March 19, 2013

Support for the Defense of Marriage Act

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This spring the Supreme Court will consider whether the Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional.  President Bill Clinton signed the law in 1996.  He has recently said he no longer agrees with the law.  President Obama has also urged the Court to overturn DOMA.  The challenge comes in Windsor vs The United States, and calls for the legalization of same-sex marriages.  My conviction is that the Court should uphold the law, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman in federal law and allows states to decline to recognize marriages from other states which follow a different definition.  I base my conviction on three types of law: 1.  NATURAL LAW:  DOMA made explicit what had always been implicit.  All human experience points to marriage between a man and a woman as the core building block of society.  Male and female becoming one is how families are created and society progresses.  Marriage between a man and a woman is a natural societal good for the benefit of children.  Same-sex marriage denies a child the opportunity of having both a male and female role model in their home.  The natural potential of the marriage union is procreation.  The natural order tells us this comes no other way. 2.  LEGISLATIVE LAW:  Marriage is a contractual relationship, but is more than a mere contract.  Marriage is a form of domestic organization recognized and regulated by law.  It is municipal as it affects the public.  The state of Florida defines marriage, “In as much as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”  Society defines the parameters of marriage with codified law. To legalize a union of more than two people or other than one man and one woman will open a door to family chaos.  Recently, a Miami judge permitted a birth certificate for two women and one man.  This child now has three parents. 3.  BIBLICAL LAW:  As a Christ follower who seeks to live by Biblical revelation, what is found in Scripture is the mandate for defining marriage.  In Genesis, God records creation.  He made them male and female.  In Adam and Eve we have the institution of marriage established for the first time.  In the recorded marital teachings of Jesus, Paul, and Peter, we always find a husband and a wife.  The Biblical record never speaks of marriage in other terms except male and female. The coming Supreme Court ruling on DOMA is important to the future of the family in America.  How we define marriage will have impact for generations to come.  My prayer for and appeal to the Supreme Court is that they uphold DOMA and continue to define marriage in its historical boundaries.


  1. As long as any government at any level is given any authority over the institution of marriage, those who support laws like DOMA should probably prepare to lose in court.

    The reasoning is simple: under the due process clause of the fifth amendment and the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, respectively, no person may be denied rights or property without their day in court, and all citizens (homo and heterosexual) are protected under the law.

    DOMA violates both, as it denies legal benefits and protection to American citizens.

    As long as the government is in the business of “defining,” “protecting,” etc. marriage and using the law and the tax code to reward and punish individual, voluntary relationships BASED ON that definition, supporters of laws like DOMA should prepare to watch their government rule repeatedly against their wishes in court. Any other outcome is a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution.

    The best way forward is disallowing government to have any authority over the institution of marriage at all (child custody and property rights litigation excepted) and simplifying the tax code so that it doesn’t favor one group of people over another.

    Until that happens, these types of cultural and legal battles are going to rage on, with conservative evangelicals often on the losing side.

  2. Whoever owns the family owns the future.

    Plato wasnt right about much, but he got this right, “The saga of a nation is the saga of its families written large.”

    Thanks for the post Dr. Ted–great thoughts.

    Lets pray for these leaders not to capitulate to the applause of those seeking their definition of fairness.

    Remember, at one minute the crowed applauded and yelled, “Hosanna!”–the next, they applauded and yelled, “Crucify Him.”

    Oh God, lead us.

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