Pastor Says Politics Threatens California’s Proposition 8

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Pastor Says Politics Threatens California's Proposition 8
Advocates of California’s Proposition 8 say the state attorney
general’s attempt to overturn the gay marriage ban opposes the will
of the people.
Pastor Says Politics Threatens California's Proposition 8

[01.08.09] A San Diego pastor who successfully galvanized
statewide support last fall to ban gay marriage in California says
recent legal maneuvers by California Attorney General Jerry Brown
aimed at overturning Proposition 8 are mostly motivated by political

“Everyone knows this is political,” said Jim Garlow, senior
pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego. “The real key here is
[Brown] is posturing himself to gain an adequate base because he
wants to run for governor again.”

Following November elections Brown appeared unwilling to attack
the judicial validity of the voter-passed Proposition 8. Garlow said
Brown had an “epiphany” last month. “To win [the governorship],
he will have to look further left than his [pro-gay marriage]
opponent from San Francisco,” he said.

Garlow said he and the members of “Protect Marriage – Yes on
8,” a broad coalition that mobilized votes in
favor of Proposition 8 last fall,
are very concerned about the
fate of Proposition 8. He said traditional marriage supporters have
been “losing the PR war” ever since Brown filed a brief with the
Supreme Court last month claiming the same-sex marriage ban was
unconstitutional because it violated the “inalienable or natural
rights” of the population.

“We’re supposedly extinguishing the ‘fundamental rights’
of [gay people],” Garlow said. “That would mean that for
virtually every culture and every society over the past 5,000 years,
we have been denying the fundamental right [to gay marriage]. It
means [Brown] somehow has a grasp on the definition of what
fundamental human rights are.”

Proposition 8 passed in November with 52 percent of vote,
overriding a state Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex
marriage in May. Garlow credited fasting and prayer for the
traditional values victory on Nov. 4, while anti-Christian violence raged nationwide in the
aftermath of the elections.

Garlow said activists on both sides of the gay marriage debate are
passionate because they know what’s at stake. “When you redefine
marriage for a few you have redefined it for all,” he said. “If
the government has a compelling interest in somehow defending
same-sex marriage, they would, by definition, have to silence or fine
or sentence or incarcerate people who do not accept it in their
personal lives, in the teaching of their children, in their
businesses, in their churches. … People with biblical values left
in them will not only become marginalized but they would become
functionally illegal [for opposing gay marriage].”

On Monday, Protect Marriage lawyers filed a
brief claiming
Brown was inviting the California Supreme Court
to declare “a constitutional revolution.”

“The [attorney general's] argument is not only unprecedented but
contradicts the most basic understanding of the role of the judiciary
in a constitutional democracy,” the attorneys said in a legal brief
co-written by Whitewater prosecutor and Pepperdine Law School Dean
Kenneth W. Starr. “His extra-constitutional
vision is one of unprecedented judicial hegemony, a sweeping power
vested in the least-democratic branch that overrides the precious
right of the people to determine how they will be governed.”

A hearing could be held as early as March. Starr, former U.S.
Solicitor General and a former judge on the D.C. Circuit of the U.S.
Court of Appeals, will argue the case on behalf of Protect Marriage. —Paul Steven Ghiringhelli

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