Religious Groups React to Gay Marriage Rulings

Catholic, Episcopalian, Mormon, and other religious and secular officials speak out after the Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage.

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Max Rossi / REUTERS

U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Moments after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense Against Marriage Act and allowed gay marriage to resume in California, religious groups across the country started to speak on the landmark civil rights case. Here’s a roundup of what eight groups had to say.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair, USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage

Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth that marriage is between a man and a woman. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to witness to this truth.

The Episcopal Church

Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church

 Today’s rulings will allow more people of all faiths to see what we in the Episcopal Church have seen for decades: Same-sex couples and their families are evidence of the goodness of God’s creation. They bless our congregations and communities immeasurably, and we have all learned from their steadfast love for one another and the evidence of God’s goodness that they show us.

We are not done yet. We will not be done until the laws of the entire land and the whole church of God recognize the dignity of every human being and the equality of all faithful couples. Today, however, we are closer to the justice God calls us to seek.

Metropolitan Community Church 

Rev. Nancy Wilson, Moderator

Freedom and equality won today as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the US Constitution and every family. Children in California now know their families will be treated equally. Today, every American is free to live in the assurance that their loved ones will receive all benefits the US gives to any other family. As the head of MCC, a global church founded on the belief that all people are created equal before God and the law, I am thrilled that the Supreme Court decided that the US Constitution applies to all of us, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity.

Interfaith Alliance

Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President

The enormity of today’s decisions cannot be overstated. The combined impact of these two rulings puts our nation further down the inevitable and proper path towards full marriage equality for the LGBT community. All Americans should rejoice in today’s decisions because they bring us that much closer to fulfilling the promise of our Constitution. I am hopeful that today’s decision striking down DOMA as unconstitutional and overturning the Proposition 8 case on standing will be followed by continued victories in this fight for equality. That a majority of the Court recognized in the DOMA case that this was an issue of equal protection denied is no small victory.

Family Research Council

Tony Perkins, President

While we are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the court today did not impose the sweeping nationwide redefinition of natural marriage that was sought. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex ‘marriage.’ As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify.

What is inevitable is that the male and female relationship will continue to be uniquely important to the future of society. The reality is that society needs children, and children need a mom and a dad. We will continue to work to restore and promote a healthy marriage culture, which will maximize the chances of a child being raised by a married mother and father.

Coalition of African-American Pastors

Rev. William Owens, President

We are devastated that the Supreme Court succumbed to political pressure by voting to weaken the sacred institution. They neglected our most precious children who need a mother and a father united in marriage for healthy development. The African-American community has already been plagued with problems related to children growing up in single parent households. This ruling will only accelerate the further erosion of our communities and society.

But we will not give up on marriage as the solid social institution recognized by cultures worldwide. It is time for African-Americans and the Christian community to rise up and renew their efforts to protect marriage and strengthen the families in their communities. African-Americans pay a disproportionate price as collateral damage of the aggressive gay agenda, and it will take leaders across the country to resist the cultural shift on marriage.

Secular Coalition for America

Edwina Rogers, Executive Director

Efforts to restrict same-sex couples from access to civil marriage are blatant attempts to insert religious beliefs into our secular government. We applaud the Court’s decision on DOMA and Proposition 8, but we recognize there is still a lot of work to be done throughout the country in ensuring that marriage equality is the rule for all.

The decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 are very big and important battles won in a long war—despite the Court’s ruling, in states across the country same-sex couples are still denied civil marriages based on religious ideology. Laws like these treat same-sex couples inequitably and fly in the face of the very freedoms our Constitution provides us. The fight now turns to the states that refuse to treat same-sex couples equitably.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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.

125 comments
LizzHuie-Fulks
LizzHuie-Fulks

If people can come together with such force and mass to rally to get same-sex marriage legalize, why can't they do the same for other important issues, you know like stop congress from over spending, creating new jobs, better health care system ,strict animal abuse laws, alternative fuel source, things that will benefit ALL people not just a secular group of people. I understand why people feel the need to have their relationship  recognized by the LAW of the land.  They say it is because they want the same legal rights as married couples, well, there are other ways to achieve that other then by a piece of paper called 'marriage certificate". No all people get one of those.

