We’ve been busy with all things sustainability, so it’s only now we can get to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments over whether to abandon marriage and give over to the State power concerning our most foundational human relationships.
Let’s not argue whether two men (or two women or three men, etc.) pretending to be married is right or wrong. Let’s only assume what is likely given the evidence we have: that the State will assume the right to dictate whatever relationships it wants and call them “marriages”. That the State has no moral right to do so is not what we’ll discuss. The State, we assume, right or wrong—and it’s wrong—will use its muscle and force citizens to submit.
We only want to argue over how the State will use its immense powers assuming gmarriages are law. Gmarriage was my brilliant but widely ignored compromise solution that would have called all government-mandated unions “gmarriages”—the “g”, standing for government, is silent. Gmarriages would have been identical to marriages except for the “g”. Would egalitarianism allow that? Alas, mine was a lone voice et cetera.
Suppose gmarriage is the law of the land. What will the State do? Let’s listen in on the orals. The SCOTUS bench you know. General Vermicelli is on the side of gmarriage.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: What about Federal—it’s a Federal question if we make it a matter of constitutional law.
GENERAL VERMICELLI: But the question of what how States use their enforcement power is up to the States.
Vermicelli is lying or being disingenuous, or possibly both. He earlier says the Feds must enact gmarriage as the law of the entire land. Here he pretends to retreat from what he knows is a damning question by saying states will be allowed to do as they please about implementing this “law”. They do say if you’re going to lie, make it a big one. Roberts doesn’t let him go and says “Well, you have enforcement power, too.”
Then the big reveal:
GENERAL VERMICELLI: Right. And—and—well, that’s certainly true, but there is no Federal law now generally banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that’s where those issues are going to have to be worked out.
And I guess the third point I would make, Your Honor, is that these issues are going to arise no matter which way you decide this case, because these questions of accommodation are going to arise in situations in States where there is no same-sex marriage, where there are—and, in fact, they have arisen many times. There—there are these commitment ceremonies.
For example, in the New Mexico case in which this Court denied cert just a few months back, that did not arise out of a marriage. That arose out of a commitment ceremony, and the—and these, you know, commitment ceremonies are going to need florists and caterers.
JUSTICE ALITO: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?
GENERAL VERMICELLI: You know, I—I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I—I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is—it is going to be an issue.
Was he embarrassed by this question, or what? I mean, he sure as anything didn’t want to answer it. Anyway, by “it’s going to be an issue” Vermicelli means “it’s going to happen.”
Incidentally, don’t forget that already the State controls all student loans—and can therefore dictate where that money is spent. That takeover was part of Obamacare. Remember that? And “sexual orientation” is a dangerous term: it never specifies who is oriented to what.
There are a still, believe it or not, faithful Christian colleges. They’re not going to accept gmarriages. Meaning, they’re not going to recognize students who claim to be gmarried. Somebody will sue (say) St Pallottiano University citing the Bob Jones precedent, forgetting freedom of association, which is anyway long dead. And they’ll surely win.
St Pallottiano loses its tax exempt status. So what? Accountants are devious and can probably find a way to run the school as a for-profit. They won’t be able to save all schools with paperwork tricks, but surely some.
Next step will be another lawsuit claiming that since St Pallottiano is a for-profit business they have no right to refuse to accommodate gmarried students. Just as pizzerias and bakeries are not now allowed to refuse to participate in gmarriages.
St Pallottiano, being faithful, won’t back down. Only two things can happen. (1) It will face punishing fines and other legal hazards and be forced to close; or (2) Somebody somewhere will regain sanity and discover a way to allow an exception.
A third solution could be some government-proposed “compromise” which is anything but. Something like “Recognize these gmarriages and we’ll give you money (or won’t bar you from receiving it)”. Many colleges calling themselves Christian will put the pinch of incense into the flames of this compromise. But St Pallottiano won’t. Buh-bye St Pallottiano.
That’s colleges. What about churches? I’d bet the farm (I don’t have one) that some sad couple will sue some church and demand that they be allowed to have a gmarriage ceremony inside the church. They probably won’t, in this round, sue the pastors for not performing his theatrical role. The suers (yes, suers) will say that other people have got married in this “public” space therefore they have the “right” to be gmarried there. They will say it is “public” because it is tax exempt, and therefore it is under a special duty to the public.
The suers could win, though it’s shaky. But think what it means if they do. The poor organist who wanted only to be left alone will now be made to participate in the gmarriage. After all, she isn’t the pastor, only an employee. Volunteer organists will presumably be allowed (what’s left of) their freedom.
And some Church, say, the Southwest Corner Baptist Congregation, will refuse to open its venue. Again, fines and legal hazards. Will that Church be the cornerstone of the new Bob Jones-like precedent that Churches which refuse public accommodation lose their tax status?
What is a Church without tax-exempt status? A for-profit business? Some lunatics will suggest this, but I’m guessing their voices carry little weight. And even if you remove the tax exemption and treat it as for-profit you’re right back to Bake The Cake Or Die. Plus somebody is bound to have at least a vague memory of religious freedom. My guess is that the Churches win this one.
But if they do not, then will come the big one, the law suit against a pastor himself for refusing to perform a gmarriage. If this man loses, which now seems highly unlikely, get ready for some old-timey martyrdom. Or perhaps open revolt.
When discussing, do not confuse the law for right and wrong. Written laws mean whatever the person interpreting them wants them to mean. Say what will happen and what won’t happen and why.
Update Great minds think alike.
Update States could force Catholic priests to perform same-sex ‘marriages’ or lose legal status: Justice Scalia. I put the following prediction at near certainty.
If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex “marriage” is a constitutional right, one justice has said that the government could force clergy of all denominations to perform gay “weddings” or lose the ability to officiate any state-sanctioned marriage…
A devout Roman Catholic, Scalia said that no religious exception can be allowed for a constitutional right. A minister “is not given the state’s power, unless he agrees to use that power in accordance with the Constitution. You can’t appoint people who will then go ahead and violate the Constitution.”
Update Green Party “open” to Three-Way “Marriages”. Nobody saw that coming.