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Kim Davis and the Rule of Law

Yesterday, a woman named Kim Davis went to jail.

She is a Court Clerk in Rowan County Kentucky where it is her job, among other things, to issue marriage licenses. Recently, the Supreme Court invented a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender, but, as a recent convert (four years she says) to Christianity, Ms. Davis believes same-sex “marriage” is wrong.

Therefore, she refused to issue the licenses.

There have been lots of similar situations.

Businesses who do not wish to participate in a same-sex “marriage” ceremony are sued.

Private sector employees like Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla, have been forced out of their jobs for supporting the idea that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.

Public sector employees like Kelvin Cochran, the former fire chief from Atlanta, have been fired for those same beliefs without any accusation of mistreating employees or discriminating against anyone.

But Kim Davis’ situation is different because she holds elected office. She doesn’t have a boss who can fire her. A court ordered her to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses but she refused. So yesterday, she was sent to jail for contempt of court.

Despite the insistence from the left that the redefinition of marriage would have no impact on religious freedom, many see this story as just further evidence of freedoms being lost.

The left, however, has moved away from pretending to care about freedom of religion. They now express full-blown, outrage at the idea that people shouldn’t lose their freedom if they don’t support same-sex “marriage”. After all, who needs freedom of conscience when you can have tolerance and equality?

In Kim Davis’ case, however, their outrage is a little different. They aren’t simply outraged that she doesn’t like same-sex “marriage”, they are outraged by her shocking disregard for the law.

Shocking, I tell you.

Suddenly, the progressives are organizing lectures to remind the world that our system of government is predicated on our laws being enforced equitably, regardless of the preferences of the individuals. Even Hillary Clinton got into the act this week tweeting that, “Marriage equality is the law of the land. Officials should be held to their duty to uphold the law-end of story.”

And you thought Animal Farm was satire.

Of course their point about the importance of the rule of law is a good one. But given the context of the Kim Davis controversy, it seems a brief lesson in the history of same-sex “marriage” is in order.

  • Once President Obama finished his evolution on marriage, the U.S. Department of Justice, whose job it is to defend the laws of the United States in Court, refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.
  • In 2013, D. Bruce Haines, an official in Montgomery County Pennsylvania, started issuing same-sex “marriage” licenses when the law did not permit it.
Apparently the concern with strict adherence to marriage laws is a new passion of progressives.

“We’ve progressed,” they insist. “The law has changed to be good so we care about the rule of law now.”

About that.

Let’s remember how this new “law” was actually changed. Was it lawful?

The states did not come together with Congress in the constitutionally prescribed manner to amend the constitution and change the law for the whole nation. While a few states actually did use the democratic process to redefine marriage, the vast majority (thirty-eight) had a new definition forced upon them by judges who liked the new definition better than the old one.

When the Supreme Court invented a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender in Obergefell, they overturned their own precedent from Windsor less than two years previously when they said states had the right to define marriage for themselves.

Whatever that is, it’s not the rule of law.

It’s not just about marriage laws either.

Did you know that it’s illegal for teachers to strike in Washington State? Doesn’t seem to stop them.

Or how about sanctuary cities who advertise the fact that they ignore state and federal laws on immigration?

The Supreme Court did what they thought was the right thing to do despite what the law said and Kim Davis is doing the same. Kim Davis is no more lawless than half of Washington DC, she just has less powerful friends.

We may have never fully left the world in which might makes right, but our desire to bear-hug might, because we like what it is doing so much, seems to be a new impulse.

Love or hate the result, but be intellectually honest enough to lose the indignation.

If you punch someone in the face, you may end up winning the fight. But no one is going to take you seriously if you ask, “How could you?” when they try to punch you back.

Kennewick Debates Religious Freedom, Attorney General Misrepresents It

Last night, the Kennewick City Council discussed a non-binding resolution involving religious freedom in front of a standing room only crowd.  The resolution, sponsored by Kennewick City Councilman John Trumbo, calls on Attorney General Bob Ferguson to drop his lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers and asks the legislature to protect conscience rights and religious freedom.

