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October 7, 2014

Marriage Under Attack — Again

The Supreme Court declined to hear cases regarding same-sex marriage.

> “[A]s the Courts are generally the last in making the decision, it results to them by refusing or not refusing to execute a law to stamp it with its final character. This makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended, and can never be proper.” –James Madison

The United States Supreme Court on Monday rejected appeals from five states seeking to preserve lawful bans on same-sex marriage. By refusing to hear cases from Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Indiana and Virginia, the justices decided that lower court rulings – which overturned bans on same-sex marriage – will in effect be the law in those states. The net effect is the further erosion of the third pillar of Liberty, the family.

According to the Associated Press, it is likely that six other states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Colorado, Kansas, West Virginia and Wyoming – will see same-sex couples marrying soon “since those states would be bound by the same appellate rulings that have been on hold.”

The SCOTUS decision to decline hearing these cases is a victory for those who support same-sex marriage, and it sends a message that the Court tacitly approves lower court rulings. It’s also a backhand for the citizens who have voted to keep marriage between one man and one woman. Further, state legislatures that passed amendments and laws to protect the institution of marriage have just been told that their sovereignty as a state doesn’t matter.

Writing for the Heritage Foundation, Ryan T. Anderson notes, “This is an unfortunate setback for sound constitutional self-government and a setback for healthy marriage culture.” Indeed, whenever unelected officials undermine Liberty and Rule of Law, our nation moves closer to tyranny.

First, it’s tragic that as a nation we have reached the point where marriage has become a federal issue. The Tenth Amendment clearly states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.” Marriage policy fits perfectly into this definition, which is why so many states through their citizens have enacted laws to protect the institution of marriage.

Second, marriage should not be a court issue. Yet because the Left has so successfully taken advantage of activist judges ruling against the majority of a state’s citizens with the goal of redefining marriage, the Supreme Court may need to step in and put those lower courts in check. The current justices apparently don’t feel compelled to do so.

Third, we the people should have the final say in what marriage is – as the majority of U.S. citizens clearly have. If the majority of the citizens don’t have a say in such an important issue as marriage, then what is the point in voting? What is the point in electing those who pass legislation that reflects the view of a majority of their constituents only to have those laws overturned by the courts? Is it even worth the effort to defend marriage anymore?

For some, such as Republican Governor Scott Walker from Wisconsin, the fight against same-sex marriage “is over.” He declared, “[I]t is clear that the position of the court of appeals at the federal level is the law of the land and we’re going to go forward with enacting it.” Sorry governor, but shouldn’t you be upholding your state’s laws that are constitutional?

Fortunately, others haven’t caved so easily. South Carolina’s Attorney General Alan Wilson stated he would “continue to fight to uphold his state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage.”

There are some who have called for a constitutional amendment to define marriage between one man and one woman at the federal level. This is a noble idea, but without principled politicians in Washington, does anyone really think this is feasible? Even if it were, it at least violates the spirit of the Tenth Amendment by federalizing yet another issue.

For the last several decades, the progressive Left has pursued an agenda to undermine marriage. Undermining marriage undermines the family. And undermining the family undermines the very building block of all civilizations throughout history.

Anderson of Heritage accurately defines marriage as “a comprehensive union of sexually complementary spouses.” In essence, marriage means something. It means that a man and a woman can become husband wife, who then, if they are able and choose to do so, can produce children. The institution of marriage is an absolute truth. The nature of it cannot be changed without changing the meaning of it.

If our country is to thrive and grow, then traditional marriage and family need to be upheld and maintained. We the people, not the courts and not politicians, have the responsibility to safeguard the institution of marriage. We the people may have lost this battle, but we cannot lose the war for our culture.

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