The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision creating “same-sex marriage” has resulted in conflicts in local communities, lawsuits and the resignation of clerks who claim it violates their religious rights.
Now, among the strategies to protect First Amendment rights are two proposed voter initiatives in Colorado. One would preserve the traditional definition of marriage by recognizing it as a “religious expression.” The other would require the state to establish a list of businesses willing to accommodate same-sex couples.
The proposals, filed by Littleton residents Gene Straub and D’Arcy Straub, a lawyer, each will need 98,000 signatures to be placed on the election ballot, the Denver Post reported.
The proposed constitutional amendment reads: “A marriage is recognized as a form of religious expression of the people of Colorado that shall not be abridged through the state prescribing or recognizing any law that implicitly or explicitly defines a marriage in opposition or agreement with any particular religious belief.”
The Post explained that any same-sex couple “married before the proposed amendment takes effect or in another state would have their relationship redefined as a civil union, which carries some but not all of the legal rights of marriage.”
The second initiative would require the state to maintain a list “of businesses willing to provide services to LGBT couples, so that those opposed could contract with them.”
The proposal is designed to protect business owners like the Oregon couple fined $135,000 for declining to make a cake for a lesbian wedding.
As WND reported, legal defenders of traditional marriage have warned that the Supreme Court ruling creates a conflict between the newly created right and the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty.
Among other consequences of the ruling, clerks have been forced to quit, judges have stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether and one U.S. senator said the decision should be ignored, comparing it to the Dred Scott ruling in which the U.S. Supreme Court formally declared blacks were inferior to whites.
And, notably, Christian leaders representing tens of millions of constituents have told the Supreme Court they will not abide by the decision.
The Post reported the Straubs are scheduled to meet July 16 with the Colorado Legislative Council staff to talk about the language of the proposals.
Among the opponents is “gay” activist Dave Montez, who called it “an unnecessary attempt to radically redefine all marriages in Colorado in order to undermine the Supreme Court’s recent decision.”
“Even before last week’s Supreme Court decision, the 37 states that already had marriage equality had proven that when loving, committed, gay couples share in the freedom to marry, families are helped and no one is hurt,” he said, according to the Post.
In fact, the vast majority of those 37 states have had “gay marriage” imposed on them by federal judges, mostly against the wishes of the voters.
Another opponent of the proposed initiatives is state Rep. Dominick Moreno, a member of the Colorado House Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus.
“You can’t override the Supreme Court, especially at the state level,” he said, the paper reported.
WND reported it was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a candidate for the GOP nomination for president, who told NPR that there are many across America who can just ignore the Supreme Court ruling.
He said the case was brought by parties from four states, but that “does not mean that those who are not parties to a case are bound by a judicial order.”
Cruz said it’s tragic that the Supreme Court justices decided to rewrite the Constitution instead of doing their job, which is to interpret the law.
“It is a sad moment for the court when you have judges seizing authority that does not belong to them,” he said.
One change that would help, Cruz believes, is to put justices on the election ballot periodically for retention or removal by voters.
“If judges overstep their bounds, violate the Constitution, then the people have a check to remove them of office. I’ve called for that change,” he said.
Another Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, said, if elected, he would sign executive orders to protect businesses, churches and others from the “discrimination, intimidation, or civil or criminal penalties” expected for exercising their religious beliefs.
He said the attorney general also could prosecute violations of First Amendment rights.
“While some cowardly politicians wave the white flag and surrender to this unconstitutional, out-of-control act of judicial tyranny, I reject this decision and will fight from ‘Day One’ of my administration to defend our Constitution and protect religious liberty,” he said.
“This ruling by the five lawyers is no law at all,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, a prominent legal defender of biblical marriage. “It is lawless and must be treated as such.”
At Conservative Review, Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz said the Supreme Court has threatened the nation’s foundational principle.
“We have seen the court redefine statutes. We have seen the court redefine the Constitution like they did with Obamacare and in Roe v. Wade. But now we witness the court go a step further and void out natural law, the very foundation on which the Declaration of Independence was constructed – the document that asserts fundamental rights and liberties.”
The decision, he said, was based on “indefensible” assertions and “is not just immoral.”
“It is irrational and illegal,” he said of the majority opinion written by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.
How marriage defenders lost their case, Part 1 by Fr. Marcel Guarnizo
The outrageous dissolution of marriage by Joseph Farah