A similar resolution has also been introduced in the Pasco city Council by Councilman Bob Hoffman.

In advance of that committee meeting, Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent a letter to Mr. Trumbo and Mr. Hoffman that was published in the Tri-City Herald. 

That letter, the full text of which can be seen below, contains a number of statements that deserve a response. (larger light green text is excerpts from the letter)

[Barronelle Stutzman and her attorneys]  claim that Arlene’s Flowers should be allowed to serve those customers whom Ms. Stutzman’s religion approves of, and exclude those whom it does not.

It is hard to view this statement as anything other than willful dishonesty.  The Attorney General’s office has been litigating against Barronelle Stutzman for more than two years now.  In those two years, Barronelle Stutzman has repeatedly stated in depositions, in legal briefs, and in oral arguments that she was and is happy to serve people who identify as gay.  She has never denied service to someone because of their sexual orientation and she never will. She will sell flowers to gay people and even for gay weddings.  Her only objection is to providing floral services for a same-sex wedding, which would require her to be a personal participant in the wedding.

As the Supreme Court has long recognized, religious freedom is not the freedom to discriminate against others in the name of religion.

The Supreme Court has never taken this issue up.  Efforts by government to force people to be part of events they disagree with are very new because historically we have respected the rights of individuals not to be part of events they were uncomfortable with.  The New Mexico Supreme Court said that a photographer could be forced to take pictures of a same-sex wedding, but a Kentucky Court recently acknowledged that a printer has the right to decline to print t-shirts for a gay pride parade because he disagrees with that message.  This issue is far from settled, in fact it is just getting started.

Rather, [religious freedom] is the right to the freedom of worship, and to be free from discrimination because of our religion.

The First Amendment protects the “free exercise” of religion.  The version of the First Amendment which protects only the right to believe what you want and attend the church of your choice exists only in the minds of those who seek to control us, not in the Constitution.

If I go to a restaurant with my young twins to celebrate their First Communion, I should not have to worry about whether the restaurant will refuse to serve me because we are Catholic.

Of course everyone agrees with this.  However, if Mr. Ferguson and his young twins wanted the restaurant owner to cater their exorcism,  an atheist business owner should  have the right to decline to participate without fear of being sued for discrimination on the basis of religion.  After all, it is not the person requesting the service they object to, but the nature of the service requested.

Arlene’s Flowers refused to serve Mr. Freed and Mr. Ingersoll because they are gay.

As discussed above, this also is not true.  Arlene’s Flowers served Mr. Freed and Mr. Ingersoll for nine years knowing they were gay.  Arlene’s Flowers stands ready to serve them again. Arlene’s Flowers serves everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.  But there are some events they are uncomfortable being part of.

Washington State law says that if a business chooses to provide a service to heterosexual customers it must provide that service to gay and lesbian customers.

Washington State law says no such thing.  It says only that you cannot discriminate on the basis of race, religions, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation, etc… Non-discrimination laws were created to make sure that businesses did not have explicit policies stating “No Jews”, “No Mexicans”, “No Mormons” or anything of the kind.  By happily and graciously serving everyone, Arlene’s Flowers abides by both the letter and the spirit of the law.

The Attorney General’s interpretation of the law means that the wedding industry is now off-limits to those who believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.  America was created specifically in response to the environment in Europe where people had to hold a certain set of beliefs in order to have equal access to economic opportunity.

We must resist the attempts to impose a new state religion built around a specifically belief about sexuality.

The Kennewick City Council agreed to take this issue up at a future meeting.

As a result, this debate will continue in Kennewick and around the country.  It will continue because it is fundamental to who we are as a nation.  Will individuals enjoy the right of association and the free exercise of religion in the way we always have? Will we surrender those rights to a government desiring to control us in the name of tolerance?

The weakness of the Attorney General’s position is exposed by his need to repeatedly misrepresent Arlene’s Flowers position. If you have strong arguments, the truth is your friend.

Still, the outcome of this debate will not be determined by who has the greatest argument, but who has the strongest resolve.

To share your thoughts with Attorney General Ferguson about this letter or his lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers, Call his office at 360-753-6200. Be respectful, but be heard.

