On March 21, 2010, the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives passed their final bill for the historic new heath care reform law, despite unanimous opposition from the Republicans. Democrat President Obama signed the law into effect on March 23, 2010. Immediately afterward, Republicans and many State Attorneys General announced plans to overturn the law, based on the limited government position of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The 10th Amendment is written as follows: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
As Republicans and conservative activists seek to overturn the exclusively-Democrat-passed government controlled health care law, their oppositional argument is quite simple and very clear. The 10th Amendment constrains the federal government from such overreach because such power is not enumerated anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.
It is this exact same argument that pro-polygamists have been arguing against government controlled marriage for years and years. Hence, now, as such supposed-to-be conservatives return back to their limited government values, pro-polygamists gladly remind them that their use of the 10th Amendment argument against health care control equally applies to marriage control.
The National Polygamy Rights Movement for Consenting Adults has laid down an extensive and archived history of using this 10th Amendment argument. National Polygamy Advocate, Mark Henkel, has specifically used it in multitudes of media interviews.
The following is a small sample of clipped quotes from just some of the past articles sent to the media (through Pro-Polygamy.com), in which this 10th Amendment argument has been repeatedly made over the years. It is compiled as a resource with which to remind conservatives that their use of the same 10th Amendment argument requires them to equally oppose government controlled marriage too.
Some Conservatives Making Mistake on Marriage
Date: Jul 30, 2003
...[B]ecause federal government "marriage" authority is not enumerated anywhere in the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment prohibits it from being involved in "marriage" whatsoever.
That makes any federal "marriage" legislation unconstitutional.
These Conservatives Oppose Unbiblical Marriage Amendment
Date: Aug 14, 2003
The paradigm of modern conservatism is based upon unchanged, strictly limited government and un-enumerated individual freedom. The Tenth Amendment's principle limits federal government authority to explicitly enumerated items in the Constitution. The Ninth Amendment codifies the converse principle that individuals' rights do not have to be enumerated. Those two principles are what define true conservatism.
Government-defined "marriage" is nowhere in Scripture. Not one man in the Bible was ever "married" by government. Not even one. Based on "sola Scriptura," the exclusively Bible-based Christian paradigm can never commit the abomination of such idolatry. In the Bible, God never "needed" the false god of government for marriage. Never.
The word, "marriage," is nowhere in the Constitution - nor should it be. Not even once. Based on "sola Constitution," the conservative paradigm can never commit the constitutional abomination of the Federal Marriage Amendment. The unbiblical concept of "one man, one woman" has no place in a government-limiting, individual-freeing Constitution. Never.
Therewith, surprising many, Christian Polygamists remind fellow conservatives of true biblical marriage and true conservatism.
Anti-Polygamy is the Real 'Slippery Slope'
Date: Apr 16, 2004
Religious freedom and limited government define true conservatism. Insisting on "government marriage" violates both. Such supposed-to-be "conservatives" are really "New Liberals," opposing their own principles and heritage.
Even a simple and quick reading of the U.S. Constitution shows clearly that the federal government has no authority whatsoever to be involved in marriage. The First Amendment protects the religious freedom of marriage. The Tenth Amendment prohibits federal government involvement because the Constitution never authorizes it to be involved in marriage.
Enforced federal involvement in marriage began by an exclusively territorial law enacted in 1862 before Utah was a State. Utah's non-State "territorial" status constitutionally "allowed" the federal government to bypass the Tenth Amendment constraint [Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2].
When the law was tested in 1878, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed it and ultimately established such unconstitutional anti-polygamy case law. They justified their decision by deferring to the history and laws of other countries.
In that Reynolds v. United States decision, the Court declared, "Polygamy has always been odious among the Northern and Western Nations of Europe and, until the establishment of the Mormon Church, was almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and African people. At common law, the second marriage was always void, and from the earliest history of England polygamy has been treated as an offense against society."
