Don't Hate the Player. What is the Basis for Prop 8 Ruling?

I have been carrying a (sort of) reasonable discussion over at Democracy in America (DIA) regarding the Prop 8 ruling.  The main blog post is lame and not well thought out, while the comments have some interesting angles on the ruling.  Also Dennis Byrne has done a very good flush out of The Flaws in Judge Walker’s Prop 8 Dismissal Decision, based on the evidence excluded by Judge Walker.


Within the DIA comments, it has struck me that Judge Walker’s ruling holds one of the most fundamentally untrue statements about American Law, Religion, and Democracy

“Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”

which was referenced by Thomas Peters here striking me to wonder what other harmful Religious beliefs could be struck down in Law.

How about

Religious beliefs that casino gamers are sinful or inferior to laborers harm the player

and therefore must be struck down.


Religious beliefs that alcoholics are sinful or inferior to the sober harm the boozer

and therefore must be struck down.

Readers, your analogies?  What laws are influenced by Religious beliefs and therefore must be struck down?



  • fishman

    I would like to point something out:
    Historically the psychological institution has been used to drive this.
    Homosexuality has been removed from their documents as a ‘disorder’ afterwards allowing it to be reclassified by sociologist as a minority group.

    Ignoring all of the other obvious problems with the reasoning, Pediphiles are the next
    group attempting to take the same path. Their is already a ‘growing body of research’
    indicating that adult/child sexual relations do no harm to the child and in fact are “within the ‘normal’ range of human sexual relation”.

    So this is more then a simple analogy here.

    “Religious beliefs harm pedophiles and the their sexual partners by making these children feel guilty about the loving relationship they have with their older friends”

    This is something actually being pushed. Look it up. it is a ‘minority’ opinion , but then again the idea that homosexuality was anything other then a perversion of the sexuality was a minority opinion 30 years ago as well.

    And what about bestiality? All those laws about doing things with sheep because it is sinful really hurts the beasties doesn’t it?

  • Becky

    Hi John,
    I’m not perfectly clear where you are going with your analogies, but I can guess that you are bringing to light the obvious case of how religious belief is actually a good for society and has been recognized as such by secular society – either that or indicating a threat to religious freedom? In either case, my first instinct is to clarify your examples, in order to better compare apples, as it were. First: “Religious beliefs that casino gamers are sinful or inferior to laborers harm the player” – s/b “Religious beliefs that reckless gambling is sinful or inferior to earning a fair day’s wages is harmful to the gambler” and “Religious beliefs that alcoholics are sinful or inferior to the sober harm the boozer” – s/b “Religious beliefs that intentional drunkenness is sinful or inferior to responsible sobriety is harmful to the alcoholic”. (You will note that it is the act in each of these examples which is deemed sinful or inferior, not the person who performs the act – important difference!) So now the error of these statements, including Judge Walker’s, is easier to demonstrate. I.E. If there were no moral truth nor a religious belief that would compel believers to know and speak clearly that gambling or drunkenness is wrong, then the gambler and the alcoholic would go on wantonly without incentive to stop or get help (nor would help be offered). They would continue in what is most assuredly a harmful lifestyle (loss of property, family, health, self-esteem, true freedom, peace of mind, even faith… etc.) until possible they would die in this sorrowful state. These are natural truths about the harms of gambling and drinking, when left unrestrained.

    Judge Walker is not a faithful Catholic, so he rejects the religious doctrine. However, his conclusion is unreasonable and illogical on a natural basis because it ignores the clear evidence that those engaged in homosexual relationships suffer much higher rates of STDs, cancers, domestic abuse, infidelity, emotional disorders, suicide, etc. than do those engaged in heterosexual relationships. And, in fact, those who are helped to live in chaste relationships (single abstaining, married to opposite sex, or ordained celibate) because of the religious belief that homosexual acts are sinful and inferior to heterosexual are freed from that harm. As an added bonus, the ‘ex-gay’ here, who engages in a heterosexual union (true marriage) may be gifted with a sign of that union – a child with his or her spouse. The religious belief is not harmful to gays and lesbians; it is their rejection of that belief that is harmful to them. Judge Walker has it exactly backwards!

  • Cindy

    How about this one: Religious beliefs that aldulters are sinful or inferior to spouses who do not commit adultery harms the adulterer.



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