Prop. 8 Decision Cause for Joy for Christians, Too?
Members of the gay and lesbian community are not the only ones happy to see Proposition 8 struck down at the hands of the United States Ninth District Court of Appeals.
Members of the Seventh-day Adventist faith fought against the measure, which amended the state constitution to provide that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
On Tuesday, the court of appeals issued a 2-1 decision that the proposition banning same-sex marriage statewide is unconstitutional.
In 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that state laws restricting the right of same-sex couples to marry violated the state constitution. But later that year voters approved Proposition 8.
While the debate over Proposition 8 heated up, Juhyeok (Julius) Nam, PhD., an associate professor with the Loma Linda University School of Theology, served as one of the spokespersons for Adventists Against Prop 8, an “initiative by a small group of Adventist pastors, teachers and students in California who decided, out of their commitment to the historic Adventist principle of the separation of church and state, to voice their concerns about (1) the Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council’s public support of California Proposition 8 and (2) the imposition of a fundamentally religious definition of marriage that this Proposition represents.
“As a Christian minister, as a theologian, I am very concerned about the type of ads and kind of campaign that is going on among the four Proposition 8 groups,” Nam said in 2008 in response to the information being put out by the proposition’s proponents. “It must stop. You must stop the lies you are propagating. You must stop the scare tactics and the fear mongering that is going on. It does not reflect well on the religious principals that we want to uphold as Christians, as Jews, as Muslims, as Buddhists, as followers of the divine.”
The Pastor and several members from around the Inland Empire took their position that was in opposition to the Seventh-day Adventist Church’ official position that “sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman.”
Nam reached out to his religious brethren to uphold the Christian values of tolerance and respect.
Voters statewide passed Proposition 8 in Nov. 2008, which amended the state Constitution to institute a ban on gay marriage. The measure was approved with around 52 percent of the vote, reported the Los Angeles Times. Proposition 22, a 2000 ballot initiative banning gay marriage, had been approved with 61 percent of the vote, but was later struck down by the state’s high court.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for fairness, a victory for equality and a victory for justice,” said State Attorney General Kamala Harris. “Proposition 8 denied to gay and lesbian couples the equal protection to which all Americans are entitled. By striking this unconstitutional law from our books, the court has restored dignity, equality and respect to all Californians.”
The issue may now head to the State Supreme Court. But it’s uncertain if the court will hear the case, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the Times, the high court might choose to steer clear of the dispute because of the narrow California-only approach adopted by the appeals court.
If so, that would leave for another day — perhaps several years in the future — a national ruling on same-sex marriage.