May 13, 2015
A Nebraska woman, calling herself “Ambassador for the Plaintiffs, God And His Son Jesus Christ” has filed a lawsuit against “Homosexuals, Their Given Name Homosexuals, Their Ali[a]s Gay,” alleging their transgressing of religious law. The 66-year-old Sylvia Ann Driskell submitted a seven-page handwritten document to a federal court in Nebraska, requesting that the court pass a ruling on whether homosexuality “is a sin or not a sin.”
The suit was apparently prompted by the case currently before the Supreme Court concerning the extension of marriage rights to homosexuals throughout the United States. Mrs. Driskell argues her case extensively citing Scripture from both the Old and New Testaments: “God tells his children in Leviticus Chapter 18 verse 22, Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: It is abomination,” and “God also tells his children in Romans Chapter 1, verse 26, 27, For this cause God gave them up unto vile affection … Men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet,” among other verses.
She writes that she has heard homosexuals from all walks of life proclaiming that they were tired of keeping their lifestyle a secret, but she asserts that they “know it is a sin to live a life of homosexuality.” She further argues for a traditional understanding of marriage and family life, and states, “I'm sixty six years old and I never thought that I would see the day in which our Great Nation or our Great State of Nebraska would become so compliant to the complicity of some people's lewd behavior." She calls for the nation to stand up for its moral values, while noting that “God loves [homosexuals] so much that He gave his Son, and Jesus gave his life for them.”
Unsurprisingly, her case was wholly dismissed with no possibility of amendment. Judge John M. Gerrard of the U.S. District Court for Nebraska noted that, “The Court may decide what is lawful, not what is sinful.” The court wrote, “A federal court is not a forum for debate or discourse on theological matters. Other forums, freely accessible to citizens of the United States, exist for the purpose of addressing questions of religious doctrine…", reports the Washington Post.
An article in Huffington Post's "Gay Voices" column shows how a Christian view on legislation actually did have its place in U.S. judiciary as recently as the 1980's:
"The documents recall a time when it was enough to simply quote the Bible. Looking over Driskell’s complaint, Jennifer Pizer, a lawyer with LGBT advocacy group Lambda Legal, reflected, 'I see it as a marker of a shift from a time when judges, including justices of the Supreme Court, referenced the Bible in denying gay people equal rights, to a time when a case like Driskell’s, while based on some similar views, is seen as a bizarre outlier''.
"In 1986, when Pizer was a law student, the Supreme Court ruled in Bowers v. Hardwick that laws banning sodomy were constitutional. Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote that the decision was based on “Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards” and that affirming a constitutional right to sodomy "would be to cast aside millennia of moral teaching." This decision was reversed in 2003."
Driskell has not commented publicly on the case—her handwritten letter, the cry of her Christian soul, is commentary enough. And the court's "marker of a shift" from a time when people took for granted that marriage was an institution established by God's law and not man's, should draw commentary, but so far has drawn little.