Saturday, August 07, 2010

Proposition 8: Here come da judge!

Last week Judge Vaughn Walker struck down California's voter-approved ban on gay marriage known as Proposition 8. Needless to say, this ignited both celebrations and protests throughout the country. While this is a significant milestone in the debate, there is still a long way to go before there is any kind of final decision made.

However, there is something that has come out of this which is, for me, troubling. It seems that there is a question about Judge Vaughn's sexual orientation. Those opposed to gay marriage are now claiming that he is unfit to rule on the issue. The implication is that a gay judge could not make an unbiased decision on the issue. This is, without a doubt, an extremely ridiculous assumption to make. Following this logic, a judge who was deeply religious or one who was divorced would be equally unfit to rule on the issue. The fact is that the legal teams for both sides state that the judge made his decision based on the legal merits of the cases presented.

There is an interesting perspective on this whole thing, too. A noted theologian, seminary professor, and ordained minister wrote a piece stating "Why Judge Walker's Proposition 8 Ruling Is Theologically Correct."

I don't know how the issue of gay marriage will turn out. Hopefully reason will triumph over rhetoric. I do, however, know, that when one side shifts from arguing the facts to personal attacks, that side is losing the debate.
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