In a sign that the GOP could be facing increasing internal division, a letter signed by more than 100 Republican figures – including actor Clint Eastwood – is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to embrace same-sex marriage.
Recent reports also suggest the Obama administration will throw its legal weight in the same direction.
Next month, the Court will hear arguments on two cases related to the definition of marriage, as the justices consider California’s state constitutional amendment that upholds traditional marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Mathew Staver, founder and chairman at Liberty Counsel, has argued in favor of traditional marriage in state courts around the nation. He is appalled by both developments but is especially disappointed in the actions of GOP establishment figures.
“The problem with the Republican Party you see happening right now with these people pontificating is all of a sudden their value system has changed, and they want to sanction same-sex marriage. That particular value system changing, waffling in the wind without a clear, clarion call that resonates with the American people, is the reason we lose elections as Republicans,” Staver told WND.
“The people want someone who will stand for values, not because they simply are changing their opinion whenever the wind blows in a different way. That’s what I think we have happening with some people in the Republican Party,” he said. “We need people in office, Republicans, Democrats, independents alike, whatever party, that are solid in their views, that are consistent with the Constitution, whose morals and compass doesn’t change simply by a show of hands.”
At this point, the list of Republicans endorsing same-sex marriage is largely comprised of the more moderate and liberal factions of the party. Names among the 80 on the brief being sent to the Supreme Court include former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman and former Massachusetts Govs. William Weld and Jane Swift. Current Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York signed the letter, as did former Bush national security adviser Stephen Hadley and former Deputy Attorney General James Comey.
Most leading figures in the party are not publicly on board with same-sex marriage. Staver said the GOP faces extinction if it ever embraces this movement.
“If more Republicans go that route, the Republican Party will ultimately self-implode. I can tell you many people would have nothing to with it. A Republican Party or any party that doesn’t understand the very basic issues of life or marriage isn’t a party worth joining,” he said.
Staver is disgusted by the likely Obama administration input in this case on multiple fronts. First, he said the job of the executive branch is to defend existing law, and Obama is doing exactly the opposite.
“The administration is charged with enforcing the laws, not being the king. This is a system in which the administration is supposed to be defending the laws. Now, if it doesn’t agree with the law, it doesn’t have to weigh in on it. They should let the court system deal with this. Putting the executive weight behind this, which is what President Obama is doing, saying marriage as understood as the union of one man and one woman is unconstitutional and is somehow discriminatory and that the Constitution doesn’t allow that kind of understanding is absolutely ludicrous,” Staver said.
“Rather than destabilizing family and marriage and trying to redefine it to something that it simply cannot be, the Obama administration should have all policy designed to strengthen the family. But this administration is the most anti-marriage, anti-moral, anti-life administration in American history,” Staver said.
He’s also outraged that the Obama administration would actively advocate a policy that he argued would be extremely destructive to families and children.
“I think it is an insult to the American people, and it’s outrageous that the Obama administration would seek to undermine the natural understanding and definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. That will ultimately destroy the institution of marriage. I think it’ll hurt children. It’ll be bad for society,” he said.
“It’ll hurt children because, from a policy perspective, same-sex marriage says that moms and dads are irrelevant to the well-being of children. It says that boys don’t need fathers. It says that girls don’t need moms or dads. We know from the fatherless syndrome that is well documented, and also common sense, that children do best when raised in a home with a mom and a dad. Boys certainly do best when they’re raised with their father. The absence of a father does make a difference in the well-being of that young boy as he moves through his young life, through adolescence and into manhood,” he said.
Staver said he’s unsure of how the court will rule on the two cases, but he’s not encouraged by what he sees as a number of justices who rule based on ideology rather than the Constitution.
“This particular court is not filled with a majority or a super-majority that believe in the Constitution. They’re ideologues that will ultimately reach a decision on some of these moral issues. In some cases, where it really doesn’t make any difference, they’ll follow the statute. In other cases, where it’s involving abortion or homosexuality or same-sex marriage or some kind of ideological issue, they’re ideologues. They are not necessarily going to confine themselves to the text and history of the statute. When you have people like that and all you need is five people to reach a majority, obviously I would be concerned over a composition of a court like that,” said Staver.
“We’ve got justices up there right now that don’t really care for our Constitution. They look at constitutions of other foreign countries. They recommend to new fledgling governments, not our Constitution but constitutions from another foreign country. We have people on the bench who just simply don’t respect our constitutional heritage and history,” he said.