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Is Defining Marriage the Court’s Job?

This week the Supreme Court has been busy hearing two cases concerning the legality of same-sex marriage in the United States. No decision is likely to be made until the court takes their recess sometime in late June.

Many think that the court is going to make a wide, sweeping decision, declaring that same-sex marriage is legal. But is that really the courts job?

The court’s job is to interpret the Constitution and our laws, and make sure the latter aligns with our founding document. However, the court has been more “judicially active” in the past few decades, meaning they have been legislating from the bench – which isn’t their job.

The fact that one of these cases, the Proposition 8 case from California, is even being heard is complete blasphemy. During the 2008 California State elections, Proposition 8 was a proposition on the ballot to amend the California Constitution by defining marriage in their state as “between and man and a woman.”

In 2008 the people of California spoke, saying that they want marriage in their state to be only between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

Of course soon after the people spoke, litigation was filed and in 2010 in a district court, the law was ruled unconstitutional. Again in 2012, the very liberal ninth-circuit court of appeals upheld the lower court’s decision, ruling that the law is unconstitutional under Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses in the Constitution.

I do not believe that these two court rulings could be more wrong.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution expressly enumerates the powers that are given to the federal government. The 10th Amendment says that any power not enumerated to the federal government is reserved to the states.

Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the power to regulate marriage. That is a power that is reserved to each individual state.

If the people of a state decide to not allow same-sex marriage then that is perfectly okay! The same goes for any state that wants to allow same-sex marriage; it would be perfectly okay for the people of a state to allow same-sex marriage, because that is their reserved power.

It is completely wrong and unconstitutional for our federal government to overstep their bounds and arrogantly believe that it is their duty to define what marriage is.

Frankly, that isn’t the government’s job at all. Marriage is purely a religious institution, and the government, on any level, should not be regulating this ageless and sacred practice.

However, I know the inevitable is for the court to throw out a decision either for or against.

Firstly, they should look at marriage under the scope of “Is it a fundamental right, or isn’t it?” If they believe it is, what are the reasonable restrictions that can be placed on it? Would marriage in the cases of incest or polygamy be okay?

These are questions that are going to have to be asked and answered before any decision can be made.

If the court decides for America that same-sex marriage is legal, what are the limits? Where is the line in the sand for the court and the federal government? A wide, sweeping decision could likely open a whole new bag of issues concerning the power of the federal government.

These court cases having been making the nightly news headlines all week, but there’s one question I have to ask: Why is same-sex marriage more important than some of the bigger issues we have as a country, such as the $16.7 trillion debt?

One thing is for sure; 10 years ago this movement didn’t have nearly as much steam as it does now. America is fundamentally changing. But is it really the change we want or need? We are going to have to answer that question come the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.

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  1. Derrell Poole says:

    I could not argree with you more Chris,

    We the People have been faced with the fundamental struggle between two opposing expectations of government for over 100 years. In a nutshell the Authors of the Constitution and Conservatives today believe that the sole purpose of the Government is to protect INDIVIDUAL rights. Ever since the days of the turn of the 20th Century, Labor disputes, Unions and other Socialist ideas, Progressives have believed the purpose of Government is to defend and protect COLLECTIVE Rights over Individual Rights. These are two opposing mindsets. WE as Conservatives seek to preserve our “God Given” or “Natural Law Rights” and Progressives are feverishly working from every angle they can think of to crack, break down, and destroy the foundation on which those rights are based. One of their most effective weapons is confusion – overwhelming complexity – which weighs heavily against the fight for Freedom in the form of complacency!

    There are two fundamental flaws in their effort that we as Conservatives see as plain as the noses on their faces and yet they do not recognize or even care about. First is that Natural Law has never gone away and their “scientific debate” that there is no such thing as a definable “human nature” (allegedly because it is constantly changing) does not
    make it just go away! And second is that they have no reserve whatsoever from using the argument of Individual Rights when it suits them! No one argues that the 1st, 4th, and other Amendments are not all about Individual Rights. And yet they try to argue that the 2nd Amendment is about Collective right. They are Hypocrites – by definition – but they don’t acknowledge or even care that they are. Right and wrong are always subjective and therefore not a valid argument!

