Responding to Protect Marriage’s posts is not always the most fun exercise. Sometimes it’s downright f-in annoying because their statements are always so full of BS. *ahem* But that’s why we respond, right? Rather than paragraph by paragraph as per my norm, I’m going to parse Charles Cooper’s latest statement sentence by sentence. Feel free to go to the Protect Marriage site if you want to read the statement without my annotations.
Today, a single federal judge has negated the will of the people of California.
No, he didn’t. He overturned an unconstitutional mandate determined by 52% of the valid vote-casters of California who participated in the November, 2008 election in fulfillment of his Constitutionally-mandated responsibility as a federal judge.
The central premise of the court’s ruling is that it is irrational for the citizenry to decide to retain the traditional definition of marriage.
Technically, he ruled that the idea of retaining such a definition was irrational, not the idea of the citizenry making decisions.
The court holds that the ubiquitous definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is a historical curiosity that serves no purpose whatsoever, but rather is based solely on anti-gay biases.
Shocking as it may be, that is, in fact, true.
Indeed, the court went so far as to brand as “irrational” all supporters of traditional marriage, which is the vast majority of all people, in American and throughout the world.
No, here you’re quite wrong. He made no such judgment about the people who supported the referendum. In his own words, the word “irrational” appears twice in the decision. On p. 109, he uses it to describe using sexual orientation to classify people. On p. 133, he uses it to describe the post-hoc state interests that your defense team, Mr. Cooper, espoused at trial. At no point did Judge Walker refer to supporters in this way.
As New York’s high court recently recognized, until very recently it “was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex.” [Hernandez v. Robles, 855 N.E.2d at 8 (N.Y. 2006)].
And then recently happened.
The historical record reveals that the traditional definition of marriage is grounded in society’s interest in channeling potentially procreative sexual relationships between men and women into enduring, stable family units to increase the likelihood that children will be raised by the man and woman whose union brought them into the world.
The court record and the expert witnesses reveal that that’s a load of malarkey. For example, the traditional definition of marriage included coverture, the idea that a man owned his wife and all of her belongings. It also never had procreative ability as a prerequisite nor required procreation after affirmation.
Judge Walker’s ruling sweeps aside this historical understanding of marriage.
The one that has constantly changed over the ages? I’d say he did the opposite.
In its place, he has announced that “Marriage is the state recognition of a couple’s choice to live with each other, to remain committed to one another and to form a household based on their own feelings about one another and to join in an economic partnership and support one another and any dependants.”
In its place? That’s what it was on August 3rd, too.
His opinion thus treats children as a mere afterthought when it comes to marriage.
Quite to the contrary, Mr. Cooper. I might refer you to Judge Walker’s Findings of Fact 35, 41, 49, 55, 56, 69, 70, 71, and 72. You might be surprised what you learn when you actually read the decision, considering you obviously didn’t pay attention to any of the testimony.
The Court’s disregard for the historical purposes of marriage would require California to embark on a novel experiment with the fundamental institution of marriage.
Wouldn’t be the first time! Besides, how many decades have to pass before ideas aren’t considered “novel” or “experimental” anymore? Or heck, centuries? Emperor Nero is rolling in his tomb.
In doing so, it threatens to harm the vital interests historically served by marriage.
Scary language. No substance.
The United States Constitution provides no warrant for this result, as demonstrated by the all-but-unanimous judgment of other federal courts that have addressed the issue.
Looks like Judge Walker found some pretty solid warrant for this result. Besides, no such judgment has ever heard this kind of testimony on the issue. Look what happens when there’s real information provided in a trial about gays and lesbians!
In addition to dismissing the traditional definition of marriage, the judge incredibly found that children don’t need fathers. Or mothers. To state this proposition is to refute it.
No, that’s not what the judge found at all. The judge found, based on substantial research and evidence, that the genders of a child’s parents do not determine how well that child is raised.
And the court also found that there is no benefit whatsoever for a child to be raised by its own biological parents.
That’s true. Adoptive parents like my own appreciate this resistance to such stigmas as your own, Mr. Cooper.
Fortunately, the Constitution does not require the people to substitute the social science musings of gay rights activists for common sense. This decision will not stand.
Musings? How about overwhelming consensus. And yes, actually, judges are beholden to keep experts and their evidence accountable to standards of intellectual rigor.
Fortunately, the case is not over. Judge Walker acknowledged from the outset that “this case is only touching down in this Court, … it will have a life after this Court, and what happens here, in many ways, is only a prelude to what is going to happen later.” July 2, 2009 Tr. of Hr’g at 12. About that he was right. We have already filed a notice of appeal and look forward to the next stage of this litigation.
And we’re all so glad you will continue to spin your foundationless vitriol for us all to see.
Is he really that stupid or does Protect Marriage just pay him enough that he’s willing to sound like it for the sake of the case?
I’m sure such a statement will get them a ton of donations, though.
(You can find all my Protect Marriage responses listed in italics in my Prop 8 Archive.)