The Supreme Court of the United States has announced that, in the coming months, it will consider two cases that deal directly with the definition of marriage. The Court will take up the issue of Proposition 8, in which lower courts invalidated the will of the people of California to legally define marriage as between one man and one woman. The court will also take up the case of the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Department of Justice has refused to defend under President Obama.
What this means is that, on a legal level, 2013 will be a very important year for the institution of marriage as publicly defined in the United States of America. It’s also, therefore, a very important year for the issue of religious liberty. As we have seen with the HHS mandate, any exemptions will not be sufficient to protect the long-standing freedom of conscience that religious Americans have enjoyed.
Christians must be prepared to talk thoughtfully and winsomely about what’s at stake when it comes to the legal definition of marriage, and to dispel the myths that are often perpetuated. Helpful talking points can be found at the Heritage Foundation, the National Organization for Marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom, Christian Medical Comment, the Ruth Institute, and CrossExamined.
In addition to speaking out whenever we can, we must also remember that the Supreme Court will not able to solve the marriage problem in America. Don’t get me wrong. What they decide in these two cases is extremely important. Still, if traditional marriage is upheld legally, marriage as an institution is still collapsing around us practically. Cohabitation is on the rise, divorce is normal, and the birthrate continues to dive.
So, it’s important that we ask: what else can we do?