By Jan Schultz, The Imperial Republican News Editor
While same-sex marriage proponents gained a big win on Friday, repercussions from the U.S. Supreme Court’s split decision are certain to follow, affecting other areas of our lives.
Nothing in the U.S. Constitution mandates a redefinition of marriage, yet the 5-4 vote by a group of non-elected judges invented a new constitutional right, one that should be left to the states.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there were 39 states that allowed same-sex marriage prior to last week’s decision. However, in the vast majority of them, two-thirds, judicial decisions established same-sex marriage.
In only one—Maine—people voted in a ballot measure to approve same-sex marriage recognition.
Nebraska is among those states that voted overwhelmingly to affirm the traditional view of marriage between a man and a women in its Constitution.
However, all that is moot now, as last week’s decision obliges states to conform.
Repercussions down the road will occur.
Will church pastors who believe in the traditional view of marriage no longer get the state’s “blessing” that legalizes marriages in their churches if they refuse to marry same-sex couples?
What about Justices of the Peace or county judges who also hold a personal religious belief in the traditional meaning of marriage? Will they now be ordered to perform same-sex marriages since they work for the government?
Months before last week’s decision, in states like Washington and New York, private business owners including a florist and farmer were sued or fined because they refused, in the first case, to make flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding and, in the other, declined to host a same-sex wedding on their property. In both cases, their guilty verdicts have been appealed and are still pending.
Is more of that coming now that same-sex marriage is a right?
President Obama called Friday’s ruling a “victory for America,” adding it “will strengthen all of our communities.” That remains to be seen.
One thing for sure, it has removed the debate on the issue at the state level where it should be. But maybe we can understand further how this group of nine Justices came to Friday’s decision when looking at some facts on their backgrounds, pointed out by Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the four dissenters:
“Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east and west coast states. Only one hails from the vast expanse in between. Not a single southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine westerner (California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans), or even a Protestant of any denomination.”
With that kind of makeup should we have expected anything else?