Right After The Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling, This Man Attempted Something Shocking

Within days of the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, Montanan Nathan Collier went to his county clerk’s office to seek recognition of his polygamist marriage. The clerk’s office has now responded to his request.

Collier, in the eyes of the state, has been married to Victoria Collier since 2000, but also seeks legal recognition of his second wife, Christine Collier, who he married in a religious ceremony in 2007. “We just want to add legal legitimacy to an already happy, strong, loving family,” he told KRTV.

The Colliers have appeared in an episode of TLC’s show “Sister Wives.”

Yellowstone Deputy County Attorney Kevin Gillen refused their request: “I am not in the business of speculating as to what types of consequences (and new laws) may flow from the recent Supreme Court case,” he wrote.

“However, until such time that laws change, the law of the State of Montana is that bigamy and polygamy are illegal arrangements and, consequently, the Yellowstone County Clerk of District Court is unable to issue such a marriage license.”

Christine said she was disappointed but expected this outcome: “We kind of anticipated that the answer would be no,” she said. “It was predictable based on how the laws are written. There’s no distinction between polygamy and bigamy in the written law. To us, polygamy is consensual, where bigamy would be non-consensual.”

Vicki Collier added that the family was disappointed with the decision: “This affects people’s lives. It was heartbreaking, and I tried to prepare Christine for that because there’s always that small glimmer of hope.” She also noted: “I just don’t understand why the government would label a law a Marriage Equality Act and then discriminate against other forms of marriage.”

KRTV.com | Great Falls, Montana
As reported by Western Journalism, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito saw the strength of Nathan’s argument if the court ruled there is a “fundamental right” to marry the person one chooses that is not guided by the millennia old definition of one man and one woman.

During oral arguments in the same-sex marriage case in April, Alito asked Mary Bonauto, counsel for the same-sex couples, that if the court rules in her clients’ favor and overturns state laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman, how others who believe they are not being treated equally by the current definition could realistically be denied the right to marry. He offered the example of polygamy.

Bonauto responded that the law could keep the definition as being only between two people because there is usually some form of coercion in polygamist relationships.

He questioned the attorney further: “Well, what if…these are four people, two men and two women… And let’s say they’re all consenting adults, highly educated. They’re all lawyers. What would be the ground under – under the logic of the decision you would like us to hand down in this case – what would be the logic of denying them the same right?”

Bonauto replied: “Number one, I assume the states would rush in and say that when you’re talking about multiple people joining into a relationship, that that is not the same thing that we’ve had in marriage, which is on the mutual support and consent of two people…”

And that is where Alito revealed her contradiction: “But, well, I don’t know what kind of a distinction that is because a marriage between two people of the same sex is not something that we have had before.”

He expounded that if the court adopted Bonauto’s “mutual support and consent” definition of marriage, there really is no place to stand against all-comers demanding their “fundamental right” to marry.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his dissent in the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to establish same-sex marriage as a constitutional right: “One immediate question invited by the majority’s position is whether States may retain the definition of marriage as a union of two people.”

He explains: “If not having the opportunity to marry ‘serves to disrespect and subordinate’ gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same ‘imposition of this disability’ serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships?”

“It’s about marriage equality,” Nathan Collier told the Washington Times. “You can’t have this without polygamy.”

“We’re not even asking for acceptance,” Nathan added. “We’re just asking for tolerance. Let us live our lives together without fear.”

He and his wives plan to pursue their case in court.

h/t: IJReview

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

Keep Your Hands Off My Raisins: Court Invalidates Antiquated Raisin Grab

Laura and Marvin Horne are raisin farmers. Early one morning in 2002, a truck appeared at their business–and the drivers demanded a whopping 47 percent of their raisin crop. The truck was sent by the federal government, and those demanding Horne’s raisin crop claimed to be operating under a “marketing order” first put in place in 1937 as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s effort to shore up agricultural prices. Amazingly, this antiquated scheme lasted for over 65 years—well past the agricultural crisis of the Great Depression.