Contact your legislators and ask them to protect conscience rights and religious freedom. You can email your legislators here or call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.

 

Below is the full letter from Attorney General Ferguson. Click on the images to enlarge.

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Christian Ministries: How to Protect Them From Lawsuits

Are you a pastor or ministry leader?  Are you unwilling to compromise your beliefs about marriage, gender, and sexuality but concerned about the legal liabilities that might result?

If that’s you, we want to help.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to redefine marriage for the entire country has many pastors and ministries leaders worried about how this will impact their ministry.  And for good reason.  During arguments before the Supreme Court, U.S. Solicitor General said that maintaining tax exempt status is “going to be an issue” for non-profits that hold to the natural and historical understanding of marriage.

While there is risk in a changing world, there are also steps you can take to protect the ministry you care about from lawsuits.

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Alliance Defending Freedom published a small booklet titled Protecting Your Ministry From Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Lawsuits with the sole purpose of equipping pastors, ministry leaders and Christian school faculty with the necessary tools to better protect their churches, ministries, or schools.

The Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) is taking this booklet one step further. FPIW is setting up meetings all over Washington State to help pastors and ministry leaders better protect their ministry from future sexual orientation and gender identity lawsuits. These meetings will be based on ADF’s Protecting Your Ministry booklet, but will also discuss how to be more proactive in the legislative process in Washington State.

 

Topics Include:

  • Statement of Faith
  • Religious Employment Criteria
  • Formal Membership Policy
  • Marriage Policy
  • Facility Use Policies
  • Religious Mission Statement
  • Code of Christian Conduct
  • And Much More

 

These meetings are free! All we ask is that you let us know if you are planning on attending (register here).

Several meetings are scheduled, but more dates and times will be announced in the following cities in the near future.  Click here to see if any meeting will be in an area near you.

If you are interested in hosting a Protect Your Ministry meeting in your community, let us know.  We’d love to work with you!

 

Three Reasons It Isn’t Over

The Supreme Court has spoken.

It wasn’t a surprise, but it was disappointing. In a 5-4 decision, the Court created an oven-fresh, new right to marry someone of the same gender.  The Court provided no limiting principle that would prevent their logic from extending to other kinds of relationships whose profession of love is not currently acknowledged with a marriage license.

The decision was a setback for the rule of law.

The Constitution says as much about marriage as it does about the Seahawks.  When the Constitution is silent on an issue, then that issue should be resolved by the legislative branch of government.  The states (or Congress) should have been allowed to continue wrestling with this issue and reaching a resolution based on the input of the people through their elected representatives.

But as it turns out, the voices of 51 million people from thirty-one states who voted for laws defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman were overruled by five, unelected lawyers in Washington, DC.

For a number of people, the response to the Court’s decision was relief.  Sentiments like, “At least it’s over!!” and “Can we please stop talking about gay marriage now?”

Unfortunately, the conflict between the sexual revolution and the nation’s faith-based people and institutions may only intensify in the coming months and years.  Here’s why.

1. The LGBT political leadership doesn’t want to coexist:  An entire industry was built to accomplish what happened on Friday.  That industry is not going to suddenly declare itself obsolete. You don’t raise money by declaring victory. Now that “full equality under the law” has been accomplished, there will be another crisis requiring their attention, and another, and another…

2. Some people are still free to disagree: The goal of the LGBT political movement has always been to eradicate the belief that homosexuality and heterosexuality are different.  That is why they promote policies that allow someone to decline to decorate a cake critical of same-sex “marriage,” but not decline to decorate a cake supportive of it.  The goal is to create a government that punishes beliefs about homosexuality they disagree with. Therefore, as long as you have the freedom to run your business, non-profit, university, school, or church according to your beliefs, their job is not done.

3. Now it’s easier to call you a racist, legally speaking:  The 14th Amendment was written to stop the government from treating people differently because of their race. Now that the Supreme Court has discovered a new right to marry someone of the same gender in the 14th amendment, it’s easier to argue that those who don’t celebrate homosexuality are the same as racists. As a result, the ability to remove tax-exempt status, cut off federal funding to religious universities, and otherwise marginalize people who believe in natural marriage became easier.

