental right to get married without a good reason.  For many, this was a “no duh” ruling.  It apparently was for the presiding judge as well.  The problem with the judge’s ruling, which ultimately will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court, is that he utterly failed to determine what constitutes “marriage. ” In fact, he didn’t even give it the old college try.

Why does this matter?  Well, everyone agrees that marriage is a fundamental right.  Thus, the proponents of Prop 8 will need to make some factual showing that the government of California has a compelling state interest in keeping gays from getting hitched, which will never happen.  However, what is marriage?  Does any two people wanting to get married constitute marriage?  What if I want to marry my sister?  We’re both consenting adults.  What if I want to have multiple wives?  We’re all consenting adults.  Using the court’s reasoning, the government would need to have a compelling reason to keep me from doing either of the above.  And since the District Court expressly stated procreation doesn’t have any impact on who can marry, the possibility of having a baby that looks like Chunk’s friend in the Goonies shouldn’t stop me from making my sister the ol’ ball n chain.

The fact is, “marriage” actually has a definition in the history of both this nation and others, and it isn’t just two people who want to get “married.”  I have to imagine the Supreme Court will want to determine what marriage is, before determining whether it’s unconstitutional to keep two homosexuals from walking down the aisle.

Well, what comes next?  The case will be appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which will most certainly affirm the District Court’s ruling.  Why?  Because the Ninth Circuit is without question the most liberal circuit in the country, and it would probably allow me to marry my cat while lighting up a joint next to the church I accidentally lit on fire because my lighter wasn’t sufficiently cat-proof.  After that, it will go the Supreme Court, where I expect it will likely be affirmed again.  Then I will file my lawsuit asking the court to recognize my right to marry a mail order bride from every country in eastern europe.

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