By 2002, the Hornes had endured enough of these raisin grabs. They refused to turn over what amounted to nearly half of their crop. The federal government assessed a fine of $480,000 for the missing raisins and another $200,000 in civil penalties against the Hornes. The Hornes fought the government through the courts and finally landed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 allowed the secretary of agriculture to issue marketing orders to stabilize market prices for certain agricultural products, including raisins. Under this order, raisin producers could be forced to relinquish a portion of what they produced to the government without any compensation. The percentage of the crops that had to be relinquished in a given year was determined by the Raisin Administrative Committee. The plan was that the government would keep these reserve raisins off the domestic market—a reduction in supply—to help to shore up prices. This system was originally part of the New Deal aimed at aiding farmers whose agricultural products had fallen steeply in price. Unfortunately, as with most government programs, it remained in effect despite the passing of the immediate economic emergency which spawned it.

In a recent decision, Chief Justice John Roberts and the majority agreed with the Hornes. Roberts stated that the Fifth Amendment requires that property cannot be taken by the government for public use without the original owner being properly compensated. Part of the Fifth Amendment, often dubbed the “takings clause,” has been interpreted to mean that when the government takes a private citizen’s property for a public purpose—such as, for example, for the building of a road—the owner must be paid a reasonable amount for the seized property. Here, even though the property (raisins) could be regarded as having been taken for a public use—the stabilizing of agricultural prices during an economic crisis—there was virtually no compensation being paid to raisin growers like the Hornes.

In a fitting tribute to the 800th anniversary of the great document of English liberties—Magna Carta—Roberts traced the origins of the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause to that charter and concluded that “the reserve requirement imposed by the Raisin Committee is a clear physical taking. Actual raisins are transferred from the growers to the Government. Title to the raisins passes to the Raisin Committee. The Committee disposes of what become its raisins as it wishes, to promote the purposes of the raisin marketing order.”

The government unsuccessfully argued that the takings clause did not apply to personal property, but the court roundly rejected that contention. Furthermore, the Department of Agriculture claimed that if the government successfully sold the seized raisins as exports, for example, growers like the Hornes might receive a residual payment which would amount to compensation. Again, the court said that the mere possibility of a residual payment was not equivalent to compensation. It was simply too contingent and indeterminate.

Other U.S. citizens are still subjected to a bevy of similar antiquated, unnecessary regulations. They should make ample use of the court’s holding here to challenge these governmental restraints and reintroduce the fresh air of freedom into markets for goods and services.

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

SCOTUS-Care The Fruit Of Lawless Government

Justice Antonin Scalia coined the term ‘SCOTUScare’ in his dissenting opinion on the King v Burwell case that – by a vote of 6-3 – once again rescued Obamacare from the dustbin reserved for bad laws. Scalia references the obvious fact that the Supreme Court again re-wrote the law in order to save what its majority regard as poorly-executed good intentions. Even the pundits applauding the decision agree.

At issue was whether the law permits the federal government – taxpayers – to subsidize insurance purchased from the federal exchange in states that declined to set up their own exchanges.  The law permits subsidies only through “an exchange established by the state.” In backing the government, the Court was forced to ignore the plain language of the statute – and make no bones about it. Chief Justice Roberts stood on the principle that says the court must act to preserve laws passed by Congress whenever they can. He noted the purpose of the law was to “improve health insurance markets, not destroy them,” and opined the Court’s duty was to see beyond what the law actually said and do what its guardians meant to do – as though he is better able to divine its meaning than are its authors.

One of its principal authors – MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber – testified before Congress and was videotaped stating that he deliberately framed the statute for state exchanges being necessary for subsidies as a ploy to force every state to set up exchanges. When nearly two thirds of the states thumbed their noses at Gruber and his presidential leash-holder, the leash-holder gave away the tax revenues on his own recognizance. The Court went along with this usurpation of power – just as they did when Roberts declared a penalty was really a tax after Gruber and congressional leaders said repeatedly it was not – in order to declare Obamacare constitutional in 2012. Oh, that principle of preserving law when one is able…

But the principle over the principle is one word – legitimate. When the language of the law is plain, the logical consequence is to rule for the plain language; there is no legitimate way to preserve perversions of law. When the chief executive has clearly exceeded his authority – he has none with which to re-write a law he has re-created some thirty times – the logic is to rule against him, no matter how well-intentioned a judge thinks the effort. That is called constitutional law. What Roberts did is not law at all – it is decree. And the Taney Court employed the very same logic in 1857 when it preserved the Fugitive Slave Law at all costs in the infamous Dred Scott decision that helped precipitate the Civil War.

