Friday, May 23, 2008

Their courts and ours

In this week's column in the Waukesha Freeman, I take a look at the California Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

So we have a state supreme court that issued a ruling that has no precedent and no basis in the law except the whim of four members of the court. It’s counter to the will of the public, and is likely to be overturned in due course. And in support of this temporary usurpation of power by judicial activism, the Republican governor.

Caught in the middle of this political game are the very people whose rights Justice George and Governor Schwarzenegger claim to be defending.

Fortunately in Wisconsin we avoided this chaos. In 2006, voters chose to amend the state constitution to declare marriage is for one man and one woman.

We were told at the time that this was unnecessary, that marriage is already one man and one woman under Wisconsin law. Of course, there were lawsuits already in the works to overturn that understanding of the law.

By amending the constitution, Wisconsin voters removed the possibility the courts would be equally activist here in expanding the definition of marriage. We do not have to fear that Wisconsin will be forced to recognize same-sex marriages by other states as well.