To Ted Cruz And The Religious Right: The Gay Marriage War is Over – And You Lost

restraining-order-constitutionAlmost a year ago, I wrote an article called “An Open Letter to the Religious Right: The Gay Marriage War is Over – And You Lost” as Hawaii legalized same-sex marriage and Illinois was prepared to do the same. Yesterday, the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeals of multiple lower court rulings that declared gay marriage bans in states like Indiana, Virginia and others were unconstitutional. To rub a little salt in the wounds of the far right, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada the following day. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy has issued a temporary hold on the ruling as it applies to Idaho, but since Nevada has decided not to defend the ban, marriages will go forward in Nevada.


Just one day after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up petitions seeking to overturn rulings in favor of marriage equality, a federal appeals court struck down bans on same-sex marriage in Idaho and Nevada.

In a 40-page decision on Tuesday, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled against the bans on same-sex marriage in Idaho and Nevada. Writing for the court, U.S. Circuit Judge Reinhardt says judges found the law were unconstitutional by subjecting them to heightened scrutiny. (Source)

If the Supreme Court also refuses to hear appeals to these cases, should they be filed, then nearly 2/3 of the United States would have gay marriage legalized, leaving only a few mostly red states with the ban on their books. In the face of almost certain defeat, you’d think that the religious right would finally read the writing on the wall and pick a new battle instead of futilely defending what has been repeatedly ruled as a violation of the 14th Amendment. That would make sense, except that this is the religious right we’re talking about; the politicians like Ted Cruz that they have elected can’t back down either, for fear of being replaced by a more radical candidate next time the primaries come around. Ted Cruz is also rumored to be a potential GOP candidate for the White House in 2016, so it’s no real surprise that he’d propose an unconstitutional constitutional amendment. No, despite all of his statements, Ted Cruz isn’t crazy – he’s just pandering to people who are. Here’s what he plans to do:

“When Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws,” Cruz said. “Traditional marriage is an institution whose integrity and vitality are critical to the health of any society. We should remain faithful to our moral heritage and never hesitate to defend it.” (Source)



Here’s the problem with shacking up with the far right – once you get tangled up with them, there’s really no way back to the political center. Sure, if you’re representing a red state like Texas and you have no aspirations to the White House, you can pretty much count on them to keep you in office – so long as you keep raging against the same things they hate like Ted Cruz is doing here. Reversing Roe vs. Wade, forcing Christianity into government and all of these positions are a platform that conservative candidates have to embrace in states like Texas, Louisiana, Alabama or Mississippi. You might even win a few early Republican presidential primaries as Rick Santorum did in 2012, but like Mitt Romney found out that year, you can’t pander to the far right in the primaries and successfully move back to the center for the general election. While George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan did flirt with the religious right and tossed them a bone now and then, both would be considered a RINO in today’s Tea Party controlled Republican Party – and neither could win the Republican presidential primaries now.

If anything, this refusal by the religious right to accept reality and keep demanding their politicians do the same is actually a blessing to the rest of us. As the country keeps moving forward, their refusal to join the 21st century means that we may not see another Republican president any time soon – and I really don’t see a problem with that.



Comments

Facebook comments

  • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

    Texas is the home to some of the most radical right politicians in this country and it is a scary thing!!

  • Eg Kbbs

    “once you get tangled up with them [the far right], there’s really no way back to the political center.”

    Interesting comment. If that should prove true, it doesn’t bode well for the peace of the nation in the next few years.

    • It also means that the Republican Party of my father is now burdened by a very vocal lunatic fringe who exist on the extreme perimeter right next to radical anti-government militia, openly racist white supremacists, isolationists, secessionists, anti-science Creationists, intolerant Christian fundamentalists, and the just plain crazy. Moderate Republicans are too afraid to purge their own Party of these destructive elements and for that reason, it is dying. They opened their tent and placated the nut jobs, and now they’re paying for it with the self-immolation of the Republican Party.

      • marecek21

        What do you mean “right next to”. They are one and the same.

      • sherry06053

        It’s because of the money. The Koch’s and that guy in Vegas, Adelson. The SCOTUS made a disastrous decision with Citizen’s United and until Congress amends that decision, our elections will be bought and paid for by big business – unless we ALL get out there and vote in November. We have the majority, but we have to get out there and vote. If we don’t, this insanity is going to continue.

