From a legal standpoint this was going to happen anyway. The tides of the culture were already moving in this direction and within a few years the entire nation was going to have legalized "gay marriage". Having the Court step in to circumvent the process is simply the latest dangerous precedent where the Court makes the law and there is not much you can do about it because that same Court interprets the law. It is somewhat akin to a baseball umpire getting up in the middle of a game and rearranging the scoreboard to achieve whatever outcome they want rather than ruling on balls and strikes. The American system of governance does not work when one branch stops being a checks and balances branch and becomes the de facto rulers of the nation.
The decision was as predictable as the sun rising in the east. The same court that ruled in favor of Obamacare a day earlier because the law is a mess and they decided not to make it worse, rather than sending it back to the legislature to fix like they are supposed to, was certainly going to have at least 5 members rule in favor of "gay marriage" no matter what the arguments were for or against and certainly without bothering to consult the Constitution. So there it is. America is not a "marriage equality" nation, to our shame and national degradation.
So what next?
If you think that those who pushed for "gay marriage" are going to be satisfied that they got what they demanded, you are delusional. There is always a next step. You need proof? Check out this tweet from our esteemed Commander-in-Chief:
A "big step". That implies there are more steps to come. Having won the "right" to get married, now comes the push to silence those who disagree and force at least external acceptance of homosexual unions. The institutional church is going to bear the brunt of this because that is where the money is and lawyers and activists always chase the money.Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins— President Obama (@POTUS) June 26, 2015
Imagine this scenario. Church X is a moderately conservative Southern Baptist church with a beautiful sanctuary. The family of Guy A are lifelong members there and Guy A went to church, youth group, was baptized there and accepted into membership as a youth. In his adulthood he decided he liked dudes and found "the one". So Guy A and Guy B want to get married and Guy A wants to have the ceremony in Church X because he is a "member" there and it carries deep emotional significance for him. Church X declines. Guy A feels upset by this. Do you seriously think that Guy A can't and won't sue to demand that they accommodate him and do you seriously think that he won't win?
Or, as many have predicted for some time, the courts are going to be inundated with appeals from polygamist groups. Given the complete lack of Constitutional interaction there is no reason that the same reasoning doesn't apply to polygamist groups. As the dissenting justices wrote: "The majority's decision is an act of will, not legal judgment." The five justices wanted something, so they did it. Simple as that. Justice Roberts has already made this point in his dissent:
One immediate question invited by the majority’s position is whether States may retain the definition of marriage as a union of two people. Cf. Brown v. Buhman, 947 F. Supp. 2d 1170 (Utah 2013), appeal pending, No. 14- 4117 (CA10). Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective “two” in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one.
It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” ante, at 13, why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” ante, at 15, why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” ante, at 22, serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships? See Bennett, Polyamory: The Next Sexual Revolution? Newsweek, July 28, 2009 (estimating 500,000 polyamorous families in the United States); Li, Married Lesbian “Throuple” Expecting First Child, N. Y. Post, Apr. 23, 2014; Otter, Three May Not Be a Crowd: The Case for a Constitutional Right to Plural Marriage, 64 Emory L. J. 1977 (2015).
I do not mean to equate marriage between same-sex couples with plural marriages in all respects. There may well be relevant differences that compel different legal analysis. But if there are, petitioners have not pointed to any. When asked about a plural marital union at oral argument, petitioners asserted that a State “doesn’t have such an institution.” Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 2, p. 6. But that is exactly the point: the States at issue here do not have an institution of same-sex marriage, either.Precisely.
As I have been saying for a while now, the church needs to disentangle itself entirely from civil marriage. Let the state do whatever it wants. The church will not recognize nor perform nor act as agent in civil marriages. Marriages in the church are marriage in the church alone. The state never should have had any sort of relationship with the church when it came to marriage and it is time to end our unequal yoking. For once let's be ahead of the curve and tell Caesar to take his marriage licenses and stick 'em. The church needs to focus on marriage and gender as God has designed and defined as a witness now more than ever. We have tried to play the respectable patsy for the culture for long enough and all it has gotten us is a smack on the hand when we got out of line. God intended marriage as not merely a sexual union with procreative results but also as a witness to the world. It is time for that role to be front and center for the church.