The Catholic Thing
32-0 and Counting Print E-mail
By Austin Ruse   
Friday, 02 November 2012

Supreme Court justices read the newspapers. And one thing they cannot have failed to notice in recent years is the unanimous opinion of majorities in states from coast to coast, border to border, blue to red, that marriage can only, ever be between one man and one woman.

They will get another dose of that reality next week when four more states will vote on this issue.

Proponents of real marriage constantly and rightly proclaim they are 32-0 when the people vote, while advocates of phony marriage are adept at avoiding this glaring fact.

Thirty-two states have voted in various ways on what is the definition of marriage. And each and every time they have voted for the historical understanding. Six states have legalized phony marriage, but never though a vote by the people, only as an imposition by political elites.

Proponents of phony marriage insist that the many state votes are the result of massive and deceptive advertising. Or they say it is a result of an unhealthy alliance between the religious right and the black and Hispanic communities.

Their people, they claim, have not been motivated, for whatever reason, to come out and vote. They point to polls that show most Americans share their view of marriage and simply cannot believe the results.

And when they lose, they ferret out supporters of historical marriage and publically shame them, get them fired from their jobs and worse. And then they’re amazed that they win in the opinion polls but lose in the voting booth.

Come Tuesday there will be four more tests and there is already crafty spinning of the likely losses already. Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, a group that is spending a whopping $5 million in the four states, is saying that even a single win “will be a turning point.”

According to the Washington Post, “Current polls indicate a solid lead for supporters in Maine and a lesser one in Washington State, while the races in Maryland and Minnesota are about even, with the opponents apparently gaining.”

The clear thing about those toss-ups in Maryland and Minnesota is that a toss-up in the polls a week out is a death knell for homosexual marriage on Election Day. That leaves Washington State and Maine.

The legislature in Washington State forced homosexual marriage on the people earlier this year and within weeks opponents gathered enough signatures for a ballot initiative that will either uphold the liberal law or overturn it. A ten-point advantage for homosexual marriage a few weeks ago has shrunk to a four-point advantage today.

This means that the campaign for homosexual marriage, backed by an $11 million treasure chest including huge donations from Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Bill Gates, will likely be overturned in Washington State, among the most liberal states in the country.

That leaves Maine. Maine voters overturned a legislatively imposed homosexual marriage law three years ago. Advocates have spent the intervening years attempting to make their case.

This is where they believe they have best chance of getting statewide voters to support their cause. We shall see. If they win in Maine, they will be 1-35, hardly an historical shift in American beliefs.

Proponents of historical marriage have taken to the airwaves to show the results that follow from homosexual marriage.

A couple from Massachusetts are featured in an ad in Washington State talking about how their grade school child was subjected to homosexual propaganda and how they were prevented by law from even knowing about when such lessons were being taught – and then not allowed to pull their child from school on that day.

A Vermont couple is featured in a Maine ad describing how a lesbian coupled sued them for not being allowed to use the couple’s Inn for their “wedding” event. The Vermont couple ended up paying $30,000 to defend themselves and now do not allow wedding events at their Inn. 

All this is headed to the Supreme Court. The Court will announce on November 26 whether it will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which has been ruled unconstitutional by two Federal Courts.

Proposition 8, which expressed California voters’ decision to stop homosexual marriage – and then was overturned by a homosexual judge – will probably be accepted by the Court then, too. These state votes come at a very good time if only to remind the Court how Americans think about marriage.

Conceivably the Court could deal with each of these cases and still not take the added step of imposing homosexual marriage on the fifty states.

The great value of the state votes that have taken place over many years now is that they have protected those states from the genderless mess that is homosexual marriage.

But the other perhaps greater value is to let the Supreme Court know that they proceed down the path to imposed homosexual marriage at the greatest peril. Court imposed abortion on demand has done incalculable damage to the American political and legal system. Court imposed homosexual marriage could do even worse damage.

Marriage and family hang in the balance but so does the reputation of the Supreme Court.

Next week we will see three perhaps four more decisions by voters that marriage can only be between one man and one woman. And these votes will have taken place in the liberal states of Washington, Minnesota, Maryland, and Maine.

The will of the American people cannot be any clearer. Justice Kennedy, are you listening?

Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-FAM.

