An Open Letter to PA Gov. Tom Corbett to Appeal "Gay Marriage" Decision by Rogue Federal Judge

by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary,

May 21, 2014

Dear Governor Corbett,

I urge you to reconsider your decision not to appeal the "gay marriage" ruling by the rogue federal district judge John Jones. I understand that you continue to regard marriage as a union between one man and one woman but believe that an appeal has little chance of success. This matter is too important not to exhaust every option available to you. If necessary, the state needs to appeal the decision all the way up to the Supreme Court.

As you know, it is absurd to regard a person of the same sex as one's anatomical, physiological, and psychological counterpart or sexual complement. Becoming sexually aroused by what one already is as a gendered being, as though one were only half one's own sex rather than half of a whole sexual spectrum containing two sexes, is obviously contrary to nature and a self-dishonoring impulse. The disproportionately high rates of measurable harm that attend homosexual unions correspond to gender type: higher numbers of sex partners lifetime and significantly higher rates of STIs for homosexual males; lower longevity in relationships and higher mental health complications for homosexual females. This is what one expects when, owing to the absence of a gender complement, the extremes of a given sex are not moderated and the gaps in one's sex not filled.

Validating "gay marriage" is comparable to granting the name "marriage" to the union of three or more persons concurrently or to adult-consensual incestuous unions (you yourself have right made an analogy to sibling marriage). For Jesus it was the God's male-female design of humans at creation, the twoness of the sexes in complementary sexual union, that led him to the conclusion that there should be only two persons to a marital bond. Eliminating that requirement renders nonsensical any refusal to call a polyamorous union "marriage" since the limitation of marital bonds to two persons derives obviously from the twoness of the sexes. Similarly, we reject incest first and foremost because there is too much formal identity on the part of the participants, as regards kinship or gene pool. There is even less complementary otherness to a same-sex union than in an adult incestuous union, since sex or gender is a more essential element of sexual relations than kinship. While incestuous unions are physiologically capable of procreation, albeit with a higher incidence of birth abnormalities, homosexual unions lack even that capacity, thus demonstrating an uber-sameness that exceeds incest.

Letting "gay marriage" stand will lead to an attenuation of civil liberties for those who express the viewpoint that homosexual practice is immoral, consistent with the witness of Jesus, Paul, and thousands of years of Judeo-Christian heritage. School children will be indoctrinated in a compulsory manner across the state and told that their parents, if they think otherwise, are bigots. Academic advancement and job security will be threatened for those who make their moral objections to homosexual practice known, whether they make it known inside or outside the halls of academia or the workplace. Business owners will be forced to provide non-essential goods and services that promote homosexual "marriages," against their moral conscience. "Coming out" celebrations and mandatory "sensitivity training" requiring acceptance of homosexuality will become standard fare in the workplace. "Gay" adoptions will be given equal standing with adoptions by a husband and wife, even though such homes will have greater instability (more sex partners, higher relational turnover) and will model a distorted view of sexuality that extols blurring of sexual differentiation, including an embrace of cross-dressing and transgenderism.

It is your democratic duty to appeal this ruling. A single rogue judge has short-circuited the democratic process. What could not be achieved by the ballot has been imposed by an activist judge with skewed moral sensibilities. The Defense of Marriage law was passed by an overwhelming vote of the Pennsylvania legislature and signed into law by Gov. Tom Ridge. It was the duty of Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane to fulfill the oath of her office by defending it against the ACLU challenge. Your refusal to appeal the rogue judge's decision would likewise constitute a political and moral abdication of your responsibilities as governor. It would be a slap in the face of the average voter.

Please reconsider your decision not to appeal the ruling. Do what you can in the courts and in the legislature to put a stay on the issuance of marriage licenses to homosexual unions while the case is on appeal, if necessary, all the way up to the Supreme Court. Encourage resistance on the part of government functionaries since the judges have taken upon themselves an authority to legislate that the U.S. Constitution never granted. Follow the example of Thomas Jefferson, who repeatedly warned about the threat to democracy posed by tyrannical judges.

    “Nothing in the Constitution has given them [the federal judges] a right to decide for the Executive, more than to the Executive to decide for them. . . . The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.” (Letter to Abigail Adams, September 11, 1804)

    “Our Constitution . . . intending to establish three departments, co-ordinate and independent that they might check and balance one another, it has given—according to this opinion to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of others; and to that one, too, which is unelected by and independent of the nation. . . . The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” (Letter to Judge Spencer Roane, Sept. 6, 1819)

    “You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so . . . and their power [is] the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.” (Letter to William Jarvis, Sept. 28, 1820)

    “The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.” (Letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821)

    “The great object of my fear is the Federal Judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting with noiseless foot and unalarming advance, gaining ground step by step and holding what it gains, is engulfing insidiously the special governments into the jaws of that which feeds them.” (Letter to Judge Spencer Roane, 1821)

    “At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life if secured against all liability to account.” (Letter to A. Coray, October 31, 1823)

    “One single object… [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation.” (Letter to Edward Livingston, March 25, 1825)

Lincoln also understood the danger coming from the judicial branch. In his first inaugural address in 1861 he warned:

    “…The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government, upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having, to that extent, practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”

I look forward to your reply.


Prof. Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.

Author of: The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics