A Christian legal defense organization believes it may have found a silver bullet to turn the tide of federal court rulings striking down state laws that define marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
The Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced its new strategy this week.
Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the center, said he is forming a legal team that includes three lawyers from his organization who will file friend-of-the-court briefs on behalf of a nationwide coalition of black pastors and Christian leaders who believe in traditional marriage.
“At the end of the day, of course, the Supreme Court will decide this issue. But one of the reasons we think this is a game changer is, much of the argument the same-sex advocates make is they refer to the civil rights movement of African-Americans in the 1960s,” Thompson said. “We have black pastors who were involved in that movement and are more familiar with it, and they say this discrimination is in no way similar to that (racial) discrimination. They have never had to sit in the back of a bus, they never had separate drinking fountains, never were removed from lunch counters, and you could go on down the list.
“At one period in time, blacks were treated as property and gays could have owned black persons, so this comparison is totally without merit.”
Thompson said the legal briefs will reflect the views of a nationwide coalition of more than 25,000 churches, most of them affiliated with the Apostolic World Christian Fellowship, which represents approximately 5 million congregants. The coalition continues to grow, he said, and pastors wishing to join it should contact the Thomas More Law Center at 734-827-2001.
Bishop Samuel Smith of the AWCF indicated that forming the coalition with Thomas More was an easy decision.
“Every once in a while, the homosexual agenda makes an effort to redefine morality, but history tells us that every culture that has embraced a homosexual culture has suffered decadence, depravity and decline,” Smith said in a prepared statement issued Thursday.
The center has already filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering the overturning of Utah’s law defining traditional marriage and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturning Virginia’s law on traditional marriage.
The Thomas More Center has also filed an amicus brief in an appeal of a Detroit federal court decision overturning Michigan’s law on traditional marriage. That case is awaiting a ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Rev. Danny Holliday, pastor of Victory Baptist Church, said, “We all know that the 14th Amendment was made because black folk were considered as property. Gays have never been considered property.”
Evangelist Janet Boynes, a former lesbian and member of the coalition, said there is no substitute for the role of a father and mother in the traditional family.
She said she was in a relationship with another woman who had two children, and she tried to fill the role of the father.
“As time went on, I realized that I wasn’t equipped nor built to be a daddy,” she said.
Thompson said the Law Center will continue to file amicus briefs in cases “to convey the unique voice of the African-American Christian community on this issue crucial to the survival of our families, culture and nation.”
He said it is disturbing that federal courts are now saying that the nation’s legal system has no basis in tradition or morality.
“If you use that logic as the argument for overturning overwhelming votes for upholding traditional marriage, if you say religion and morality can’t be used, then you come into a parade of horrors because many of our laws are based on morality whether it’s prostitution, bigamy, theft or murder,” Thompson said.
He said Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has stated that if tradition and morality are removed from the law, “then you are going to be very busy knocking out all kinds of laws.”
But the trend has been unleashed by activist judges overturning the decision of voters in more than a few states.
“What the courts are doing is substituting their own idea of what is moral in opposition to the morality that a vast majority of Americans have adopted through constitutional amendments and laws accepting the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, so in effect what they are doing is substituting their morality,” Thompson said. “In Michigan 60 percent of the people voted to define marriage as one man and one woman. You have a single judge holding a lifetime appointment, never elected by the people, overturning the decision of 60 percent of Michigan voters.
“So this will be a defining moment in our culture and our history, because once you get to redefine marriage you throw open the door,” he continued. “In the courts, and this is something Scalia also kind of mentioned, you adopt a rule of law based upon logic. Once you say the states cannot define what marriage is, that principle extends the limits of that logic. Before you know it, one man may marry two women, one woman and her dog. Once you open that up, you can have all kinds of choices that the vast majority of the American people would see as ugly.”
He predicts that polygamy is going to be the next big hot-button issue causing controversy.
“And if the Supreme Court does rule that the courts can determine the definition, then we’re going to have some states try to make polygamy legal,” Thompson said. “So we are on a dangerous road. … Before the U.S. government was founded or any governments were founded, the family of the man and the woman was there with the children. … Once you start tinkering with that unit, what you have at the end of the day is a culture that will disintegrate, and ultimately America will disintegrate.”