Some endeavors are best left to the Federal government, loath though I might be to admit it: the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, ADX Florence Federal supermax penitentiary, the 3rd Infantry Division, keeping Harry Reid occupied. You know, the big stuff.
The problems always seem to start when the Feds take an active interest in the little things, such as what’s going on in your bedroom. Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unConstitutional. Writing for the five justices in the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted DOMA:
… places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage… The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, and whose relationship the state has sought to dignify.
I say it’s about bloody time.
I’m a conservative guy with libertarian leanings. Not only do I cherish the idea of limited government, but I’d prefer what government there is to stay the hell off my porch. I am well aware that the Feds seldom back up once they get a foot-, hand- or even toehold on our side of the fence. DOMA, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, and laws like it represent a Federal government that has not only invaded our personal turf, but has taken a dip in our pool, torn up our rose bushes and raided our fridge.
In what I will acknowledge was one of his typically masterful dissents, Justice Antonin Scalia rails against the Supreme Court being used as a cudgel, suggesting it had no business interfering in the issue:
We might have covered ourselves with honor today, by promising all sides of this debate that it was theirs to settle and that we would respect their resolution. We might have let the People decide.
But I would retort that DOMA is essentially the same cudgel, albeit wielded by the other hand. The court is no less a branch of the Federal government than the Legislature. If one has no business acting on marriage, then neither does the other.
Back in 2010, Judge Joseph Tauro issued summary judgment in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tauro, appointed to the Federal bench in 1972 by Richard Nixon, noted that DOMA abrogates the Constitutional guarantees of due process and States’ rights. Had I been an attorney for the plaintiffs in either case, I would have hammered not only those two tenets of the Bill of Rights, but also the Full Faith and Credit Clause. I think a fair case could even be made for the Commerce Clause.
Before some of you begin feverishly filling the comments section below with your hopes that I be consigned to an eternity watching reruns of “The View,” think carefully. Many of you join me in staunch defense of the 2nd Amendment. For example, California refuses to honor Arizona’s open carry law. While draconian firearms laws might fall behind Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and the Cal-Berkeley faculty on the list of distasteful Golden State traits, they violate Full Faith and Credit Clause (not to mention that pesky Bill of Rights). As for the Commerce Clause, think of the money DOMA is costing Key West wedding planners.
Some people feel same-sex marriages threaten the sanctity of traditional unions. The divorce rate in this country suggests same-sex marriage is not the reason that sanctity is cowering under the bed. As for individual nuptials, the fact that the guys across the street have matching wedding bands isn’t going to get you out of taking out the garbage — nor is it going give you an alibi when your wife catches you with that hot new receptionist.
When it comes to the example same-sex marriages might set for the Nation’s youth, allow me to offer an allegory. In recent years, I’ve had the privilege of making the acquaintance of a couple of fine gentlemen who have been together for some time. They are erudite, cultured and well-off. I have a hard time imagining they would provide as poor a familial example as the welfare queen dragging her squalling brats through the checkout line while trying to buy lottery tickets with her EBT card, the trailer park Cleopatra who just popped her kid in the mouth for “interruptin’ mama while she’s a-watchin’ ‘QVC’s Ceramic Cat Cavalcade’” or the Hollyweird fame hound who treats her whelps like fashion accessories: “Not now, Apple. The paparazzi are getting Mommy’s good side.”
For the fine folks who might now direct me to the sections of Genesis, Leviticus, Romans and Corinthians that deal either directly or indirectly with this topic, let me redirect your attention to John 8:7 (we nailed the last guy who met that criterion to a cross), Matthew 22:21 (pay your speeding tickets, and let the Almighty worry about Heather’s two mommies), and of course, John 4:7-8 (it’s all about love).
As a matter of due disclosure, I find the concept of “being” with another man repellent. But I find MSNBC’s primetime lineup at least as awful. When it comes to the former, I can — as Eddie Murphy once said — go get a beer. When it comes to the latter, I can throw my television out the window. In this boy’s America, beer is easy to come by; and I don’t have to tomahawk the flat-screen.
If you’re looking for a real threat to the fabric of freedom, forget about the same-sex couples. Take a look at C-SPAN sometime, or watch one of those interminable press conferences during which President Barack Obama tries to slither out of his latest disgrace to the Oval Office. Now that’s scary.