I heartily endorse Mungo's post yesterday that the 14th amendment is a straightforward reason to overturn Prop 8 in California and I'm totally in favor of same sex marriages.
However, the following comment appeared and got a fair amount of support in the thread:
"Why should the government ever be in the position of defining marriage? Let that be up to churches and have the government enforce the contracts."
People, that is nuts.
Say I'm an atheist. Where's my "equal protection"? Say a church allows marriages between 40 year olds and 12 year olds. Should the government "enforce the contract" or throw the church leaders in jail. Suppose a church refuses to allow divorce for any reason.
Note that "just go find another church" is not a viable solution. Not for the 12 year old. Not for the person in the abusive relationship. The simple fact of the matter is that churches can create all kinds of mischief and it's just not that easy to walk away if your family, future spouse, social network is all bound up in the church.
Sure majorities make mistakes. Pure majority rule can be tyrannical to minorities. But in my opinion, Theocracies make way more mistakes and create much more tyranny.
I simply don't see the "tyranny" of having the Government be in the marriage business in the USA, especially if it would simply respect the Constitution and provide equal protection to all its citizens.
Are you people seriously against a law denying the right to marry 12 year olds?