Family Research Council

June 27, 2013 - Thursday

Polygamists: the More the Marry-er

Twenty-four hours after erupting in celebration, the Left still woke up this morning to 50 states whose marriage laws are completely unchanged. To the casual observer, it must have seemed from all the media coverage of the Supreme Court's decisions that natural marriage had gasped its last breath. But for all the arms raised in victory, the reality is that Ted Olson and David Boies didn't get from the Supreme Court what they so desperately wanted: a sweeping declaration that same-sex "marriage" is legal across America. The iconic photos of rainbow banners and kissing couples, splashed across the front pages of major newspapers, only tell part of the story.

Despite two very disappointing rulings, 38 states still define marriage as the union of a man and woman -- including California, where Proposition 8 is still the law of the land. Until an appeals court says otherwise, the reports that the amendment has been struck down are untrue. Thanks to three small paragraphs of the California Constitution, it takes more than a district court level judge to overturn a proposition adopted by the voters.

True, the state's lawless chief executive, Gov. Jerry Brown, refuses to uphold or defend laws he does not like. But "as of today," FRC's Ken Klukowski writes, "there is no appellate opinion against Prop 8. The Supreme Court refused to issue one, and threw out the only other one (the Ninth Circuit's). There is only a trial court opinion. So every agency in California is legally bound to regard Prop 8 as binding law... Only when one of those courts hold Prop 8 unconstitutional can the public officials in that state regard it as stricken from the books. That litigation could take years. And in the meantime, supporters of traditional marriage can continue making the case for marriage."

That said, the landscape has been fundamentally altered in a society where the rule of law is slowly unraveling. Twelve states can now force taxpayers to supply more than 1,100 benefits which, until yesterday, were reserved for real spouses. And both the court and rogue leaders like Jerry Brown have, in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, "declared open season on any law that... can be characterized as mean-spirited." In a nation where our own President feels no obligation to defend the law, it's no wonder the Human Rights Campaign thinks it can impose same-sex "marriage" on every state in five years.

When the Left fell short of their goals yesterday, it gave our movement the most valuable commodity of all: time to persuade the country of the consequences. But it also meant that the waves of attack will keep coming -- stronger and more vicious than ever before. Emboldened by Justice Anthony Kennedy's sharp rebuke of our side, liberals aren't even bothering to hide the rest of their agenda. Polygamists popped the corked on a little champagne of their own after Wednesday's rulings, as they wait their turn for nationwide acceptance.

"We're very happy with it," said Joe Darger, a Utah polygamist, "I think [the court] has taken a step in correcting some inequality, and that's certainly something that's going to trickle down and impact us... I think the government needs to now recognize that we have a right to live free as much as anyone else." Proponents of "plural marriages" are riding the homosexual movement's wave of success all the way to legitimacy. They're using the same playbook, the same sound bites-and so far, the Democratic Party seems surprisingly open to the idea. After all, who are we to say that two or three or nine consenting adults shouldn't be able to make the same commitment? Love is love, right?

Not as far as FRC and some conservative leaders are concerned. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who never backs away from a fight, made it clear where he stands on the issue. "[The] Supreme Court decisions on marriage are a regrettable overreach against the will of the people as expressed through large, bipartisan majority in Congress and directly through referendum in California -- a markedly blue state." For now, our job is to stand for truth and work to win back the ground the Court took. That starts by reminding society why the marriage of a man and woman is uniquely important -- not just to society, but to the future of America.

In the meantime, we need to pursue every policy option at the federal and state level to protect marriage. With same-sex "marriage" on a collision course with religious liberty, we must enact protections for those who stand for natural marriage. Success could require years of work and tremendous resources -- but our faithful staff is ready. Please, if you are able, show that you are standing with us in this endeavor by making a tax-deductible donation online today to make our plans a reality.

It's Not Easy Being Green -- and It's Not Cheap Either!

The world's temperatures haven't risen in 15 years, but that isn't stopping the President from turning the heat up on climate change. Desperate to change his own climate of scandals and controversies, President Obama took to Georgetown on Tuesday to invoke a sweeping environmental policy the only way he knows how: without Congress's consent. The imperial President, who uses executive orders to write laws that he can't pass, once again showed his contempt for the democratic process by issuing these policies without a single debate.

In the crosshairs of this latest environmental witch hunt are carbon emissions, which he intends to fight through a multi-billion dollar program that will bankrupt families, the poor, and the elderly, and kill the fossil fuel industry. "Some 12 million Americans still can't find work," the Wall Street Journal criticizes, "real wages have fallen for five years, three-fourths of Americans now live paycheck to paycheck, and the economy continues to plod along four years into a quasi-recovery. But there was the President in Georgetown, threatening more energy taxes and mandates that will ensure fewer jobs, still lower incomes and slower growth."

In his typical way, the President announced his project by vilifying detractors, not persuading them. A combative Barack Obama said he'd run out of patience. "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society," he lashed out at the growing number of experts who see the global warming initiatives as a "fool's errand." As it stands, greenhouse gas emissions are falling at a rate "that's greater than the one laid out in the President's plan. So why get involved at all?" asks Chip Knappenberger.

Voters in the Midwest and South wonder too. They heard nothing about this agenda when they went to the polls in Ohio and Pennsylvania last November -- two regions where coal production is highest. "Instead," the Wall Street Journal says, the President "posed as the John the Baptist of fossil fuels... taking credit for the shale fracking boom he had nothing to do with and running ads attacking Mitt Romney as anti-coal."

As Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance explained on our radio show "Washington Watch" earlier this week, even if the U.S. as a whole stopped emitting carbon dioxide, the world's temperature would only drop .08% by 2050! That's laughable considering the steep price the President is willing to exact in jobs (500,000), family incomes ($1,000 a year), electricity prices (+20%), and natural gas prices (+43%). And this is on top of what Americans are already forking over for ObamaCare!

Make no mistake. The underlying agenda here is devastating to our nation. As social conservatives, we need to wake up to the threat that these policies pose to the values closest to our hearts: liberty (the lack of energy choices), family (higher costs), limited government (overregulation of the economy), and democracy (which the President bypassed to force this albatross around the neck of our economy). Contact Congressman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of House Energy and Commerce, at 202-225-2927 and ask him to bring the spotlight of his powerful committee on the President's latest overreach.

** The media requests keep streaming into our press office, and FRC experts are writing and granting interviews as quickly as the requests roll in. This morning, CNSNews.com posted my piece, "Now Come the Consequences of Redefining Marriage," followed by Peter Sprigg's op-ed in the Washington Post, "Only a Partial Victory for Gay 'Marriage.'" Both Peter and Ken Klukowski were featured on NBC News. USA Today, Washington Times, Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, Breitbart, and other outlets all sought comments from FRC.

*** If you missed the in-depth marriage analysis on yesterday's "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins," click below for the webcast version of the show with special guest Ken Klukowski.

Click here to view


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

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