What starts as a “rights” issue inevitably ends up enforced at the barrel of the gun, and this highlights the importance of correctly defining words, especially before the Supreme Court.
In the end, our society has to get along on these issues and come to some agreement—even if it’s to agree to disagree. But society’s disagreements eventually work themselves out in law, and the Left’s aversion to even the most basic exploration of how changes in law affect our citizens is most troubling.
The Left would have us change human taxonomy the way Facebook has changed its gender policy. Instead of two biologically diverse and static genders, a plethora of gender identities arises, each deserving of its own equal treatment under law (this leads to some absurd examples, like pointing out how Bruce Jenner is a minsogynst). Instead of a definition of marriage as one man and one woman, a panoply of relationships based on “dignity and devotion” is used.
When the Left seeks to legally define marriage in a way that potentially opens the door to trampling long-held beliefs as suddenly dated and discredited, many people would be harmed in the process. Framed as a question which cuts to the center of the case argued before SCOTUS Tuesday: does the issue of 3% of Americans, and whatever part of that 3% actually decide to marry, rise to the level of forcing a much larger segment of our society to abandon its religious right of conscience?
Bible-believing Christians are being harmed even now by the massive leverage that LGBT activists summon, aided by their progressive, post-modern allies who wish religion would simply vanish. The Left as a whole has taken up the cause of the supposed-underdog in order to redefine marriage, not to provide an equal set of legal rights and benefits to same-sex partners.
The outworking of these definitions reaches into every aspect of society: parenthood, finances, charitable giving, religion-based organizations, business, jobs to name a few. Such an enormous lever should be treated with extreme care, and Justice Alito asked the right questions during Tuesday’s hearing in Obergfell v. Hodges—a case with potential national consequences since it could strike down state laws and constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage.
Alito constructed a situation where two sets of couples, one a same-sex couple and the other an opposite-sex couple who are siblings, have lived together for 25 years, and asked why the law should treat them differently.
The Left reacted with indignation at the question itself.
To his great credit, Verrilli did not trip up on the fact that Alito just openly compared same-sex love with sibling incest. Instead, he responded that “marriage is something more fundamental” than two siblings living together—it’s about dignity and devotion, not “household expenses and chores.”
Alito’s question to Verrilli built upon an equally insulting question earlier in the morning. In an exchange with Bonauto, Alito strongly implied that legal same-sex marriage would inevitably lead to legal polygamy. The logic that marriage can be limited “to two people who want to have sexual relations” doesn’t hold, he insisted; if gays are permitted to marry, “larger groups,” like “two men and two women,” must also be allowed to wed. Alito’s puzzlingly nasty statements lingered for the remainder of the morning, vividly illustrating how ignorant the arguments against marriage equality can often be.
Alito’s line of questioning is completely logical if SCOTUS believes its considering a complete redefinition of marriage as a legal term and an institution. But the Left characterizes their position in the case as a civil rights issue affecting gays as a group.
When Bonauto said gay couples hoped to “join” the institution of marriage, Roberts suggested that they were instead looking to “redefine” it, since marriage was defined as one man, one woman throughout history. Roberts also told Bonauto that if the court strikes down same-sex marriage bans, “there will be no more debate,” which “can close minds.” He, like Kennedy, seems concerned that ruling in favor of marriage equality would go too far, too fast. But unlike Kennedy, Roberts has never gone on the record defending the dignity of same-sex couples.
To the Left, “marriage” is already defined in their minds to include same-sex couples, and they are simply being excluded by rank discrimination, not unlike anti-miscegenation laws in the U.S. But even with the black civil rights movement, nobody forced churches to marry interracial couples—and there are no clear Biblical laws of conscience against the practice, so churches are free to make their own interpretation. In that fight, truly there is a “right side of history.”
The fact that so many churches and Bible-believing Christians would be forced by government power to comply with a same-sex marriage mandate is a sign that those in society pushing this agenda are moving too fast, even if the country is moving in that direction. Would it be enough for states to offer civil unions, or Congress to amend tax laws to include benefits for same-sex couples, until in the fulness of time, the movement gains its own supermajority in society? These institutions would either change through natural processes—or they wouldn’t.
The concept of “they wouldn’t” is so feared by the LGBT community that they feel they need the heavy hand of government to force all to comply with what is really a social issue. All the talk of dignity, nobility, and sacredness surrounding marriage doesn’t really get to the core of the issue. The Constitution doesn’t guarantee these things. It does guarantee the rights of the people to self-government, to choose their own representatives and political leaders, and to author and approve the the laws governing them.
Those pushing same-sex marriage through the courts don’t want these questions asked, nor do they want the consequences of same-sex marriage enforcement explored—although those questions have been more than sufficiently answered, and the consequences are as close as looking at Canada. The 14th Amendment which prohibits states from abridging “the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” protects religious Americans as well as LGBT Americans.
The Left is swinging a hammer at the First Amendment, and doing so without even thinking about what that pillar supports. Sadly, if SCOTUS rules to overturn state marriage definitions and protection for religious conscience, we will all find out what is lost the hard way: ultimately enforced by the barrel of a gun.