The board of supervisors in Kern County, Calif., today surrendered in the war over homosexual marriage, rejecting a legally supported proposal to adopt a marriage-protection plan for county residents.
“Kern County would have been right to uphold California’s statutes by only issuing marriage licenses to a man and a woman, in compliance with the myriad laws in the Family Code and the Health and Safety Code, which have not been altered and are still there,” Randy Thomasson, the chief of the Campaign for Children and Families, and author of the proposal, told WND in a statement.
“The California Supreme Court violated the California Constitution, which says judges can’t make laws. It is incorrect to say judges tell us what the Constitution means when the Constitution itself tells us what it means and specifically tells us only the voters can change the Constitution, not the judges. The only reason there is confusion on this is that people have gotten used to judges making up laws. It’s high time for us to restore our republic and make judges submit to the Constitution, instead of the other way around,” he said.
Thomasson said many leaders “talked a good talk on marriage.”
“But they either don’t respect the written constitution which says judges can’t make the law or they lack conviction to match their words with deeds and truly protect marriage for a man and a woman,” he said.
“If these ‘pro-marriage’ supervisors had been at the Alamo, they probably would have turned tail and ran. It’s sad to see so-called ‘public servants’ so reluctant to sacrifice their personal comfort and set a good example for the children. They did the wrong thing by not publicly upholding marriage as a beautiful and exclusive relationship between a man and a woman.”
Thomasson said for the last month, residents of Kern County have been urging the five members of the county board to approve an ordinance that requires marriage licenses to be issued only to a man and a woman.
The proposed Marriage Protection Ordinance also was supported by “an exhaustive legal analysis,” authored by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation.
“The highest law in our state, the California Constitution, allows counties to pass ordinances, such as the ‘Marriage Protection Ordinance,’ which do not conflict with the California state statutes,” Kreep said. “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. Only the Legislature, or the people through the initiative process, can make new laws in our state.”
“Since the California State Supreme Court has not declared those statutes unconstitutional, local government officials do not have the power to issue marriage licenses to anyone other than an unmarried man and an unmarried woman,” Kreep explained. “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.”
Officials with the pro-family organizations earlier said another county also is considering the plan, but no details were available on the status of that process.
The state Supreme Court on May 15 in a divide decision opined that a voter-approved law designating marriage only for one man and one woman wasn’t constitutional. The issue is that other state laws referring to marriage as being between one man and one woman only haven’t been changed. Only the legislature, or the people, can do that.
The USJF brief on the ordinance noted the California Constitution “allows counties to pass ordinances, such as the ‘Marriage Protection Ordinance,’ which do not conflict with the California state statutes.”
“Thankfully, the California Constitution expressly prohibits the courts from making laws,” it said.
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