#LoveWins or #TruthLoses? What Today’s Supreme Court Decision Really Means
A landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court has made the recognition of same-sex marriage the law of the land. What does this mean for America?
On June 26, 2015, by a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage is a right guaranteed by the Constitution.
Writing for the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited the history and centrality of marriage going back thousands of years in human history. He noted that “the history of marriage is one of both continuity and change” and that the institution has “evolved over time” (p. 6).
He cited the evolution of marriage from political and family arrangements to a “voluntary contract between a man and a woman” (ibid.). He also discussed America’s evolving opinion on homosexuality. He noted how laws against homosexual intimacy have gradually been changed, as well as the American Psychiatric Association’s removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973.
Finally, Justice Kennedy concluded that the majority opinion of the court is that same-sex marriage is a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment’s due process clause:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Of course, students of history know that the 14th Amendment was one of the Civil War Amendments (the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments), designed to guarantee civil rights to the millions of slaves emancipated after the American Civil War. It’s inconceivable that the authors of this amendment, ratified in 1868, ever thought their wording would eventually be expanded to include the right for people of the same gender to join in matrimony.
What the decision really means
Today’s decision is being hailed by many around America as a celebration of what they call the extension of rights or the victory of love. A trending hashtag on social media is #LoveWins. Some are comparing it to the civil rights victories won by African-Americans in the late 20th century.
Today’s Supreme Court decision and the recent surge in support of same-sex marriage do not represent the victory of rights or love. What these actually represent is the institutionalizing of this nation’s rejection of biblical law and morality.
At the heart of all the arguments promoting same-sex marriage is the basic but very dangerous human tendency found in the Bible: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
This is nothing new. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden when our first parents, Adam and Eve, rejected divine law. Instead of meticulously obeying what God said was best for them, they decided to choose for themselves. This decision set mankind on a course of deciding for ourselves what is right and wrong.
Sometimes we humans see the logic of God’s law and choose right. But like Adam and Eve, all too often we reject God and His law. Unfortunately, in this area as in others, America has formally chosen the latter.
The American public and the highest judicial body of the land have basically declared that their Creator’s law is too restrictive and not loving enough. Like ancient Israel of the past, America is operating from the principle of Judges 21:25: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
God warns Israel, both ancient and modern, of the consequences of a wholesale rejection of truth: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. … Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6).
Where we stand
If we choose to embrace our Creator’s intent and law, we have to recognize two essential timeless truths:
- It was God who created the marriage institution—not human beings.
- When God created it, He defined the laws by which it would operate: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). No matter how humans try to reconfigure the institution to match the times, the fact is that the Creator defined it thousands of years ago and gave no wiggle room to expand the basic definition of marriage: a lifelong, intimate union between a man and woman.
These two basic truths mean that any sexual relationship outside of the marriage institution (as defined by God) is wrong and/or unnatural. God directly commanded, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22) because this kind of union is “against nature” (Romans 1:26).
Thankfully, at least for the time being, today’s Supreme Court ruling also preserved the right for individuals to believe and for churches to teach the biblical standard:
“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons” (ibid., p. 27).
We will continue to teach the biblical standard, with the hope of helping all people see the blessings and benefits of living life by God’s laws.
We will leave our readers with this message, written by the prophet Amos to our modern nations today: “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; so the Lord God of hosts will be with you, as you have spoken. Hate evil, love good; establish justice in the gate. It may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph” (Amos 5:14-15).
For past insights on the issue of same-sex marriage, read:
- The Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage: Who Really Decides?
- Is the Definition of Marriage Really Ours to Change?
- The Grammys and Marijuana: The Message America Needs to Hear