In making that decision, the judge robbed the people of much more than marriage, and the definition of marriage. He took away from us something that is the essence of legitimate government, the consent of the governed.
This issue of marriage was thoroughly vetted in 2008 in California. In fact, each side – both the pro traditional, natural marriage advocates and the anti traditional, natural marriage advocates – spent about forty million dollars. After an eighty million dollar campaign – likely the most expensive proposition campaign in American history – after that elongated process and after working our way through all the issues, California voters affirmed not once, but twice, the exact same fourteen words. First, through Proposition 22 in 2000, then in Proposition 8 in 2008.But one judge, Vaughn Walker, knows more than millions of Californians and all the cumulative history of all federal courts. He, by the way, was outed for his own sexual orientation, by a public newspaper in the midst of a trial, yet did not recluse himself from the trial over that issue.
"Walker has now ruled that Californians are irrational. He says there was no reason for affirming one man/one woman marriage. And, apparently knowing the internal motivations of seven million Californians, he further claims that we were all motivated by animus and bigotry."
Walker has now ruled that Californians are irrational. He says there was no reason for affirming one man/one woman marriage. And, apparently knowing the internal motivations of seven million Californians, he further claims that we were all motivated by animus and bigotry. According to Walker, only bigotry caused people to come to the conclusion that marriage is between one man and one woman, despite the fact that that definition has been affirmed by every culture – pre-Christian, anti-Christian, and Christian cultures, for the last 5,000 years. To Walker, all of human history’s affirmation of the nuclear family has, it would seem, been determined by bigotry.
Why have all these cultures come to the same conclusion, that one man / one woman marriage is the model? Stated simply – because it works. As any mildly observant person knows, natural law confirms the same thing. Males and females fit together. Even an apprentice plumber knows enough to not attempt to bring the “male” ends of a pipe together or, for that matter, to do the same with the “female” ends of pipe. Some things, by nature, fit together. By virtue of the fact that the man contributes the sperm and the woman contributes the egg, they are in the best posture as mother and father to raise children and produce a healthy child which, in turn, produces a healthy society.
But not according to Judge Vaughn Walker. He rode roughshod over the will of seven million voters in the state of California who said “yes” to Proposition 8. By this one single ruling, he threw it out.
His ruling, however, has implications for more than just California. Since his poorly reasoned conclusion was based upon the U.S. Constitution (not the California Constitution), he is, in effect, trashing (over the process of time) traditional, natural marriage for all other states with similar laws. Thirty one states have voted on marriage. All 31 have affirmed traditional, natural marriage. Forty four states have one man/one woman marriage laws, with a total population of 294 million.
"We are not advocating that persons who view themselves as homosexual should be robbed of basic rights. Not at all. All persons should be treated with fundamental dignity. Through California’s civil unions, homosexual couples already receive all the benefits the state can give. The only thing that they lack is the term 'marriage.'"
We would have wished the judge would have looked at the first three words of the U.S. Constitution, “We the People.” There’s a reason why that document does not begin with the words, “I the Judge.” Our forefathers were very aware of the dangerous power of the judiciary. Thomas Jefferson warned us about the potential of wayward, oligarchic judiciary. His concerns have proved to be valid. One of the reasons some of our forefathers left England was to flee an imperialistic judiciary. Behold, such a judiciary has returned!
Civil Unions and Benefits Are Already The Law in California
Before proceeding, let us be very clear about one basic point. We are not advocating that persons who view themselves as homosexual should be robbed of basic rights. Not at all. All persons should be treated with fundamental dignity. Through California’s civil unions, homosexual couples already receive all the benefits the state can give. The only thing that they lack is the term “marriage.”
There are sobering consequences to the legalization of gay marriage. Some leaders of the radical gay agenda claim that these are only “unintended” consequences. Unintended or not, they are still consequences.
Some naively ask, “What’s the big deal? What difference does it make if some homosexuals get married? How does that affect your (heterosexual) marriage?”
Candidly, same sex “marriage” legalization greatly impacts traditional marriage. I was involved in a debate on Channel 35 in Los Angeles during the 2008 Prop 8 campaign. In the course of that debate, the question was asked by the moderator, “Can’t the two concepts, the two constructs, function side by side? That is, can homosexual marriage and heterosexual marriage coexist?” Before I had a chance to answer, the well-known atheist LA attorney, Eddie Tabash, responded quickly with a “No! No they cannot coexist. One wins and the other one loses.” He is correct.
