Missouri Family E-News

July 7, 2015

 
Next Frontier in Marriage--Polygamy? 

T he radical decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions may pave the way for the legalization of polygamy in the United States.

So says none other than the High Court's presiding officer, Chief Justice John Roberts.

Justice Anthony Kennedy predicated his brazen ruling on the bizarre legal theory that individuals have the constitutional right to "define and express their identity."

This novel and nebulous legal concept is consistent with relativistic philosophical pronouncements Kennedy has made in previous decisions.

In 1992, Kennedy authored a majority opinion in the
Planned Parenthood v. Casey case reaffirming abortion on demand.  In that ruling, Kennedy enunciated an individual's liberty interest to "define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

Many conservative legal scholars have concluded that the same legal rationale that supports so-called same-sex "marriage" can also be used to justify polygamous unions.

In his dissent in the recent marriage ruling, Justice Roberts stated that "one immediate question invited by the majority's position is whether States may retain the definition of marriage as a union of two people."

"From the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world," Roberts wrote.

Roberts then alluded to quotes in Kennedy's opinion with a series of questions.  "If there is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices, why would there be any less dignity between three people...in exercising their autonomy?..."

"If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser, why wouldn't the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children?"

"If not having the opportunity to marry serves to disrespect and subordinate gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn't the same imposition of this 'disability' serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships?"

Not surprisingly, within 48 hours of the Supreme Court decision, the liberal news website Politico headlined an article entitled "It's Time to Legalize Polygamy."

The author Frederick Deboer wrote:  "Now that we've defined that love and devotion and family isn't driven by gender alone, why should it be limited to just two individuals?"

"Polyamory is a fact," DeBoer added.  "People are living in group relationships today.  The question is whether we will grant to them the same basic recognition we grant to other adults:  that love makes marriage, and that the right to marry is exactly that--a right."

Litigation seeking legal recognition of polygamous unions is already on its way.  Within hours of the Supreme Court decision, a Montana man filed an application in Billings seeking a "marriage" license for a legal union with his second "wife."

Nathan Collier says he will file suit in federal court if he is not ultimately granted a polygamous "marriage" license.  Collier appeared on the television series "Sister Wives" on the TLC network.  There are seven children in his household.  It is reported that Collier is in the process of "courting" a third wife.

"This is all about marriage equality," Collier said, echoing the refrain of homosexual "marriage" advocates.  "You can't have marriage equality without polygamy."
  

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Religious Liberty Threatened by  
Marriage Decision

The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to mandate so-called same-sex "marriage" on all 50 states poses a grave threat to the religious liberty of every American citizen.  That viewpoint is not just the opinion of leading Christian lawyers in the United States, but also that of four justices on the United States Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on June 26th striking down all state laws and constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  The High Court ruled in a 5-4 decision known as Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex "couples" have a fundamental right under the 14th Amendment to "marry" each other.

Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito dissented from the cavalier decision redefining marriage authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy.  Each of them agreed that the establishment of same-sex "marriage" as a fundamental constitutional right creates an inevitable collision course with the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.

In the closing paragraphs of his judicial edict, Justice Kennedy declared that "religions...may continue to advocate...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...continue the family structure they have long revered."

Yet those words from Kennedy and his liberal colleagues on the High Court mean absolutely nothing.  Kennedy's opinion in the Obergefell decision completely contradicts statements he made just two years ago in the Windsor decision striking down portions of the Defense of Marriage Act.  In that case, Kennedy stated unequivocally that the definition of marriage and the regulation of domestic relations was the "exclusive province" of the states.

Chief Justice John Roberts says that the new marriage ruling places the religious freedoms of Americans at risk.  "Today's decision creates serious questions about religious liberty...Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage..."

Roberts cited religious colleges that provide married student housing, and religious adoption agencies that decline to place children with same-sex "couples."  "There is little doubt these and similar questions will soon be before this Court.  People of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today."

Justice Clarence Thomas says that the Obergefell decision will have "potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty."  "The majority's decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect...It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples."

"Religious liberty is about more than just the protection for religious organizations and persons...as they seek to teach the principles...so central to their lives and faiths," Thomas continued.  "Religious liberty is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice."
In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito said that the marriage edict also presents a serious threat to the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.  "[This decision] will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy...I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools."

"By imposing its views on the entire country, the [Court] facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas," Alito continued.  "Recalling the harsh treatment of gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turnabout is fair play.  But if that sentiment prevails, the Nation will experience bitter and lasting wounds."

The conservative justices on the High Court bemoaned what Alito described as "the deep and perhaps irremediable corruption of our legal culture's conception of constitutional interpretation."  Justice Alito observed that "the only real limit on what future majorities [on the Court] will be able to do is their own sense of what those with political power and cultural influence are willing to tolerate."

As expected, Justice Antonin Scalia pounded home this theme with his usual barbed commentary.  "Today's decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast to coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court...This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine...robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776:  the freedom to govern themselves...A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy."

Justice Scalia observed that the opinion written by Anthony Kennedy lacked "even a thin veneer of law," and was "couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic."  He commented that the decision by a "select, patrician" group of "unrepresentative" judges violated a principle more fundamental than no taxation without representation.  He declared there should be "no social transformation without representation."

Scalia pointed out that four of the nine justices are natives of New York City.  Eight of the nine justices grew up in east-coast or west-coast states.  Only one "hails from the vast expanse in-between."  Not a single evangelical Christian or Protestant of any denomination currently sits on the High Court.

Justice Kennedy has now succeeded in elevating sexual liberty as a supreme constitutional right.  However, his judicial edict contained a serious omission.  He failed to rename the United States of America as the United States of Gomorrah while he was at it.  Then his rancid ruling would have been complete.

We will have advice for pastors and churches to consider in the wake of the Supreme Court decision in next week's Jeff City Update.

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