The United States Supreme Court has been wrestling this week with the legality of DOMA, which is the Defense of Marriage Act. This policy was initially established by Congress in 1996, and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton.
In the last several years there has been a push by those opposing DOMA to have this law overturned, which would open the door for a legalizing of same-sex marriage. Prior to 1996, the federal government did not define marriage; any marriage recognized by a state was recognized by the federal government, even if that marriage was not recognized by one or more other states (as was the case with interracial marriage before 1967 due to anti-miscegenation laws).
“The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), enacted September 21, 1996, is a United States federal law that restricts federal marriage benefits and required inter-state marriage recognition to only opposite-sex marriages in the United States. The law passed both houses of Congress by large majorities and was signed into law September 21, 1996. Section 3 of DOMA codifies the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors' benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Marriage_Act)
With the attempt to have same-sex marriage legally recognized, there are several states and jurisdictions that now have passed some form of legal legislation offering legal status. Nine states are now on record in legalizing same-sex marriage. They are Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington—as well as the District of Columbia. One of the questions that is frequently raised now pertains to the legality of same-sex marriages being recognized in states or jurisdictions that do not legally recognize such unions. Rhode Island, for instance, recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. And California, which briefly granted same-sex marriages in 2008, now recognizes them on a conditional basis.
It is often thought that this may well be part of a slippery-slope our society finds itself on with the inevitability of same-sex marriages becoming the legal norm throughout our land. But, even though this may yet take place, there are still states that not only do not recognize same-sex marriages; they have laws enacted against it. There are presently 26 states that have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage: Idaho, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alaska, Mississippi, Arizona, Montana, Tennessee, Missouri, and Alabama.
The Supreme Court is wrestling with this issue of same-sex marriage as well. So the question that seems to be most prevalent is this: Should the matter of same-sex marriage be decided by the Supreme Court at all? Or should the federal government revert to its former policy of allowing states to make such laws within their own borders? But this matter has become the political football du jour. Any number of high-profile elected officials and representatives are attempting to make political hay out of this. And the younger generation, those below 30, have grown up seeing no legitimate argument presented that would prohibit same-sex marriage. The flip-side of that coin is that DOMA is made out to be mean and nasty toward those who adhere to an alternative lifestyle.
In an increasingly secularized society, it should come as no surprise then that such issues will emerge. When the standard by which any society is established is routinely challenged and denigrated, that society must inevitably change. The United States has been on a head-long course of self-destruction for decades, believing that we need to remove the overt influence of Christianity from Main Street America.
In America, a standard of biblical truth was used to establish laws and principles for living. By unpacking those in the foolish idea that we can rule ourselves better without God’s influence is the height of folly. No culture, no society, no nation can possibly survive by being dismissive toward God.
So then what is to be done? Well, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides regarding DOMA and/or same-sex marriage, little will change until we in America once again return to God and embrace him and his ways as found in the Bible. These are his words. They are our hope!
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,” we read in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Makes perfect sense to me. What about it, America?