There are two conclusions that must be drawn from the same-sex marriage license debacle in San Francisco: One, marriage and monogamy can be considered normative human appreciations that cross the line of sexual orientation, and two, the city of Frisco is not only irresponsible, but cruel.

The leftist academics at our university must be cringing at front-page photos of queues from City Hall spanning the length of football fields. If they are not, they should be. They have been assaulting the institution of marriage for 30 years. How can they explain why over 2,600 couples would line up on the street, even camp out, to be “married” 10 at a time for a currently worthless piece of paper?

It cannot be presumed to be for social gain and government recognition. In the 2000 election, the electorate of California voted hugely in favor of Proposition 22 by a 23-point margin. The amendment reads, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” There are no ambiguities. This state constitutional amendment may be overturned in the future by introducing another propositional amendment. Until such a time, the licenses issued by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom are essentially meaningless in the scope of the law.

So if not for social gain and government recognition, it must be that these people feel their actions carry both tremendous individual and social meaning. Devotion until death between two people must carry its own importance irrespective of a capacity to procreate. The “married” gay couples of San Francisco demonstrate the worth of monogamy is not only popularly recognized by Bible-bound heterosexuals, but also by those of other religious and sexual persuasions.

There is no availability for relativists in the marriage debate. Not only are marriage and monogamy socially advantageous, but they seem right. These couples chose monogamous affection and marriage, not polygamy. Dedication of life and effort feels special and profound. We cannot belittle the implication of their actions. This brings me to the latter of the two conclusions I originally submitted.

Elected officials swear an oath to uphold the law of the land over which they govern. Newsom swore this oath. He governs over land that shoulders federal, state and local law. With full knowledge, Newsom offered violations of state law. He understood the ramifications of his actions and will face penalties. There are lawful means of amending or eliminating the law and only these may be utilized. That is the manner in which civil societies are maintained.

Given that Newsom must have known his actions were not legally recognized by the state, I see the whole practice of issuing couples pieces of paper advertised as marriage licenses terribly cruel. These couples, whom I have already mentioned must treasure their monogamous relationships, have shown great hope in seeing marriage fulfilled, and their mayor only teased them. Their “marriages” will be annulled, if ever recognized, by the state.

On the contrary, by relying on activist judges and demagoguery, Newsom may have earned gays and lesbians expedited official opposition on the federal level. Having read much of Bush’s thoughts on this issue carefully, I believe it’s fair to conclude the president is personally opposed, as a religious man, to homosexual marriage. But, as a Republican, he is philosophically inclined to oppose greater government and is not entirely enthusiastic about suggesting a federal marriage amendment recognizing only heterosexual couples. He has made very clear his decision to introduce an amendment entirely for the purpose of thwarting the federal judicial coercion of a bipartisan electorate still highly opposed to same-sex marriages.

Nicholas Romero is a senior philosophy major.