Click if you like this column!
Homosexual activists achieved historic gains in the November 2012 election in the states of Washington, Maine and Maryland. These three notoriously liberal states passed laws extending marriage benefits to homosexual relationships by four to six percentage points. But will these legal victories ultimately deny them the sweeping Supreme Court decision they long for?
Judge Robert Jones of a federal court in Nevada has laid the groundwork for such a conclusion. In his ruling on a lawsuit which sought to overturn Nevada?s ban on gay marriage, Jones wrote that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) lobby?s success in advancing its agenda means that it does not need help from the courts:
"It simply cannot be seriously maintained, in light of these and other recent democratic victories, that homosexuals do not have the ability to protect themselves from discrimination through democratic processes such that extraordinary protection from majoritarian processes is appropriate."
In 1997, the General Accounting Office found that there were 1,049 references to ?marriage? in federal law. Since then, homosexual activists and their friends in the media have referred to the ?thousand federal benefits of marriage? as evidence that marriage must be redefined to include homosexual couples. But what exactly are these benefits homosexual couples are so eager to enjoy?
Unsurprisingly, a closer look at the relevant laws reveals that some of these ?benefits? might be more accurately described as ?liabilities? or ?obligations.? The most obvious example would be the cost in time and money of divorce. Ultimately, what homosexual activists want is state-mandated approval of their lifestyle. And waiting in the wings, polygamists and polyamorists want the abolition of the traditional family altogether.
The Supreme Court?s recent decision to hear Hollingsworth v. Perry and U.S. v. Windsor has come at a critical time for traditional marriage advocates. Hollingsworth is a challenge to California?s Proposition 8 (which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman), and Windsor is a challenge to President Bill Clinton?s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Both will be heard and ruled on before the current court?s recess in June 2013, and, barring catastrophe, before President Obama has had a chance to appoint any more Supreme Court Justices.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.