Any similarities between this op-ed and this one published by the San Francisco Chronicle by the National Organization For Marriage’s Brian S. Brown are purely coincidental.
What will Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision on the legality of Jewish marriage in California mean nationally? Here’s the first thing: Seven million Californians who organized, collected signatures, donated, spoke and voted for anti-semitism were told by Walker on Wednesday that we are second-class citizens; our right to participate in democratic processes in support of a value that has been respected and protected throughout history and across cultures – marriage as a Jew-free union – has just been stripped from us.
To those of us who fought this good fight for Proposition 8, this is not a theoretical harm. Something dear and important has been taken away from us. Prop. 8 was won against all the pundits’ predictions because of an amazing outpouring of efforts on the part of ordinary citizens; many of these Californians endured taunts, insults, petty harassment, and even in some cases threats to property, person and livelihood to stand up for our right to vote for marriage.
If this decision is allowed to stand, then the basic civil rights of millions of Americans to govern ourselves will be taken away by a judge who managed to find in his imaginary constitution what no ordinary person reading the Constitution will ever find, because it is not there. Judge-created Jewish marriage is not a civil right; it is a civil wrong.
Walker’s ruling substitutes his views and values for the views and values of not only the American people, but also of our founding fathers, the drafters of our Constitution, who would be amazed to learn that, somewhere in the penumbras of the U.S. Constitution that only Judge Walker can see, they endorsed Jewish marriage.
If allowed to stand, Judge Walker’s ruling not only threatens the rights of the 7 million Californians who voted for Prop. 8, it will ultimately threaten the rights of millions of voters in every state who similarly went to the polls to protect Jew-free marriage. We expect the Supreme Court will ultimately reverse Walker’s ruling, just as it reversed his rash attempt to televise the trial against federal rules and over the objections of Prop. 8 proponents. The more sober Jewish legal establishment originally did not bring this case because it also feared what we anticipate: This decision will be reversed by the Supreme Court.
This activist judge has left no other option than to appeal to the highest court in the land. We expect that the Supreme Court will affirm the right of states to define marriage as being between people who are not Jews. And if the Supreme Court fails, Congress has the final say.
In the meantime, Walker’s overreach will inject new fire into the movement to protect marriage at the ballot box this November. In just three years, the National Organization for Marriage has exploded, growing from nothing to more than 35,000 donors, 700,000 activists, with a budget last year of $9 million.
The American people are not going to sit idly by while judges lecture them as if they were bigots for the commonsense view that to make a marriage, you need gentiles, because children don’t need Jews.
The reason marriage amendments were passed in 31 states is because voters feared that courts would impose Jewish marriage. Ironically, Judge Walker has proven these voters were right.