home
RSS
August 4th, 2010
05:46 PM ET

Conservatives vow to fight Prop. 8 ruling, citing threat to gay marriage bans nationwide

Within moments of a federal judge striking down California's same-sex marriage ban Wednesday, religious conservatives vowed to fight the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court, saying the decision threatens gay marriage bans nationwide.

"This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage,' " said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, referring to the 1973 decision that legalized abortion.

Perkins and other conservatives said the ruling, which found California's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, would overturn marriage bans adopted by dozens of states if it is upheld.

Perkins told CNN he will work to make the ruling an issue in this fall's midterm elections. "This is the age of the Tea Party, where you have people saying government is not listening," Perkins told CNN. "And here you have a judge saying seven million people (who supported California's Proposition 8 ) don't matter."

Some conservatives began calling for a renewed push to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, an effort that was largely abandoned after it failed during President George W. Bush's administration.

"Many senators who voted against the federal marriage amendment the last time it came up said publicly if a federal court interfered with a state's right to determine this issue, they would then be willing to vote for a federal marriage amendment," said Richard Land, who heads public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention. "Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to vote."

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Wednesday that California's Proposition 8, which passed via a 2008 ballot initiative, violates the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. The case is now expected to go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The decision marks the first time a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Though they denounced the decision, conservatives said they anticipated it and had been planning their next legal and political steps for months.

"We have a strong team of attorneys and they knew we were not only arguing this before a single judge, we were planning an argument that would go through the 9th Circuit and the Supreme Court and they made decisions based on that," said Ron Prentice, chairman of the executive committee of ProtectMarriage.com, a California-based coalition.

"This is round one of what we knew would be a multi-round battle," Prentice said.

Beyond challenging Wednesday's ruling in court, conservative activists said they will try to hammer home the message that the final Proposition 8 ruling will determine the constitutionality of other state bans on gay marriage.

"A lot of Americans sitting back right now probably don't realize that this case involves more than California," said

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst with CitizenLink, the public policy arm of Focus on the Family. "This case is not about Prop. 8, it's about all 50 states."

A Gallup poll last May found that 44 percent of Americans support legal recognition of same-sex marriage, while 53 percent do not.

Since the late 1990s, 41 states have adopted constitutional amendments or other laws banning gay marriage, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: California • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Politics • United States

soundoff (515 Responses)
  1. cyril

    to all those comparing homosexuality to pedophilia, murder, thievery, beastiality, etc...

    Pedophilia, murder, thievery,and beastiality ALL include doing something unto another without that person's knowledgeable consent. Gay Marriage is a CONTRACT between two CONSENTING ADULTS. Therefore, homosexuality is fundamentally different from these sins.

    Ironically, these heinous acts all involve one party trying to CONTROL the fate of another by OVERPOWERING....much like the HETEROSEXUAL MAJORITY overpowering the homosexual minority by voting.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:37 am |
  2. Ken

    The losers' lawyers kept saying over and over, "This activist judge just overruled a law affirmed by 7 million Californians." By that logic, by overturning duly-enacted anti-miscegenation laws, Loving v. Virginia was also an arrogant exercise of judicial activism. The People cannot deprive a sub-group of due process or equal protection just because a majority favor it! This was the basis for the entire Civil Rights struggle!

    August 5, 2010 at 12:34 am |
    • juxtapoz

      See there you go, trying to make sense. Making sense was NEVER what opposing gay marriage was about.

      August 5, 2010 at 1:32 am |
  3. Tom Thumb

    Yeah, those conservatives think it is OK to cheat on their spouse, but god forbid they would allow a gay couple to marry. Palin feels it is OK for her daughter to have a bastard child, but block those gays and lesbians from getting married. What a bunch of hypocrites, the GOP (Grand Old Perverts) have become. Wakeup America, the bigots are Republicans. How quickly they forget "Love vs. the State of Virginia".

    August 5, 2010 at 12:34 am |
  4. justa

    why would it take so long to 'moderate' my comment?

    August 5, 2010 at 12:33 am |
  5. Leo

    Why is it that Christians feel they have the right to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else in the U.S.A. via the law? Which part of "seperation of church and state" do you fail to understand?

    Contrary to popular opinion, the U.S. was NOT founded as a "Christian" country. It was founded as a place folks could worship as THEY wished, without having SOMEONE ELSE'S religious views imposed on them.
    It is well documented that a large number of the "Founding Fathers", including many of those that helped write the Constitution (and SPECIFICALLY including Thomas Jefferson) were "Deist", not "Christian"

    Additionally, marriage as an institution predates Christ by centuries if not millenium, so how can it be HONESTLY claimed that "Christian" values are the only viable family values?

    Oh yeah, one more hint. There is no requirement that ANY religion be involved in a valid marriage. The only times and places that HAS been a requirement has been in countries or localities where there was a "State Religion" – which is specifically prohibited in the U.S.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:29 am |
  6. gerry67

    I only think about the children, the hell they are going to have to go trough.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:26 am |
    • Ken

      OhmyGod! Living with loving parents! Somebody please save these poor, deprived children!!!

