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April 30, 2015
Column #1,757
Traditional Marriage Will Win
by Mike McManus

I predict the Supreme Court will uphold traditional marriage, by letting states decide for themselves whether to legalize same-sex marriage.

In the opening moments of the case Justice Anthony Kennedy asserted, “The word that keeps coming back to me is `millennia.’ There has not been really time…for the federal system to engage in this debate.” The first state to adopt same-sex marriage was Massachusetts in 2004.

“I don’t even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia. This definition (of marriage) has been with us for millennia. And it is very difficult for the Court to say, `Oh well, we - we know better,’” Kennedy asserted.

Kennedy is considered the “swing” vote on this issue. He adopted the liberal position on three more limited gay cases. He is clearly reconsidering.

Justice Antonin Scalia asked, “Do you know of any society, prior to the Netherlands, in 2001 that permitted same-sex marriage?” Mary Bonauto, attorney for same-sex couples, failed to cite any.

Scalia said the issue was not “whether there should be same-sex marriage, but who should decide that point.”

Even liberal Justice Stephen Breyer said that traditional marriage between a man and a woman “has been the law everywhere for thousands of years among people who were not discriminating even against gay people, and suddenly you want nine people outside the ballot box to require states that don’t want to do it to change what marriage is to include gay people?

“Why can’t those states at least wait and see whether in fact doing so in the other states is or is not harmful to marriage?”

Chief Justice John Roberts noted that Maine voted by referendum in 2009 to limit marriage to one man and one woman. But in 2012 the state enacted same-sex marriage. “That sort of quick change has been a characteristic of this debate. But if you prevail here, there will be no more debate. Closing of debate can close minds – and it will have a consequence on how this new institution is accepted.

“People feel very differently about something if they have a chance to vote on it than if it’s imposed on them by – by the courts.”

Only three of the 37 states with same-sex marriage, voted for it in a referendum, and eight more through legislative action. The other 26 states had it imposed by a judge. Now the Supreme Court is being asked to make it universal.

No wonder the justices hesitate.

John Bursch, attorney representing traditional marriage, argued that “This case isn’t about how to define marriage. It’s about who gets to decide that question. Is it the people acting through the democratic process, or is it the federal courts?”

However, Justices Breyer and Kennedy expressed sympathy with the gay perspective. Breyer noted that since same-sex marriage is not possible in some states, “They have no possibility to participate in that fundamental liberty. That is people of the same sex who wish to marry. So we ask, why?” The only answers he has heard is history and “certain religious groups do think it is a sin.”

Bursch replied that “the marriage institution did not develop to deny dignity or give second class status to anyone,” but to bind “children with their biological mom and dad.”

What he should have added is that children need both a mother and father – which is impossible with same-sex marriage. Grace Evans, 11, asked a committee of Minnesota’s Legislature, “Which parent do I not need – my mom or my dad?”

The Legislature ignored her and enacted same-sex marriage. Grace’s question should be asked in every state. It was not asked of the Supreme Court.

Another question: why do so few gays and lesbians want to marry?

Two years after New York legalized same-sex marriage, there were only 12,200 same-sex marriages. If they are 1.7% of NY’s 19.6 million people, there are 333,000 who could have married. More than 90% chose not to do so.

Another question: Why should 7% of 1.7% of the population – force America to redefine marriage?

Same-sex marriage harms children. Mark Regnerus, published a 2012 study in Social Science Research noting that 69% of children aged 18-39 of a same-sex relationship, were on welfare as children – four times the 17% of intact families. And 38% of adult children of lesbians are currently on welfare vs. 10% with married parents.

Worse, only 2% of those with married parents were touched sexually by a
parent, but 23% of those with a lesbian mother were.

The Supreme Court should leave the issue up to the states, and every state should limit marriage to one man and one woman.

 

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