Threats and Lawsuits Challenge Faith and Marriage Definitions

Wedding cakes and marriage amendments seem to be in the crosshairs of some public sentiment across the nation regarding the definition of marriage. "At least 27 lawsuits have been filed against state marriage amendments, many of them just in the two months since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling on marriage earlier this summer" in Windsor v. U.S

"That ruling struck down Section 3 the federal Defense of Marriage Act, saying the federal government overstepped its bounds when it passed that portion of the act.  The justices reasoned that the decision about marriage should be left up to each state, paving the way for a flurry of lawsuits.  States facing challenges to their marriage amendments include: Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. South Caroline is the latest to be added to that list.  There, a lesbian couple is challenging the constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2006.  The complaint says that it infringes on the couple's right to due process, equal protection, and violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] because it does not recognize same-sex marriage licenses from other states."  Kim Tobee, Lawsuit Challenges State Marriage AmendmentSept. 4, 2013, CitizenLink.

Simultaneously with these challenges, personal faith concerns may become irrelevant in the public sentiment regarding marriage.  FamilyRestoration posted on the matter involving an Oregon bakery earlier. Now, those bakery owners in Oregon have been forced to close their business due to falling revenues and personal threats.  The Christian owners of "Sweet Cakes" did not take the order for a wedding cake from a lesbian couple last year, which is currently resulting in their being forced out of business and into seclusion for personal safety. 

American media outlets generally do not report a comprehensive perspective on these types of cases, but the UK Daily Mail is reporting that the owners received death threats over a period of months and dramatic boycotts of their bakery, forcing its closure.  CitizenLink also reported on these events.  

States and families across the nation are experiencing major challenges to marriage strength and family stability.  Family restoration is a critical component to strong states, yet those states and families who try to reinforce family strength with a conjugal definition of marriage (as between one man and one woman for a lifetime) appear to be targeted for that view point.  It seems that neither freedom of religion nor the democratic process are providing any assistance to those holding a conjugal definition of marriage.  

For more publications on why marriage is so essential to family restoration download the article on the proliferation of domestic partnerships and the article on why an employer would want to endorse marriage as a good business practice. 

1 comment:

  1. The October 6, 2014 decision by the Supreme Court to deny review of certiorari regarding same-sex marriage seems counter to the Supreme Court's ruling in Windsor v. U.S. and examples the overreaching arm of the federal legal system. By denying cert. the Supreme Court essentially upheld the rulings of lower federal courts declaring same-sex marriage in five states unconstitutional.

    The federal government has already laid out the limitations within which it may work with regards to the state-specific area of family law. Any federal judge that rules counter to what state law says pertaining to this area of law has overstepped its bounds unless it is truly a matter of Constitutional rights. The right to marry is not in the Constitution. True, in Loving v. Virginia, the right to marry was implied through interpretation from the Supreme Court, but that phrase is not in the Constitution’s plain language. What the Constitution does say, in the 14th Amendment, is that a state cannot deny a person equal protection under its laws. From my perspective, the only true violation of the Constitution, in Loving, with regards to an individual's right to marry was whether a non-white person was considered "a person" under the Constitution. Once that was remedied, essentially in Loving though it was opined under the guise of “right to marry”, all states should have been allowed to define marriage based on their individual state’s public policy.

    If a state believes it is offensive to its public policy for marriage to be between more than one man and one woman, two women or two men, a child and an adult, etc., then it offends only that state’s public policy. The state, therefore, is not in violation of any Constitutional “right” as long as it applies its laws equally across the board to “any person” within its jurisdiction.