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Second Federal Court Upholds Natural Marriage

There’s a lot more separating the U.S. and Puerto Rico than the Atlantic. Based on Tuesday’s news, the two regions are also oceans apart on judicial activism. Yesterday, the little island made a big splash in the marriage debate by becoming just the second federal court to uphold the local law. In an opinion that was a breath of fresh air to disenfranchised voters everywhere, Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez shocked everyone by following 40 years of legal precedent.

Unlike his peers, who could win awards for their judicial gymnastics, Perez-Gimenez practiced what is becoming a lost art in U.S. courtrooms: self-restraint. After a year and a half of watching courts elevate political correctness above the rule of law, Perez-Gimenez dared to inject a little common sense into his ruling, writing one of the most unflinchingly pro-Constitution opinions on the subject in the last decade. Calling natural marriage “the fundamental unit of the political order,” the judge argues that “Ultimately, the very survival of the political order depends on the procreative potential embodied in it.”

In a jab at the runaway courts, Perez-Gimenez insists, “These are well-tested, well-proven principles on which we have relied for centuries. The question now is whether judicial ‘wisdom’ may contrive methods by which those solid principles can be circumvented or even discarded.”

For the Left, which has prided itself on exaggerating the popularity of same-sex “marriage,” this court’s decision highlights a serious problem for the Democratic Party — the minority divide on social issues. Apart from being the first Democratic-appointed judge to break with the Left’s agenda, Perrez-Gimenez is also Hispanic. And his unapologetic decision very literally draws a line in the sand for a party that continues to disregard other communities’ deeply-held convictions on marriage.

In the meantime, Puerto Rico’s decision creates an interesting scenario for court-watchers. For starters, this puts the First Circuit Court — whose New England states all recognize same-sex “marriage?” — in play. In the race to get the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in, most experts agree that the circuit courts will have to disagree on marriage. This case could be the very split conservatives were waiting for.

“For now,” Perez-Gimenez writes, “one basic principle remains: the people, acting through their elected representatives, may legitimately regulate marriage by law. This principle is impeded, not advanced, by court decrees based on the proposition that the public cannot have the requisite repose to discuss certain issues. It is demeaning to the democratic process to presume that the voters are not capable of deciding an issue of this sensitivity on decent and rational grounds.” If the people can’t be trusted to decide marriage, what can they be trusted to decide Once the courts start substituting their own views for voters’, every issue is fair game.

Speaking of people who ignore democracy, Mayor Annise Parker is still in hot water in Houston, where her chorus of critics grows louder by the day. By now, most Americans have heard about the city’s sermon-grab and, based on the polling, are equally horrified. In a sharply divided country where Americans rarely agree on anything — let alone social issues — Rasmussen Reports found a shocking amount of consensus on the city’s church overreach. A whopping 77 percent of voters don’t think the government should be allowed to prosecute religious leaders for talking about policies that contradict their faith. Only 14 percent disagree. In their haste to redefine marriage, some Americans hadn’t stopped to make the connection between the homosexual agenda and the fallout for individual liberty.

Now that Houston is helping to make that point, an overwhelming majority of voters (82 percent) think it’s more important to give people the right to free speech than it is to “make sure no one is offended by what others say.” As for Christian wedding vendors, who are under attack in every corner of America, most people — 73 percent — think they should have the right decline to work a same-sex ceremony. Finally, voters are starting to realize: this was never about “discrimination” but forced participation in an event in direct conflict with their faith.

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