25 Feb All Eyes on California Supreme Court’s Deliberation over Marriage Law
All Eyes on California Supreme Court’s Deliberation over
February 25, 2008
Dear Friend of the Family,
We all remember the 2003 Goodridge decision in which the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts uprooted state marriage law. Four unelected individuals overthrew the democratic process and ordered the legislature to legalize same-sex “marriage” law. Now we are approaching another one of those milestone decisions which could potentially affect the lives of millions of Californians and potentially the rest of the nation.
On March 4th, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a challenge to the state’s one-man/one-woman marriage law. Within 90 days of oral arguments, the court will determine whether or not marriage survives as we know it in California or it will be re-defined to include same-sex couples.
Why are we concerned about this? Consistent with the information we have been providing for several years now, there are several valid reasons why it is imperative to preserve marriage law.
A Blow to Whole Country, Constitutional Government
Bill Duncan, executive director of the Marriage Law Foundation and a colleague of ours in the defense of marriage, has been watching the California case very closely, and he has a keen perspective on the relevance of the pending action by the court.
“If a California court were to redefine marriage, it would be a blow not only to marriage in the state, but to the whole country and, indeed, to constitutional government,” Duncan said. “It would overturn California’s popularly enacted marriage law, Proposition 22 (approved in March 2000), for which so many of California’s citizens worked. It would mean that all government entities in California would bring the power of the government to bear in support of the idea that marriage between a man and a woman is just a form of irrational bigotry. It would also send a message that the state does not believe children benefit from being raised by their mother and father.”
The problem would not be confined within the borders of California.
“Nationally, it would create the opportunity for same-sex couples to go to California to be married (as happened during San Francisco’s publicity stunt of giving out marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2004) and then return home to seek recognition from their home state,” Duncan said. Since Massachusetts has a law that prevents non-resident same-sex couples from coming to that state to marry, the ‘export’ of such marriages has been minor, but California does not have the same requirement.”
The possible fallout, if the court moves to overturn Proposition 22, may not only affect the social and cultural norms of our nation, but it may also drain government coffers — due to higher rates of domestic violence and other social problems. The private sector will feel the effects through higher rates of absenteeism and higher health care costs.
The weight of social science research indicates that marriage provides unique benefits for a man, woman and the children resulting from the marital union.
Marriage, in its present form, leads to:
• Better health and greater longevity
• Less crime, less violence
• Safer homes
• Safer communities
• Less poverty, more wealth
• Healthier society
• Better intimate relations
• Less substance abuse and addiction
• Less hardship and better outcomes for children
• Less government, lower taxes
• More happiness
Social science on marriage:
UFI’s “Guide to Family Issues: Sexual Orientation”
UFI’s “Guide to Family Issues: Cohabitation vs. Marriage Part I” (Part II)
Duncan said he is optimistic that the California Supreme Court will follow the lead of every appellate court since the Massachusetts decision in 2003 and recognize that California’s popularly enacted marriage law is not only good for children and families but entirely consistent with the state’s constitution.
We certainly hope that Bill Duncan is correct and that the California Supreme Court rules in favor of state and constitutional marriage law.
What Can I Do?
There are two ways you can help in the defense of marriage:
Take the social science from UFI’s family issues guides (above) and write letters to the editor of your newspaper, and/or call in to talk radio programs and cite the social science on marriage; and
Support United Families International financially in the fight to defend marriage in the U.S. and internationally. We educate the public on the value of marriage and family, file amicus briefs in high-profile court cases to inform judges and speak up in the public square in defense of marriage, family, life and liberty.
Thank you for your assistance.