The Obama Administration argued successfully before the Roberts Court that many American lives would be disrupted – six and one half million – by the sudden cessation of their subsidies if the Court found against the new and improved version of a law never submitted to the sole agency – Congress – with authority to make federal law. But the Court ignores the fact that it is the administration that has made these millions dependent on an illegal program that Congress has the power to repair – should it wish to. It ignores the reality that this administration has disrupted the lives of scores of millions more by triggering massive insurance premium increases, doctor shortages, and lost medical plans with this moronic healthcare law. When something is the colossal failure we have with Obamacare, the solution is to leave the ship and rebuild, not rearrange the deck chairs while John Roberts whistles a happy tune.

Under our Constitution, the Congress is alone entrusted to make federal law. Let them do their job. And let the citizens of this land – especially the Christians and their leaders – rise in tough love to say we gave government its authority–and we can take it back. We will accept the constitutional government that we established; we will neither accept nor tolerate the perversion Obama and Roberts have made of it.

The Word of God says: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” In other words, we cannot fail to find our God when we seek Him to the exclusion of all others. The “all others” includes Barack Obama, the Congress, and the John Roberts Supreme Court.

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

Here’s What Can Be Done To Protect Religious Liberty After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Last week’s Supreme Court’s decision creating the right for same-sex couples to marry will likely have broad religious liberty implications on individuals, businesses, and non-profits if action is not taken at the federal and state levels.

Justice Anthony Kennedy in his majority opinion in the case recognized this fact, but offered this reassurance. “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.”

Justices writing in the dissent in the case did not share this optimistic appraisal and found alarm in Kennedy’s word choice. Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that the majority appears unmoved by the “inevitability” of religious liberty and this ruling coming into conflict. “It makes only a weak gesture toward religious liberty in a single paragraph. And even that gesture indicates a misunderstanding of religious liberty in our Nation’s tradition.

“Religious liberty is about more than just the protection for “religious organizations and persons . . . as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths,” Thomas wrote. “Religious liberty is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice.”

The justice is on firm ground in his assessment that the free exercise of religion is more than teaching and belief. The Father of the Constitution, James Madison, who introduced the Bill of Rights to Congress, wrote in his famous essay on religious liberty called Memorial and Remonstrance:

Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence…This right is in its nature an unalienable right… It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him.

Chief Justice John Roberts shared Justice Thomas’ concern about the limited view of religious liberty offered by Kennedy’s opinion. “The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise’ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”

Justice Samuel Alito spelled out what religious liberty regarding the expression of religious beliefs about same-sex marriage under the new secular regime might look like. “I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.” And we have the court to blame: “By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas.”

As reported by Western Journalism, Justice Alito, in an interchange with Solicitor General Donald Verrilli during oral arguments, admitted that religious non-profits would face the possibility of losing their non-profit status if the court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

Alito asked Verrilli if a religious school that believed marriage is between a man and woman would lose its non-profit status. He responded: “It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is it is (sic) going to be an issue.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal notes that “Faith-based adoption and foster care agencies have been forced to close their doors, rather than abandon their commitment to placing children in homes with a married mother and father. Numerous photographers, floristscake makers, farmers, and many others have been hauled into court or fined for simply declining to help plan or participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson makes clear that in order to secure religious liberty for all Americans, action will be required at the federal and state level.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, introduced legislation earlier this month to address the problem at the federal level. The First Amendment Defense Act “would prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, or certification to an individual, association, or business based on their belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.” The bill already has 18 co-sponsors in the Senate and 47 co-sponsors in the House.

