‘The Roe v. Wade of marriage’: pro-family advocates respond
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Supreme Court rulings on Proposition 8 and DOMA defy thousands of years of history and the findings of sociology, undermine citizen democracy, open the door to polygamy, and rewrite thousands of federal laws on family policy with the stroke of a pen, according to pro-family advocates.
“Today the Supreme Court issued the Roe v. Wade of marriage,” said Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA) after news of the rulings broke. “These rulings will continue to divide our Republic just as Roe continues to do 40 years later.”
"The Supreme Court rulings fly in the face of reams of research showing that the best household arrangement for children is a married mom and dad,” said Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, director and senior fellow of CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute. “It represents a national experiment in social reconstruction at the expense of our children's futures and the future of America."
“For thousands of years marriage between one man and one woman has resulted in flourishing civilizations,” said Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, the leader of the African-American conservative organization BOND (Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny). “To change the definition of marriage and undermine such a pivotal part of society will have dire consequences for our nation.”
“These rulings are an attack on God, humanity, the Constitution, and the family unit,” he said.
Some advocates suggested that the legal reasoning in the DOMA decision leaves little barrier to further extending the definition of marriage beyond simply gay "marriage."
“What if a state were to recognize polygamists’ marriages? Under the rationale of this ruling, those marriage would have to be given federal benefits,” Paul Linton, special counsel for the Thomas More Society told LifeSiteNews.com.
“What happens if a state decided to allow marriages between adults of closely related persons? Those couples also would qualify for federal benefits,” he added.
Supporters of traditional marriage accused the Supreme Court of stepping outside its authority in the rulings.
“Over one thousand laws were passed with the traditional definition of marriage in mind,” Nance said. “Today, the Court uses its powers to amend those laws with one stroke of the pen. Remember, DOMA only defined marriage for federal purposes.”
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“This is one more example of the Court legislating from the bench, instead of employing the judicial restraint envisioned by our Constitution,” she said.
Others said that the decisions are fundamentally flawed from a legal and jurisprudential viewpoint.
“The Court failed to recognize that, just as the states have constitutional authority to make state policy about marriage, Congress can pass a federal statute defining a term used in federal law—and that’s what DOMA has done for marriage,” said former Senator Jim DeMint, who is now president of the Heritage Foundation.
The Family Policy Council of West Virginia added, “The Supreme Court got it wrong to invalidate portions of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Of course the Federal government has the ability to define marriage for purposes of Federal law.”
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, was blunt in his assement of the rulings, calling them decision “illegitimate” and a “miscarriage of justice.”
Brown particularly took issue with the Hollingsworth v. Perry ruling, which found the people of the State of California had no legal standing to petition the justices.
“The Supreme Court's holding that proponents of an initiative had no legal right to appeal ignores California law and rewards corrupt politicians for abandoning their duty to defend traditional marriage laws. It's imperative that Congress continue to preserve the right of states to protect true marriage and refuse to recognize faux marriages performed in other states or countries," he said.
Linton told LifeSiteNews the decision allows “a hostile executive branch to effectively have a veto power over something they have no business having a veto power over” - the people they rule.
“Today, the Court declared that if the executive refuses to defend those laws, the people can’t stand up for themselves. That’s not government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” agreed DeMint.
Others said the flaw went deeper than constitutional interpretation: It ignored nature itself.
“Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters,” the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in a statement.
At the same time, one pro-life leader pointed out that the DOMA ruling, by stopping short of actually redefining marriage in federal law, and instead deferring to states' rights, does have some positive implications, particularly for the pro-life cause.
Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America said the two decisions, which were decided by a one-vote margin, "have major implications for Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.”
“In the DOMA case, the Supreme Court found that the federal government must respect the rights of states to determine their own laws protecting the 'rights' of their citizens, citing the 'equal protection' clause of the 5th Amendment. This begs the question, 'Where is the equal protection for pre-born babies?'”
"The Supreme Court should follow its own principles set forth in these cases to overturn Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton and turn those decisions back to the states to extend equal protections to pre-born babies," Hawkins said.
Pete Baklinski conducted LifeSiteNews.com's interview with Paul Linton.