A Word on Marriage

A Word on Marriage

same sex marriage vs. constitutionGary Boyd

A Fox News article titled Judge defies Texas law to wed same-sex couple under one-time order discusses a case out of Texas, where a judge ruled in favor of a same-sex couple receiving a marriage license. The ruling was made due to health concerns that may preclude the couple from seeing final resolution on the same-sex marriage question, the answer to which is expected this spring when the question goes before the United States Supreme Court.

Many aspects of this case could be discussed, including the place of a state court in such a matter, relative to federal courts, the sickening sentimentality that carried the decision, and the possibility of a precedent having been set for same-sex couples who can show exposure to a life-threatening condition. A review of the most basic principle that is violated by the same-sex marriage issue seems in order, as additional leaks in the dam spring forth in ever-greater abundance as the time nears when the U.S. Supreme Court will either shore up those leaks, or obliterate the dam.

Perhaps in no country throughout the entire span of the Earth’s history has as much been said about the rights of humankind that in the United States of America. A denial of the right to representation when confronted with increased taxation fomented, arguably, the Revolutionary War. Our Constitution, the ultimate law of the land, would never have been adopted without the guaranty of its first several amendments, commonly called the Bill of Rights. Since then, all kinds of rights have been championed and gain for citizens generally or specific societal demographics previously deprived.

Rights, however, represent only half of a two-part, mutually-dependent system. We see the second part, rarely, if ever, showcased in public discourse: the companion principle of obligation. What is the implication of the theory of rights and obligations when applied to same-sex marriage? If one has a right to marry, another has an obligation to recognize the marriage. Though plenty of emotional, ill-reasoned rhetoric supports the supposed right of same-sex couples to marry, nothing proves an obligation upon others to recognize the marriage.

Insisting on encumbering those opposed to same-sex marriage with an obligation to recognize the repugnant institution violates the most basic, God-given right of liberty. On commercial, religious, and even social levels, citizens everywhere would be obligated to suppress their individual consciences by dealing with those whom they morally oppose, leading America on to repeat the history described by General Douglas MacArthur:

History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster. (Manchester, William. American Caesar. Annapolis, MD, Naval Institute Press.)

I am grateful for marriages where religious conscience plays a major role in the relationship, and in the rearing of children. Such a blessed institution constitutes the fabric of society, and provides for all that is good that our nation enjoys, stabilizing and moralizing both nations and individuals.

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