By Tony Perkins
For a constitutional law professor, President Obama still has a lot to learn about the 14th Amendment. After years of leading Americans on, the former states’ rights, natural marriage defender finally came full circle yesterday, publicly defending the courts’ activism on an issue that still fiercely divides the country. “Ultimately,” the President told the New Yorker, “I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states.” The self-styled “gay rights President,” Obama insisted that judges are right to trample the 41 million Americans who successfully enacted marriage protection amendments.
“The courts’ action was a consequential and powerful signal of the changes that have taken place in society and that the law is having to catch up.” But here’s the problem: the law isn’t “catching up.” The law is being caught under the feet of activist judges. Unfortunately for the Left, which either willfully or ignorantly misreads the marriage landscape, the sea change in public opinion hasn’t been as radical as they claim. If anything, same-sex “marriage” is losing ground as more people come to grips with the consequences of nonconformity — which, as we learned over the weekend — includes jail.
The only place where there seems to be an overwhelming consensus on redefining marriage is in the chambers of 25 unelected judges, who have been arrogant enough to substitute their agendas for the will of 13 states. For now, the states are continuing to put up a fight, right down to the local officials forced to carry out the courts’ bidding.
In Rockingham County, North Carolina, the latest state to pass a marriage amendment, another magistrate — ordered against his will to “marry” same-sex couples — resigned. Refusing to “desecrate the holy institution established by God himself,” John Kallum walked away from his job to exercise the freedom he should have had performing it. “When I took my oath of office, I understood I would be required to perform weddings… I did not, however, take that oath with any understanding that I would be required to marry same-sex couples… I can no longer fulfill my oath of office in good faith.”
In Idaho, site of the first ministers ordered to perform gay “weddings” or be imprisoned, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is giving the state a brief reprieve by putting a hold on the ceremonies for now. While the two sides appeal the Ninth Circuit ruling that struck down Idaho’s law, the Knapps — and other ordained ministers — will hold their breaths, hoping the same country that gave them conscience rights won’t jail the couple for exercising them.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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