Did Juneau That Marriage Is Being Argued in Alaska?
There isn’t exactly a shortage of wedding chapels in Las Vegas – and [Thursday] night, homosexuals kept the Elvis impersonators busy. The odds haven’t exactly been in the Left’s favor on marriage in Sin City – but that all changed Monday with the Supreme Court’s abandonment of state laws.
And unfortunately, what happens in Vegas isn’t staying in Vegas when it comes to trampling the will of the people. In Juneau, voters are hoping the Last Frontier doesn’t become the final frontier for redefining marriage, as a fresh round of arguments kicked off in federal court [Friday] morning. For locals, the case is especially meaningful since Alaska was the first U.S. state to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and woman. Like so many leaders, Alaska’s are determined to keep fighting. “The definition of marriage,” it insists, “is an issue for the states and the will of the voters of each state should govern – regardless of whether the federal government or a federal court agrees.”
Elsewhere, governors and local officials are trying to contain the chaos of runaway judges, who seem intent on skirting the higher courts and green-lighting same-sex “marriage” licenses in counties where it isn’t legal. In South Carolina, the state Supreme Court tried to put the brakes on the ceremonies – at least for now. After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a handful of cases, county judges tried to take matters into their own hands, only to run into the brick wall of state Attorney General Alan Wilson, who urged the state’s high court to intervene (which it since has).
In Missouri, voters weren’t so lucky. Their chief law enforcer, state Attorney General Chris Koster, is refusing to defend Missouri’s laws. But not for long, if House Speaker Tim Jones has anything to do with it. He and his colleagues in the state senate say they’re weighing their options to go around Koster, if necessary, and stand up for the rights of the 72% of Missourians who defined marriage a decade ago.
In nearby North Carolina, the controversy stings more than most, since the ink is barely dry on the constitutional amendment voters passed in 2012. Like his counterpart in Missouri, House Speaker Thom Tillis is pulling out all the stops to shield his state’s law. Tillis’s actions are particularly encouraging, as liberals do their best to paint North Carolina’s battle as a lost cause – in part because its sister state in the case, Virginia, is already issuing same-sex “marriage” licenses. As far as Tillis is concerned, nothing is impossible with one of the top legal teams in the country, led by renowned attorney John Eastman. He and his allies are ready to go to the mat for marriage in the Carolinas, where Eastman is convinced the Supreme Court’s word is not the final say.
“Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision to block the overturning of Idaho’s marriage ban is a pretty strong indication that this is not resolved,” Eastman told reporters. To this notion that states have to take their cues from more liberal states, he says hogwash. “I find it particularly troubling that in North Carolina, the attorney general says he is bound by a Virginia decision, a case in which his state had no say.” These are “concessions,” he explains, “that no reasonable attorney would ever make. We will not be making those concessions.”
Neither should the GOP. While the RNC, governors, senators, and plenty of state officials are drawing a line in the sand on marriage, plenty of House leaders have yet to speak up on an issue that continues to poll on their side.
Governor Mike Huckabee is just one of the conservatives sick and tired of their spinelessness. “I am utterly exasperated with Republicans and the so-called leadership of the Republicans who have abdicated on this issue when, if they continue this direction they guarantee they’re gonna lose every election in the future,” he warned. “If the Republicans wanna lose guys like me, and a whole bunch of still God-fearing Bible-believing people, go ahead and just abdicate on this issue, and go ahead and say abortion doesn’t matter, either. Because at that point, you lose me, I’m gone. I’ll become an independent, I’ll start finding people that have guts to stand, I’m tired of this.” Trust me, Governor Huckabee is not alone.
Sandy Hook Schools Parents on Education
The Sandy Hook school shooting was the stuff of nightmares. Now, almost two years after that horrific tragedy, state officials are blaming another culprit: homeschooling. After the December massacre that took 26 innocent lives, Connecticut’s leaders are still trying to make sense of the crime – and focus their efforts on preventing a similar one. In the aftermath, Governor Dannel Malloy (D) convened a special Sandy Hook Advisory Commission to study the shooting and offer recommendations for upgrading security and protocols. But so far, the Commission’s only contribution has been more controversy.
In a proposal just released by the 16-member panel, the Commission makes the outrageous suggestion that Connecticut needs to crackdown on homeschooling, especially in homes with emotionally or mentally challenged kids. In a nod to the killer, Adam Lanza, whose mom pulled him out of school briefly as a teenager, the Commission has somehow concluded that homeschooling was partly to blame for his violence. That shocked the homeschooling community, and rightfully so.
Obviously, this is just an excuse to discredit – or, worse – destroy the fundamental right of parents to educate their children. “We believe this is very germane,” said Harold Schuwatz, one of the panel’s members. “The facts leading up to this incident support the notion that there is a risk in not addressing the social and emotional learning needs of homeschooled children.”
To people familiar with the Lanzas, the idea that homeschooling played any role in the shooting is ridiculous. In fact, it was Adam’s own psychologist who recommended teaching him at home where his parents could keep closer tabs on him. Now, the state of Connecticut is suggesting that it’s the government who needs to keep closer tabs – on moms and dads who should be the ultimate authority on their children’s education.
Matthew Hennessey, who is helping to highlight the Commission’s ulterior motives, points out that that this goes much deeper than the Sandy Hook shooting into the foundational questions of who has the final say on how or where a child learns. “Of course, no one wants another Newtown… But Governor Malloy’s handpicked commissioners have indulged a dangerous impulse, common on the Left, to reorder society at the expense of the family. In the process, they have trampled on the rights of homeschoolers to raise their children as they see fit,” he writes.
Guinness on Tap to Speak to Cultural Decline
Is there still hope for America, and for a world that seems careening toward disaster? In his FRC lecture about “the power of the Christian Gospel however dark the times,” leading Christian thinker Os Guinness offered some troubling warnings but also talked about the ongoing, unshakeable work of Christ in our world. In his words, there’s always great hope for those who consider His work in history.
Os cautioned against relativism, or what he called “relativizing the certains” (moral absolutes); the fact that our “range of choices” to do and purchase and go as we please tempts us with the materialism; and the “rapidity of change,” which leaves us feeling that there is nothing permanent and creates a deep sense of insecurity. However, Os also reminded us that “any gloom and doom today is totally unwarranted” because Christ is Lord and is guiding all things according to His will.
He challenged us to engage our culture, discern where it’s going, and have courage as we stand for Christ and His good news in our fallen world. Be sure to listen to his entire lecture (below) and be strengthened to keep standing for, and advancing, family, freedom, and the work to which God calls each of us.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.