Abraham Lincoln was fond of asking, “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?
“No,” he would politely respond. “The correct answer is four. Calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.”
Today, advocates of same-sex marriage are trying to sell an imitation for the real thing. But no matter what they call it, most Americans recognize that same-sex unions are as counterfeit as a five-legged dog. In fact, voters when given the opportunity have defended the traditional definition of marriage overwhelmingly.
Last month, for example, Alabama approved a marriage amendment by 81%, bringing the number of states with constitutional amendments protecting marriage to 20. When similar measures are put before the people, the popular vote consistently exceeds 70%. Along with these states, an additional 26 have enacted statutes protecting traditional marriage.
But when the issue is raised in Congress, the House and Senate repeatedly vote against marriage, failing in their duty to represent the American people. Citizens across the country have voted at the state level to maintain the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Yet both Houses of Congress have shown consistently that they are unwilling to stand with a majority of Americans against a handful of activist judges and radical gay activists who are determined to redefine our oldest and most fundamental institution.
The past few weeks have provided some promising signs that some courts are finally willing to apply the brakes to the runaway activism that has been steering them and the nation in the opposite direction of the American people. Recently, both the Tennessee Supreme Court and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the people’s ability to defend marriage, mirroring another ruling in New York which determined that the legislature has a rational basis for promoting marriage as the optimal environment for raising children.
These court decisions are encouraging and have led some people to believe that the Marriage Protection Amendment is not essential. But these decisive actions by the people at the state level are still threatened by judicial activism. Marriage rulings are currently pending in state courts in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oklahoma. And according to State Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens, Washington State will issue a decision before this September’s primary, underscoring the need for further action at the federal level.
It’s only a matter of time before the U.S. Constitution will be amended. The only question is “Who will do it?”– the citizens of this country, through the ratification process, or judges acting by fiat?
The definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is rooted in the order of nature itself. It promotes the continuation of the human race and the cooperation of a mother and a father in raising the children they produce.
This union can only be protected through amending the U.S. Constitution. If it’s not, activists will continue using the courts to sell a five-legged dog. But as we say where I’m from in Louisiana, "that dog won’t hunt."