On 2015-JUL-01, representatives of eleven conservative Christian groups held a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. All were critical of the recent decision by that court in Obergefell v. Hodges. That ruling legalized same-sex marriage across the United States.
“Children of same
- sex couples had serious standing in this case. Gay
couples themselves might get a marriage rather than a civil union, but they
are nonetheless able to get a divorce and change their identity to
heterosexual again, if they feel so inclined.
The right to a relationship with one’s own mother and father is more
universal, lifelong, and fundamental than the right to marry, yet the Court
has given an adult class the latter at the expense of the former for a group
that truly needed equal protection and due process (children). The
complete disregard for the research and testimony from children of gays in
both the majority opinion and the dissenting opinions is as chilling as it is
ominous. The Supreme Court will be haunted by the grievances of citizens
forcibly estranged from their parents and deprived of their heritage
because of this ruling, for decades if not centuries to come.”
Many same-sex couples adopt children from and give them their wish: to have a "forever home." Some of these children would otherwise have to wait for years for stability; some "age out" of the system on their 18th birthday, without having been able to live in a permanent home.
Meanwhile, many opposite-sex couples who are infertile use services of fertility clinics: in-vitro fertilization or artificial insemination using donated sperm. There do not seem to be any legal prohibition of these services, and so it can be argued that same-sex couples should be able to exercise them as well.
While married same-sex couples can obtain a divorce, over a decade of experience in the Netherlands indicates that their marriages are much more stable than those of opposite-sex couples.
“Let this be remembered as the day that it became
official: The United
States is no longer a nation of laws, but a nation of the will of the powerful.
When duly passed state laws can be reversed on a whim, giving the
government power to redefine an institution that preceded it by thousands
of years, we are a deeply, and now perhaps irrevocably, broken nation.
With the same political powers who have been forcing this absurd
redefinition of marriage now openly expressing their unwillingness to
protect religious freedom, the stage is set for a cold civil war, with the
battle lines running not from north to south, but through families,
communities, businesses and institutions. This is not the first time the
courts have rejected the law of nature and nature’s God, but it is perhaps
the most flagrant such rejection, and it is time for Christians to realize that
if they do not unite and fight now, that their very beliefs will be outlawed.
“The government cannot redefine marriage, regardless of what some court
or some law says. With peaceful and joyful hearts we
affirm that it is time
to fight, not to despair. This has only just begun."
The ultimate power in the United States belongs to the people and their freedom to elect government representatives. It could be argued that the U.S. Supreme Court did actually issue a ruling that corresponds with the "will of the powerful." In excess of 60% of "the powerful' -- U.S. adults -- favor gay marriage and marriage equality. The same 60% presumably do not refer to marriage equality as "absurd."
There have been many other instances through the lifetime of the United States that old traditional institutions were ended and where a portion of the public attained equal rights. Slavery was an institution that had existed for many millennia and was ended in the 1860's. This redefined marriage so that former slaves were allowed to freely marry.
The United States is not a "broken nation." It is merely a little farther behind other major English speaking nations in its treatment of sexual minorities. Canada legalized same-sex marriage a decade before the U.S., Ireland and the UK legalized it more recently. Northern Ireland and Australia are expected to follow suit shortly.
Many would agree that the majority of Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court did not issue their ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges "on a whim." Reading the majority and minority readings illustrates this.
State laws sometimes get reversed by court decisions. Most of the states that legalized gay marriages in the past were the result of individual decisions by state, federal District or Circuit Courts of Appeals.
As mentioned before, the religious beliefs of all citizens are protected by the "wall of separation of church and state" that is invoked by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
This is not the first time that governments have redefined marriage. In the mid-19th Century, former slaves were allowed to marry for the first time. In the early 20th centuries state laws that banned profoundly deaf couples from marrying were repealed. In 1967, laws in 16 states banning interracial marriage were declared unconstitutional by the U.s. Supreme Court. In 2015, laws in 13 states and in at least four of the five territories were overturned and marriage equality has become the law of the land.
The previous redefinitions of marriage cited above have all worked in the direction of improving individual and couple's human rights. They have all "stuck." I expect that this will continue in the future with gay marriage. If the Republican Party retains control of both the House and Senate, and gains control of the Presidency, there is a high probability that the new President will pack the U.S. Supreme Court with Justices that hold a conservative ideology. This might well result in a reversal of Obergefell. However that reversal will eventually be reversed and marriage equality restored.