The case involving a lesbian couple "married" in Canada but seeking a divorce in Oklahoma, where same-sex "marriage" is not recognized, is just another disingenuous attempt to further a political and social agenda, argued the head of a Christian legal group.
Cait O'Darling and Stephanie A. Griffith, a lesbian couple who said they legally "married" as a same-sex couple in Toronto in December 2002, have asked the Supreme Court of Oklahoma to recognize a divorce decree granted by a state judge. The judge, who was unaware the two parties were of the same sex, later vacated the decree, noting that Oklahoma law does not recognize "any marriage between persons of the same gender."
Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defense Fund, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief last Monday, says activists such as the Oklahoma lesbian couple are trying to "redefine marriage – through the avenue of 'divorce' – to fit their political and cultural agendas."
In 2004, a vast majority of Oklahoma voters (76 percent) approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The same amendment also stipulates that same-sex "marriages" from another state are not recognized as valid and binding in Oklahoma.
"By a margin of more than 3-to-1, the people of Oklahoma voted to protect marriage as a union between one man and one woman," highlighted ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin Nimocks in a statement. "By demanding that the court dissolve this counterfeit 'marriage,' these women are telling the court to ignore the laws of Oklahoma. The opponents of marriage aren't merely trying to redefine marriage, they're trying to eliminate marriage."
Sears agreed that same-sex "marriage" is a "huge step" toward transforming the notion of marriage and family.
"The legal arguments of those promoting same-sex unions flow inexorably to the conclusion that marriage means everything and anything," the ADF president stated last week.
"[A]nd once it means everything, it means nothing," he added.
In ADF's brief, the Christian legal group also called to the court's attention the discrepancy in the reported date of marriage between the two women. The O'Darlings claim they "married" in December 2002, six months before same-sex "marriage" became legal in Toronto.
ADF has also filed three friend-of-the-court briefs in similar case in Rhode Island where another lesbian couple has sought for a divorce even though they were "married" in Massachusetts. The Supreme Court of Rhode Island heard arguments earlier this month and is reviewing the case.
M. Charles Bakst, a political columnist for The Providence Journal, based in Rhode Island, said in a recent column that the divorce case would increase the public's acceptance of same-sex unions "because the case puts a personal face on gays."
And Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said the case "is the new strategy on the part of homosexual activists,"
"They have been unsuccessful, for the most part, in creating same-sex marriage via direct constitutional challenge. So, they are using the side-door method of bringing cases around the periphery of marriage, such as divorce cases," he said, according to Focus on the Family Action's CitizenLink publication.
"By asking the courts to hear the case and grant the divorce, they are slowly trying to change the public policy of both of those states. Ultimately, they want to shoehorn in legislation granting same-sex marriage," the conservative analyst added.
"The truth is, they want to destroy traditional marriage."
Currently, 45 states have either a statute or a constitutional provision prohibiting same-sex "marriage" and 5 - Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island – have neither.
Massachusetts is the only state that has legalized same-sex "marriage."