The Wall Street Journal called the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling a “historic win for gay marriage”. The ruling sparked celebrations all over the country. Here in Ann Arbor, there were cars driving down Main Street waving flags and honking horns.
And at the same time, the DOMA ruling brought theocrats out in droves to microphones, press conferences, television shows, and, of course, talk radio. They came out to lament the end of religious freedom, the downfall of American society. Some even went so far as to predict the end of human existence.
Here’s a small sampling of reactions from people who actually hold (or, in one case, held) national political office…
Rick Santorum (R-PA)
Former Pennsylvania Senator, Rick Santorum, speaking on Steve Malzberg’s conservative talk show on Wednesday, said that the SCOTUS ruling on DOMA “demeans democracy” and is “craziness”. Mr. Santorum warned:
“You are losing freedom in this country. Hopefully, Americans are going to wake up and see that this concentration of power in Washington is damaging to them and their freedom.”
The Supreme Court struck down DOMA. That is, SCOTUS got rid of a concentration of power in Washington that was dictating the nature of marriage to the rest of the country. This ruling is an important step toward gaining freedom to marry whomever one chooses.
Maybe he is objecting to the concentration of power in the Supreme Court capable of striking down DOMA. Apparently, then, the concentration of power embodied in DOMA itself must somehow be less damaging.
But of course, we all know what Mr. Santorum is really saying: Gay marriage conflicts with my religious views. Therefore, I want the Federal Government to impose those views on all U.S. citizens.
Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
After Wednesday’s DOMA ruling, Rep. Louie Gohmert held a press conference to lament that SCOTUS ruled against his biblical world view. He explained that, apparently, the majority justices in the ruling were “unaware of the wisest man in all of history, Solomon, who said that there’s nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Rep. Gohmert said that gay marriage was nothing new; it had been tried before, “usually at the end of a great civilization.”
Rep. Gohmert closed by labeling the majority justices a “holy quintet” who are ushering in our downfall:
“What we now have today, is a ‘holy quintet’, who goes against the laws of nature and nature’s God. And that’s very unfortunate.”
Rep. Gohmert, would much prefer SCOTUS to impose (his interpretation of) God’s law.
Joe Pitts (R-PA)
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Rep. Joe Pitts tells Christian right think tank president, Tony Perkins, that the DOMA ruling “impacts our, uh, freedom of religion,” although he seem incapable of supporting that claim. Instead he says the ruling “harms children” by redefining families and seems to imply that the whole idea of gay rights is a newly hatch, left wing ploy:
“… the cost of our social service welfare programs are going to be greatly impacted by this negative consequence of a social experiment that is less in age than the iPhone. This is the leftist redefinition that is happening here on our watch.”
It is unclear, to me anyway, how allowing gay couples marriage rights threatens Mr. Pitts’ or anybody else’s freedom of religion. Unless by “freedom of religion” one means the freedom to impose religious beliefs on others.
Mike Huckabee (R-AR)
Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee, took to twitter shortly after the DOMA ruling:
My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: “Jesus wept.”
And again, a few minutes later to further clarify:
“5 people in robes said they are bigger than the voters of CA and Congress combined. And bigger than God. May He forgive us all.”
[Edit: As of November 7, 2014, the links to these two tweets are no longer working. I wonder if Mr. Huckabee’s people are cleaning house in anticipation of 2016?]
Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
And finally, unsurprisingly, we have soon-to-be-former Rep. Michele Bachmann:
“Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted. … For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. … What the Court has done will undermine the best interest of children and the best interests of the United States.”
But this is Ms. Bachmann, after all, so, “Who cares?”