The movement sweeping across America to authorize same-sex “marriage” largely has been pushed by individual judges who have signed onto the movement to overthrow the millennia-old idea that it is a man and a woman who make a married couple.
On Friday, two more rulings were handed down from the government-paid courts: a county judge in Florida who overturned the state constitution provision for his county, and a decision from a panel on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, where judges already have stated their position, deciding that the Oklahoma Constitution statement that marriage is between a man and woman must be thrown out.
Both were put on hold while appeals are assembled. But the bottom line is that is appears the fight over whether marriage will be restricted to a man and a woman, or whether it will be restricted to a man and a woman, two men or two women is moving closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Florida, it was Judge Luis Garcia who ordered the Monroe County Clerk of Court to start handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The ruling affects only one Florida county, but it is among several cases in the state.
The judge said two men who are bartenders must be allowed to marry, even though the latest Supreme Court determination on the issue left alone the idea that states are allowed the define marriage for themselves.
Florida voters in 2008 approved a definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, one of literally dozens of states that adopted that definition. Virtually every time it was put on the ballot voters approved that idea, including in California where a homosexual judge, Vaughn Walker, later overturned the vote of the people on Prop 8.
In the Florida case, Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a notice of appeal immediately.
In the Oklahoma case, it was a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said the state, where 76 percent of voters defined marriage as being between a man and a woman, must let homosexuals marry.
But the ruling was put on hold pending an appeal, which would be before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The governor there, Mary Fallin, noted that the decision was 2-1, meaning this was “another instance of federal courts ignoring the will of the people and trampling on the right of states to govern themselves.”
In that opinion, the dissenting judge warned the courts were going too far.
“A strong dissent by Judge Paul Kelly notes that there is nothing in the ‘earlier cases suggesting that marriage has historically been defined as only an emotional union among willing adults.’ He writes that marriage between a man and woman is much more than that and benefits society through strengthening families and communities. In his previous dissent, he noted that imposing marriage redefinition ‘turns the notion of a limited national government on its head.’ Judge Kelly is exactly right. Voters have a right to preserve natural marriage as the best means of providing what every child deserves: a mom and dad,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
He said the movement has had to come through activist federal judges – since voters refuse to move that direction and the Constitution does not mention marriage.
“The Left has long believed packing the federal courts with liberal jurists is the means of fulfilling a radical social agenda, as the American people refuse to endorse that agenda at the polls or through their elected representatives. However, by such a radical departure from natural law and human history, these activist judges are undermining the legitimacy of the courts in the eyes of a majority of Americans. These judges may want to take America over the cultural cliff, but don’t be surprised when more and more Americans refuse to follow,” Perkins said.
Out of step
While most judges faced with the question have been in lockstep in recent months in the United States, they are far afield, no matter which way their agenda leans, with the rest of the world.
For example, the European Court of Human Rights ruled this week that the Convention on Human Rights “does not impose an obligation on contracting states to grant same-sex couples access to marriage.
That ruling is for the whole of the European Union, and according to Gregor Puppinck of the European Center for Law and Justice, it “reaffirmed that the European Convention on Human Rights cannot be interpreted ‘as imposing an obligation on contracting states to grant same-sex couples access to marriage.’ In addition, the Grand Chamber underlined that ‘it cannot be said that there exists any European consensus on allowing same-sex marriages.'”
On the other end of the scale was the ruling from an Australian judge who said incest no longer may be “taboo.”
Just as same-sex relationships were once considered socially unacceptable, “a jury night find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother toward his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available,’ not having [a] sexual partner,” Judge Garry Neilson wrote.
And a legislative move in Kenya recently installed polygamy as legal in that nation. In fact, the argument in the legislature there was whether men, when marrying a woman, were obligated to tell her there may be other wives. Lawmakers there decided he wasn’t.
WND reported only a few months ago when a federal judge effectively decriminalized plural marriage in Utah.
That Dec. 13, 2013, decision elated Kody Brown and his four “wives.” (He is legally married to one and lives with the other three and their collective 17 children.) The Browns, who star in the TLC reality show “Sister Wives,” challenged the law in July 2011, charging that it violates their rights to privacy and religious freedom.
“Many people do not approve of plural families,” the family said in a statement after the ruling was announced. “We hope that in time all of our neighbors and fellow citizens will come to respect our own choices as part of this wonderful country of different faiths and beliefs.”
Under way is an appeal of the decision that takes its cue from a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court edict striking down a Texas anti-sodomy law. At the time, Justice Antonin Scalia delivered a thundering dissent to Lawrence v. Texas, charging it “decrees the end of all morals legislation,” including laws banning “fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity.”
Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum also warned in 2003 that if the “Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery.”
‘I hate it when what I predict comes true’
After December’s polygamy ruling, where Judge Clark Waddoups said the state cannot prosecute men who legally marry one wife and then live with others, Santorum tweeted: “Sometimes I hate it when what I predict comes true.”
There have been a number of other warnings about the move toward same-sex “marriage” and what it might lead to, from Elaine Smith, deputy presiding officer in the Scottish Parliament, former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey and California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter.
Smith said if “love” is the only factor in allowing homosexual “marriage,” then polygamy would inevitably follow.
There would be no “logical reason” for not allowing polygamous arrangements if the redefinition of marriage is based only on “love,” she said.
WND reported on the reaction from advocates for multiple partners following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that the federal government is not allowed to define marriage for states.
‘We polyamorists are grateful’
“We polyamorists are grateful to our brothers and sisters for blazing the marriage equality trail,” Anita Wagner Illig told U.S. News and World Report.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey predicted what appears to be developing.
The London Daily Mail reported Carey told Prime Minister David Cameron that an “equal marriage” proposal would have further consequences.
Carey pointed out some British lawmakers are recognizing that if they permit same-sex marriage, there would be no reason to bar two sisters from being married or multiple-partner arrangements.
“Once we let go of the exclusivity of a one-man, one-woman relationship with procreation linking the generations, they why stop there?” he said. “If it is about love and commitment, then it is entirely logical to extend marriage to two sisters bringing up children together. If it is merely about love and commitment, then there is nothing illogical about multiple relationships, such as two women and one man,” he said.
A California Supreme Court justice, Marvin Baxter, issued a similar warning when his court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2008.
Voters later that year overruled the decision, adopting a state constitutional amendment, Proposition 8, that defined marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman. But the homosexual Walker later overturned that vote.
Baxter dissented from the majority 2008 opinion that created same-sex marriage for a short time in the state, arguing the consequences of the decision were not thought out.
He wrote: “The bans on incestuous and polygamous marriages are ancient and deeprooted, and, as the majority suggests, they are supported by strong considerations of social policy. … Our society abhors such relationships, and the notion that our laws could not forever prohibit them seems preposterous.
“Yet here, the majority overturns, in abrupt fashion, an initiative statute confirming the equally deeprooted assumption that marriage is a union of partners of the opposite sex. The majority does so by relying on its own assessment of contemporary community values, and by inserting in our Constitution an expanded definition of the right to marry that contravenes express statutory law.”
“Who can say that, in 10, 15 or 20 years, an activist court might not rely on the majority’s analysis to conclude, on the basis of a perceived evolution in community values, that the laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer constitutionally justified?”
Brazil allowing polygamous relationships
Brazil, which started out by expanding marriage to same-sex duos nearly a decade ago, allowed three people in a polygamous relationship to have a civil union.
WND reported that the list of states that define marriage as between a man and a woman keeps getting shorter, thanks to activist judges.
At that time, bans in Indiana and Utah were thrown out.
Daniel Schmid, litigation counsel for the pro-family non-profit legal advocacy group Liberty Counsel, said activist judges are erasing hundreds of years of legal precedent and imposing same-sex marriage on the states by judicial fiat.
“I have to be honest with you. When I look at each one of these cases I see an activist judge kowtowing to the homosexual lobby, ignoring precedent and overstepping the bounds of what they’re supposed to do,” Schmid told WND.
He cited the example of Baker v. Nelson, a 1971 case in which the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the state’s limitation of marriage to a man and a woman did not violate the U.S. Constitution. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which dismissed it “for want of a substantial federal question.”
“Baker versus Nelson had been binding precedent for a long time, and now you have federal judges ignoring that and saying ‘we’ve had significant doctrinal developments,’ when only the U.S. Supreme Court can issue doctrinal developments,” Schmid said.
He said the activist judges love to cite Loving v. Virginia, a 1967 case involving the marriage of a black woman and a white man in which the Supreme Court struck down state laws preventing interracial marriage.
“They use that case to say there is a fundamental right to marriage. Yes, but it’s a fundamental right to marry a member of the opposite sex,” Schmid said. “And for good reason. The state has always had a compelling interest in fostering procreation.”
The Associated Press reports homosexuals can marry in 19 states and the District of Columbia. The states are Oregon, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Maine, Maryland, Washington, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Mexico and Illinois.
But dozens of lawsuits remain pending, in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Virginia.