Peter Baklinski

Grandfather's 1982 pro-life poem saves great-grandchild from being aborted

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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RIVERSIDE, California, December 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Sarah Fisher, 25, could never understand why when she was a little girl, her mother would always become teary-eyed when she would wish for an older brother. Sarah was the oldest of five, but she remembers feeling “so deprived for not having an older brother.”

“I would tell my mom how much I wanted an older brother,” she told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview. “It was never an older sister, it was always an older brother. She would always tear-up every time I mentioned it.”

It wasn’t until Sarah was 18 and taking steps to attend college that she learned the cause of her mother’s tears.

Sarah learned that she did have an older sibling, but not in this world. He had been aborted while her mother was still in high school.

“I was shocked by her story, because I had been raised pro-life,” she said. “But at the same time, I saw how this explained many things that I had never been able to understand about my mother. It wasn’t until recently that I learned more specifics about the incident from my mother.”

The First Crisis-Pregnancy

In the early 1980’s Sarah’s mom, Susan, attended a private Catholic high school in southern California. Susan’s parents were devout Catholics and involved in pro-life activities. They became foster parents to multiple children, including a few children from overseas who had health problems.

Susan at 16 was “very beautiful and very outgoing,” Sarah said. Susan, the oldest of six children, began dating a football jock and soon became pregnant. The boyfriend pressured Susan into visiting a Planned Parenthood clinic to put an end to the pregnancy .

“He sent one of his friends with her (since he supposedly had something else to do) and my mom went, unwillingly, and got the abortion,” Sarah said.

Sarah learned how her mother had been “in a state of absolute shock and disarray” when she returned to school after the abortion and how the boyfriend “instantly broke up with her.”

Sarah heard how her mother was “so numb” from the abortion experience that she “simply didn’t care” about the breakup. She learned how her mother turned to “drugs, alcohol, and partying” as the pain of the abortion slowly began to sink in.

A Grief-Letter and a Poem

In her pain, Sarah’s mother wrote a letter to the boyfriend about her abortion, hoping to “make him feel the hurt and anguish that she was feeling.”

But the letter was intercepted by Susan’s brother and ended up in the hands of Susan’s father — Sarah’s grandfather.

“I can only imagine what he felt,” Sarah said. “There are rumors in our family of his reaction, rumors about an anger that almost drove him to violence against the boyfriend, and rumors about the hurt that he was feeling on behalf of his daughter.”

Sarah learned that instead of violence, her grandfather chose to write a poem for his hurting, 16-year-old post-abortive daughter.

In the poem, the grief-stricken father relays to his wounded daughter his “agony of watching her slide toward a one-way rut.” He lays the blame on himself for her misfortunes and admits his “share” of “guilt.”

Little did the father know that the last few lines of his poem would ultimately alter the destiny of his daughter, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. They read:

I read a poem a while ago about a test she failed.
Though eloquent it surely was, the logic somehow trailed.

As if life granted one big test — and then the Judgement made,
we’d never have a second chance, nor values we could trade.

Thank God it doesn’t work that way. Thank God there’s other chances —
to Accept Him as He said, The Vine, and take our place as Branches.

But if you only understood how much He loves you!
Why He hung on that cross!
How much He wants you back!
If you only understood how much He wants you back!
I’m sorry for hurting you so much.
I love you.

Putting Puzzle-pieces Together

It was not until last week that Sarah learned of the existence of this poem and the restoration it effected in her mother. She learned how the poem had changed her mother’s life, offering her a ray of hope, opening up to her a new horizon that transcended the bleakness of her shattered life.

“The poem is the very reason why my mother managed to heal and become so positive again,” she said.

Sarah learned how her mother came to “regret that abortion with everything in her,” and that she used that “awful experience to bring up pro-life children.”

“It was then that I understood why Mom had lectured me, as I was growing up, the pro-life way that she had,” she said. “I now knew why she had tried so hard to instill in us pro-life values.”

It was just last week that Sarah put the pieces of the puzzle of her own life together regarding a ‘choice’ that she was faced with five years ago.

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The Second Crisis-Pregnancy

At 20, Sarah had finished college and had been accepted into university on a scholarship. She was also dating and being intimate with her boyfriend, Jared. Not long before heading off to university, Sarah discovered that she was pregnant.

“I was so scared at that time that if I had walked into a Planned Parenthood, I probably would have had an abortion,” she confessed.

