Peter Baklinski

Aussie celebrity admitted before committing suicide that her abortion caused ‘depression bogeyman’

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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AUSTRALIA, February 25, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A famed Australian TV personality known for her beauty and bright personality was found dead Friday, hanging in her apartment. While international mainstream media blames Charlotte Dawson’s death on her depression caused by social media bullying, the woman admits in her autobiography that it was in fact her abortion 15 years ago that introduced her to what she called the “depression bogeyman.”

“When I got home [from the abortion], I felt that something had changed. I felt a shift. Maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression,” wrote Dawson in her 2012 autobiography Air Kiss & Tell.

Australians were shocked to learn of Dawson’s suicide. Only hours before her body was discovered by a real estate agent, Dawson had appeared on a show looking calm, composed, and on top of the world. No foul play is suspected.

Dawson’s is a story of tragic loss, betrayal, and depression. She married Olympic swimmer Scott Miller in 1999, one year before the Summer Olympics in Sydney. The newlyweds were considered to be one of the most glamorous celebrity couples in Sydney at that time.

Dawson soon became pregnant with her first, and as it turns out, only child.

“I knew I was pregnant; I didn’t have to have the test, I could just feel it. It was the most brilliant but terrifying feeling and the test did, as expected, confirm it,” she wrote in her autobiography. “We were going to have a baby. I was actually going to be a mother. If there had been room to have butterflies in my stomach, I figure I could have managed that as well, such was my ability to multi-task.”

But Dawson’s husband Miller was not supportive of the pregnancy because the upcoming Summer Olympics would conflict with the due date.

“I could sense some hesitation in Scott. My due date would clash with the 2000 Olympic Games and this was very concerning. Everything Scott had done was leading up to this moment and nothing could stand in his way, so it was decided that we would terminate the child and try again later.”

“Who needed a developing foetus when a gold medal was on offer, eh?” Dawson wrote.

But Dawson could not reconcile the decision to abort with her inner self. She knew that somehow she was not being true to herself as a woman and mother who was carrying a new life within.

“Inside I was in total turmoil. I wanted the baby. How long would we have to wait? Were there even any guarantees that I would fall pregnant again? Of course, I accepted without question that the Olympics was Scott’s number-one priority — I had been told that by him and a number of other interested and invested parties.”

Things went from bad to worse for Dawson when her husband refused to stay with her in the abortion clinic.

“Scott accompanied me to a local clinic, but he couldn’t cope with the atmosphere so he left me there alone. I was struggling with the decision and trying not to appear emotional or distressed about it so that Scott could maintain his focus. I was trying to train myself to think of my baby as an inconvenience, like a sneeze in a news broadcast. It was difficult.”

In the abortion clinic, Dawson began to experience a difficult mix of emotions.

“I then had to reconcile myself to the personal responsibility of having a termination. Should I be feeling guilt and shame? I was challenging my idea that motherhood was an uncomplicated and blissful time, especially for newlyweds,” she wrote.

“I considered the possibility that I might end up being a childless woman, which was a frustrating and demoralizing prospect for me, as I very much wanted to be a mother. What if I couldn’t have another child? What if I’d blown my only chance of motherhood by sacrificing this one?”

Abortion for Dawson was not the liberating self-fulfilling experience that abortion advocates said it would be. Having lost her baby to abortion, she tried to focus on what she still had.

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“It was a horrible, sad time for me, but I had to keep reminding myself of what I had. I had a husband, and we were building a life and a home together.”

“I wanted our baby, but I felt greedy, like I already had too much, that the termination was a compromise I should make,” she wrote.

“As brave as I was trying to be, and as much as I tried to reassure myself that we were doing the right thing, it was still a gut-wrenching time.”

It was not until Dawson returned home from the abortion clinic that the gravity of what she had just done came crashing down on her.

“When I got home, I felt that something had changed. I felt a shift. Maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression.”

“I should have bought a couch especially for the depression bogeyman right then and there. If I had known he was going to visit so often, I would have at least have had somewhere for him to sit, the bastard,” she wrote.

