There’s been a lot of hoopla over five American Supreme Court justices deciding there is a right to gay marriage contained within the constitution. As Justice Scalia pointed out, finding things like this in the constitution somewhere is essentially legislating from the bench. Clearly the Founding Fathers did not see any such right and did not believe that marriage was some amorphous concept that should incorporate all definitions. In any event, the job of the supreme court is not to create legislation, but to interpret existing legislation in the face of challenges. This is not what happened here. Here, the justices somehow discovered the right of same-sex couples to marry. As Scalia pointed out in the dissent, this means for well over 100 years, states were unconstitutional.
The dissent for this ruling by the 4 in opposition was rather scathing. Scalia’s criticism basically amounted to the idea that 9 unelected lawyers are now creating legislation, overriding the desires of so-called democratic states. Many states in the US had even amended their constitutions to say marriage is, by definition, the union of one man and one woman. Then using no actual legal basis, the supreme court overrides the will of the people by discovering a right that had never previously existed.
Of course, the reaction of most people was one of elation. The hashtag #lovewins has been trending heavily on Twitter. I suppose given the absurdity of this supreme court ruling, you might as well believe the Supreme Court was deciding whether love would win or lose. Or maybe they were deciding if love would win or hate would win. Four justices apparently chose hate and five chose love.
When you search “Scalia on gay marriage” or something similar on Google, who wrote a dissent of the opinion, for about the first 50 results all you see are personal attacks on the justice, calling him close-minded, homophobic, etc. Never mind he doesn’t even express his own viewpoint and is simply interpreting the law, he’s still hated. Justices, as Scalia points out, are not supposed to give their own opinions or imbue them into their decisions. They are meant to be objective interpreters of laws made by the legislative branch or to verify their constitutionality.
There are a few issues here. First, declaring that marriage no longer has any sex-specific requirement simply takes away one more criterion for the definition of marriage. This requirement is so essential to the definition that removing it basically makes marriage a nebulous and unspecific concept with no real definition. Originally, marriage was a permanent union of a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and raising of children. The definition has already been severely tampered with. First there was legalized divorce. The process for this kept getting easier and easier, to the point where we now have no-fault divorce and people can separate for any reason. This removed the permanency of the union. Then contraception attacked the idea that marriage was procreative. Many couples chose never to have kids. All was left was that it was between a man and a woman. But now even that last requirement has been removed. Now a lot of people don’t thinks twice about 2 men marrying, having a childless relationship, then splitting up after a couple of years. The only shred of the original definition is the number of people involved, but that is now being challenged by those who want to legalize polygamy.
Now that marriage has almost been completely emptied of all meaning from the civil point of view, there is just one step left – complete annihilation, which on a civic level I’m totally okay with. The thing people don’t get about marriage is that they think the people for whom it is legal is some kind of sappy recognition of their love. But why would a faceless entity care about someone’s love? I love my mother, is there some form of official recognition for that? There isn’t even a form of recognition for other unions. Recognition only comes about for some state-related reason. The reason marriage was recognized by the state is because it helps promote a safe and stable environment for the raising of children and creates better citizens. Statistics clearly bear this out. But now people see it as some kind of badge of honor, but for what? Committing immoral acts? What benefit does that have to society? Plus, homosexual activity has been legalized in all first-world countries already, so that’s not the issue. Annihilation of marriage on the civic level would also hopefully destroy any legal hope gay activists would have to force churches to perform them. It should be a strictly religious institution anyway.
Bottom line: marriage has already lost most of its value and meaning when it comes to the state, and declaring something legal does not make it morally good.
This article was prompted after reading the following, a type of personal story we will probably be inundated with in the coming days: