With SCOTUS Decision On Same-Sex Marriage, You Knew Lawyers Would Soon Jump On THIS

When newly legalized matrimony ends in bitter, irreconcilable acrimony for same-sex couples, there’s now a law firm ready to handle divorce cases for gay and lesbian partners whose bliss has gone amiss. And what could be the nation’s first practice with attorneys who specialize in LGBTQ divorce has popped up in, of all places, the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

Yes, yes, I know we’ve all heard about legal action taken by same-sex couples against bakers and photographers who refuse them service; but when a gay or lesbian couple is ready to sue each other for legal separation, they can cruise on over to a just-launched website called Adam Vs. Steve. There, attorney J. Conor Corcoran has announced the formation of a new division of his law practice “devoted entirely to LGBTQ divorce.”

(By the way, if you’re not familiar with the new five-letter and not the old four-letter reference to non-straight persons, LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer.)

On the Adam Vs. Steve website, the divorce-focused attorney Corcoran is described as a “staunch Democrat and social liberal” who’s realistic enough to face the fact that, just like what happens with heterosexual couples, same-sex marriages will sometimes not work out…and Corcoran wants the LGBTQ community to know he’s there when they don’t.

Like many LGBTQ community supporters, attorney J. Conor Corcoran celebrated Friday’s Supreme Court decision that upholds marriage equality throughout the United States.

But proud as he is of the upcoming boom in gay matrimony, Corcoran knows that some of this wedded bliss will end in acrimony. That’s why he has launched a new division of his law practice, devoted entirely to LGBTQ divorce.

As the local CBS TV station in Philadelphia noted in its report on what could be the country’s first gay divorce firm, the lawyer heading up the practice claims the name for his website was inspired by what he says were insults aimed at gay couples.

“I realized that there really is a certain kind of empowerment and benevolence in taking what was formerly a derogatory term or a denigration and turning it into some matter of empowerment. And it’s for a good service. These people are entitled to equal rights just like the rest of us.”

So, with the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that same-sex couples have a new, constitutionally protected right to legally marry in every state in the union, the justices have also created a new opportunity for other legal eagles to provide counsel for — some might say swoop down and feed off the remains of — LGBTQ couples whose marriages were not, so to speak, made in heaven.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Bakery Owners Who Refused Lesbian Wedding Service Just Told What State Will Do To Them

For Melissa and Aaron Klein — owners of a small, family-run bakery in Sandy, Or. — Thursday was not a day for baking a cake in celebration of a victory for their First Amendment rights. In fact, it may have been the day that will be remembered for having forced the Kleins to power down the ovens and turn out the lights of their business, Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

As The Blaze reports, The Oregon Labor Commissioner — citing Oregon law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation — has issued a final order imposing a whopping fine on the Kleins.

“The owners of an Oregon bakery that refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple were ordered Thursday to pay $135,000 ‘in damages for emotional and mental suffering resulting from the denial of service.’”

After learning they would be fined $135,000 for declining the lesbian couple’s wedding cake order, the Kleins posted a message on the Facebook page for their business — a message that, as of this writing, has gotten well over 9,300 likes. The Kleins pledge they will not give up the fight, saying they are “here to obey God not man.” An image of the entire Facebook post appears below.

Image Credit: Facebook/Sweet Cakes by Melissa

Image Credit: Facebook/Sweet Cakes by Melissa

A GoFundMe page that had been set up for donations to help support the Kleins was shut down. However, through another online donation site called Continue to Give, people are now stepping up frequently and generously with pledges toward the fundraising goal of $150,000.

On the website for their bakery, the Kleins say they’re still in business, still baking cakes that are “custom made and designed to fit you.” As for their wedding services, the wording on the website for Sweet Cakes is explicit and leaves no doubt about their stance on traditional marriage.

“We here at Sweet Cakes strongly believe that when a man and woman come together to be joined as one, it is truly one of the most special days of their lives….”.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Supreme Court Rejects Nation’s Founding Faith

If ever there was a watershed moment in the United States’ move from its founding faith to secularism, it was Friday. The Supreme Court finalized what had been a growing trend in the United States to make same-sex marriage the law of the land.

The Court made its determination based on the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law and the fundamental right to liberty. As I wrote about in my book, We Hold These Truths, when the court delves into these arenas of judging the constitutionality of laws based on whether they violate Americans’ right to liberty or equality, it is doing so based on a faith decision.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in Friday’s same-sex marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, admitted as much.

The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.

What is the new insight based on? Faith.

Law, in the end, is simply a statement of faith about what the legislature, or in this case, what the court believes is true. Obviously neither liberty nor equal protection can mean everyone being able to do what is right in his or her own eyes, or there would be no law at all.

The Founders made clear the faith that undergirded their understanding of the law.

The very first sentence of the Declaration of Independence states “the laws of Nature and Nature’s God” entitled the American colonists to declare their independence from a tyrannical king and Parliament who were denying them their liberty and equal treatment under the law.

The pre-eminent legal treatises of the time, Coke’s Institutes of the Laws of England (1628-44) and Blackstone’s Commentaries of the Laws of England (1765-69), made clear the laws of nature were those observable in creation, while the laws of Nature’s God are those revealed in scripture by the Creator, because He recognized the “imperfection…of human reason” (as Blackstone put it). Thomas Jefferson believed being familiar with both texts was essential to understanding the law.

The second sentence of the Declaration reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

In other words, the true purpose of all law established by government is to secure the people’s God given rights. The Constitution, adopted 12 years after the Declaration, was the means the Founders chose “…to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…,” as noted in the Preamble.