LizzHuie-Fulks
LizzHuie-Fulks

So on one hand, these people who want to legalize marriage same-sex couples are saying, to other couples (man & woman) who are just living together (they feel a marriage certificate is just a piece of paper)  without a piece of paper known as a marriage certificate  who feel like their union is that of marriage are really not anything. Their union will not be recognized as a marriage because of the no piece of paper. It's kinda like spitting in their face.  I am not using any religious reference debate for this issue. I know some people feel this way.

kimwim
kimwim

So Glad I joined the Episcopal Church! We are welcoming to all of God's people!

EDavid
EDavid

As a Mormon/Christian myself, I'll refer to the Lord in this matter...


"And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me." - D&C 98: 5

So, there's really no reason our leaders should take from same-sex couples what was taken from us over 100 years ago - the right to define our own lives and the meaning of the term "family." 

PaulHanson
PaulHanson

These people seem to forget that not everyone in America is like them. It is not fair for Buddhists, Wiccans, Hindus, and other religions to have to live under Christian law. There are in fact religions that do practice same-sex marriage, and you also have to consider the growing areligious population; atheists and agnostics that don't subscribe to really any religion.

No one is going to to force your church to marry homosexuals. It is your right to that, just don't deny a person's right to marry who he or she loves.

JaymEsch
JaymEsch

I am in complete agreement with those upset at the Supreme Court's ruling on this matter. The Christian God clearly states that marriage is between a man and a woman, and anything else is a sin. Anyone not interpreting the multiple-language-translated Christian Bible the same as me is clearly wrong, for I read the words with my eyes, assigned them the first meaning I'm aware of in my experience and worldview, and therefore there is only one possible way to interpret the words.


On the same note, I am not a Christian, but my personal God forbids marriage for anyone with brown or black hair, or brown, blue or green eyes. To marry with any of those features is a sin greater than mass murder. Therefore, we as a society must obey my God and cease all marriage by those with the above traits, or this nation will surely crumble into depravity and chaos.

/sarcasm off
/point regarding hypocrisy of inserting religion into the public sphere made

roknsteve
roknsteve

The so-called bible is a group of books written over 3,000 years ago by hebrews for hebrews. I'm NOT a hebrew and refuse to live by primitive books of hebrews.

kuei12
kuei12

Next, farmers will marry their sheep. Pedophiles will marry kids. Necrophiliacs will marry corpses. A sexual deviant is a sexual deviamt. Where do you draw the line?

kdwddw
kdwddw

Leviticus 18:22,leviticus 20:13 ,judges 19:16-24 ,1 kings 14:24 , 1 kings 15:12 ,2 kings 23:7, romans 18:32 ,1 corinthians 6:9-11 ,1 Timothy 1:8-10,jude 7

Again if you are a christian....

endoftimes
endoftimes

The American government continues to amaze. Not so long ago, we had the NSA story leak. Now we have homosexual rights. Go read about what really happened on 9/11 and the Boston bombing. Take some real history courses and stop following the American media like sheep. You are only being provided with the ILLUSION of freedom. The illusion of freedom in order for the government to work behind your backs. In order to do that, they have to break down the morals of society and introduce fear into a ever growing secular society. I call Christians to unite and stop this attack on the family by speaking out. Don't hide the fact you are a Christian and believe in what is truly good. You cannot have a family without a man and a woman. If nothing is done to stop this, the day will come that the true, natural family will seize to exist and we will become a society with a lack of morals and the inability to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. This is the conditioning of the American government to think for you.

Henri
Henri

@LizzHuie-FulksIf certain heterosexual couples like those you know, especially those with children, feel it's just a piece a paper, it's because they haven't really faced a situation like, for example, taxes, death, divorce, inheritance, parental rights. It's certainly not because they seen a gay couple and felt marriage got debased. They just never had a good reason to, and (more likely) not enough sense to do it.

