By Janice Shaw Crouse (@janicecrouse)
The following article appeared in the July 2 edition of The Washington Times and is re-posted with permission.
The real problem with the Supreme Court marriage decision is buried in the fine print. The dissent written by Justice Antonin Scalia is a resounding rebuttal of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s statement of the majority decision. As columnist Wes Pruden wrote, Justice Kennedy “put everyone who disagrees with him beyond the limits of human decency.” Justice Scalia sounded the alarm by exploring the ramifications of the decision and putting it in context with clarity, realism and a stinging rebuke to those who forced this issue.
It is important to note exactly what the court decided and did not decide. The Supreme Court did not create a constitutional right to same-sex “marriage,” nor did the Supreme Court overrule the laws of those states that have voted to preserve marriage as the lifetime union of one man and one woman.
Regarding the Proposition 8 vote, the Supreme Court, in an instance of legal maneuvering that trumps common sense, said that those sponsoring the California initiative did not have “standing” to defend the constitutional amendment passed by more than 7 million voters. This amounts to the court saying, if we don’t want to address the issue, we simply say you don’t have the right to raise the issue with us. Thus, the California officials who refused to enforce the law got away with rejecting the will of the majority in their state.
In the Defense of Marriage Act vote, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3, which defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman for federal purposes. The narrow victory grants federal benefits to same-sex couples who live in states where such “marriages” are legal. In effect, though, the decision overturns the 1996 action of a bipartisan majority in Congress, even though the decision allows states to determine their own definition of marriage. Even CNN pointed out: “This is a serious loss for federalism and democratic self-government.” Section 2 of DOMA, which remains, makes it clear that no state is required to recognize another state’s same-sex “marriages.”
The technicalities, though, are obscured by the media “victory” won by the homosexual activists. More and more Americans are viewing same-sex “marriage” as inevitable, and the in-your-face media campaigns to normalize homosexual relationships are successfully changing the popular culture.
The state of the culture war can be clearly seen in the “Kennedy v. Scalia” opinion in the Defense of Marriage Act case. Justice Scalia gave us a glimpse into the future by exposing in all its raw bias the motivating rationale of those who seek to legalize same-sex “marriage” across the nation. He boiled it all down for the public:
“In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to ‘disparage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence — indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.”
Let that sink in: Justice Kennedy contemptuously declared that all who support the traditional definition of marriage are haters; supporters of marriage as between one man and one woman for life are disparaging, injuring, degrading, demeaning and humiliating homosexuals — in spite of the fact that marriage between one man and one woman has been unquestioned “in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history.” As Justice Scalia points out, it is one thing to disagree; it is quite another to label those holding opposite points of view as “enemies of the human race.”
In other words, believing that the Bible is the Christian’s authoritative “rule for faith, doctrine and conduct” constitutes the degrading, demeaning and humiliating of others. In essence, the Judeo-Christian values that have guided citizen’s behavior and actions throughout American history are no longer respected as the standard of conduct for good citizenship in this nation. The fallacy and ultimate outcome of that line of thinking was plainly stated by Justice Scalia:
“It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here — when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’ hateful moral judgment against it. I promise you this: The only thing that will confine the Court’s holding is its sense of what it can get away with.”
The bottom line is that the Supreme Court rulings fly in the face of a growing mountain of social science research showing that the best household arrangement for children is a married mom and dad. It contradicts centuries of experience across time and cultures for the best family structure for strong nations. It represents a national experiment in social reconstruction at the expense of our children’s futures and the future of America. These decisions repudiate — with a vengeance — the sacred trust of the Founders who built this great nation “under God” and on a foundation of Judeo-Christian principles that have stood the test of time.
Worse, the rulings warn of a future where Christians will have a choice: Keep silent about their faith or face not just being cast as a social pariah, but harsh retribution in the form of fines and imprisonment. It is hard to envision such an outcome, but the pivotal changes and losses of religious freedom and freedom of speech over the past few years portend a bleak future Christians must take seriously.
Janice Shaw Crouse chairs the Board of Directors for the Institute on Religion and Democracy. Crouse is author of “Marriage Matters” (Transaction Publishers, 2012) and “Children at Risk” (Transaction Publishers, 2010).