But unlike 1973, conservative states need not stand idly by and take another sucker punch. This time, states can proactively cut off funding for the activity that the Court may force upon them. With federalism, the Founders equipped the states with effective tools to safeguard against overbearing federal interference.
South Carolina has already stepped up to the plate to defend its sovereignty over marriage. South Carolina does not need to fund the liberal agenda on marriage any more than it needs to fund abortion. The sooner that South Carolina and other states cut off their funding for the homosexual agenda, the less of a financial incentive there will be for the Left to push it.
State and local governments spend trillions of dollars annually outside of control by the Supreme Court. By cutting off funding for same-sex marriage, states remove the financial incentive that is driving it. Less than 1 percent of couples seek same-sex marriage, but same-sex marriage is the fulcrum upon which the Left plans to leverage for far more. For example, same-sex marriage results in teaching homosexuality in public schools, creating new entitlements by expanding anti-discrimination laws, and ultimately marginalizing the Bible as “hate speech.”
But not in South Carolina, once the bill recently introduced by Representative Bill Chumley becomes law. Simply worded, this powerful approach preserves state sovereignty by declining to pay for same-sex marriage: H. 3022 cuts off all state funding for it.
Congress has done the same thing, so the feds can hardly complain. In its Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001, Congress included a provision that prohibited the use of government funds to remove a Cross on federal land, in anticipation of a ruling against the Cross by a federal court (Pub. L. 106-554, § 133, 114 Stat. 2763A-230).
South Carolina H. 3022 first establishes this: “No state or local taxpayer funds or governmental salaries may be paid for an activity that includes the licensing or support of same-sex marriage.” South Carolina cannot control whether five Justices on the Supreme Court will capitulate to liberal demands to invent a new constitutional right found nowhere in the history or text of the Constitution, but South Carolina can control how it spends its own money. The Constitution, including the Eleventh Amendment, protects South Carolina’s spending against federal interference. The Supreme Court will not be sending money to South Carolina to pay for same-sex marriage.
SC H. 3022 expressly ensures that “[n]o state or local governmental employee officially shall recognize, grant, or enforce a same-sex marriage license. If an employee violates this subsection, the employee must not continue to receive a salary, pension, or other employee benefit at the expense of the taxpayers of this State.”
In the event liberals seek to use state courts to legislate from the bench, SC H.3022 also has a bulwark against that. “A court of this State shall dismiss a legal action challenging a provision of this section and shall award costs and attorney's fees to a person or entity named as a defendant in the legal action.” The bill adds that “[t]he State is not subject to suit in law or equity pursuant to the eleventh amendment of the United States Constitution for complying with the provisions of this section, regardless of a contrary federal court ruling.” Federal courts lack constitutional authority to control how states spend their money.
A few on the side of same-sex marriage are predictably squawking at South Carolina’s bill, but President Bill Clinton himself signed into law in 1995 an analogous law passed by Congress to grant immunity and require dismissal of lawsuits brought against gun manufacturers in federal or state court (the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, Pub. L. No. 109-92).
The mainstream media continues to push hard for same-sex marriage, with a multi-million-dollar litigation strategy to obtain the result by judicial fiat. But that is chump change compared with the multi-trillion-dollar annual budget at the state and local levels. States can assert greater control by declining to spend money on activities that conflict with their own definitions of marriage. This would end the momentum by the Left, and render Pyrrhic any imposition of same-sex marriage by a divided Supreme Court.
States that allow themselves to be punching bags for judicial supremacy will have little left of their own sovereignty at the end of the day. But states like South Carolina that seek to preserve their sovereignty still have time in early 2015 to defend it.
Andy Schlafly, Esq., is a teacher, engineer, conservative litigator and founder of Conservapedia. A social conservative, he survived being on the Harvard Law Review with Barack Obama.