"United States v. Windsor" lawsuit succeeds in having part of
DOMA law ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court
Still more reactions to the Supreme
ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The acronym "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."
The acronym "DOMA" refers to the Defense of Marriage Act
"SCOTUS" refers to the Supreme Court of the United States
- Dean Obeidallah, a Muslim comedian, said:
"The Defense of Marriage Act is so clearly unconstitutional that in future we will view that law like laws supporting racial segregation." 1
- Roman Catholic Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas TX said:
"Sexual difference matters. ... it is essential for marriage. Only through this difference can man & woman speak the language of married love." 12
- Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute and religious commentator wrote:
"Yesterday’s rulings would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. While the general population trends have been well covered, the way those trends have altered the American religious landscape has received less attention.
If we rewind the clock back to 2006—two years after the nation witnessed 12 states banning same-sex marriage [through state constitutional amendments] in a single election cycle—the debate seemed destined to remain one between secular Americas who supported same-sex marriage and religious Americans who did not. More than six-in-10 (63 percent) religiously unaffiliated Americans supported same-sex marriage, but not a single major religious group approached majority support. Among religious Americans, support ranged from a high of 41 percent among white mainline Protestants, to a low of only 12 percent among white evangelical Protestants (Pew Research Center, 2006).
But the debate can no longer be described as one between nonreligious and religious Americans. Support for same-sex marriage has risen by double digits in every major religious group since 2006. ... The National Cathedral, which is affiliated with the mainline Episcopal Church, rang its bells at noon on Wednesday in support of the DOMA ruling and opened its doors for a special service for LGBT families and their allies 'to celebrate the extension of federal marriage equality to all the same-sex couples modeling God’s love in lifelong covenants'. ..."
"If there are literal bells ringing in support of same-sex marriage among mainline Protestants, these unheralded but significant numbers toll the fading future of religious opposition to same-sex marriage." 13
- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage wrote:
"Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. ..."
"Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters. While the culture has failed in many ways to be marriage-strengthening, this is no reason to give up. Now is the time to strengthen marriage, not redefine it. ..."
"Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decisions, with renewed purpose we call upon all of our leaders and the people of this good nation to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. We also ask for prayers as the Court’s decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified." 14
- Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
"... God designed the one-flesh union of marriage as an embedded icon of the union between Christ and his church. Marriage and sexuality, among the most powerful pulls in human existence, are designed to train humanity to recognize, in the fullness of time, what it means for Jesus to be one with his church, as a head with a body.
Same-sex marriage is on the march, even apart from these decisions, and is headed to your community, regardless of whether you are sitting where I am right now, on Capitol Hill, or in a rural hamlet in southwest Georgia or eastern Idaho. This is an opportunity for gospel witness.
For a long time in American culture, we’ve acted as though we could assume marriage. Even people from what were once called 'broken homes' could watch stable marriages on television or movies. Boys and girls mostly assumed they had a wedding in their futures. As marriage is redefined, these assumptions will change. Let’s not wring our hands about that. ..." 15
- The American Civil Liberties Union commented:
"The core provision of DOMA required the federal government to treat the marriages of same-sex couples one way (as though they had never happened) and the marriages of straight couples a different way (respecting their validity in 1,138 federal contexts). The Supreme Court struck down [Section 3 of] DOMA both because of that unequal treatment and because the federal government had improperly taken over the states' normal role of deciding who is married and who isn't.
The end of DOMA brings important protections for thousands of married same-sex couples all across the country. For Edie Windsor, what DOMA meant was a bill for $363,000 in federal estate taxes after her spouse and partner of 44 years died, whereas her tax bill would have been $0 if she had been a straight widow. For other married same-sex couples, the dismantling of DOMA means getting Social Security survivor benefits, the ability to take family medical leave, access to health care, the right to sponsor a spouse for a green card, and notification when a spouse in the military dies in the line of duty, just to mention a few. No longer will gay couples be relegated to what Justice Ginsburg memorably called "skim milk marriages." 16
- Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association, warned that persecution is imminent:
"We are deeply saddened by today’s decision to not only allow but encourage same-sex marriage in our country—a country that was founded on biblical principles. We mourn for America’s future, but we are not without hope.