    What are Rights anyway? Where did they come from? Individual Rights exist so long as a single Human being lives on this planet. Rights come from our very Human Nature (which is why it is important for the Progressive to deflate the potential of the significance of human nature). The Constitution did not invent rights. The Declaration of Independence, which predated the Constitution by some 11 years plainly defines Rights when it stated; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” In other words all humans are born with attributes intrinsic to human nature that cannot be given to them nor taken away! Rights can only be granted Freedom to allow fulfillment or Slavery to restrict them. It is the intrinsic nature of Government to Control and restrict Rights.

    The current battle over the Homosexual bid to recognize their “marriages” as legal is nothing more than a tactical battle in the Greater War against our Individual Rights!

    Frankly, Marriage isn’t actually a Right. It cannot be a right. You come up against this fact when you realize that the contract of marriage needs the agreement of two humans. One human cannot “rightfully” force another human into marriage because it would violate the right of choice, privacy and likely beliefs (and who knows what else) of that human being. Marriage is a matter of culture and for lack of a better term a Privilege. However procreation IS a right. In fact both Science and the Bible (as well as other religious documents) state that the very purpose of life IS to Procreate! Marriage is the proper cultural institution of procreation. Children are indeed much healthier Constitutionalist (meaning they respect Individual Rights) Human Beings when they are raised in a strong heterosexual union. The assault of this institution by a new standard of union, which cannot produce offspring of itself, is purposefully meant to break down our society of Individual Rights (in spite of their trumpeting of their individual “Homosexual Rights” – a premise with no foundation it Natural Law). But marriage is so fundamental to our society that it is likely an institution that predated mankind’s invention of Civilization in some form or another! So while it is arguably not a right it is something more than a mere privilege.

    The fact that inclusion of Homosexual relationships as legal marriage is being argued before the Supreme Court is indeed an affront to the Constitution. It IS a violation of States Rights and therefore a threat to Individual Rights. The issue of so called Gay Rights – there is NO such thing since Nature rejects Homosexuality as a viable method of reproduction – isn’t the true point. The true point is to set Precedence for further destructive laws that the Federal government WILL impose upon individual rights.

    We need to STOP this! We have another Right that the Declaration of Independence defines and the Constitution provides for thru the 9th Amendment, which grants that We the People are, in fact, Duty-bound to revolt against a government that no longer fulfills it’s first priority – the protection Individual rights! The D of I stresses the severity and graveness of resorting to this means of “correcting” the government but it is indeed an unalienable right of human nature to throw off oppressive government. The means of revolution is rooted in our 2nd Amendment. Government knows this and a government determined to impose its will against its people ALWAYS tries to disarm its citizens! ALWAYS! This is the whole point of the 2nd Amendment. It is our Duty when all else fails!

    Ever wonder why the 2nd Amendment isn’t the 1st Amendment since it is so fundamental to this Duty? I believe it is 2nd to the rights to freedom of speech, to assemble peacefully, and to petition our government because the tools of language are the weapons of politics! We are in that battle right now. The Authors of the Amendments put these two Amendments in this order to direct our course of “Recurrence” to the “First Principle” of Government – that is the protection of Individual Rights.

    There are those (we call them Progressive) who wish us to accept that the Constitution is an outdated document that we need to simply forget. As for me, so far as I am concerned, any person who embraces this idea is a traitor to his Country, his own Citizenship and to “We the People” who have granted this government its power to govern us. The pursuit of “Collective Rights” MUST be stopped as the mortal enemy of Freedom!

