Court lacks moral authority to redefine marriage

Tony Perkins is President of Family Research Council. This article appeared in USA TODAY on June 26, 2015.

Thousands of years of human history cannot be overruled by a court – even if it is the U.S. Supreme Court. While five justices can change the law, they cannot change the enduring truth about what marriage is. Natural marriage has consisted of a man and a woman since the beginning of time, and so it will remain.

This ruling is without foundation in our Constitution, in history or in orthodox religion. Additionally, this ruling nullifies the votes of more than 50 million Americans who have voted to preserve marriage and dismisses what numerous academic studies show: Children need a mom and a dad.

The court does not have the moral authority to redefine marriage, and just as millions of Americans did not accept the legitimacy of the court's decision on abortion in 1973, nor will they accept this one. Rather, this ruling, like the abortion ruling, all but ensures America will not achieve broad social consensus on same-sex marriage.

This redefinition will not be accepted because it will be used to rob Americans of their rights in the marketplace, in the education of their children, and most important, in the expression of their beliefs on marriage.

Individual Americans will increasingly face government barriers or even punishments for living out their personal beliefs about marriage. Religious institutions will face the threat of government retribution in the form of losing their tax-exempt status. And that is just the beginning for those who do not bend the knee.

We must now prepare for the collision course that the Supreme Court has set for America's most cherished freedoms. The first step is for Congress and state legislators to pass measures that prevent the government from discriminating against anyone who believes in natural marriage.

The bottom line is that without the freedom to believe, and live according to those beliefs, there can be no true freedom. Does the court really believe that Americans will relinquish their freedom?