Good Marriage News from … the Courts!?


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bob-brown-wall smallBob Vander Plaats is President and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. His leadership and voice for the family is frequently noted and his comments are widely requested by a vast array of national and international media outlets. The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and many other have referenced Bob as “Kingmaker,” while Bob prefers that The FAMiLY LEADER’s role be one of “Standard Bearer.”

Bob is author of two books, Light from Lucas, a true story of how God uses the weakest among us to have the greatest impact, and If 7:14 : An Urgent Call for Revival…It’s Time. The FAMiLY LEADER has earned the 2010 “Family Champion” award presented by CitizenLink, an affiliation of Focus on the Family.


In case you missed it, last week the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rights of states Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky to define and to declare marriage as a natural institution reserved for one man and one woman.

In reaching their opinion, Justice Jeffrey Sutton wrote:

“A dose of humility makes us hesitant to condemn as unconstitutionally irrational a view of marriage shared not long ago by every society in the world, shared by most, if not all, of our ancestors, and shared still today by a significant number of the States. . . . It is not society’s laws or for that matter any one religion’s laws, but nature’s laws (that men and women complement each other biologically), that created the policy imperative [of marriage law].”

Wow, take a deep breath and breathe in. It is refreshing to have a justice reference nature and natural, versus self-determining love and unimagined parameters.

Justice Sutton’s opinion is treasured insight for a judiciary that has largely chosen to remove Lady Justice’s blindfold of objectivity, in order to read polls and popular opinion by the leftist media. His opinion denounces judicial arrogance and overreach, reinforces the boundaries given through the separation of powers, as well as upholds marriage as a basic institution given to us by “Nature and Nature’s God.”

Here’s what Sutton says regarding the court’s role in this debate:

“Of all the ways to resolve this question, one option is not available: a poll of the three judges on this panel, or for that matter all federal judges, about whether gay marriage is a good idea. Our judicial commissions did not come with such a sweeping grant of authority . . . to make such a vital policy call for the thirty-two million citizens who live within the four States of the Sixth Circuit: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.”

Simply put, the courts have no right to violate the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” and ignore their oath to recognize the “separation of powers,” in order to act out of personal partiality and judicial arrogance claiming marriage to be something other than a union of a man and a woman.

Sutton goes on to warn of the danger of this reckless redefinition on society. Simply stated, once the natural parameters of marriage are removed, the definition of marriage will be at the discretion of any individual or group.

When Justice Sutton writes, “If it is constitutionally irrational to stand by the man-woman definition of marriage, it must be constitutionally irrational to stand by the monogamous definition of marriage,” he’s warning that following this course will throw marriage and its definition up for grabs.

And, further, he clearly notes and reminds us of long-standing history regarding this fundamental institution:

“Marriage has long been a social institution defined by relationships between men and women. So long defined, the tradition is measured in millennia, not centuries or decades. So widely shared, the tradition until recently had been adopted by all governments and major religions of the world. . . .”

History, Nature and Nature’s God, separation of powers, and precedent all support God’s design for marriage and family. Or, as we at The FAMiLY LEADER frequently state…God designed it, nature reveals it, and science always substantiates and validates.

I believe it is most shrewd for all legislators, executives and justices to read the common-sense and constitutionally-wise opinion by Justice Sutton. He assures us that it is not radical or extreme to champion one man/one woman marriage. To the contrary, it is radical and extreme to do otherwise.

Click here to read the ruling in it’s entirety.