Serious pushback over same-sex marriage
Clerks quit, judges drop licensing, senator says just ignore rulingPublished: 19 hours ago
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Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.
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The negative reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s creation of a right to same-sex “marriage” is surging, with clerks quitting, judges dropping their license procedures and even one U.S. senator telling people it should be ignored.
By a 5-4 majority, including two justices who publicly had advocated for same-sex marriage and possibly violated ethics standards by participating in the case, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered that states could not refuse to grant same-sex duos marriage licenses or recognize such licenses from other states.
Since then, there have been numerous warnings of looming governmental persecution against Americans whose religious beliefs condemn homosexuality.
Now the Associated Press reported it found in a survey that one-third of the counties in Alabama, 22, were not issuing licenses.
The report said many were shutting down marriage license operations altogether as probate judges said they needed time to sort out the ruling.
Randolph County Probate Judge George Diamond told the AP he is waiting for the end of a 25-day appeal period following the U.S. Supreme Court decision before he begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
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The report said Alabama laws specify that probate judges “may” issue marriage licenses, so they are not required to do anything.
AP also reported a county clerk in Arkansas announced her resignation because of her religious and moral opposition to the mandate for same-sex marriage.
Cleburne County Clerk Dana Guffey said she told her boss, Judge Jerry Holmes, of her plans, CBS reported.
“It is definitely a moral conviction for me,” she said. “I didn’t announce anything publicly or on social media or anything because I didn’t want my decision to be seen as hateful. I know some people will look at it like that, but this wasn’t easy. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. And I do not hate anybody.”
Meanwhile, in Kentucky, several county clerks announced they would not issue marriage licenses to “gay” couples. In Rowan County, Clerk Kim Davis said her office has decided to stop issuing marriage certificates altogether to avoid discrimination lawsuits.
“We’ve not had any applicants yet, but we’ve had several calls,” she said to the Lexington Herald-Leader. “It’s hard, I will tell you that. What has happened is that five lawyers have imposed their personal view of what the definition of marriage should be on the rest of us. And I, as a Christian, have strong views, too. And I know I don’t stand alone.”
Chris Joe, the president of the Kentucky County Clerks Association, said several clerks have called him to cite religious objection to the court’s decision. And in response, they’ve decided to stop issuing marriage certificates entirely.
And Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a candidate for GOP nomination for president, told NPR that there are many across America who can just ignore it.
He said the case was brought by parties from four states, but that “does not mean that those who are not parties to a case are bound by a judicial order.”
U.S. Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas
He said it’s tragic that the Supreme Court justices decided in the case to rewrite the Constitution instead of doing their job, which was to interpret the law.
“It is a sad moment for the court when you have judges seizing authority that does not belong to them,” he said.
One change that would help, he believes, is to have justices on the ballot for retention or removal by voters periodically.
“If judges overstep their bounds, violate the Constitution, then the people have a check to remove them of office. I’ve called for that change,” he said.
Long-term plans to mitigate the damage from the Supreme Court also are starting to appear.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, also a candidate for the GOP nomination for president, said that if elected, he would sign executive orders to protect businesses, churches and others from the “discrimination, intimidation, or civil or criminal penalties” expected for exercising their religious beliefs.
He said the attorney general also could prosecute violations of First Amendment rights.
“While some cowardly politicians wave the white flag and surrender to this unconstitutional, out-of-control act of judicial tyranny, I reject this decision and will fight from ‘Day One’ of my administration to defend our Constitution and protect religious liberty,” he said.
In Alabama, the state Supreme Court, which earlier instructed state officials not to follow a federal judge’s demand for same-sex marriage recognition, said it was accepting motions or comments on the dispute.
There, Chief Justice Roy Moore said the high court was not ordering probate judges either to follow or not follow the U.S. Supreme Court. Alabama was not part of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell case.
WND reported talk-radio giant Rush Limbaugh expects polygamy to be the next goal.
“Look, folks, you can think all you want, but there’s no legal basis to stop it now,” Limbaugh told his listeners on Monday’s show. “There is no intellectually honest way to distinguish the reasoning on gay marriage from applying the same reasoning to supporting polygamy.”
Limbaugh explained the case for same-sex marriage was “all rooted in self-esteem and dignity and not being denied things that make you happy.”
The Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, he said, doesn’t assume marriage is a union of only two people.
In fact, it didn’t set any boundaries at all.
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“That limit is not specifically there,” Limbaugh explained. “They’ve rewritten what marriage is now, is the point here, folks. Marriage was what it was as ordained from the ancient biblical texts.”
He then read passages from Genesis 2:23-24 and Matthew 16:4-6, which define marriage.
“But it’s been rewritten now, and it’s been written not under any sort of constitutional purview but rather some people out there that were denied something, and it’s not right,” he said. “A lot of people had something and those people didn’t and then those people want it, so we think they should have it. Their self-esteem and their dignity is tied up into it.”
WND reported Monday that not only did the court’s mandate for same-sex marriage not resolve the controversy, it triggered a wave of rejection.
“This ruling by the five lawyers is no law at all,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, a prominent legal defender of biblical marriage. “It is lawless and must be treated as such.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., wants to remove the government from marriage completely.
He said “some rights are more equal than others” and concluded “perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not government recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.”
“Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do – taxed it, regulated it and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right,” he said.
Some want Congress to limit the courts’ jurisdiction over marriage issues.
A recent iteration of that idea comes from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, whose plan was announced just weeks ago.
“For too long, federal courts have overstepped their constitutionally limited duty to interpret the Constitution,” he said then. “Rather, federal courts have perverted the Constitution to make law and create constitutional rights to things such as privacy, birth control and abortion. These unenumerated, so-called constitutionally protected rights were not envisioned by our Founding Fathers.”
At Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz said the Supreme Court has threatened the nation’s foundational principle.
“We have seen the court redefine statutes. We have seen the court redefine the Constitution like they did with Obamacare and in Roe v. Wade. But now we witness the court go a step further and void out natural law, the very foundation on which the Declaration of Independence was constructed – the document that asserts fundamental rights and liberties.”
The decision, he said, was based on “indefensible” assertions and “is not just immoral.”
“It is irrational and illegal,” he said of the majority opinion written by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Mississippi State House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, told the Jackson Clarion Ledger one possibility could be for the state to quit issuing licenses.
“One of the options that other states have looked at is removing the state marriage license requirement,” Gipson said. “We will be researching what options there are. I personally can see pros and cons to that. I don’t know if it would be better to have no marriage certificate sponsored by the state or not. But it’s an option out there to be considered.”
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said he’s reviewing the state’s options.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/negative-reaction-to-gay-marriage-surges/#AM7f3pf4qmA3oiTI.99