Today judges on the Ninth Circuit again insisted that California’s Proposition 8 (a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage) violates the U.S. Constitution. Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez responds:
The court’s decision reflects a basic confusion about what marriage is and what marriage is for, and about why the government has an interest in promoting and strengthening marriage.
Marriage, in every culture and every age, has been recognized as the lifelong union of a man and woman for their own well-being and for the creation and nurturing of children.
Our government has a vital interest in promoting marriage for two reasons. First, because marriage is the foundation of society. Second, because government has a duty to promote the well-being of children, who have the right to be born and raised in a family with both their mother and their father.
This debate over marriage is not about equality or about the needs of individuals. It is much bigger than that. It is about the nature of the human person and the nature of society.
The government has no competence and no authority to “redefine” marriage or “expand” its definition to include other kinds of relationships. To do that is to say that marriage no longer exists. And this would have grave consequences for children and for the common good of our society.
As this case continues to make its way through in our court system, we will continue to pray for an ultimate outcome that supports and strengthens the true meaning of marriage.
Speaking of confusion, David French reads the decision and concludes:
Marriage matters a great deal, but it has no effect on child-rearing decisions. Marriage is significant, but changing its definition won’t impact religious liberty.
What a mess. Though Prop 8 voters seemed to think through the issue much more clearly. Unless you are on the Ninth Circuit and think California voters are largely bigots.