Marriage has been redefined most recently, but it may not be the last word to be redefined.

Soon, “religious freedom” may mean only the freedom to believe what you want in your head and maybe talk about it at church or at home. You may need a license though. In the same way, “civil rights” may soon be redefined so that a person can be forced to celebrate an event they disagree with but not free to say something “offensive”.  After all, that’s “hate speech.”

The world is changing quickly, but the truth about marriage remains.

And the need for courage only grows.

So you stayed out of the debate about marriage because you didn’t feel like telling someone else how to live their life.  Great.

But what will you do when they start telling you how to live yours?

Will you surrender all your freedom in an effort to avoid being misunderstood? Let’s hope not.

But we’re going to find out, because, despite what we all wish, this is far from over.

3 Things We Learned from the Supreme Court Yesterday

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for two-and-a-half hours on two questions.

1. Is it constitutional for  states to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman?

2. Is one state required to recognize legal marriages in another state?

While it is impossible to know what is going on inside the head of each justice, that won’t stop observers from trying to figure it out.  Without trying to get too far inside anyone’s head, here are a few important things we learned from yesterday’s arguments.

1. Justice Kennedy may be hesitant to tell all of human history they were wrong about marriage.

Justice Anthony Kennedy is generally considered to be the swing vote in this case.  But his question early in the argument indicated that he may be hesitant to throw out the definition of marriage that has been used at all times and in all places.

“One of the problems is when you think about these cases you think about words or cases, and-and the word that keeps coming back to me in this case is-is millennia, plus time. First of all, there has not been really time, so the Respondents say, for the federal system to engage in this debate…But still, 10 years is — I don’t even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia. This definition has been with us for millennia.  And it-it’s very difficult for the Court to say, oh, well, we-we know better.”

This sounds like a very good argument to allow the question about the definition of marriage to be decided by the people through the legislative process rather than by these nine justices.

Chief Justice Roberts got Mary L. Bonauto, lead attorney for the effort to redefine marriage, to acknowledge that prior to 2001, no jurisdiction in human history had ever defined marriage as a relationship between people of the same gender.  He questioned whether there weren’t actually rational reasons to define marriage in that way that had nothing to do with homosexuality.

2. The Court is thinking about the impact on religious freedom as well. 

Unlike the political activists who insist that same-sex marriage has no impact on religious freedom, the Supreme Court seems to be fully aware of the conflict between religious freedom and the redefinition of marriage.

The first exchange on the subject came when Justice Scalia asked Ms. Bonauto if clergy would be required to perform same-sex marriages.  Bonauto insisted they would not, noting that Jewish Rabbi’s are not currently obligated to perform non-Jewish weddings.

The second exchange came when Chief Justice Roberts asked the United States Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, about the impact on religious schools.

“Would a religious school that has married housing be required to afford such housing to same-sex couples?”

Solicitor General Verrilli did not say no.  He just said that the issue would be handled on a state-by-state basis and depend on whatever “accommodations” the state was interested in giving to religious schools.

Later, Justice Samuel Alito asked Verrilli whether religious schools would maintain tax-exempt status, noting that Bob Jones University lost their tax-exempt status for refusing to allow interracial dating or marriage.  His response was telling:

“You know, I-I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue.  I-I don’t deny that.  I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is-it is going to be an issue.”

Consider yourself warned.

3. Dignity is a major issue in this case 

In their opening remarks, both Ms. Bonauto and Solicitor General Verrilli talked about dignity.

Their primary argument seems to be that the current definition of marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteen Amendment because it denies dignity to people in a same-sex relationship.
That is how proponents of redefining marriage want to convince the justices — and the public — to think about marriage.  Don’t think about future generations, don’t think about children, don’t think about the implications of the reality that we are a gendered species, just think about what it does to someone when they feel “excluded.”

