Religious freedom to discriminate and denigrate:
Part 2 of 3:
2015-JUL: Conservative Christian leaders issue
statements opposing the gay marriage decision
of the U.S. Supreme Court during 2015-JUN.
A press conference by conservative Christian groups opposing the High Court ruling:
On 2015-JUL-01, representatives of eleven conservative Christian groups held a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. All were critical of the recent decision by that court in Obergefell v. Hodges. That ruling legalized same-sex marriage across the United States.
Quotes from the Press Conference (Continued):
- 4. Michael Hichborn, president and founder of the
“Last week, the Supreme Court dealt a terrible blow to the Constitutional
protection of the free practice of religion.
There are already cases all over
the country of businesses being sued or being forced to close down in
states that recognize same
- sex so-called ‘marriage,’ because they refuse
to provide services for ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs.
We are about to witness an explosion of such cases, but it won’t stop
- sex couples will soon be knocking on the doors of Catholic
Churches and Cathedrals, demanding that priests, bishops, and cardinals
commit sacrilege by blasphemously conducting ceremonies mocking the
institution of marriage its self.
The Supreme Court has declared war against every Christian in America.”
Freedom of religious speech, assembly, proselytizing, etc has not been impacted. The freedom of clergy to refuse to marry same-sex couples has not changed. The only impact on the freedom of religion is in some states and cities that have human rights legislation that requires public accommodations to serve all customer, regardless of their skin color, gender, religion, etc. Some of these laws cover sexual orientation as a protected class.
An "explosion of such cases"
is unlikely. Prior to the court decision, 37 states allowed same-sex marriage. After the decision, this number increased by only 13. Before the ruling, 72% of Americans lived in areas where same-sex marriages were available. This increased by only 28%.
Hugh Brown, a board member at American Life League.
“As Catholics, as Christians, we have practiced our faith for two thousands
years. Marriage is defined by God as the union of a man and a woman. It
is unchanging. It is an absolute. The whims and decisions of men and
women who have abandoned reason who have abandoned common
sense and decency does not change the truth of what marriage is.”
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution erected a "wall of separation" between church and state. This means that churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. are free to define marriage as they wish. But the marriage laws written by individual states must follow the federal Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that the Constitution's 14th Amendment requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry if they meet the same restrictions on age, consanguinity, etc. that are required of opposite-sex couples. Religious freedom works in multiple ways, for religious conservatives, religious liberals, and secularists.
It can be argued on the basis of reason and scientific investigations that humans are social animals; they seek to partner with an individual with whom they feel a sexual attraction. This applies to persons of all sexual orientation: heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual. A percentage of persons of
all sexual orientations will develop a sincere and committed bond with another person, and will want to marry their partner. Many would feel that this option uses reason & common sense, and is decent.
Some leaders of other conservative Christian groups were not present at the press conference, but provided statements opposing marriage equality:
Laird, Vice President for Program
Development and the Director of Higher Education Programs for The Cardinal Newman Society:
“While Five Supreme Court justices may have changed the legal status of
sex marriage under the law, they have not and cannot change the
essence and meaning of marriage as understood by every society in the
history of man.
Our Catholic schools will not concede their rights to the truth about
marriage. Regardless of discrimination or government coercion, faithful
Catholics must continue to teach the Truth. It is our right as Americans,
and our duty as Catholics.”
Some societies around the world and throughout time have legalized marriage equality for same-sex couples. Today, in the U.S., in excess of 60% of adults favor the legalization of gay marriage.
Catholic schools remain free to define what marriage should mean as they wish. However, if they are going to teach about the actual situation in the United States and in almost all other English speaking countries, then they will have to discuss that gay marriage is the law of the land.
7. John Hawkins, founder of Right Wing News:
" As Antonin Scalia noted in his dissent, the Supreme Court's ruling on gay
marriage had nothing with the U.S. Constitution. Instead, five Supreme
Court Justices substituted their own opinion for that of more than 300
million people. No American who cares about the Constitution, justice, or
the rule of law could support this ruling.
Since when do Christians lose their First Amendment rights if they start a
business? Since when does “freedom of religion” only apply as long as you
don’t own a bakery or take wedding photos? This is a country founded on
religious freedom, and those rights don’t cease the moment someone
walks out of doors of their church. The
time to start fighting back is right here and now.
8. Dr. Jennifer Robac Morse, founder of the
“The Obergefell decision tacitly declares that invented rights of adults take
precedence over natural rights of children. The policy of the United States
government will henceforth be to take sides with ‘intended parents’ in
disputes with natural parents, and against the legitimate interests of children to their own genetic and cultural heritage. The Supreme Court has
surreptitiously redefined parenthood as a side effect of redefining
ruling shamefully robs
equal protection under the
The majority of the Court sidesteps these inevitable logical consequences
of their decision.
While we are appalled by this decision, we commend the courage and
good sense of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices
Scalia, Thomas and
Alito. These far-sighted men affirm that each State may make its own
policy with respect to the definition of marriage. In so doing, they stand up
for the rights of children to know their own parents, and the rights of the
people of the
States to govern themselves.”
Most of the Justices on the court do not regard the rights of couples to marry to be invented. They are a fundamental right and can be denied only for very good reasons, such as being to young or too closely related.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Religious and cultural leaders: Supreme Court marriage decision imperils religious liberty, undermines Constitution," Life Site News, 2015-JUL-01, at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/
"Quotes from Press Conference," 2015-JUL-01, at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/
How you may have arrived here:
Copyrights held by the ten speakers.
Original posting: 2015-AUG-24
Latest update : 2015-AUG-24
Complied by: B.A. Robinson
Rebuttals by: B.A. Robinson