All You Need to Know About the Supreme Court Marriage Decision

Posted on June 30, 2015 in Marriage, Public Policy, Sexuality by

White House in lightsWe’ve all heard and read about the recent marriage ruling by the Supreme Court. The number of articles, blog posts, and interviews commenting on this landmark ruling is astounding. That being true, there is no reason for me to comment on the ruling at this time.

Instead, I’ve constructed a detailed list of the articles posted by top voices on the issue. From research analysts, political analysts, pastors, theologians, and cultural commenters, these articles look at the decision from every viewpoint and angle.

I urge you to read some of these articles and have a well-constructed response to the inevitable conversation that you will be involved in soon. Don’t be unprepared. Be informed and able to clearly articulate your position.


What The Supreme Court Said:

Christianity Today: Here’s What Supreme Court Says about Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom

“So the question becomes: How will gay rights and religious rights be balanced? Below is what the justices said in today’s majority opinion and four dissents, as well as a summary of related survey data. Essentially, the majority believe the First Amendment gives religious groups and people “proper protection” to “continue to advocate” their beliefs on traditional marriage. But the dissenters are more skeptical, and concerned that “people of faith can take no comfort” in the ruling.”

Justice Antonin Scalia: 12 Must-Read Quotes From Scalia’s Blistering Same-Sex Marriage Dissent

“Anyone who thought Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Thursday’s Obamacare — which Scalia now calls “SCOTUScare” — ruling was intense should read his dissent in Friday’s 5-4 rulinglegalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. In fact, Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano said that Scalia’s Obamacare dissent “looks like a Christmas card” compared to his rebuke of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion. Scalia didn’t hold back in his criticisms of the Supreme Court and the “wisdom” of five robed members of the federal government. We pulled out a dozen of the best quotes from his blistering disagreement with the SCOTUS majority (emphasis added)”

Chief Justice John Roberts: Roberts Warns Churches Could Lose Tax-Exempt Status For Opposing Gay Marriage

“Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage — when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage. See Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, at 36–38. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court. Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.”


What Religious and Cultural Leaders Said About the Supreme Court Decision:

Ken Hamm, President of Answers in Genesis wrote:

“This ruling in favor of gay “marriage” by the Supreme Court is actually going to fundamentally change the culture in America, and apart from a miracle of God—a special movement of God—this is going to be basically an irreversible situation. And I really believe that to understand what is happening to America now, read Romans 1. That is really a picture of what is going on. We’re going to see increased persecution against Christians. We’re going to see increased antagonism toward Christianity. We’re going to see the restriction of the free exercise of religion, freedom of religion, and free speech in this nation, particularly in regard to Christianity. I believe we’re going to see the government move against Christian churches, colleges, institutions, and organizations that take a stand on biblical marriage as God commands us to in the Bible going back to the book of Genesis.”

A Christianity Today article reminds us:

“For most evangelical leaders, today’s discussion of the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage revolves around how best to express their dissent amid the legal uncertainties for churches and pastors. ‘Outrage and panic are not the responses of those confident in the promises of a reigning Christ Jesus,’ read a joint statement organized by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and signed by more than 100 evangelical leaders, including David Platt, J. I. Packer, Richard Mouw, Jim Daly, Al Mohler, and Ron Sider.”


“How should we respond to the ruling by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage? What’s next? These are the question that we asked the following contributors—male and female, gay and straight, Christian and Jewish, Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox—to answer in this First Things symposium.”

Ed Stetzer: Same-Sex Marriage is now the Law of the (U.S.) Land: What Now for Christians?

“In 2013, when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, I reflected on how Christians might live in light of the ruling, and much of what I wrote two years ago still applies even amidst this latest ruling. Christians have been here before—in Canada, Brazil, and in other places—and they are still on mission. And, in many of those places, the church is growing and people are coming to faith. But, it is important to know the culture and the context of this ruling. As such, let’s review some of the most recent research in light of the ruling. In the last six months, LifeWay Research has conducted ongoing research around the topic of same-sex marriage and homosexuality, and I imagine some of these studies will become much more important in the days to come.”

Glenn Beck: Gay Marriage Ruling ‘Is Going to Change Everything’

“[Marriage is] going to be used as a tool. Gay activists will say, ‘Yes, it was used as a tool against us for a very long time.’ And there will be a lot of people that want to use it as a tool against hetero couples now,” Beck said on his radio program. “But we are officially now on equal footing. The question is: Will people still try to push for even more? The answer is yes.”


What Christians Can Do After The Supreme Court Decision:

Christianity Today: Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage:

“A coalition of evangelical leaders assembled by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has released the following: As evangelical Christians, we dissent from the court’s ruling that redefines marriage. The state did not create the family, and should not try to recreate the family in its own image. We will not capitulate on marriage because biblical authority requires that we cannot. The outcome of the Supreme Court’s ruling to redefine marriage represents what seems like the result of a half-century of witnessing marriage’s decline through divorce, cohabitation, and a worldview of almost limitless sexual freedom. The Supreme Court’s actions pose incalculable risks to an already volatile social fabric by alienating those whose beliefs about marriage are motivated by deep biblical convictions and concern for the common good.”

6 Things to Do After The Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage:

“We lost this one. We and many others made the case to our culture that traditional marriage is God’s good design that this institution, embodied by a man and a woman joining together, leads to social flourishing. But our culture is not convinced. Much to our disappointment, it is now the law of the land to permit other forms of “marriage.” The temptation is to go off and sulk in our holy corner. Or to dig in our heels and fight harder. Or to lash out in anger. Or to despair. We can do better. Like taking to heart especially the Beatitudes: Rejoice. Not in the decision, of course, but “Rejoice in the Lord always,” says Paul, “again I say rejoice.”

Alliance Defending Freedom: Supreme Court Marriage Decision – How Should We Respond?

As Ryan Anderson summed up recently, “Some say we should abandon the defense of marriage and retreat to only protecting religious-liberty exemptions … Others go further and suggest that we should simply disengage with politics entirely, retreat to our own communities, and rebuild a marriage subculture there.” But I agree with his assessment of what we should actually do: “We must continue to witness to the truth about marriage, find new ways to makethe reasoned case about what marriage is, and work to protect our freedoms to do so for the next generation. All of this must be done in service of the long-term goal of restoring a culture of marriage.”


Other Resources:

The Most Popular Bible Verses for Debating Gay Marriage

Alliance Defending Freedom Mega Post on Supreme Court Decision

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