Gays, on the other hand, have been in these kind of situations where you can't just do things as how other would do. They have to jump hurdles to make things happen. Before DOMA, you couldn’t do a joint tax. Or even divorce, which gets messy without the guidelines that a federally recognized marriage has already in place. You get lawyers, and experts, and more lawyers who can help you a little. So you hear stories about lesbian partner who can’t see their son because she’s not biologically related. Or a widower loses his inherited ranch because his dead husband’s families hated gays and wanted to contest the will just to spite him.

These things happen. And they shouldn’t.

If one person in an unmarried heterosexual couple died, as did Edie Windsor's wife, then the other partner would be paying federal estate taxes on a inherited estate-- Then they will be saying, "Oh, shoot. That's what a legal marriage was for? Should have done it."

The difference is that the people you know just don't know any better. Or rather put: It's not the gays' fault, it is theirs. And only theirs.

And to make another point about what this will do to existing heterosexual couples who are already married, especially those for a long time like our grandparents-- They're not parting because gays are getting married. It's because they're divorcing for other reasons (cheating, lack of love, abuse, whatever). Or because death parted them.

In the end, the world keeps on spinning. Life goes on. When the especially evangelical Christians have realized the world hasn't ended and that people haven't made partners with children, dogs, corpses, pillows, whatever-- maybe they will just eventually get it and just say, "Keep Calm and Carry On."

TrajanSaldana
TrajanSaldana

hey JaymEsch, hate to break it to you BUT, you are SO a Christian...and AMERICAN Christian (shudder) at that

manlyman
manlyman

Well good for you steevie.....

MrObvious
MrObvious

@kuei12 

Simple - this is about human rights under the law. It's about consensual adults entering a legal contract. Animals and kids can't enter a contract.

Second - Religious phobias should be kept out of law and politics. Otherwise we're going to have to have a war over which religion should be the main and what phobias should be the law. Although fundamental Christians and Muslims agree in their hatred of homosexuals.

Third - using moronic slippery slope arguments isn't exactly the best LEGAL argument and kind of the reason why 'wingers lost this one; the best they have is fallacy arguments. And that won't stand up in court.

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

Mental health associations and the state and federal governments do NOT consider homesexuals to be deviants. Civil law is based on the USA constitution, which only applies to living humans.

SueRoediger
SueRoediger

@kdwddw Matt 7:1-5 if you are a Christian.  But not everyone bases their life on "the bible".    This is not a theocracy, We do not have a Taliban.  Keep your religion out of our constitution

roknsteve
roknsteve

@kdwddw All written when 1 person in 100,000 could read and write.  Primitive books don't count for anything.

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

The bible does NOT forbid anybody from marrying, including gays, murders, shrimp eaters and people who work on the Sabbath...Moreover, American civil law, which the only law needed to get a marriage certificate, is based on constitution of USA, not any religion. Moreover, the USA constitution does not have any constraints on marriage. It is up to the states to define marriage as they want...Granting all civil rights to all himan beings is a war on intolerance and bigotry, not religion...Given how the Catholic allowed priests to rape women and boys for hundreds of years, enslave young girls in the launderies of Ireland, torture and burn heretics, the Carholic church isn't in any position to say what is good.

freedomforall
freedomforall

@kdwddwI guess it's just a good thing that the laws of this country are intended to deliver justice based on what will allow freedom and equality of opportunity to the most people and not based on one near-sighted group's antiquated perception of what is right or wrong.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

No one is forcing you to do anything.  You can continue to hate people not like you but that doesn't change the fact that people don't choose to be homosexual and to not recognize that they have the same rights you have is to say that you don't believe that all people are equal under the US Constitution..

manlyman
manlyman

Who on earth would consider porking each other's bunguses as deviant?

kuei12
kuei12

@forgottenlord @kuei12 Not even. Alot of kids have mutually consenting sex with adults. Who says sheep don't like sex with farmers? Did you ever hear a corpse complain?

