Many who support a definition of marriage that includes homosexual unions wrongly assume that those who support a traditional definition of marriage are “anti-gay.” The truth is that most are not “anti-gay,” they’re just “pro-religious freedom.”
That’s the problem with a government dictating what is and what is not “marriage.” While homosexuals, heterosexuals and everyone in-between should be free to live their lives as they see fit, many constitutionalists believe it is wrong for government to dictate what are and what are not acceptable beliefs. The pillar of traditional marriage has stood for thousands of years and this sacred institution still means something to many Americans. However, because homosexuals have crafted a new definition of this institution over the last several decades, those who still revere the model of marriage that has stood for thousands of years are somehow “bigoted.”
Where are the rights for those who cite a religious objection to recognizing this new interpretation of “marriage?” The First Amendment provides for a freedom of religion. Is that freedom only allowable when it does not conflict with the government’s secular agenda? Such a concept is akin to asserting that freedom of speech only applies to speech of which the government approves. It’s not really a “freedom” at all at that point.
That is precisely the point made by strict constitutionalist Ted Cruz . The Harvard scholar not only served as a clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but also taught university courses on Supreme Court litigation.
When he was recently asked a question regarding same-sex marriage and the enactment of religious freedom laws during a town hall hosted by ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Cruz had the perfect answer.
Todd Calogne, a New York Republican who claims to be married to a man, questioned Cruz about the creation of religious freedom laws that he called “institutionalized discrimination.” “What would you as President do to protect me and my husband from that institutionalized discrimination?”
“When it comes to religious liberty, religious liberty is something that protects everyone,” Cruz responded. “It is our very first amendment, very first phrase that is protected in the Bill of Rights.”
“It applies to Christians, it applies to Muslims, it applies to Jews, it applies to atheists,” he continued. “We want to be able to live in a world where we don’t have the government dictating our beliefs and how we live. We have a right to live according to our faith and according to our conscience.”
When host George Stephanopoulos questioned what would happen if the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling was overturned, Cruz returned to the Constitution to explain that this was, is, and should be a state issue.
“I am a constitutionalist and under the Constitution, marriage is a question for the states. That has been the case from the very beginning of this country- that it’s been up to the states. And so if someone wants to change the marriage laws, I don’t think it should be five unelected lawyers down in Washington dictating that. And even if you happen to agree with that particular decision, why would you want to hand over every important public policy issue to five unelected lawyers who aren’t accountable to you, who don’t work for you— instead if you want to change the marriage laws, convince your fellow citizens to change the laws. And by the way, it may end up that–we’ve got 50 states– that the laws in one state may be different than another state and we would expect that. We would expect the people of New York to adopt different laws than perhaps the people of Texas or California and that’s the great thing about a big, diverse country is that we can have different laws that respect different values.”
The issue here is not how one personally feels about homosexuals. The issue is how one feels about the Constitution and the protection it affords all Americans.
Placing this definition in the hands of states is the best way settle this issue. The majority of states held referendums to decide what citizens wanted and the majority of those states sought a prohibition of same-sex marriage.
Unfortunately, unelected jurists, even before the Supreme Court ruling, largely overruled these laws that were enacted through truly democratic means.
Americans are under attack by the government from every angle. We have a Congress that refuses to listen, an executive who operates as a king and a judicial branch interested in advancing an agenda over the boisterous protests of citizens.
Hopefully, with a president like Ted Cruz, we can begin to return to constitutional principles.