I'm standing neutral on the Supreme Court decision to make gay marriage legal across the nation. I'm just enjoying the various discussions going on, and reading and listening to the various comments on the ruling. However, and regardless of how you feel about the ruling, there are a few things that are very concerning about the Court's actions.
1. Liberties. I have trouble being upset with any ruling that grants more people more liberties. The 1% of Americans (that's 50% of the gay population) that yearned to change the Constitution to allow gay marriage across the nation now can get married. So yay!
2. How it was done. The court decided it was a civil rights violation, and they used Section 1 of the Fourteen Amendment to justify its argument, which reads: Amendment XIV Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Personally, I find this stunning. If you read the Constitution, it says nothing about gay marriage. It does, however, recognize the natural right to enter into a contract. Still, it does not define contract. So, based on the 10th amendment, this decision was left to the states to decide. Prior to the ruling, 36 states defined marriage as between two people, while the rest defined it as between a man and a woman. This process was completely constitutional.
Now, enter Amendment XIV Section 1, which essentially states that the laws of a state shall be applied equally to every person in that state. So, in the states that banned gay marriage, no man could marry any man, and no woman could marry any woman. This was not a violation of civil rights so long as a state didn't say this man can marry this man, but this man cannot marry that man.
Here the Supreme Court, or five men in robes, decide that if gay marriage is legal in 36 states, then the fact that it is illegal in the rest of the states is a violation of the civil rights of gay people in those states. This is an absolute violation of Federalism.
So, that gay people can marry is fine, it's just how it was done that I have a problem with. Which segues us to...
3. The slippery slope. Or, in other words, the unintended consequences. There have been people in this country who have been on an all out onslaught of the second amendment right to bear arms. Some states have made laws banning people from carrying weapons, while others have laws allowing people to carry weapons. According to Allen West, "YEEhaw! This side-effect of the gay marriage ruling will make liberals EXPLODE," we all have a civil right to carry guns.
Some believe it will lead to polygamy. Now that marriage has been redefined by the left, if some man came along and says he wants to marry five women, there is no way we can tell him no. Before marriage had a specific definition, and now there is no definition. Marriage is now an open ended word. It can mean whatever you want it to mean, so long as you have, as Justice Kennedy said, what you need to have "self esteem and dignity." I mean, that sort of leaves the definition WIDE open. Marriage can now be whatever you want. Hey, maybe you can even have two robots marry like they did in Japan.
And then there are some who believe liberals are going to come after religion. I discuss that slippery slope below. Still, my liberal friends believe the slippery slope theory is poppycock. I don't know where they get their confidence from. They say we are panicking for no reason. But there is reason. It's right there in the Kennedy ruling: there is no way out now for those who oppose this. It's about fairness. Marriage was something that some people could do and others could not, and that's not fair. This gay marriage debate was not about gays, it was about marriage. So if you have a priest refuse to marry a gay couple, that's not fair. So you bet it will come to that at some point, if it hasn't happened already. More on this below.
One more thing about slippery slopes. Some say I'm being paranoid when I speak of slippery slopes. "Oh, it can't happen," they say. "I'm not worried about slippery slopes," they say. Just because your'e paranoid does not mean you are wrong. But I'm not paranoid in this instance. It's knowledge. You obtain such knowledge by studying history, keeping up with true events, and through experience.
4. Unintended Consequences. Look, folks, happy or not, this ruling is a violation of Federalism. Federalism means that each state can make it's own laws regarding anything not mentioned in the Constitution. So the ruling essentially makes many other laws null and void. For instance, if it is unconstitutional for two gay men to get married, then how can it be unconstitutional for two Christian boys to pray in school?
5. The Power of the Courts. The purpose of courts is to make sure the law is followed. They are not supposed to make rulings based on politics, they are supposed to make rulings based on the law. I fear that what they did was make the Constitution irrelevant, which is exactly what the left wants. As Justice Antonio Scalia said in his dissent, there was a debate going on in this country, and many were deciding in favor of gay marriage. So they were winning. Now the debate is shut down. Many have had something forced on them that they are not ready to accept. Once again the Supreme Court has made a decision that will divide this nation much the way Rowe -v- Wade did.
