August 5, 2010
For Immediate Release

Marriage and Democracy
Both Victims of Federal Judge’s Decision in California Case

Harrisburg, Pa. In a stunning act of judicial activism at its worst, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down as unconstitutional California’s Proposition 8 – the voter-approved constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of husband and wife.

Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, said: “There are really two victims of this decision: One man-one woman marriage and the right of free people to make choices through the ballot box.”

“It is disturbing that the trial court has literally accused the majority of California voters of being ‘irrational’ and having discriminatory intent,” said Geer. “This is especially appalling when the issue at hand is the longstanding definition of marriage as the union of husband and wife, as understood by generations of people around the world.”

Walker’s decision shockingly singled out and dismissed as illegitimate any “moral and religious views [that] form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples.”

This decision could have dire consequences beyond California. Americans in 30 states — like California — have moved to preserve the historic definition of marriage by amending their state constitutions. 41 states, including Pennsylvania in 1996, have passed “Defense of Marriage Acts” to define marriage in their laws. But DOMAs are not enough to keep activist judges from striking them down, as they did most recently in Iowa.

So far, Pennsylvanians have been denied a referendum vote on a constitutional amendment by the inaction of state lawmakers, leaving our marriage law at risk of a radical judge in the mold of Judge Walker.

The Pennsylvania Family Institute supports the immediate appeal of the decision and ultimately looks forward to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognizes the constitutional right of the people of California – or any state – to affirm the historic public policy of preserving marriage.

Pennsylvania Family Institute is a non-profit research and education organization that focuses on cultural trends and public policies that impact families.  Founded in 1989, its mission is to strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles essential for the well-being