Last Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto in his Best of the Web Today feature (“The Ball Heads for His Court,” 2/7/2012) offered his solid reasons for thinking that California will almost certainly have enforced homosexual “marriage” very soon.
As some of you have surely heard, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the “Proposition 8” amendment to California’s previous allowance of same-sex “marriage.” So, for those who haven’t been keeping up: The California Supreme Court orders that homosexual “marriages” must be allowed under the California state constitution; the people of California respond by trumping the California Supreme Court by amending their constitution to include an explicit statement that marriage is between a man and a woman, and amendment that was upheld by the California Supreme Court; those displeased with the amendment appealed to the Federal District Court in San Francisco, where the California Supreme Court and the supporters of the amendment were trumped, themselves, by the judge who said that the amendment violates the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, reinstating homosexual “marriage” as a “right” in California; further appeal was then made to the Ninth Circuit in the hops of reversing the decision of the Federal District Court–and effort that failed, allowing the decision to stand, striking the amendment and allowing the “right” to remain.
All that is left for those who wish to prevent California from having legal homosexual “marriages” is to appeal to the entire Ninth Circuit (the smaller three-judge panel made the decision, split 2-1, so they can appeal to the full Ninth Circuit or directly to the Supreme Court of the United States. Regardless of their choice, it should be clear to everyone that the ultimate destiny of this case is the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Taranto’s reasoned opinion, SCOTUS will uphold the Ninth Circuit’s decision, dependent as it is on Justice Anthony Kennedy. Given some of the broad details in this case, his conclusion wouldn’t be as solid. However, there are particulars here–the way in which the opinion was crafted, utilizing, in particular, a previous SCOTUS case whose opinion was crafted by none other than Justice Kennedy, himself.
His reasoning seems sound to me — very sadly sound.
However, for all the talk that legalizing homosexual “marriage” is corrupting the idea of marriage in our culture (and it is) and for all the talk that it is false to say that proper marriages are unaffected by that legalization (and they are), let’s all recognize that this is not the first step toward degrading the institution of marriage but rather simply an additional step in a walk that has been going on for a long, long time.
No fault divorce. The rise of “cohabitation” as an acceptable alternative to marriage. The removal of social stigma from pregnancy outside of marriage. The sexualization of youth before marriageable age.
If marriage has been so easily assaulted in our times, it is because the walls that protected it have been decaying for decades.
Marriage has come to be seen as a simply contractual arrangement between people–one that can be redefined at will like any other contract. The sex of the contractual partners, the number of the contractual partners… As long as marriage is simply something created by society, then society can rewrite it to suit its whims. Like any created thing, it exists for the purpose of its makers pleasure.
Then ultimately, the decaying of the institution of marriage that we have seen over the decades has, ultimately, at its root the fact that we have forgotten Who created marriage in the first place. Or if we haven’t forgotten, we’ve decided that we no longer care.
Marriage was created by God Almighty. It is not ours to define, dumb down, or degrade. The abomination that is beginning to set up a permanent home in California is only the latest in a series. To see this as something completely new and not as simply the next step in what has been a long walk is a mistake.
America will suffer for these things. This state of affairs is certainly an instance of failing to identify unholy thing for what it is, but it is more than that. It is a consequence of failing–for a long, long time–to honor the holy thing for what it is.