Giving proponents of real marriage reason to be concerned about the ultimate outcome of this case, Justice Kennedy seemed to sympathize with the dignity argument. Attorney John J. Bursch, arguing against the redefinition of marriage, made the statement that the purpose of marriage is not to infer dignity. But Kennedy responded with,

“Just in – just in fairness to you, I don’t understand this not dignity bestowing.  I thought that was the whole purpose of marriage. It bestows dignity on both man and woman in a traditional marriage.”

So what’s going to happen?

Ultimately, Justice Kennedy seems conflicted.  He seems to recognize that there are reason to preserve the current definition of marriage that have nothing to do with prejudice toward gay people (a position I agree with) which suggests he will preserve the right of people to define marriage for themselves.  At the same time, he seems to believe the purpose of marriage is to infer dignity upon private citizens (a position I don’t share) which seems to suggest he would be willing to take the issue away from the people and settle it as a constitutional matter.

It might also be true that none of these questions are the issues that will ultimately decide this case.

What is the impact of this decision?

If the Supreme Court finds that marriage is unconstitutional, every state will be required to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

If the Supreme Court determines it is constitutional  to define marriage between a man and a woman, then the states would remain free to define marriage for themselves.

The Constitutional amendments in 26 states that have been overturned by the courts would remain in effect. Only the 11 states that have redefined marriage by popular vote or through the legislative process would have same-sex marriage.

What can you do?

Pray for the court as they deliberate. Every day.  The implications of this decision are tremendous, but

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wills.” Prov. 21:1

You can listen to the entire, fascinating conversation, or read a transcript by clicking here.

Click here to read what was happening outside the Supreme Court while the arguments were being made.

The Supreme Court & Marriage: What You Need to Know

Tomorrow the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The decision that results will have tremendous implications.

There are two legal questions the court is taking up.

  1. Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between people of the same gender?
  2. Does the 14th Amendment require one state to acknowledge a valid marriage from another state?

Fundamentally, the question for the court is not whether same-sex “marriage” is good policy, but whether the public is allowed to debate the issue through the democratic process.

The text of the Constitution is silent on the issue of marriage.

As you are well aware, one side argues that marriage is a relationship designed to confer a series of legal rights and benefits and give societal approval to the life-long commitment adults make to each other. As such, it is inappropriate to distinguish between commitments.

The other side argues that while people should be free to form whatever relationships they desire, marriage exists not primarily for the benefit of the adults but to connect one generation to the next. The fact that all children have a mother and father justifies encouraging the one kind of relationship that makes that possible.

Either the court will conclude that this is a political issue to be decided through the legislative process, or it will decide that the Constitution forbids such a debate because there is a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender.

If it finds a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender, it would become illegal for a state to specifically promote the arrangement that makes it possible for a child to know both their mother and father.

Same-sex “marriage” would then be compulsory in all 50 states.

Either way, the debate won’t be over soon. But it could be intensified if the Supreme Court tells one side of the debate their ideas have been banned from consideration.

If someone asks you, “What’s wrong with gay marriage?” ask them, “What’s wrong with square circles.”

They may be offended simply because, for a certain segment of the population, being offended is an involuntary reaction to encountering ideas they disagree with.

Still, the question makes a point all of us defending real marriage need to remember.

The fact that marriage is not a relationship between two men is not a judgment, it’s an observation like saying, “An orange is not an apple.” The debate over which one is better or worse (or neither) is distinct from the acknowledgement that they are in fact different kinds of fruit.

If the Supreme Court makes it illegal for the law to recognize the fact that some relationships are different from others, people will still figure it out.

“What kind of marriage?” we’ll ask.

Of course, that question might soon lead to protests and pickets. So the world will adapt signals or handshakes that allow the kind of information that was once communicated through a wedding ring to be shared without incurring the wrath of those who think belief in gender difference should be verboten.

Sweet, sweet tolerance.

But the idea that the world will soon be blind to gender is fanciful.

Pray that the Supreme Court doesn’t repeat the mistake of Roe v. Wade, which inflamed a cultural debate, by silencing the people’s voice on the matter.

However, even if the Supreme Court takes the position that the Emperor’s new clothes are stunning, know that you won’t be the only one watching the parade who knows better.

March for Marriage: Where are the white people?

