Today’s decision by a federal district judge in San Francisco striking down state constitutional protections for marriage and inventing a spurious federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage is an example of extreme judicial activism. Moreover, it is an affront to the millions of California voters who approved Proposition 8 in 2008 after months of vigorous public debate.
Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. The people of California, and the United States, have made clear in numerous ways that they have not consented to the redefinition of marriage. For the past two decades they have considered the arguments advanced by some for overturning marriage as it has been understood in our country. In state after state — 45 in all – they have chosen to reaffirm the meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. They have done so because they understand that establishing same-sex marriage would transform the institution into a set of private interests rather than buttress it as a multi-generational reality binding mothers, fathers and their children biologically, socially and legally.
From the beginning of this litigation we have pointed out Judge Vaughn Walker’s trail of activist rulings, from his inappropriate decision to convert a legal proceeding into a show trial, to his failure to follow legal procedure in ordering live video streaming of the trial. Fortunately, Judge Walker’s abrogation of the rule of law on the latter issue was swiftly rebuffed by the Supreme Court last January when it vacated his decision to broadcast the trial.
Judge Walker’s ruling today similarly abrogates the rule of law. Marriage has enjoyed unique status because unions of husband and wife are, in fact, unique, and because they uniquely serve the common good in ways that same-sex combinations simply cannot. We are confident the Supreme Court will reject Judge Walker’s view that the people of California cannot protect the meaning of marriage in their state constitution.
We join our voices with the clear decisions rendered by large margins in the vast majority of the states, and in every state where a popular vote has been held over the past two decades. It is time for the American people to stand up in support of their right to protect marriage. Judicial tyranny on the question of marriage must not be allowed to succeed.