Five members of the U.S. Supreme Court upset our government's balance of powers last week when they cast down the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress in 1996. They also trampled states' rights and the citizens initiative process when they threw back California's Proposition 8, an encore ballot measure passed by a majority of voters to preserve traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

These five to four majority decisions were political, not judicial; wanton, not wise. They are based on permissive political agendas, not on professional legal standards. They promote the illusion that human beings can ignore the moral, social, historical, physical, and biological consequences of permissive lifestyles and promiscuous intimacies, whether heterosexual, homosexual or transexual.

While feigning tolerance, they assault the facts, faiths, freedoms and family values that have defined civilizations for millennia. While arguing for equality, they deceive individuals and couples by denigrating chastity, deflowering fidelity and derailing the DNA-bonded possibilities for nurtured posterity that marriage can provide.

Cynthia Hallen