This past week in a pair of decisions the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the voter-mandated Proposition 8 prohibiting same-sex marriage in California, and the Defense of Marriage Act passed by the United States Congress. There is cause for concern.
The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known collectively as the Bill of Rights and were ratified December 15, 1791. They were adopted less than three years after the U. S. Constitution (March 4, 1789) to secure the rights and freedoms the people had come to enjoy in the New World without government interference.
The last one, the Tenth Amendment, reads, “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 is not mentioned in the Constitution which means Congress has no right to act on the matter, and marriage is “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
DOMA was enacted with no constitutional foundation. Congress has no right according to the Constitution to interfere in the matter of marriage that has been legally and traditionally the express right of state legislatures and the citizens of the respective states. By law, DOMA should have been struck down because it went against the express intent of the Tenth Amendment. It wasn’t.
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinions for the Court in both cases, struck DOMA down because it showed “both moral disapproval of homosexuality, and a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality.” Instead of making an objective legal ruling he chose to impose his subjective moral beliefs in his decision.
Proposition 8 is another matter. Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative adopted by a majority vote of the electorate, the people of California, and was in clear keeping with the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. Constitutionally speaking, this should have been a no-brainer. But the Court ruled the people of California who initiated the suit had no standing before the Court. Kennedy once again ignored the provisions of the Tenth Amendment. If the people of one of these United States does not have legal standing to address their Supreme Court who does?
While the moral implications of these decisions will be both pervasive and pestiferous with a host of unintended consequences, there is another dangerous precedent. Because the Court refused to uphold the clear language of the Tenth Amendment, it has compromised its credibility to be the objective arbiter of the Constitution. It could ultimately undermine our democratic processes and usher in an age of anarchy. The Court essentially said the law does not matter when compared to its moral beliefs.
To assert as Kennedy has that there is no moral basis for law opens a wide door. States that do not allow same-sex marriages will now have their laws challenged. If it is immoral, as opposed to illegal, for Congress to outlaw same-sex marriage, what about the states? In this respect three of the states where same-sex marriage is legal, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa, preempted Kennedy when their respective state supreme courts overthrew laws adopted by elected representatives of the people in direct contradiction to the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution just like the U. S. Supreme Court did. This decision will have a domino effect.
Peter Singer Professor of Bioethics at Princeton says there is no moral restraint to bestiality as long as there is consent, think about that. Morality is the basis for laws prohibiting polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, etcetera. To deprive the law of morality is to do away with the law.
Christians have been lambasted for being loveless, bigoted, and intolerant. That is not the case. It is our love for God that causes us to love what He loves, and to warn those who reject His loving guidance in what is best for mankind. But the Church will survive as it has in every culture that turns its back on God, as she continues to help others to save themselves from themselves.
In Proverbs 29:26 we read, “Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord.” The biblical message is clear; man may forsake justice, but God will not. This is not the last word. The real Supreme Court does not convene down here.