      August 5, 2010 at 12:36 am |
    • Irish Red

      Why don't you ask our 18 year old daughter that just graduated from high school and is heading to college and doesn't do drugs, has a job and loves both of her moms. Or you can ask our 16 year old son who is an honor student and going to college as a junior in high school. Why don't you worry about the kids of some of the heteros that keep popping babies out like rabbits then don't take care of them...they ones that aren't married and have multiple baby daddies!! Our kids are just fine!

      August 5, 2010 at 2:45 am |
  7. Jim

    I find it interesting that Ted Olson, a Republican and Solicitor General during President Bush's term (his wife even died during the 9/11 attacks) argued in favor of the pro-gay side in the issue. I think it represents how the GOP has fractured between the Goldwater (and to some extent Reagan) libertarian points of view (keeping the government out of people's private lives as much as possible) VS. the religious right in the GOP.

    It's ironic that allowing more personal freedoms or reducing government interference in people's private lives is now seen as only being favored by "liberals." I suspect that if it didn't involve gay rights, the Religious Right would otherwise be very supportive of allowing greater personal freedoms or reducing government interference in people's private lives? Or is it that the Religious Right actually believes in an activist government telling people how or what to do in life as long as it's conservative government directing the effort?

    Very, very curious, indeed! It's almost like the Democrats and Republicans have switched philosophies in this regard and as it relates to abortion rights.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:26 am |
    • psandro

      interfering with people's lives you say? There should not be a special and preferential law for Gays... We should not legislate a sexual position. What if a bisexual person wants to marry a man and a woman? Are you going to deny them their special priviledged right? What if a Mormon wants to live a poligamist lifestyle and marry 8 women, would you deny him that privilidged right too? How about a Moslem that wants to have 4 wives and the list goes on and on and on... what about these people... you see your arguement is no arguement at all because you want to change the definition of marriage for yourself and not for these people. and then what will we have? Total Caos! Live your life the way you want to but leave the rest of us out of it. Don't try to get the government in your bedroom. They make lousy partners.

      August 5, 2010 at 2:56 am |
    • Chuck

      psandro, you're arguing a completely different argument. Gay marriage is about the sex of the people involved, not the number.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  8. Bill

    That's right conservatives...spend another 20-30 million lobbying to overturn the ruling. That's just less money for your Jesus-freak, tea-bagging, right wing nutjobs to get in campaign donations, and the SCOTUS is just going to uphold today's ruling anyway.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:24 am |
  9. Dennis

    I would suggest Conservatives ignore gay marriage and tend their own but over and over again we see that they can't and the usual reason is that they are self loathing closet gays, scarred by a hostile environment that they themselves perpetuate.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:23 am |
  10. justa

    I think gay marriage may be a front for the desire of gays and lesbians to be legitimized by the christian church. Perfectly understandable. We all want to know if what we do is ok or not. Everything is ok but deal with your own guilt if you feel it. Marriage IS a christian thing, man/woman god, living to gain spiritual reconciliation with god. Gays could have the right to civil union, but they want christians to say that it is acceptable to christianity for a man to marry a man.. gays have equal rights. but they do not dictate spiritual truth, the spiritual problem with homosexuality is that it is a life style BASED on sex. this is what is considered as a hinderance to spiritual progress, for hetros and all. as katie parry says sex and spirituality don't mix. the church will not let anyone live a lifestyle that allows sexual behavior outside a very narrow range. if gays really cared about the society and its opinion of them they would stop hating religion, stop being paranoid, accept the full rights of civil union and give up the guilt, and be as productive and loving as they can be.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:22 am |
    • Chuck

      Explain to me an atheist's marriage then.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  11. DrR

    It doesn't affect me personally if two men or two women want to get married. It doesn't affect me personally if someone is Christian, Jew, or Muslim. My job is to live the best life I can without hurting others. Everyone has the right to his or her belief and to the "pursuit of happiness"...whatever that may be to them.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:20 am |
  12. Chuck

    For all you morons saying marriage is a religious ceremony, it's not. That'd be called a wedding. Marriage is a legal contract. It's always been that way. In the beginning, it was a transfer of property: the woman. A man could have as many wives as he could afford as long as the male relatives approved of it. We've since moved away from polygamy and no one is really complaining about that. We also don't see women as property–well, most of us. Nowadays we marry for love. I don't see what the problem is. You can be married and have never had a wedding. You can have a wedding and still not be married–don't ask me what the point of that would be, but it's possible.

    The laws would not force the Catholic Church (or any other Church) to WED gays. They can still discriminate if they want. Separation of Church and State goes both ways, buddies. Oh, and if you don't want a gay marriage, you don't have to have one. The court decision isn't requiring you to have one, so your civil liberties are still safe. Congrats!

    August 5, 2010 at 12:19 am |
    • Canonscottage

      I think for many, including me, marriage is a religious sacrament and that's fine. But religion doesn't determine law in this country, nor should it.

