Tony Perkins is President of Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Christian Post on January 28, 2015.
Federal judges may have the last word on marriage -- but they won't have the final one. That's becoming abundantly clear in Alabama, the latest state to feel the sting of a runaway court invalidating the will of the people on marriage. In a letter to Governor Robert Bentley (R-Ala.), Chief Justice Roy Moore made that quite clear -- explaining that this isn't an issue that the federal courts will resolve. Rather, he said, it "raises serious, legitimate concerns about the propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment."
Unelected judges and a handful of lawyers have been pushing state marriage amendments over like sleeping cows. Meanwhile, stunned Americans have struggled to make sense of a legal system that puts its own political agenda ahead of the expressed will of the people. Like most conservatives, FRC has watched in horror as the courts have robbed tens of millions of Americans of their voice on an issue of critical importance -- not just to our nation's stability, but to its very survival.
If the Supreme Court completes the circle and invents a right to same-sex "marriage," I believe it will be the Roe v. Wade of the 21st Century. People then, as now, insisted that the Supreme Court had the final say on the issue. Forty-two years later, they couldn't be more wrong. Far from settling the issue of abortion, the Supreme Court ignited a powerful, nationwide movement -- now four decades strong -- to overturn the justices' ruling.
Of course, there are a few out-of-touch writers who take issue with the comparison, surprised that anyone wouldn't just "move on" and accept the redefinition of mankind's most fundamental institution. Damon Linker at The Week insists that legalizing same-sex "marriage" would never spark the kind of nationwide protest that abortion has. It's "nonsense," he argues. "Unlike Roe v. Wade, same-sex 'marriage' isn't a life or death issue. They can't even convincingly demonstrate that anyone is hurt in any way by a gay wedding," he writes. "The harm, in the present, is purely figurative."
It certainly wasn't "figurative" for Melissa and Aaron Klein, Jack Phillips, Barronnelle Stutzman, Nang and Chris Mai, Craig James, and others who may not have lost their lives -- but did lose their livelihoods over their moral beliefs on marriage. Meanwhile, abortion wasn't widely accepted because it runs counter to nature -- mothers don't kill their own offspring. Same-sex "marriage" also runs counter to nature -- since it isn't the natural bridge that brings the two sexes together.
Linker goes on to argue that public approval for redefining marriage has surged, "because there are no cogent arguments on the 'anti' side." That not only flies in the face of social science, but of public polling too. While some may accept same-sex marriage as they have abortion-on-demand, same-sex "marriage" will never enjoy universal acceptance as the norm that natural marriage does. We've already seen a decline in public acceptance of same-sex "marriage" as others have lost their freedoms of speech and religion. Those numbers will increase.
And if this were such non-issue, why are GOP candidates and voters so motivated by marriage? "Candidates have got to be declarative about where they stand. Period," Republican Sam Clovis told reporters after Iowa's forum. "If you're not vocally pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, I don't think you can win here because you're going to get hammered. Maybe you could win in New Hampshire, but it's a different culture."
Which brings us to another point. Linker wrongly suggests that Roe -- not marriage -- "undemocratically overruled the will of the people." Thirty-six states, he explains, have same-sex "marriage." What he fails to mention is that only three of those states redefined marriage at the ballot box -- the other 33 were imposed by judges, given as ultimatums by the courts to legislatures, or passed by lawmakers in defiance of voters. If liberals honestly believe that Americans -- millions of whom turned out to protect natural marriage in law -- will stand by while the courts silence their voice, they're mistaken.