Skip to comments.Monster Win for Natural Marriage [Great Analysis]
Posted on 11/08/2014 12:28:30 AM PST by GonzoII
Yesterday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals struck a reverberating blow on behalf of natural marriage and the Constitution by upholding bans on sodomy-based marriages in its jurisdiction.
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of this ruling.
It means, for one thing, that the issue is now on the fast track to the Supreme Court. If the Court accepts a marriage case by January, a decision will almost certainly be issued by next June.
From a constitutional standpoint, the 6th Circuits ruling is a model of sound jurisprudence. The ruling observes that the Supreme Court has already settled the question of the role of the states in defining marriage, in the 1972 case Baker v. Nelson. Its often forgotten that the first challenge to bans on gay marriage were raised over 40 years ago, and the Court ruled flatly in Baker that Minnesotas ban on same-sex marriage did NOT raise a substantial federal question.
In plain English, it means that defining marriage is exclusively an issue for the states to decide. The federal government, including the judiciary, has precisely zero authority to impose its own twisted definition of marriage on the states. None, zip, nada.
Now liberals are big-time fans of stare decisis, the doctrine that prior rulings create binding precedents that must be respected. If their precious principle of stare decisis has any abiding relevance, its game over. The issue was settled in 1972 and that precedent is still binding today. End of discussion. Marriage policy is something for the states alone to decide.
That marriage is the exclusive domain of the states is plain from the language of the Constitution itself. More precisely, this is plain from the language that is not in the Constitution. The words marriage and homosexuality never occur, not even a single time. You can read the Constitution left to right, right to left, upside down, and in Sanskrit and you will never, ever run into the word marriage. Its not in there.
Article I, Section 8 lists all the powers of action that We the People have conferred upon the central government. If a power of action is not listed there, the central government has no legal or constitutional right to exercise it.
According to that same Constitution, the 10th Amendment thus reserves exclusively to the states every other power of action, including the power to define marriage. No authority, none, not even a smidgen of authority is given in our Constitution to the central government to decide questions of domestic policy.
And no state can be dictated to on this matter by another state, even through a feeble attempt to invoke the full faith and credit clause. Said the 6th Circuit, states have always decided for themselves when to yield to laws of other states. Quite simply and quite correctly, the court ruled that if a state doesnt want to recognize a gay marriage performed in another state, it doesnt have to.
Along the way, the court ruled that the 1967 Loving v. Virginia ruling, overturning a state ban on interracial marriage, is irrelevant, because that ruling left intact the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It didnt change the fundamental character or understanding of marriage at all.
Importantly, the 6th Circuit ruled that the only standard state bans need to reach is the rational basis test. That is, if it can be demonstrated that there is a rational foundation for a ban on sodomy-based marriages, such a ban is perfectly constitutional. There are abundant reasons to reserve marriage for man-woman unions, including public health issues (homosexuality is the number one risk factor for HIV/AIDS and is a risk factor for an enormous number of sexually transmitted diseases) and creating stable family relationships that provide the optimal nurturing environment for the raising of children.
Tellingly, the court ruled that there is no evidence that amendments upholding natural marriage were motivated by animus towards gays and lesbians. The judges pointed out that courts would have to be able to read the minds of 8.6 million voters to make a determination about their motives. That is obviously something that no court could do even if it was entitled to try.
Lastly, the court said - and this is huge - that the federal courts have no long-lasting capacity to change what people think and believe about new social questions. These issues must be settled by Americas people, not by black-robed tyrants swinging gavels like sledgehammers.
There is much to celebrate in this ruling. Perhaps, just perhaps, we have taken our first step away from the edge of the moral abyss.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
Technically speaking should this not have been left to the States?
Of course this was about a natural marriage.
Why hasn't someone brought up this decision before? I would say that it certainly makes the recent Federal Court decisions invalid.
I don’t have any faith in the supreme court. They seem more driven by politics then the constitution.
true, marriage is not a federal issue. States create marriage laws.
Unless we pass a Federal Marriage Amendment the Supremes will overturn this.
I really like the term “Natural Marriage”. Sounds like a polite retort to “Gay marriage”
Polygamy was a federal issue. Utah was not allowed to join the union until they banned polygamy.
Liberals claimed we did not need a federal marriage amendment because we had a federal DOMA and state DOMAs and state amendments. Well the Supremes overturned the federal DOMA and federal courts have been overturning state DOMAs and amendments. Just because a few states have a temporary ok to keep their bans does not negate the states where bans have been overturned and whose appeal to the Supremes was declined.
We need a federal marriage amendment.
As it stood before this craziness, the differences between state marriage laws were very minor having to do with age and parental consent.
“Unless we pass a Federal Marriage Amendment the Supremes will overturn this.”
Rather than deciding on constitutionality more court rulings are making reference to “accepted norms,” foreign law and bowing to current politics.
Bosh. They "respect precedent" the way they "believe in science": as long as it serves the Revolution, and not one second longer. The destruction of the natural family serves the Revolution; therefore, all precedents "privileging" natural marriage can be ignored.
Indeed! Thanks for posting this Gonzo. Great article!
Unless you decide it was about racial discrimination and not really about marriage, because, as noted, it did not change the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
so Florida had marriage defined on the ballot a few years ago and we voted to uphold it between a man and a woman. Now, the courts are overturning here in certain counties.
How can we stop them? with this case going to the SC?
Natural vs. Unnatural. Nice
” it means that defining marriage is exclusively an issue for the states to decide. “
However that puts us in the position where a marriage could be legal in one state and not another.
Because we have allowed government to define “marriage” for its own purposes (such as taxation and regulation of estates), we have allowed government to define marriage as a social institution. That was fine as long as people in control of government were generally supportive of God’s original definition of marriage. However we have entered a time when a growing number of people in control of government want to redefine marriage for their own purposes, which in part is contrary to God’s definition.
Marriage is now far more a matter of politics and ideology than of private religious beliefs.
Therefore, for the sake of marriage as God defines it, it is time to remove from government the power to define who is married and who is not. Then people could form whatever relationships they please but they could not force those who disagree to be enablers for those relationships. And we would not have schools that must teach that homosexual “marriages” are just as legitimate as heterosexual ones. Nor would we have owners of wedding-related services being threatened with arrest and being convicted of a crime for merely declining to artfully photograph a “marriage” they find morally repugnant.
The Edmunds Tucker and related acts started this whole mess. Better to allow a tiny minority its religious right to marry, than lose a whole nation.
“I really like the term Natural Marriage. Sounds like a polite retort to Gay marriage
I do, too. Control of the language is important, and is something that we haven’t been very good at. If the term “natural marriage” becomes widely used, how long do you think it will be before the left begins to claim that it’s bigoted?
And the converse, "unnatural marriage," explains the problem.
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