Why is that the case? Here is the reason:
Once the government has a vested interested in affirming and protecting so-called gay “marriage,” three losses become apparent. First, there is a loss of personal freedoms; secondly, there is a loss of parental rights; and thirdly, there is a loss of religious liberties.
We know this by observing states in the United States that have had gay “marriage” for a period of time. In addition, we can examine countries in Europe that have had gay “marriage” for approximately a decade. What is consistently present is a profound loss of freedom. Allow me to provide some examples.Legalized gay marriage automatically triggers a loss of personal freedoms. In the city where I live in – San Diego – two medical doctors had a biblical conviction, a Christian belief, that they would not artificially inseminate a woman unless she had a husband. When an unmarried woman came to them and asked for the procedure, they declined, as they always had. They told her there were other doctors who would do the procedure for her, and they referred her to them. But that was not satisfactory to this woman. She was a lesbian and was convinced that this was some kind of animus against her. She took them to court, and she won. It was going to cost one million dollars for those two doctors to take their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to regain their ability to live out the First Amendment – freedom of religion. For obvious economic reasons, they did not continue. Their personal freedoms were crushed.
Or consider the twenty-five year old photographer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who declined to photograph a lesbian “celebration” as per her religious convictions. Never mind the fact that many other photographers could have and would have photographed the event. That wasn’t good enough. The demanding lesbians insisted that this particular photographer had to do it. Then the state stepped in, and that court case is still ongoing. We could give many such examples.
The second area is a loss of parental rights. Dave and Tonya Parker lived in Lexington, Massachusetts. Both are chemists, David having a Ph.D. in the field. After Massachusetts legalized gay “marriage,” the Parkers asked to opt out their child from such discussions. They were informed they could not opt their child out of discussions of homosexuality. The rationale of the state went something like this: The school agreed that, according to the laws of Massachusetts, a parent has the right to opt their child out if someone is teaching about sexuality. However, the public school contended, “This is not sexuality, it’s homosexuality. Therefore you cannot opt your child out. Besides that, it’s state law now. Gay marriage is legal in the state. Therefore you cannot opt your child out.”
The school official refused to cooperate with the Parkers. The judge would not call the teachers to come and testify as to what they were teaching on the topic. He told the Parker family, in effect, “You need to segregate”--that’s the word he used--“You need to segregate yourself from the school system.” It was fine for the Parkers to pay taxes to support the school. Yet the Parkers could have no say in what their child was taught regarding sexual expressions and could not opt their second grader out from discussions on sexuality or specifically in this case, homosexuality. Loss of parental rights occurs when the government affirms and protects so-called same-sex “marriage.” Tragically, more examples exist.
"In addition legalization of gay “marriage” results in a loss of religious freedoms. Ake Green, a Swedish pastor, preached on Romans 1 which references homosexuality. For doing this, he was sentenced to a month in prison."
In addition legalization of gay “marriage” results in a loss of religious freedoms. Ake Green, a Swedish pastor, preached on Romans 1 which references homosexuality. For doing this, he was sentenced to a month in prison. He went through three trials. (Due to Sweden joining the European Union, which did not have Sweden’s law, he never served the time.)
Coming much closer to home, in Canada, a young pastor wrote a letter expressing his views on homosexuality. He ended up in litigation that stretched over years, with significant court costs, simply because he articulated the view that homosexuality is biblically an unacceptable practice.
Coming much closer to home, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is a beautiful church and camp meeting, an independent holiness Methodist campground, breathtakingly located right on the Atlantic Ocean in the town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Although there are many miles of Jersey shoreline, two lesbians demanded to have an affirmation ceremony on the church’s beachfront property. The Ocean Grove church officials lovingly explained that that would not be a possibility. The women went to state officials. Due to the fact that the property extended to the beach which had received some state funds, the State of New Jersey targeted this church and campground. That case is still under litigation in New Jersey.
