Same-Sex Marriages (SSMs) in Wisconsin
Part 6: 2014-JUN:
Reactions by religious and social
conservatives to the District Court decision.
Reactions by religious conservative groups and individuals:
- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council remarked:
"Judge Crabb is well known for her attempts to banish God from the public square, and inferring that the Constitution demands a hostile treatment of religious expression in public life. Once again, she has neglected to consult the Constitution that she was sworn to uphold. This is why it's not surprising that she would display similar contempt for the right of Wisconsin voters to preserve marriage as it has always been defined.
Increasingly, Americans are being forced to celebrate unions that not only step on free speech and religious liberty but also deny children a mom and a dad. Those pushing for the redefinition of marriage have long since moved from a 'live-and-let-live' mentality. Their efforts are creating serious inequality as people are forced to suppress or violate the basic teachings of their faith, or face legal repercussions and harassment." 1
The repercussions and harassment referred to in his last sentence appears to refer to "public accommodations." These are companies that sell goods and/or services to the general public and whose owners want to refuse to deal with potential LGBT customers who are planning to get married. A typical example would be a baker who wants the religious freedom to discriminate against engaged same-sex couples planning their wedding and attempting to order a wedding cake. Another example might involve a wedding photographer refusing to photograph their wedding for religious reasons. This does not cause any "legal repercussions" in many states because public accommodations can refuse to serve customers for any reason: whether they are of a race, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, etc. that the owner despises or feels uncomfortable dealing with. But many states have human rights legislation in place that requires public accommodations to serve everyone without discriminating. Perhaps a dozen public accommodations in the U.S. have faced legal challenges under such human rights legislation.
It may be worthwhile considering that when the owner of a company discriminates against a potential customer, they are violating a command of Jesus. This is commonly called the Golden Rule -- to treat others as one would wish to be treated. It may also be worthwhile noting that District Court Judge Crabb based her decision -- as did over a dozen other judges recently in other states -- on the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.
- The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a group whose sole aim is to prevent marriage equality across the U.S. They issued a press release quoting their president, Brian Brown, saying:
"Again, an individual, activist judge is legislating from the bench and trampling on the sovereign will of the people of Wisconsin."
He is apparently referring to District Court Judge Crabb noting that the Amendment 1 to the Wisconsin Constitution that was passed by voters, violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and is therefore unconstitutional and unenforceable. As noted above, over a dozen state and federal judges have addressed this same matter and reached the same conclusion.
The news release continues:
"Crabb joins a growing list of activist judges falling over themselves to legislate from the bench and make a mockery of the sovereign will of the people. Further, Crabb refused to stay her decision resulting in confusion throughout Wisconsin's county clerks.
'Again, an individual, activist judge is legislating from the bench and trampling on the sovereign will of the people of Wisconsin,' declared Brian Brown president of the National Organization for Marriage. 'This has got to stop, and the only way it will is for the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and protect the democratic process and the rights of the tens of millions of voters who have declared that they want their state's social policy to define marriage as it has been known for millennia — the union of one man and one woman'." 2
Actually, there is a second way to prohibit marriage equality across the country. That would be an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as restricted to the voluntary union of one woman and one man.
However, when such an amendment has been introduced to Congress, it has always failed to proceed.
- Bishop Robert Morlino of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison issued a statement:
"Marriage is, and can only ever be, a unique relationship solely between one man and one woman, regardless of the decision of a judge or any vote."
"... I cannot find myself otherwise than deeply saddened. We trust that every avenue of just recourse will be examined and pursued by competent authorities, including the state attorney general. The Diocese of Madison will participate in the way that seems most prudent. For my own part, I will continue to speak strongly about the truth and beauty of marriage and encourage my brother priests and deacons, and all the lay faithful, to do the same." 3
- President Julaine Appling, of Wisconsin Family Action said:
"They keep saying all these polls show the tide is shifting. ... If that’s true, then why do you fear taking it to the people, and opening it up for debate and a vote. ... With the stroke of a pen, this federal judge who obviously has an agenda, defrauded over 1.6 million Wisconsin voters, who in November of 2006 took the time to go to the polls to say yes, we want to protect marriage." 4
She suggests that those who want to terminate the ban on same-sex marriage, they should launch a referendum that would allow the public to repeal the 2006 amendment. However, this would still leave the existing state marriage acts in place so that same-sex marriages would still be banned. To change the marriage laws normally requires a Democratic Governor and Democratic control of both the Senate and Assembly. That is currently an impossibility in Wisconsin.
