Terence Jeffrey / Mar. 27, 2013

If Same-Sex Marriage Is a 'Right,' There Are No Rights

The old adage that one lie leads to another is never more apparent than when modern American public officials deal with issues arising from sexual immorality. President Bill Clinton, for example, started a chain of lies when he decided to have an adulterous relationship with a White House intern. Clinton first lied to his wife, then to a federal court, then to the American people. Nor could Clinton's lies, delivered as president, be his lies alone. His partisans in Congress either had to abandon him or add another link to the chain of lies by declaring that perjury and obstruction of justice in a federal court, so long as they were intended to cover up presidential adultery with a White House intern, were not the sort of high crimes and misdemeanors that ought to be considered impeachable offenses under the Constitution of the United States.

The old adage that one lie leads to another is never more apparent than when modern American public officials deal with issues arising from sexual immorality.

President Bill Clinton, for example, started a chain of lies when he decided to have an adulterous relationship with a White House intern.

Clinton first lied to his wife, then to a federal court, then to the American people.

Nor could Clinton’s lies, delivered as president, be his lies alone. His partisans in Congress either had to abandon him or add another link to the chain of lies by declaring that perjury and obstruction of justice in a federal court, so long as they were intended to cover up presidential adultery with a White House intern, were not the sort of high crimes and misdemeanors that ought to be considered impeachable offenses under the Constitution of the United States.

Yet, as corrosive as Clinton’s perjury was to the public understanding of right and wrong and true liberty, it was not as corrosive as the left’s current crusade to get the Supreme Court to declare same-sex marriage a “right.”

Clinton’s perjury was at least predicated on the assumption that people not only would see his behavior with a White House intern as a transgression against marriage, but also that they ought to do so.

If they are to succeed in their cause, those who now claim that same-sex marriage is a “right” must eradicate from American law and society the true – and only sustainable – rationale for any right at all.

That, of course, is that rights are immutable things that come from God – that they are part of the natural moral law that all men and all nations have an inescapable duty to obey.

The Founding Fathers of this nation not only believed in the natural law created by God, but insisted it was the justification for the United States becoming a nation.

The “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,” they said, “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station” of an independent state.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” they said, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Now, did Nature’s God, who endowed all men with unalienable rights, endow two people of the same sex with a “right” to marry one another? If so, why did God create men and women?

Why did He create a system of human reproduction that rests on mothers and fathers and not mothers and mothers or fathers and fathers?

In truth, the advocates arguing to the Supreme Court that five or more justices should band together and declare a “right” to same-sex marriage are not arguing that there is a God-given right to such a thing. Indeed, the more candid among them see morality itself as an obstacle to their desired end.

In the case challenging the constitutionality of California’s marriage amendment, which came before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued in the Obama administration’s amicus brief that it is illegitimate for the government to base a policy on “a moral judgment” – in this case, a moral judgment about homosexual behavior.

“Protecting children from being taught about same-sex marriage is not a permissible interest insofar as it rests on a moral judgment about gay and lesbian … intimate relationships,” he says.

But it is going to be either one way or the other: The government either will teach children about same-sex “intimate relationships” or it will not. And if the government does teach children about same-sex “intimate relationships,” it will either teach them that these relationships are right or they are wrong.

The advocates of same-sex marriage want the government to teach children that same-sex “intimate relationships” are not only right, but a “right.”

To do that, they must reject the natural law, the Old Testament, the New Testament and more than 2,000 years of Western tradition. They must teach that the God of Genesis, who created all things, was wrong about marriage. They must teach that Jesus Christ was wrong about marriage.

And they must teach that the Declaration of Independence was wrong when it insisted our rights come from our Creator.

So, if God did not give Americans a right to same-sex marriage, who did? Its advocates are hoping it will be Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and …

A state that no longer recognizes that it is subservient to the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God will also no longer recognize the God-given rights of individuals. In such a state, there will only be those privileges the powerful decide to grant us – until they decide to take them away.

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