6. Will religion go extinct. We know that many progressives want to see religion go away, and this ruling may just cause that to happen. While judges now have to marry people of the same sex, priests and pastors consider doing so a violation of their religious freedom. I can see a law being passed by some future president that states that a church will lose their tax exempt status if they refuse to marry same sex couples. If this happens, it will mean the end of religion as we know it. Many churches will go bankrupt.
My liberal friends say it won't come to this. But even so, Justice Kennedy set the stage for it when he said that if you are a deeply religious person, a priest or a pastor of a church, you're free to dissent, meaning you're free to tell people you disagree. But you are not free to act on it. In other words, "You can't deny the constitutional right we just ordained. You can argue against it, you can say you don't like it, and you'll be okay. But you cannot practice that. You can not!" In other words, "If two gay Catholics want you to marry them, you cannot deny them that right. If you do, there might be a lawsuit." It could be that this has happened already.
When it does, if it does, it will be the end of the Catholic Church, and that will be a bonus to the left.
7. John Roberts dissenting opinion. "If you are among the many Americans -- of whatever sexual orientation -- who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today's decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it." He also said, "Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law." He's right.
8. Religious freedom. There are those who are saying, as George Takei did, that the Christians are going to stand behind "the shroud of religious freedom." He said, " But they do not have the freedom to impose their religious values on to others. I've heard some of the people, uh, expressing their comments on the, uh, Supreme Court ruling, and they're entitled to that. But they are not entitled to impose their will on everybody."
Christians have never forced their religion on others, as that's not what Christianity is. Christianity is a choice. The Constitution, the First Amendment, the Establishment Clause, protects their right to choose any religion they want. They can also choose no religion. So no Christian forced anything on anyone. Christians just mind their own business and go about praying. When they wanted to make marriage between a man and a woman, they went through the legal process. The laws were applied equally to everyone. Some states chose to make gay marriage legal, while others chose not to. This is called Federalism.
What's also wrong with statements like Takei's is that, while they say we can't force our beliefs on them (which we are not and never did), it's okay for them to force their beliefs on Christians. For example, I am minding my own business as a Christian baking cakes. I am not forcing you to be a Christian in any way. But you come into my store and want me to bake a cake for your wedding. I say, "I'm sorry, it's against my religious beliefs." Instead of going someplace else, they sue me. That's the end of my business.
The baker did not stop the wedding. Doesn't matter. The baker did not prevent the couple from being in love. Doesn't matter. But because the Christian cake maker refused to make a cake for this couple's wedding, they have to close shop. The gay guys get to choose what cake shop they go to, but the cake shop owner does not get to choose.
Progressives fail to see the hypocrisy here. Why is this not a civil rights violation but laws banning gay marriage are? This sort of thing tramples all over the Constitution, and it's the kind of thing that concerns me. Personally, I would just bake the cake and take the money, but if someone chooses not to that's their business. They just fought for gay liberties, but now there are some who want to take away religious liberties. There is something not right about this. The problem is that those who own businesses have lives and don't have time to be activists, however...
7 Waking up the sleeping giant. There are 240,000,000 Christians in the United States, and many of them now have their eyes wide open. Look folks, this is a large lobbying force. Remember what happened on December 6, 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Isoroku Yamamoto, who planned the attack, is noted as saying: "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." As it turned out, he was right, and the Japanese did wake up the sleeping giant.
Conclusion. Go and celebrate the fact that more liberties have been granted. Go and celebrate if you have an agenda you want to force on the rest of us, because the Supreme Court has just cleared the path. If what you want is legal in some states, then it must be legal in yours too or you have a civil rights case on your hands. Good luck! And, by the way, these are just my observations; these are just things I'm hearing as I peruse Facebook and the blogosphere. I contend here that I am staying neutral on this issue.
Look, this is not my opinion here, it's what I've heard. It's not my opinion that they will come after churches, and maybe even ultimately make it so seven judges can get married. You see, this is not my opinion, it's a fait accompli.