Marriage on trial: Reactions to the Prop 8 decision

On Aug. 4, U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker struck down California’s marriage amendment. The case will be appealed, and it is expected to go to the Supreme Court.
Of all the reactions, the White House response appears to be drawing fire from both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage. “The president has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8, because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans.”
Obama, who campaigned as a supporter of marriage, has tried to walk a fine line with a key segment of his donor base, which is actively trying to redefine marriage – all while trying not to draw the ire of most Americans.
Gay activists are equally perturbed by the president’s unclear stance. Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, told Politico that the president’s “position on Prop 8 has always been clear. What has not been clear is how he squares his position for equality with his refusal to embrace actual equality in marriage. That is unclear, increasingly unclear, and there is no good reason to explain it. That’s an unsatisfying position that does nothing but frustrate those of us who look to him as the champion he promised to be.”
Despite Obama’s vacillation on the issue, Bruce Hausknecht, CitizenLink judicial analyst, said that most Americans realize this case is not just about California. It’s about all 50 states, because the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land” and trumps conflicting state law.
If affirmed by the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, Hausknecht said that Walker’s decision would be the Roe v. Wade of marriage – forever enshrining same-sex marriage as a new right in the Constitution, and completely taking the issue out of the democratic process.
“What Roe did for the culture wars,” he said, “Perry will do, even more so, since marriage touches everyone at some point.”
If the “confirmation wars” over judicial nominees are an outgrowth of Roe v. Wade, which legislated social policy from the bench, this decision will only reinforce the notion that judges are all-important, and must be supported or opposed at all costs. Things will only deteriorate further in the Senate, where nominees are considered.

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