Thursday, July 8th, a Massachusetts judge ruled that the federal law banning gay marriage was unconstitutional. This judge’s claim that there’s no reason whatsoever for marriage to be defined as one man and one woman should go down as one of the most outrageous rulings in court history!
When I was growing up, friends of mine would often declare of crazy intellectuals, “That guy is educated beyond his intellect!” or “He is an educated idiot!” Far be it from me to pass judgment on the judge’s intelligence or education. Nonetheless, I can conclude that he has not ruled with long-term social wisdom. Before I give my reasons why his decision is flawed, let’s review his legal ruling.
US District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) interferes with the right of a state to define the institution of marriage. The law therefore denies some federal benefits to married gay couples. In his opinion it forces the state of Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens. In a different case delivered on the same day Tauro also ruled that DOMA violated the equal protection clause of the US Constitution.
These rulings, if not struck down by superior courts, are designed to chip away at part of the legal authority of DOMA. Further, I believe that this an element of a coordinated national plan by same-sex marriage advocates to undo DOMA nationwide. There is a sophisticated legal strategy being here.
Students of the civil rights movement of the ‘40s through the ‘60s will acknowledge that cultural change through the courts is a slow, painstaking process. Although the comparison of the “substance” of the pro same-sex marriage movement and civil rights movement is “spurious,” the legal strategies employed by same-sex marriage legal advocates are very much in keeping with the incremental approach that Thurgood Marshall and his mentor, Charles Hamilton Houston, took from the ‘40s onward.
The book, Roots and Branch by Rawn James, Jr., outlines the strategy behind the legal fronts shaped the opinions of the masses concerning civil rights for blacks. What the civil rights legal team of the Houston and Marshall era did was to keep their interests alive in both the courts and the newspapers until public opinion about black civil rights changed.
In America, we have an interesting shift occurring as it relates to same-sex marriage. More people believe that gays are discriminated against generally in various areas of life than a decade ago. On the other hand, a growing majority believes that same-sex marriage and its implications on education and community laws are bad for America. Take for the example the debate going on in Helena, Montana. School children are going to be assaulted with inappropriate information at very early ages.
Same-sex marriage activists repeatedly declare that their victory is “inevitable.” These declarations remind me of the threats youthful bullies made in my community when I was growing up. Taunting, jeering, and name-calling were all apart of their reign of intimidation.
In the name of some kind of “inevitability,” marriage redefinition is actually a matter of cause and effect. The judge said there is no logical reason that traditional marriage should be protected under DOMA. He seems to have forgotten at least 2 “inevitable” outcomes of this action:
1. The cry for even more dramatic transformation of marriage will rise: a call for legalization of polygamy, which includes polygyny (a man with multiple wives) or polyamory (which may be two men with a woman or any imaginable combination)will be in the courts next. Surprisingly, both types of polygamy are being explored legally today in Canada. Some predict that should the marriage freefall continue, the absurd concept of humans marrying animals will also be introduced.
2. Federal benefit changes will affect the already exorbitant cost of proposed healthcare reform. In the opinion of Julian Pecquet, a writer for DC insider publication, The Hill, this ruling has “rekindled conservatives’ hopes that their arguments against the healthcare reform law will prevail.”
There is coming an unprecedented political backlash against same-sex marriage being forced down our collective throats. Outraged parents, churches, and other civic groups are waking up to the ramifications of a massive change to the definitions of marriage, family, and education.
Activist judges like Tauro are an example of why it’s so dangerous when judges usurp law-making authority and rip public policy decisions out of the proper hands. During the last two years runaway state legislatures and over-reaching judges have played a tug of war with the people concerning the world’s oldest social institution. In cases like these that have major structural, social changes, the voice of the people needs to be heard as laws are re-crafted or modified. Individual states shouldn’t have the right to impose a radical redefinition of marriage on the rest of America.
Marriage has always been defined as one man and one woman by the federal government. In fact, it was a condition of statehood that marriage be defined as between one man and one woman during the battle over polygamy in the 19th century. Most people intuitively understand that the conjugal union of a man and a woman is the ideal family structure to nurture, develop, and train children.
Marriage defenders have over 5,000 years of history, proven social science, natural law, the teachings of every major religion, and common sense on their side. We should be strengthening and protecting marriage, not allowing a single judge to radically change it. More damage to marriage can only increase the number of broken families and the harm caused to society, especially children. Judges shouldn't have the power to deny children their right to be raised by a mom and a dad.
Let’s all vote for people in the 2010 election that understand the basics - marriage is between one man and one woman!
BREAKING NEWS: The DC Appeals Court has just ruled that the people of the District of Columbia will not get the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage. We are sure that their decision will follow similar logic as the Massachusetts Court case. This decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court. More to follow…
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.