As the push for same-sex “marriage” builds in New York, recent news events have allowed us to see into the future, to get an idea of what the world will be like if the definition of marriage is changed.
First, a little background. In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by virtually unanimous majorities, and the bill was signed into law by President Clinton. It defines marriage, for the purposes of federal law, as the union of one man and one woman, and it provides that states will not be required to recognize any other kind of “marriage”, just because other states have changed their definition.
DOMA has been challenged several times in the courts. Three separate federal courts have upheld it as a proper and reasonable exercise of Congressional authority. One court has found that it is unconstitutional and lacks a rational foundation. (That decision, by the way, contains the single most absurd statement ever made by a federal judge — that the difference between same-sex couples and different-sex couples was a “distinction without meaning.” Some things are so silly that only a federal judge could believe them). Several state supreme courts — including New York’s — have also upheld the same definition of marriage as is contained in DOMA, holding that the definition has a “rational basis” and is not discriminatory.
That wasn’t good enough for the President, who announced earlier this year that the Justice Department would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA. This, even though the Justice Department has long held that they have a duty to defend statutes with which they disagree, if there is a reasonable argument to support it. Apparently, the decisions of multiple federal and state courts are not reasonable enough for this ideologically blinded Administration.
Faced with this dereliction of duty, the leadership of the House of Representatives engaged the services of Paul Clement, a former Solicitor General and a very accomplished Supreme Court advocate, to represent the people of the United States in defending DOMA.
What happened next provides us a clear glimpse into where we are going on this issue. “Gay rights” groups, seeking to force all opposition to same-sex “marriage” out of the mainstream, began a campaign of intimidation aimed at forcing Mr. Clement’s law firm to withdraw from the case out of fear of negative press, restriction of access to top law schools for recruiting, and loss of clients. Instead of fulfilling their professional responsibilities to their client, the firm buckled — and didn’t even have the guts to admit why they were doing it. In response, Mr. Clement resigned from the firm and will carry on his defense of DOMA with a new firm.
Interestingly, Mr. Clement’s old firm has given pro bono representation to suspected terrorists incarcerated in Guantanamo, but can’t get up the nerve to defend a duly-enacted statute defending the definition of marriage that has always been understood by our society, and that has been repeatedly upheld against constitutional challenge.
This is a glimpse into the future. We will be seeing more and more of this kind of “soft persecution” of those who oppose same-sex “marriage” — we will be marginalized, stigmatized, and frozen out of public life and even professional work. It will be a test of moral courage to see how people respond.