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The Roe vs. Wade of Marriage?

Today the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments over whether or not same-sex couples should have a fundamental, constitutional right to marry. Opponents of natural marriage have suggested that one-man one-woman marriage is exclusive of gays and lesbians and is, therefore, discriminatory and unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. There is a major flaw with this argument: sexual orientation and / or activity are not involuntary characteristics on par with race or gender, which were the primary concerns of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Additionally, no clause of the Constitution addresses the issue of marriage, homosexual or heterosexual; therefore, the definition thereof is reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. For the Court to even consider nationalizing same-sex marriage by, in effect, writing it into the Constitution would be a grave perversion of the Fourteenth Amendment and subversion of the Tenth Amendment.
That the Supreme Court of the United States will decide whether the people have the power to decide public policy in their respective states is deeply disturbing. As a majority of states, my state of South Carolina included, have passed laws and / or constitutional amendments protecting marriage, the Court’s decision on the constitutionality of such laws will ultimately, determine the validity of state marriage laws in a majority of the states in this Union. The deeply held and time-honored belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman may now be subverted by judicial activism, in defiance of the nation’s commitment to the separation of powers. It would not be the first time the U.S. Supreme Court sought to subvert the will of the people, thus tearing the nation’s cultural and economic fabric. A startling, and similar, example of judicial activism came in 1857 with the Court’s decision in the Dred Scott case.
Dred Scott was born a slave in Southampton County, Virginia, but was later taken by his master to the Wisconsin Territory (present day Minnesota) and Illinois, where slavery was not permitted. When his master died, Scott was living in Missouri, a state that was not a free state, but permitted access to the court system whereby slaves had a legal avenue to obtain their emancipation. Scott sued for his freedom, claiming that his presence in free state territory nullified his status as a bound slave and that, as a result, he ought to be granted his liberty. The Missouri Court denied his petition and the case was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. By the time the case reached the Supreme Court, the so called “Missouri Compromise” had already been made, wherein new states added to the Union would, by popular sovereignty, determine their own status as slave or free. To me, this is one decision that should not have been left to the states, as the U.S. Constitution is considered the supreme law of the land. As such, in our Federal system of government, the Constitution is designed to protect certain American Principles, regardless of state laws. An example would be the rights to freedom and personhood. I believe that each American has the inviolable right to each, and that any state law passed that violates these commonly held freedoms, guaranteed by the Constitution, must be negated. Instead, the Court in Dred Scott struck down state laws that protected citizens’ unalienable rights, in favor of a policy that undermined their constitutional protections.
The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dred Scott case not only upended social order in American Society, forcing the expansion of slavery, but had dire economic consequences as well. Migrating low and middle-income workers, who were seeking economic opportunity in the new states being carved out of the American Frontier, drove the expansion of the West. This trend, which was supported by the belief that slavery would not be permitted in the western states (slavery drives down wages for lower to middle income workers, for obvious reasons), drove the expansion of American railroads in the western territories. The hot stocks of the 1850′s were railroads…they were the equivalent then to the dot.com stocks of the 1990s. When the Supreme Court opened the door to slavery in western lands, the western migration dropped to a trickle, and railway stocks hit the ditch. The same sort of “unintended consequences” will take place if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to destroy marriage as we know it. If they decide to uphold the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court, then marriage in America will be a memory. Almost immediately, challenges will be brought against every other state law protecting the sanctity of marriage, which will radically undermine the cornerstone of American Civilization. The economic consequences will be a lagging indicator, but will be no less real. Broken homes already cost the American People $ billions annually in the form of social welfare programs, one can scarcely comprehend the cost if marriage is completely undermined.
If marriage is destroyed, then the nightmare of Aristotle will have been fulfilled: the “family of the state” will replace the nucleic family. Big government will be our parent, and the people its children. Freedom in America will be undermined. My friends, we must be prepared to challenge the Supreme Court’s ruling if it rules against the rights of the states to implement laws protecting marriage, claiming that such laws are unconstitutional. We must encourage our Members of Congress to be prepared to introduce an amendment to the Constitution in Congress, which would implicitly reserve the question of marriage to the states, thus overturning what would be the Supreme Court’s abuse of the Fourteenth Amendment just as the Thirteenth Amendment overturned the infamous Dred Scott decision. If this issue is usurped without answer, government of the people, by the people, and for the people will have perished from the Earth.

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