Homosexual Marriage: Why Comply?

drdsctIn the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 that homosexual marriage is legal in the USA under the Fourteenth Amendment due process requirement. This tyrannous decision was delivered on June 26, 2015, a date that will surely be remembered as marking a setback for Western Civilization. This should be a time when the governors of states where the people voted against homosexual marriage should consider not enforcing the Supreme Court ruling. If states have already voted through a law or an amendment to their state constitutions proclaiming that marriage is between one man and one woman, then they should simply refuse to authorize marriage licenses or marriage certificates to citizens within those states.

There is historical precedent for this position. Sen. Stephen Douglas debated Abraham Lincoln when they ran for a seat as U.S. Senator from Illinois in 1858. Douglas’ position was that popular sovereignty should prevail in the matter of slavery within a territory. He said, “Uniformity in the local laws and institutions of the different States is neither possible or desirable.” According to Douglas, the people in each territory should vote on whether or not slavery was to be legal. Thus, the decision would be a “grass roots” decision. Lincoln countered with a question about the Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). Lincoln noted that the Supreme Court had determined that slavery was constitutionally permitted – Chief Justice Taney stated the Court’s 7-2 decision that slavery was legal at the time of writing of the Constitution and that there was nothing in that document suggesting that it would be or should be banned. Lincoln thus asked, “If slavery is constitutionally legal then how can the people vote it out of existence?” Douglas’ answer was simply not to enforce slavery. The people should vote according to their consciences and desires, and enforce or fail to enforce according to their power and authority. This position became known as the Freeport Doctrine [because stated in a speech given in Freeport, IL].1 Douglas won the election.

In the years before the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the Supreme Court ruled against the State of Georgia in a land dispute they had with the Cherokees about their land rights. In Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. 515 (1832), the Court ruled that the Cherokee Nation was sovereign. According to the decision rendered by Justice John Marshall, this meant that Georgia had no rights to enforce state laws in its territory. In addition, it made the Indian Removal Act invalid, illegal, unconstitutional and against treaties previously made by the United States. But Andrew Jackson, then President, declared “John Marshall [Chief Justice] made his decision; now let him enforce it.”2 He promptly proceeded to expel the Cherokees from Georgia and march them to Oklahoma. They had to trek overland from Georgia to Oklahoma. Fifteen thousand were forced into the long march, and the suffering was unbelievable. Four thousand Cherokees died, and the march became known as the “Trail of Tears.” The point here is not whether President Jackson made a humane and good decision. Rather, he ignored the Court, and nothing could be or was done about it.

The above examples demonstrate that the Supreme Court has no power to enforce its decisions. The power rests with the people and those whom they elect. Thus, the states that have already stated that marriage is between one man and one woman may simply determine not to enforce the Supreme Court ruling. What would happen if a state were not to recognize same sex couples as legitimately married if they arrive from another state, or not to allow magistrates or license issuing agencies to issues licenses or certificates of marriage to homosexual couples? Let the lawsuits fly. The states should simply not comply.

1 http://www.ushistory.org/us/32b.asp

2 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2205966?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

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