Cruz and Huckabee completely miss the meaning of Obergefell v. Hodges

The Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges effectively legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, but that’s not really what the decision was about. The Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the government to discriminate with regards to the legal right to marry. It’s an important distinction. This wasn’t the Court saying “Yes, gay marriage is in the constitution,” despite what some pundits and presidential candidates would tell you. Instead, the Court say “You cannot extend the legal right to marry to some people but not others just because a majority of people in your state don’t want the minority to have that right.”

That’s an important distinction. It means that, rather than legislating from the bench, the Court was doing nothing that is outside of it’s normal scope of work. Or, more succinctly, the Court was simply doing its job.

So, when Mike Huckabee says:

“The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.”

He’s flat-out wrong. He says this is a religious liberty issue, and it is, but not the way he means. Huckabee is fighting for the right of the government to enforce his religious views on other people. This isn’t religious liberty he’s talking about; it’s about establishing a state religion.

When Ted Cruz says:

“This radical decision purporting to strike down the marriage laws of every state, it has no connection to the United States Constitution. They are simply making it up. It is lawless and in doing so they have undermined the fundamental legitimacy of the United States Supreme Court.”

He’s either a liar or a fool. Cruz fancies himself a constitutional scholar, so he’s got to know he’s the one who’s simply “making it up.” The 14th Amendment makes this sort of discrimination Cruz longs for illegal, and the 1st Amendment makes it very clear that the government has no business recognizing one faith’s practices as gospel.

I’ll close by noting a section of Justice Alito’s dissent:

“I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers and schools.”

I happen to agree. I don’t see this tag being applied to people who marry someone of the opposite gender any more than it’s applied today. However, people who believe that marriage is a privilege reserved, by law, for people who their church believes should be allowed to marry will very likely be labelled “bigots.” As well they should.

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