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Why the "Equal Protection" Argument Doesn't Fly for Proposition 8 Opponents
I was watching FOX News last night, and they featured a segment on the decision by an activist federal judge in San Francisco to overturn California's lawfully passed constitutional amendment, Proposition 8. As is usual, FOX featured one guest from each side of the argument. When asked where the Constitutional authority came from for this decision, the woman defending the judge's action claimed "it's equal protection, duh!" Her argument followed the logic of the above comic. According to her, "if marriage is a union between two people [STOP!] ...." This is a faulty premise.
The definition of marriage is the crux of the argument, and it's also the reason why "equal protection" doesn't matter. It hasn't been violated. Marriage is not the union of two people, it is the union of a man and a woman. Inter-racial marriage violated the "equal protection" clause because it prevented marriage. Proposition 8 did not ban "gay marriage." Proposition 8 did not elevate one form of marriage over another. Proposition 8 merely codified the internationally and historically recognized definition of marriage. Unlike the interracial marriage bans, under Proposition 8, homosexuals still have the right to be married in California, they just choose not to exercise that right.
Even an argument excluding marriage and centered around "partnerships" fails. I have no problem with civil unions that confer the "rights of marriage"—visitation, shared property, etc—to same-sex couples. It's 2010, about the only groups who care what you're doing in the bedroom are the Westboro Baptist Church and Shariah compliant Islamists. But even that is a bad analogy because gay sex just isn't a new phenomenon. It's been going on for thousands of years everywhere except Iran. The only thing that's new about homosexual relationships is the campaign to redefine marriage, a campaign that has failed in every state where the decision has been put to the people.