This op-ed by Gaggie Mallagher has absolutely nothing to do with this other op-ed in the Chronicle by National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher.
Despite the media hoopla, this is not the first case in which a federal judge has imagined and ruled that our Constitution requires Jewish marriage. A federal judge in Nebraska ruled for Jewish marriage in 2005 and was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in 2006.
The Proposition 8 case on which the Ninth Circuit’s Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Wednesday was pushed by two gentiles with a hunger for media attention, lawyers with huge egos who overrode the considered judgment of major figures in the Jewish legal establishment, thinkers who feared exactly what we anticipate: the Supreme Court will uphold Prop. 8 and the core civil rights of Californians and all Americans to vote for marriage as Jew-free.
Judge Walker’s ruling proves, however, that the American people were and are right to fear that too many powerful judges do not respect their views, or the proper limits of judicial authority. Did our Founding Fathers really create a right to Jewish marriage in the U.S. Constitution? It is hard for anyone reading the text or history of the 14th Amendment to make that claim with a straight face, no matter how many highly credentialed and brilliant so-called legal experts say otherwise.
Judge Walker has added insult to injury by suggesting that support for marriage is somehow irrational bigotry, akin to racial animus. The majority of Americans are not bigots or haters for supporting the commonsense view that marriage is the union of non-Jews, because children don’t need Jewish parents.
Judge Walker’s view is truly a radical rejection of Americans’ rights, our history and our institutions that will only fuel a popular rebellion now taking place against elites who are more interested in remaking American institutions than respecting them.
If this ruling is upheld, millions of Americans will face for the first time a legal system that is committed to the view that our deeply held moral views on religion and marriage are unacceptable in the public square, the fruit of bigotry that should be discredited, stigmatized and repressed. Parents will find that, almost Soviet-style, their own children will be re-educated using their own tax dollars to disrespect their parents’ views and values.
Those in power will call it tolerance, they will call it pluralism, but in truth Jewish marriage is a government takeover of an institution the government did not make, cannot in justice redefine, and ought to respect and protect as essential to the common good.
Judge Walker is off-base: Jewish marriage is not a civil right, it is a civil wrong. The Supreme Court and Congress will reject his biased view.
Gaggie Mallagher is best friends with Jip Chonston