Dawson’s sacrifice of her only child for the sake of her husband’s Olympic career did not pay off. Sex tapes emerged around this time of Miller being filmed committing adultery with a female swimmer. He was also caught on tape doping to enhance his performance.

He did not even make the team for the Sydney Olympics.

The news of her husband’s betrayal added even more devastation to the already shattered Dawson.

“If I’d started to feel pangs of depression after the termination, the shock of receiving this news barely six months into my marriage was too much to bear. Something inside me completely broke that Sunday, something that is beyond repair, something that has never come back,” she wrote.

“I was a broken mess. I had to pretend that nothing was wrong at work and at social functions while people were whispering behind my back…”

“It was around this time that I learned the gentle art of drowning sorrow with bucket loads of wine.”

Advocate for life Jill Stanek called Dawson’s story a “tragedy.”

“And abortion proponents share the blame. They, of course, push for easy access to abortion, deemphasizing its after-affects to the point they absolutely refuse to acknowledge post-abortion depression, which further incapacitates those actually living through it,” she wrote on her blog.

Kevin Burke, cofounder of Rachael’s Vineyard ministries, told LifeSiteNews.com that abortion ideology led Dawson to “deny her heart.”

“I think what’s so glaring here is that supposedly a woman’s ‘right to choose’ is the highest tenet of feminism. You see in Dawson’s story how abortion — particularly in this situation — led her to deny her heart, what was best for her emotionally. She did not have a voice in the decision.”

“Abortion put her in a position where she sacrificed what was best for her as a woman and mother to her husband’s career,” he said.

Burke, who has worked in the post-abortion healing ministry for 15 years, said a story like Dawson’s is very common for women who choose abortion. “They feel a tremendous amount of pressure if their pregnancy is not accepted by the husband. They fear the resentment.”

Burke believes that if just one person had reached out to Dawson and affirmed and supported her in her desire to keep her child, things may have ended differently.

“Look at the possibilities for her life and how things would have been different [had she received support for her pregnancy]. She would have had a child. She would not have had the depression. It very well could have challenged [Charlotte and Scott] to grow as a couple.”

“Abortion just attacks all those things,” he said.

Burke said a link does indeed exist between abortion and depression, a link that has been verified by numerous scientific studies.

  • A 2012 study of post-abortive women in China titled The Impact of Prior Abortion on Anxiety and Depression Symptoms During a Subsequent Pregnancy: Data From a Population-Based Cohort Study in China found a high correlation between induced abortion and depression among pregnant women.
  • A 2008 study by the University of Oslo in Norway titled Abortion and depression: A population-based longitudinal study of young women found that young adult women who have had abortions are more likely to become depressed.
  • A 2003 study published in the Medical Science Monitor titled Depression associated with abortion and childbirth: a long-term analysis of the NLSY cohort found that women with a history of abortion are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing clinical depression compared to women who give birth.

Burke suggested that abortion causes trauma in women because deep down inside, the woman knows that she is ending the life of another person, a person who is her very own child.

“At the heart of [a woman’s] post-abortion pain is [the knowledge] that she participated in the death of her child. She grieves the loss of that child. A mother’s heart is deeply wounded by her role in the death of her child,” he said.

Burke said that many woman deal with the loss and grief by “acting out,” whether it be through drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, all of which he said are futile attempts to deaden the pain. He pointed to Dawson’s alcohol abuse with wine as a “very common abortion-coping mechanism.”

“The way you come out of that is not to deny that pain, but to find a space where you can repent and grieve that loss.”

Rachel’s Vineyard, which Burke helped to launch with his wife Theresa, is a groundbreaking organization offering just such a “space” where women go on a weekend retreat to find healing from their abortion.

“The program is an opportunity to examine your abortion experience, identify the ways that the loss has impacted you in the past and present, and helps to acknowledge any unresolved feelings that many individuals struggle with after abortion,” states the organization’s website.

Burke said that Charlotte Dawson’s story does not need to be repeated. The one word that comes to his mind to describe her abandonment is “criminal.”

“It’s criminal that women are not given sufficient information, when they’re making these decisions, to understand the full consequences of their ‘choice,’” he said.

