Family Research Council

May 14, 2014 - Wednesday

Idaho Ruling Hardly Small Potatoes

If anyone can handle a political hot potato, it's Idaho. Still, that didn't make Tuesday's decision on marriage any easier for its deeply conservative voters, who unwillingly joined the parade of states overruled by the judicial elite. Reporters barely had time to exhale after Friday's Arkansas decision, when U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale sent them packing for the northwest to write the same story in a different state.

For the 12th time since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last summer, a local judge felt empowered to bulldoze the will of an entire state, declaring a "fundamental right to marry" that even the justices didn't acknowledge. In Boise, the ruling stings a bit more than others, since unlike the courts' other victims, Idaho had overwhelmingly voted for an amendment that wouldn't recognize any form of counterfeit marriage -- including domestic partnerships and civil unions. Making matters worse, Dale inflicted this damage as a magistrate, well exceeding her authority and outraging 63% of voters who never believed it was her decision to begin with.

"Marriage," she writes, "is a fundamental right of all citizens, which neither tradition nor the majority may deny." Dale insisted that the amendment's defenders, who argued that natural marriage is in our children's best interest, couldn't justify the "rigid gender roles of the past." Governor C.L. Otter (R) disagrees and, with the help of state attorney general Lawrence Wasden, raced to ask the federal court for a stay. Without it, clerks across the state will be ordered to start issuing same-sex "marriage" licenses as early as Friday morning.

"In 2006, the people of Idaho exercised their fundamental right, reaffirming that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Today's decision, while disappointing, is a small setback in a long-term battle that will end at the U.S. Supreme Court. I am firmly committed to upholding the will of the people and defending our Constitution." As are our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom, who, in the midst of the Idaho decision, were a dozen states away in Richmond, Virginia trying to stop the Fourth Circuit from overturning a similar amendment. All eyes were on the Commonwealth, which became a rallying cry for liberals when state attorney general Mark Herring refused to defend Virginia's law.

The three-judge panel, which seemed to sharply disagree on whether the amendment was constitutional, listened attentively to both sides' arguments, as more than 500 natural marriage supporters, including FRCA's Josh Duggar, rallied on the grounds out front. In a lighter moment, Circuit Judge Paul Niemeyer joked that the court was just a "way station" as the issue moved up the road to Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, if the courts think they can resolve this issue by forcing a redefinition of marriage on the American people, they're wrong. Forty-one years ago, the far-reaching decision in Roe v. Wade was supposed to end the debate on abortion -- which, four decades later, we know conclusively it did not. The definition of marriage, like the sanctity of life, is a matter of natural and moral law. The courts can ignore the meaning of marriage; they can even try to suppress it. But they'll never eradicate it.

Conservatives Gives GOP a Run for Their Mooney

Social conservatives may have been outspent in yesterday's primaries -- but they weren't outnumbered. Despite all the money that Establishment Republicans funneled to races in West Virginia and Nebraska, two strongly pro-family candidates managed to not only oust the GOP's alternatives but send a message to the Party that voters want well-rounded conservatives who aren't afraid to uphold core principles.

FRC Action was proud to endorse Ben Sasse for U.S. Senate (R-Nebr.) and Alex Mooney for Congress (R-W. Va.), tapping into a powerful grassroots sentiment that nothing less than full-portfolio conservatives will do. "These are challenging times," FRC Action PAC President Connie Mackey explained. "Our economy has been decimated. The culture has been challenged beyond all reasonable limits. The strong, conservative men and women elected in 2010 and 2012 need reinforcements." And thanks to voters, they're one step closer to getting them.

Of course, the irony, as RedState's Erick Erickson points out, is the ever-changing narrative of the Republican Party. They insisted these weren't "establishment vs. conservative" races. "In fact," he jabs, "if you looked at the Twitter feed of many of the GOP's sock puppets in the press... you would be convinced they were all solidly behind Ben Sasse, let alone Alex Mooney... It really is impressive how the Establishment always wins even when they lose..." In the meantime, we know who scored the real victories -- and look forward to repeating that winning formula in the general election this fall.

Maryland's Sex Ed a Radical Show and Tell

If you need proof that same-sex "marriage" is about more than "love," look no further than Montgomery County, Maryland. There, parents are dealing with the fallout of the state's redefinition of marriage with a sweeping new sex education curriculum. Moms and dads, who were already fighting an uphill battle on the content of the lessons, are now coping with the news that homosexuality will be woven throughout -- shattering families' fragile hold on parents' rights.

Yesterday, the Montgomery County School Board took up the issue in a debate over the district's health curriculum. Not surprisingly, there were calls for an even greater emphasis on sexual orientation, as well as introducing the topic to students earlier than ever before. In the current curriculum, kids are asked to reflect on things like "the benefits of 'coming out,'" and the harms of "homophobia... which can he shown in mild ways like laughing at a gay joke." "Children are not born hating. They learn to hate and fear from messages they receive while growing up," read one section. One of the proposed videos even includes a positive look at transgenderism. "Your sexual orientation cannot change," the text insists. "If you were attracted to women, and all of the sudden, you're attracted to a man, it's because you just became aware of your true orientation." If liberals get their way, the indoctrination could begin as earlier as this fall with middle schoolers. For the County, the fireworks over sex ed are nothing new. Since 2005, parents have been in a tug-of-war over the content of the lessons, even going so far as to sue the state over the suggestion that homosexuality is innate.

In the meantime, curriculum like Montgomery County's is just the tip of the iceberg for the changes same-sex "marriage" will bring to a classroom near you. Like the ripples created when a rock is dropped in a pond, the ripples created by the redefinition of marriage will reach far into society. That's important for every American to understand, but especially libertarians who have yet to recognize that their "live and let live" mentality cannot work if our goal is to preserve liberty. Make sure you know how to spot these agendas in your district. Click here to download a free copy of FRC's booklet, "Homosexuality in Your Child's School."

** A year after Kermit Gosnell's conviction, has the conversation about abortion changed? FRC"s Arina Grossu and Travis Weber think so and explain why in a new joint piece, "Public Outrage at Recent Abortion Controversies Points to Pro-Life Momentum."


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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