For two years now, I’ve warned that the drive for so-called “gay marriage” was the greatest threat to religious liberty we’ve ever faced. But I think I may have underestimated the threat, because now I fear the democratic process and the rule of law are endangered as well.
It was bad enough when the President and the Attorney General declared the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and would not defend the law of the land in court. Never mind that the DOMA was signed by President Clinton in 1996 after the Senate passed it 85-15 and the House by a margin of 342 to 66!
But after House of Representatives hired the law firm of King and Spalding to represent DOMA in court (since the executive branch wouldn’t), something not-so-funny happened. Gay-rights groups threatened King and Spalding and its commercial clients with boycotts.
In an ethically questionable action, at least under the canon of legal ethics, King and Spalding caved and told the House it would not represent it after all. Instead of criticizing King and Spalding, the media celebrated this as recognition that opposing gay marriage is tantamount to bigotry.
To his credit, lead attorney on the case, Paul Clement, resigned from King and Spalding and will defend DOMA with another law firm. Clement got it right when he said, “When it comes to the lawyers, the surest way to be on the wrong side of history is to abandon a client in the face of hostile criticism.”
But hostile criticism and boycotts are one thing. Ignoring federal law is another. Case in point: The Obama administration stopped the deportation order for a gay immigrant because the Justice Department feels that the man could be considered a spouse of another man under U.S. immigration laws. This of course, is nonsense, because under DOMA, the federal government can’t recognize same-sex marriages. But evidently, the law, the will of Congress, and the will of the people don’t matter anymore in the Obama White House -- if the issue at hand is so-called gay “marriage.”
And now the head of Navy chaplains has issued a memo that would permit Navy chaplains to perform gay “marriage” ceremonies in states that permit so-called same-sex “marriage.”
The problem with that, of course, as Tom McClusky at the Family Research Council pointed out, is that Navy chaplains are federal employees, and Navy chapels are federal facilities. Performing same-sex marriage ceremonies would violate DOMA.
But, as McClusky said, “When you have a president who doesn’t believe the Defense of Marriage Act is a law he needs to follow, it’s no surprise that the military would follow his lead.”
No surprise, but horribly dangerous. So-called gay “marriage” was rejected in all 31 states where the people got to vote! So the gay-rights groups, so far, are carrying the day by doing an end-run around the people, taking their case to the courts, coercing corporations, and now law firms, and finding a willing accomplice to their un-democratic schemes in the White House.
I can’t say this forcefully or clearly enough: Wake up, America! When the executive branch of government rules by fiat and chooses not to enforce the law of the land, the democratic process and the consent of the governed are no longer possible.
This article published on May 12, 2011. Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.