The U.S. Supreme Court has determined a federal statute banning gay marriage to be unconstitutional – violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s promise of equal protection under the law. Passed in 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA) expressly forbade the federal government from recognizing gay marriage – even though a dozen states have adopted laws recognizing gay marriages.
“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” the court’s majority opinion, written by justice Anthony Kennedy noted. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others.”
This website opposes any government involvement in marriage.
While we object to gay marriage, we believe that decision should be left to individual churches.
“Marriage – as we’ve noted ad nauseam in the past – ought to be the exclusive purview of local congregations. Gay or straight,” we wrote recently. “In no instance should government (federal, state or local) ban congregations from marrying whomever they want … but similarly in no instance should government (federal, state or local) compel these congregations to marry couples against their will.”
Government has an obvious constitutional obligation to recognize gay and straight civil unions … but marriages?
Those recognitions ought to be the exclusive purview of individual congregations.
We reject DOMA as a violation of liberty, but we also reject any federal law which seeks to officialize any marriage – whether it be between a man and a woman, a man and another man or (our founding editor’s personal favorite) a woman and another woman.
It is simply not the role of government to weigh in one way or the other …