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I now pronounce you 'Party A' and 'Party B'?

Local Commentary

Posted: June 15, 2008 3:25 p.m.
Updated: August 16, 2008 5:02 a.m.
The English language is about to lose two more words.

On June 16 at 5:01 p.m., say goodbye to "bride" and "groom."

It is at that moment that the state of California and all of its 58 counties will change the official State Marriage license. No longer will you see the words "bride" or "groom."

When I married decades back, I was the groom and became the husband.

My wife was the bride and became the wife. But effective 8 a.m. on June 17, the new California marriage license will read "Party A" and "Party B."

Doesn't sound too romantic, does it? My spouse (haven't lost that word yet) and I are currently discussing who will be Party A and who will be Party B. Pretty sad!

On May 16, the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. The California Supreme Court, on a vote of 4-3, overturned the will of Proposition 22, which defines marriage as a relationship between a man and women. The four elitist, activist Supreme Court justices decided to "legislate" new law in California from their San Francisco headquarters.

To state what the Supreme Court has done is wrong really doesn't articulate the problem. This activist court even refused to stay the implementation of this law until the people of California have the opportunity to vote on a November 2008 initiative that will propose to change the state Constitution, in clearly defining that the state of marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

The four California supreme Court Justices are: Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Werdegar, Carlos Moreno, and Chief Justice Ronald George. Remember those names.

It's an outrage that these four judges would assault the institution of marriage. Mathew Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel, a conservative organization opposed to same-sex marriage, called the court's decision "nonsense." I would concur.

Staver goes on to say, "No matter how you stretch California's Constitution, you cannot find anywhere in its text, its history or tradition, that now, after so many years, it magically protects what societies condemn."

Please also note that the high courts in the states of New York, Washington and New Jersey refused to extend marriage rights to homosexual couples. Only Massachusetts' top court has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

Opening Pandora's Box
Allowing same-sex marriage really opens a Pandora's Box of problems.

Chief Justice George speaks in such lofty language, it's hard to make any sense of his pronouncements. Example: George sees the right to marry as one of the "core set of basic substantive legal rights and attributes that are so integral to any individual liberty and personal autonomy that they may not be eliminated or abrogated by the Legislature or by the electorate through the statutory initiative process."
What? I read it, too. And I read it again. What on Earth is this head-in-the-clouds elitist going on about? Does anybody have a Boston crème pie?

California has been a state since 1849. It took you this long, Mr. Chief Justice, to figure out homosexual couples who wish to marry are denied their most basic rights? Hmmm.

I see this issue in a much different light, as do many others.

Rabbi Mark Blazer of Santa Clarita's Temple Beth Ami, who has stated he has not taken any stand on this issue yet, believes same-sex unions undermine traditional marriage, which defines specific roles for the man and woman and shapes the definition of family.

Rabbi Blazer also states that he sees marriage promoting fidelity, a loyalty to one's mate, and in the case of men, is extremely important.

Jerry Garnes, Stake president of the Valencia Latter-Day Saints Church, also sees the court's latest legislative statement as injurious to the vital role a man and woman play, the examples set forth to the children. I'm totally on board with Jerry Garns on this.

I asked Pastor Jeff Beckwith of Grace Baptist Church in Saugus what he would do if a same-sex couple approached him, marriage license in hand, and asked him to marry them. Pastor Beckwith states he would respectfully decline to officiate that marriage ceremony today, next year or into the future.

Pastor Beckwith comes from a position of counsel and compassion and defers to the Bible. Pastor Jeff would sit down with those same-sex couples and, in accordance with biblical teaching, show those who wish to take this path that they are taking the wrong path.

Clearly, Pastor Jeff sees the teachings of the Bible as prevailing over any law our government would legislate. In short, the biblical law prevails.

Clear, cogent thinking from Pastor Jeff Beckwith. We could sure use more of that thinking in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

Civils unions are OK
I don't want to see anyone's rights lost or compromised. People of the same sex who wish to "tie the knot" should be allowed to form a civil union that affords the same legal rights as married couples. But please don't call it marriage. Marriage is about clearly defined roles. Marriage is about family. Marriage is about children.

Boys growing up emulating their fathers, becoming men. Girls growing up following the roles set forth by their mothers, becoming women.

This is critical to our society. To assault the traditional institution of marriage is to erode our society as we know it.

The people will speak in November, and in spite of this completely out-of-touch-with-realty court, I believe strongly the people's voice will prevail; it's a crystal-clear issue.

Many years back, there was a Supreme Court Chief Justice named Rose Bird appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. Chief Justice Bird did not believe in the death penalty. California continues to have a death penalty, but Justice Bird and the majority of the court, during her tenure on the court, managed to have 49 death penalty cases overturned on her watch.

Justice Bird came up for re-election a few short years after her activist stand on failing to enforce California law, and she was promptly thrown out of office. The system works. I predict the four justices who voted to overturn the ban, and the people's voice on the issue through Proposition 22, will suffer the same ignominious defeat when each comes up for re-election in 2010.

I also predict the initiative to change the Constitution will be successful, and the people will have finally stated "enough is enough" and begin to take back control from the radicals who currently have a stranglehold in Sacramento. I can predict this - but you can help me make this happen.

I hope the people will take back control of our state before we lose the English words "husband" and "wife," "man" and "woman," "right" and "wrong."

Roger Gitlin is a Santa Clarita resident, teacher and Minuteman. He can be reached at His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal.


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