“It’s criminal that mainstream media wants to frame this as a ‘cyber-bullying’ episode — and that’s an element of her case — but the core issue is her abortion loss. It’s criminal because if it was any other issue, such as sexual abuse, her sexual identity she may have been struggling with, if it was an issue of abuse by her husband, you could be assured that there would be conversations about this across mainstream media that would focus on this causative effect and educate people on the matter.”

“But when it comes to abortion, ‘abortion rights’ is more important than the health of women and even the lives of women. Mainstream media is carrying on a dirty war for the abortion industry. They’re covering up for pro-abortion forces and that’s criminal.”

While mainstream media may be willing to overlook the abortion-depression connection, Dawson herself did not mince words about how her ‘choice’ devastated her.

“I was just a depressed mess,” she wrote. “I was single, damaged and miserable.”

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Banning reparative therapy for gay minors is ‘a form of child abuse’: former homosexual (Video)

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By Ben Johnson

SPRINGFIELD, IL, February 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Not only would Illinois legislators not be protecting children by enacting a ban on “conversion therapy,” they would be engaging in “a form of child abuse,” according to a man who left the homosexual lifestyle three decades ago.

Stephen Black of the Restored Hope Network told the Illinois Family Institute that reparative therapy helps minors who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction.

While opponents have said that psychological counseling to reduce sexual attraction violates truth in advertising laws and borders on torture, Black described it as little more than “pastoral care for people who want to come out of homosexuality.”

The Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act (H.B. 217), introduced by Democratic State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, would ban such therapy for minors, subjecting medical professionals to discipline by the licensing or medical review board.

"It would be tragic not to allow someone to have self-determination," Black said. "It's a form of child abuse."

“You've got a teenager...[who] actually believes the Bible. He finds himself same-sex attracted,” Black said. “In the Bible...the loving thing to do is to repent, to turn away from this type of lifestyle.”

“Now, this legislation is going to come in and keep him from getting the help he wants,” Black said.

He added that such legislation undermines the family, which may wish to steer a child away from homosexuality – with its attendant higher risk of STDs, depression, and suicide.

Legislation such as H.B. 217 says that “government knows best,” according to Black, and “conflicts with religious liberties.”

He finds confirmation in an unlikely source – far-Left Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California. As a state senator, Lieu introduced the ban on reparative therapy, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. Lieu said at the time, “The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill.” Barack Obama endorsed Lieu in his successful race for U.S. Congress in 2014.

Stephen Black says he has benefited from reparative therapy himself. After converting to Christianity, he says he eventually left behind his homosexual attraction.

Today, he's a proud grandpa. And he says other teens should have that same opportunity.

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He knows society is quickly turning its back on traditional moral stands, but he and Restored Hope Network continue to uphold the Biblical standard on all sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage, however unpopular his view.

“It's not politically correct, but it's Biblically correct,” Black said.

The Illinois House rejected a similar ban last April. IFI and Concerned Women for America, among others, have asked citizens to urge elected officials to oppose the bill.  

(Story continues following video.)

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Mark Regnerus

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New research on same-sex households reveals kids do best with mom and dad

Mark Regnerus
By Mark Regnerus

February 27, 2015 (ThePublicDiscourse.com) -- A new study published in the February 2015 issue of the British Journal of Education, Society, and Behavioural Science appears to be the largest yet on the matter of same-sex households and children’s emotional outcomes. It analyzed 512 children of same-sex parents, drawn from a pool of over 207,000 respondents who participated in the (US) National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) at some point between 1997 and 2013.

Results reveal that, on eight out of twelve psychometric measures, the risk of clinical emotional problems, developmental problems, or use of mental health treatment services is nearly double among those with same-sex parents when contrasted with children of opposite-sex parents. The estimate of serious child emotional problems in children with same-sex parents is 17 percent, compared with 7 percent among opposite-sex parents, after adjusting for age, race, gender, and parent’s education and income. Rates of ADHD were higher as well—15.5 compared to 7.1 percent. The same is true for learning disabilities: 14.1 vs. 8 percent.