So if the Supreme Court or the legislature is going to secure a “fundamental right” (language Justice Kennedy used in his opinion) essential to the liberty of its people, the place to start, if the nation is going to stay true to its founding faith, should be, “Is there a God-given, inalienable right to do ________?” Fill in the blank…get an abortion, marry someone of the same sex….

Following the laws of nature and nature’s God, the answer is no. The people can obviously vote these “rights” into existence, and reap whatever consequences arise from going against the Creator’s design, but the Supreme Court should not be creating the rights out of whole cloth. As Sen. Ted Cruz so eloquently put it:

If those justices want to become legislators, I invite them to resign and run for office. That’s the appropriate place to write laws — on this floor, not from that courtroom.

America’s great advances in liberty in race and gender equality were entirely consistent with the nation’s founding faith. The scripture affirms the truth that race and gender are God’s plan, and He is no respecter of person with regards to them. In Christ, there is neither “Jew, nor Greek,” nor “male, nor female.”

The nation fought a Civil War in the 1860s (followed by the adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments) and passed civil rights legislation in the 1960s to experience a “new birth of freedom” consistent with the Declaration’s promise (and scripture’s truth) “that all men are created equal,” as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us.

The women’s suffrage movement relied on the nation’s founding faith to argue that women should have the right to vote. The very first women’s suffrage convention in Seneca Falls (1848) explicitly adopted the language of the Declaration of Independence (including a reliance on “the laws of nature and nature’s God”) to make their case in the Declaration of Sentiments. One of those truths found in the laws of nature’s God is, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:27)

This faith was not present in Friday’s same-sex marriage ruling. When asked about marriage, Jesus quoted Moses, saying, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’” (Matt. 19:4-5, Gen. 2:24)

If our nation’s laws are no longer going to be guided by our founding faith, we have to ask ourselves, what are we going to put our faith in now? We know human reason alone is not perfect, even the reasoning of Supreme Court justices. Friday’s 5-4 decision is evidence enough of this truth.

Without a common faith in certain truths, there is no moral impetus to the law, because it is not derived from any higher authority to which the society, for the most part, assents to being true.  A majority vote in the Supreme Court or even in the legislature cannot fill this void. Those in power will exercise it with increasing heavy-handedness to create a new secular order and will in the process rob citizens of the liberty their Creator intended them to have. The emergence of religious liberty cases regarding Obamacare and same-sex marriage in recent years is just one manifestation of this truth.

There is really only one answer: a reformation that impacts our understanding of law and society from the pinnacles of power to the man and woman on the street.

Abraham Lincoln best stated the faith that must undergird such a reformation and recommitment to the nation’s founding faith in the Gettysburg Address. Referring back to the year the Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, he said:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure…It is…for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people,’ shall not perish from the earth.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

These Defiant Texas Officials Are Vowing To Push Back Hard Against SCOTUS Marriage Ruling

First it was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) who condemned last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right that must be observed in all 50 states. The Christian Science Monitor reports that Abbott’s statement about the high court’s 5-4 decision was defiant, drawing a bold line in the sand when it comes to forcing officials and religious leaders to perform gay marriages in the Lone Star State.

“Texans of all faiths must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious freedom is beyond the reach of government,” Gov. Abbott said. “Renewing and reinforcing that promise is all the more important in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The government must never pressure a person to abandon or violate his or her sincerely held religious beliefs regarding a topic such as marriage.”

Echoing the governor’s sentiments, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has also weighed in on the red-hot issue, as the Monitor article notes: “…Paxton defended the religious liberty of state employees in a statement Sunday, saying they would not have to issue marriage licenses or perform weddings for same-sex couples and called the Supreme Court’s Friday decision ‘a lawless ruling.’”

As the chief law enforcement officer for Texas, Paxton added that legal help would be made available to county clerks and their employees throughout the state should they face adverse legal consequences for refusing to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling on religious grounds.

The Monitor’s article on the same-sex marriage ruling adds: “Attorney General Paxton said in a statement that the ruling ‘stops at the door of the First Amendment’ and cannot touch religious freedom.”

The Dallas Morning News reports on Paxton’s defense of Texas officials who balk at providing same-sex marriage licenses:

Paxton’s opinion also said justices of the peace and judges similarly may rebuff requests that they officiate at same-sex weddings, especially if their colleagues in their areas are receptive to doing so.

Judges and justices of the peace, Paxton wrote, “may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections, when other authorized individuals have no objection, because it is not the least restrictive means of the government ensuring the ceremonies occur.”

One of the Supreme Court’s more staunch conservatives — Justice Clarence Thomas, writing in his dissent from the pro-gay marriage decision — warned of the threat to religious liberty inherent in the high court’s highly controversial ruling.

CNS News quotes from Thomas’ withering criticism of the landmark 5-4 ruling:

“Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect,” Thomas said in his dissent.

“In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well,” said Thomas. “Today’s decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

This Priest Walked By A Gay Marriage Parade, What Happened Next Is Despicable

Fox News contributor Father Jonathan Morris said he was attacked while walking through the streets of Manhattan on his way to dinner Sunday. He shared his experience on Twitter:

Many showed sympathy for the parochial administrator of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Bronx:

Some even felt Fr. Jonathan was showing the men too much grace:

A small minority, however, took exception to Morris’ story:

Morris also made note of something in the parade he found particularly disturbing:

h/t: BizPac Review

Did “love win” with Fr. Jonathan’s response? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth