Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Crisis of Leadership

Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Crisis of Leadership



Many see the new putative constitutional right to same-sex “marriage” and the developments leading up to it as a result of a crisis of culture. It is that, to be sure, but it is also a result of a crisis of leadership. This has become further apparent in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision and, as I have stated in this column before, national leadership—at least after the dark night of the Obama era—must play a crucial role in resisting and overthrowing it.

The political branches—Congress and the president—for the most part historically have not understood their role vis-á-vis the judiciary and have abdicated their constitutional responsibilities. They need only look back to Federalist 78, which says the legislative controls the purse and the executive the sword, with the implication they can use those powers to stop the judiciary from becoming abusive. They should recall what Andrew Jackson said to Chief Justice Marshall and the Court in the Cherokee Indian Cases: “John Marshall has made a decision, now let John Marshall enforce it.” He couldn’t and it wasn’t.

It is not surprising that national Democratic politicians lauded the Obergefell decision to a man. To the Republican presidential candidates—almost half of them—who have said it should be accepted as settled law or indicated that it shouldn’t be challenged, I respond that they should look to what their party’s first president, Abraham Lincoln, said after Dred Scott: A decision of the Court binds only the parties before it and does not tie the hands of the political branches for all time. They are free to legislate otherwise if for no other reason than to force the Court to reconsider. Lincoln also refused to carry out Chief Justice Taney’s habeas corpus order in Ex parte Merryman.

All the Republican presidential candidates should be asked if they commit themselves to refusing to enforce Obergefell on reluctant states—in other words, using their rightful power to restrain a renegade Court. If they cannot answer “yes,” then they should not be supported. The usual stance of expressing disagreement with unconstitutional Supreme Court decisions followed by complete inaction is no longer acceptable. Presidential non-enforcement is, I believe, the most reliable way to thwart the Court’s unconstitutional decisions.

Nor is it enough for them to say they will make better Supreme Court appointments. Republican presidents have usually not even followed through with that. Too often their appointees (like Anthony Kennedy) end up as enablers or even spear-headers of the cause of a cultural revolution. Moreover, they cannot count on the opportunity to make enough appointments to change the Court.

To call for a constitutional amendment to overturn a decision is as good as saying nothing. It has only happened a couple of times in American history, will go as far with same-sex “marriage” as it has with abortion, and in any event is a tacit admission that the Court’s distorted understanding of the Constitution was actually correct. All it does is provide a leaf of political cover for a politician.

Recall that FDR’s proposed “court-packing” plan—even if it never came off—had the effect of changing the direction of the Court. Presidential initiative to oppose the Court sent a message. If the leaders of major institutions of U.S. society (including perhaps many Catholic bishops over the years) share the responsibility for our cultural turmoil because they went along with or insufficiently challenged destructive trends, right-thinking political leaders unwilling to do more than raise rhetorical objections when the Court has sought to impose them bear part of the blame. Further, this typical supine response by the political branches, along with their ongoing cession of power to the (also) unelected federal bureaucracy—the Democrats do this to advance an ideological agenda that couldn’t be easily legislatively enacted and the Republicans because of a lack of political savvy and courage—has advanced a quiet political revolution in America. It has been a major cause of the decline of the American democratic republic fashioned by our Framers.

Not only have presidents failed to stand up to the Court, but Congress has repeatedly failed to utilize its rightful constitutional prerogatives with regard to it. It has not changed the number of Justices since the nineteenth century (that was the aim of FDR’s court-packing plan), or stripped the Court of its appellate jurisdiction over different subjects, or used the power of the purse to put pressure on the Court when it has acted abusively. While for sure they sometimes go along with the Court to advance short-term political goals, the political branches have also bought into the mysticism of a judicial infallibility when it comes to the Constitution and implicitly swallowed the dangerous proposition that the Constitution equals what the Court says it is.

There was not even much pushback from the governors or attorneys general of the states who opposed the Obergefell decision (there was some resistance from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi). Keeping in mind that the Court’s decisions bind only the parties before it—and, as stated, even then are not self-enforcing—those officials could simply have refused to recognize the decision as precedential and forced the homosexualists into more litigation respecting their states. If the governor of at least one of the states in the Sixth Circuit, where Obergefell came from, would have petitioned the Court for a rehearing and then joined, say, fifteen or more other opposing state governors to announce firmly that they were refusing to carry out the Court’s ruling in their states it could have gotten the ball rolling. With resistance growing and the issue coming back to the Court again, it might have motivated Chief Justice Roberts—who issued one of the stinging dissenting opinions—to sit down with the swing-voter Kennedy (there has been commentary about the dynamic between the two of them within the Court) and prod him to reconsider, since the Court’s prestige—a main concern of Roberts’—would now be on the line. This could have been something like “the switch in time that saved nine” in 1937 when another Roberts, Justice Owen Roberts, began to change his votes to uphold New Deal legislation after the abortive court-packing plan.

If that didn’t happen, the Court likely would have become a main national issue in the presidential campaign, like it was in a much less dramatic way in 1968, and this might have helped to propel forward a Republican candidate willing to use executive power as it should be used to resist the Court. By the time all these new legal challenges would have sorted themselves out and if the Court still refused to retreat, perhaps such a candidate could have been elected who would throw down the gauntlet and refuse to enforce the Obergefell precedent. That likely would have consigned it to the dustbin of history. This stance could have been undertaken at minimal political cost to such a group of opposing governors. The people in their states would not have risen up on behalf of the “great cause” of same-sex “marriage.” Despite the polls, the popular support for same-sex “marriage” is an inch deep. As it was, though, opposing state governors couldn’t even bring themselves to this level of resistance—to say nothing of digging in their heels in a more confrontational way to outright refuse to comply for the sake of upholding the Constitution.

