GASPARD: May public officials refuse same-sex ceremonies?

Posted by on June 30, 2015
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Photo: GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors after US Supreme Court’s historic ruling legalizing gay marriage. Photo: GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

Any logical person acknowledges that recognition of an act, principle, decree, law or set of beliefs does not necessarily constitute acceptance or participation. Likewise, most Americans hold in the highest of esteem their individual and collective rights to free speech, peaceable assemblies, redress of grievances, freedom of the press, and religious liberty – and therefore readily agree that demands by public authorities to participate in a forced contract, ceremony or act is tantamount to tyranny.

Thus conceding, it seems evident that any court or government which seeks to compel a person to codify a ceremony, participate in a civil action, or issue a license against their deepest held religious beliefs – whether such individual serves as an public officer or private citizen – would be a flagrant violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and represents an unprecedented assault on religious liberty, freedom of conscience, and the Bill of Rights; the reaction to which should immediately call for rejection of the directive, refusal to participate in the compelled ceremony, and open redress of grievance against any police action that may result in the unconstitutional detainment or arrest of an American citizen.

Justice Kennedy, writing for the one vote majority decision in the Opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States issued on June 26, 2015 relative to homosexual marriage, stated that “there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.” Clearly, the opinion does not and should not compel a citizen – even in a public capacity – to participate in an act that would violate their First Amendment rights.

Still, one must be clear that the Court may not of its own authority issue laws, enact legislation or enforce its dictates, as those roles fully belong to other branches of the government, or are reserved to the States. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the People to resist any and all autocratic directives that would seek to encumber this delicate separation of powers, especially when the usurpation violates the most basic and fundamental right to religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

It should be abundantly understood that the Supreme Court – although in its Opinion declares there is no lawful basis for States to refuse recognition of same-sex marriage – may still not direct public officials, or any person whatsoever, to perform ceremonies against their will, as any attempt to do so would represent a clear violation of the First Amendment and Bill of Rights. This issue is separate from legal recognition.

Nevertheless, in spite of these well-reasoned and historically grounded explanations, there is little doubt that supporters of homosexual unions will seek to force others – especially public officials – to perform ceremonies on their behalf in opposition to the very principles of religious liberty and freedom of conscience that gay and lesbian couples have otherwise advocated.

Aside from religious liberty, while many contend that homosexuals have an equal claim to the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman – and indeed five unelected justices have now said as much – the historic definition, codification and scientific observation of traditional marriage and its efficacy are undeniable. Hence, the contemplative antagonist would note the impossibility of natural procreation between same-sex partners, and rightfully proclaim that changing the definition of marriage is inconsistent with the design of nature, for which scientific observation confirms.

Ultimately, it would be reasonable to concede that two individuals may enter into a contract for any legal purpose, including a civil union. And, by the changing opinions and social constructs of modern society, it is evident why two people of the same sex may wish to memorialize their bonds. However, the push to change the definition of marriage and recent ruling to force recognition of the same represents a radical departure from history. Accordingly, if demands for those who object to participating in acts that codify the new definition against deeply rooted religious beliefs hold, social revolt should not be a surprise.

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Brett Gaspard

Brett Gaspard

Chairman at Boone County Republican Party
Brett Gaspard has been a conservative political activist for more than 20 years and presently serves as Chairman of the Boone County Republican Party. He previously served as President of the League of Kentucky Property Owners and was a spokesperson for Kentucky Taxpayers United, the group founded by Dr. Rand Paul in the 1990s.

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  • Seeking_Truth

    As much as I deplore homosexuality in any form, I agree, homosexuals do have the right to contract. It must be determined whether states can be forced by the US government to change their statutes to force public officials to perform such a ceremony. If the states can be forced to accommodate such ceremonies, then it will become part of the job description of the public official. If the official wants the job, they will comply.

    Even if the states cannot be forced to comply with the US government decision, if the local officials are US citizens, they are bound to do as the US government dictates, as we will see below.
    The jurisdiction of the US government does not apply within the bounds of any state, except on United States Enclaves. The United States, in order to have jurisdiction over an enclave, must have the jurisdiction ceded to the United States by the state legislature, and then the United States government must formally accept that cession. The Kentucky Revised Statutes list the lands which are ceded to the United States in Title 1, chapter 3. There aren’t many. Here are the citations:
    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/chapter.aspx?id=37026
    http://constitution.org/juris/fjur/fed_jur.htm

    There is however one problem with the jurisdiction argument. A United States citizen is subject to laws of the United States no matter where in the world they are. US Supreme Court case BLACKMER •v. UNITED STATES 284″ US: 421, 436-39 “A citizen of the United States residing in a foreign country continues to owe allegiance to the United States and is bound by its laws made applicable to his situation.”
    The Supreme Court also declared that the states are foreign countries with regard to the United States. “The United States Government is a foreign corporation with respect to a state.” [N.Y. v. re Merriam 36 N.E. 505; 141 N.Y. 479; affirmed 16 S.Ct. 1073; 41 L. Ed. 287]. So, if you are a US citizen in some place that the US doesn’t have jurisdiction, even within a state, you are still under the thumb of the US government.
    It may sound unconstitutional. Many things that the US government is doing seem unconstitutional, now. The thing is, the United States is not what you think it is. If you think that the United States is 50 states that are united, you’d be wrong.
    “The United States Government is a foreign corporation with respect to a state.” [N.Y. v. re Merriam 36 N.E. 505; 141 N.Y. 479; affirmed 16 S.Ct. 1073; 41 L. Ed. 287]

    Understand that the United States corporation is Washington, D.C., the possession and territories. It doesn’t include the 50 states. Ask yourself, if that’s the United States, where am I citizen of? If you are a US citizen, then are you a citizen of Washington, D.C. or a possession, like Guam, and Puerto Rico?

    In Washington, D.C. the US constitution is whatever Congress says it is. The original Constitution of the United states of America doesn’t apply in Washington, D.C. the possessions, nor the territories. “In exercising its constitutional power to make all needful regulations respecting territory belonging to the United States, Congress [under Art. I, §8, Cl. 17 and Article IV §3, Cl. 2. of the Constitution] is not subject to the same constitutional limitations as when it is legislating for the United States [the 50 states]. ” Hooven & Allison Co. v. Evatt, 324 U.S. 674. And “Constitutional restrictions and limitations were not applicable to the areas of lands, enclaves, territories and possessions over which Congress had exclusive legislative authority.” Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244. (emphasis added)

    So now, ask yourself as a US citizen, citizen of Washington, D,C. a possession, or territory, am I protected by the US Constitution from US government infringements on my rights? If you are a public employee, then you are subject to the rule of the United States corporation. If The US government says you will perform a civil ceremony for a homosexual couple, if you want to keep your job, you will do it.

    Below there are some interesting articles that I got most of this information from. Study it and reply to me if you have proof to the contrary, or that further supports the claims therein. Please don’t reply without proof. No unsupported opinions, please.

    http://noconstitutionforyou.blogspot.com/
    http://famguardian.org/Subjects/Taxes/Citizenship/citizenshipdiagrams.pdf
    http://famguardian.org/TaxFreedom/CitesByTopic/ForeignState.htm