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Falwell's legal bootlicker: let 'the people' decide on SSM

So, if things were left up to Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, civil rights are to be determined by the ballot, not the courts, because we all know that the sheeple will always do the right thing.

Perhaps the most liberal circuit court of appeals in the United States has tossed out a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage ACT (DOMA). The San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday (May 5) that two homosexual men did not have legal standing to challenge the federal DOMA because no state has determined the two are “married.” But were they to change their residence to Massachusetts, the court stated, “their situation might change.” Massachusetts is the only state in the country that legally recognizes same-sex marriage.

The two men, Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, also challenged California’s marriage laws, but the court abstained from addressing those claims because the state law challenge is currently pending in California state courts. And because the state has always regulated marriage, the Ninth Circuit deferred to the state.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, which defended the case on behalf of Sacramento-based Campaign for Children and Families, says the Ninth Circuit did the right thing. “The federal courts should defer to state courts, and the state courts should defer to state legislatures,” says Staver. “The people — not the courts — should determine marriage policy.”

Of course, what if “the people” did vote for it? Is that acceptable, Mat? What if they decided to reinstitute segregation? Witch burning? Oh, no, he clarifies things for us…marriage is off the table regardless of the will of the people, just to hedge his bets.

And neither should same-sex couples be permitted to redefine marriage, Staver adds. “Same-sex advocates want same-sex marriage not to get married but to radically redefine marriage and upset the culture,” he says, pointing to statistics that show very few same-sex couples are “rushing to the altar” in jurisdictions that have adopted same-sex marriage. “Same-sex marriage would drastically alter our society and hurt children,” says Staver. And for that reason, the attorney adds, the push must continue for a federal marriage protection amendment.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding