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David is taking on Goliath in the battle over Proposition 8

If Prop 8 is overturned the implications for American society will be grave indeed. Thankfully one organisation, the Ruth Institute, is putting up a fight

By on Monday, 9 August 2010

Supporters of gay marriage rally outside a federal courthouse in San Francisco (Photo: CNS)

Supporters of gay marriage rally outside a federal courthouse in San Francisco (Photo: CNS)

It hasn’t yet attracted headlines or much discussion over here, but last week a federal judge in California overturned a piece of legislation called Proposition 8 which defended marriage as between a man and a woman. Apparently a same-sex couple had challenged this ruling as “unconstitutional” and Judge Vaughn Walker proceeded to strike it down, even though a huge number of Californians – seven million at the last count – had voted for it. There is to be an appeal and the question is likely to end up in the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court were to uphold Judge Vaughn Walker the reverberations for the whole of American society would be grave indeed.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that one small organisation in the US is putting up a fight. Dr Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute which supports natural marriage against those who would redefine it, states: “Judge Walker’s reasoning in overturning Proposition 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.”

The core values of the Ruth Institute, by the way, include the belief that marriage is a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman, that marriage is the proper context for sex and child rearing and that the contributions of men to the family are essential and to be respected.

Dr Morse, a former economics professor at Yale and George Mason Universities, is clear that Judge Walker’s overruling of Proposition 8 has enormous implications. She argues that redefining marriage as the union of any two persons will undermine the biological basis for parenthood, which amounts to a redefinition of parenthood. It will also marginalise men from the family and increase the power of the state over civil society, including religious bodies.

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” says the White Queen in Through the Looking Glass. Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling is one of them. For my mother’s generation (she is 86) and indeed, every generation preceding hers, this debate would have been unthinkable. I would like to emphasise that this is not a Catholic, or a Christian or indeed a religious issue at all; it is a human one. Either we defend marriage as it has always been defined until the present age – or we have given up understanding what civilisation is about.

The work of the Ruth Institute seems at present like David confronting Goliath. But David won. Is there a similar organisation over here? If so I haven’t heard of it.

  • Bigoted_morons

    Soooo, did you bother to read the judges verdict before writing this article?

    There are over 80 points of fact backed up by expert testimony and consistent scientific sources, which all shoot down your arguments that marriage has always been defined as one man, one woman (ummm, Polygamy anybody?) and that it does no harm to society.

    Want to know why my generation aren't speaking out against this? Because we don't give a damn. The rest of you can off on a tangent about gays marrying, but us younger folk really don't care. If they want to marry then let them marry. Focus on your own damn lives and leave them alone.

    Jeez.

    Oh, and read the verdict and the trial testimony too. The arguments you have used were similar to those used by the Prop 8 defendants and they got ripped to pieces. Rightfully so too.

  • wayne

    ….excuse me, but the state already has, and always has had “power….over civil society, including religious bodies”. Ever hear of a Catholic priest marrying a couple who had not first obtained a marriage license from the state????? Does your church require prospective marrying couples to sign a pledge to produce children? Are folks who marry after age 70 in an “unnatural marriage”? Wouldn't such a marriage lack a “biological” basis? Are divorced people who remarry and have children in an “unnatural marriage”, or does the fact that they procreate make thir second marriage “natural”?

  • Cal

    Drama, drama, drama. The only reason gay marriage is in your face at all is because of the Prop 8 folks you support. If it were not for them gay people would be getting quietly married surrounded by family and friends and you would not notice a single change that afffects your life in any way.

  • http://www.4leggedwear.com Michelle

    So if a same sex couple wish to spend their lives together, fine and dandy. Let them be cradled in the protections provided by civil unions.

  • David Lindsay

    Judge Vaughan R. Walker, who has struck down Proposition 8, was first appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan, and was advanced by George Bush the Elder. He wants the lawyers judging financial and drug cases to be determined by public auction. I do not know if either of the Pauls has ever advocated that one, but it certainly sounds like one of theirs. Clearly, though, no states' rights or popular sovereignty for the “libertarian Republican” Judge Walker.

    Whereas Obama, a supporter of civil unions, is against same-sex “marriage”, and Proposition 8 was passed on the same day as California gave him its Electoral College votes. Venom is being spat at the Mormons, one of whom is Harry Reid. Not that this ruling would be upheld by the Supreme Court, even were it ever to make it that far. Six of the nine Supreme Court Justices are Catholics, at least five are weekly Mass-goers, and at least four have by common consent some degree of affiliation to Opus Dei.

  • tjohio

    Ah hell, they just strike civil unions down too.

    Here's what they added to Ohio and many other state constitutions:

    Ohio will not “create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.”

  • hoops

    The next few generations of Americans are hell bent on becoming more gay. The next few cohorts are even more “tolerant” than this one. This just means more confusion and useless suffering for the many held hostage by perverted lower appetites. The sadness is that all these will begin lives as innocents and end up corrupt because of the predelictions of a “compassionate” many. “Give me a B give me an E give me another E give me an L give me a Z….” You really can't help an entire people who refuse common sense.