The Supreme Court’s rejection of appeals from five states seeking to ban same-sex marriage allows “gay” duos to obtain marriage licenses in those states, but supporters of traditional marriage say it just means the fight will go on.
“The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Byron Babione.
“Several federal courts – including those in the 5th, 6th, 8th and 11th circuits – still have cases working their way to the Supreme Court. ADF will continue to remain a leader in the critical effort for the freedom of the people. The people should decide this issue, not the courts,” he said.
The Supreme Court decision not to examine five lower-court rulings allows same-sex marriages to go forward immediately in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia. But six other states would be bound by the same appeals court rulings: Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Brian Silva of the homosexual-activist group Marriage Equality called the Supreme Court’s decision to not rule on the cases “a great day for millions of Americans who can now access the rights, responsibilities and protections that only marriage can provide.”
“But we know that for millions more Americans, today’s ruling still leaves them vulnerable to the harm caused by a lack of access to marriage,” he said.
The rejection of the appeals effectively makes same-sex marriage legal in 30 states.
Critics of same-sex marriage warn the court rulings are paving the way for the legalization of other social arrangements, such as polygamy.
In his dissenting opinion to the California Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, Justice Marvin Baxter noted that society “abhors” relationships such as incest and polygamy yet the majority overturned “in abrupt fashion, an initiative statute confirming the equally deep-rooted 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.”
He asked: “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?”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, charged that the Supreme Court “is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution.”
“The fact that the Supreme Court justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing. This is judicial activism at its worst. The Constitution entrusts state legislatures, elected by the people, to define marriage consistent with the values and mores of their citizens. Unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.”
He continued, “Marriage is a question for the states. That is why I have introduced legislation, S. 2024, to protect the authority of state legislatures to define marriage. And that is why, when Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws.”
Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., noted that just a year ago, the Supreme Court called marriage “a state institution.”
“Now, through judicial gymnastics the Supreme Court has allowed federal court decisions to stand that directly conflict with the clear will of a state on marriage. The court should not in one year say a state can make the decision on marriage and then in the next year allow a local federal judge to reject a state’s definition of marriage,” he said.
“The implications of forcing any state to redefine marriage have far-reaching effects on our American society, business operations and religious practice. Every person is created in God’s image and has value and worth. Every person should be respected and honored. But, marriage is a unique cultural relationship that has a long-standing tradition and societal meaning, which should not be redefined by the courts.”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said: “Nothing in the Constitution forbids a state from retaining the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Whether to change that definition is a decision best left to the people of each state – not to unelected, politically unaccountable judges. The Supreme Court owes it to the people of those states, whose democratic choices are being invalidated, to review the question soon and reaffirm that states do have that right.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said, it’s only expected that Americans are losing faith in the judiciary.
“Given the supremely hypocritical decisions made by the Supreme Court last summer, the American people rightfully have little faith that the Supreme Court would do the right thing and uphold the traditional, natural definition of marriage, should they take up the case or not. This decision is neither a surprise nor a setback. The real fight lies in the upcoming elections and the absolute necessity to take back the Senate in order to prevent this president from appointing yet another member of his radical team who will unethically vote to uphold the same laws for which they were behind the scenes pushing.”
Mat Staver, of Liberty Counsel, said the court was derelict in its duty.
“The responsibility for the undermining of marriage rests solely at the U.S. Supreme Court. Last year’s decision in the Defense of Marriage Act case that started this fire, and today’s decision to watch marriage burn to ashes is the responsibility of the Supreme Court.
“The actions of the Supreme Court, in particular, and of the judiciary in general, undermine the rule of law and erode the confidence of the people in the judicial branch of government. When the people lose confidence in the rule of law, the judiciary will lose [its] legitimacy. Everyone will be affected by same-sex marriage because it is an intolerant agenda that will directly collide with religious freedom.”
Tony Perkins, chief of the Family Research Council, said the no-decision by the justices really “puts the issue of marriage back before the U.S. Congress.”
“By failing to take up these marriage cases, the high court will allow rogue lower court judges who have ignored history and true legal precedent to silence the elected representatives of the people and the voice of the people themselves by overturning state provisions on marriage. Even more alarming, lower-court judges are undermining our form of government and the rights and freedoms of citizens to govern themselves. This judicially led effort to force same sex ‘marriage’ on people will have negative consequences for our republic, not only as it relates to natural marriage but also undermining the rule of and respect for law,” he explained.
He said the conflict has been elevated by the results.
“The good news is that time is not on the side of those who want to redefine marriage. As more states are forced to redefine marriage, contrary to nature and directly in conflict with the will of millions, more Americans will see and experience attacks on their religious freedom. Parents will find a wedge being driven between them and their children as school curriculum is changed to contradict the morals parents are teaching their children. As more and more people lose their livelihoods because they refuse to not just tolerate but celebrate same-sex marriage, Americans will see the true goal, which is for activists to use the court to impose a redefinition of natural marriage on the entire nation,” he said.
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, said the Supreme Court “is waiting for more states to endorse the practice. Once more courts side with pro-gay agenda SCOTUS will use the excuse that most states support gay marriage so the rest of the states [should].”
As outlined in a recent commentary by WND CEO and Editor Joseph Farah, the recognition of same-sex marriage comes with a cost – the violation of religious rights of Christians.
He cited the cases of florists, bakers and photographers forced to close their businesses after being fined for declining to assist same-sex celebrations.
“These are real-life examples of citizens being deprived of the free exercise of their religious beliefs, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by officials in four different states. It’s becoming a trend. It’s what I call ‘same-sex marriage tyranny,'” he wrote.
“In states that have rewritten their laws to change the definition of marriage from an institution between one man and one woman, or, which have been coerced to do so by federal judicial rulings, the rationale for such decisions has been ‘tolerance,’ ‘diversity,’ ‘non-discrimination’ and other nice-sounding platitudes. But the consequences for these decisions mean just the opposite of ‘tolerance,’ ‘diversity’ and ‘non-discrimination; for some innocent bystanders – mostly Christians – who seek only to remain true to their religious convictions.”
He said: “They are being coerced to become active participants in ceremonies and celebrations that violate their consciences – in America, a nation formed and codified in the law as a refuge for the free exercise of religion. … This is not the way a free society operates.
“There is no inalienable right to force individuals or businesses through government coercion to become active participants in activity that violates their most fundamental religious or moral beliefs,” he said.
WND columnist Star Parker wrote:”Despite the argument that ‘gay rights’ is today’s signature civil rights battle as racial equality was the civil rights battle of the 1960s, blacks are generally not buying it.”
She said it’s a “no-brainer for many churchgoing blacks that discrimination because of race is very different from choices in sexual behavior. Only 32 percent of Republicans, according to Pew, support same-sex marriage legalization.”
“This issue, along with abortion, is not going away as a source of tension in the Republican Party,” she said.
“Black pastors know firsthand how moral relativism destroys communities. They are not about to buy into it. Nor are Christian evangelicals who represent a meaningful portion of the Republican Party.
“This fight is far from over,” she said.
Additional reporting by Garth Kant.