I listened today to all of the arguments on both questions before the Supreme Court. You can and should listen to them – either streaming or as a download you can put on your media device. To be honest in Question 1 there is a rather exciting part with a very zealous man who informs the court in a high warble and very energetically that they will all go to hell if they rule for same sex marriage.
Arguments for Question #1:
Arguments for Question #2:
Now – here is the fun part. Question #1 is to determine if there is a constitutional right to Gay Marriage. It is a lively debate, where one of the defenders of marriage (from Michigan) did a horrible job IMHO. He danced around issues, was unclear, and took off on tangents. His circular arguments consistently seemed to make the case for Gay Marriage, whether it was his intention or not. In the end I found myself asking what the people who selected the lawyers were thinking! The Justices seemed to have a better grasp on the issues than he did and had to use leading questions to draw him to the correct argument — or away from a quagmire of an argument.
Now- Here is the Scary part. The justices under Question #1 clearly laid out the case that if they ruled that there was a constitutional right to gay marriage, then it would have wide ranging ramifications. Those ramifications would include all clergy performing marriage would be required to marry gay people regardless of their religious beliefs in order to protect the civil rights of Gay people. The idea of exceptions for religious reasons while interesting would only institutionalize the very discrimination and marginalization that Gay Marriage proponents have made the basis of their case. The justices pointed out that it would leave priests who refused subject to arrest and prosecution for violating the new civil right of Gay People to marry.
Maybe Cardinal George was more correct than we knew when he said that his successor would die in prison, his successor would be martyred in the public square, and his successor would pick up the shattered pieces of society and begin rebuilding as the Catholic Church has done for 2000 years.
Question #2 is not a fun part – it deals with the aftermath should the court rule that there is not right to gay marriage and thereby nullify all the gay marriages performed. IMHO this is a conundrum of the courts own making by refusing to hear the case earlier, or issue stays to stop gay marriages from occurring until the issue could be resolved. I think the group defending marriage missed the key point, which I felt was that if one state redefines marriage unilaterally – should all states be forced to accept their redefinition? What if a state allowed people to marry horses? Would all states have to recognize that marriage? The bias of the liberal judges like Sotomayor and Ginsberg is clear in their questioning. In truth I would have to admit that the same is true of Alito and Scalia whose bias is also evident from their line of questioning. The swing judges were hard to read and as usual Clarence Thomas said nothing.
In conclusion – Pray for America, The Court, and the Church. Based on what I heard today my only hope for marriage or religious freedom is now in prayer. In the event we loose at the supreme court the first and foremost political action should be to get our states out of the marriage business. Set it back to the Churches who have governed it since long before the federal court “invented” civil marriage. Our priests will be forced to follow in the footsteps of the orthodox church in Chicago that simply no longer performs civil marriages – only sacramental ones.