The recent decision in Obergefell v Hodgesis both disheartening and entirely predictable. Was anyone—anyone—caught off guard by the five liberal justices cheerfully affirming that gay marriage is a right guaranteed by the Constitution?
The majority opinion was given by Justice Kennedy. This is the same man who, in Planned Parenthood v Casey, declared that “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”
So, if we have the right to define existence, the universe, and the mystery of human life, it would obviously follow that we can define anything any way we want—including marriage.
This is the same Justice Kennedy who discovered in Lawrence v Texas that the Fourteenth Amendment, which was written to protect former slaves from having their rights violated, actually extends to the right for two men to have sex with each other.
This same Fourteenth Amendment, unbeknownst to its authors, affirms the right of two men to marry—or two women.
Or, whatever’s next.
Whatever. It’s your universe, as Kennedy assures us.
Here is the relevant original text of the 14th Amendment, by the way: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” [emphasis added].
You may be wondering what that has to do with genderless marriage. It would seem to have been written to keep Southern states from—how can one say this without smacking of the obvious?—from depriving black Americans of their life, liberty, or property without going through the proper legal procedures that govern white Americans, and from being treated unequally before the law.
But the text of the Amendment is not actually important to progressives, any more than the text of the Constitution itself.
Thus, the “due process clause” was transformed, by the Court, into what it renamed the “substantive due process clause,” which (so they inform us) covers any and all claims of rights that are pushed forward. “Equal protection” now means that all views of sexuality and marriage are equal.
It should be obvious that such expansive views of substantive due process rights and equality cannot, and will not, be limited to merely adding homosexual monogamy to heterosexual monogamy. Obergefell v Hodges is just the beginning of the complete redefinition of marriage.
Why? Look back at Kennedy’s bizarre claim of rights in Planned Parenthood v Casey quoted above. If liberty is defined as “the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” then there is no limit to what is covered under the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses.
And so, Kennedy and his court inform us, “the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied them.”
But, Mr. Kennedy, why just couples? Why not threesomes, foursomes, fivesomes? The magic number two, as many have pointed out, is essential to the monogamous definition of marriage because—again, is the obvious too obvious?—there are two, complementary sexes, male and female.
And further, if these are fundamental rights, and no one may deny this liberty to marry, what of Jewish synagogues and Christian churches that have defined moral and theological boundaries that preclude same-sex sex and therefore same-sex marriage?
Will the Supreme Court now just mow over religion in its relentless effort to impose a secular sexual agenda?
Justice Kennedy, knowing this was a hot-button concern, rushes to assure the public not to worry, stating sonorously that “it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faith, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.”
Yet, just so you know: the “Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage…”
In other words, it’s exactly like abortion. You can think it’s murder; you can think that innocent unborn lives should be protected from murder; and you can then think that abortion as a subspecies of murder should be illegal. But, just so you know—the Constitution affirms the absolute right of abortion. So, all your thinking is entirely impotent.
In the same way, Kennedy grandly allows those who, for religious reasons, regard same-sex marriage to be immoral and hence that it should be illegal, to think whatever they want all the day long, as long as they know that the Constitution affirms the absolute right for gays and lesbians to marry. So, all such thinking is entirely impotent.
Some reading SCOTUS’s decision have taken a bit of solace in Kennedy’s words guaranteeing religious liberty. At least—so they sigh in relief—orthodox Jews and Christians will be protected from persecution by the First Amendment.
Think again. The sexual agenda reflected in the SCOTUS decision, as noted above, is rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment. Same-sex marriage was successfully advanced through SCOTUS by morally and legally affirming the equality of same-sex sexual desire with racial heritage. As Patrick Deneen writes in the First ThingsSymposium on the Obergefell vs Hodges decision, “The likening of “denial” of same-sex marriage to racial bigotry has proven to be a wildly successful tactic—but it is premised on a lie, the lie that the conjugal view of marriage has as little basis in reason or nature as denial of basic rights to people based upon the color of their skin. The analogy’s success has relied upon the loud and insistent demand that we not notice, nor regard as relevant or germane, the fact that men and women are different, and most importantly, that their sexual union is oriented toward reproduction.”The result is that, in the eyes of the law and progressive culture, advocating marriage as exclusively heterosexual is now exactly like advocating the inferiority of blacks to whites.
How long do you think the First Amendment will protect you—as directed by a Supreme Court under the likes of Kennedy? How long do you think it will take same-sex marriage activists to bring further cases before SCOTUS that ever more severely limit “religious organizations and persons” who are seeking “to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faith, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered”?
Not very long, if we wait for the other side, and simply react.