Travis Weber

How does same-sex marriage affect my life? Why can’t we live and let live?

On August 6th, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in challenges to several state laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Many Americans may respond: “What do I care? That doesn’t affect me.”

Well, that’s not exactly true. These cases affect your freedom – including your religious freedom. How, exactly, you might ask?

The freedom and prosperity offered by the United States has been made possible largely by its citizens’ moral and ethical self-governance. This self-governance is in turn made possible by a unifying bond of an ethical and cultural worldview. In the United States this view is one which upheld marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and which assumed accountability to God as a principle by which to live. This unifying view has religion at its core, along with a view of marriage informed by religion.

America’s early settlers, who transplanted their religion and culture from Europe, cared about religious freedom, which eventually was firmly established in law. Preserving this religious freedom up to the present day has largely been possible because of the cultural unity of the United States. While courts from time to time have restricted legislative action by the majority when upholding constitutional rights, the unifying view of marriage was left untouched, thus preserving the freedom of traditional religious views on this subject. Yet that is changing.

Very basic principles undergirding marriage, which have served our country for hundreds of years and other cultures for thousands of years, are now being questioned. Think about that – thousands of years.

No one would say this is something that should be played with lightly. Yet it has been. Federal judges have been bulldozing the will of majorities of citizens and rejecting the natural view of marriage, while using legal reasoning that would be called into question in any first year law-school writing class.

As judges are wreaking havoc on the legal landscape, the law is suddenly condemning the religious worldview of millions of Americans. These Americans may be expected to fall into line and accept this new version of marriage, but that is impossible.

Sure, they can still live, eat, breath, and sleep while living in a land where the government blesses same-sex contracts as “marriage.” But they can’t be forced to accept and approve of the idea as good. To do so, they would have to deny their religion.

Travis Weber

Travis Weber, J.D., LL.M., is director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council.