By Rick Hinshaw

The U.S. Supreme Court rulings last week in favor of same sex “marriage” – or, more accurately, in opposition to the will of the people, as expressed through our elected representatives in Congress and by direct vote of the people of California – was indeed “a tragic day for marriage and our nation,” as New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan put it, speaking on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

It was not, however, at all surprising.

About 10 years ago, with the movement toward homosexual “marriage” gaining momentum, several friends, in different conversations, wondered – with polls at that time showing a clear majority of Americans still opposed to gay “marriage” – why there was not a greater public outcry against this perversion of the definition of marriage.

As I thought about that, one answer kept recurring: abortion.

The sweeping legalization, and widespread cultural acceptance, of abortion-on-demand represented the ultimate triumph of the sexual revolution. While secular feminists hailed it as the great sexual liberator for women, it was even more so for “sexually active” (we used to say “promiscuous”) men – a “woman’s right to choose” forming the perfect escape hatch for such men from any responsibility for the children they helped to conceive.

And so, with abortion, American society declared that an individual’s “sexual freedom” is so absolute that it even entails the right to kill another human being. Having crossed that line, what other legal limits to “sexual freedom” could possibly be justified?

Cardinal Dolan rightly stated that “the preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage.” But if a society and its laws will not respect the most self-evident of truths – the right to life of every human being, a right clearly enunciated in our Constitution – how do we expect that such a society, and such a “justice” system, will use the God-given gift of reason to even discern, let alone respect the natural law truth about marriage? If a society allows one human being to kill another in the name of “sexual freedom,” on what moral basis does it deny the “freedom” of “two consenting adults” of the same sex to marry each other?

As Cardinal Dolan wrote, “The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.” But they have really been hanging in the balance for the last 40 years, ever the since the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, declared the “right” to sexual license to be absolute, unencumbered by any moral restraints, even the value of another person’s life. The assault on marriage cannot be defeated without attacking it at its roots: the assault on innocent, pre-born human life. Everything, over the last 40 years of our culture of death, has flowed from that; and we will not succeed in our defense of marriage, unless we first succeed in our defense of life.