TELLO
TELLO

The same virus that hit Sodom and Gomorrah is the same one that is upon the United States of American today.

kdwddw
kdwddw

Human beings are flawed each and everyone of us even catholic priest.I understand... my only argument was THAT IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN AND BELIEVE IN GOD YOU SHOULD NOT BE HOMOSEXUAL and countless other things that I my self am guilty of.If you dont like that then dont be christian that is Your choice just as being homosexual is.

kdwddw
kdwddw

Your right because if not I would be persecuted for begin christian and telling the truth

endoftimes
endoftimes

@ARTRaveler 

I didn't say I hate homosexuals. You just assumed that I hated homosexuals. This is a product of your conditioning by the media and the American government. You are being pushed that everyone should have rights. However, should people be granted rights even if what they believe in is wrong. For example, Sandy Hook. Americans have the right to bear arms but many believe that this is wrong. Since the Church isn't involved in this, the debate isn't as heated and Americans truly believe that this right should not exist. Therefore, as part of the Christian faith, the Church is fighting for what is truly good.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@kuei12

Very well, but you cannot claim what my positions are and the inherent weaknesses of them when you do not read the arguments I present.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@kuei12

Apparently you never learnt about what constitutes consent.  The default state isn't "yes", the default state is "no".  Unless the individual in question is able to clearly express or indicate consent, it's not consent.

As for kids, two things:

1) We set rules governing when a child is and is not capable of understanding the consequences of their actions.  That's pretty basic and it's hard to understand why that would be any different when it comes to marriage.

2) In a lot of cultures - now and historically - children as young as 12 were married to sometimes total strangers that were much older.  It is also perfectly consistent with the bible.  I'm not saying it's right, but there is a very different ethical discussion involved with the question of pedophilia than beastiaility and necrophilia.

TELLO
TELLO

Everyone is born with a sinful nature, but just because because we were born with it does not mean that it's right. Once we know that it is wrong we have a choice to turn from it and resist it's power with the blood of Jesus. We all have a choice.

SueRoediger
SueRoediger

@kdwddw I will pray for you, that God will open your heart and mind to the truth that God loves ALL God's children.

SueRoediger
SueRoediger

@kdwddw Did you choose to be straight?  NO  Being "homosexual" is not a choice - God created some people that way.  It is kind of like the way some people are left handed........it is normal  for them.

TELLO
TELLO

TELLO  giving homosexuals the right to marry is like giving a thief license to go rob a store whenever they want. We all were born in sin; separated from God, but we are given a chance to repent and turn to Jesus for salvation, we always have a choice.

kdwddw
kdwddw

Maybe YOU cant READ...IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN AND BELIEVE IN GOD ,which obviously Your not,YOU SHOULD NOT BE GAY.If you are gay I really dont care people do all types of sinful things these days.

Thats it...the truth hurts im sorry

roknsteve
roknsteve

@orangeplasticfish Why do I have to live by books written 3,000 years ago by hebrews?  I'm Irish.  Plus I'm not christian or hebrew.  Keep your religion to yourself.

roknsteve
roknsteve

@kdwddw So you speak for god now?  Tell us all what he has to say.  Do you hear voices?  That's crazy.

kdwddw
kdwddw

My judge is not of this earth neither is yours.One sin is no greater than the other in Gods eye they're all detestable.My argument again is not with marriage Its with homosexual christians.Yes I choose to be heterosexual just as I could choose to be gay"come out the closet".I dont hate anyone I dont care enough to hate anyone just stating my opinion.

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

Working on the Sabbath is punishable by death. Anybody coming across you while you are working on the Sabbath is duty bound to immediately kill you. Working on the Sabbath is a FAR WORSE SIN than homosexuality...And, yet you and a murderer can marry, but a gay cannot marry even though the bible does not say anyrhing about marriage...By the way, did you choose hetrosexuality? At 13, did you find yourself eqaully attracted to men and women, but decided to be hetrosexual beause homosexuality is a sin? Probably not. So, why would any man choose to be gay, particulary with all gay haters in rhis world?

kdwddw
kdwddw

If there were no gays which is what God intend there would be no gay marriage...secondly people should stop murdering eating shrimp which I love and working on the sabbath which i do bit im not condoning it and saying Its ok

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

You still haven't explained why gays should not be able to marry when other sinners can marry...By the way, just as people do not choose to be left-handed, people do not choose to be straight or gay...So, murderers, shrimp eaters and people who work on the Sabbath should not be Christians?

SueRoediger
SueRoediger

@kdwddw I am guessing you do not live by ALL of Leviticus....the part about not cutting your hair or not eating shell fish or pork etc ..........................  God bless you if you choose to believe "the bible" It may be truth to you....................but not necessarily for the whole world !!!!

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

Kdwddw, your are stating your view of the "truth"...The bible does NOT forbid anybody from marrying, including gays, murders, shrimp eaters and people who work on the Sabbath...Moreover, American civil law, which the only law needed to get a marriage certificate, is based on constitution of USA, not any religion. Also, the USA constitution does not have any constraints on marriage. It is up to the states to define marriage as they want...Granting all civil rights to all human beings is a war on intolerance and bigotry, not religion...Given how the Catholic church allowed priests to rape women and boys for hundreds of years, enslave young girls in the launderies of Ireland, torture and burn heretics, the Catholic church isn't in any position to say what is good and proper and what is evil.

TELLO
TELLO

WHO AUTHENTICATED IT

roknsteve
roknsteve

@endoftimes @orangeplasticfish That is a fake story stolen from the 7 Tablets of Creation.  Neither christian or hebrews wrote it.  It was written in Iraq 6,000 years ago.  You need to do some research on who wrote what. 

TaziaHall
TaziaHall

@orangeplasticfish

Matthew 19

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Jesus reaffirmed the Genesis definition of marriage, bro. For no other reason shall a man or woman leave their parents than to be joined to the complementary sex. The moral law of the Bible is never obsolete.  The kosher eating and fabric laws for the Jews was to make them culturally set apart and healthier from their neighbors since out of them was the come to Saviour. Leviticus sacrifice and lambs and the stoning of sinners was taken by Christ's execution on the cross as the lamb of God so that he can transform us. But today we show we are instead enabling sickness of heart, mind and body and family so countless people will not truly have access to freedom. We mistake bondage for freedom because we are blind. I know I was...

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

The bible does NOT forbid anybody from marrying, including gays, murders, shrimp eaters and people who work on the Sabbath...Moreover, American civil law, which the only law needed to get a marriage certificate, is based on constitution of USA, not any religion. Also, the USA constitution does not have any constraints on marriage. It is up to the states to define marriage as they want...Granting all civil rights to all human beings is a war on intolerance and bigotry, not religion...Given how the Catholic church allowed priests to rape women and boys for hundreds of years, enslave young girls in the launderies of Ireland, torture and burn heretics, the Catholic church isn't in any position to say what is good and proper and what is evil.

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

The bible does NOT forbide anybody from marrying, including gays, murders, shrimp eaters and people who work on the Sabbath...Moreover, American civil law, which the only law needed to get a marriage certificate, is based on constitution of USA, not any religion. Moreover, the USA constitution does not have any constraints on marriage. It is up to the states to the states to define marriage as they want...Geanting all civil rights to all himan beings is a war on intolerance and bigotry, not religion...Given how the Catholic allowed priests to rape women and boys for hundreds of years, ensolve young girls in the launderies of Ireland, torture and burn heretics, the Carholic church isn't in any position to say what is good.

endoftimes
endoftimes

@orangeplasticfish

It's sad when people don't know what Google is in 2013. American education system failing you again.

Genesis 2:22-24Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, ' for she was taken out of man."  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

This is not only about the Bible. Homosexuality has evolved to be a war on religion and what is good. It is the destruction of morality of humans and like Pope Francis said:

"At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts. "

 There is good and there is evil. Americans have chosen to grant equality and rights to both.  Mass media is controlled by a few wealthy people. Put down your electronic devices, wake up and take a look at the real world.

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

Why shouldn't gays be able to marry just because your religion says homosexuality is a sin? Murders serving time on death row are allowed to marry even they cannot consummate the marriage. Old people are allowed ro marry even though they cannot have children. Eating shrimp and working on the Sabbath, which is punishable by death, are abominations. Yet people who eat shrimp and work on the Sabbath can marry. The bible does not discuss marriage. Explain the logic of why hard working, tax paying gays who fight and die for this country can't have the same rights as people who eat shrimp, work on the Sabbath and murder people?