By Robert Rabbin
We have a new national hero and treasure: San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer. Let us enshrine him in our collective consciousness along with other monuments and symbols of a transcendent mentality.
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy, and it shines like a beacon of hope and opportunity. Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi gave this name to his creation: “Liberty Enlightening the World.” Mounted on a bronze plague affixed to the base of the statue, we read from the poem by Emma Lazarus, “From her beacon-hand, Glows world-wide welcome…”
Inscribed on the panels of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial are excerpts of his writings, including: "I have sworn upon the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
Etched into the north wall of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial is the text of his second inaugural speech, in which he says, “With malice toward none; with charity for all…”
And now, these words spoken by Judge Kramer in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 15, 2005: “No rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners.”
The context of his remarks was his ruling that California’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, saying it violates the “basic human right to marry a person of one’s choice.” Elsewhere in his ruling, Judge Kramer writes, “The state’s protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has been traditional…Same-sex marriage cannot be prohibited solely because California has always done so before.”
In an article by San Francisco Chronicle staff writers Stacy Finz and Jaxon Van Derbeken, we discover that Judge Kramer is a “57-year-old Roman Catholic and registered Republican who has gained a reputation for being compassionate, respectful, and unbiased.”
Here is a man whose commitment to a transcendent mentality embodies the very principles of freedom, justice, and equality for all which are the bedrock of our country, and which are the elevated expressions of our common humanity. Here is a man who has shown us all that we need not let our own particular political affiliations or religious beliefs corrupt a more universal understanding and appreciation of these words from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The issue which frames Judge Kramer’s ruling, the legality of so-called same-sex marriages, is just that: the framing of the more important picture—a vivid expression of compassion, respect, and tolerance which should make all Americans proud.
From now on, whenever we hear of “activist judges,” let us rejoice and know that they, like Judge Kramer, are protecting and honoring the very highest principles and noblest aspirations of the human family.
Robert Rabbin is a San Francisco-based writer and speaker. He is the author of numerous books and articles, and the founder of RealTime Speaking, an online hub of global spiritual activism. For more more information, please visit http://www.robertrabbin.com
Copyright © 2005 Robert Rabbin, All Rights Reserved