As reported by Western Journalism, Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order last month directing all state agencies in Louisiana not to deny anyone licenses or other state benefits based on his or her “religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”

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

‘Gay Marriage’ Ruling: Evil With A Silver Lining

Well, that was predictable. On Friday, with its majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, five judicial imperialists perched high atop the U.S. Supreme Court bench called the Supreme Being a liar. They presumed to invent, out of thin air and through judicial fiat, a “constitutional right” to sin-based “gay marriage.” (Father God, as you exact Your perfect justice on America, please have mercy upon Your faithful.)

The horrific nature of this illegitimate decision cannot be overstated. It makes a mockery of the institution of marriage, something of which God alone has the authority to design and define. It represents a level of judicial activism unmatched since Dred Scott, Buck v. Bell or Roe v. Wade.

Man-woman marriage, as He designed it, is the metaphor God uses for the relationship between Christ and His Church. In addition to mocking marriage, this decision mocks God.

Which is by spiritual design.

Satan is laughing himself silly right now. His demonic minions, both above and below, are popping the bubbly and clinking the champagne flutes.

Evil has triumphed.

For now, at least.

But not in the end.

Because God will not be mocked.

And victory is His.

Still, on top of being an arrogant affront to Almighty God, this opinion of five unelected and unaccountable justices is also a constitutional disaster. “The Court’s decision fundamentally rewrites the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution to radically redefine the cornerstone institution of marriage, which is older than the Court itself,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

The decision also drew sharp criticism from the Court’s four dissenting justices. Chief Justice John Roberts, for example, rightly observed that the activist majority opinion hijacks the democratic process and is not based on the rule of law: “[D]o not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it,” wrote Roberts.

Justice Scalia similarly called the ruling a “threat to American democracy.” The “pretentious” and “egotistic” decision, he railed, “robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

But I promised a silver lining, and there is one. One that is sure to infuriate the anti-Christian left. The majority opinion emphasized that this newfangled “right” to “gay marriage” should not be construed to trump religious liberty:

“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.”

I’m not naïve. We’ll have to see what this actually means in coming years; but when filtered through any honest reading of the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause, what it means is that Christians cannot be forced to violate their conscience through compulsory participation in, or recognition of, counterfeit “gay weddings” or “marriages.”

Ever.

Of course, there’s nothing honest about the five liberals on this court; and Chief Justice Roberts makes that point in his dissent. He expresses skepticism as to the majority’s sincerity: “The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage,” he writes. “The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise‘ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”

“Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage,” he continues. “[W]hen, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court.”

Little doubt indeed.

As many of us have long warned, all this “gay marriage” nonsense was never about “marriage equality.” It was, and remains, a spiritual battle camouflaged in the formal attire of judicial and public policy wrangling. It was always about forcing Christ’s faithful followers, under penalty of law, to abandon biblical truth and embrace sexual sin. The goal of “LGBT” activists and secular progressives has long been to pit the government directly against the free exercise of religion – Christianity in particular – and to silence all dissent.

Let me be clear. You will never silence us, and we Christians don’t need liberty crumbs tossed down from some temporal bench on high. Christians, faithful Christians (as opposed to the apostate variety) will not, indeed cannot, have anything whatsoever to do with the wickedness that is “gay marriage”; and we will disobey any man-made law or ruling that presumes to make us do otherwise.

That said, it does provide some consolation to have, in the spirit of Hobby Lobby, this court at least pay lip service, inelegant though it may be, to every American’s God-given constitutional right to freedom of conscience. The one positive thing that came from this ruling is the reaffirmation of First Amendment protections guaranteeing, for instance, that the Christian baker, florist, photographer, et al., cannot be penalized by the government for refusing to participate in sin – for declining to provide goods or services for “gay weddings,” or for otherwise refusing to recognize “gay marriage” for anything other than the evil it represents.

Even so, let us not don our rose-colored glasses. Friday’s ruling comes straight from the pit of Hell. Even with its religious liberty “silver lining,” it has not ended the debate; it has only just launched it. It has opened the floodgates to anti-Christian persecution. Leftist lawsuit abuse against Christian individuals and organizations will now flow hot like the River Styx.

But don’t despair, my brothers and sisters in Christ. For we who are God’s children have already overcome.

Because greater is He Who is in us, than he who is in the world.

And greater is He who created marriage, than he who perverts it.

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