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to determine whether it is constitutional to define a relationship between a man a woman.   Today, around 10,000 supporters of marriage rallied in front of the U.S. Capitol then Marched up the hill to the Supreme Court.

The message from the crowd and a lineup of speakers was clear. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.  Not only should it not be changed, it cannot be changed.

It seems appropriate that the Capitol is under construction as we deliberate whether to attempt a reconstruction of the family.

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But maybe the most striking thing about the crowd was it’s diversity.  In a way, it wasn’t very diverse at all. It was hard to find white people.  Churches and communities bused people in from New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Washington State… others flew in from the Puerto Rico.

While there is a lot of debate about immigration, it is apparent that on the issue of marriage, immigration is not the problem.  It may, in fact, be the solution.  The predominantly white churches in America have a lot to learn about the courage it takes to publicly stand for what is true from their minority brothers and sisters.

The good news is that this was the largest March for Marriage in the short history of the event. It is apparent that a strong foundation is being built.

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People were excited!

 

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Of course it’s no fun to have a rally if you don’t have a counter protest.

So there were these folks.  I guess the white people took a little longer to get ready so they came late.

 

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And this guy…

 

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But really, what we tried to focus on was this guy.  And the world his grand kids are going to grow up in.

 

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That is why we marched.

 

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For oral arguments on Tuesday, only 50 seats will be open to the public and people are already camping outside to get one of the coveted seats.  These two drove up from Georgia to sleep on the sidewalk for five days to be inside the courtroom.

Or it could be that they’re being paid by someone who wants to be inside the courtroom but doesn’t want to sleep on the sidewalk.  We don’t know for sure.  But we don’t judge. We like an entrepreneurial spirit.

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Please keep praying.  The arguments made on Tuesday at the U.S. Supreme Court and the decision that follows will be remembered hundreds of years from now.  The lives that will be impacted for good or for harm are innumerable. God is never not in control, but every day people suffer harm that wasn’t necessary…if only we’d obey.

Pray that wisdom prevails and truth wins.

 

 

FPIW Files Marriage-Affirming Brief at Supreme Court

The Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) has filed a legal brief at the United States Supreme Court in support of marriage. The brief was filed along with 34 allied organizations around the country and describes the benefits of marriage.

On Tuesday, April 28th, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will determine the constitutionality of laws defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. More than 140 friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed with the court.

Joseph Backholm, Executive Director of FPIW, said the brief provides a powerful testimony.

“Friend-of-the-court briefs give the justices an in-depth look at one aspect of the case,” he explaind. “This brief gives a compelling overview of the social-science showing that children thrive from the unique contributions from their mother and father.”

He said these briefs could have an important impact on this case.

“The Supreme Court is being asked to say it is illegal to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman because there is no rational reason to do so. This brief underscores that time and experience support what our instincts already tell us; not every combination of people is the same. There are really good reasons to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.”

You can read the entire brief here.

Marriage Goes to Court

This Tuesday, April 28th, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear oral arguments on the question of whether it is unconstitutional to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.

While the debate over the definition of marriage has been taking place for more than a decade, the Supreme Court could remove the entire debate from the legislative process.

This is what happened in Roe v. Wade when SCOTUS declared a constitutional right to an abortion.

In the same way, Plaintiff’s in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges are asking the Supreme Court to declare that it is unconstitutional to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.

In one sense, the assertion is just silly.

The word “marriage” isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution.

When the Constitution was written, every state defined marriage in this way and federal law has always recognized it as such.

This would be something like declaring the horse and buggy unconstitutional.

You may not like the horse and buggy.

You may think there’s a better way of getting around these days.

You may even want to pass a law to keep horses and buggies off of interstates given the changes in transportation technology (which we have done).

But that’s very different than claiming the horse and buggy was unconstitutional all along, we just hadn’t realized it.

Of course marriage and the family is not a form of transportation subject to technological changes. It is an ecosystem governed by rules that we did not create.

While many on the left would beg us (no, force us) to honor the balance of that fragile ecosystem if it were a salamander, when it is merely a child, we are more inclined to innovate and hope for the best.

