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Front Page » March 23, 2004 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Protecting Marriage is Our Duty
Published 3,812 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Protecting Marriage is Our Duty


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By JAMES FRANKLIN RINEHART
Price

Editor:

The American people of all faiths and parties must join together to defeat the anti-marriage movement and its attempt to change the definition of marriage to include any type of sexual cohabitation.

State legislators and public officials must refuse to enforce court rulings as "law." Only elected representatives can make law. They should echo the famous remark of President Andrew Jackson about a Supreme Court ruling he believed was wrong: "[Chief Justice] John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it."

The legislatures of Massachusetts and Vermont (and any other state suffering from activist judges) must nullify, repeal or revoke any court's redefinition of marriage. This is what the people of Hawaii and Alaska did after their state courts used the ERA to legalize same-sex marriage. After the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is sex discrimination and unconstitutional under Hawaii's State ERA (Baehr v. Lewin, 852 P.244, 1993). Hawaii passed another constitutional amendment to overturn that decision. What Hawaii and Alaska did, other states can do too.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by Congress with big majorities in 1996 and signed by President Bill Clinton, does two things. (1) In everything that is touched by federal law, marriage must be defined as a legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife. (2) Using the Full Faith and Credit provision of the U.S. Constitution's Article IV, Congress prescribed that no state can be forced to accept another state's law or proceeding that treats a same-sex relationship as marriage.

DOMA is a splendid law, but pressure groups are threatening to file suit to declare this law unconstitutional and no one can predict what some pro-gay activist federal judge might do. Therefore, Congress should pass a third section to DOMA withdrawing jurisdiction from all federal courts to hear any challenge to DOMA.

Article 111, Sections I and 2, of the U.S. Constitution give Congress ample power to limit and regulate the jurisdiction of the federal courts to hear any challenge to DOMA, and to make DOMA an "exception" to the types of cases that the Supreme Court can decide. We cannot permit the federal courts to cooperate in the pressure groups' demands to legalize same-sex marriage.

We should pass an amendment to the United States Constitution to establish once and for all that marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, and that no court has any power to rule otherwise.


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