The day will come – not immediately, but eventually – unless this foolishness is ended – when churches will be forced to hire active homosexuals. Pastors will be forced to perform gay marriages, or the government will attempt to take away their non-profit status, and consequently, in many cases, they’ll lose their church buildings. Like Pastor Ake Green, pastors will be fined and imprisoned for advocating a biblical view of homosexual acts. When the government has a vested interest in defending, affirming, and protecting gay marriage, religious liberties and the right of individual conscience are lost.Although critics scoff at this suggestion, they most certainly don’t seem too concerned about the thought of it happening. They suffer from a severe case of political amnesia, forgetting that there was a day – not so long ago – when the radical homosexual agenda was satisfied with “civil unions” and “domestic partnership” saying, “we will never ask for the word ‘marriage.’” Only the most historically inattentive could fail to note these continual ratchets.
The Christian Tradition
Some might say, “You are affirming traditional marriage because you are a pastor.” Yes, I am a pastor. But more importantly, I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus. Every authentic believer in Jesus as Lord follows – or at least attempts to follow – the truth of Scripture. I am an unabashed believer in the Word of God.
Churches that adhere to the Scriptures represent authentic, historic, orthodox Christianity. Churches that defy the scriptures, with complex casuistry justifying homosexual behavior or redefinitions of marriage, are expressions of “religionity” not Christianity.
They do not represent historic, authentic, orthodox Christianity. As one who has spent years studying the history of Christianity, first through a journey involving multiple academic degrees, and secondly as an avocation, allow me to affirm the following: authentic, historic, orthodox Christianity has always affirmed one man/one woman marriage, and has never affirmed the practice (acts) of homosexuality or homosexual “marriage.”
For those that are followers of Jesus, the Scriptures are crystal clear. Contrary to the recent epiphanies of the historical revisionists during the past four decades regarding key biblical texts, authentically Christian marriage has been and still is defined as one man/one woman. In spite of all the attempts of the religious left to rewrite the Bible, Scripture is crystal clear on the model of one man / one woman marriage.
"The left whines, 'you are trying to force your Bible down our throats.' That is not the case. Quite frankly, it is quite the opposite. We want them to want to know biblical truth and to want to live it. Coercion does not work, nor is it biblically acceptable. We rely on prayer, patient sharing and the Holy Spirit to convict hearts of sin."
The left whines, “you are trying to force your Bible down our throats.” That is not the case. Quite frankly, it is quite the opposite. We want them to want to know biblical truth and to wantto live it. Coercion does not work, nor is it biblically acceptable. We rely on prayer, patient sharing and the Holy Spirit to convict hearts of sin.
At the same time, in our constitutional republic with it elections pertaining to public policy, we – all people – enjoy the privilege of voting. As one walks into the voting booth, there is no litmus test for where our beliefs are formed. The atheist can make voting decisions out of his or her atheistic framework of thought. And correspondingly, persons are allowed – in this democratic form of government – to vote based on their biblical convictions. The radical left, through such organizations as the ACLU, has attempted to intimidate persons who vote based on scriptural issues. They are failing. People of faith are not afraid to vote their conscience. And well they should. It is most un-American to castigate people for the reasons they vote as they do. To vote as one desires is one of the most cherished rights.
One more vitally important fact needs to be stated. All the persons with whom I worked on the Prop 8 campaign were not “homophobic,” if “homophobic” means being against persons who consider themselves to be gay. Even in the intensity of the Prop 8 battle, the people I knew were truly compassionate regarding persons who have a same sex attraction.
Personally, I was one of tens of thousands who fasted for 40 days during the Prop 8 campaign. We fasted, praying for Prop 8 to pass, but much more importantly, for the hearts of Californians to be changed, too long for godly truth and righteousness. Privately, I asked God for one more request: give me a greater love and compassion for those who struggle with same sex attraction. And God did exactly that. Not merely for me, but apparently for my whole church. In the midst of the Prop 8 campaign, persons with homosexual struggles “outed” themselves. Why? Because they felt loved and safe. And loved they were! The result was that a same sex attraction ministry was launched to help them walk in sexual purity and integrity.The radical homosexual movement leaders often scoff and deride those former practicing homosexuals who can live within the framework of a biblical sexual ethic. But that mocking does not change reality. Those calling themselves homosexuals are deeply loved by biblically based Christian churches, and these churches provide a “cocoon” of safety and love as people begin to experience the joy of sexuality purity and integrity.
