The Federal Sixth Court of Appeals went against the grain of recent appellate court decisions the other day when it upheld traditional marriage laws in four states. The Supreme Court must now decide the constitutionality of state laws declaring marriage is between one man and one woman – an issue that was never an issue in the twenty centuries of Western Civilization preceding this one…or in any civilization in any century.
The Court’s ruling – whatever it is – will bring closure to marriage validity across the country. It will be a one-size-fits-all decision. And the marriage laws found unconstitutional in thirty-two states – no vote of the people has ever accepted same sex marriage – will all once again be on the table. That includes California’s Proposition 8.
Why is it so important? It’s about compassion, the Constitution, and God.
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The Word of God commands authentic compassion for all. In Matthew 25:31-40, Jesus says when we show compassion for “the least of these” we show it for Him. Just as clear is the prohibition against condemning (judging) in 1 Corinthians 6, placed alongside a strong prohibition against homosexual behavior, for “that is what some of you were.” But the operant term is “authentic” compassion.
“In 2012 men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 75% of…syphilis cases in the United States,” according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control. Gays lead in every other category of STD; their rates of addiction, suicide, and domestic violence are equally disproportionate for less than 2% of the population. Gays have been sold the lie that marriage will solve their health disasters; this is such a farce that they sued the Canadian government because the very opposite was so clearly the case after Canada legalized gay marriage. Authentic compassion begins with speaking the truth.
The Tenth Amendment reserves all powers not explicitly granted the Federal Government to the States and the people. That means states are entitled and expected to order their culture as seems best to them. “But,” say the supporters of so-called marriage equality, “the courts have overturned many laws that compromise the equal protection guarantees in the Fourteenth Amendment, laws the Civil Rights Movement fought for decades. This is why we must overturn traditional marriage laws.” The difference is that slavery, voter rights, and racial discrimination were controversial issues from America’s birth. In every racial issue before the Supreme Court justices returned to the original intent of the Founders for freedom. In affirmative action cases the justices have increasingly found they actually cause more discrimination and – as such – are outside original intent. Again, all the civil rights issues of previous years were alive and controversial from the birth of our nation. Re-defining marriage was beyond imagination to the Founders, and so never an outgrowth of the freedom for which they fought. The Fourteenth Amendment is not in play here, but the Tenth can and should govern these decisions. Authentic interpretation of the Constitution requires it.
And what about God? He speaks clearly in Mark 10:6-8. “But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one.” The defenders of gay marriage are right when they say Jesus never condemned gay marriage. He is a Lord of creation and resurrection, not of condemnation. He speaks the only model for marriage that works to bring peace and wholeness to humankind; He needn’t speak of what does not work and never has. God does not condemn; He commends the only model consistent with His greatest creation.
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That the Supreme Court must take up the issue – not of what constitutes marriage but of who gets to decide it for a state or for all the states – is good news for the heterosexual community. Many of this more than 98% of the population are disenfranchised by the high handed tactics of multiple federal courts. Freedom of speech and faith have been abused in every state these courts have impacted. And the jury is in; all studies show that wherever traditional marriage is stripped of cultural authority heterosexual marriages become less frequent and less enduring. But the homosexual community suffers the most damage. The gay lifestyle is inherently deadly to those who practice it. Turning back the lie that permitting gays to marry will somehow save lives is the first step to healing the whole culture – gay or straight. And it just might stimulate Christians to discover what it really means to reject sin and dysfunction while embracing those trapped in its tentacles.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships and The Holy Spirit and the End Times – available at local bookstores or by e-mailing him at
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