      • strayaway

        Adelson recently signed a joint letter with fellow Democratic billionaires Gates and Buffet in support of passage of President Obama’s amnesty bill. I think they were all after a supply of cheap but legal labor.

        “Sheldon Adelson’s social views are in keeping with the Democrats. On choice, on all kinds of things. So, Sheldon Adelson, don’t pick on him.” -Harry Reid

      • Fernando

        Sure, thats why he poured so much money into republican politics. I’m sure when and IF Harry said that, his tongue was firmly planted in his cheek!

    • Moses

      I think it’s more “no way back without sabotaging your political career”. If you do reverse course, the right calls you a RINO, the rest of the spectrum holds your past crazy-talk against you, and everyone calls you a flipflopper. It’s why we see so many people doubling down on patently false and ill-advised stuff, because they have a better chance of BSing their way through if they talk fast enough than they do if they try to return to rationality.

    • BURNTFUR

      if you are paying attention it’s already proven itself true over and over again.

  • Jim Bean

    If you look at the record low traditional marriage rates, and consider what that means in terms of increased poverty rates and children being deprived of a traditional two, opposite sex, parental nurturing, and you accept the role gay marriage (among other things) has played in the depreciating the status of traditional marriage, you can only conclude Cruz et al have a good case to make.

    • marecek21

      I didn’t spot one iota of logic in that screed. Let’s try this one: “If . . . ou accept the role gay marriage (among other things) has played in the depreciating the status of traditional marriage”. Well I don’t accept that, and you have nothing, NOTHING WHATSOEVER, to back up that preposterous statement. It’s is a piece with the rest of your comment: pure, unadulterated, ignorant, arrogant trash.

      • Jim Bean

        Its fine not to accept it. What I have to back it up is common sense. Marriage (the traditional kind) has been the building block of civilization. The other kinds turn the focus away from that. Waters is down, if you will. I’m not saying its the end of the world but its not right to dismiss Cruz just because you may not care to consider the point he makes.

      • Laura Hurt

        Common sense? Why does your common sense trump evidence? No country that has gay marriage is doing bad. On the contrary: countries where being gay is demonized and gay marriage can’t even be discussed yet, are third world countries where the economies are awful and the people are piss poor. The countries, on the other hand, where homosexuality is considered just one of the flavors and where same sex marriage is introduced, are amongst the top ranking countries in the world, socially, economically and mentally. Your common sense is a backward, common sense of 50 years ago. Time to retire that sense and let the facts rule, instead of ‘common sense’

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        I remind you of Hungary’s recently approved Constitution and it’s dedication to God.
        This is from ‘Human Rights Watch’ so forgive the overt hatred for a people taking control of their own government:
        ——————————————————————————————————
        The amendments to the constitution adopted on March 11:

        Limit the mandate of the Constitutional Court, preventing it from referring to its own rulings prior to January 1, 2012, when a new constitution came into force, and ending its power to review the substance of amendments to the constitution.

        Permit laws or local authority action criminalizing homelessness. The Constitutional Court struck down a law with the same effect in November 2012.

        Define family narrowly as that founded on marriage between a man and a woman or as a parent-child relationship. In December 2012, the Constitutional Court had struck down legal provisions in the Act on Protection of Families which limited family to that based on marriage between a man and a woman plus dependent children as “excessively restrictive” after they were referred to the court by the country’s ombudsman. The new provisions continue to discriminate against unmarried and same-sex families.

        Limit religious freedom by giving parliament the sole right to decide which religious organizations are considered ‘churches’ for the purpose of domestic legislation. In February 2013, the Constitutional Court struck down as procedurally unfair a law that led to most religious organizations in Hungary losing their status as churches, denying them state funding, including for service provision.

        Give constitutional status to the existing wide-ranging powers of the president of the National Judicial Office (NJO), including the authority to transfer cases from one court to another. Politically sensitive corruption cases have already been transferred by the NJO president from courts in Budapest to courts in the countryside, which have considerably less experience trying such cases and where there is less media scrutiny.

        Limit the broadcasting of political campaign ads to the state broadcaster, which could enable the government to ban campaign ads on commercial radio and television. Legislation with the same limitation was struck down as unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in January.

        ————————————————————————————————–
        Except for the machinations of the European Union, Hungarians are just fine with the changes. Ask them.

