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Orson Scott Card: State job is not to redefine marriage

Published: Thursday, July 24 2008 12:00 a.m. MDT

Editor's note: This personal opinion column appeared in the print edition of Mormon Times, a features section of the Deseret News, on Thursday, July 24, 2008. The writer's opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Deseret News or its owner, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More information on the LDS Church's position on homosexuality and same-sex marriage can be found at mormonsandgays.org.

THE FIRST AND greatest threat from court decisions in California and Massachusetts, giving legal recognition to "gay marriage," is that it marks the end of democracy in America.

These judges are making new law without any democratic process; in fact, their decisions are striking down laws enacted by majority vote.

The pretext is that state constitutions require it — but it is absurd to claim that these constitutions require marriage to be defined in ways that were unthinkable through all of human history until the past 15 years. And it is offensive to expect us to believe this obvious fiction.

It is such an obvious overreach by judges, far beyond any rational definition of their authority, that even those who support the outcome of the decisions should be horrified by the means.

We already know where these decisions lead. We have seen it with the court decisions legalizing abortion. At first, it was only early abortions; within a few years, though, any abortion up to the killing of a viable baby in mid-birth was made legal.

Not only that, but the courts upheld obviously unconstitutional limitations on free speech and public assembly: It is now illegal even to kneel and pray in front of a clinic that performs abortions.

Do not suppose for a moment that the "gay marriage" diktats will not be supported by methods just as undemocratic, unconstitutional and intolerant.

Already in several states, there are textbooks for children in the earliest grades that show "gay marriages" as normal. How long do you think it will be before such textbooks become mandatory — and parents have no way to opt out of having their children taught from them?

And if you choose to home-school your children so they are not propagandized with the "normality" of "gay marriage," you will find more states trying to do as California is doing — making it illegal to take your children out of the propaganda mill that our schools are rapidly becoming.

How dangerous is this, politically? Please remember that for the mildest of comments critical of the political agenda of homosexual activists, I have been called a "homophobe" for years.

This is a term that was invented to describe people with a pathological fear of homosexuals — the kind of people who engage in acts of violence against gays. But the term was immediately extended to apply to anyone who opposed the homosexual activist agenda in any way.

A term that has mental-health implications (homophobe) is now routinely applied to anyone who deviates from the politically correct line. How long before opposing gay marriage, or refusing to recognize it, gets you officially classified as "mentally ill"?

Remember how rapidly gay marriage has become a requirement. When gay rights were being enforced by the courts back in the '70s and '80s, we were repeatedly told by all the proponents of gay rights that they would never attempt to legalize gay marriage.

It took about 15 minutes for that promise to be broken.

And you can guess how long it will now take before any group that speaks against "gay marriage" being identical to marriage will be attacked using the same tools that have been used against anti-abortion groups — RICO laws, for instance.

Here's the irony: There is no branch of government with the authority to redefine marriage.

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