The same-sex "marriages" taking place in Massachusetts are a perfect example of the breakdown of the rule of law in our society. Not only did the courts rebuff the legislature and ignore the will of the people in imposing same-sex "marriage" in Massachusetts, but their example has also encouraged disregard for the legal process all across the state among other Massachusetts government officials. Before the same-sex "marriage" law took effect, Governor Mitt Romney announced that same-sex couples from other states would not be allowed to marry in Massachusetts, since their marriages wouldn't be legal in their home states. But in several cities, officials who believe that Romney's stance is "discriminatory" are marrying out-of-state couples anyway. The Washington Post reports, "Romney has threatened legal consequences against clerks who do not follow his guidelines. He said licenses issued to out-of-state couples would be 'null and void,' a stance that is expected to be challenged in court." To his credit Governor Romney is following the law and obeying the court when the court handed down a judicial coup d'etat, basically by a 4 to 3 vote telling the legislature it had to enact same-sex "marriage" statutes. Then when the legislature passed a constitutional amendment against same-sex "marriage," which cannot take effect until 2006, the court refused to stay its order. That's judicial tyranny, and though it must have hurt the governor and the legislature, coequal branches of government, they obeyed the law -- not so across the state of Massachusetts with the clerks, however. What they are doing is very much like what happened a few months ago when the mayor of San Francisco issued same-sex "marriage" licenses in direct violation of state law. It's also like what county officials in Benton County, Oregon, have been doing since March. They're refusing to grant any marriage licenses because, again, they believe that allowing only heterosexuals to marry is discriminatory. As I said at the time of the San Francisco debacle, when government officials won't uphold the rule of law, a nation begins to slide into anarchy. The mayor broke the law because he thought it was "wrong" and discriminatory. Well, if we all broke laws simply on that basis, how long would this country survive? It's true that some Christians have practiced civil disobedience in cases where they believed the law to be wrong. But there's a difference: Those Christians believed in a higher law given by God and believed that the particular law they were disobeying went against that higher law. They weren't single-handedly trying to create and enforce new laws based on their own personal ideas of right and wrong. What we're seeing in Massachusetts and across the country is the result of a postmodern rejection of truth. If there is no transcendent moral law, and all laws are subject solely to human whim, then what's to stop people in positions of power from making up the law as they go along? As we continue to flout that higher moral law in this country by adopting practices like same-sex "marriage," I think we're about to find out just how dangerous it can be to live in the middle of chaos. We need a Federal Marriage Amendment now. For further reading and information: David Crary, "Same-Sex Couples Marry in Massachusetts," Associated Press, 18 May 2004. Jonathan Finer, "Gay Couples Line Up for Mass. Marriages," Washington Post, 17 May 2004. Pam Belluck and Warren St. John, "With Festive Mood, Gay Weddings Begin in Massachusetts," New York Times, 17 May 2004. Free registration required. David D. Kirkpatrick, "Backers of Gay Marriage Find Tepid Response in Pews," New York Times, 16 May 2004. Free registration required. "Mayor defends same-sex marriages,", 22 February 2004. BreakPoint Commentary No. 040517, "Follow the Leader?: Same-Sex 'Marriage,' Massachusetts, and the Rest of Us." BreakPoint Commentary No. 040226, "An Epidemic of Lawbreaking: San Francisco's Gay 'Marriages.'" BreakPoint Commentary No. 031119, "Leave It to the Courts: Judicial Power and the Redefinition of Marriage." BreakPoint Commentary No. 030117, "Fighting Unjust Laws." Call 1-877-3-CALLBP to request the complimentary Marriage Amendment information packet. Also available is the BreakPoint's "Speak the Truth in Love" resource kit ($25), which includes CDs, booklets, articles, and more to help you speak effectively and compassionately on the issue of homosexuality and marriage. See BreakPoint's resource page on the sanctity of marriage. Mitch Muncy, ed., The End of Democracy? (Spence, 1997).


Chuck Colson


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