It’s Nothing to Do With Equality

The Supreme Court of the United States is currently hearing oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry in which the issue presented is “Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the· union of a man and a woman.”

Let’s get beyond whether the Supremes will extend the 14th even further beyond all intent, stretching until it has got to finally snap. The Nine – and their various incarnations over the last 50 years -have  made the 14th into whatever they have want to fashion it. And one may argue that they can do so. The 14th Amendment is a creation of the people of the United States and those who are the lawful representatives of the United States, whether in matters legislative, executive or judicial, will do what they may.

What all the “fair-minded people” in front of the Supreme Court building and all of their friends in the blogosphere have missed is that whilst the 14th Amendment is the creation of the people, marriage isn’t it. Marriage isn’t the creation of any people, “fair-minded” or not.

I can understand why there might be some confusion by those who think that either marriage laws or individual marriage licenses create marriage. From at least  the time of Moses, there has been civil regulation of marriage. The Biblical concern was degrees of consanguinity. In more recent times, there have been age regulations and occasionally health precautions. All of these are concerned with the core purpose of marriage: procreation.

Likewise the purpose of a marriage license is to prevent those who should not procreate from doing so and to register the initiation of the marriage, should such information be needed later in the case of a dissolution. That there are those who will procreate unlicensed does not invalidate the purpose. After all, the law formerly addressed adultery and fornication to curb that factor.

But we need to get this clear: marriage was created by God and is merely regulated by the State. That marriage was created by God to be between a man and a woman is patently clear from Scripture. It’s very institution is linked to the creation of woman as distinct from man. Scripture never suggests that it could be otherwise. All of human history until this most recent blink of an eye has been a universal witness to this. This is, of course, not surprising, as this is the only means of procreation.

And what of the constant cry that we shouldn’t stand in the way of two people loving each other? Love only enters into the matter within the bounds of the institution itself. There are many loves in the world that are not the love of marriage. Each of those must respect the bounds of the type of relationship in which the love grows.

Our affections for other people do not define us. Our desires do not define us. Love itself is not subject to our definition. It is an attribute of God and a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The legislatures of the several States have the authority to create a type of contractual relationship which persons of the same sex can enter into that carries with it the same legislated advantages that marriage has in the eyes of the law. These legislatures can pass laws regarding real property ownership, taxation, and intestacy.  If the 14th Amendment were going to apply, it would be that these new contractual relationships would be allowed to heterosexual fornicators as well.

So once again, let us be clear. Marriage equality is not about marriage equality. All marriages are equally marriages. However, to declare something a marriage outside of the inherent definition of marriage in creation is to directly defy the Creator. We can throw ourselves on the floor and have a tantrum and say, “But it’s not fair!” all we want. “Fair”, along with “righteous,” “just,” and “true,” are not ours to decide or define.

If the Supreme Court of the United States decides that the State of California is prohibited from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman on the basis of the 14th Amendment, it will really be saying states must recognize the marriage of any two people – though logically the next step must be to overturn polygamy laws – but I’ll leave that for now. This is not really about the 14th Amendment or equality before the law. It is about who or Who has the authority to define marriage.

2 Responses to It’s Nothing to Do With Equality

  1. The problem with that is that states’ union legislation is so patchy. Some do not recognise other states’ unions, and as it is not federal such unions have no effect on immigration status, among other things.

    Other cultures celebrate gay unions, and recognise them. People “cleaving” to each other so that the two shall become one flesh has never been solely heterosexual. And- you really should look at the Scriptures again. Your interpretations are like those of the 19th century Evangelicals who supported American slavery from the Bible.

  2. Dave says:

    Unfortunately, because state have decided that they have the authority to define marriage, the DOMA was necessary for matter such as immigration. Had those states not presumed to take upon themselves the authority of God, DOMA would have been unnecessary. Until some of the state took such a presumption upon themselves, there was no problem with Full Faith and Credit recognition of marriages validly entered into in one state being maintained in another state that would not have allowed the marriage. This has always been the case with marriage ages. For example, in the 1930s, the marriage age without parental consent in Kentucky was 21. It was 18 in Indiana. It was therefore common for couples to travel to Indiana and get married and then return to Kentucky, still lawfully man and wife.

    Historically, there are no cultures that had a concept of gay marriage. There are cultures in which sodomy was tolerated. This is hardly the same thing. There has been some badly-done agenda-driven anthropology to try to find isolated examples and from them build a basis of historical normalization.

    I’m pretty familiar with the Scriptures with regard to this – particularly the New Testament. I’m familiar with the 19th century theologians who supported (and opposed) slavery. Other than the fact that, like both sides (except perhaps the Unitarian abolitionist of New England) I take the Scriptures as they are written to be of continuing validity, I think your attempt at guilt by association (albeit one 150 years in the past) fails. You could be a bit more inventive than that.

    Of course my article said nothing about homosexuality itself. It was about what constitutes a marriage. You seem to have the two muddled in your mind.

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