The 2008 Republican Platform lays out the party's ideas of what constitutes a "real family." Unfortunately, many real families don't fall within the Republicans' idea of what a family ought to be, and therefore the Republican party labels these family as a threat to "traditional marriage." Here's an excerpt from the official 2008 Republican Platform regarding this issue:
Preserving Traditional Marriage
Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.
Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress. A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex “marriages” licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter. We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California.
Now, this all sounds like the Republicans are trying to do a good thing by preventing "activist judges" from "redefining marriage." But look a little deeper, and you'll see that what they really want is not to protect any marriage, but to attack real families and to destroy marriages that have finally been recognized.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." — George Santayana
The last major "revision" to marriage happened in 1967 when the US Supreme Court struck down a law against interracial marriage.
The plaintiffs, Mildred Loving (Mildred Delores Jeter, a woman of African and Rappahannock Native American descent) and Richard Perry Loving (a white man), were residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia who had been married in June 1958 in the District of Columbia, having left Virginia to evade the Racial Integrity Act, a state law banning marriages between any white person and any non-white person. Upon their return to Caroline County, Virginia, they were charged with violation of the ban. They were caught sleeping in their bed by a group of police officers who had invaded their home in the hopes of finding them in the act of sex (another crime). In their defense, Ms. Loving had pointed to a marriage certificate on the wall in their bedroom. That, instead of defending them, became the evidence the police needed for a criminal charge since it showed they had been married in another state. Specifically, they were charged under Section 20-58 of the Virginia Code, which prohibited interracial couples from being married out of state and then returning to Virginia, and Section 20-59, which classified "miscegenation" as a felony punishable by a prison sentence of between one and five years. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty and were sentenced to one year in prison, with the sentence suspended for 25 years on condition that the couple leave the state of Virginia. The trial judge in the case, Leon Bazile, echoing Johann Friedrich Blumenbach's 18th-century interpretation of race, proclaimed that
"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and He placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix."
(emphasis mine) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._virginia
At the time, public opinion was still very much against interracial couples' rights. However, the job of the judiciary is not to bow to public opinion, but to uphold the rights of American citizens according to the Constitution of the United States of America. This is what Republicans refer to as "judicial tyranny" when it applies to Republicans' favorite punching bags, which these days are gay couples.
Ten years ago, a similar incident occurred in Texas to a gay couple.
John Geddes Lawrence, then 55, and Tyron Garner, then 31, were alleged to have been engaging in consensual anal sex in Lawrence's apartment in the outskirts of Houston between 10:30 and 11 p.m. on September 17, 1998 when Harris County sheriff's deputy Joseph Quinn entered the unlocked apartment, with his weapon drawn, arresting the two.
The arrests had stemmed from a false report of a "weapons disturbance" in their home — that because of a domestic disturbance or robbery, there was a man with a gun "going crazy." The person who filed the report, neighbor Robert Royce Eubanks, then 40, had earlier been accused of harassing the plaintiffs. (Despite the false report, probable cause to enter the home was not at issue in the case. Eubanks, with whom Garner was romantically involved at the time of the arrest, later admitted that he was lying, pleaded no contest to charges of filing a false police report, and served 15 days in jail.
Lawrence and Garner were arrested, held overnight in jail, and charged with violating Texas's anti-sodomy statute, the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law. The law, Chapter 21, Sec. 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, designated it as a Class C misdemeanor when someone "engages in deviant sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex," prohibiting sex between members of the same sex.
In both cases, the Supreme Court of the United States went against public opinion and upheld the rights of these couples to have privacy in their own homes. Republicans, however, consider this to be an example of "activist judges" attacking the "traditional family."
But, it's not enough for them to defend police who break into the homes of American citizens and arrest them for having sex with their partners in their own bedrooms. Republicans want to destroy the marriages of gay couples in California. The Supreme Court of California ruled this year that marriage laws in that state cannot discriminate against gay couples. Since then, thousands of gay couples have gotten married and finally have the right to visit each other in the hospital and share property, etc. as any other married couple can.
Republicans are coming out in force attacking those rights with Proposition 8, which would amend the California state constitution to ban marriage for gay couples. They are making horrible lies against gay couples, claiming that if their marriages are not destroyed, childrens' education will be harmed and preachers will be arrested. These lies and attacks are insidious and absolutely unforgivable; they have no place in a civilized democracy like the United States of America.
Stand against the Republicans and defend real families and American values!
“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”
— Barack Obama