But some people don’t care about the Bible, and I must respect that fact. We live in a pluralistic culture. Some people don’t want to follow the Bible. Some are not Christian. That being the case, I would encourage them to view authentic sociological data regarding the value of one man/one woman marriage, particularly as it relates to its impact on children.
"While the case has to be made for the value of fathers, it is more intuitive when it comes to mothers. Succinctly stated, every time a baby is born, a mother is nearby, for good reason. And mothers are superbly equipped to sustain, to nurture and care for newborns. How many children do not need a mommy?"
Authentic, untampered, non-PC altered social science confirms that a child needs and deserves both a mother and a father taking care of it. In fact, the strongest consistent indicator that a young boy will succeed in life, that he will not get in trouble with the law, is having a father present. The strong consistent indicator that a young man will have a run-in with the law is an absentee father. The statistics are identically troubling when one considers a daughter. Unhealthy early sexual activity is related to the absence of a dad in the lives of young girls.
While the case has to be made for the value of fathers, it is more intuitive when it comes to mothers. Succinctly stated, every time a baby is born, a mother is nearby, for good reason. And mothers are superbly equipped to sustain, to nurture and care for newborns. How many children do not need a mommy?
Two-mom homes and two-dad homes lack either a mother or a father 100% of the time. Allow me to ask you a question. If there is a home with two dads or a home with two moms, which one is unimportant? Is the mom unimportant? Or is the dad unimportant? Tell me, which one is so unimportant that children simply do not need that parent? And if two moms are good, then wouldn’t three moms be better? If two dads are good, then wouldn’t three, or four, or five dads be an improvement?
And that takes us to the legal realities. If one makes the legal case that under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, you have to allow anybody to get married to anybody they want, then what happens when three people want to get married? Or if five people get married, three men, two women?
At the mention of this, the left always begins wagging their heads, saying “there you go again” as if we just make such scenarios up. They fail to recognize that those desiring polygamy are rejoicing that Judge Walker has finally devastated the traditional, natural definition of marriage.
Remember it was only in 1973 that the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality. Three decades later, the practice of homosexuality was not merely accepted, it had moved to “marriage” status.
In 1995, the American Psychiatric Association declassified pedophilia as an emotional disorder. NAMBLA assertively demands that sexual “love” between a child and an adult be affirmed. Some university professors advocate that we should lower the age of consent. If pedophilia follows the same trajectory as homosexuality, sometime around 2025, it will be legal for children and adults to have sex and to have adult/child “marriage.” Marriage between a seven year old boy and a 57 year old man might actually become legal in this nation some day, if the present pattern is followed. “Progressives” scoff at our “nay saying.” But in so doing, they demonstrated their lack of futuristic understanding or historical integrity.
"We will pray that there will be judges who actually possess a moral compass and an authentic commitment to and understanding of the U.S. Constitution. We will pray for leaders in civil government that will authentically stand for truth, for what is truly best for society, and what is best for the children, and what will preserve this great land we call America."
If, as Judge Walker says on page 115 of his decision, “Marriage is simply the union of equals,” one might ask, “how many equals?” Historically, marriage has been defined by a number and by gender: one man and one woman. That definition is gender specific and numeric specific.
But now the judge has done away with any notion of gender specificity. And in the phrase “a union of equals,” he has actually done away with the numeric indicator of “two.” When he writes, “marriage is simply the union of equals,” then why can’t it include three? Why not four? As you can imagine, polygamy groups are excited. Judge Vaughn Walker, by his self serving ruling, has devastated and destroyed a fundamental foundational definition of American society, which is that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Where are we now in our journey? As is well known, the case now progresses to the appellate court system, specifically, the 9th Circuit Court, once again in San Francisco, and then eventually to the Supreme Court.
We will pray that there will be judges who actually possess a moral compass and an authentic commitment to and understanding of the U.S. Constitution. We will pray for leaders in civil government that will authentically stand for truth, for what is truly best for society, and what is best for the children, and what will preserve this great land we call America.
Dr. Jim Garlow is the Chairman of Renewing American Leadership, Chairman of ReAL Action, and Senior Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, CA. He is heard daily on over 800 radio outlets nationwide. He founded and led the California Pastors Rapid Response Team, a group of several thousand pastors that was instrumental in the campaign to enact Proposition 8.