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.

126 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.

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

Eating shrimp and working on Saturday are also abominations, but people who eat shrimp, work on Saturday and kill people are all allowed to marry. So, why discriminate against homosexuals? If marriage is only about procreation, then why are convicts on death row allowed to marry even though they can't consummate the marriage? Why allow old people to marry? Why discriminate against gays who pay taxes, enjoy all other rights and responsibilities, including fighting for this country?

orangeplasticfish
orangeplasticfish

I think it is amazing that African American Pastors are blaming gays seeking equal rights for the fact that many African American children are raised by single mothers.

lazarus00000
lazarus00000

A man named Geza Vermes has written several acclaimed books on the Early Christians and Jesus from a strictly historical standpoint. Check them out isf you really want to know the whole picture of the time.

Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi who openly rebelled against his Hebrew masters to form his own brand of religion that was able to offer healing, and salvation without a price tag attached. The Hebrews did not like this. The Early Christians were mostly Jews, Helenized Jews and later Gentiles and Greeks(Pagans). The total transition took over a hundred years to separate from the Hebrews and Christians. There are a great deal of other issues, and events that also occured during this century, Google "Pauline religion", "Stephan the Matyr", the Apostles. But do try to look up Geza Vermes.

Lazarus  

lazarus00000
lazarus00000

Religious Groups react...

"Rule 13 of Ignatius' Rules for Thinking with the Church said: "That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity [...], if [the Church] shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black."[3] Ignatius' plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by the bull containing the Formula of the Institute."

-Wikipedia

The best definition for hypocrisy I have ever read.

Lazarus

kdwddw
kdwddw

"IF"you are a christian there is no way you can condone homosexualality.It is clearly an abomanation to God.

guswfla1
guswfla1

I should have known that those responding for the Catholic Church would prove to be the most bigoted.

eagle_blue
eagle_blue

My feeling is that a right decision has been taken.

But there should be a problem with semantics. A marriage is something that occurs between persons of opposite sexes.

How in the world we will have sex with a person of the same sex?

But I do not want to be offensive with people that have that kind of attraction. 

My feeling is that we are moving into the right direction. I congratulate the people that feel happy about this. 

On the other hand, as unbelievable as that may sound to you,  my feeling is that the Catholic Church is probably not wrong when they oppose this move. 

I am now around 61 years of age. Five or six years ago I was entirely sure that homosexual behavior was a myth.

Now it seem to me there is overwhelming evidence that I was wrong and homosexuality is not a myth. It is reral.

But if you give me the right to speak my mind, I feel that homosexuality is not quite right. I feel that something is wrong; that can be corrected. This is the reason that Catholic Church is against same-sex marriage. 

Probably the Catholic Church (and I am a Catholic) has their burden of mistakes. 

Probably is correct, but how difficult it shroud be for a Catholic Priest to keep himself away from women all the time. Some of them do not follow suit.

I we should not forget that extremely weird behavior of some Catholic Priest that are said to be involved sexually with boys! 

I do not want to offend anybody, but to me a same-sex marriage is as estrange as meeting with a martian.

We are moving in uncharted territory. Many amendments will be probably required. Do not crow victory just yet., or should we? But one thing is clear. We are now in a better position than yesterday. We are more free, less prejudice. 

Congratulations, my friends! We will still have to make a lot of more changes!!


JilliBrown
JilliBrown

After the atrocities committed by the Catholic Church, who in their right mind would give a rats patootie what they think?  I just wonder how many gay and lesbian children their God has to bless heterosexual Christians with before they realize that their God doesn't hate gays like they do.

onemorechris
onemorechris

The catholic church has reeked havoc in the world, through wars, through the rape of children and subsequent cover ups. I think its pretty rich to say the least to bring children into this: Gay marriage will help many Americans create a stable home for children who may never have had one. The catholic church has till now regularly failed to achieve this. Once the hype over this has calmed down, the world will keep spinning and the values that many hold dear will remain. Everything will be ok, America got a little more free today. 

'He who is without sin…'


jmac
jmac

The majority’s opinion, Scalia wrote, declares "open season on any law that (in the opinion of the law’s opponents and any panel of like-minded federal judges) can be characterized as mean-spirited."

Open season on any mean-spirited law.    It's about time religious leaders and religious judges and religious congressmen cared just a bit about being "mean spirited" as they hide behind a religious dogma.  


wrp136
wrp136

Religions have everything to say relating to their sacrament of marriage. They have no more to say about CIVIL, non-sacramental marriage than they do about speeding laws.

zaglossus
zaglossus

I've never understood how gay marriage negatively affects straight marriage. Because Fred and Frank down the block are married, does that really threaten Ted's marriage to Theresa? How? The two marriages are completely unrelated. Or are they suggesting that, without gay marriage, more gays would marry straights. Is that what they want? Loveless marriages?

demej00
demej00

Not the end of the world, just end of common sense.

ArkosnatoNeogy
ArkosnatoNeogy

It appears that some sects disapprove of this most welcome move because the institution of marriage is to cement a husband and wife as caring parents of children. 

 This logic is badly flawed. In that perspective, single parents should be deprived of all benefits. Couples unable to conceive have no reason to stay married. And divorces that end in the estrangement of children ought to be treated severely. 

This unnecessary brouhaha over fictitious morals is wholly uncalled for. It is refreshing, though, to see many other segments of the church welcome this as a move of liberation and justice.

jmac
jmac

Do those Catholic Bishops really think they can weigh in on this issue after the cover-up of their massive sex scandal with young boys, their priests with children AND their gays?  Wasn't it just yesterday the pope was being blackmailed?   

They need  to figure out just what Jesus was about because they've missed the boat on what he preached.    Scalia, "choked with rage" in his diatribe dissent couldn't keep himself from mentioning 'homosexual sodomy' when the case he was referring to was actually about keeping the government out of our bedroom.  Shame on him.    

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

What's the big whoop?  No one is forcing these religious men to get gay married if they don't wan to.  Get over yourselves, fellas.

JoannaBlotner
JoannaBlotner

It would be nice if you sought the input of non-Christian faiths as well.  Seems odd to me to be missing the voices of the Jewish, Unitarian and non-Abrahamic religions who overwhelmingly support equality for all loving families.

sacredh
sacredh

Caption for photo:

F***!!

grape_crush
grape_crush

> "Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation."

Hyperbole much? You'd think by their reactions that this the end of the world.

sacredh
sacredh

"We are devastated that the Supreme Court succumbed to political pressure by voting to weaken the sacred institution."

Sacred institution indeed. I'm going to sue.