Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Supreme Court and Same-sex Marriage

The Supreme Court and Same-sex Marriage - The Supreme Court has two "same-sex marriage" cases before it currently:
1. Hollingsworth v. Perry: Seeking to overturn California's Proposition 8
2. United States v. Windsor: Seeking to ascertain the validity of an appeal court's determination that DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) is unconstitutional.

I shall address the two cases directly and individually herewith.

Hollingsworth v. Perry:
The Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday (March 26) in which's Dennis Hollingsworth advocated for California's Proposition 8. Proposition 8 overturned same-sex marriage in California. Kristin Perry represents the opposing position. Perry was denied a license to marry her longtime partner, Sandra Stier, with whom she has four children.

Hollingsworth's argument is that "traditional" marriage must be preserved so that children "...will be born and raised in stable and enduring family units by their own mothers and fathers."

Perry's attorneys argued that marriage is a fundamental right that has nothing to do with having children and that the current system creates a second-rate class of citizens.

It is my opinion that the Supreme Court will not issue a verdict on same-sex marriage that will formulate a global application. (Roe v. Wade is such a global application, for example.) They could present a verdict that narrowly appliesapply. Should they do this, Proposition 8 would be invalidated, and only California would be affected. In my opinion, however, the Supreme Court will make no judgment and will not strike down Proposition 8.

A verdict is expected in June

United States v. Windsor:
Edith Windsor, 83, is challenging the federal estate tax bill she incurred after her partner of 42 years died in 2009. The two were married in Canada in 2007. Had Windsor married a man, she would not have any estate tax bills. Under the Defense of Marriage Act, federal marriage benefits are available only to spouses in opposite-sex marriages.

The Obama administration announced in 2011 that it would not longer defend DOMA. An appeals court ruled in October that DOMA is unconstitutional as it violates the equal-protection clause. Their decision was that Windsor should not have had to pay the taxes.

Wednesday's (March 27) arguments in the DOMA case appear to indicate that the majority of the justices seemed skeptical about the constitutionality of DOMA. In particular, their concern is that it fails to federally recognize same-sex unions in the nine states that already allow gay marriage.

A verdict is expected in June.

Neither of these cases should be viewed as political positioning. The issue of constitutionality is not a political issue. If the basis upon which determinations are made in both cases is the constitutionality of the cases, the Supreme Court should find against neither Proposition 8 nor DOMA, since both are constitutionally grounded and represent the vox populi. The issue of constitutionality arises when the consideration is given to the concept that marriage is a right that allows participants to have full freedom over the choice of partners. In actuality, the Constitution clearly defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The position that marriage is a fundamental right applies only to unions of opposite-sex partners.

Ultimately, it is not the position of the Supreme Court to legislate. That is the purview of Congress.

For Christians, the issue is very clear: Same-sex unions are clearly defined as abominations in The Bible. Scriptural references to the physical coupling of men with men and women with women define such behavior as sins against nature. A Christian's postulate must of necessity align with Scripture. If it does not align with Scripture, it is not acceptable. There can be no grey area.

Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the Bible. It undermines the basis of God's created order where God made Adam and Eve—a man and a woman—to carry out his command to fill and subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28). Homosexuality cannot carry out that command. It also undermines the basic family unit of husband and wife, the God-ordained means of procreation.

Here are some Scriptural references to homosexuality:

Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."
Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them."
1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper."

Jesus commanded us to love:

Love God
Matthew 22:36, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."

Love Everyone
Matthew 5:43-48, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Love One Another
Matthew 22:39, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." John 13:34, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
John 15:12, "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you."

Love Your Neighbor
Matthew 22:39, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Love Your Wives Ephesians 5:22, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her."