Obviously, the very young religion of "the Mormons" did not invent polygamy. The Court cited two other continents culturally including polygamy. Still, they deferred to foreign governments, specifically citing the very country against which the U.S. fought the American Revolution! They conveniently overlooked numerous historical accounts of several Biblical polygamists.
Even so, those "liberal activist judges" on the Supreme Court in 1878 usurped American sovereignty and freedom by basing their decision upon the history and laws of - not American, but - foreign governments.
For all Americans who consider themselves heirs of constitutional liberty, marriage can only be defined as a First Amendment religious issue - not as defined or controlled by government.
After all, not one man in the Bible was ever married "by government." Not one.
Conversely, there are numerous examples of polygamy in the Bible. Abraham, Israel, and David are among the dozens of holy men in the Bible who were married to more than one wife. Even Moses, himself - the man who authored the "Adam and Eve" story, the original "one flesh" passage, and "Thou shalt not commit adultery" - is openly recorded in the Bible as also having two wives.
Despite the truth, anti-polygamy enforcement overturned all that. The federal government thereby acquired authority which neither the Bible nor the Constitution gave it regarding marriage.
If the Constitution had been explicitly followed, government would never be involved in marriage.
'New Liberal' Hypocrisies on Government Marriage
Date: May 15, 2004
Immediately after Lawrence v. Texas, "New Liberals" cried out that the "right to privacy" is not explicitly written in the Constitution. Again, they misapplied the Tenth Amendment, trying to suggest that the Court has no authority to rule on that matter.
The Ninth Amendment answers that absurd argument. Specifically, individuals' rights do not have to be so constitutionally codified. Besides, the last clause of the Tenth Amendment clearly says, "or to the people," meaning the rights of the individuals.
Ironically, though, "marriage" is not in the Constitution either. The Tenth Amendment establishes that government, constitutionally, has no authority to be involved in marriage whatsoever. After all, government marriage wields big government power and involvement over any individual rights. But "New Liberals" obviously ignore the Tenth Amendment when it comes to government marriage.
Nevertheless, they accused the Courts in 2003 of being run by "liberal activist judges," even as such "New Liberals" rely upon a liberal 1878 precedent to support big government marriage involvement.
The 1878 Supreme Court was seemingly run by "liberal activist judges." Reynolds v. United States addressed one anti-polygamy statute, applicable only to non-State territories where the federal government had exclusive jurisdiction [U.S. Constitution, Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2]. However, those "liberal activist judges" quite liberally expanded that issue to ultimately concoct a nationwide "government involvement in marriage" precedent.
Beyond non-State U.S. territories, that concoction violates the Tenth Amendment because "marriage" is not in the Constitution. As such, "New Liberals," themselves, rely upon "liberal activist judges" who decided that anti-polygamy case which unconstitutionally established big government involvement in marriage.
Failed Marriage Amendment Sabotaged the Churches
Date: Oct 07, 2004
The true conservative position is that of strictly limited government. Constitutionally, government's only legitimate role is to protect each individual's rights from being infringed by anyone else - including government. Government's purpose is not for social engineering.
The Tenth Amendment constrains federal government power to only specifically enumerated authority. The Ninth Amendment codifies that the rights of individuals do not have to be enumerated whatsoever.
Without such constraint upon government power and such protections of un-enumerated individuals' rights, any minority is vulnerable to the tyranny of any then-current majority.
Again, Jonathan Turley Repeats Polygamy Organization's Arguments
Date: May 02, 2006
The now-famous sound-bite, "'Polygamy rights' is the next civil rights battle," has been well-established as being originated by [National Polygamy Advocate, Mark] Henkel. In March, 2006, word of Henkel's sound-bite had exponentially spread rapidly throughout much of the media.
Accordingly, Henkel was asked to conduct numerous interviews in which he explained and clarified the sound-bite's meaning. Namely, as Henkel has frequently declared, his polygamy rights argument actually provides the win-win solution to resolve the "same sex marriage" debate once and for all.
