Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water

Last update on June 26, 2013.

This is a hell or high water moment for marriage advocates.

The Supreme Court is set to hand down decisions about the Constitutionality of California’s Marriage Amendment (Proposition 8) and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) this morning. While no one can predict with certainty how the Supremes will rule, this is a time for reflection.

The Supreme Court has, as an option, the power to rewrite the marriage laws of all 50 states. They may elect to legally dissolve our historic, national consensus on the meaning of marriage. Doing so will not, of course, end the debate. It will only rouse and embitter it. Through judicial fiat, the Court could declare that nearly half of all Americans who remain committed to the historic meaning of marriage hold a belief equivalent to racism. The Court could brush aside a majority of states that have enshrined true marriage into their laws. As Ben Domenech recently observed, the implications for religious freedom and for participation in public life are profound. Should the Supreme Court elect to redefine marriage, they will discover that they can no more shroud the glory of marriage by judicial edict than they could undo the imago dei with the Dred Scott or Roe decisions.

Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, favorably or unfavorably for those of us advocating for marriage, the decision will do little to shore up a marriage culture. We are unarguably at a low point. Americans are delaying marriage longer or forgoing it all together like we’ve never seen before. Not surprisingly then, we’re having fewer children, and those we are having are nearly as likely to be born outside of marriage as within it. This was a cultural crisis long before it became a legal matter, and it will require a sustained, passionate effort to revive a healthy marriage culture.

On the cusp of a historic Supreme Court decision, the value, goodness, and indispensable nature of marriage are all being questioned in our culture. But we affirm that what is true of marriage today, will remain true tomorrow. Come hell or high water, we’re committed to reviving a marriage culture, and to shaping the way our generation thinks and talks about marriage. As Zach Franzen recently wrote, "The value of [marriage's] beauty should be self-evident, but it still needs its defenders." Will you join us?

You can sign on to the Marriage Generation statement here, and please tweet your marriage love this morning using #1M1W (one man, one woman.) Thank you, friends.

Chris Marlink

Chris Marlink has passed ten years of marriage, and can almost field a baseball team with his family. You can follow Chris on twitter @CMarlink.


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