Marriage in the entire United States is on trial in California. The federal trial in San Francisco to determine whether or not Proposition 8 is legal is now in its seventh day. This lawsuit will have an impact on every constitutional amendment on marriage in the nation.
Last fall residents of California voted for a constitutional amendment to make marriage between one man and one woman the only legal marriage in the state. Proponents of Proposition 8 worked long and hard to get their message out to the people, and the people voted in favor of marriage. Prop 8 would have failed without the surge of black voters who went to the polls to elect Obama as President. Now there is a trial taking place to decide if the ban on gay marriage is constitutional. The lawsuit charges that the measure on the 2008 ballot violates United States constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. The constitutional ban on gay marriage is expected to eventually reach the United States Supreme Court.
One of the attorneys opposing Prop 8, former Solicitor General Theodore Olson, known for his conservative views, said in his opening remarks that marriage was "one of the most vital personal rights" and a "basic civil right." As I see it, no one is taking away anyone's right to marry. The law simply states that it must be a member of the opposite sex.
Charles Cooper arguing in favor of Prop 8 said that marriage to opposite sex couples has 'prevailed in virtually every society since early history." He said that data from the Netherlands shows that same-sex marriage leads to a decline in marriage, more divorces, and more children being raised outside marriage.
I hope that the Court finds in favor of Prop 8. If it does not, constitutional amendments in support of marriage in Alaska and many other states will also be considered unconstitutional. I prefer to rely on the statement in The Family Proclamation to the World: "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children."