2015 | Week of June 22 – #1103
Unless something absolutely extraordinary happens, the waiting will most certainly end by next Monday, June 29. On that day we will learn what the US Supreme Court has to say about marriage. Will it remain as it has been throughout history—a plan originated by God Himself as the unique, monogamous, lifelong relationship of one man and one woman which generally has procreative potential—or will it be contorted through raw judicial activism into something else—a legal recognition of a “committed” relationship that is distinctly without procreative potential?
Technically, the Court will be giving its legal opinion on two questions. The first question is does the US Constitution require states to issue marriage licenses to persons of the same sex. The second question is does the U.S. Constitution require states to recognize marriages between persons of the same sex that are licensed in another state?
The Court could answer both of these questions with “yes.” In doing so, basically with the wave of a judicial wand all 50 states will be forced to legalize marriages between persons of the same sex. The Court could also answer both questions with “no.” In this scenario, then each state would eventually revert to what its marriage laws were prior to all these federal court cases that overturned amendments and statutes put in place by the vote of the citizens or by their elected representatives.
Finally, the Court could split its decision on the questions. And this is the approach many legal experts think the Court will take. The split would be they answer the first question “no,” and the second question “yes.” If they do this, then states could keep their laws restricting marriages to between one man and one woman BUT they would be forced by judicial fiat to fully embrace and recognize marriages between two men or two women that are licensed in another state but “imported” to a state like Wisconsin. This approach will ultimately have the same effect as if the court forced all the states to license same-sex marriages. For instance, in this scenario, all two men or two women would need to do is go to Iowa, Illinois or Minnesota and get married and return to Wisconsin—and then Wisconsin would be forced to grant them all the rights and privileges of any heterosexual married couple.
Of course, we are praying that the Court answers both questions “no,” because that decision respects states’ rights, the original intent of the framers of the US Constitution, and the institution of marriage. It inherently would also say that the Court properly understands that children need both a mother and a father and that it is outside of the purview of the Court to redefine an institution that way precedes it or any constitution or government.
As we all prepare for the Court’s pronouncement, here are five important things to remember.
First, nothing in the U.S. Constitution mandates the redefinition of marriage. Second, nine unelected, unaccountable justices have no more insight into marriage than do the voters. Third, the Supreme Court historically has done a poor job of settling cultural debates. Think Roe v. Wade on abortion here. Fourth, how the Court decides is almost as important as what they decide. Depending on how they rule, the Court’s decision could dramatically impact the religious freedom of all Americans. If they say that all 50 states must redefine marriage, it is crucial they do not force people of faith to participate in or celebrate same-sex marriage through their ruling.
And finally, whatever the Court says will not be the final word on marriage. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise, just as Roe v. Wade didn’t end the abortion debate.
Yes, soon the prolonged waiting for the US Supreme Court’s decision on marriage will be over. Whatever the Court’s decision, this I can assure you: Wisconsin Family Council’s critical work of strengthening, preserving and promoting God’s plan for marriage and family, as well as for religious freedom, will continue. The Court will issue an opinion, that’s all. But the Supreme Judge of the Universe, the Creator of marriage, has spoken definitively. It’s His Truth we are really interested in, not the opinion of 9 mere mortals.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”