"United States v. Windsor" lawsuit succeeds in having part of
DOMA law ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court
Reactions to the Supreme Court's
ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (Cont.)
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
- Michael De Dora, director of public policy at the secular advocacy organization The Center for Inquiry:
"As an organization grounded in the values of secularism and humanism, which recognize the intrinsic value of every person, we are delighted to celebrate these milestones in the struggle for full equality before the law for all citizens . . . DOMA and Prop 8 were betrayals of the secular ideals set forth in our founding documents, relegating LGBT Americans to second-class status. The Court’s rejection of these measures strongly reinforces the idea that religiously based attitudes on sex and marriage will not stand in the way of granting fundamental rights to anyone." 1
- Lisa Van Houten, spokesperson for the American Decency Association referred to 2013-JUNE-26 as a date that "will live in infamy" like the date of the attack on Pearl Harbor. She said it was:
"A date when the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage, and undermined true marriage – one man and one woman – which was instituted, not by any government, but by God. ..."
"The homosexual agenda cannot and will not abide peaceably alongside the true, biblical institutions of marriage and family as ordained by God. As the homosexual agenda is legitimized – even by the United States Supreme Court - marriage, family, and our religious liberty will be undermined.
Consider the following short list of what may be in our future:
1. Hate crime laws will be increasingly instituted and enforced. Will pastors be prosecuted for preaching what God’s Word says regarding homosexuality and refusing to perform same sex 'marriage' ceremonies?
2. Homosexuality will be a protected class by the government. Christian school teachers and administrators, pastors, business owners, etc. could be charged with discrimination if they speak out against or refuse to embrace homosexuality.
3. Organizations such as our own American Decency could easily lose their (c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit status as we continue to call homosexuality what it is - SIN.
4. God will not bless a nation that puts a stamp of approval upon that which he calls an abomination. The evidences of God’s displeasure are evident and becoming more so with each passing day.
We are rapidly coming upon a time when a handful of unelected, increasingly politicized appointees are demonstrating that their allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and to natural law is under question.
However, God’s law supercedes man’s [sic]. As Christians, we must defy man’s law if it requires us to break the law of God." 2
- Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, and other leaders of Reform Judaism issued a statement saying:
"Today's Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality is a significant victory for the protection of Americans' civil rights. No longer will lesbian and gay couples remain invisible to the federal government; no longer should there be doubt about the legal legitimacy of these partnerships. ..."
"There is no more central tenet to our faith than the notion that all human beings are created in the image of the Divine, and, as such, entitled to equal treatment and equal opportunity. Many faith traditions, including Reform Judaism, celebrate and sanctify same-sex marriages. Thanks to the Court's decision, the federal government will now recognize these marriages as well, while still respecting the rights and views of those faith traditions that choose not to sanctify such marriages.
Inspired by our Movement's longstanding commitment to civil rights, we joined and supported amicus briefs to the Court in both the Perry and Windsor cases. We look forward to the day when full civil marriage equality is the law throughout the country, reflecting our nation's historic commitment to the civil rights of every individual. In the meantime, today's decisions will inspire us to continue to seek justice for all." 3
- Same-sex marriage and Islam: Maryam Khan Ansari, a reporter for Illume Magazine, wrote:
"The recent same-sex marriage ruling has cleared the way for many, including gay Muslims, to marry. But over the years, homosexuals who identify as Muslims found it difficult to have an Imam perform the ceremony. Now, they have a place to get married, complete with an Imam who will marry them. Imam Daayiee Abdullah of Washington, D.C., is available to perform gay Muslim marriages.
Abdullah might be the only gay Muslim imam in America, with the other openly gay Imam being Muhsin Hendricks of South Africa. Abdullah founded The Light of Reform Mosque in the D.C. area, a mosque which claims on its website to promote "theologically sound frameworks for Islamic liberalism." 4, 5
- The reaction by the Family Policy Institute of Washington was perhaps the strangest response of all. On JUN-25, the day before the Court released their rulings, the Institute had apparently prepared three statements: one each for three likely rulings by the Supreme Court in the DOMA and Prop. 8 cases. This way, they could quickly issue the one statement that corresponded with the actual ruling. Unfortunately, they appear to have issued all three statements at once. Pink News published them:
In reality, none of the responses really matched the actual Court rulings.
