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The Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle
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March for Marriage to Supreme Court: Don't Hand Us Another Roe

National Organization for Marriage

John Burger - published on 06/17/14

The reality is that we have a legal system in which the judges, even before this year, have been working to do what they can to redefine marriage. But they felt that before the Windsor case [in which the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act] there was some impediment to that. With the new and false interpretation of the Windsor case, which is that somehow the Supreme Court is going to support the constitutionalization of same sex marriage nationwide, a lot of lower courts feel like they can just take the mask off and do what they’ve always wanted to do.

So once you get a few courts proclaiming that "this is what the Supreme Court says,” it’s much easier for a number of courts to do that. But make no mistake. This is not a new fight. Going all the way back to Proposition 8 in California we had a state supreme court redefine marriage. We’ve see this in Massachusetts, we’ve seen it in Connecticut. It’s now trickled up to the federal courts.

What can be done or what is being done to reverse course?

Our focus is, number one, doing everything we can to highlight to the Supreme Court that the people of this country are not going to stand for another Roe v Wade type of decision. You look back at Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court itself and many court observers thought that once the court decided on the abortion issue, it would be a dead debate. They couldn’t have been more wrong. And you recently have Justice Ginsburg even saying that Roe v Wade, because the court decided this key decision it launched a culture war…. The same thing will happen if the court was to create out of thin air a right to redefine marriage.

So we want to highlight to the court, and that’s why we’re having a march for Marriage. We also need to fight in all the states we can—we will get a victory in one of these federal courts. Most of the courts that have heard these cases are more liberal courts. You haven’t heard yet from Louisiana and some other districts. So we will get a win there, I believe, in one of the other courts—and then this will all head to the Supreme Court, and that’s where the real decision will lie. It doesn’t really matter—I mean, it’s important because it creates public perception, but ultimately these lower courts aren’t going to be deciding the future of marriage; that’s going to go to the Supreme court.

Number 2 is to be realistic about what the court will do. The media wants to make it seem inevitable that the Supreme Court is going to rule to launch another Roe. That’s just not the case, and you can look at some very concrete reasons why not. The Supreme Court has issued stays in all the key decisions, the key decision that got to it, which was the Utah case, overturning two lower court decisions. Why is the Supreme Court issuing a stay, an important event? Because there are two reasons why the Supreme Court could issue a stay that has to be fulfilled: 1, that it’s likely that the court will grant review of the case, and 2, there’s a likelihood the lower court decision will be overturned by the full court granting a stay is itself saying there’s a likelihood that at least in the Utah case the lower court decision to create same-sex marriage in Utah will be overturned. That’s a very big deal.

So I think there’s real hope that the court will do the right thing here. Why is that important? Because what the other side wants to convince us is that nothing we can do is going to change what’s about to happen and that we might as well give it up now. Well, no, we’re not going to give up now, and even if the court does launch a Roe, we’re not giving up. The truth about marriage doesn’t change; we’ll just be in the same position of the pro-life movement after Roe, and we’ll have a decades-long fight to make sure the law mirrors the truth about marriage.

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