    Derrell Poole

  2. Jan Brown says:

    BIG OOPS…2nd parqagraph of above… “& the U.S. Constitution” SHOULD read “BUT NOT in the U.S. Constitution”….huge difference..sorry

  3. Jan Brown says:

    NO!! Keep the Courts OUT OF THE BEDROOM !!! This is NOT a power that is enumerated to them by the Constitution…Nor is it addressed by the Constitution..ergo, the court under that document is in no position to render judgement (and should not be)on the “constitutionality’ of the issue. It is NOT ‘descrimination’, It IS a personal choice of Interpertation of the WORD “Marriage”. This great Nation was founded on the tenets of CHRISTIANITY & presumed teachings of the Christian Bible. While the ‘freedom of religion’(or lack of) is covered, homosexuality is not a religion…It is personal desire of choice…As a Pilgrim on a path with Christ, I ‘personally’ disapprove of this lifestyle…but then it’s not for me to judge..

    However, the word ‘marriage’ IS defined, not only the Christian Bible & U.S. Constitution, but around the world in dictionaries, Torah’s, & even Korans as being between a man & a woman. Does anyone grouping of opinions have an automatic entitlement to change that?

    YES, there is a genuine love & committment among a great many ‘same sex relationships & this will not change by public opinion, nor the courts. …Perhaps, just perhaps…if both sides of the issue will take at least one heel out & move out of the others face a workable solution can be found.

    Common-law unions are recognized in many states as legal…this might be a starting point. There are ‘legal’ ways to obtain the priviliges through Living Wills & listing of next of kin. If we leave THE word marriage on the sideline, this is a way loved ones could be at bedsides, enjoy financial benefits etc & allow my tenets to remain in tact.

    If there is no adjustment allowed, the Law of the Land prevails. If thoses are too burdensome on eithr side, the a move may be adviseable…As the king in “Anna & The King” said…Tiz a puzlement…

    • Derrell Poole says:

      Great points, Jan. When authority is not enumerated in the Constitution then authority reverts to the “several States” and ultimately to the people. The overturning of Proposition 8 was a blatant Violation of the Will of the people – you know that bunch of ignoramuses that don’t know nuthin’, who happen to be the grantors of power to the gov’ment in the first place? Sheeesssssh!

      What ARROGANCE!!!

      I believe homosexuality falls into three categories. Foremost, it is a birth defect – not a normal human condition. There is no bases that it is an attribute of human nature validated by Natural Law. Second it is a mental illness set about by conditions under which the individual grew up. And third it is fashionable to be gay these days and a point of rebellion against our value of a society based on individual rights!

      Truly, the question of marriage is mute to all of these categories! I do not oppose individual rights to choose a lifestyle as they wish. I do wish to protect innocent children. And I wish like heck that they would SHUT with their outrageous Propaganda Tirades!

      SHUT UP! and just live!

      Derrell Poole

      • Jan Brown says:

        I don’t have medical degrees that allow for diagnosing any illiness,…& do not know that this is one. Nor will I venture a guess as to the ‘why’ homosexuality is..I only know it is not in line with my personal beliefs according to ‘my’ teachings & I don’t think schools are appropriate venues to introduce the subject to children. This is a parents responsibility.

        This subject will have ‘life’ longer that Roe vs Wade…People are creatures of reaction…When we are physically or verbally & mentally assualted..we react by ‘digging in’ & swinging back..while yelling back…it’s called ‘human nature’ & can call up that ‘sheer instict for survival…arguements/debates are not won by who shouts the loudest or longest…We’ve all heard the expression, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”.

        People often tend to fear what is not understood & fear can paralyze the body & mind…& keeps us from moving forward.

        Is it better for a child to be moved from foster home to foster home,go hungry in the street or to be aborted rather than to receive love & nurturing from a parent, regardless of sexual orientation???

        California judges were out of line to dispute the will of voters, but this issue doesn’t belong in the courts to begin with.
        It is a moral one. The voters, much like the clans of cavemen, chose to set ‘boundries’ of acceptble behaviour that would govern their ‘clan’.

        Throughout this discussion I keep thinking of the …”judge least you be judged” (not exact)..so perhaps as a Christian, I should pray for understanding & wisdom first..knowing that it does not have to mean acceptance…