In a rare court victory for supporters of true marriage, a U.S. District Judge this week upheld the legality of Puerto Rico’s marriage protection law, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
In his 21-page decision, Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez passionately defended true marriage and delivered a scathing rebuke to his colleagues across the nation who have overwhelmingly ruled to overturn state bans on same-sex “marriage” in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial 2013 ruling striking down key portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“Because no right to same-gender marriage emanates from the Constitution, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico should not be compelled to recognize such unions,” Perez-Gimenez wrote.
“Recent affirmances of same-gender marriage seem to suffer from a peculiar inability to recall the principles embodied in existing marriage law,” wrote Perez-Gimenez. “Traditional marriage is the fundamental unit of the political order. And ultimately the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage.”
“Those are the well-tested, well-proven principles on which we have relied for centuries,” added the judge. “The question now is whether judicial ‘wisdom’ may contrive methods by which those solid principles can be circumvented or even discarded.”
Lambda Legal staff attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, who represented the gay plaintiffs in the case, told the Washington Blade that Tuesday’s ruling “flies in the face of the blizzard of rulings of the last year … and the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the rulings striking down five bans similar to Puerto Rico’s.”
Added Gonzalez-Pagan, “One struggles to understand how this judge came to a different conclusion.”
In his ruling, Judge Perez-Gimenez acknowledged he is in the minority of judges willing to defend true marriage. But he had harsh words for the activist courts that have now redefined marriage to include same-sex couples in 32 states.
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“A clear majority of courts have struck down statutes that affirm opposite-gender marriage only,” Perez-Gimenez wrote. “In their ingenuity and imagination they have constructed a seemingly comprehensive legal structure for this new form of marriage. And yet what is lacking and unaccounted for remains: are laws barring polygamy, or, say the marriage of fathers and daughters, now of doubtful validity? Is ‘minimal marriage,’ where ‘individuals can have legal marital relationships with more than one person, reciprocally or asymmetrically, themselves determining the sex and number of parties’ the blueprint for their design?”
The Supreme Court’s decision regarding DOMA, “does not – cannot – change things,” wrote Perez-Gimenez. “[The Supreme Court] struck down Section 3 of DOMA which imposed a federal definition of marriage, as an impermissible federal intrusion on state power. [The court’s] opinion did not create a fundamental right to same-gender marriage nor did it establish that state opposite-gender marriage regulations are amendable to federal constitutional challenges. If anything, [the decision] stands for the opposite proposition: it reaffirms the States’ authority over marriage.”
“It takes inexplicable contortions of the mind or perhaps even willful ignorance … to interpret [the Supreme Court’s] endorsement of the state control of marriage as eliminating the state control of marriage,” Perez-Gimenez added.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, praised the judge for his ruling, calling him, “a model of judicial restraint.”
Lamenting an “epidemic of federal judges legislating from the bench on the issue of marriage,” Perkins said, “it is time for other courts to follow his example, and the Supreme Court shouldn't allow activist lower courts to redefine states' marriage laws.”
“Judge Pérez-Giménez not only rejected the constitutional arguments for redefining marriage, but succinctly made the case for natural marriage,” Perkins said. “He is correct in saying that this is among the 'principles of logic and law that cannot be forgotten.'”
“In my recent Fox News Sunday debate with [pro-same-sex “marriage”] attorney Ted Olson, I challenged him to articulate what boundaries may be placed if 'love' is the only criteria for marriage. He refused to do so,” added Perkins. “Judge Pérez-Giménez offered the same challenge … .”
Concluded Perkins, “Every judge considering a marriage case-and every public official charged with administering or enforcing his or her state's laws on marriage-should read and take guidance from this ruling.”