Who killed marriage? A look at the history of gay marriage activism

From National Review, a reminder from Ed Whelan on which political party pushed for the redefinition of marriage.


In 1996, defenders of marriage respond to judicial mischief against marriage by drafting and proposing the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA wins overwhelming majorities in both Houses of Congress—85 to 14 in the Senate and 342 to 67 in the House. Among its supporters are many strong advocates of gay rights, including President Clinton, who signs DOMA into law, and then-senator Joe Biden.

This modest measure merely reaffirms and makes crystal clear what Congress had always meant by the term marriage in provisions of federal law: a male-female union. DOMA doesn’t intrude at all on a state’s authority to regulate marriage under state law. It doesn’t nullify or prohibit any marriages, or in any other respect preempt the operation of state law. On the contrary, it leaves the states free to define, or redefine, marriage as they please.

Initial litigation attacks against DOMA fail. But then President Obama is elected. First, the Obama administration, with the complicity of then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan, actively sabotages its purported defense of DOMA. Then, on the flimsiest of pretexts, it completely abandons its duty to defend DOMA and aggressively attacks DOMA. (See Part IV of my House testimony on the “First” proposition and the remainder of it on the latter.) The Supreme Court ends up invalidating DOMA in an opinion by Justice Kennedy that, in the course of breaking new ground, smears supporters of DOMA as mean-spirited bigots. To top off the farce, Kagan provides the decisive fifth vote.

The battle for marriage in California displays a similar pattern. In 2000, California voters adopt Proposition 22 to affirm that marriage in California remains what it has always been—the union of a man and a woman. In May 2008, the state supreme court, in a novel opinion and by a 4-3 vote, strikes down Proposition 22 as supposedly violative of the state constitution. Marriage supporters respond with Prop 8, which the voters of California adopt in November 2008. Intense and vicious bullying of supporters of Prop 8 ensues.

Proponents of same-sex marriage then run to their favorite federal courthouse to challenge Prop 8 on federal constitutional grounds. They draw as the judge in the case Vaughn Walker, who proceeds to engage in what is probably the most egregious course of misconduct ever by a federal district judge (and who discloses only after his retirement from the bench that he is in a long-term same-sex relationship and thus was ruling on his own right to marry his same-sex partner). The Ninth Circuit ruling on appeal, which also holds Prop. 8 to be unconstitutional, is written by notorious liberal activist Stephen Reinhardt. Judge Reinhardt’s wife, Ramona Ripston, directed an ACLU affiliate that filed briefs in support of the Prop. 8 challengers in the same case and publicly rejoiced over Judge Walker’s ruling. Yet Judge Reinhardt somehow refuses to disqualify himself from deciding the appeal.

As reprehensible is the unprecedented refusal of California officials to defend Prop 8—a refusal that ultimately leads five members of the Supreme Court (including Kagan, the decisive vote once again) to rule that the Court has no jurisdiction over the case.

So Obama’s selection of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, a known opponent of marriage, was decisive. She was confirmed to the court in 2010, so you might expect all the church-attending people who supported Obama to not vote for him again in 2012. I wrote about her pro-abortion views and pro-gay-agenda views in 2010, so we all had the opportunity to realize what Obama believed by nominating Kagan. But something tells me that the church people who voted for Obama in 2008 just went ahead and voted for him a second time in 2012. Because they were not interested in his record at all. They were moved by shallowness and appearances.

One thing that I would like to say to people who attend church, but who voted for gay marriage activists. The Bibles in the pews are there for a reason. If you formulate your decision on how to vote without it, then that is not authentic Christianity. You should not vote without reading evidence from research (e.g. – scientific research like the Regnerus study) to confirm the Bible and apply the Bible. I don’t think that God is pleased with people who disregard his Word and the evidence that confirms it. You are not here to be influenced by Hollywood or by public schools. You are here to know God and to puzzle these moral questions out using evidence.

4 thoughts on “Who killed marriage? A look at the history of gay marriage activism”

  1. Amen! The 2nd sentence of your last paragraph says it all. Let us have the courage to confront, and the grace to pray for, cultural “Christians” as well as unbelievers in America. (I pray for Obama-Gosnell each day: toughest thing I have ever done in my life.)

    “Soon” the churches will be empty. The Bibles will be confiscated as “hate speech.” It will take guts to own a Bible in America, and even more to proclaim that Jesus is Lord. The fundamental transformation is nearly complete.


  2. Good post. The bullying, namecalling you mentioned is a nasty tactic. However, it seems to be working for them. Accusations of hatefulness and bigotry are childish and simplistic. How does one sensibly respond to it? Supporters of real marriage are on the whole good people who are interested in defending something that is worth defending.


  3. Marriage is a biological construct — male-female — available to all sexual orientations without discrimination.

    It is only by re-framing the debate in terms of sexual orientations, and viewing marriage as a “heterosexual institution” that “gay marriage” gets traction.

    And the underlying philosophical assumptions, are, of course, darwinian.


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