From Bloomberg.com: "The California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex weddings, a practice that is now legal in four other states.
The court claimed, “the principal issue before us concerns the scope of the right of the people, under the provisions of the California Constitution, to change or alter the state constitution itself through the initiative process,” the court wrote, “not to determine whether the provision at issue is wise or sound.”
To begin, I am astonished at the slippery-slope perspective of the California Supreme Court. This proposition was upheld by a slim-majority of 52% in the last election, fueled largely by substantial lobbying dollars from church organizations (who found the poor and hungry to be a less favorable investment). Thank goodness the proposition wasn't further defining marriage as between two white people. By the court argument this would be legal given the people's right to "change or alter the state constitution itself."
What is more concerning for me is the religious nature of the decision. To be clear, the state of California offers a number of legal arrangements that offer "equitable" legal pretections and benefits to same-sex households. If this is so, if they have no problem offering the same protections, then why the sacredness of the term "marriage." If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, talks like a duck, then why are we calling it a bird?
The California Supreme Court has upheld the people's ability to define a religious perspective of marriage, a uniqueness of the term centered around gender and their theological conclusions. The long and short of the matter is that the California Supreme Court in fact upheld a proposition of sacrament, a religiously defined entity, otherwise they would have no issue including same-sex couples under marriage since there is no real legal or pragmatic difference.
To clarify, my own theological conclusions lead me to believe in a sacrament of marriage, and yes, in my perspective only between a man and a woman. (In contrast, I do believe there is a fundamentalist case for the partnership of two gay persons in the church - more to come in my book!!) However, I know that there are others who strongly disagree spiritually with me. Since I agree to live together with them in peace and equality of freedom of religion, I choose to legally define only those elements which are equally necessary between us. Though we disagree on the religious definition of marriage, we both need the legal and economic benefits and protections of our own definitions of marriage. So I see no inconsistency in allowing same-sex marriages, while still choosing to disagree with their religious definition of marriage.