On Friday, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court announced they will hear two cases expected to bring some definitive legal closure to key elements in the debate over enforcing marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.
Both cases involve constitutional challenges to popularly-legislated endorsements of traditional marriage.
One case involves the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1996 that recognizes marriage as a union solely between a man and women. The Obama Administration chose to stop executive branch enforcement of the law in 2011, but the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives took up for the White House’s slack.
A decision by the federal Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, ruling that DOMA denies equal protection is the vehicle for this challenge.
The other case involves California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative passed in 2008 that invalidated homosexual marriage in the Golden State. The federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the will of the voters, with Judge Stephen Reinhardt explaining that voters had “no rational basis” for being able to define marriage.
Although the one-page memo from the U.S. Supreme Court about accepting the cases gave no schedule, it is expected that the justices will hear the cases before March of next year and issue a ruling on them by the end of June.
Project 21 member Archbishop Council Nedd II of the Episcopal Missionary Church and the In God We Trust organization is happy that the U.S. Supreme Court chose to take up the cases. Council hopes it will lead to a definitive ruling from the justices that traditional marriage between a man and a woman can be protected by rule of law.
I’m encouraged that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to examine these two cases involving gay marriage.
Many are attempting to define gay marriage as the civil rights issue of our time. However, the U.S. Supreme Court is the firewall between deeply-held moral beliefs based on Christian principles and the state endorsing what was once believed to be abhorrent behavior that comingles the sacred with something unscriptural.
I pray the Court comes down strongly and firmly supporting the institution and sacrament of marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman.
The U.S. Supreme Court is supposed to be above cultural, social or political trends — not caving to them as government and lower courts have so readily done in the past.
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