- U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, (R) shares a belief held by many religious and social conservatives: that whenever the will of the voters or the preference of state lawmakers violates the requirements of the U.S. Constitution that the voters and lawmakers should rule. He issued a statement:
"My personal belief, consistent with centuries of human history, is that marriage is between one man and one woman. That said, the legal definition and enforcement of marital laws has been — and should be — a matter for state legislatures and courts. The issue of gay marriage needs to reflect the collective wisdom and convictions of the voters of Wisconsin through a democratic process." 4
- State Senator Glenn Grothman, (R) released a statement saying:
I’m extremely disappointed by this ruling, although I’m not surprised. As we’ve seen again and again, liberal judges are using their courtrooms to advance their extreme left-wing agenda because the people reject their philosophy any time the issue is put to a vote. I continue to firmly believe in restoring the traditional family as the center of our society, including a loving mother and father. The 'progressive' agenda is slowly eroding the family in order to place government at the center of our lives, and this is seen in attacks on traditional marriage via the courts and by the excessive welfare system that punishes couples who get married." 4
In reality, voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington state voted in favor of same-sex marriage in plebiscites during 2012-NOV. Since then, a significant majority of voters in national polls have supported same-sex marriage.
- An article in GreenBay.com generated 587 comments within two days. 4 Some of the postings by conservatives were:
- "RedVette" posted: "My comment isn't in favor of or opposition to the ban. My comment has to do with a flaming liberal federal judge who was appointed to a lifetime position by the second worst President of all time, Jimmy Carter. The voters of Wisconsin, not the legislature, but the voters of Wisconsin voted against same sex marriage in Wisconsin. And this Federal Judge , Barbara Crabb, decided the voters of our state are incompetent to make such decisions. So, if you don't mind having a federal judge taking away your vote, keep voting for these liberal politicians that place these ultra lefties in life long positions."
- "BenchWarmer" posted: "My comment isn't in favor of or opposition to the ban. My comment has to do with a flaming liberal federal judge who was appointed to a lifetime position by the second worst President of all time, Jimmy Carter. The voters of Wisconsin, not the legislature, but the voters of Wisconsin voted against same sex marriage in Wisconsin. And this Federal Judge , Barbara Crabb, decided the voters of our state are incompetent to make such decisions. So, if you don't mind having a federal judge taking away your vote, keep voting for these liberal politicians that place these ultra lefties in life long positions."
- "GOPsavesUS: "Marriage is between a man and a woman, period."
- Joey Provolone posted: "What an abomination The tyranny of one destroys the constitutional rights of all Wisconsinites.
We're one liberal lunatic away from legally being able to marry your cat or dog.
How did the world become so sad and sick.
- "Phil413" posted: "AG Van Hollen has every right, as well as the Federal Law known as DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) to back him up. State after state (including Wisconsin) has held referendums, and every one, including the contentious Prop 8 in California, agree with Van Hollen and NOT the gaystopo. In addition, just last week we were lectured by the Milwaukee DA that the reason he was so soft on crime was due to an overloaded court system! So it appears, once again, that they have plenty of time and resources, including special overtime weekend hours to issue marriage licenses (not to mention attacking conservatives!) but they can't go after criminals! Now the gays cry "But it's the law!", is it? When did DOMA go out of effect? THAT is the federal law....oh, but don't let THAT get in the way! Of course, the Obamanation has already (illegally) instructed Holder to just ignore that one. How nice that the left gets to pick and choose which laws they like and which they get to ignore." 4
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- "Wisconsin Marriage Ruling Continues Judge Crabb's Streak of Contempt for the Constitution." Family Research Center, 2014-JUN-06, at: http://www.frc.org/
- "National Organization for Marriage Condemns Wisconsin Judge’s Decision on Marriage and Her Refusal to Stay Its Decision," National Organization for Marriage, 2014-JUN-10, at: http://www.nomblog.com/
- Bishop Robert Morlino, "Bishop Morlino's Statement Regarding Ruling on Marriage," Catholic Culture, 2014-JUN, at: http://www.catholicculture.org/
- "Conservative lawmakers, groups oppose same sex marriage ruling," GreenBay.com, 2014-JUN-09, at: http://www.wearegreenbay.com/
First posted: 2014-JUN-12
Latest update: 2014-JUN-16
Author: B.A. Robinson