From news headlines to Facebook, the most discussed, celebrated, hated, and debated topic in the U.S. this past week has been the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across the country. Both sides of the issue claim they are on the side of the Constitution. Today we bring you more than one perspective on this ruling.
Snippets from the Right
The Week
"By declaring government recognition of same-sex marriage a constitutional right rather than just voting it in as a popular decision for government policy, it sets up the state to intervene in the doctrine of houses of worship to force a change in their definitions of marriage. Even RFRA may not suffice to protect religious liberty in this case, now that the balancing test pits one constitutional right against another. Already some are calling for churches that refuse to comply to get penalized through the loss of tax exemptions, and Kennedy's opinion makes it clear that the majority only envision the rights of religious groups and individuals to 'advocate' for traditional marriage. For many smaller groups, a loss of tax exemption would wipe them out — and all of the other good work they do in their communities.Those who comply would exist in a similar space as 'official' churches in authoritarian nations such as China, where compliance with government edicts is the price to pay for avoiding closure by the state, through one means or another."
Snippets from the Left
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
"Some would prefer to pretend otherwise, but the Constitution did not come with an owner’s manual of how-to instructions for working through every conceivable situation across the centuries — instead, it outlined principles to serve as guideposts. Applying the Constitution’s terms to unforeseen circumstances does not go beyond the job of a judge; that is the job of a judge.
Even so, for generations, these broad constitutional protections stood side-by-side with state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT Americans. States criminalized same-sex relationships, banned same-sex marriages, and excluded their own citizens from anti-discrimination protections. This story isn’t new. For nearly a hundred years, systematic, state-sanctioned discrimination against African Americans coexisted with constitutional protections adopted after the Civil War specifically to prevent it. The lesson in both cases is that constitutional freedoms and liberties are meaningful only when our nation is courageous enough not to look away from them."
Snippets from the Center
"The battle over same-sex marriage may have drawn to a dramatic close Friday at the Supreme Court. But as several justices noted in forceful dissents, the war between religious and LGBT rights is far from over.
...fierce battles over religious and LGBT rights, like the one fought this spring in Indiana, seem likely to intensify across the country after Obergefell v. Hodges.While polls show that a majority of religious Americans now support same-sex marriage, many prominent groups -- such as the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- do not. Leaders from those groups pledged on Friday to seek legal means to shield their beliefs from state interference."