A caller to the Stand To Reason radio program Sunday, who ran out of time before he got on the air, asked a very good question. Since Prop. 8 sought to clarify the definition of marriage and the judge struck it down, did he replace it with a new definition? What is the definition of marriage now in California? Is there one?
While the ruling declared that the definition California has used since the beginning of statehood was unconstitutional, did it put a new definition in place? A definition is merely a description or limitation of what a marriage is. Is there any limitation, albeit a newly expanded?
Certainly, the judge’s ruling made definition of marriage a moving target, open to cultural redefinition according to evolving social norms. He struck down the definition in the law because we have new social sensitivities that dictate more inclusion. That means the definition of marriage changes as society changes. Even if we do have a new definition of marriage the very same judge could rule that definition unconstitutional in ten years if our social standards have changed.
In other words, marriage is anything we say it is. After all, who’s to say? Who’s to impose their limitations on anyone else who wants to claim a right to marriage? No one, that’s who. That’s the practical result of the ruling.