As you know, the IRS and the Treasury Department are gearing up to recognize same-sex marriages with regards to tax law. This, of course, has some irate and vowing to “stand for God’s design for the institution” of marriage being between one man and one woman.
Recently, the United States Supreme Court rule that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. This ruling means that the federal government must recognize marriages joined into by same-sex couples.
In order to do that, they must extend all benefits to same-sex couples that normally are reserved for opposite-sex couples, and that includes all the tax benefits of marriage.
Well, for Carrie Gordon Earll, the senior director for public policy at Focus on the Family, this isn’t good. She wrote that “While it’s discouraging to see the president use his authority to push the nation further toward redefining marriage, we should remember that the policies of earthly kings ultimately cannot supersede the laws of God. Fortunately, people of faith still have a voice and a vote, and opportunity to raise up both in the defense of God’s design for marriage.”
Earll continued to complain that “A vast majority of states still define marriage as one man and one woman. Traditional marriage is still by far the norm and that’s an important fact to remember.”
Earll does not understand how the ruling works. So long as a marriage is recognized by the state that it was entered into, the Federal Government is obligated to recognize it. It does not matter if the majority of states do not recognize it, the Federal Government must.
Earll also does not get the fact that their definition of marriage is but one definition among many. Focus on the Family is a xenophobic institution that does not recognize any other culture by the Western, American culture that they live in. Marriage, as an institution, has more various faces than a hydra. Different cultures view marriage differently.
In fact, marriage has always been more about economic stability than providing for the continuation of a family.
Finally, Earll does not understand the First Amendment with regards to religion. The First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
The Founders were clear that the United States was to be a secular nation, and the establishment clause is part of that. The fact that they felt that the establishment clause was more important than the free exercise clause, and that is why they put it first.
So long as religions today differ on the definition of marriage, the secular government must broaden marriage to be inclusive of all the definitions as favored by the various religions and allow adherents of each religion to decide for themselves whether or not they were going to enter into those particular forms of marriage.