Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Obama the Homophobe

From the San Francisco Chronicle: Prop. 8 judge makes strange charge

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Wednesday that President Obama is a bigot. And not just the president. Joe Biden as well, and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sandra Day O'Connor. And maybe you, too.
This was a strange ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1971 that an identical challenge to the traditional definition of marriage was meritless. Nor has the Supreme Court ever suggested that its 1971 decision was wrong. Wednesday's ruling relied primarily on a constitutional doctrine that forbids laws having no conceivable rational purpose or no purpose except to oppress a politically unpopular minority group. After a lengthy trial, the judge found that the people of California must have adopted the traditional definition of marriage because of moral or religious contempt for homosexuals and their relationships.
Until very recently, same-sex marriage was unknown in human history, and it is opposed today by many progressive leaders, like Obama and Clinton. Can this be explained only by irrational prejudice or religious zeal? No. Only unions between men and women are capable of producing offspring, and every civilization has recognized that responsible procreation is critical to its survival. After the desire for self-preservation, sexual passion is probably the most powerful drive in human nature. Heterosexual intercourse naturally produces children, sometimes unintentionally and only after nine months.

Without marriage, men often would be uncertain about paternity or indifferent to it. If left unchecked, many men would have little incentive to invest in the rearing of their offspring, and the ensuing irresponsibility would have made the development of civilization impossible.

The fundamental purpose of marriage is to encourage biological parents, especially fathers, to take responsibility for their children. Because this institution responds to a phenomenon uniquely created by heterosexual intercourse, the meaning of marriage has always been inseparable from the problem it addresses.

Homosexual relationships (and lots of others as well), have nothing to do with the purpose of marriage, which is why marriage does not extend to them. Constitutional doctrine requires only one conceivable rational reason for a law, and the traditional definition of marriage easily meets that test.
Recently, a few states have begun to experiment with same-sex marriage. Maybe this will work out well, and the more cautious states eventually will catch up. But some experiments fail. Our democracy allows different states to change their marriage laws and to abandon experiments that don't succeed. But if this judge's ruling is upheld on appeal, that will be that, and every state will be forced to conform, for good or ill.
Here is a roundup of commentary The Chronicle has published.

David Boies: One of those most invidious of the state-sponsored discriminations against gays and lesbians is the prohibition of same-sex marriage.

Maggie Gallagher: Same-sex marriage is a government takeover of an institution the government did not make, cannot in justice redefine and ought to protect.

Debra J. Saunders: Although Prop. 8 opponents style themselves as champions of tolerance, they've chosen judicial fiat over the surer route of persuasion.

Jeremy Adam Smith: This this new civil rights struggle has something to teach us all about the value of commitment and family.

Brian S. Brown: The basic civil rights of millions of Americans to govern themselves taken away by judge.

Hank Plante:The governor who vetoed same-sex marriage legislation twice now announces he is in support.

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