Now that several dozen federal judges have in effect redefined the institution of marriage, what does the future hold for the significant number of Americans who embrace natural marriage between one man and one woman and oppose so-called “same-sex marriage”?
I am sure those who take their convictions seriously and act upon them will be subjected to the usual howls of “hate speech” and likened to Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox, U.S. Sen. James Eastland and similar miscreants of our segregationist past.
More troubling, however, is the prospect of some homosexual/lesbian activists and their allies using the apparatus of the state to intimidate their critics or coerce those who, for moral or religious reasons, refuse to service activities associated with same-sex marriage. Consider the efforts to silence pastors in Houston, Texas, who had the temerity to challenge an anti-discrimination ordinance backed by the lesbian mayor; or the baker and a photographer who were persecuted for refusing to service gay weddings on free exercise of religion grounds.
With the legalization of same-sex marriage, more First Amendment litigation can be anticipated. Will judges be as zealous in protecting our first freedoms as they have been in redefining marriage? We shall see.
James C. Carper