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Religious Tolerance logo

In the Obergefell case, the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes
same-sex marriage (a.k.a gay marriage) across the entire U.S.

Part 35: 2015-JUNE-26:
Still more reactions to the High Court ruling
that legalized gay marriage across the U.S.
2003: A historical note from the Vatican.
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We use the term "gay marriage."to represent the marriage of two persons of
the same sex. We prefer "Same-sex marriage," a more inclusive term that
includes spouses with a bisexual sexual orientation, but it would make this web
site harder to find.
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons and transsexuals.
"LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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gavelStill more reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling:

  • The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is a liberal faith group. They celebrated the court ruling with the following press release:
    • "The U.S. Supreme Court issued their 5 to 4 ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, establishing federal recognition of same-sex marriage. With this decision, marriage equality for same-sex couples has become the law of the land nationwide. ... In celebration of this historic victory for equal rights, UU ministers and congregations will offer free weddings for same-sex couples nationwide on [the weekend of] July 11 and 12, in an event called #justmarriage. Many ministers have signed up for the event, offering their services and congregation’s space for free." 1

    • The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the UUA issued a statement saying:

      "Today the U.S. Supreme Court stood on the side of love with its 5 to 4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges establishing federal recognition of same-sex marriage. I applaud the court’s ruling as a major step in recognizing full civil rights for LGBTQ people. The ruling is cause for celebration.

      Unitarian Universalists have been vocal supporters of equal rights for LGBTQ individuals for decades. In 1996, the UUA passed a resolution in support of the right to marry for same-sex couples, the first religious denomination to do so. We have been party to amicus briefs in all the major freedom to marry court cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges.  I am grateful for the unwavering dedication and commitment by Unitarian Universalists in support of marriage equality. ..."

      "Marriage equality illustrates that love has no boundaries. And while today we celebrate this victory in the name of love, tomorrow we rededicate ourselves to achieving full legal protection for LGBTQ people in all spheres of our society." 2

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  • Kellie Fiedorek is legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom -- a conservative Protestant legal advocacy group. She wrote:

    "In 31 states, after engaging in robust debate, voters chose to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their constitutions. Meanwhile, citizens in other states decided to redefine marriage in their laws. The people in all these states demonstrated how the democratic process works -- that citizens are free not only to discuss and disagree on an emotionally charged topic with momentous societal impact but also to go to the ballot box and express their beliefs on how to resolve the issue for their state.

    But the court undercut this fundamental right. Five lawyers negated the voices of tens of millions of Americans who voted to reaffirm the definition of marriage and obstructed our system of government by appropriating from our elected leaders their constitutional right to make policy. In so doing, the court cast a shadow on every American’s trust that his or her engagement in the democratic process will have an impact. ..." 3

  • Brian Brown is the president of the National Organization for Marriage. It is the largest national group opposing gay marriage. He wrote:

    "Though expected, today's decision is completely illegitimate. We reject it and so will the American people. It represents nothing but judicial activism, legislating from the bench, with a bare majority of the Justices on the Supreme Court exercising raw political power to impose their own preferences on marriage when they have no constitutional authority to do so. It is a lawless ruling that contravenes the decisions of over 50 million voters and their elected representatives. It is a decision that is reminiscent of other illegitimate Court rulings such as Dred Scott and Roe v Wade and will further plunge the Supreme Court into public disrepute.

    Make no mistake about it: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and countless millions of Americans do not accept this ruling. Instead, we will work at every turn to reverse it.

    The US Supreme Court does not have the authority to redefine something it did not create. Marriage was created long before the United States and our constitution came into existence. Our constitution says nothing about marriage. The majority who issued today's ruling have simply made it up out of thin air with no constitutional authority. ..."

    Today's decision is by no means the final word concerning the definition of marriage; indeed it is only the beginning of the next phase in the struggle. NOM is committed to reversing this ruling over the long term and ameliorating it over the short term. 4

The above quotations are short excerpts from various sources. We recommend that you read the full statements.

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A video of an anti-same-sex marriage protestor at the Nasville Pride parade during late 2015-JUN:

A fine example of religious freedom used to denigrate sexual minorities:

 5

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2003: A historical note: Twelve years ago, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican issued a short ruling about gay marriages:

It describes the duties of a Catholic concerning same-sex marriages. It was issued in the same the year that gay marriages were legalized in Ontario Canada -- the first province to do so. A year later, such marriages were legalized in Massachusetts-- the first U.S. state to do so.

The statement said:

"In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection. 6

The statement presumably also applies to the marriage of same-sex couples in which one or both spouses is not gay or lesbian, but has a bisexual orientation.

The statement would also seem to imply that a court clerk who issues marriage licenses should violate their oath of office which includes the commitment to obey the U.S. Constitution. It also appears to imply that a court clerk should violate the Golden Rule, which Jesus is quoted in two Gospels as requiring all of his followers to obey.

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This topic is continued in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Unitarian Universalists celebrate SCOTUS ruling with #JustMarriage," Unitarian Universalist Association, 2015-JUL-02, at: http://www.uua.org/
  2. UUA President Peter Morales applauds historic SCOTUS decision," Unitarian Universalist Association, 2015-JUN-26, at: http://www.uua.org/
  3. , "The Supreme Court’s gay-marriage ruling is a huge blow to democracy, Washington Post, 2015-JUN-29, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
  4. Brian S. Brown, "National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Issues Statement Following US Supreme Court Decision on Marriage," 2015-JUN-26, at: http://www.nomblog.com/
  5. "Anti-gay protestor at Nashville Pride 2016," [Date incorrect; should be 2015]. You Tube, 2015-JUN-27, at: https://youtu.be/
  6. Phil Lawler, "Vatican statement clarifies duties of Catholic faithful after Obergefell decision," Catholic Culture, 2015-JUL-02, at: http://www.catholicculture.org/
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Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-JUN-26
Latest update: 2015-JUL-08
Author: B.A. Robinson
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