I didn’t want to write this post. It’s not like I enjoy having people think I’m a “hater”, “stupid”, “intolerant”, “on the wrong side of history”, etc….because I disagree with the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. In fact after the decision was announced, I immediately decided to just shut up about it. It’s a touchy subject obviously, one riddled with emotional land mines I’d rather not have explode in my face because of a misunderstood comment. Hell certainly hath no fury like an angry Internet mob.
Wading through the toxic swampland of on line comment sections however has caused a change of heart. A very unfair narrative against those who have legitimate grievances with the ruling has formed that I feel is important to counter. It seems half the country believes the other half are narrow-minded bigots living in a homophobic land of denial; I’m here to tell you most of them are not. And oh, by the way, no one is against love either.
They, and I, just have strong concerns with the constitutionality behind Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion, the striking precedent it sets for judges to legislate from the bench, the possible unintended consequences of changing the way our society has always defined marriage and what this means for religious freedom in America if forced compliance becomes a reality.
Let me pause for a minute to add that I support gay marriage and voted for it when it was on the state ballot in California a few years ago. I have gay people in my life that I love dearly and don’t think their attraction to the same sex in any way shape or form takes away from who they are as individuals. I’m fine with allowing them to marry in states that permit it and rearranging laws in states that don’t to accommodate domestic and legal affairs. I just feel strongly that creating a new constitutional right to gay marriage was the absolute wrong way to go about doing this.
Views on gay marriage have shifted dramatically over the last decade, with 37 states having legalized it already. I believe most of the remaining 13 would have done so too through a natural democratic process that would have been much more peaceful and consensus driven. Instead, we get same sex marriage mandated by judicial fiat, which all but guarantees heated political and legal battles ahead and much more divisiveness. A giant and unnecessary rip through our already fragile societal fabric. Hooray for us.
Leaving decisions like this is to the states is called Federalism which is not just fundamental to our American way of government, it’s what the entire system is based on. Acting as both a way to check and contain the power of an ever-growing federal government, federalism is also the best way for states to respond directly to the interests of their local populations.
Yes federal law trumps state, but the twisted logic the majority Justices used to slap a constitutional stamp of approval on this ruling make me fear we will pay for this dearly down the road. Coming on the heals of the awful Obamacare subsidy ruling in King v Burwell, it’s now painfully clear our Supreme Court has ceded it’s judicial responsibilities to become just another political arm of the Executive branch.
Where we go from here is unknown but the precedents set are not. Rulings many are celebrating today also open the door for future ones where an entirely different set of characters with new and enormous power will be at the helm. This does not leave me optimistic for a peaceful future.
As far as Biblical views limiting marriage to being just between a man and a woman, there is valid theological reasoning behind this involving the parallel of husband and wife with Christ and the Church, and “two becoming one flesh”. I am absolutely horrible at explaining the nuances behind this, but insanitybytes22 does an excellent job here.
My thoughts are that if you don’t follow a religion that prohibits a gay lifestyle, than you shouldn’t be expected to live by those rules. Those that do though have valid and important reasons for being against it having nothing to do with hate. Some of the most loving and caring people I know are Christians and I’ve seen first hand how they extend this love towards gay people, even though they don’t agree with their lifestyle.
This piece was not written to change anyone’s mind on the court decision. Its only purpose was to highlight some of the many legitimate concerns against it. Just something to keep in mind as discussions on this continue, as you probably know a lot of people who share these concerns yet are not speaking out in order to keep the peace.
We are a large society with wide and varied opinions; we all need the space to have those opinions without others thinking the worst of them. That’s the American way. At least it used to be.