Encouraging the Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the cases that could bring nationwide marriage equality — consolidated and known as Obergefell v. Hodges — the Justices had access to numerous friend-of-the-court briefs encouraging a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs seeking the freedom to marry and the recognition of their marriages by all states.  The Covenant Network was pleased to participate as an amicus curiae, joining a number of other faith-based groups in affirming that

…civil recognition of same-sex relationships through lawful marriage is fundamentally consistent with the religious pluralism woven into the fabric of American law, culture, and society. Reversal in these cases would not “take sides” with one religious view against another or constitute an attack on religion. Nor would it signal an impermissible judicial imprimatur on changing social mores. Rather, reversal would recognize the creative tension inherent in religions’ interface with our pluralistic, changing society while confirming that all, regardless of faith, are entitled to equal protection under the law.

The Argument

I.   A Wide Cross-Section Of American Religious Traditions Recognizes The Dignity Of Lesbian And Gay Citizens’ Relationships And Families

A.  The Inherent Dignity Of Lesbian And Gay Individuals Informs The Theology Of Numerous Religious Believers And Bodies

B.  A Vast Spectrum Of American Faith Groups And Religious Observers Affirms Same-Sex Couples’ Relationships In A Multitude Of Ways, Including By Celebrating And Solemnizing Their Marriages

II. Recognizing The Necessary Distinction Between Civil And Religious Marriage, A Growing Number Of Faiths Support Civil Marriage Equality

III. Civil Marriage Equality For Same-Sex Couples Will Not Prejudice Religious Belief Or Practice, But Rather Will Prevent One Set Of Religious Beliefs From Being Imposed Through Civil Law

A. Reversal Would Not Interfere With The Freedom To Set Parameters For Religiously Sanctioned Marriage That May Differ From Those Established Under Civil Law

B. Civil Marriage Of Same-Sex Couples Does Not Unconstitutionally Burden Religious Conscience Or Exercise In Commercial Or Other Public Settings

C. While Amici Respect All Fellow Faiths, Including Those That Embrace Different Religious Views
On Marriage, It Is Constitutionally Impermissible To Impose Religious Views Through Civil Law To Curtail Civil Marriage Rights Of Same-Sex Couples

You can read the brief here.



  1. http://Carol%20Robinson says

    Let’s all push with our legislators for Legal Life Partnerships to be granted by government. Just as same sex partnership advocates hope for respect for their set of beliefs, those who respectfully disagree based on their set of religious beliefs deserve the same respect. The sooner we decouple sexual morality and judgement of that sexual morality (which comes from our religious beliefs and differs from faith tradition to faith tradition) from legal partnership granted by government, the sooner we can stop the divisive discussion. One of the great strengths of our country is separation of church and state for just this reason, because we will not all agree on religious matters. Legal Life Partnerships will accommodate the spectrum of beliefs in our pluralistic society. Live and let live. What would be a disaster is if we allow the government to over reach its authority and persecute or even arrest leaders of churches, temples and mosques for their deeply held religious convictions. Let’s push together for a way to peacefully coexist with those in other faith traditions who respectfully disagree.

  2. http://Gene%20O'Dell says

    The conservatives fought tooth and nail against civil unions. Offering the idea as a consolation prize now? No.
    Marriage. Like the ones that our pastors in our churches will, starting on the 21st will be able to perform, be they marriages of opposite gender, or same gender couples. That is the option.
    No one, (no one) but conservatives who are in near hysterics and shock over losing this argument are saying anyone is going to ever be arrested or persecute any religious leader for her or his stance on this issue or refusal to perform a ceremony. Find where you first read or heard that, and delete that news source from your computer. It is not trustworthy.
    Just as no one has EVER forced a Roman Catholic priest to marry a Hindu to a Jew in his church, or a Roman Catholic to a Lutheran for that matter, nor has any Presbyterian ever had to marry a Presbyterian to a Baptist against his or her will, or been persecuted for not agreeing to do so, nor ever will, so will no clergyperson ever been persecuted for not performing a marriage ceremony of a same gender couple. And, before the sad straw argument of “but look at that baker and that florist” comes up, which I suspect it might, I will simply remind you that unlike a baker or florist whose business is public and open for all and in no way truly tied to being a part of the ceremony, the church is not, and the Pastor/Priest/Imam/Rabbi, IS involved directly in the ceremony, so rights of refusal will apply. There is no problem here, just a scare tactic on the part of desperate conservatives who have mislead you. The same ones who have mistakenly lead you to believe that acknowledging someones marriage in any way in any manner or way disrespectful to anyone.

    We can all, I am sure, get along just fine in this society. Those who wish to enter into same gender marriages will do so. those who do not will not be forced to enter into them (shot gun marriages aside, who is ever forced into a marriage?) and pastors wont be forced to perform them any more than they have been forced to marry other couples whom they did not wish to. that is live an let live. We will all attend, enter into, and perform the marriages we are called to, and legally may do so, and everyone else will do the same. That, and no other way is how we will live and let live.
    there is, and will be, no other option.

Comments will go through moderation before they are posted. Those wishing to leave a comment must include their full name and a working email address, and all comments must be respectful and civil. Personal, ad hominem, or anonymous comments will not be allowed.