The Supreme Court has spoken in defense of love. In a 5-4 ruling today, they proclaimed that the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed equal access to marriage for all, including same-sex couples.
Predictably, conservatives are losing their minds over the decision.
— Lee Jackson (@Stonewall_77) June 26, 2015
— #MakeDCListen™ (@RickCanton) June 26, 2015
— Chief G (@ChiefG4LSU) June 26, 2015
— Ron Dickerhoof Jr. (@rdickerhoof) June 26, 2015
— Mors Ab Alto (@JoeParsi) June 26, 2015
— Peter LaBarbera (@PeterLaBarbera) June 26, 2015
— GregJaye (@GregJaye) June 26, 2015
— David E. Smith ن (@ProFamilyIL) June 26, 2015
There’s so, so, so much more. On a day like today, where the courts just made it so that such bigotry cannot infiltrate the legal system in a deliberate conflation of church and state, these tears of white hot rage are as delicious as they are hilarious. But before you write these comments off as “fringe,” know that the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls aren’t doing much better as they sell their souls for votes.
Mike Huckabee was, as expected, apocalyptic and ready to take up arms:
The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.
This ruling is not about marriage equality, it’s about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court’s most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny.
The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the law of gravity. Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this President, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment.
Rick Santorum‘s tweets hinted at a brewing battle:
Today, 5 unelected judges redefined the foundational unit of society. Now it is the people's turn to speak #Marriage
— Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum) June 26, 2015
The Court is 1 of 3 coequal branches of government & they have an imperfect record. Stakes are too high to cede marriage to unelected judges
— Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum) June 26, 2015
The Court ruled today that all Americans should receive equal benefits and rights from the government under the law. I have always supported this view. However, this decision was also about the definition of marriage itself. I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage. I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls and living rooms around the country.
Moving forward, however, all of our effort should be focused on protecting the religious liberties and freedom of conscience for those Americans that profoundly disagree with today’s decision.
Bobby Jindal decided to go for a grab bag of reasons he was angry:
The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on statesí rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.
This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty.
The government should not force those who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage to participate in these ceremonies. That would be a clear violation of Americaís long held commitment to religious liberty as protected in the First Amendment.
I will never stop fighting for religious liberty and I hope our leaders in D.C. join me.
Jeb Bush seemed confused as to whether he was going to be reasonable or not, offering this word salad:
Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.
Rick Perry went for short, sweet, and still discriminatory on Twitter:
I’m a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. #SCOTUS
— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) June 26, 2015
Scott Walker, on the other hand, alluded to the need for an amendment to the Constitution:
I believe SCOTUS' decision is a grave mistake. 5 unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage.-SKW
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) June 26, 2015
Our Founders first amended our Constitution to protect our "First Freedom," the free exercise of religion. -SKW pic.twitter.com/qE8AIc3hqG
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) June 26, 2015
And Donald Trump mostly just saw an opportunity to take a jab at Jeb:
Once again the Bush appointed Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has let us down. Jeb pushed him hard! Remember!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2015
At the time of this post, we’re still waiting to hear from Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and a slew of others — all of whom should have something entertaining to say.
On a day where so many are celebrating love and human dignity, the Religious Right and those who pander to them are sounding even nuttier than usual by contrast, their voices rising in hysteria. Those excited about today’s win for equality might be laughing at such antics as they revel in their victory, but we should be laughing at them for more than their whining and petulant threats. What’s really laughable is the nonsensical nature of their arguments.
One of the proclamations most consistently being made is that “only God” can define marriage, and that his definition is one man and one woman. Here’s the thing, though: that’s not actually the way it went. If you go through the Bible, you’ll find a wide array of different types of marriages, many of them unsavory by modern day standards. Ironically, though polygamy is featured prominently in the Bible, it’s been used as a cautionary tale of what same-sex marriage would justify in the future.
The definition of socially acceptable marriage has obviously changed since Biblical days, but what about those who claim it’s at least been static for the past few centuries? As it turns out, they’re also a tad delusional.
Just think about it in the U.S. alone. As recently as 1970, divorce was still very much taboo, and many states had a labyrinth of complex regulations that had to be satisfied for the divorce to be granted, especially if the person filing was a woman. It wasn’t until California legalized no fault divorce that an avalanche of changes in divorce law hit the country — changes that fundamentally altered the contractual nature of marriage. That redefinition was done by the states, folks.
And let’s not forget interracial marriage, either. It wasn’t until 1967 that people of different skin colors were guaranteed the right to marriage. That one, like same sex marriage, was decided by the courts as well. Fun fact: the Religious Right was on the wrong side of that issue, too. The judge whose decision sent Loving to the highest court in the land was a card carrying member of the movement, made notorious for penning in his decision:
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
So as it turns out, the Religious Right has tried the “as God intended” line of thinking before. It didn’t work out so well for them then. I wonder why they think it will work for them now.
But even if none of that was true, it wouldn’t matter. Separation of church and state isn’t just enshrined in the First Amendment; it also prevents us from inflicting the same kind of persecution that brought the Founding Fathers over here in the first place. The term “marriage,” as debated in front of the Court, is specific to the legal union of two people as defined by the government. So, yeah, technically speaking, what somebody’s God defines as marriage is pretty irrelevant to the question at hand.
And therein lies one of the most hypocritical elements in this uproar: opponents of marriage equality have proven themselves perfectly okay with ignoring that standard. The members of the Religious Right, always so fearful about other religions being pushed onto them or their children, still insist that their beliefs should be pushed onto others in violation of the Constitution that protects them from said fears. Let’s be clear: today’s ruling doesn’t mean they have to end their heterosexual marriages and enter into marriage with someone of the same sex. It just means that those who don’t subscribe to the same strain of Christianity as they do may live their life in a way that aligns with their own belief system.
In other words, these folks just don’t make sense.
The arguments I’m outlining here are not new. They have been presented to the Religious Right time and time again, but nothing has slowed the tide of ill-informed hissy fits. And of course a decision from the highest court in the land telling them to take a seat wasn’t going to make it any better. We knew this deluge of dumb was coming.
But that doesn’t matter. Love won today. Let them throw their tantrums while we throw glitter.