Here’s an article from National Review by professor Hadley Arkes to make sense of the SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage.
These decisions, handed down by the Court today, affect to be limited in their reach, but they are even worse than they appear, and they cannot be cabined. They lay down the predicates for litigation that will clearly unfold now, and with short steps sure to come, virtually all of the barriers to same-sex marriage in this country can be swept away. Even constitutional amendments, passed by so many of the states, can be overridden now. The engine put in place to power this drive is supplied by Justice Kennedy’s “hate speech,” offering itself as the opinion of the Court in U.S. v. Windsor. Kennedy wrote for the Court in striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the part of the act that recognized as “marriage,” in federal law, only the union of a man and woman. In Kennedy’s translation, the Defense of Marriage Act showed its animus in its very title: The defense of marriage was simply another way of disparaging and “denigrating” gays and lesbians, and denying dignity to their “relationships.” As Justice Scalia noted so tellingly in his dissent, Kennedy could characterize then as bigots the 85 senators who voted for the Act, along with the president (Clinton) who signed it. Every plausible account of marriage as a relation of a man and woman can then be swept away, as so much cover for malice and blind hatred.
As Scalia suggested, that opinion can now become the predicate for challenges to the laws on marriage in all of the States. A couple of the same sex need merely go into a federal court and invoke Justice Kennedy’s opinion in the DOMA case (U.S. v. Windsor): The Supreme Court has declared now that a law that refuses to recognize same-sex marriage is animated by a passion to demean and denigrate. Any such law cannot find a rational ground of justification. As Kennedy had famously said in Romer v. Evans, those kinds of laws can be explained only in terms of an irrational “animus.”
That may be enough to have the laws and the constitutional provision overruled. But it gets even better if the state has a Democratic governor: For he may declare now that he will not enforce the constitutional amendment, for he thinks it runs counter to the federal Constitution. And by the holding today in the case on Proposition 8 in California (Hollingsworth v. Perry), the backers of the constitutional amendment will have no standing in court to contest the judgment. Constitutional amendments are meant to secure provisions that will not be undone by the shift in season from one election to another. But with the combination of these two cases today, any liberal governor can virtually undo a constitutional amendment on marriage in his state.
Here is another reaction from the Family Research Council.
Here’s a good article by Ryan T. Anderson, explaining how the redefinition of marriage really means the end of marriage. It also means the end of religious liberty. Make no mistake, this decision will force Christians to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies on their property, whether they like it or not. That’s what is already happening in countries that legalized gay marriage.
I for one am surprised that so many people who call themselves Christian could have voted for a political party that has now ended marriage as we know it. I think that most people who vote for the Democrat party are motivated by the desire for their neighbor’s money – they voted for the party that gives them the most goodies. They decided to sacrifice the needs of children in order to keep the money from the welfare state flowing. I hope that this SCOTUS decision helps those who voted Democrat to understand that their true positions on issues like abortion and gay marriage. I am especially concerned with people who claim to believe in God and even claim to be Christians. When it came time to be counted, you voted for abortion and gay marriage. Your vote ensured that tiny little children would feel lost in the world, making it easier for them separated from their biological mother or their biological father. That’s assuming that the selfish grown-ups even allow them to be born at all.
I think the greatest condemnation will be reserved for the pious celebrity pastors who took great pride in not educating members of their churches about what gay marriage would really do. They were so proud about not having any reasons outside of the Bible to oppose same-sex marriage. They made sure that opposition to gay marriage, like opposition to abortion and Darwinism, would be dismissed as so much religious bigotry in the public square by non-Christians. Those fideistic pastors paved the way for gay marriage, by sheltering their flock from the arguments and evidence that would have been persuasive to non-Christians. I hope that when they are forced to perform gay marriages in their churches, that they’ll finally understand why research papers, studies and academic debates are more important than singing songs in church.
UPDATE: I have been advised by Sean G. that Proposition 8 is still the law in California after this ruling. This Breitbart article explains:
As of today, there is no appellate opinion (meaning an opinion issued by a court of appeals) against Prop 8. The Supreme Court refused to issue one, and threw out the only other one (the Ninth Circuit’s). There is only a trial court opinion. So every agency in California is legally bound to regard Prop 8 as binding law.
Since no one who wants to defend Prop 8 has standing to appeal rulings on it to the Ninth Circuit, there will never be such an opinion in the federal court system. So the only way to get an appellate opinion would be in the California state court system. So someone would have to file a lawsuit regarding Prop 8, and then appeal it to a California court of appeals and then maybe to the California Supreme Court. Only when one of those courts hold Prop 8 unconstitutional can the public officials in that state regard it as stricken from the books.
That litigation could take years. And in the meantime, supporters of traditional marriage can continue making the case for marriage.
So the outcome for Prop 8 is not as bad as the outcome for DOMA.
Filed under: News, California, Christianity, Church, Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, Freedom of Religion, Fundamentalism, Gay Marriage, Marriage, Natural Marriage, Pastor, Proposition 8, Religious Liberty, Same-Sex Marriage, SCOTUS, Supreme Court