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Comments (15)Add Comment
written by Michael Paterson-Seymour, November 02, 2012
One would hope that he Supreme court would follow the decision of the Court of Cassation and the Constitutional Council in France. The Civil Code contains no definition of marriage, but Article 312 “The child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father” has been treated as a functional definition by jurists, including the three most authoritative commentators on the Civil Code, Demolombe (1804–1887), Guillouard (1845-1925) and Gaudemet (1908-2001), long before the question of same-sex marriage was agitated. This led one of the greatest modern commentators on the Civil Code (Carbonnier) to remark that "The heart of marriage is not the couple, but the presumption of paternity.” In 1998, a colloquium of 154 Professors of Civil Law, including Philippe Malaurie, Alain Sériaux, and Catherine Labrusse-Riou unanimously endorsed this interpretation of the Civil Code. This led to the introduction of civil unions (PACS) for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the following year.

Not surprisingly, given that background, the courts held that “Clearly, same-sex couples whom nature had not made potentially fertile were consequently not concerned by the institution of marriage. This was differential legal treatment because their situation was not analogous” For them, the purpose of mandatory civil marriage is the determination of the paternity and civil status of children.

It is significant that, in a country so committed to the principle of laïcité as France, no one has suggested that these views, or are either the result of religious convictions or an attempt to import them into the interpretation of the Code.
written by Bangwell Putt, November 02, 2012
I fear that many voters who think they are supporting "fairness" or "equality" do not know that marriage is only the beginning. In Canada the legalization of marriage between two people of the same sex was followed by erasure of the words "natural parent" or "blood relationship" from the legal code. Douglas Farrow writes that this renders each individual person, man, woman, child, a "ward of the state".

It would be one thing to extend charity and tolerance toward those who would change the concept of marriage. It would be quite another to be subjected by law to the view that a mother, father, and child are simply three separate persons under the law the for the purposes of the state.
written by John M Anderson, November 02, 2012
I hope that the SCOTUS finds DOMA constitutional, but I hope that they don't find it constitutional because it reflects the wishes of the majority. Warding off tyranny of the majority is something that I depend on the SCOTUS to do.
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
written by Mari, November 02, 2012
This is nice. I seriously doubt any of those esteemed men and women give a rat's rear end about what the voters think. They are not accountable to any of them. The real question is this: When this becomes legal, what are we going to do? We need a plan in a worst case scenario. I wish there would be more e-ink spilled about that eventuality.
written by Barbara, November 02, 2012
The battle for Truth will never be won in the courts or in any "public" way. The real battle is in the soul. If each of us used our personal influence instead of relying on public institutions for a solution to this evil we might accomplish something. Do we talk this up at work, at school, at parties, in our family gatherings? Or do we remain silent because we can't find the courage to speak up? It's going to take some straight, nay harsh, talk to get the message across that so-called same sex marriage is wrong, un-natural, anti-family, hurts children, and leads to more and more evil.
written by Grump, November 02, 2012
Austin, to follow on Mari's comments, the voters often do not have the final say despite their naive belief in American "democracy."

There are many examples of judges or the federal government usurping states' rights. For example, many years ago Arizona voters turned down a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Later they were forced to accept the federal mandate for a "national holiday."

Likewise, in California an openly homosexual judge, Vaughn Walker, overturned Proposition 8, which provided that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California" despite a clear majority favoring it.

In Wisconsin, Republic Gov. Scott Walker, who handily won a recall election last June over his Democrat challenger, successfully led efforts to outlaw collective bargaining with public unions. Three months later, a Democrat circuit court judge struck down the state law, frustrating the voting majority and putting the state in legal limbo once again.

Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 with the support of substantial majorities in both houses, only to see Obama and his Justice henchman, Eric Holder, refused to defend it. The 2008 Democrat platform sought repeal. George W. Bush saw this coming because he knew DOMA was vulnerable and wanted a constitutional amendment to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples. Bush was prescient when he said, "After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization. Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity."

