Gene Schaerr, A Man of Courage and Conviction

image_largeWhen a man is willing to sacrifice his own comfort and prestige for a cause, it speaks volumes about his character. Gene Schaerr, an experienced U.S. Supreme Court advocate, left the prestigious law firm of Winston and Strawn to join the Utah Attorney General’s office and defend the constitutionality of the state’s marriage law last week. Gene sent an email to his colleagues upon his departure telling them he is leaving:

“so that I can fulfill what I have come to see as a religious and family duty: defending the constitutionality of traditional marriage in the state where my church is headquartered and where most of my family resides.”

This is particularly refreshing because Gene is not only coming to the aid of the cause of marriage, he is coming to the aid of what the Supreme Court has described as his state’s “historic and essential authority to define the marital relation.” In a healthy democratic society, one federal judge’s personal opinion does not overrule how the people of the state overwhelmingly voted they want to be governed in regard to marriage policy.

Of course, not everyone sees his move as serving the public good.

One same-sex marriage advocacy organization publicly criticized Gene, claiming:

“It’s alarming that the reason [he] gives for taking this position has nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution or the legal issues at play,” . . . . “Schaerr’s entire motivation for taking this anti-equality case is to impose a certain religious viewpoint on all Utahns – and that’s wrong. When you become an attorney, you take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, not any particular religious doctrine.”

Wait, what?

And this is what we’ve come to expect from same-sex marriage advocates—ignoring the truth and facts to accomplish their agenda.  Never mind that Gene said that the duty he was following was one to “defend[] the constitutionality of traditional marriage in the state where my church is headquartered and where most of my family resides.”

Here’s the other problem: To equate marriage with just a “particular religious view” ignores centuries of practice and cultural recognition.   What religion has a monopoly on monogamous heterosexual marriage? Christianity?  Judaism? Islam? Buddhism? Historically, even secular societies recognized marriage as only between one man and one woman, because they recognized the benefit of strong marriages to their society.

It borders on cowardice to marginalize Gene, the citizens of Utah, as well as the approximately 180 countries around the world who stand for marriage, and willfully choose to ignore their points by pretending they have only “religious reasons” for why married husbands and wives make for the best public policy.

We applaud the courage and conviction of Gene Schaerr. And to those who in good faith don’t understand the arguments why married husbands and wives make the best marriage policy we invite you to download a brochure we created with other allies in the cause of marriage.


Author: Alliance Defending Freedom