Cook County Judge Coleman Disregards Process
Cook County Judge Coleman Disregards Process
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   02.21.14

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The ignorance, deceit, and hubris of homosexual activists and their ideological allies are on display today. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman decided that Cook County clerks may grant marriage licenses to homosexual couples even before the Illinois same-sex “marriage” law takes effect June 1, writing that “There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry.”

This utterly feckless statement reflects a host of false claims and perhaps an overabundance of misplaced sympathy on the part of Coleman. One wonders where Coleman’s sympathy would lead her if longsuffering polyamorists came clamoring for their “fundamental right to marry.” Perhaps she would unearth yet another heretofore unknown constitutional right.

Here are some truths that seem not to animate Coleman:

  • There is nowhere in the text of the Constitution a “fundamental right to marry.”
  • Sexual orientation is not an objective condition analogous to skin color.
  • Recognizing in law that marriage has a nature fundamental to which is sexual complementarity does not rob any individual of the right to participate in the institution of marriage, thus there is no issue with equality.
  • Equality demands that government treat like things alike. Homosexual unions are not equivalent or identical to heterosexual unions. When homosexuals claim they are attracted only to people of their same sex, they implicitly acknowledge that men and women are profoundly different and that those differences are more than anatomical. Therefore, a union composed of two people of the same sex is profoundly different from a union composed of two people of different sexes. Only a heterosexual union is in reality a marital union.
  • Recognizing that marriage is sexually complementary is no more unjustly discriminatory than is recognizing that marriage is binary.

I am not suggesting that Coleman overstepped her authority regarding the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” since she had nothing to do with that even more feckless decision. Rather, I am arguing that in referencing the “fundamental right to marry” and the suffering of homosexual couples in her decision, Coleman seems to be animated by Leftist assumptions, which almost certainly contributed to her decision to move up the effective date for obtaining marriage licenses. 

No, Coleman’s hubristic decision was to unilaterally modify a duly enacted law (an all too common occurrence in the United States over the past five years). Coleman’s decision,  as well as other judicial decisions based neither on constitutional principles nor logic, should alert conservatives to the critical importance of the role of judges in shaping culture, which we too often ignore when voting, including when voting for presidents who get to appoint Supreme Court justices.

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Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years...
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