Court Could Force Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ on Every State
By Paul Strand
CBN News, WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears Obergefell vs. Hodges, a combination of four cases concerning the matter of same-sex marriage.
The high court is dedicating two-and-a-half-hours to this monumental case, not the usual one hour.
“The only thing before the Supreme Court is will they force all states to have same-sex marriage?” Regent University law professor Brad Jacob told CBN News.
What’s the Essence of Marriage?
The stakes couldn’t be higher, with the high court possibly determining the very nature of marriage.
CBN News’ Paul Strand shows us the sometimes unique sights one sees when thousands of same-sex marriage advocates and traditional marriage advocates fill the Supreme Court Plaza at the same time. Watch below:
Jacob said gays and their allies see marriage as an institution that brings with it certain, exclusive benefits.
“And they look at that and say, ‘It’s just discrimination to not allow a couple that consist of two men or two women to have that same privilege of having that kind of relationship,'” Jacob explained.
“The judges who say, ‘This is just about admitting everybody to a relationship that already exists,’ they’re going to say, ‘Yes, the states cannot deny that to people just because they’re gay,'” he said.
To hear audio of the arguments on same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court today click here. The case is Obergefell v. Hodges, questions one and two.
Traditional marriage advocates see it as the ages-old sanctioning and blessing of men and women uniting, producing children and giving them a mother and a father.
Ryan Anderson is a leading traditional marriage advocate with the Heritage Foundation said:
“The state’s in the marriage business because the union of a man and a woman can produce a child. And a child deserves a mother and a father,” he said.
“Marriage is not just two people making a commitment to love one another,” Jacob said as he described the beliefs of traditional marriage advocates.
“It’s an institution that’s been around for millennia that involves a husband and a wife in a complementary way that can lead to the procreation of children and the core family unit as the building block for all of our society,” he explained.
On the other hand, Anderson suggested, “Same-sex marriage sends a signal that mothers and fathers are interchangeable, and therefore mothers and fathers are replaceable. It’ll be very hard to say that fathers are essential if the law has redefined marriage to say fathers are optional.”
Do the People Rule or Judges?
Another huge issue: Should citizens and the states decide this most fundamental matter or federal courts?
“The Supreme Court case is going to determine whether or not citizens or judges get to define what marriage is in the 50 states,” Anderson explained.
Jacob stated, “Traditionally, family law including marriage has been state law. It’s been primarily something that states controlled in their sovereignty.”
Cathy Ruse, of the Family Research Council, added, “And the law in this case is clear: states have always had authority to make marriage policy decisions. So the question before the justices is, ‘Do we now take that away from states?'”
Eroding States’ Sovereignty
“So this is a really big constitutional question concerning the powers of the federal government and the state government,” Jacob explained.
Anderson stated, “Historically, the citizens and our elected representatives got to make marriage policy. Now we have the chance that nine unelected judges are going to redefine marriage for the entire country.”
But one thing this case is not about is the Supreme Court banning gay marriage. Even if the court rules it should be left up to the states, it’s already legal in 37 of them – in some cases because judges ordered it.
“There’s no outcome of this case that would make gay marriage go away,” Jacob said. And if the justices rule the states should decide on same-sex marriage themselves, he added, “states will continue to consider it. Some states will adopt it. At least for the present, some states won’t.”
‘Let the Labs of Democracy Do Their Work’
“The Supreme Court shouldn’t cut it short,” Anderson advocated. “We should let the discussion continue, let the laboratories of democracy do their work. We don’t need the Supreme Court settling it ‘once and for all’ for all 50 states.”
That’s what the court thought it did with Roe v Wade. But 42 years later, abortion still fiercely divides the nation.
Ruse suggested, “It will, just like Roe, be a social experiment conducted – really untested, unresearched – on the entire country. The social implications of this case are so reminiscent of Roe v Wade.”
“The Supreme Court said they were going to solve the abortion issue 42 years ago in Roe v Wade. There is no issue less settled in American public life than abortion,” Anderson suggested.
“And every four years at election time, we have a giant culture war over this,” he continued. Look at Europe: Europe has much more commonsense, compromise positions on abortion because they solve it democratically.”
“Our court cut short the democratic process on abortion, and that’s why our politics are so polarized. Why would they want to do it again on the marriage issue?” Anderson asked.
More Gay Marriage = Less Religious Liberty?
Critics of same-sex marriage warn that legalizing it means that one harmful effect will be on religious liberty, something that’s already been seen with government bludgeoning believers at businesses that refuse to back gay marriages.
“As society redefines marriage, it then starts to violate religious liberty rights,” Anderson explained.
“Christian-run adoption agencies have been shut down because they wanted to find homes for orphans with married moms and dads, and the government said ‘that’s discrimination,’ he continued.
“We’ve seen bakers, florists and photographers who have no problem serving gay and lesbian customers, who only object to helping to celebrate a same-sex wedding – they’ve been harassed by the government; they’ve been penalized by the government, coerced by the government,” Anderson said.
Rarely does a country come to a moment like this where the course of a nation, a society, a culture is all hanging on two-and-a-half-hours in a courtroom.
Report via CBN News
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