      • schwarherz

        The Ancient Greeks and the Roman Empire would call you a liar. No “traditional” marriage there and they, arguably, built our civilization (or began to anyway).

      • Jim Bean

        And Rome fell during the height of its dalliance with decadence and political corruption, the latter being another area where the Left promotes acceptance.

      • Di Kelley

        I said this on another article, and I will say it here in response to your garbage, Jim. Gay marriage does *no harm* to society, Rome got in trouble not because of gay marriage, but they and Ancient Greece both were in trouble due to their tradition of pederestty. Two hugely different matters.

        Is two gay men or lesbian women getting married harming you personally? No? Then you need to stfu. It’s not *your* business if *they* get married if it’s not personally harming you.

      • Jim Bean

        It harms me indirectly. Only a fool would say its introduction does not change the dynamics and perceptions of the role of marriage in our society. Only a fool would say that all those changes must necessarily be beneficial simply because a singular benefit can be isolated.

        Any thing that influences, no matter how slightly, a child bearing couple to opt out of the commitment of marriage increases the likelihood of a child growing up with less than a full and balanced support system and increases the likelihood of that child growing up disadvantaged by poverty. Only a fool would say that the benefits to the gay sector (of calling it marriage rather than civil unions) outweighs these negative secondary effects.

        I call that causing harm. You will dismiss it because your concerns are compartmentalized and self-centered.

      • Di Kelley

        Allowing two people who would have lived together regardless to marry would not in any way discourage someone who may or may not have gotten married in the first place to marry. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, no matter what other factors are in place. All people have a right to a happy life, no matter what their gender or sexual orientation. To deny gays the ability to marry, is denying them their right to the pursuit of happiness. Constitutional right there, that they very well ought to have.

      • Jim Bean

        That’s like saying something that happened a hundred odd years ago (slavery) really isn’t affecting the black community today. Liberals would fall over backwards in their chairs if someone said that .

      • Di Kelley

        Slavery is denying someone their rights. Two gay people getting married isn’t denying *you* any rights. They are in no way the same.

      • schwarherz

        Which just so happened to be shortly after it converted to Christianity and had the concept of “traditional” marriage applied to them. When one has to hide their true selves, one tends to be much more willing to lie about other things and be “decadent and politically corrupt”.

      • Fernando

        Jim, Up until just very recently,[ when the far-right evangels, started using the gay issue as a political ploy], all was well with the world, right? There were no wars, no sexual abuse, no corrupt politicians, no pedophile priests, no hunger, no racial discrimination, no slavery, no corrupt preachers, no etc etc! All that just started when gay people started demanding EQUAL RIGHTS, guaranteed by the Constitution that Ted and his ilk want to abandon!
        Right Jim! Get off the stuff, and drink water instead, it may clear your head!

      • Jim Bean

        You make it sound like the issue of gay marriage has been front and center for decades and the evangels just started to exploit it as a political ploy. I think you have it backwards.

    • Cemetery Girl

      How does homosexual marriage depreciate marriage? How does it have a bigger impact on the seriousness of marriage than a pop star getting married on a whim in Vegas and ending it two days later? (Not to bad mouth getting married in Vegas, some people decide to marry there for the simplicity and have successful marriages.) The only people that can devalue a marriage are the two people in that marriage.

      Single parenthood can play a role in poverty (but homosexuals raising children together is not single parenthood), yet you ignore other factors. Even though typically a two parent household is considered better for kids, it is better for kids to be in a single parent household than one where they are exposed to abuse or drugs. What is best for kids is a stable, loving home even if it lacks a parent of a certain gender (either gender.) It is not required for a child to use biological parents as gender models, and sometimes the kids have better models other than their parents.

    • buricco

      You know what disgraces the institution of marriage? People making a mockery of it through serial divorces and annulments.

      • Jim Bean

        Among other things, I would agree.

    • Laura Hurt

      Suuuure, because all those damn gay people who now are able to marry each other, were first in straight marriages, so they had all those divorces so they could get that gross gay marriage now, no wonder that the divorce rates are so high.

      Yeah, no.

      That’s not what happened. What happened is that people get divorced and depreciate straight marriage for a long time already, letting gay people marry each other is really not gonna make one jota of difference for that.

