Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
At least two counties in California have begun reviewing a plan to uphold the state’s laws regarding marriage as being between one man and one woman and disregard a state Supreme Court opinion that has yet to be implemented by the Legislature.
In the next step in the state’s war over marriage – defined by voters as involving only one man and one woman and by the Supreme Court as two people of either gender – traditional marriage supporters will be attending the Kern County board of supervisors meeting tomorrow when the issue will be discussed.
In an alert from the Bakersfield Republican Assembly, officials suggested people “respectfully call the county supervisors and remind them that 80 percent of the voters in Kern County voted for Prop. 22 that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.”
On the agenda at the meeting will be a proposed ordinance and exhaustive legal brief in its support that would have the county continue to uphold California laws and regulations – which have not been changed – providing for marriage only between one man and one woman.
That’s despite the May 15 ruling from a sharply divided state Supreme Court that opined under the developing social agenda in the state, the state Constitution could not be interpreted as to deprive same-sex duos of the title of “married.”
“Our republican government is wary of judicial tyranny,” the memo about Kern County’s meeting said. “Abraham Lincoln was severely critical of a United States Supreme Court decision which held that Congress had no power to restrict slavery in federal territories and that black persons had no rights which white persons were bound to respect.”
“Lincoln refused to accept the Court’s ruling in Dred
Scott v. Sanford, (1857) as the last word on the subject. As he said in his first inaugural address (1861): ‘[I]f the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the
instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal,” the advisory said.
“Kern County citizens who seek to defend traditional marriage, based upon ‘the laws of nature and of nature’s God,’ are acting in the spirit and following the good example of our nation’s sixteenth president. They understand, as he did, that the people – not the judges – are the sovereign rulers,” the memo said.
“The thing they (counties) can do is they have the ability to pass ordinances that do not violate state statutes,” Thomasson said.
“If a county means what it says, that it believes marriage is only for a man and a woman, by passing the ordinance they will do more to pass the marriage amendment in November than anything else,” he continued. “The county will be on record as saying marriage is only for a man and a woman and the California Supreme Court is wrong.”
“This will be as inspirational as the Alamo, without the guns, knives, blood or death,” he said.
“Homosexual activists could take the ordinance to court, but in the meantime, the majority of people in the county will applaud loudly and say, ‘This is what we wanted to see, we will follow. Let the battle begin,’” Thomasson said.
The issue is that while the Supreme Court opinion struck down Proposition 22 as unconstitutional it did not, indeed under California’s Constitution the court does not have the power, to rewrite all of the state statutes referring to marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Only the legislature or the people can rewrite laws, and that has not happened even at this point nearly two months after the opinion was released and the state has started licensing same-sex “marriages” on altered state forms.
The USJF brief on the ordinance notes the California Constitution “allows counties to pass ordinances, such as the ‘Marriage Protection Ordinance,’ which do not conflict with the California state statutes.”
“The California Family code provides, in a number of sections, that marriage is only for a statutorily-qualified man and a statutorily-qualified woman. None of these sections have been amended by the California State Legislature and only two opined to be unenforceable by the California State Supreme Court,” the brief said. “Only the Legislature, or the people through the initiative process, can make new laws in our state.”
“Thankfully, the California Constitution expressly prohibits the courts from making laws,” it continued.
In fact, one of the justices who dissented from the marriage opinion, Carol Corrigan, wrote: “Plaintiffs … seek to change the definition of the marital relationship, as it has consistently been understood, into something quite new. They could certainly accomplish such a redefinition through the initiative process. As a voter, I might agree. But that change is for the people to adopt, not for judges to dictate.”
“The principle of judicial restraint is a covenant between judges and the people from whom their power derives. It protects the people against judicial overreaching. It is no answer to say that judges can break the covenant so long as they are enlightened or well-meaning,” she continued.
“The process of reform and familiarization should go forward in the legislative sphere and in society at large. We are in the midst of a major social change. Societies seldom make such changes smoothly. For some the process is frustratingly slow. For others it is jarringly fast. In a democracy, the people should be given a fair chance to set the pace of change without judicial interference. That is the way democracies work. Ideas are proposed, debated, tested. Often new ideas are initially resisted, only to be ultimately embraced. But when ideas are imposed, opposition hardens and progress may be hampered,” she said.
In fact, the USJF brief confirms, a wide range of state laws limiting marriage to one man and one woman were not even declared unconstitutional.
“Therefore, no marriage licenses should be issued to same-sex couples until the language cited by the Supreme Court is stricken by the Legislature, the other statutes restricting marriage to one man and one woman have been amended, or until there is a judicial determination that the other statutes are unconstitutional,” the brief said.
The proposal declares that, “Only marriage between a statutorily-qualified man and a statutorily-qualified woman is valid or recognized in ______________________ County. No employee, government contractor, elected official, or appointed official of ______________________ County, and no person deputized by this County or another jurisdiction, may issue a marriage license to any couple other than a statutorily-qualified man and woman, or perform or solemnize a marriage for any couple other than a statutorily-qualified man and woman, or record a marriage certificate for any couple other than a statutorily-qualified man and woman. Any public act, record, or judicial proceeding, from within this County or another jurisdiction, that violates this ordinance is void and unenforceable.”
WND reported earlier when members of California’s militant homosexual-rights advocacy corps demanded of the state Supreme Court that it stop citizens from voting this fall on a state constitutional amendment that would protect traditional marriage and overturn the Supreme Court’s opinion.
Proposition 8 already is on the ballot, after Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified it. It states, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
The amendment was created by voter initiative with the signatures of 1.1 million voters, more than the required 694,354 needed to place an issue on the ballot.
But lawyers representing the ACLU and the homosexual-rights group Equality California filed a petition asking that voters not be allowed to make any such decision.
California voters first sought to protect the traditional definition of marriage when in 2000 a ballot initiative called Proposition 22 was passed with 61.4 percent, or roughly 4.6 million people, voting in favor of it.
Ron Prentice, chairman of the ProtectMarriage.com Executive Committee, previously told WND, “The people’s overwhelming support to protect the longstanding meaning of marriage as between a man and a woman has been staggering. The California Marriage Amendment will allow the people of California, not politicians or judges, to reaffirm the definition of marriage by placing it in the Constitution.”
Of 28 states where such an amendment has been considered, voters in 27 states – all but Arizona – have passed the amendment