The Courts, Judges, and California’s Prop. 8

A lot has been written and the comments continue concerning the overturning of California’s ballot initiative, Proposition 8, overturning the legislature’s establishing equality in marriage for same-sex couples.  A couple points I would like to make concerning what I’ve read and the opinions that are being expressed:

1. The U.S. is NOT a Direct Democracy.  We are a Republic!  “The people” do not have the final say except through their elected officials within our system of checks and balances.  The courts mitigate the “tyranny of the majority” that can result when the majority seeks to deny equal consideration, access, and protection under the law to whole groups of people.  The legislatures mitigate an equal tendency among the courts to engage in the “tyranny of the minority.”

2.  I am astounded that the Religious Right, anti-gay forces use the “will of the people” as their primary argument when fighting against state sanctioned same-sex marriage.  How short-sighted can they be?  They will not uphold this position and the right of the “will of the people” to rule when they are disadvantaged.  We will not find them accepting the “will of the people” if a state referendum passes that demands all crosses be removed from public view. They show themselves to be political hypocrites in taking on this tactic.

What are they going to do when the “will of the people” shifts in favor of same-sex marriage?  It is shifting! It is reckless for any group to base the success of and justification for their social or political agendas on the “will of the people.”  “The people” are fickle!

3. The courts are not siding with the anti-gay marraige forces.  The courts are reflecting the changing attitudes of the American public regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage – like they did during the Civil Rights era.  So, the Religious Right has to turn people, the voters, against their enemy the courts in order to maintain their victories.  This is so terribly short-sighted.  When the winds of public opinion change to reflect a strong bias and prejudice against Christians, which will happen, the courts will be the only recourse we have.  If the public believes the courts cannot be trusted (which is different than the belief that the judges are corrupt), the Republic as we know it is done for.

4. The anti-same-sex marriage folks are just mean spirited, because their political and social agenda drives them and not the love of Christ, which they claim.  Here is an example from the American Family Association responce to Judge Walker’s decision to overturn Proposition 8:

The American Family Association (AFA) has called for
Judge Walker’s impeachment. Under the Constitution, judges may be
impeached if they violate a standard of “good Behaviour.” According to
the AFA, Walker violated this standard in two ways

Second, the AFA said, “Judge Walker is an open
homosexual, and should have recused himself from this case due to his
obvious conflict of interest.” AFA’s Bryan Fischer further said, “[Walker] is Exhibit A as to why
homosexuals should be disqualified from public office
A man who
ignores time-honored standards of sexual behavior simply cannot be
trusted with the power of public office
.” [emphasis mine]  (Source)

So, homosexuals should not be allowed to hold public offices?  What if homosexuals are elected to public office by the “will of the people”?