Our next line of defense is to vigorously protect our religious liberty. The homosexual lobby and agenda is running rampant across America, and is even pervading our elementary schools. The judicial activism that is being demonstrated is deplorable as the Supreme Court is imposing its will on the people and legislatures of the fifty states in our United States of America.
Now, we must warn against the coming persecution, the barrage of criticism and the aggressive action of the homosexual agenda to indoctrinate and change the thoughts and convictions of Americans to accept this lifestyle as the new normal. In addition, the trend of classifying statements that have a biblical foundation as ‘hate speech’ is one that AFA will do everything in its power to prevent." 17
- Official statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a. The Mormon Church, LDS):
"By ruling that supporters of Proposition 8 lacked standing to bring this case to court, the Supreme Court has highlighted troubling questions about how our democratic and judicial system operates. Many Californians will wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong when their government will not defend or protect a popular vote that reflects the views of a majority of their citizens.
In addition, the effect of the ruling is to raise further complex jurisdictional issues that will need to be resolved.
Regardless of the court decision, the Church remains irrevocably committed to strengthening traditional marriage between a man and a woman, which for thousands of years has proven to be the best environment for nurturing children. Notably, the court decision does not change the definition of marriage in nearly three-fourths of the states. 1
- Rev. Bart Day, executive director, Office of National Mission of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, a conservative Christian denomination, issued an official statement:
"Though the ruling is not a surprise, we are saddened for our nation, even as we call our fellow Christians to faithfulness and prayer.
As Christians, we believe and confess that God Himself instituted marriage as the life-long union of one man and one woman. Same-sex unions are contrary to God’s will, and gay marriage is, in the eyes of God, no marriage at all. As Christians, we proclaim this truth, no matter what the courts or legislatures may say. We are called not to popularity but to truth. Therefore, we call on our fellow Christians to be faithful first to God’s Word, knowing that another court is ultimately supreme.
Marriage is a fundamental building block of society, binding parents to their offspring. Every child benefits from the nurture of a mother and the leadership of a father. While having one mother is a blessing, having two mothers or two fathers is confusing for the child and detrimental to her well-being. The divorce culture has done great harm to the institution of marriage as well, and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) has and will continue to respond to that heartache with Christ’s comfort while simultaneously working to restore a culture where marriage is upheld." 2
Still more reactions to the Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor continues in the next essay.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Supreme Court Marriage Rulings," LDS Church, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/
- Bart Day, "Upholding Marriage: God’s Plan and Gift." The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://blogs.lcms.org/
- Penny Nance & Janice Crouse, "Supreme Court Stands on Shaky Ground, Losing Credibility Fast," Concerned Women for America, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.cwfa.org/
- "Reaction to court ruling that strikes down provision denying benefits to married gay couples," Associated Press, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.foxnews.com/
- "Orthodox Union Statement on Today’s Supreme Court Rulings," Orthodox Union, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.ou.org/
- Elizabeth Tenety, "Religious leaders see tragedy and justice in Supreme Court gay marriage decisions," Washington Post, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
- Anthony Moujaes, "A Supreme Court shift toward marriage equality," United Church of Christ, 2013-JUN-26. at: http://www.ucc.org/
- AP photograh #6 in a series of 102 photos at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- Ibid, photograph 44.
- Ibid, photograph 53.
- Ibid, photograph 78.
- Daniel Burke, "Jesus wept' or tears of joy? Faithful react to gay marriage rulings," CNN Belief Blog, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/
- Robert P. Jones, "After DOMA, the fading future of religious opposition to same-sex marriage," Washington Post, 2013-JUN-27, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
- "Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage: 'Tragic Day for Marriage and our Nation,' State U.S. Bishops," United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.usccb.org/
- Russell D. Moore, "How Should Same-Sex Marriage Change the Church’s Witness?," Moore to the Point, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.russellmoore.com/
- James Esseks, "DOMA Unconstitutional! And Prop 8 Goes Down, Too!," American Civil Liberties Union, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.aclu.org/
- Tim Wildmon, "AFA: With DOMA Decision, America Is 'Shaking Its Fist at God,' Christians Will be 'Crushed' ," Right Wing Watch, 2003-MAR-26, at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/
Copyright © 2013 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2013-JUN-29
Latest update: 2013-JUL-05
Compiler: B.A. Robinson