First of all, if you have read any of my posts before, you know this is not a political blog, but a blog about Biblical answers to questions and issues. Nevertheless, as Christians, we are called to vote according to our conscience, and the recall election coming up next month is particularly noteworthy to me in that regard.
If you communicate with other Californians who are disenchanted, to put it mildly, with Governor Gavin Newsom, you will hear a litany of complaints: our rise in crime, our decline in education as measured by standardized test scores, and our economic downturn. The economic downturn is what seems to cause the most complaints. In March of 2020, Newsom got plenty of kudos from the media for being the first governor to issue a statewide stay-at-home order. However, as in other states, this eventually caused many small businesses to close their doors. Then in November, Newsom decided that his orders did not apply to him; he and his wife were caught dining at the ritzy French Laundry restaurant in Napa with many others from several different households. The diners were maskless and definitely not social-distancing, either. Although Newsom later apologized, this extreme hypocrisy ignited widespread fury. A petition was soon formulated and circulated, calling for his recall. This petition easily got the minimum required number of signatures to qualify for the ballot.
I was one of the 1.7 million+ signatories, and while the aforementioned reasons influenced my decision, my primary reason for signing was something else than I have mentioned so far; let me explain. Back in 2000, Californians overwhelmingly voted in favor of Proposition 22, which defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. Three years later, Gavin Newsom was elected mayor of San Francisco, and upon taking office in January of 2004, it took only 34 days for him to flagrantly break the law and defy the will of the people by directing the city clerk to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Obviously, he knew that they would be declared invalid, but that wasn’t the point; his action set in motion a series of legal challenges, culminating in the CA Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Proposition 22 in May of 2008. However, shortly before that, the more well-known Proposition 8 had already qualified for the fall ballot. Once again, California voters let it be known that they wanted marriage to be defined as being between one man and one woman. This time, it was an amendment to the state constitution; Prop. 22 was a state statute. Sadly, in a country where the courts seem to hold the ultimate power, even a CA constitutional amendment was not enough. The will of the people was again overturned five years later; the infamous CA Ninth Circuit Court permitted same-sex marriage in CA beginning on June 28, 2013. Two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage across the country.
Meanwhile, Gavin Newsom had moved up the ranks, becoming lieutenant governor of CA in 2011 and eight years later being sworn in as governor of CA. To summarize: what is the main reason I’m voting to recall Gavin Newsom next month? Because with his illegal action in February of 2004, he set in motion same-sex marriage in CA, as CA courts twice defied the will of the people. You might argue that when Newsom did this, he was mayor of San Francisco, not governor of CA. That is true, but Newsom’s pattern of illegal actions as a mayor and now a governor have finally caught up with him, and now CA voters have the opportunity to remove him from office. I suppose you might argue that same-sex marriage was permitted in other states before 2013, when they were first allowed in CA. However, the first same-sex wedding ceremony was performed, albeit illegally, in CA on February 12, 2004; that symbolism was very powerful. You might even argue that same-sex marriage had become inevitable by the time Gavin Newsom became mayor of San Francisco, but that is beside the point; Newsom played a crucial role in its eventually becoming the law of the land.
Maybe you think that same-sex marriage should be allowed, and you certainly have the right to your opinion. However, as I mentioned at the outset, this is a blog about Biblical answers to questions and issues. I have written elsewhere about a Biblical response to homosexuality, including same-sex marriage; if you’re interested, check this out: https://keithpetersenblog.com/2020/10/08/should-you-attend-your-gay-friends-wedding/ Finally, if you’re a CA resident, I hope that you will at the very least seriously consider voting to recall Gavin Newsom next month.