By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
December 10, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The future of marriage in America hangs in the balance next spring as the U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that it will take on two crucial cases — a challenge of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and an appeal of a lower court ruling against Prop 8, the voter approved marriage amendment in California. The court is expected to announce its decision by June.
“Wisdom and discernment — this should be our fervent prayer for the Supreme Court Justices as they take up these cases in the new year,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “The Alliance Defending Freedom is calling these cases ‘unprecedented in their potential impact’ and we couldn’t agree more.”
While same-sex activists welcomed the news on the heels of their Nov. 6 victories at the polls in Washington, Maryland, Maine and Minnesota, marriage defenders also applauded the court’s decision to take up the issue.
Brian Brown, head of the National Organization for Marriage, admitted that much is at stake, but told the Christian Post he was confident that the Supreme Court would address the cases “in a fair and equitable manner.” ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponent of Prop 8, which had called for Supreme Court review of Perry v. Brown, rejoiced at Friday’s announcement.
“More than seven million Californians of all races, creeds, and walks of life voted for Proposition 8 to preserve the traditional definition of marriage because they believe that the unique relationship between one man and one woman continues to meaningfully serve as the cornerstone of society, as it has since the beginning of time,” the group wrote on its Web site. “Since its passage four years ago, Prop 8 has been under continuous legal assault, and is now facing its final test at the steps of our nation’s highest court.”
Charles J. Cooper with Cooper & Kirk, ProtectMarriage.com’s lead counsel, told the media there was reason for optimism.
“The Supreme Court has made it very clear that the age-old definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is constitutional as a matter of public policy,” he said. “The lower court decisions in the Proposition 8 case essentially rejected all relevant Supreme Court and appellate court precedent. We are hopeful and confident that the Supreme Court will uphold its precedent.”
Brown reminded reporters that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional, has the dubious distinction of being the nation’s most overturned appeals court. On its bench sits the most overturned judge.
Even so, same-sex activists point out that by New Year’s Day homosexual couples will be able to wed in nine states and the District of Columbia and that the President has given his blessing to the practice, battling DOMA in court, even as it remains the law of the land.
Analysts say prior Supreme Court cases shed little light on how the Court may rule, but they agree that Justice Anthony Kennedy may cast the deciding vote. Kennedy has championed homosexual rights in some prior cases, but made it clear in a 2003 ruling involving anti-discrinination laws that his opinion was not a ruling on gay marriage.
Crucial to the case is the understanding of marriage’s role in society, the definition that ADF sums up as “a personal promise with a public purpose.”
“Marriage between a man and a woman is a universal good that diverse cultures and faiths have honored throughout the history of Western Civilization,” said ADF’s Legal Counsel Jim Campbell. “Marriage expresses the truth that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life. The ProtectMarriage.com legal team looks forward to advocating before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the people’s right to preserve this fundamental building block of civilization.”
The ministry that advocates for religious liberty, sanctity of life and family issues has taken a lead role in defending marriage for the past 18 years and will be part of the legal defense team in the Supreme Court case. “ADF and its allied attorneys have a more than 75 percent victory rate in marriage cases. Many of the more than 30 states that have voted to protect marriage in their constitutions have done so with ADF’s help,” said Dr. Creech. “We pray that God will continue to bless their efforts and that the legal team will be able to craft clear and convincing arguments as they prepare to come before the Supreme Court.”
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, also called for prayer.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear these cases is a significant moment for our nation,” he told the Christian Post. “I pray the court will affirm the fact that the institution of marriage, which is as old as humanity and written in our very nature, is the union of one man and one woman. Marriage is the foundation of a just society, as it protects the most vulnerable among us, children. It is the only institution that unites children with their mothers and fathers together. We pray for the court, that its deliberations may be guided by truth and justice so as to uphold marriage’s true meaning and purpose.”
Rev. Creech urged Christians across North Carolina to pray, not only for this case, but for marriage in general.
“Many of you have been praying for marriage for months leading up to North Carolina’s historic vote for the Marriage Amendment in May,” he said. “We thank you for your diligence and remind you that the fight for marriage is not over.”
For a guide that can help you and your church to pray for God to strengthen and protect marriage, click here.