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By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

6/28/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

In short, the majority on the United States Supreme Court see us as outlaws. To defend traditional marriage is tantamount to

In one fell swoop, the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor killed the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), thereby assuring that same-sex "marriages" recognized under State laws must be treated as marriages under Federal law.  The immediate result of the majority holding is to open up to the partners of same-sex "marriage" thousands of benefits, including estate tax exemptions, social security benefits, the ability to file joint tax returns, and so forth. But that result is not the worst of it.  What is worse is what the opinion forebodes. 


By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (

6/28/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: same-sex marriage, Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA,

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - In one fell swoop, five justices composing a majority of the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor killed the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), thereby assuring that same-sex "marriages" recognized under State laws must be treated as marriages under Federal law. 

The immediate result of the majority holding is to open up to the partners of same-sex "marriage" thousands of benefits, including estate tax exemptions, social security benefits, the ability to file joint tax returns, and so forth.  The ripple effect will be significant.

But that result is not the worst of it. 

What is worse is what the opinion forebodes. 

The majority opinion--authored by "sweet mystery of life" Justice Kennedy and joined by the irreformable liberal justices Gingsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan--states in not-so-veiled language that defending traditional marriage serves to "degrade or demean" same-sex "marriage," that it causes "injury and indignity" to, that it clearly evinces a "bare . . . desire to harm," and that it can only intend to "disparage and injure" same-sex couples.

As recognized by the dissenting justices, in particular Justice Scalia, the fundamental premise of the majority opinion--clearly visible through its "argle bargle" and "rootless and shifting" justifications that sound (but really only sound) in federalism, equal protection, and due process--is that any sort of held view that marriage and its benefits should be limited to a union between one man and one woman is "irrational," and therefore can only be motivated by "malice," or "bigotry." 

It is only legislators "with hateful hearts" that could have "voted 'aye'" on DOMA. 

It is only "mean-spirited" justices that would support such laws.

What this sort of rabid secular liberal dogma held by the majority forebodes is that any action, legislative, political, social, or religious, seeking to sustain traditional marriage--since by definition it infringes upon same-sex "marriage"--is ipso facto a legal, political, or social evil. 

Worse, in the view of the self-righteous majority, such a view is necessarily motivated by spite, by hatred, by bigots and moral ignoramuses.  The intent is necessarily evil.

In the view of the majority of the Supreme Court, to borrow from the dissent of Justice Scalia, "any resistance to" the majority's holding is "beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement."  It follows that only a fool or, what's worse, a bigot would hold against the enlightened majority.

In effect, by "adjudging those who oppose" same-sex "marriage" equivalent to "hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race," the majority has declared war against advocates of traditional marriage. 

In short, the majority on the United States Supreme Court see us as outlaws.  To defend traditional marriage is tantamount to "hate your neighbor."  We are persona non grata, moral undesirables.

We are dealing here with two clashing visions, and only one side has the power: the majority of liberal justices on the Court.  The majority of the Court clearly has no compunction in voiding any legislative or executive effort at buttressing traditional understanding of marriage. 

The five ennobled ones are the only majority that counts.  What the majority in Congress or any State legislature or the people may think is irrelevant, unless such majority sides with the enlightened majority on the Supreme Court, in which case it's all well-and-fine.

The precious five that constitute the majority feel no compunction on overruling a law passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.  Is there any doubt how eagerly it will dispose of a law passed by a State legislature and signed by a measly State governor?

And how naturally shall the majority's view lead to sanctions against the Church?  Or to political groups who seek to advance traditional marriage?  How, for example, can tax exempt status be justified?  How can contributions to such groups be considered tax deductible?  In the view of the five justices that make up the majority, these groups are morally diseased: they advocate, and are indeed built upon, invidious discrimination.

The Catholic Church, basing herself on the natural moral law and reason, insists that giving legal recognition to same-sex unions is against the common good. 

But the majority on the Supreme Court--the five Spartan ephors with not-so-Spartan surnames of Kennedy, Gingsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan--hold exactly the opposite. 

In the words of Justice Scalia, the federal shoe against same-sex "marriage," has dropped. 

One can easily look beyond the "argle bargle" of the majority opinion and see that it is only a matter of time before the "second, state-law shoe" drops.  And it won't stop there.

If DOMA violates the equal protection and due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, it follows invariably that any state law that seeks to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman only violates the equal protection and due process rights of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The arguments in Windsor, Scalia observes, are conveniently, even "deliberately," "transposable" to a future challenged to a State law defining marriage as between one man and one woman.  He's already written a draft of a future opinion in his dissent.

After the State laws go, the proponents of same-sex "marriage" will turn their full attention to the Church.  The Church and a few others that align themselves with her will be the only ones insisting that, based upon reason and revelation both, marriage is, and can only be, a life-long commitment between a man and a woman and that any sort of normalization of same-sex unions is a moral, legal, political, and social evil. 

Don't expect much of a hearing: in the eyes of these secular liberal idealogues, the Church has as much moral standing as the Ku Klux Klan.


Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at


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