And therein lies the problem. Critics of the gay marriage ban argue that homosexuals are being denied the "right" to marry. Supporters of the ban argue that they have no right to marry. So who is right?
Trying to take the emotion out of the argument, we must first determine whether or not homosexuals have a "right" to marry; a right which has been violated by the government with the marriage ban. The Declaration of Independence is the foremost document as to the rights we hold as a nation as inalienable. Those rights were codified in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Nowhere in the Constitution is there expressed a "right" to marry.
Well, critics argue, heterosexuals can marry and therefore it is a violation of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to deny that "right" to homosexuals. Not so, according to Justice Byron White. In the majority opinion in the case of Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), Justice White wrote that rights announced in prior cases involving family, marriage and procreation bore no relationship with a "right" to engage in homosexual [relations]. He then went on to say that "any claim that these cases nevertheless stand for the proposition that any kind of private sexual conduct between consenting adults is constitutionally insulated from state proscription is unsupportable". White also noted that these cases have been used to push for newfound "rights," using the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment, an effort which has "little or no contextual support in the constitutional language."
Recently retired Justice Stevens wrote in the Hardwick case, "The fact that the governing majority in a state has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice." White, realizing the ridiculousness of this argument, replied, "The law, however, is constantly based on notions of morality, and if all laws representing essentially moral choices are to be invalidated under the Due Process clause, the courts will be very busy indeed."
However, if this issue is to be argued under the Equal Protection clause, Justice Kennedy (not exactly a stalwart conservative) also argued to that point in Romer v. Evans just ten years later. He stated that the 14th Amendment was originally passed to insure freed slaves had full rights afforded U.S. citizens, but that does not mean that every law must treat each group of people the same. He conceded that "...most legislation classifies for one purpose or another, with resulting disadvantage to various groups or persons." He argued, therefore, that the Court must review the law and determine its validity under the rational basis test: that the law must legitimately serve a state purpose. Since marriage is not a constitutional right, it is up to the state to determine the terms of that contractual relationship, and so far, without exception, the American people, through both their legislative voice and popular referendum, have expressed their will to retain the traditional definition of marriage each and every time.
Critics of the traditional marriage supporters mock the slippery slope argument, portraying it only as a bunch of hateful religious nuts trying to take away the "rights" of homosexuals. In his majority opinion in Hardwick, Justice White perfectly captures the issue when he stated:
"[If Hardwick's argument in the case were limited to consensual sexual conduct], it would be difficult, except by fiat, to limit the claimed right to homosexual conduct while leaving exposed to prosecution adultery, incest and other sexual crimes even though they are committed in the home. We are unwilling to start down that road."
As I have pointed out before, homosexuals are not being denied any "rights." They never had a right to marriage in the first place. Yet where the courts of certain states have imposed this newfound right, it has been used to bludgeon the religious rights of others. In Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., the Catholic Adoption Services were forced to shut down because they refused to violate their religious beliefs by placing children in the homes of homosexual parents, despite that fact that there were other agencies in the same jurisdiction that provided that service (the same thing happened with e-Harmony dating services). Homosexuals had other avenues to achieve their goals, but that was not enough. They had to force upon others acceptance of a lifestyle that many find sinful and aberrant, or beat them down if they refused.
Marriage is not a right, and it is not about love (although love helps to develop a successful marriage). Nowhere in an application for a marriage license is one party asked if they love the other. Marriage is a contractual arrangement supported by the state as best suited for the bearing and raising of children, a matter in which there is a legitimate state interest. That determination is not inherently Christian, as every major world religion (not just Christianity), and many communist countries, which are by design atheist, support traditional marriage.
The argument in favor of homosexual marriage cannot be made by relying on the law, because the law does not support it. It must be made by persuading the majority of the voters to extend that privilege to homosexuals. So far, proponents of homosexual marriage have been unable to persuade the majority of their countrymen, even in liberal California, that heterosexual marriage is not the best arrangement in which to raise children.
Since marriage is not a natural right, the terms of marriage should be decided by the will of the people as it has been heretofore done. It should not be done by judicial decree, and when judges attempt to do so, in direct opposition to their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, they should be removed from the bench.
Our Founding Fathers created the divinely inspired Constitution, a document that has successfully governed a nation of former colonies up through its growth into the world's foremost military and economic power. America is great because it respects the rule of law and not the rule of man. It is high time that the American people understood the brilliance of our Constitution and used that knowledge to restore government to its proper place...as the servant of the people.
Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville resident, married, with eight children. He is vice chair of communications of the Bartow County Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be e-mailed at email@example.com.