There is no doubt that the Court has continued to abuse its power because high-ranking political authorities in the country, when not encouraging it to advance their own agendas or to give them political cover, have scarcely opposed it. The historical record shows that when there is serious resistance (especially by presidents)—as with Jackson, Lincoln, and FDR—the Court makes a retreat and learns a lesson for an extended period of time.

The abdication of sound political leadership has led to judicial outrages like Obergefell. Courageous leadership—but leadership that should be expected and at the national level involves the exercise of legitimate prerogatives—is what’s needed now, especially as we look ahead to the 2016 election, to reverse them.

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Stephen M. Krason


Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) in Crisis Magazine. He is Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. He is the author, most recently, of The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic (Transaction Publishers, 2012), and editor of two volumes: Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System (Scarecrow Press, 2013) and The Crisis of Religious Liberty(Rowman and Littlefield, 2014).

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Here-under are some articles about marriage for you to read or watch: 

  1. Getting to know you, please click this link:
  2. Be Positive, please click this link:
  3. Love and Marriage, please click this link:
  4. Endless Love – Marriage after all, please click this link:
  5. Say it with love, please click this link:
  6. Quality family moments, please click this link:
  7. Secret of successful marriage, please click this link:
  8. The vocation of marriage, please click this link:
  9. Marriage as Covenant, please click this link:
  10. Humility: Foundation for Marital Happiness, please click this link:
  11. Gratitude: Foundation for marriage, please click this link:
  12. True Meaning of marriage, please click this link:
  13. Marriage and incompatibility, please click this link:
  14. Love is a garden, please click this link:
  15. Three kinds of love, please click this link:

“God himself is the author of marriage” (GS 48:1). The vocation of marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes (CCC:1603)

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Homosexuality, the Grave Evil Presented as Good, Part 1

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Homosexuality, Question and Answer Part 2

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Homosexuals and Freemasons inside the Church

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“The Rite of Sodomy” Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Church

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Mic’d Up “Pink Money and the Homosexual Mafia” 

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Michael Voris gives a series of short talks, answering questions coming in response to his talk on homosexuality in Nigeria.

In this talk from Nigeria, Michael Voris speaks about the grave evil presented as good – homosexuality. “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (cf. Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10), tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” (CDF, Persona humana 8). They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC: 2357).

The Cost of Abortion & Contraception Deception

Michael Voris talks an in-depth discussion of the true, financial cost of abortion and its effects to the United States. “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death” (CDF, Donum vitae III; CCC: 2273).

Please click this link to watch the video on The Cost of Abortion & Media


FBI Contraception Deception.

Modern man has divorced sex from procreation through his embrace of contraception. This Contraception Deception within the CatholicChurch has come about by a near total betrayal of the faithful by their shepherds and leaders.

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Contraception & the New Dark Age, Part 1 by Dr. Martin Brenner

Where we are and how we got here. Join Dr. Martin Brenner for this first of a four-part series on the moral evils of contraception.

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Contraception and Salvation, Part 2 by Dr. Martin Brenner

Join Dr. Martin Brenner for the second of a four-part series on the  moral evils of contraception.

Please click this link to watch the video on Contraception and Salvation, Part 2 by Dr. Martin Brenner

Contraception and Sanctification. Part 3 by Dr. Martin Brenner

Prayer and the Liturgy. Dr. Martin Brenner discusses how contraception is a detriment to our spiritual lives and marital relationships. The infallibility of the Church’s teaching on this matter is also discussed.

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Contraception and Sexual Ethics. Part 4 by Dr. Martin Brenner

The Proper Practice. Dr. Martin Brenner describes the importance of spreading the message about the sexual ethic and goes into detail about the alternatives to contraception and their practices.

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CIA: The Rockefeller Foundation

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We are used to thinking of the Rockefellers as simply a byword for wealth, power and financial success. Perhaps we might think of them as determined businessmen or see them as great philanthropists. But the truth is far different; the Rockefeller Foundation is actively undermining the Catholic Church, and in the process, attempting to erase man’s natural orientation to the eternal.

Global Warming Unmasked

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Are the environmental movements and groups simply devoted to laudable, correct stewardship of God’s creation, or do they have a more sinister, hidden agenda? Is “global warming” being used as an excuse for something far darker? Is the final goal of the liberal elites behind the push of junk science population control, eugenics and Gaia worship?

Mic’d Up “Is Contraception Killing the Church?”

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This week on Mic’d Up we’ll be tackling the terrible scourge of Contraception on the Church. Michael Hichborn and Rey Flores from American Life League will join us to expose Catholic Relief Services complicity with Organizations who support contraception and to Discuss The Pill Kills Day of Action 2014. Also joining us will be Lynn Mills who will be discussing the continued prayer rally at Providence Park Hospital in the Archdiocese of Detroit because of their complicity in abortion, contraception and sterilization. Following that same thread we’ll break down the announcement from Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron concerning the crisis of parish closings facing Detroit. Also dropping by will be author James Kalb, to discuss the plague of pluralism on the Church’s Hierarchy.