First Amendment Rights at Stake in Gay Marriage Case
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
With media coverage slanted in favor of gay marriage by a five-to-one ratio, it’s unlikely that the legal documents being filed before the Supreme Court in favor of a traditional one man and one woman marriage will ever be covered in an objective fashion.
Yet, some of the legal briefs carry ominous warnings about what could happen to the American system of democratic self-government and its Christian heritage if the Supreme Court unilaterally decides to impose same-sex marriage on the states. They also warn about freedom of the press and religion being threatened by a powerful pro-homosexual movement that requires obedience to its desires and demands.
The court will hear arguments on April 28 and rule in June.
A powerful brief filed by the firm of William J. Olson, P.C., Attorneys at Law, and the U.S. Justice Foundation cites the late conservative journalist M. Stanton Evans in his book The Theme of Freedom as saying that homosexuality constitutes “a reversion to pagan ways of thinking,” and that putting the United States on the road to paganism could lead to a government “with totalitarian powers.”
Examining the nature of the homosexual movement and where it is driving the nation, the legal brief notes that sexual categories once limited to heterosexual and homosexual have now been expanded to include more than 50 gender options, as defined by Facebook, and that “some consider pedophilia to be a legitimate sexual orientation, returning us to the pagan pederasty of ancient Greece.”
With the court affirming same-sex marriage as a constitutional right, the lawyers see the culture sliding further into debauchery. “Television no doubt will become even more pro-homosexual,” the attorneys argue, “making it more difficult for persons adhering to traditional values to live their lives and raise their children in an increasingly debased culture.”
“In this brave, new, homosexual-friendly world,” they go on, “every licensed professional would be required to embrace the new orthodoxy, to bow down to the idol of ‘non-discrimination,’ or be cast out of his profession. People who first claimed only to want tolerance of their behavior will allow no toleration for other views.”
The Olson brief says a Court decision in violation of America’s founding principles could directly affect the free press rights of those offering information about withdrawing from homosexual behavior. Websites offering such counseling could be outlawed as “hate speech,” the legal document says.
“In California,” the document notes, “it is already a crime” to counsel minors that homosexuals can change their sexual orientation. It says New Jersey passed a similar statute, which was recently upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. This statute was signed into law by New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie.
“Newspapers likely will be forced to publish homosexual wedding announcements, in violation of their existing editorial control over what they publish,” the attorneys assert.
A decision in favor of same-sex marriage could also result in Christians being “driven from public office” for objecting to participation in gay marriage ceremonies, the brief says.
The Olson firm and the U.S. Justice Foundation filed the brief on behalf of Public Advocate of the U.S., Joyce Meyer Ministries, U.S. Justice Foundation, The Lincoln Institute, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Pastor Chuck Baldwin.
The brief says that a constitutional right to homosexual marriage could supersede the religious freedom of churches, ministries, Christian schools and colleges, and that these entities “would be placed in jeopardy of losing their federal tax-exempt status.” The loss of federal income tax-exempt status “could lead to loss of contribution income, and forfeiting of church properties to pro-homosexual charities,” the brief says. In addition, it goes on, “criminal penalties might be imposed on church leaders. In Idaho, two pastors recently were threatened with fines and jail time unless they performed homosexual marriages at their wedding chapel.”
In addition to the threat posed to the First Amendment rights of a free press and religious expression, the conservative public interest law firm Judicial Watch has filed a brief noting that the will of the American people through the voting process has already been subverted by liberal judges.
The group points out that “most of the States where the traditional definition of marriage has been changed has been done through judicial actions and not the will of the people. And in fact, several States including California and Virginia where the voters clearly desired to maintain the traditional definition of marriage, state administrators and federal courts denied their collective voices.”
“The right to vote is clearly defined in the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution,” Judicial Watch points out. Yet, courts have declared through “judicial fiat” that “the millions of voters who democratically adopted the marriage amendments were wrong,” thereby abridging “the right to vote of each and every one of those citizens.”
The brief goes on to say that “The message sent to these citizens is that, despite engaging in the democratic process and debate regarding issues predominately within the state sphere and casting their constitutionally protected votes, when a federal court decides it knows better, their votes will mean nothing. The inevitable consequence of this type of federal interference will be voter disenfranchisement. How can we beat the patriotic drum of voter involvement when the ultimate end can be erased by a few federal judges?”
The Olson brief also takes up the theme of the American people being denied their say in these matters, noting cases of judges who “have treated challenges to traditional marriage as an opportunity to exercise raw political power…”
Inevitably, the lawyers warn, the nation could witness the legalization of multiple-partner and incestuous marriages.