Anti-Prop. 8 ruling claims Pope Benedict’s teachings ‘harm’ homosexuals
San Francisco, Calif., Aug 6, 2010 / 05:11 pm (CNA).- The federal ruling which overturned California’s Proposition 8 cites a document by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, as evidence for the claim that religious beliefs about the sinfulness of homosexual relationships “harm gays and lesbians.” The claim is listed under a legal “finding of fact” and could win deference from higher courts.
Also cited as evidence of “harm” are other religions’ documents on the sinfulness of homosexuality and the wrongness of recognizing same-sex relationships.
The ruling, issued Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, overturned Prop. 8, the California measure which passed in November 2008 to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The legal decision listed as its 77th “finding of fact”: “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”
In a list of supporting citations, the ruling quoted a 2003 document issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), “Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons.”
“Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts as ‘a serious depravity’,” is the first CDF phrase quoted in Judge Walker's decision.
The document was signed in 2003 by the CDF’s prefect Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who was elected to the papacy in 2005.
The Prop. 8 ruling cited other passages from the same CDF document, apparently attributing it to the group Catholics for the Common Good. Quoted passages rejected the argument that homosexual unions are “in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan” and described the homosexual inclination as “objectively disordered.” The passages also describe homosexual acts as contrary to the moral law and “gravely contrary” to chastity.
The ruling of Judge Walker, who is reported to be homosexual, also cited the document’s statement that “legal recognition of homosexual unions … would mean … the approval of deviant behavior."...
Princeton University law professor Robert P. George, writing in a Friday opinion essay at The Washington Examiner, said some of the ruling’s “findings of fact” were “dubiously labeled.”
Finding no. 77 in particular, George claimed, “takes aim at religious ideas per se.” He criticized Judge Walker for citing “the moral teachings of various religions” and not examples of religious speakers who incite harsh treatment of homosexuals...MORE...LINK
Robert P. George: What happens when judges decree instead of deliberate(Washington Examiner)
...Judge Joseph Tauro in the DOMA case was more explicit than Judge Vaughn Walker in California, writing that the bipartisan Congressional majorities for DOMA—as well as, presumably, President Clinton, who signed the bill into law—could only have been motivated by “animus” against homosexuals. But both men wrote with, well, sheer animus against people who disagree with them.
The charge of bigotry is basically a cease-and-desist order. It is meant not to explain or illuminate an issue, but to intimidate opponents into silence. It may have lost some of its political potency recently because of overuse, but it still stings.
Liberal critics say that Tea Party members are racists; opponents of health care reform are racists; even African-Americans who support traditional marriage are the equivalent of racists. And on and on it goes.
Judge Walker’s rhetorical assault on his opponents went Judge Tauro’s one better, however. Walker’s voluminous opinion laid out what he dubiously labeled as “findings of fact” that purported to undergird his decision to redefine marriage.
In addition to lodging the charge of prejudice, he pronounced as “fact” that the legal equality of male and female spouses means that we are past the time “when the genders [are] seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage.” The days of conjugality—the complementarity of the sexes—are behind us, by judicial fiat.
Men and women are not merely equal, Walker implies, they are interchangeable, like identical wheel covers rolling off an assembly line. Because of this, he states in another “finding of fact,” there is no increased “likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted” if she has a male and a female parent.
And why stop there? There is no meaningful benefit in having a “genetic tie” to the people who parent you, he surmises. (Tell that to inner-city residents of the nation’s capital who have bravely endured this summer’s record wave of murderous criminality inflicted by boys from fatherless homes.)
But Judge Walker is just getting started. He pulls onstage another “finding of fact” that takes aim at religious ideas per se. He writes that religious teachings about the morality of homosexual conduct are a source of prejudice that has done “harm” to gay people.
He does not then cite examples of religious speakers who have incited harsh treatment of homosexual persons. No, he quotes the moral teachings of various religions on homosexual conduct, including, oddly, an oblique reference to African-American churchgoers in California who backed both Barack Obama and Proposition 8.
In this judicial Olympics of offensive statements, it is hard to pick a gold medalist, though this last bit of religion-bashing might take the prize. The religions Walker cites with such animus are precisely those whose doctrines of sin are inextricably tied with doctrines of forgiveness and redemption...MORE...LINK