Here Come the Brides

It was a marriage made, not in heaven, but in Tinsel Town. The bride wore a lovely, tea-length gown. So did her intended—another bride. The ceremony took place not in a church, but on the set of the NBC sit-com "Friends." And presiding over this ersatz wedding, sporting a clerical collar, was none other than Candice Gingrich, the lesbian sister of House Speaker Newt Gingrich. It's not a ceremony you're likely to witness in your own neighborhood. But if a Hawaii state commission has its way, every state in the union would be forced to recognize marriages like these. It all began in 1993 when the Hawaii Supreme Court, in a stunning decision, ruled that denying a marriage license to homosexual couples violated the state constitution's Equal Protection Clause. Striking back, Hawaii's legislature voted to ban same-sex unions. To resolve the issue, Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano set up a commission to study the issue. Last December, by a five-to-two vote, the commission urged the legislature to legalize homosexual marriages. Outlawing same-sex unions, the majority declared, discriminates against same-sex couples. Now the ball is back in the legislature's court. And whatever legislators decide, it's going to affect marriage laws in both your town and mine. That's because the Constitution contains something called the Full Faith and Credit Clause. This clause says that states generally agree to recognize each other's statutes, including marriage laws. Practically speaking, if Hawaii recognizes same-sex marriages, other states would also be required to recognize them. It means that if lesbians in Lubbock or gays in Georgia wanted to get married, all they’d have to do is fly to Honolulu, tie the knot, and then fly home, tanned, fit, and legally wed. And that marriage would have to be legally recognized in the newlyweds' home state—even if state law forbids it. This is nothing short of tyranny. It would give homosexuals the right to bypass statutes in every state of the union, to short-circuit the democratic decision-making process. The law would act as a crowbar, prying off the moral standards Americans have built into their local laws to protect the health of their communities. But if Hawaii’s law passes, every town and hamlet in America would be forced to adopt the moral sensibilities of San Francisco. Tolerance is a catchword we hear often when it comes to homosexual rights. But real tolerance is allowing individual communities to define their own ethos, to build their own moral vision into local statutes. As Christians, we know that God created marriage in part to provide a healthy social structure for bearing and rearing children, and thus perpetrating the human race. And every lasting civilization has had a normative commitment to the family. It's only recently that the idea has emerged that family and sexuality should be left to the whims of private, individual choice. You and I ought to oppose any moral leveling that negates the special status of marriage. We ought to ask our own state legislators to stand firm against proposals that would legitimize same-sex "marriages." Or before we know it, lesbian brides like the ones we now see only on television sit-coms will start walking down the aisle in real life.


Chuck Colson


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary