I commiserate with the entire people of United States, most especially persons from California on the recent Supreme Court decision in the cases of Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. United States that declared Proposition 8 of California law unconstitutional and the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. This decision by five judges to redefine the age long notion of marriage as a union between one man and one woman is an unmitigated tragedy, a travesty of law, and a great injustice. By their decision, the judges place themselves above the voters of California or even members of congress and most importantly God the creator of the Universe and creator of the institution of marriage
In the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, in 2008, there was a constitutional amendment passed in California that provided that only marriage between a man and a woman should recognised in California. Proposition 8 was passed with over 52% of the vote, capturing the support of over 7 million California voters. Proponents for this proposition argued rightly that heterosexual marriage was an essential fabric and institution of society which has been in existence from time immemorial, and that the gay persons though humans and ought to be respected do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else. Proponents and activists of the LGBT’s challenged this proposition in court, and it climbed the ladder of the courts until it reached the Supreme Court of America. In the Supreme Court, the plaintiff Hollingsworth like other LGBTadvocates argued their case, and opined that that proposition had to be struck out because freedom to marry is fundamental in their society and that the California constitution should guarantee the same freedom and rights to everyone. This case received a major setback because the Governor of California Jerry Brown and his Attorney General Kamala Harris, who receive political support from homosexual groups and activists, refused to defend Proposition 8 as such some private persons decided to defend the bill. It is quite unfortunate that the administration of Jerry Brown did not want to defend the wishes of the people who voted him into power; rather he chose to succumb to the wishes of the minority pressure group. This is corruption and irresponsibility.
Brain Brown, NOM’s president opines that “The Supreme Court’s holding that proponents of an initiative had no legal right to appeal ignores California law and rewards corrupt politicians for abandoning their duty to defend traditional marriage laws.
Commenting on this, Ryan T. Anderson, co-author of the book “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.” opined that the court made no ruling on the merits of Proposition 8, but said only that the citizens who passed the constitutional amendment didn’t have standing to defend their law. The only reason this jurisdictional question was an issue is because the governor and attorney general of California decided to not defend a law passed by the people. It is scandalous that those state officials refused to perform their duty. That abdication of their responsibility should not have prevented a vigorous defence in court. This outcome sets a disturbing precedent and distorts the balance of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. It would allow the executive branch to effectively veto duly enacted laws, simply by refusing to defend it against a constitutional challenge.
On the other hand, in Windsor v. United States in a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defence of Marriage Act. In striking down Section 3 of the federal Defence of Marriage Act, the court declared that the Federal Government cannot define marriage as the union of one man and one woman for its own policies and laws but must accept whatever the states decide about marriage.
Despite all these, our only joy is that the court did not hear the prayers of Ted Olsen and David Boies who were asking for the redefinition of marriage across the entire country as such making same-sex ‘marriage a constitutional right. The court’s ruling, though, does not affect Section 2, which provides that no state is required to give effect to another state’s recognition of same-sex marriages. Seems like the court has learnt from its mistake of 1973 in Roe v. Wade.
One may be quick to ask what this decision has to do with Africa and in particular, Nigeria. It has everything to do with African. In the judgment, the judges referred to persons who oppose gay marriage as hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race, and enemies of human decency. More of these assaults are coming
President Obama on hearing the news hailed the rulings as a “Victory for American democracy. In his $100 million tour around Africa, he was promoting the issue of gay marriage on the basis that people should be treated equally, and that is a principle that applies universally.This he pushed in Senegal and Tanzania. We in Nigeria have to be weary. The wind is blowing