In a series of posts, Aaron J. Silletto, member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and an attorney allied with the Alliance Defending Freedom, addresses the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. You can read Mr. Silletto’s first post here.
by Aaron Silletto
The Fourteenth Amendment, referred to in both questions the Supreme Court agreed to answer, does not mention marriage specifically. The Amendment states in relevant part, “No state shall … deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The plaintiffs have claimed that laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violate both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As is often the case, whether the Court agrees with the plaintiffs or the states will depend upon how it characterizes the rights at issue and the states’ justifications for their laws.
Ordinarily, the Supreme Court has held that a state law does not violate the Due Process Clause unless the right supposedly being abridged by the law is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” If the Court agrees with the states that there is no deeply rooted right to same-sex marriage specifically, it will hold that the laws do not violate the Due Process Clause. However, if the Court agrees with the challengers that the right at issue is a more general right to marry, which the Court’s precedents hold is a fundamental one, then it may hold that the laws violate the Amendment’s Due Process guarantee.
The Equal Protection Clause essentially asks whether the law at issue is a rational means of furthering a legitimate governmental interest. The interests asserted by the states include, as mentioned above, encouraging biological parents to raise their children together, providing an optimal setting for raising children and promoting stable population growth. The plaintiffs variously argue that these proffered governmental interests are not legitimate, that the laws do not rationally promote these interests or that they are motivated solely by a discriminatory animus that can never be justified. At a very basic level, the Court’s assessment of the “interest” and “means” issues are value judgments, and the justices’ values will therefore determine the Equal Protection analysis.
Aaron Silletto (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and is an attorney allied with the Alliance Defending Freedom.
In my very limited understanding I fear that according to the Laws it same sexton marriage is allowable under the law. But Woe be unto this world that it is accepted, we have gone so far from or Christian faith and understanding that we are, words fail me. The law may say Yes but I guess that why we Christ an don’t mix church and state. sad and scary time to live.
By holding to the original, one and only definition of marriage, “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” no one is being denied their basic human rights, nor are they being denied equal protection under the law. To allow for a redefinition of marriage is to allow for an illegitimate, self-centered redefinition of family – the fabric and foundation of society since the beginning of time. The consequences of such action will lead to greater and greater instability and civil disobedience and chaos.
I wish this article were longer. It does not even begin to get into the distinctions between rational basis, strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, suspect classes and all the rest that will come into play in the Court’s decision. The first post was a good introduction, but this barely scratches the surface of its stated subject.
Thank you Mr. Silletto for your helpful article. Sadly, my time as an ELCA Lutheran is drawing to a close over this very issue. While I dearly love the people with whom I worship every week, I simply can’t support disregarding Scripture or reinterpreting it to change what it says.
I don’t understand why same sex has to be married. Why couldn’t the courts determine a contractual agreement that would permit the couple to get insurance and be recognized legally. While leaving marriage the way God determined.
It would seem to me that redefining marriage would not have been in the minds of those writing the constitution, so it would not have been addressed. They were going by Biblical Christian principals, or at least Godly principals, at that time. The intent of marriage has long been between a man and a woman, even by atheists! Most sensible people will agree that a child needs a father and a mother in order to grow up a well balanced person. In those cases where one parent is left to raise the child alone, it is difficult for that parent, but being the resilient people we are, we do our best for our children.
The arguments of advocates for same-sex “marriage” are simply silly, and should have been laughed out of court at the outset. Of course homosexuals have “equal protection of the laws”: they have the same right to marry any member of the opposite sex who will have them.
It’s a symptom of how far down the road of nihilism that the far Left has traveled that they don’t understand this simple principle.