Discussing marriage now without Justice Kennedy is like playing Hamlet without the first grave-digger.

In Section 3 of DOMA, the Congress stipulated that “marriage” would refer only to “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” But to Justice Kennedy this affirmation of the meaning of marriage bristled with hatred and condemnation. In affirming marriage as the relation of a man and woman, Congress showed a disposition to “disparage” and “demean” gays and lesbians, to deny their “equal dignity” and affect them with a “stigma.”

As Justice Scalia pointed out, Kennedy was essentially charging with bigotry the people who had drafted this bill, but also the 85 Senators and 347 congressmen who voted for it, along with the president (Clinton) who had signed it. Hate-mongers all.

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Latest SCOTUS ruling: Casual contempt for the citizenry.

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What connects the above to today’s decisions in Washington is the slapdash contempt of Anthony Kennedy’s opinion. Whatever the merits of gay marriage, it ought to revolt anyone with a decent respect for self-government that this incompetent jurist could find no other way to frame the issue than to besmirch the motives of those who oppose him. As Justice Scalia wrote:

To defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement… It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race. 

What I always objected to in Canada about Section 13 was its casual contempt for the citizenry, the same contempt on display today in Washington and London. Like Theresa May, Justice Kennedy would rather impute motive than engage argument. The need to delegitimize those who disagree does indeed “demean this institution”, and is profoundly disturbing.

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Attorney General says the Defense of Marriage Act is the result of vehement enmity, hatred and ill will … so he won’t defend it in court.

The decision by Attorney General Holder not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act raises very grave questions.

Justifying his position, he says that in the congressional debate there were “numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate family relationships.”  He went on to describe this as “animus” (defined by Webster as vehement enmity, hatred, ill will)-violating the Equal Protection Clause.

“Animus” to defend a moral position based on 2,000 years of classical and Christian teaching rooted in reason and scripture?

Holder has embraced the position of Federal Judge Vaughn Walker in California that opposing so-called gay marriage can be “harmful to gays and lesbians.”  But this is like claiming that opposition to polygamy is harmful to polygamists or that laws defining marriage as the union of two people harm those who prefer to live in what are called sexual “triads” or “quadrads.”  Our historic marriage laws harm nobody–they serve husbands, wives, children, and the common good of society.

If the expression of our deepest convictions is treated as animus, our religious liberty is in peril.  We cannot fail to speak the truth even if it is labeled hate speech.

Read more at ManhattanDeclaration.org