26 Jun 2013 Project 21 Members Discuss Supreme Court Marriage Rulings
There were big wins at the U.S. Supreme Court today for homosexual activists and their supporters. Gay marriage essentially won in the two big cases heard by the justices during this term.
In the case involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Clinton-era law was struck down as unconstitutional by a 5-4 vote. In his opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said gays and lesbians are not getting equal protection because they cannot get full federal benefits related to their unions, suggesting that there is an “entitlement to recognition” of homosexual marriage.
Only the federal government is bound by this policy — state laws prohibiting gay marriage or states that don’t recognize such unions are not affected by the Court’s ruling.
In the case involving Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman, voters lost. Despite the fact that Proposition 8 received a majority vote in 2008, the Court’s decision essentially says that state leaders and judges can overturn the will of the people if they oppose it. The justices dismissed the Proposition 8 case by a 5-4 vote on the grounds that the case lacked proper legal standing — meaning that the lower court ruling that invalidated the voters can remain.
Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are speaking out about the decisions in the cases and the overall politicization of the issue of marriage and the effects that has on society as whole.
Council Nedd II, a member of Project 21 and the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Missionary Church, said:
The Supreme Court needs to recognize and be mindful of its role to be above the political whims and follies of the day. The Supreme Court had no business even taking up the matter of defining marriage in the first place.
How low has the Court sunk by taking up this issue and then creating a special protected class based on sexual preference?
Justice Kennedy, for instance, is wrong in declaring that sexual practices create a protected class. What happens, maybe ten or 20 years from now, when more taboos become socially acceptable? What happens when there is a case before them on plural marriages or — God forbid — for enhanced benefits for pedophiles or those who practice bestiality?
President Obama called the Supreme Court’s rulings a “historic step forward.” It’s actually two steps backwards.
I’m curious to see what will now happen in churches across America. Many pastors, I believe, sold out the word of God to gain political favor with the President and his followers. Will they really be fine with waves of gay couples showing up at their doors seeking to be married? Will it really be okay with black pastors across this country to have gay couples holding hands and kissing in their pews?
More importantly, will I someday have to risk being sued in the future for refusing to perform a gay marriage As we know, a conscience clause only truly exists as long as the people dictating the terms decide to be conscientious.
Project 21 member Charles Butler said:
At the end of the day, DOMA and Proposition 8 are issues about personal choice and behavior about having sex. The Court has decided an issue that is, in my opinion, only before it because a group of Americans has the financial clout to bring it to the Court’s doorstep.
Data indicates that the self-identified gay and lesbian community represents only around 1.7 percent of the adult American population. In the wake of the rulings, there should be more focus on why this small group of people feels it necessary to challenge and change traditional morals, values and ethical practices held by the vast majority of Americans.
Why are we even defining people based on sexual orientation in the first place? People in many states voted that marriage is between a man and woman. The books of the three major religions dictate marriage is between a man and a woman. Are we supposed to contradict God’s word and the will of the people to appease the well-educated and wealthy?
At the very least, I hope that today’s decisions will allow us to put concern about how people decide to have sex on the back burner and instead return judgment of people based on their character and qualifications.
And Project 21 member Derryck Green, a California resident, added:
My position regarding DOMA is unchanged. I maintain my original position — that this isn’t or shouldn’t be about redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.
Rather, it’s about the excessive and punitive rate of estate taxes and how it penalizes those who are bequeathed property and money — whether they are married, civilly-unionized or not — from their recently-deceased loved ones. This case demonstrates the immediate need to address and lower the percentage rate of estate taxes of all levels and limiting what the government can take in death.
I feel differently regarding Proposition 8.
If the equal protection clause can be used in justification or defense of the so-called right to marry of consenting adults of the same sex, then there is no legal reason that precludes or prevents any consenting adult — irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation or their relation to another adult — from exercising the same right to marry if this legal trend continues down this slippery slope.
Thus, if it is now legal for consenting members of the same sex to exercise their newly found “right” to marry based on nothing more than love and consent, then it follows that those consenting adults who have predilections toward bisexuality, polygamy or have consentingly engaged in or are involved in incestuous relationships also — predicated upon path that has been paved by this ruling — should have the legal right to marry.
Aside from eliminating the state’s legal definition of marriage by striking down California’s Proposition 8, the Supreme Court also stuck down an essential part of democracy itself — the initiative process and the voice of the California electorate. Rather than sending the issue back to California for its voters to restate their support for natural marriage or re-amend its constitution, the Court took it upon itself to silence the majority of voters who were in favor of Proposition 8 for the minority who weren’t.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the party defending Proposition 8 doesn’t have standing to defend the law of California, which makes the previous ruling of the district court, law. In other words, the democratic voice of the Californian electorate who passed Proposition 8 by a vote of 52-48 percentage has been silenced and “same sex marriage” is now legal because Governor Jerry Brown and state Attorney General Kamala Harris purposely chose not to defend the constitutional law of the state which represented the voice of the citizens who elected them.
Now, supporters of natural marriage and America’s children will suffer the arrogance of fools. (2 Corinthians 11:19).