Mad Over Marriage: Religious Right Responds To Today's Supreme Court Rulings
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 12:39:42 PM EST

You could say that the American Family Association (AFA) isn't pleased about today's Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality.

By a 5-4 vote, the high court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), meaning that same-sex couples who are lawfully wed in states with marriage equality will have access to a range of federal benefits. This is a pretty big deal.

The court also dealt with a legal challenge to California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage. The case was dismissed on procedural grounds. Most legal observers believe the practical effect of this will be to restore same-sex marriage to the Golden State.

In short, this is not a good day for the Religious Right.

Check out this tweet from Bryan Fischer, resident theocrat-in-chief at the Tupelo, Miss.-based AFA: "With the DOMA decision, we have ceased to be a constitutional republic. The words "We the people' are now meaningless."

Fischer then followed up with this gem: "The DOMA ruling has now made the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest and bestiality inevitable. Matter of time."

Fischer's boss, Tim Wildmon, issued a statement that read in part, "We are deeply saddened by today's decision to not only allow but encourage same-sex marriage in our country - a country that was founded on biblical principles. We mourn for America's future, but we are not without hope."

Wildmon added, "The homosexual lobby and agenda is running rampant across America, and is even pervading our elementary schools....Now, we must warn against the coming persecution, the barrage of criticism and the aggressive action of the homosexual agenda to indoctrinate and change the thoughts and convictions of Americans to accept this lifestyle as the new normal."

Out in Arizona, the Alliance Defending Freedom also has a case of the grumpies: "This effectively means we will no longer have a national definition of marriage," carped the group in a statement. "The federal government may now be required to accept any legal definition of marriage that a particular state invents. This leads to many unanswered questions, new government burdens, and consequences that we will have more to say about in the coming days and weeks ahead as we analyze and further unpack this disappointing decision."

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, attempted an outrageous spin.

"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," Perkins said in a statement. "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." (Dude, what polls are you looking at?)

Even the Christian Coalition (yep, that group is still around) got in on the act. Roberta Combs, president of the group, issued a petition supporting "traditional marriage" that reads in part, "[T]he Court has put state marriage laws at risk as well as the religious liberties of tens of millions of America's Christians....The simple fact is that liberals cannot get their way at the ballot box, so they try to push their radical agenda through our nation's courts by convincing judges to overturn the will of the American people."

The Liberty Counsel, a project affiliated with Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Liberty University, has been dilatory in getting out a statement. But earlier this week, the group opined, "No matter what the Supreme Court decides, the battle over marriage will continue. This is the defining culture line."

I actually kind of agree with Liberty Counsel on that one. This is a defining line - and the Religious Right is on the wrong side of it.

Today's rulings won't be the last word on this matter. The Religious Right is pledging massive resistance. Recently, dozens of luminaries from that movement came together to sign a statement asserting that any high court ruling backing marriage equality would be illegitimate.

"As Christian citizens united together, we will not stand by while the destruction of the institution of marriage unfolds in this nation we love," asserts the statement. "The Sacred Scriptures and unbroken teaching of the Church confirm that marriage is between one man and one woman. We stand together in solidarity to defend marriage and the family and society founded upon them. The effort to redefine marriage threatens the proper mediating role of the Church in society."

The statement is a tad unclear about what these groups plan to do (hold their breath until they turn blue?) but concludes darkly, "[M]ake no mistake about our resolve. While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the true common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross."

Americans United sees it differently. We're pleased that the narrow religious views of fundamentalist Christians won't govern civil marriage law. At the same, we've pointed out repeatedly that no houses of worship anywhere will be forced to provide a ceremony for a same-sex couple. That sounds like real freedom to us.

If the polls are right, the Religious Right appears to be on the losing end of this battle. But it's pretty clear that these groups don't intend to go down quietly. Brace yourselves; I see plenty of turbulence ahead.




Display:
I think that we are going to see a big - a huge upswing in "Bible-based" violence.  They're already doing it but it's largely hushed up - and I read in their letter veiled threats of violent rebellion (it was discussed days ago at "Crooked Crosses" http://crookedcrosses.wordpress.com/ ).

I'm worried about my LGBT friends in this area, although I am relieved that their rights are being defended.  I wasn't sure which way it would go.

Oh... and the funny thing is that they claim that their churches will be forced to marry LGBT couples.  The funny thing is that right now it is against the law in Florida (and many other states) for churches who WOULD marry them to do so.  We're being legally persecuted because of their religious beliefs.  This will end the persecution... but I am pretty sure at the same time it's going to inflame their violence against LGBT people and their friends and family (and the churches who accept them).


by ArchaeoBob on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:09:50 PM EST

anti-SSM church leaders would talk zealots down from the ledge, or face repercussions for fomenting division and possible hate crimes. The opposite seems to be the way things shake out in small communities, however, so I'm betting the times become very interesting.

by trog69 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 05:45:19 AM EST
Parent


I find it incredible that these folks are actually trying to convince the public that allowing gay people to marry hurts THEIR religion.  No one is making them marry people of the same sex.  And their churches can marry whomever they wish (frankly, I have no problem with churches requiring counseling for couples prior to marrying.  It could prevent some pretty horrendous unions -- or not, depending on the mindset of the people doing the counseling).

This new riff they have of saying that failing to have things their way -- for everyone -- is an attack on their religious freedom is what you would expect from a spoiled child.

I also tend to choke a bit when I hear all of the wailing about how sacred marriage is.  I know many people who have good marriages -- and I am very happy for them.  But really -- is a same sex marriage between partners who have been together for years and are entering into it with a mature commitment really an "abomination" compared to the man-women quickie hitchings performed by Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas?  I mean, really.  Not to dis anyone's idea of what makes for a good wedding ceremony, but drunks marrying each other in Vegas after knowing each other for a week, sacred?  Give me a break!

by coralsea on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 07:31:29 PM EST


So what did they call Citizens United? THAT was probably A-OK with them. Marriage is a civil matter - it's why you have to get a license from the state. It is only a religious matter for those who wish it to be.

by phatkhat on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 12:37:07 AM EST
...gutting the Voting Rights Act. If that wasn't legislating from the bench, I don't know what would be.

by MLouise on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 07:07:09 PM EST
Parent
its fallen state is so blatant and risible is bald-faced but he is untouchable, so he can hang out with the VP right before rendering a verdict favorable to said VP and spew "argle-bargle" with abandon, using a Schrodinger's solution to both affirm and deny the legislative branch's ability to write laws they agree or disagree with.

by trog69 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:07:27 AM EST
Parent
Scalia's opinion about DOMA and the majority opinion to gut the Voting Rights Act are the real argle-bargle. Now what was that about judicial restraint?

by khughes1963 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 05:44:42 PM EST
Parent





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