So on Tuesday, they will ask the Supreme Court to discover a constitutional right for two men to get “married”.

These days, Constitutional law is a bit like gold mining. Just keep digging and one day, “Well, looky here. It’s a constitutional right.”

Most observers believe there are four solid votes in favor of discovering a new right (Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan) and four votes in favor of allowing marriage to be defined through the legislative process. (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito).

That would leave Justice Anthony Kennedy as the deciding vote in the final decision expected to be released in June.

But that is just conjecture. The court has surprised us before. Whatever the outcome, the debate over marriage will not soon be over.

The Supreme Court is powerful, but they do not have the power to reengineer the rules that govern what makes a family strong.

The rules that determine whether individuals, families, and cultures will be strong are not made by us, they were made for us. We will either honor them or suffer the consequences of pretending we are the smartest people who ever lived.

Either way, reality, truth, and marriage (the real kind) will need advocates.

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

A story out of Colorado this week demonstrates what many of us have been feeling for a while. When it comes to laws dealing with “gay stuff”, there really is no law. Only the preferences of the person making the decision.

You may have heard a story about Jack Phillips, a Denver baker who runs Masterpiece Cakeshop. After declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, The Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) found him in violation of state law and ordered him to undergo sensitivity training. They also ordered him to file quarterly reports with the state to see if he has turned away customers based on sexual orientation.

But there’s another case you may not have heard about.

In an apparent response to the Masterpiece Cakeshop dust up, a man named William Jack from Castle Rock, Colorado approached three bakeries (Azucar Bakery, Gateaux, and Le Bakery Sensual) and asked them to bake cakes critical of same-sex marriage.

In the case of Azucar Bakery, he requested a cake with two groomsmen holding hands in front of a cross with a red “X” over the image. The cake was also to include three statements “God hates sin. Psalm 45:7”, “Homosexuality is a detestable sin. Leviticus 18:2” and “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.”

To no one’s surprise, they declined.

In response, Mr. Jack filed his own complaint with the CCRC claiming that their refusal to bake the cake communicating his Christian opposition to homosexuality was discrimination based on creed; specifically his Christian faith.

Denying the charge of discrimination, the bakery claimed it refused to bake the cake because of the message not because of the religion of the person requesting it. They considered the message to be “discriminatory”.

In the end, the CCRC agreed with the bakery and concluded the refusal to bake the cake requested was not discrimination based on creed for three reasons.

First, they said the refusal was not because the person requesting it was a Christian but because the cake “included derogatory language and imagery.”

Second, they cited the fact that they had served Christians before as evidence that they don’t discriminate on the basis of creed.

Third, the bakery would also refuse to bake a cake that was critical of Christians.

If it feels like these are the same arguments that were made by Jack Phillips (and other businesses) who happily serve gay customers but are unwilling to be part of same-sex wedding, that’s because they are.

The CCRC summarized that, “ [T]he evidence demonstrates that the Respondent would have made a cake for the Charging Party for any event, celebration or occasion regardless of his creed. Instead, the Respondent’s denial was based on the explicit message that the Charging Party wished to include on the cakes, which the Respondent deemed as discriminatory.”

So, if the message on the cake is one you don’t agree with, you can decline. However, if the cake itself is a message you disagree with, you cannot decline.

That makes sense…to no one.

It is apparent that the CCRC sympathizes one perspective but not the other.

These arbitrary and contradictory results are the legal equivalent of the middle finger.

We’re in charge and you aren’t. That’s why.

Of course those bakeries should be free not to bake a cake that includes a message they disagree with. The problem is laws which permit people to act on one set of beliefs about a particular issue but deny people with the opposite opinion the same rights.

In fairness, arbitrary application of the laws based on the preferences of the person in power has been the norm not the exception throughout history.

But America has been an attempt to move away from that. It hasn’t been perfect, but despite abuses of power, we have aspired to create a world in which everyone is bound by the same laws in the same way.

As a result, we have worked to create a world in which people who were similarly situated could expect similar results in court.

Clearly, we have progressed beyond that. Because, you know…equality.

Heads I win, tails you lose.