But Sarah knew what abortion had done to her mother. She did not want to “go through that kind of pain.”

Because of her mother’s own crisis pregnancy and the horrible way it had ended, she felt a sense of urgency to tell her mother about her own crisis pregnancy.

“It felt like this sense of protection to tell my mother, ‘Hey, I’m pregnant.’ I somehow knew that by telling her, it would strengthen me to not make the mistake that she regretted so much,” she said. “But I remember the temptation to visit a nearby Planned Parenthood was so strong.”

In the end, Sarah told her mother the difficult news and found the support she needed. She was also glad to have the support of her boyfriend who was open to the new life they had created together.

They were at first going to give up their little one for adoption, but two weeks before the birth they decided to marry and raise the baby themselves.

Sarah completed her university degree in English and History with little Isaac (whose name means laughter) nestled into her lap during class. Sarah and Jared are now the proud parents of three beautiful children.

Sarah knows that Isaac would not be alive today if she had not been taught to respect life by her mother. She knows that if her mother had not been open about the crisis pregnancy and abortion she had experienced 30 years ago, then she would not have been able to be open about her own crisis pregnancy.

“I know that I wouldn’t be so gung-ho pro-life and that my own crisis pregnancy would not be alive and happy today if it hadn’t been for my mother’s witness and protection of me,” she said.

Sarah believes that her grandfather, who died when she was 11, had “something to do” with her choosing life during her crisis pregnancy. She now sees that his poem planted seeds of healing in her mother. These seeds produced in her mother the fruit of healing, self-forgiveness, compassion, and respect for life. She saw that this fruit was passed onto herself and her siblings who learned from their mother about the value of life and the pain caused by abortion.

It dawned on Sarah that her precious Isaac would not be with her today had it not been for the love and compassion shown to her mother by her grandfather through the love-poem that he wrote to her so long ago.

Sarah further believes, that her older sibling who was aborted — who was named Michael — also had “something to do” with her choosing life.

“I think it was my older brother’s spiritual hand on my shoulder that steered me away from the Planned Parenthood clinic that was around the corner from my university and towards the crisis pregnancy center that was a little further away,” she said.

Pay it forward: Healing for Post-Abortive Women

Sarah believes that her story, that weaves generations together, might help women facing a crisis pregnancy or who have already had an abortion. “Going through a crisis pregnancy myself, I understand how scared a woman becomes, how she can be talked into doing just about anything because her mind is paralyzed by fear.”

“Women who have walked the path of my mother need to know, like my Grandpa said in his poem, that ‘God just wants you back,’” she said. “They, more than anyone else, have the power to help other women facing a crisis pregnancy since they can relate to their fear and the pain.”

Sarah believes that her family’s story reveals that no matter what the details, everyone’s crisis pregnancy and abortion story can have a happy ending.

“To every family member who has a child missing in their family tree due to abortion, do not give up or lose hope. Love heals all,” she said knowingly. “So, celebrate that child and his/her short life and share your story to try and prevent other people in a crisis pregnancy from going through that anguish. You can use your loss to prevent other young losses.”

“Above all,” she says, “believe in second chances and the hope that comes with it.”

A father’s poem to his beloved post-abortive 16-year-old

June 03, 1982, 11 PM

Dear Susan,

The urge to tell my daughter what’s gnawing at my gut.
The agony of watching her slide toward a one-way rut;

There’s nothing quite so devastating to the father’s mind
As finding out he’s dropped-the-ball and now his girl’s entwined.

In mental anguish, doubt and fear
— And, worst of all, self hate —
And questioning there in the mirror
if by now it is too late.

And putting off decision, commitment to repair
the damage done by all involved, the guilt of which I share.

I read a poem a while ago about a test she failed.
Though eloquent it surely was the logic somehow trailed.

As if life granted one big test — and then the Judgement made,
we’d never have a second chance, nor values we could trade.

Thank God it doesn’t work that way. Thank God there’s other chances —
to Accept Him as He said, The Vine, and take our place as Branches.

Discouragement is Satan’s tool that prunes us from the Vine,
He’ll try to get us all messed up, our emotions he’ll entwine.

Then piling on the doubt and fear, he’ll say with exclamation:
Stay back! Go away! You’re just no good — for Reconciliation!

But if you only understood how much He loves you!
Why He hung on that cross!
How much He wants you back!
If you only understood how much He wants you back!
I’m sorry for hurting you so much.
I love you.

Dad

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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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