The study’s author, sociologist Paul Sullins, assessed a variety of different hypotheses about the differences, including comparative residential stability, experience of stigma or bullying, parental emotional problems (6.1 percent among same-sex parents vs. 3.4 percent among opposite-sex ones), and biological attachment. Each of these factors predictably aggravated children’s emotional health, but only the last of these—biological parentage—accounted for nearly all of the variation in emotional problems. While adopted children are at higher risk of emotional problems overall, being adopted did not account for the differences between children in same-sex and opposite-sex households. It’s also worth noting that while being bullied clearly aggravates emotional health, there was no difference in self-reported experience of having been bullied between the children of same-sex and opposite-sex parents.

Vocal critics, soon to emerge, will likely home in on the explanatory mechanism—the fact that two mothers or two fathers can’t possibly both enjoy a biological connection to a child—in suggesting the results of the study reveal nothing of value about same-sex households with children. On the contrary, the study reveals a great deal. Namely, there is no equivalent replacement for the enduring gift to a child that a married biological mother and father offer. It’s no guarantee of success. It’s not always possible. But the odds of emotional struggle at least double without it. Some critics might attribute the emotional health differences to the realities of “adoption by strangers,” but the vast majority of same-sex couples in the NHIS exhibited one parent with a biological relationship with the child.

Even research on “planned” same-sex families—those created using assisted reproductive technology (ART)—reveals the significance of biological ties. Sullins notes such studies

have long recognized that the lack of conjoined biological ties creates unique difficulties and relational stresses. The birth and non-birth mother . . . are subject to competition, rivalry, and jealousy regarding conception and mothering roles that are never faced by conceiving opposite-sex couples, and which, for the children involved, can result in anxiety over their security and identity.

The population-based study pooled over 2,700 same-sex couples, defined as “those persons whose reported spouse or cohabiting partner was of the same sex as themselves.” This is a measure similar to that employed in the US Census, but it has the advantage of clarity about the sexual or romantic nature of the partnership (being sure to exclude those who are simply same-sex roommates). Among these, 582 had children under 18 in the household. A battery of questions was completed by 512 of them.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

This is not the first time the NHIS data have been used to analyze same-sex households and child health. A manuscript presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the Population Association of America assessed the same data. Curiously, that manuscript overlooked all emotional health outcomes. Instead, the authors inquired only into a solitary, parent-reported measure of their “perception of the child’s overall health,” a physical well-being proxy that varies only modestly across household types. Hence, the authors readily concluded “no differences.”

I’m not surprised.

This juxtaposition provides a window into the state of the social science of same-sex households with children. Null findings are preferred—and arguably sought—by most scholars and journal editors. Indeed, study results seem to vary by author, not by dataset. It is largely a different approach to the presentation of data that distinguishes those population-based studies hailed by many as proof of “no differences” from those studies denounced by the same people as “junk science.”

In fact, population-based surveys of same-sex households with children all tend to reveal the same thing, regardless of the data source. It’s a testimony to the virtues of random sampling and the vices of relying on nonrandom samples, which Sullins argues—in another published study—fosters “a strong bias resulting in false positive outcomes . . . in recruited samples of same-sex parents.” He’s right. Published research employing the New Family Structures Study (NFSS), the ECLS (Early Childhood Longitudinal Study), the US Census(ACS), the Canadian Census, and now the NHIS all reveal a comparable basic narrative, namely, that children who grow up with a married mother and father fare best at face value.

The real disagreement is seldom over what the data reveal. It’s how scholars present and interpret the data that differs profoundly. You can make the children of same-sex households appear to fare fine (if not better), on average, if you control for a series of documented factors more apt to plague same-sex relationships and households: relationship instability, residential instability, health and emotional challenges, greater economic struggle (among female couples), and—perhaps most significantly—the lack of two biological connections to the child. If you control for these, you will indeed find “no differences” left over. Doing this gives the impression that “the kids are fine” at a time when it is politically expedient to do so.

