Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) found that the 14th amendment to the Constitution, the right to due process, includes the right of same-sex couples to marry. The decision was 5-4. It effectively imposes gay marriage on the entire nation: 50 States, D.C., Puerto Rico and other territories and possessions.
Quotes from the decision (“SCOTUS”) and from the dissenting opinions (each Justice) follow:
“Held: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.”
SCOTUS: “Finally, the First Amendment ensures that religions, those who adhere to religious doctrines, and others have protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.”
SCOTUS: “Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.”
SCOTUS: “Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate.”
Roberts’ dissenting opinion: “Today’s decision, for example, creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority—actually spelled out in the Constitution.”
Roberts’ dissenting opinion: “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.”
Roberts’ dissenting opinion: “If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision…. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it. I respectfully dissent.”
Thomas’ dissenting opinion: “Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect.”
Thomas’ dissenting opinion: “In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well…. Today’s decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples. The majority appears unmoved by that inevitability.”
How will this decision affect the Catholic Church and U.S. Catholics?
I suggest the following possible effects, with some of the more severe possibilities occurring later, rather than sooner.
* States and local governments might pass laws forbidding “discrimination” of same-sex marriages, in effect requiring individuals and small privately-owned companies to act against their conscience (e.g. those that providing wedding services). Persons who refuse will be fined, jailed, or driven out of the business
* Catholic adoption agencies may be forced to place children with same-sex couples, or shut down their service altogether
* Catholic schools may be forced to teach that gay marriage is a right
* Catholic schools may be forced to hire teachers who are gay married
* Catholic colleges may be forced to give housing to same-sex couples
Next, the culture will begin to compel Catholics and Catholic institutions to accept same-sex marriage and homosexuality.
* Companies might forbid products to be sold through their stores that express support for traditional marriage
* Publishing companies might refuse to publish books supporting traditional marriage
* Companies might search social media and decline to hire persons who have expressed the traditional view
* Employees known to oppose gay marriage might be fired or forced out, probably without explicitly stating the reason
* Businesses known to support traditional marriage might be picketed, boycotted, and forced out of business
* Politicians will now be under pressure to accept gay marriage; otherwise, their opponents will portray them as against the constitution
* Hatred of those who oppose gay marriage will now be seen as not hatred, but civil rights activism
* Catholic priests and religious will begin to depart from Church teaching, openly, in support of same-sex marriage and homosexuality, with the claim that the Church’s teaching violates human rights.
* The U.S. government might begin to link aid to developing nations to their laws on same-sex marriage
We live in a democracy, but our culture is totalitarian. It is an unthinking force, seeking to make us all think and act the same. “Resistance is futile.” “You will be assimilated.” There is no toleration for a diversity of opinions. Diversity is code for requiring acceptance of whatever the latest secular dogma may be. Today it is gay marriage. Tomorrow who knows?
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