While such politicians as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Attorney General Kamala D. Harris joined with the homosexual community in celebrating the overturning of Proposition 8, there was disappointment rather than glee in much of the religious community.
The California Catholic Conference, one of the primary backers of Prop 8 in 2008, said late Tuesday that the bishops are putting their faith in a higher court–and prayer–to rectify the 9th Circuit Court’s decision.
“… Marriage between one man and one woman has been–and always will be–the most basic building block of the family and of our society,” the Conference noted.
“In the end, through sound legal reasoning, we believe the (U.S. Supreme) Court will see this as well and uphold the will of the voters as expressed in Proposition 8. We continue to pray for that positive outcome.”
Catholic bishops denounced today’s court ruling, calling it an “injustice” to the union of marriage. Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said “marriage deserves better”:
“Today’s court ruling is a grave injustice, ignoring the reality that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The Constitution of the United States most assuredly does not forbid the protection of the perennial meaning of marriage, one of the cornerstones of society. The people of California deserve better. Our nation deserves better. Marriage deserves better.”
The Rev. Clenard H. Childress Jr. of Learn Life Education and Resource Network and blackgenocide.org, said such a ruling “is extremely dangerous when you begin to ascribe civil rights to sexual orientation, due to the fact that your sexual orientation can be flawed.
“Civil rights are birth rights. I was born black and there is nothing I can do about that. It is inhuman to discriminate against me based on that. Homosexuality is an acquired behavior. One’s sexual orientation may be flawed. It is not anything one acquired at birth. It is the main reason that HIV rates do not go down.
“This is once again judicial tyranny.”
The Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Seminar in Louisville, Ky., said the 9th Circuit, “… has ruled straightforwardly that the motivation for defending traditional marriage is animus against homosexual persons.
“I think that’s ridiculous on its face! The defense of marriage is valued by all kinds of people. To say this is insulting to people of faith and anyone who would support a traditional concept of marriage, humanity’s most central institution. To suggest the people of California can’t decide by a referendum what marriage is [is] an insult to democracy.”
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said the “… decision was disappointing but not surprising, coming from the most liberal Circuit Court in the country. This Hollywood-funded lawsuit, which seeks to impose San Francisco values on the entire country, may eventually reach the Supreme Court. This is not about constitutional governance but the insistence of a group of activists to force their will on their fellow citizens.
“This ruling substitutes judicial tyranny for the will of the people, who in the majority of states have amended their constitutions, as California did, to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
“However, we remain confident that in the end, the Supreme Court will reject the absurd argument that the authors of our Constitution created or even implied a ‘right’ to homosexual ‘marriage,’ and will instead uphold the right of the people to govern themselves,” said Perkins.
Michael Purdy, spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Mormons], said the church regretted the ruling.
“Millions of voters in California sent a message that traditional marriage is crucial to society,” he said. “They expressed their desire, through the democratic process, to keep traditional marriage as the bedrock of society, as it has been for generations . . . .
“We recognize that this decision represents a continuation of what has been a vigorous public debate over the rights of the people to define and protect the fundamental institution of marriage.”
Several quotes taken from USAToday