This analytic tendency reflects a common pattern in social science research to search for ‘‘independent’’ effects of variables, thereby overlooking—or perhaps ignoring—the pathways that explain how social phenomena actually operate in the real world. By way of a helpful comparison, I can state with confidence that after controlling for home ownership, residential instability, single parenthood, and neighborhood employment levels, there is no association between household poverty and child educational achievement. But it would be misleading to say this unless I made it clear that these were the pathways by which poverty hurts educational futures—because we know it does.

The academy so privileges arguments in favor of same-sex marriage and parenting that every view other than resounding support—including research conclusions—has been formally or informally scolded. I should know. The explosive reaction to my 2012 research about parental same-sex relationships and child outcomes demonstrates that far more is at work than seeking answers to empirical research questions. Such reactions call into question thepurpose and relevance of social science. Indeed, at least one sociologist holds that social science is designed “to identify and understand the various underlying causal mechanisms that produce identifiable outcomes and events of interest.” That this has not been the case with the study of same-sex households raises a more basic question.

Is the point of social science to win political arguments? Or is its purpose to better understand social reality?

What to Expect from a Topic Emerging from Its Infancy

One byproduct of better data—or perhaps the smell of impending victory by proponents of civil same-sex marriage in America—may be greater intellectual honesty about such relationships. Indeed, researchers have admitted the tendency to downplay “any inequities between same-sex partners . . . in part because of the dominant mantra that same-sex couples are more equal than different sex couples.”

It’s not the only consequential admission. Scholars are increasingly—and openly—squabbling over the nature of sexual orientation itself, signaling the comparative infancy of the social science here. Moreover, there’s a good deal of sexual identity switching being reported among young adults, a fact that does not comport with a honed narrative of immutability.

So should scholars trust self-reported sexual orientations? If people report something different a few years later, should we attribute this to their malleable sexuality or consider them heterosexual “jokesters” bent on messing with survey administrators? It is profoundly ironic that social scientists make strong social constructionist arguments about nearly everything except sexual orientation.

Stanford demographer Michael Rosenfeld’s survey project How Couples Meet and Stay Together (HCMST) reveals that while only 3 percent of heterosexual married persons reported being “at least sometimes attracted” to persons of a gender other than the gender of their current partner in the past year, the same was true of 20 percent of men in same-sex relationships and 33 percent of women in same-sex relationships. While the malleability of self-identified lesbian women is now taken for granted among social scientists of sexuality, the one-in-five figure among men in gay relationships is higher than most would guess.

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In keeping with the data, expect those robust legal arguments leaning on the immutability of sexual orientation to bleed out within the next five years. Indeed, sociologists have never been fans of such biological essentialism, but have kept their mouths shut out of a sense of political duty to a movement they helped birth. No more.

Social scientists will soon wrestle with, rather than overlook, the elevated levels of poverty among well-educated lesbian women in America (as seen in the ACS, NFSS, NHIS, and HCMST). Until now, scholars predictably elected to employ income as a control variable in their studies of child and adult life outcomes, enabling them to avoid confronting the reasons for the unprecedented negative association of education with income among the population of same-sex female couples. Here again, it’s not been about understanding but about winning political battles.

We will also learn much more about the relationship stability distinctions that are common in the data between gay and straight parents. Unpublished research exploring the stability rates of same-sex and opposite-sex couples using data from yet more population-based surveys finds that claims about thecomparability of same-sex and heterosexual couple stability (again, after a series of controls) are actually limited to couples without children. For couples with children, the dissolution rate for same-sex couples is more than double that of heterosexual couples. What remains unknown yet is whether this difference is an artifact that will disappear with legal marriage rights. I doubt it, given that same-sex relationships are distinctive in other ways, too. But it’s an empirical question.

As it turns out, the NFSS was not unique. It was simply more transparent than most datasets and offered a clearer glimpse into the messy reality of many Americans’ household histories. It did the work social science was intended to do—to richly describe and illuminate—but in so doing invited unprecedented hostility.

On a Thursday morning in late June 2015, Americans will be treated to the Court’s decision about altering an institution as old as recorded human history. But one thing that day will not change is the portrait of same-sex households with children. After a series of population-based data-collection projects, we know what that looks like: a clear step down, on average, from households that unite children with their own mother and father.

