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Thomas: Obama unwittingly helps pass Proposition 8

POSTED: November 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Oh, the irony. With Barack Obama on the ballot, liberals thought they couldn't lose. However, in California things did not go as planned.

Much of the country was watching as Californians had on their ballot Proposition 8, which, if passed, would amend their state constitution to read, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The measure passed 52 percent to 48 percent.

The thick irony here is that, according to Colby Cash on nationalpost.com, "traditionalist churches needed help to pass Proposition 8, and that help came from black voters brought to the polls by Barack Obama.

The measure lost outright among white and Asian voters; it won by more than two to one amongst blacks, who mostly belong to deeply conservative evangelical churches and who turned out on Nov. 4 in unprecedented numbers." The measure was also supported by a majority (53 percent) of Hispanic voters.

I seriously question how "conservative" and "evangelical" any voting group is that overwhelmingly supports the ultra-liberal Obama, especially given his abortion record. Further irony in this vote is that Obama himself came out against Proposition 8.

In July of this year, in a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Obama wrote that he supports extending "fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law ... And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states."

The California vote just goes to show how unacceptable to Americans in general that gay marriage is. If it cannot pass in California it is unlikely to pass in any other U.S. state. The only way for the gay-marriage lobby to get its way is through judicial activism, with the state of Connecticut as the most recent example. With a 4 to 3 ruling on Oct. 10 of this year, the Connecticut Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples have a right to wed rather than engage in "civil unions."

The gay-marriage lobby is now zero-for-30 in its attempts to stop the citizens in U.S. states from passing constitutional amendments strictly defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Arizona and Florida also passed similar measures in this election. A 30-game losing streak is a pretty abysmal record, but gay marriage supporters are not giving up. They are suing to block the amendment passed in California.

Proposition 8 was in response to the 4 to 3 decision by the California Supreme Court ruling in May of this year that struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. In 2000, 61 percent of California voters passed the ban (Proposition 22) which said, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California."

Sadly, it must have been lost on most California voters, as well as voters across the country, that Obama would most likely appoint judges to the federal courts who see things much as the California and Connecticut courts did.

One thing that now must be decided is what to do about the 17,000 or so homosexual "marriages" that took place in between the California Supreme Court ruling and the passing of Proposition 8. Whether these "marriages" will be invalidated remains to be seen. Several states (at least 10) were leery of this scenario and cautioned the California court to delay finalizing its ruling until after the vote on Proposition 8. Of course, the California court in its "enlightened" wisdom refused to do so and now it has a legal mess on its hands, which it richly deserves.

Citizens across the country must keep a wary eye on the judiciary at the local, state, and federal levels. We must never forget that all branches of our wonderful government are ultimately accountable to "we the people." However, foolish overreaching and "interpreting" by the courts can take years, even decades, to undo.

Americans must understand the process by which judges make it to the bench and always keep this in mind as we elect our leaders.

Trevor Thomas is a Gainesville resident and frequent columnist; Web site. His columns appear regularly.



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