      Secondly, every research done shows that children raised by gay parents are doing as fine and sometimes even better than children raised by straight parents. Again you are wrong.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        But: You can legislate Compliance, but you’ll never Legislate Acceptance.
        It’s a fact.

    • Cambel

      Actually Marriage rates have been falling for decades, gay marriage has been around a few years. Nice try, but heterosexuals seem to have done a wonderful job of damaging marriage all by themselves. Funny how we never see any of these bigoted groups protesting legal divorce, which is actually spoken against in the Bible by Jesus. Oh that’s right, getting rid of divorce might actually be inconvienient to YOU, AND doesn’t give you an excuse to be a bigot, therefore it isn’t worth persuing.

      • Jim Bean

        I would submit that I inferred a strong concern about divorce rates in general and wondered aloud about the impact of gay marriage upon it in response to an article that singularly isolated gay marriage as a topic.

      • schwarherz

        Because homosexuality isn’t a choice, gay marriage being allowed would not effect the divorce rate one bit.

      • Di Kelley

        Precisely. Homosexuality has been proven to have a genetic componant. (I’d have to find the article again, but once i do I will post the cite) so no, it isn’t a *choice*, sexual attraction is something that is hard wired.

      • Jim Bean

        That is a completely illogical statement. Its like saying ‘since catching the flu isn’t a choice going to visit you frail elderly grandmother while you have it will not affect her health one bit.

      • Di Kelley

        Flu is contagious, homosexuality is not. Logical fallacy there.

    • Fernando

      Jim, you’ve been drinking too much of the beverage that bears your name!

    • Brian

      Well it’s a good thing you’re not a sociologist or are capable of backing up anything you claim, then.

  • LMB

    I just love how when a Republican defies the Constitution (which they’ve been doing a lot lately) it’s patriotism, but if a Democrat does it (and I can’t think of a recent example of this) he/she is a terrorist out to destroy this country.

    • strayaway

      Please cite the clause in the Constitution you refer to delegating the power to define and regulate marriage to the federal government.

      • Fernando

        Strayaway, Please cite the clause in the Constitution that refers to the federal government regulating marriage!

      • strayaway

        I am unaware of any clause in the Constitution delegating the power to define and regulate marriage to the federal government. Nor am I aware of any clause in the Constitution preventing states from doing so. That being the case, such powers are delegated to the states according to the 10th Amendment.

      • schwarherz

        However, it DOES say (and I forget where, forgive me) that marriages in one state have to be accepted in another, thus why the states with gay marriage bans which refuse to accept marriages performed in other states are being struck down one by one as unconstitutional (most recently North Carolina).

      • strayaway

        Thats’s Article 4, Section 1 although some occupational licenses aren’t always accepted by other states. However, that just addresses one state accepting public acts, records and the judicial proceedings of other states. What we were talking about was instead whether the federal government can itself define and regulate marriage.

      • schwarherz

        One would assume that if one can get married in one state and have it valid in all others that it would then fall to the federal government to set guidelines intended for all states. Otherwise all regulations would be meaningless as one could simply go to another state to be married, then return to the state of origin, thus bypassing the state’s restrictions.

      • strayaway

        I wouldn’t assume that. Why allow state governments to make laws were that the case? Just because New York issues a license to teach doesn’t mean Indiana has to accept it. Some people used to go to Nevada for marriages and divorces. Some women cross state lines to have abortions. Some people travel to Colorado to get legally stoned. In Oregon, people have the right to take their own lives.

  • Cambel

    Funny how people that claim to be against gay marriage because of the Bible never want to talk about the fact that none of them are pushing to outlaw divorce even though Jesus spoke out SPECIFICALLY against divorce. Interesting that they ignore Jesus’s actual words, and yet attack gays because of something St. Paul said. So basically they don’t REALLY care about what the Bible tells them, they only care about the sections that give them an excuse to be bigots.

  • Fernando

    Ted Cruz channels his zealot, evangelical father! Should ted, make it to the White House, it will then be known as the Theocracy Temple!. His so-called Amendment to stem equal rights for gays, will be followed by an Amendment to abolish the First Amendment! Of course that will then proceed to a blood bath to see which ‘christian sect” will be in charge! Ted and his dad act as if the Iranian style of governance is the best! Teds’ father will then become Americas’ first Ayatolla, only more repressive!