Defense of Marriage: "A Fight We Can Win"

By Lee Duigon
September 20, 2004

Another rogue judge, another decision against traditional marriage.

But those who believe in the future of traditional marriage in America should remain optimistic, said Glen Levy Lavy, a constitutional lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund.

"We've won almost all our marriage cases, and lost very few," he said. "But the media pumps up every loss and ignores the victories."

Case in point: Levy Lavy was in the Thurston County, Washington, courtroom September 7 when Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks ruled the state's marriage laws unconstitutional and declared that homosexuals had "a fundamental right" to marry. The ADF participated in the case on the side of the defense.

"It was a lousy case. The state's attorney did a terrible job presenting his argument — one of the worst I've seen. But the judge was way over the line," Levy Lavy said.

To set the record straight, the ADF has set up a new website,, to track the status, nationwide, of lawsuits challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which restricts marriage to one man and one woman.

"The current state of the battle is this — traditional marriage in America is winning, 49 states to one," Levy Lavy said.

The one state where homosexual "marriage" has been "legalized" by judicial fiat is Massachusetts — where grassroots citizens ' groups continue their battle to overturn it (see Chalcedon

Elsewhere, Levy Lavy said, DOMA continues to resist courtroom challenges.

"When the California Supreme Court this summer invalidated all those 'gay marriages' performed by the mayor of San Francisco in February, that was a huge victory for us," he said.

Other recent victories for Biblically defined marriage include an August 17 ruling in Washington by a federal judge , rejecting a bankruptcy petition by a lesbian and upholding DOMA as constitutional and a September 3 decision by the Supreme Court of Utah, upholding Utah's marriage laws against a suit filed by a polygamist.

"This is a fight we can win," Levy Lavy said. As more and more states amend their constitutions to reserve marriage to one man and one woman, he added, momentum is building in favor of traditional marriage.

The Thurston County ruling will be appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court, along with a similar ruling , from earlier this summer , by a King County judge ( see Chalcedon).

Ultimately, Levy Lavy said, the solution to the problem is to amend the U.S. Constitution.

"In the long run, there will have to be a uniform marriage code, back ed up by a federal marriage amendment," he said. Otherwise, homosexual militants will continue to file lawsuits , and activist judges like Richard Hicks will continue their efforts to redefine marriage.

"To make a ruling like the one he made, a judge has to ignore the law and make up something," Levy Lavy said. "There is no intellectual honesty in these decisions [for homosexual 'marriage']."


Ordinary citizens can't influence the arbitrary decisions of activist judges, but they can certainly vote in favor when the marriage amendment movement comes to their state. Missouri voters did so this summer, piling up a 70% majority. Before the year is out, voters in ten other states — it would be 12 twelve, but lawsuits have held up the referenda in two of them — will have had the same opportunity.

The defense of marriage movement in Missouri found the support and participation of local churches critical. Churches informed and mobilized voters, provided transportation to the polls, and galvanized the movement emotionally. Your church, when the time comes, should do the same.

Topics: Family & Marriage, Justice

Lee Duigon

Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine.Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.

Lee has his own blog at

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