Since at least the mid 2000s, I’ve been predicting the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Yesterday, portions of DOMA were overturned. Now we have created two classes of people. Married people, same-sex or traditional, who get federal benefits and those who don’t. Many years ago, I was criticized for saying this debate was about money. The case that overturned DOMA was about benefits for a same-sex couple. The justices wrote about benefits–this is about money, my friend. I wonder, if we hadn’t started creating special tax classes for married couples, would we be here today?
Erick Erickson, said “You will be made to care.”
For now, the justices put the matter back to the states. But, it will only be a matter of time before those that support same-sex marriage will demand that everyone be treated equally under the law.
We can’t deny the culture has changed. Voters under 40, whether Democrats or Republicans, overwhelmingly look at this as a freedom issue.
Let me go back to my position on this. As a Christian, I support marriage as between a man and a woman. As a pragmatist, here is where we are right now–Georgia has protected traditional marriage. Attorney General Sam Olens said this on Wednesday,
“Today’s decision rests on the basic assumption – with which I strongly agree – that the power to define marriage is a power traditionally reserved to the States. The decision does not affect existing state definitions of marriage; in fact, it explicitly says that it is limited to marriages recognized by states as lawful. I agree with the Chief Justice that this limitation means what it says. The definition of marriage adopted by Georgia’s voters is unaffected by today’s decision.”
We need to protect marriage in Georgia as being between a man and a woman. After that, we need to acknowledge there are domestic partnerships out there needing the protection of law. Citizens are equal under the law and we need to be able to separate that from our personal views on this issue.
There is a lack of trust on both sides of this issue, and I don’t think the supporters of same-sex marriage will respect the views of those who support traditional marriage. They are all or nothing.
The vacating of Prop 8 was more problematic. The Court often talks about the will of the people. Prop 8 was the will of the people in California and those people have been violated by the court in their decision.
Here’s the problem, as faith people, our views will not be respected as we are seeking to respect the views of others. We will eventually be called bigots and outsiders on this issue. In supporting traditional views on marriage, we will be pushed to the edges of society. But as faith people, we must be willing to get up every day and with a peaceful spirit fight for what we believe in.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue to be happy warriors. Arm yourself with the Constitution and the Bible and be open to discuss all these faith issues with people who disagree with you. The key words are discuss and respect.
We are still sorting through these decisions and don’t completely know the impact. Prayer and patience will show us the right direction to take.