      August 5, 2010 at 2:42 am |
  13. justa

    I think gay marriage may be a front for the desire of gays and lesbians to be legitimized by the christian church. Perfectly understandable. We all want to know if what we do is ok or not. Everything is ok but deal with your own guilt if you feel it. Marriage IS a christian thing, man/woman god, living to gain spiritual reconciliation with god. Gays could have the right to civil union, but they want christians to say that it is acceptable to christianity for a man to marry a man.. gays have equal rights. but they do not dictate spiritual truth, the spiritual problem with homosexuality is that is a life style BASED on sex. this is what is considered as a hinderance to spiritual progress, for hetros and all. as katie parry says sex and spirituality don't mix. the church will not let anyone live a lifestyle that allows sexual behavior outside a very narrow range. if gays really cared about the society and its opinion of them they would stop hating religion, stop being paranoid, accept the full rights of civil union and give up the guilt, and be as productive and loving as they can be.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  14. Jordan

    This is all over complicated. Here it is plain and simple....how would you feel if you lived with someone, loved someone, and decided to marry that person and were told no?

    Think about that then using your morality decide whether these willing adults should be allowed to marry each other.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:17 am |
  15. Liberal and Proud

    Conservative "Christians" (the most unChristian people on the planet) from almost the beginning have had to have objects of persecution. Unbelievers, heretics, Cathars, Jews, Moslems, Africans, the indigenous peoples of South, Central, and North America, African Americans, latinos, hippies, liberals, and of course... gays. Conservatives must be getting desperate, as they run out of easy targets. Their only gods are money, power, inflicting pain, and their own egos.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:14 am |
    • psandro

      as far as inflicting pain goes, I think you liberals murdered (i mean aborted) 50 million babies at the altar of your goddess of sex and drugs... that's alot of pain you have caused. Instead of judging, take a look in the mirror. And stop with this crap about conservatives hate and liberals a the kind gentle loving people... try some gentleness on an unborn baby, they are innocent and need your protection don't get the scissors and cut his throat, help him/her so that they can live and enjoy the same benefits you want to enjoy. please think instead of spewing out this venom they put in your kool-aid.

      August 5, 2010 at 2:36 am |
  16. justa

    I think gay marriage may be a front for the desire of gays and lesbians to be legitimized by the christian church. Perfectly understandable. We all want to know if what we do is ok or not. Everything is ok but deal with your own guilt if you feel it. Marriage IS a christian thing, man/woman god, living to gain spiritual reconciliation with god. Gays could have the right to civil union, but they want christians to say that is acceptable to christian for a man to marry a man.. gays have equal rights. they do not dictate spiritual truth, the spiritual problem with homosexuality is that is a life style BASED on sex. this is what is considered as a hinderance to spiritual progress, for hetros and all. as katie parry says sex and spirituality don't mix. the church will not let anyone live a lifestyle that allows sexual behavior outside a very narrow range. if gays really cared about the society and its opinion of them they would stop hating religion, stop being paranoid, accept the full rights of civil union and give up the guilt, and be as productive and loving as they can be.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  17. centralcali

    this whole thing is a joke anyways, how can you have a judge that is gay decide this proposition? It's ridiculous, don't we usually find someone without ties to either argument so we have a fair outcome?!?!

    August 5, 2010 at 12:12 am |
    • MMM

      Really? You think a straight judge has no bias? What the heck does the judge's sexual orientation have to do with it? Blame the lame defense, not the judge.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:58 am |
  18. David R. Scott

    Right... we all know that rip-publicans want equality only for themselves and unborn fetuses. The bible is a book that they love to interpret... their way . Their GOD is a low life, mean spirited bigot who HATES everyone and everything that rip-publicans HATE. Hey SARAH.... YA GOTTA LOVE THOSE RIP-PUBLICANS

    August 5, 2010 at 12:12 am |
  19. NL

    The fear is that anti-gay ministers will be legally obligated to perform same-sex marriages. If it's anything like shopping on Sundays the real fear is that once same-sex becomes legally OK the majority of ministers, seeing an opportunity opening up, will (begrudgingly, of course) begin offering their services. During the Sunday shopping issue, Christians vowed to high heaven that they would never open their stores or shop on Sundays, at first, and then they were right in there, pushing their Walmart cart like everyone else after church. Allow same-sex marriage and the herd will make noise about it for a short time, but pretty soon most of their ministers will be performing same-sex marriages and folks will simply become use to the idea of having more weddings to go to.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:11 am |
  20. Liberal and Proud

    Conservative "Christians" (the most unChristian people on the planet) always have to have somebody to persecute from almost the beginning. Unbelievers, heretics, Cathars, Jews, Moslems, Africans, the indigenous peoples of South, Central, and North America, African Americans, latinos, hippies, liberals, and of course... gays. They must be getting desperate, as they run out of easy targets...

    August 5, 2010 at 12:09 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.