- "The 'win-win' statement read: 'I applaud the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the. They were correct to rule that the U.S. Constitution does not include a "right" of same-sex couples to have their relationships officially affirmed as marriages. We agree that the public’s interest in promoting responsible procreation provides a rational basis for defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Court did the right thing by permitting the debate over the definition of marriage to continue through the democratic process."
- "The 'partial win' statement read: 'Those who want to redefine marriage suffered an important defeat today. The Supreme Court refused to declare a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, and rejected their request to impose a redefinition of marriage on all fifty states. This decision means that this important debate will continue state by state across the country."
- "The 'lose-lose' scenario statement said: 'Today the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8 and declared a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender. anyone you want…maybe.
Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, said, 'The Court reached this decision only by ignoring reality—that male-female unions are uniquely important, because only they can result in natural reproduction; and that such unions are uniquely valuable, in that only they can bind a child to both the parents who created it and bind those parents to each other.'
'In addition to its departure from scientific reality, the Court’s decision was a shocking abuse of its power—the ultimate in judicial activism, making law from the bench rather than interpreting the law and the Constitution as written'." 6
- Many large companies have come out in favor of the Court's rulings:
- Apple said: "Apple strongly supports marriage equality and we consider it a civil rights issue. We applaud the Supreme Court for its decisions today."
- Ben and Jerry's ice cream said: "Marriage equality is a constitutional right."
- MasterCard tweeted: "When different people come together it's not just beautiful, it's #Priceless. All around the world #AcceptanceMatters!"
- Microsoft said: "Today’s decision turns the page on a law that made it more difficult for us to treat all of our employees, regardless of sexual orientation, equally. Microsoft joined dozens of corporations, organizations and governments in support of the challenge to DOMA because of the significant costs and administrative burdens it imposed on employers and because it interfered with our efforts to promote diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace."
- Starbucks said: "Equality is a core value of the company. Starbucks has offered domestic partner benefits to our partners for more than two decades. That said, we are very pleased with today’s ruling. Starbucks always puts our people first, and we will continue to advocate for equality inclusion."
- Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook posted a message: "I’m proud that our country is moving in the right direction, and I’m happy for so many of my friends and their families." 7
- There were many other brands with positive messages, including Citi, UBS, Johnson & Johnson, GAP, Goldman Sachs, Marriott, and Levi's.
- Austin Nimocks, Senior Counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom:
"The Supreme Court got it wrong in saying that a state that has redefined marriage can force that definition on the federal government. The federal government should be able to define what marriage is for federal law just as states need to be able to define what marriage is for state law. Americans should be able to continue advancing the truth about marriage between a man and a woman and why it matters for children, civil society, and limited government.” “Marriage--the union of husband and wife--is timeless, universal, and special, particularly because children need a mother and a father. That’s why 38 states and 94 percent of countries worldwide affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman, just as diverse cultures and faiths have throughout history." 8
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Mark Sherman, "Supreme Court rulings give boost to gay marriage," Associated Press, 2013-JUN-27, at: http://www.tulsaworld.com/
- Brian Tashman, "American Decency Association: DOMA Decision Just Like Pearl Harbor," Right Wing Watch, 2013-JUN-28, at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/
- "Reform Movement Welcomes Ruling in Marriage Equality Cases," Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism," 2013-JUN-26, at: http://rac.org/Articles/index.cfm?id=23214
- Maryam Khan Ansari, "Gay Muslim Imam To Perform Same-Sex Muslim Marriages," Illume Magazine, 2013-JUN-27, at: http://www.illumemagazine.com/
- "Masjid Nural Isslaah," Daayiee's place of inner peace, at: http://www.daayieesplaceofinnerpeace.com/
- Joseph Patrick McCormick, "US: Anti-gay group releases equal marriage win statement despite no decision by Supreme Court," Pink News, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/
- Joseph Patrick McCormick, "Big brands come out in support of Supreme Court DOMA and Prop 8 decisions," Pink News, 20132013/06/27/big-brands-come-out-in-support-of-supreme-court-doma-and-prop-8-decisions/
- "True Christian Leaders Comment on Supreme Court Ruling." Exposing the ELCA blog, 2013-JUN-6, at: http://www.exposingtheelca.com/
Copyright © 2013 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2013-JUN-29
Latest update: 2013-JUL-03
Compiler: B.A. Robinson