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'Bigger than gay marriage'

Courts | With the recent ruling in Connecticut, Americans need to decide whether they want their country to be shaped by the courts, or by "we the people"

Anyone desiring a preview of what the federal judiciary could soon look like need look no further than a narrow ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court allowing same-sex "marriage."

By a 4-3 margin, the high court deprived Connecticut citizens of the right to limit marriage and, thus, societal approval, to the legal and covenantal relationship between a man and a woman.

The ruling cannot be appealed, in keeping with the dictatorial mind-set of the majority.

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The court majority bought the legal pabulum served up by attorneys for the plaintiffs that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is akin to once prevalent laws prohibiting interracial marriage, as well as laws that discriminated against women for certain jobs and relegated blacks to "separate but equal" schools and other public venues.

Writing for the majority, Justice Richard N. Palmer revealed his acceptance of the liberal doctrine of a "living Constitution" constantly in need of updating in keeping with the times: "…our understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional protection." Using such a standard, if the "understanding" of the endowed rights of blacks were to devolve to a pre-civil-rights-era acceptance of black inferiority, would Justice Palmer argue that blacks would then have to give up their rights in order to serve "contemporary appreciation"? And what else would Justice Palmer and his three colleagues allow to be determined by contemporary whim?

Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, accused the majority of behaving like "robed masters" and "philosopher kings." He added, "This is about our right to govern ourselves. It is bigger than gay marriage." He is correct, of course, but such notions are beginning to fade as more of us either don't care, or are willing to trade a ruling class-in this case the courts-for individual freedom and the right to shape societal norms and mores from the bottom up, not the top down.

Connecticut becomes the third state-Massachusetts and California are the others-to sanction same-sex marriage. California has a measure on its November ballot, Proposition 8, to reverse a state Supreme Court ruling and preserve marriage between men and women.

An indication that the objectives of the gay-rights movement go far beyond what any two individuals wish to do with each other can be seen in what California has tried to impose on heterosexuals wishing to marry. According to Focus on the Family's Citizen Link Web page, some county clerks exchanged the words "bride" and "groom" on marriage licenses for "Party A" and "Party B." One clerk rejected the application of Rachel Bird and Gideon Codding because they wrote in the traditional designations for themselves. It took a lawsuit by the Coddings, decided in their favor on Oct. 3, for the state to back down on its "Party A" and "Party B" requirement. Couples will now be allowed the "option" to designate themselves however they wish.

With the current climate, it is not far-fetched to see the day when liberal federal judges decide that religious organizations must lose their tax exemptions should they refuse to employ homosexuals or others they regard as engaging in deviant behavior.

Court challenges against those who believe homosexual behavior is sinful seem to be occurring with greater frequency. According to Citizenlink, The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association in New Jersey, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, "lost part of its property tax exemption for refusing to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its property." The state is also investigating the organization after it was charged with violating New Jersey's nondiscrimination statutes. New Jersey has a religious exemption law that is supposed to protect churches and religious organizations, but it hasn't in this instance, which raises questions about their effectiveness. The aim of the gay-rights lobby is to destroy all remnants of biblical values and societal norms.

Gay-rights advocates will take their agenda to federal courts as soon as sufficient numbers of liberal judges are there to give them what they want. The upcoming election is, among other things, about the future of the majority and whether we want this country to be shaped by the courts, or by "we the people."
© 2008 Tribune Media Services Inc.

Cal Thomas
Cal Thomas

Cal, whose syndicated column appears on WORLD's website and in more than 500 newspapers, is a frequent contributor to WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Cal on Twitter @CalThomas.

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