I've repeatedly opined here and elsewhere that if gay couples (in civil unions or "marriage") aren't allowed to get the same state benefits as straight couples, it seems like a pretty clear-cut violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. But that's not what Judge Walker has said. He said the above. (The full text of the ruling is here.) But ...
... if that's the case, what is to prevent some judge from claiming "The number involved in a relationship no longer forms an essential part of marriage"? Or some other manifestation thereof?
I know that gay "marriage" advocates tend to automatically (and viscerally) attack those who ask questions like the above ("Oh YEAH? What's next -- are 'ya gonna scream that next people will be able to marry their DOG?"), but it doesn't matter. The question remains completely valid. If gender is no longer an essential part of marriage, then what else isn't essential?
In California, a domestic partnership "affords the couple most but not all of 'the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law...' as married spouses." And that's key. "Most -- but not all." That is not equal protection under the law. In my view, Judge Walker would have done well enough to leave a thousands of years old biological tradition alone and concentrate on the equal rights question. And, as I've also said before, gay Americans would be much better served demanding basic equal rights instead of demanding a redefinition of a millenia-old institution that's still going strong today.
If [gay] civil unions -- with all the requisite rights of heterosexual married couples -- and marriage are somehow "separate but equal" (another gay "marriage" advocate argument), then why not take this logic to its natural conclusion? And that would be simply that men and women themselves are not different. There should be no more separate men's tennis tournaments and women's tennis tournaments. No more separate events at the Olympics (good luck, women track and field competitors). Indeed, gender shouldn't be a defining characteristic of anything anymore. (Hell, some scholars have been saying just this for years.)
The fact of the matter is that men and women are different. I know. My girlfriend is definitely different from me. I'm not "socially constructing" her difference, either. Really. If gender "no longer forms an essential part of marriage," then what's the big hang-up on reserving the term "marriage" for men and women, and just using "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships" for gay couples? If that's such a big deal to gay "marriage" advocates, then not only should gender not be a big deal in marriage, but, again, number or any other [adult human-based] combination thereof shouldn't be a big deal either.
It's not slippery slope argument. It's the logical outcome of Judge Walker's decision.