Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Why we need a constitutional amendment - by Chuck Colson

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Today Mark Earley and I will be at the White House, meeting with PresidentBush and leaders of the pro-family movement. The president will then speakto the nation in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment. Thank God we have a president who supports this. I have discussed it with him severaltimes, and I can tell you that he understands fully the social, cultural,and legal reasons why amending the Constitution is the only way to protect marriage.
Unfortunately, a lot of politicians don't get it. They argue that we do notneed a marriage amendment. If we want to keep marriage between one man andone woman-which they say they do-then all we have to do is pass state referenda. Nineteen states have already done so. So amending the U.S.Constitution is unnecessary.
Well, these politicians apparently do not understand the inexorable logic ofa series of cases that make it virtually certain that when state statutes barring gay "marriage" reach the Supreme Court, they will be struck down.Other politicians understand all too well, and when they claim that we donot need a marriage amendment, they are being disingenuous.
Let me explain the precedents that make it inevitable that the Court willuphold gay "marriage." In the 1992 case Casey v. Planned Parenthood, JusticeKennedy affirmed the right of abortion with a sweeping definition of liberty as the right of a person to determine for himself the meaning of life.
Many feared this definition could embrace anything. Soon enough, it did.
In 1995 the Court struck down a democratically enacted state referendum in Colorado denying special civil rights based on sexual orientation. Kennedywrote the opinion, Romer v. Evans, saying the vote of the peopledemonstrated "animus," that is, bigotry, against homosexuals.
Then in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas lawbanning sodomy. Again Justice Kennedy, who could have used a very simpleFourteenth Amendment guarantee argument, resorted instead to his holding in Casey and in Romer v. Evans. By legislating against homosexual behavior, thestate was guilty of bigotry or prejudice.
Justice Scalia delivered a blistering dissent. "Today's opinion," he said,"dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted thedistinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions . . . " Hewent on to charge that the case meant the end to the possibility of all legislation concerning morality.
Now, what all of this means is that the Supreme Court, following its ownprecedents, will declare any law restricting the right of homosexuals tomarry unconstitutional. The die is cast. An appeal is already coming up from a Nebraska case in which a judge threw out a statute banning gay "marriage"as unconstitutional. Within two years this will be at the Supreme Court, andthe axe will fall.
Just as with Roe v. Wade, the Court will take away the states' rights to legislate.
The time to act is now. Don't let politicians deceive you and tell you thisis a state issue. The Supreme Court has already closed the door on that. TheMarriage Protection Amendment is coming up for a vote tomorrow or the next day. Call your senators right now. Tell them this is the time to vote toprotect the most important institution in American life.
Chuck Colson is founder and chairman of BreakPoint Online, a Townhall.compartner.


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