Biology matters—as new research released this week confirms—and no amount of legislation, litigation, or cheerleading can alter that. Whether the high court will elect to legally sever the rights of children to the security and benefits of their mother's and father’s home is anyone’s guess.

Reprinted with permission from The Witherspoon Institute. 

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Michael Stokes Paulsen

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The case for imposing gay ‘marriage’ is remarkably similar to that for slavery. But can the GOP produce a new Abe Lincoln?

Michael Stokes Paulsen
By Michael Stokes Paulsen

February 27, 2015 (ThePublicDiscourse.com) -- No, of course Old Abe never said a lick about same-sex marriage. The idea would have been unheard of in the 1850s—or even the 1950s. The issue of Lincoln’s day was slavery—in particular, the extension of that peculiar institution into federal territories and even into free states. But in connection with the slavery issue, Lincoln had plenty to say about the use and abuse of judicial authority to propagate social policy and about the dangers of judges usurping legislative authority. The man whose birth we honored two weeks ago thus spoke, indirectly, to one of the central controversies of our own era, and to a case pending before the Supreme Court right now.

Lincoln’s specific concern was the expansion of slavery into federal territories, mandated by the Supreme Court’s horrendous decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, in 1857. Lincoln warned of the prospect of a “second Dred Scott” decision following on the heels of the first, mandating the extension of slavery into (formerly) “free” states where the institution of slavery was banned, like Illinois. “We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of making their State free,” Lincoln intoned, in the famous House Divided speech launching his (unsuccessful) 1858 campaign for Senate, “and we shall awake to the reality, instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois slave State.”

The logic of the Dred Scott case, Lincoln argued, would seem to imply that no state could deny recognition to the property rights of slaveholders coming from another state. Dred Scott had held that a right to own slave property, conferred by the laws of a slave state, bound the federal government, in administering federal territories that had not yet become states. Federal law could not ban slavery in the territories, for that would unfairly and unconstitutionally deprive slave-owners of a benefit they had possessed under state law, and thus deny them “due process of law.”

However convoluted and unpersuasive the Court’s reasoning, Lincoln recognized the implications of its logic: if the federal government had to recognize slavery as a result of some states’ laws, how could a free state (like Illinois) deny recognition to slave status conferred by a slave state’s laws (like Missouri’s)?

A House Divided

Lincoln warned that politicians and judges, like builders working according to a common plan, were preparing the framework to make slavery the uniform national rule: “Put that and that together, and we have a nice little niche, which we may, ere long, see filled with another Supreme Court decision, declaring that the Constitution of the United States does not permit a state to exclude slavery within its limits.” And once that had happened, a state could scarcely deny to all citizens of a state the same “constitutional right” to the institution of slavery that it had to recognize to newcomers or travelers from slave states. A case presenting exactly these issues was kicking around in the New York courts, and seemed at the time destined to make it to the US Supreme Court, presenting the perfect opportunity for such a second Dred Scott.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand,” Lincoln said, quoting Jesus. Lincoln did not expect the house to fall, but he did expect that “it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.” The only way to prevent slavery from becoming the national rule was to resist the decision of the Supreme Court and to seek to prevent its extension—to “meet and overthrow the power of” the “political dynasty” that was seeking to extend slavery to the entire nation.

Lincoln lost that Senate campaign to the incumbent Stephen Douglas, but then beat Douglas in a rematch two years later, this time for the presidency. The rest, as they say, is history: southern states revolted against what they considered a revolting, lawlessly antislavery president; Lincoln considered it his constitutional duty to maintain the Union, faithfully execute the laws, and put down the rebellion; and during a four-year bloody Civil War that tragically claimed 620,000 lives—more than all of America’s other wars combined—Lincoln found it necessary to proclaim the emancipation of slaves held in the states in rebellion. The Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery throughout the nation, was proposed by Congress 150 years ago this month, and Lee surrendered to Grant 150 years ago this April. Barely a week after that, Lincoln was killed by an assassin’s bullet—having seen, but never entered, the promised land of a nation free of slavery.

