treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.”
The ruling has set off a major backlash across the U.S. among pro-family marriage groups and supporters who oppose homosexual marriage for religious reasons or for reasons based on the social science research showing the importance of marriage and of both mothers and fathers to the optimum outcome for children. This backlash is being further fueled by the scathing dissenting opinions filed by each of the four justices in the minority, all of whom are vigorously claiming that the court far exceeded its authority and proper role.
Chief Justice John Roberts, reading his dissenting opinion from the bench for the first time in his career, recognized that those whose primary objective was legalizing same-sex marriage will be rejoicing. “But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening…This court is not a legislature…Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be.” He went on to ask “Just who do we think we are?”
Justice Antonin Scalia was even more critical of the majority. Scalia called the decision a “threat to American democracy,” saying it was “constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine.” He noted that “The stuff contained in today’s opinion has to diminish this Court’s reputation for clear thinking and sober analysis…” As an example he points out that “The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a ‘fundamental right’ overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since.”
In a pointed indictment of the five justices in the majority Justice Scalia said, “they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.”
Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. …Today's decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court's abuse of its authority have failed.”
Just as millions of Americans have refused to recognize the legitimacy of a “right” to abortion that a majority of Supreme Court justices “discovered” in the Roe v Wade case more than 40 years ago, the way that these five activist judges “discovered” a right to homosexual marriage in this case will guarantee continued controversy over marriage in the U.S. for decades to come.
The most immediate threat to be addressed in light of this decision is how to protect the religious freedom of individuals who oppose homosexual marriage for religious reasons.
We will be continuing to report on all the ramifications of this decision and efforts being made to minimize the damage it will do to families in the U.S.