In that interview, Henkel explained to Barry Lynn, "We're not saying that, one, we're following the homosexuals, and [two], going for the same agenda. We're actually saying, 'We've got the solution to end the marriage debate altogether.' And that is, the true - and it's a win-win, both for true limited government conservatives as well as for homosexual-behavior-choosing-individuals. The key is, you get government out of it altogether, because according to the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment states that, if it's not in the Constitution, the federal government has zero authority to be involved. Ergo, the word 'marriage' is not in the Constitution and it is wholly unconstitutional for the government to be involved in marriage whatsoever."
And in that same interview, Henkel also re-declared his stated definition of the only valid role for government regarding marriage. He said, "We're saying that government has no authority either way and the only function of government at all in marriage is as a public repository - at the municipal level - of public records of the contractual arrangements that consenting adults make."
Gun Control and Marriage Control Infringe Individual Rights
Date: Apr 27, 2007
In both [the Gun Control and the Marriage Control] debates, supporters of big government control use exactly identical arguments: "society's rights," "democracy," and re-defining "the People" as "the collective." Likewise, opponents in both debates use the very same arguments: Individual Rights.
Marriage controllers assert that "society has a right" to control marriage, that "democracy" justifies infringing Individuals' rights for the supposed good of the people. They frantically purport that society is imperiled without marriage control. Yet the Constitution's Ninth and Tenth Amendments say that, unless any authority is specifically delegated to the federal government in the Constitution itself, the right is always reserved to the States or to "the People" (codified or not). Marriage is – appropriately – nowhere in the Constitution. Thereby, government is banned from marriage. Moreover, both federal and state governments are additionally prohibited by the First Amendment (freedoms of assembly, religion, and speech). Yet marriage controllers cry, "Let the People choose" the re-definition of marriage through majoritarian collectivism. Hence, their re-definition of "the People" means a constitutional absurdity that the government – not the Individuals - has the supposed right to determine marriage.
But there is no such thing as "society's rights" – a collectivist idea premised in Marxism. America is not a "democracy." And constitutionally, "the People" only means the Individuals. America is a Constitutional Republic of limited government to protect Individuals' rights. The founding principle is that Individuals are endowed by their Creator with inalienable God-given rights. Accordingly, Individual Rights are neither "granted" nor overturnable by government – precisely because they are God-given.
Rick Warren's Mistake, "Forbidding to Marry" Re-Defines Marriage
SPECIAL REPORT By: Mark Henkel
Date: Feb 12, 2009
The historical fact is that big governmental anti-polygamy is the real slippery slope that led straight to the modern invention of the legal construct of the otherwise biological impossibility of "same sex marriage." If the false god of big socialist government had never over-stepped its Constitutionally-constrained authority by re-defining marriage in the first place with anti-polygamy, homosexuals would never have had any incentive, justification, or even legal standing with which to pursue the modern invented re-definition today.
Ergo, anti-polygamists were the first ones to re-define marriage. As Rick Warren truly wants to thwart marriage re-definition, then the path to that goal is obvious. Return to the U.S. Constitution's principles which prohibit big government from making any marriage re-definition whatsoever for consenting-adults – whether the re-definition is for "same sex marriage," anti-polygamy, or otherwise.
The only valid role for government in marriage is actually at the municipal level as a repository of the public records of the contractual arrangements that consenting adults make. Anything more than that is Marxist-style big government social engineering – for which government has no such authority.
Ultimately, marriage is a God-given right of the un-coerced consenting-adult individual. Marriage occurred before the invention of government. It will occur if government ever collapses. No one in the Bible was ever married "by government." Indeed, the actually-socialist notion of "government marriage" is a very new, modern phenomenon over the whole span of human history. And indeed, the U.S. Constitution's 10th and 9th Amendments together prove that the federal government has no authority whatsoever to define, license, or control marriage for un-coerced consenting-adults.
[Reviewed for publication - Pro-Polygamy.com Review Board.]