Like many courts nationwide, the California Supreme Court legislated from the bench on Thursday. In a 4-3 ruling, the Republican-dominated court (yes, a Republican-dominated court making law) struck down state laws against same-sex marriage, saying that civil unions which are allowed in California do not provide enough rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex partnerships. The ruling is reminiscent of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 law-making decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, where the Court ruled that separate but equal schools for the nation’s black children were a nice attempt at equal opportunity, but not quite nice enough.
Of course, before the ink was even dry on the California high court’s decision, social conservative groups were planning to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case and propose a constitutional amendment to the California State Constitution outlawing same-sex marriages. Seems to me that instead of questioning whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, the real question we should be asking is why the government is involved in the institution of marriage in the first place.
Social conservatives would argue that government needs to be in the business of protecting the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman because society needs protection from deviant behavior. In particular, children must be shielded from immoral conduct, lest the moral fabric of our society deteriorate and American Civilization as we know it crumble and fall. They also would argue that marriage has always been between a man and a woman. Look at the Bible for guidance on this one. On those occasions where same-sex relationships took place, God sent his wrath not only upon the evil doers, but the whole society (see Sodom and Gomorrah) for letting it happen. This is proof to many social conservatives that God abhors homosexuality and will destroy the society that sanctions it.