Marriage equality is spreading, and now same-sex marriage bans in the Solid South are poised to fall with a forthcoming decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Opponents are growing even more hysterical, shrieking about religious discrimination, judicial tyranny, the destruction of Sodom — that old chestnut. Their means of combating LGBT rights, however, are getting both more extreme and more innovative.
Take, for instance, Alliance Defense Fund’s “Religious Liberty” Bill in Arizona, which would have allowed businesses to openly discriminate against LGBT employees and customers. The bill, HB 1062, was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer last year in response to outrage from liberals and conservatives alike. (A more extreme version of the bill – allowing for discrimination by universities, police officers, public schools, hospitals, and more – was recently introduced in Virginia.)
Or the proposal by Texas lawmakers to strip the salary and benefits of any state worker who issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple.
Or the novel idea by Randy Thomasson, the head of the anti-gay SaveCalifornia, that National Guardsmen be deployed in order to physically stop gays and lesbians from entering holy matrimony. In a letter to other “pro-family” leaders, Thomasson wrote:
Dear Pro-Family Leader,
I am urgently writing you with the solution to the crisis of homosexual “marriages” happening in states with constitutional marriage amendments and a pro-man-woman-marriage governor.
From our experience in California with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008, and Massachusetts’ experience with former governor Mitt Romney in 2004 (both of whom ordered homosexual “marriages” when they didn’t have to), it’s clear that governors wield immense power on marriages and substantial influence over county clerks.
[. . . .]
Governors have the duty and power to defend marriage in their states.
Each governor pledges themselves to “support and defend” the plain words of their state constitution, including, in morally conservative states, the definition of marriage as only for a man and a woman. Governors raise their right hand and publicly promise to “faithfully execute” (or carry out) these written laws, as commanded by their state constitutions.
Each governor also has an administration that serves his/her pleasure that is in charge of the state’s marriage forms (licenses and applications) that county clerks use.
And each governor is authorized to call out his/her state’s militia or National Guard to enforce written laws and maintain public order against foreign and domestic enemies.
[. . . .]
Given these facts, it is state governors that are unfortunately allowing homosexual “marriages.” And given their constitutional and statutory powers, it is not good enough for governors to merely protest by appealing to a higher court the unconstitutional opinions of bad judges.
No, governors who are loyal to the written constitutions of both their state and of our nation must take executive action — instead of making excuses that they must “follow the law.” The claim that judges make the laws is both a fallacy and a misnomer, and is antithetical to a republic. The law is written into the constitution by the People or the People’s representatives; the law is not what judges dream up, which is only their biased opinions.
In view of the current crisis on marriage, a constitutional governor can and should do the following:
- Announce he took an oath to obey the constitution, not to obey a judge’s unconstitutional opinion.
- Announce that no homosexual “marriage” licenses will be issues, and no county clerk is permitted to issue marriage licenses to anyone other than a qualified man and woman.
- Utilize the support of the state attorney general (if that constitutional officer is willing to stand alongside) or use the state’s National Guard to enforce the law at county clerk’s offices.
That’ll teach them uppity gays. Just like Gov. Wallace taught those black folk who wanted to practice their book learnin’ in Whites Only universities. . .until Big Gubmint stepped in and federalized his troops.