Another One (Three Marriage Protection Laws) Bites the Dust

Posted on May 26, 2014 in Marriage by

seal of the stateJudge strikes down Idaho marriage protection law.

Judge strikes down Arkansas marriage protection law.

Judge strikes down Oregon marriage protection law.

Judge strikes down Pennsylvania marriage protection law.

The disturbing trend of judicial activism that continues to plague our country has claimed more victims. I’ve previously written about what is happening in a number of states regarding marriage. The previous article centered on 13 states: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Kentucky, Colorado, Oregon, Texas, Michigan,
Tennessee, Indiana, Florida, and Ohio.

In each of these states federal judges or a combination of federal judges and state legislatures (in cooperation with attorney’s general) have either overturned voter approved laws or simply refused to defend state laws from attacks. Or a state was on the list because a challenge was in place and an outcome to the challenge was pending; as in the case of Oregon which has now “fallen” and had marriage redefined by a federal judge; and in the case of Pennsylvania where the attorney general refused to defend the marriage protection law and a federal judge has now struck down the law.

We can now add to the list Idaho and Arkansas. (A challenge in Georgia is still pending a decision.)

We are up to 15 states that have watched as federal judges, state legislatures and attorney’s general have all ignored the will of the people, the majority, and redefined marriage for the entire state. Georgia is still awaiting the outcome of a challenge to their state marriage protection law.

Will Georgia, or West Virginia be the next state to fall to judicial activism in the ongoing battle to preserve marriage? There is currently a lawsuit in federal court challenging the legality of West Virginia’s DOMA law. West Virginia doesn’t even have a constitutional amendment defining marriage because our lawmakers would not allow such an amendment to be added to the ballot in 2010 when it was requested. So the only thing preventing marriage from being redefined in West Virginia is our DOMA law, which is currently being challenged by several homosexual couples from Kanawha and Putnam counties. It’s only a matter of time before a federal judge redefines marriage for all of West Virginia unless the people pressure our lawmakers to take action. (Although, don’t count on Gov. Tomblin to sign any laws protecting marriage even if he does profess to be “pro-traditional marriage.” We see how his “pro-life” conviction worked out.)

Frankly, it would not surprise me one bit if marriage was redefined in West Virginia via judicial order after the mid-term elections in 2014. Once the election dust settles there will be nothing stopping the courts from redefining marriage for the state. Before the election it is a risky move considering most lawmakers in West Virginia are Democrat and redefining marriage would severely harm Democrat candidates’ campaigns. Especially at a time when Republicans are poised to take control of at least one chamber in the legislature. So everyone will be watching after the election.

What is striking about each of these cases is the similarities, or relative similarities in each state. If you look closely at the list you will notice these are all predominantly conservative states. Each of these states embraces more traditional values and beliefs regarding a wide range of issues, including marriage. Each of these states tends to elect conservative leaders for both federal and state office. While certain exceptions exist these states are similar in their values, beliefs, politics, and governance.

This trend in judicial activism is troubling for several reasons. First, judges should not act unilaterally to force actions that the majority are opposed to. There is a process the legal system takes that was designed specifically to prevent this very thing. Liberal judges are stepping outside the boundaries of their power to breach their position and power by making these rulings that violate state laws.

But consider also how arbitrary many of the statements by these federal Judges is. In the Indiana case the judge said attorneys defending the marriage laws haven’t “given a valid reason” for the ban and so he ruled in favor of the couple. To put this in perspective, this judge has allowed the emotional narrative of this couple to trump the law.

This favorite tactic of the liberal left is undeniable. They enjoy using emotional narrative and making others feel sorry for them. But the fact is the law is objective fact free from emotion. This is necessary to ensure the law is applied to everyone equally. Homosexuals are asking the courts to give them “a break” because of their sad sob story. This is not equality, this is emotional abuse.

The idea that this judge would say the attorney’s did not give a valid reason for defending the law is absurd. The only reason the attorney’s needed was to hold up the amendment passed by the vote of the people and say “here’s our reason.” The judges’ words are dangerous in that it makes the law not objective but arbitrary. What exactly is a valid reason to this judge? And who determines its validity?

I can’t help but wonder how the liberal left would respond if conservative judges were overturning laws they didn’t like or agree with at break-neck speeds? No doubt he media would be filled with stories and debates would be raging about how to “reign in judicial activism.” But since the left likes what these judges are doing they don’t care that it’s unconstitutional or illegal. They don’t care that the will of the people is being trampled since they’re getting their way.

The bottom line is that marriage is being attacked from within and without. Those that support traditional marriage but are content to do nothing and say nothing are harming marriage from within by their inaction. The attacks from without are obvious and more overt but are only successful as a result of the inaction of traditional marriage defenders. The time for action is now.

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