If democracy was truly at work and the people's voices were heard and heeded, none of this would have happened. If the "first gay president," as Newsweek labeled him, is re-elected, it won't be long before he has one of his congressional stooges propose a federal "gay marriage" amendment. So, in short, it doesn't matter what the voters decide as long as there exists an imperial presidency and judge here or there who can thwart the will of the people.
written by Manfred, November 02, 2012
"Justice Kennedy, are you listening?" Is this not a Catholic site? Is there a member of the Magisterium with enough hair on his body to excommunicate any catholic(sic) who supports aberrosexual"marriage"? There is a cretin serving as the Vice President of this country who is in the large Church which also includes Cong.Ryan. Cdl Dolan said this at the Smith Dinner. The True Church has only "The narrow gate and difficult road" which Biden left many years ago. (AmChurch is nothing more than protestantism with a pope.) This simpleton, Joe Biden, is a catholic who supports abortion and s.s.m. Why isn't an example made of him? Do you know what the name of the HHS Mandate case that was decided by Justice Roberts this summer is called? Sebelius! She claims to be Catholic(?) as well. Why isn't she excommunicated? Mari above is correct-s.s.m. is a fait accompli and it will pass in this generation or the next. What then? The birth rate in this country is already through the floor as no one wants to expose their child(ren) to both a secular culture and to a Church which are both out of control. We can't possibly keep raising enough money to fight these fiends in the courts. I said to Msgr George Kelly years ago over lunch that the problem with the Church was that there are no MEN in it. He smiled and said "You have the answer."
written by Ernest, November 02, 2012
The traditional definition of marriage via DOMA has already lost by the naked fact that SCOTUS has accepted the case. Why? Well, the decision is now out of the hands of individual states and soon to be Federal law ala Roe v Wade...there is no defense for marriage in the constitution.

To answer Mari, Christians back-up plan must be a marketing event, much like the opposition does such as coining "right to choose"...a catchy easy-to-understand phrase that wins over the public. Hence, legal marriage is between and among any number of characters, but a respectful, loving, family marriage can only be performed by a qualified minister.

A Christian marriage becomes a symbol of pride and pronounced by a copyrighted image on wedding rings, a cross or the words blessed by Jesus or God. So, we lose the secular argument but not the Christian blessing.
written by Grump, November 02, 2012
Sorry, Austin, I read too quickly and see you referenced DOMA and Prop 8. (Perhaps you can edited my previous comment accordingly).
written by Chris in Maryland, November 02, 2012
The fundamental agreement of The Church and the French Secular State is profound. As the catechism states, and French Law amplifies: “only the child possesses genuine rights.”

In the law of the family, the child's right to be protected by his/her biological father and mother is supreme. Everything else is contingent and/or subordinate to that. Per the Cathechism:
2376 …the child [has a] right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. …[T]he spouses' [have a] "right to become a father and a mother only through each other."
2377 …[it is] morally unacceptable [to]… "entrust the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establish the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person…[this is] contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.". . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person."
2378 A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception."

Man, male and female, images God, and marriage, man and woman and child, images The Trinity (the perfect union of the Father and The Son, generating The Spirit).
written by Graham Combs, November 02, 2012
Anyone who has studied law knows that community standards as a constitutional test is dead. The culture war waged in every aspect of America life has merely been a belts-and-braces campaign to create a new community standard. See the Samuel L. Jackson ad, the Lena Dunham ad, and the particularly vulgar Michael Moore ads.

Remember the former president of the ABA, Dennis Archer (also former mayor of Detroit) is a Catholic. The ABA is throttle up for gay marriage and abortion. One simply has to assume that yet another "prominent Catholic" is right in there for the Cause.

Majority rule or majority fascism isn't an issue here. We're talking about life and death, and a millenia-old institution. Even the Spartans whose hoplyte training including homosexual initiation for the warriors also enforced mandatory traditional marriage.

We are not in that "cultural moment" anymore. Most Catholics I know just want to fit in, get along, go along, be one of the boys, one of the gals... the culture of "whatever."

But the above commenter is right about invasion of privacy and intimacy of the family. The precedents: slavery, National Socialism, Communism. Archbiship Sheen's talks against those institutions and movements were not digressions into politics. He himself understood what the politicization of theology meant and would mean and warn strongly against it.

written by Mr. Levy, November 02, 2012
Mr. Ruse,

You should be more concerned whether Romney understands the importance of appointing justices who will not overthrow marriage. The Supreme Court right now is unlikely to take such a step. If President Romney is not careful to choose conservative justices, however, we will have more Souters and O'Connors who will be only too happy to fulfill the leftist sexual revolution that has been enshrined in the Constitution step by step since the late 60's.
written by Manfred, November 02, 2012
Post Script: May I remind all that there are six Catholics(?) on SCOTUS? Isn't that why so many of the commenters are concerned? As so few Catholics are FAITH-FUL, no one can predict how they will vote on DOMA, PPACA (Obamacare), or any other "social issue" which may come before the Court.
written by Foo Bar, November 16, 2012
32 to 4. It will take a few more years for some parts of the country, but the will of the people is supporting love, marriage, and family.

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