Parallels between Dred Scott and Windsor

So what does all this have to do with same-sex marriage? A lot. Two years ago, in the contrived test case of Windsor v. United States, a bare majority of Supreme Court justices held that a legal status conferred by state law had to be recognized within the federal sphere. The court held that to deny such a status, as federal law did, violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

In legal form and substance, the decisions in Windsor and Dred Scott are surprisingly parallel. Windsor involved a same-sex marriage that was recognized by the state of New York but not recognized by the federal government due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Court held that DOMA denied “due process of law” because it withheld federal recognition to a state-law legal status. That is exactly the same thing the Court did in Dred Scott. Instead of marriage, Dred Scott involved the status of slavery, which was recognized by the state of Missouri, but not by federal law in federal territory. Scott’s master, a captain in the army, had taken Scott to Fort Snelling, in the free federal territory of present-day Minnesota. The federal Missouri Compromise of 1820 banned the status of slavery in federal territory north of a designated line. Dred Scott held that the Missouri Compromise denied “due process of law” because it withheld federal recognition to a state-law legal status. That is just what Windsor did with respect to DOMA.

In both Dred Scott and Windsor, the Court’s legal analysis was transparently result-oriented: the justices wanted a particular result, and manipulated the law to reach the outcome they thought preferable as a social-policy matter. In both cases, the majority’s “reasoning” wanders aimlessly before finally settling into the same oft-discredited judicial invention of “substantive due process”—the idea that it is simply morally wrong, or mean, for a democracy to deny a legal right or status conferred under the law of a different jurisdiction. In both cases, the majority opinions were subject to devastating dissents, and they produced greatly divided public reaction. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Dred Scott and Windsor are two peas from the same judicial-activist pod.

A Second Windsor?

Lincoln warned that there could be a “Second Dred Scott” making slavery national. “Such a decision is all that slavery now lacks of being alike lawful in all the States. Welcome or unwelcome, such decision is probably coming.”

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Could there be a “Second Windsor” making same-sex marriage national?

Quite possibly yes. A case is now pending before the Supreme Court asking whether four states—Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee—acted unconstitutionally by not recognizing the status of same-sex marriages under their laws. Some of the plaintiffs are same-sex partners who were married under the laws of other states before moving to a state not recognizing such status. Other plaintiffs seek simply to be married in their home states, the laws of which limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Just as with Dred Scott and slavery, the logic of Windsor does not quite require extension to invalidate the laws of every state that denies same-sex marriage status. But an argument will be made that it does. The reasoning of Windsor is that it was gratuitously and indefensibly mean, and therefore unconstitutional, for the federal government to deny recognition to a same-sex marriage recognized under state law. Just as Lincoln asked with respect to Dred Scott, how likely is it the Court will say that a state can then deny to other state’s citizens, or even to its own, the status of same-sex marriage? “Put that and that together,” as Lincoln said, “and we have another nice little niche” for the next Supreme Court decision.

Same-sex marriage is obviously an entirely different social institution than slavery. Reasonable and honorable people today disagree about whether the traditional view of marriage as a conjugal and intrinsically male-female union should be abandoned for an understanding of marriage as embracing any sexual-romantic bond into which two (or more) people might enter. Nobody today disagrees about slavery.

But that is not the point. The point is that, in the structure and logic of the legal arguments made for judicial imposition of an across-the-board national rule requiring every state to accept the institutions, the two situations appear remarkably similar.

If recent lower court opinions on marriage are any guide, the judicial winds may be blowing on the marriage question in the same direction Lincoln seemed to perceive them blowing on the question of extending slavery into northern states by judicial decree. (Lincoln’s prediction probably would have proved right had he not been elected president.) As with slavery in the 1850s, so too with same-sex marriage in 2015: the house very likely will soon cease to be divided. I wouldn’t want to say it’s inevitable, but it is certainly possible that a Second Windsor is coming.

Will the Republican Party produce another Lincoln to stand against it?

Reprinted with permission from The Witherspoon Institute

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