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Derrick Wilburn

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Gay “Marriage”—the Chicken or the Egg?

Derrick Wilburn
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An ever-increasing number of states adopting some form of legalized homosexual “marriage” is the contemporary revival of the age-old question, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”  The modern version of this question is, “are states legalizing gay marriage because more Americans are in favor of it, or, are more Americans in favor of it because states are legalizing it?”

With state after state in the USA adopting some form of legalized homosexual marriage it would be easy to reach the conclusion that times are changing and American values are shifting in the direction of acceptance of homosexual union. While there is some movement in public perceptions the answer to the question is “well, yes and no”. Yes, there is a shift among Americans toward gay marriage – but certainly not all Americans. In fact this shift is taking place among a very tiny fraction of American citizens. One such individual is Richard L. Young.

Mr. Young is a U.S. District Court Judge in Indiana who struck down the state’s constitutional definition of marriage (as voted upon by the majority if residents of the state) as being between one man and one woman. No, Americans in general are not screaming for gay marriage. Yes, some Americans are moving in the direction of legalized same-sex marriage, it so happens that the citizens who seem most in favor of redefining marriage are known by a single word -- judges.

While it probably is true that perceptions are slowly shifting among the populace en masse, such tidal changes typically take decades if not generations to show up as legislative changes, let alone constitutional ones. The wave of states legalizing same-sex marriage unions is not the result of shifting values in America, it is the result of amazingly resilient and determined activists using the courts to overturn the will of the people.

Homosexual marriage amendments (or state-constitutional bans thereof) have been placed on ballots 34 times and have been defeated 31 times. Yes, even in California Proposition 8 -- an amendment to the state's constitution that denied same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry -- passed overwhelmingly. Yet California has same-sex marriage. Why? How is that possible if the masses spoke, and in California's case spoke loudly?

What’s happening in state after state is not the citizenry is giving its seal of approval to same-sex marriage -- in fact, we are doing quite the opposite. Then once a measure fails lawyers funded by activists file lawsuits and begin a legal process. If and when the first attempt fails they file an appeal and try again. And again. And again. These lawsuits run up through the court system until finally landing on the desk of a judge sympathetic to the cause. That judge then takes the will of the people as expressed through the ballot box and with the stroke of a pen throws it out.

There are currently nineteen states that have legalized same-sex marriage, of those nineteen just three have done so as a result of the popular vote of the people (Maine, 2012; Maryland, 2013; Washington, 2012.) On this topic at least, the desire of the voting public is secondary to the desire of the judicial ruling class. And it is a very small class indeed. Our nation’s direction as it relates to gay-marriage is being determined not by the tabulation of hundreds of thousands if not millions of votes per state. No, it is being determined by men like Richard Young. 

Another such individual, Justice Henry F. Floyd serves on the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. He along with a colleague similarly ruled that Virginia’s constitutional provision for definition of marriage has got to go. Last month (on July 28, 2014) the two of them overturned the state’s (aka: the people’s) constitution. Virginians voted 57 to 43 percent (a thorough drubbing) in 2006 to amend the state’s constitution thus banning gay marriage. It was clearly what the people wanted. Mr. Floyd sees things differently and in essence said to the people of Virginia, “Sorry, you rubes.” If that weren’t enough, the 4th Circuit’s decision will also apply to all other states in the district (Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia.)

Including the forementioned Indiana that makes six states with a combined population of approximately thirty-seven million people; the will of those people as expressed in the writing and amending of their state’s constitution has been obliterated by but three individuals.

Since the Supreme Court’s dismantling of the Defense of Marriage Act one year ago there now has been twenty consecutive federal court decisions in favor of same-sex marriage. Twenty in a row! The decision did not embolden gay-marriage activists to continually present the issue to Americans as ballot initiatives, rather it opened the floodgates to sue, sue, and sue some more. Note the headlines of the following articles, all published in 2014:

SIX COUPLES FILE LAWSUIT

FEDERAL APPEALS COURT STRIKES DOWN BAN

FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN STATES BAN ON GAY MARRIAGE

ACTIVISTS CHEER COURT RULING

Notice any commonality? None dealing with actual election results because the election results are consistent and are not something for gay-marriage proponents to applaud. None tout the idea of letting our systems of self-governance run its course. None trumpeting “We the People”. Rather all of these stories (and I could easily have posted links to dozens and dozens) have gay-marriage proponents applauding court decisions, not election results.

So don't be fooled into thinking “Americans now want same-sex marriage.” The truth is, “a handful of Americans now want same-sex marriage.” It so happens that some of that handful have jobs that grant them the power to simply overrule the will and desire of the masses, even if only temporarily. As it relates to this particular topic, we are not being governed according to the will of the people. We are being governed by the wills of two or three or so.

Voters have chosen to define marriage as between “one male and one female” in 31 states.  In 15 of those states the will of the people has been summarily overturned by a judge. All 15 of those rulings from the bench have occurred in the last 10 years. The remaining state constitutions are under attack as you read this. When it comes to legalized homosexual-“marriage” versus state’s rights we now know which came first – it was the chicken.

This article was first publishes on American Thinker and has been re-published with permission of the author. Derrick Wilburn is the founder, President and Chairman of the Board of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, American Conservatives of Color, and BlackandConservative.com

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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