By Elizabeth Tenety
Religion roundup on Prop 8 ruling:
In the immediate aftermath of Wednesday’s ruling that deemed Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, unconstitutional, it was mostly religious organizations opposed to gay marriage that spoke out.
Below is a roundup of religious responses; this list will be updated as more congregations and religious organizations weigh in.
“Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of any society. The misuse of law to change the nature of marriage undermines the common good,” Cardinal George said. “It is tragic that a federal judge would overturn the clear and expressed will of the people in their support for the institution of marriage. No court of civil law has the authority to reach into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined.”
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regrets today’s decision. California voters have twice been given the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage in their state and both times have determined that marriage should be recognized as only between a man and a woman. We agree. Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of society.”
“Marriage is recognized as a public institution, rather than a purely private one, because of its role in bringing together men and women for the reproduction of the human race and keeping them together to raise the children produced by their union. The fact that homosexuals prefer not to enter into marriages as historically defined does not give them a right to change the definition of what a ‘marriage’ is.”
“Traditional Jewish values recognize marriage as being only between a man and woman. In addition to our religious values – which we do not seek to impose on anyone – we fear legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” poses a grave threat to the fundamental civil right of religious freedom.”
“Justice is advancing thanks to today’s ruling affirming Californians’ constitutional right to marriage in faithful, same-gender relationships.”
“Proposition 8, adopted by ballot initiative in 2008, effectively denies gay and lesbian individuals the same rights afforded heterosexual couples under the law. Judge Walker’s decision reaffirms the strong commitment to equality upon which our nation is built.”
Rev. Welton Gaddy, Baptist minister and President of Interfaith Alliance:
“We are pleased to see that Judge Vaughn Walker was sensitive to the concerns of people of faith who oppose same-gender marriage on religious grounds but that he recognized, as do we, that their religious freedom will not be impacted by the legalization of same-gender marriage. America’s diverse religious landscape leaves room for a variety of theological perspectives on same-gender marriage; indeed, some faiths enthusiastically support it and others vehemently oppose it. Under this ruling, as with any constitutionally based marriage equality law, no religion would ever be required to condone same-gender marriage, and no member of the clergy would ever be required to perform a wedding ceremony not in accordance with his or her religious beliefs.”
“NOM is confident that the Supreme Court will affirm the basic civil rights of millions of American voters to define marriage as one man and one woman.”
“Judge Walker’s ruling raises a shocking notion that a single federal judge can nullify the votes of more than 7 million California voters, binding Supreme Court precedent, and several millennia-worth of evidence that children need both a mom and a dad.”
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director of Lutherans Concerned/North America:
“Here we are, 1,977 years from the death of Christ. Proposition 8 has been ruled unconstitutional, Mexico’s Supreme Court has upheld same-gender marriage in Mexico City, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America allows ministers in committed same-gender relationships to serve in the church, the United Church of Christ has for some years now, the Presbyterian Church USA is studying same-gender marriage, offers benefits to same-gender spouses of church employees, and is looking to abolish the ban on clergy in same-gender committed relationships. A month ago, another federal court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. It is clear in God’s world and this world: it does not matter how “traditional” it is, how long you thought slavery was ok, how long you denied women the vote in the land of the free and the home of the brave, how long after a bloody Civil War states were still denying basic rights to a minority, or how many voters you stack up who want to continue to deny a minority something the Constitution views as a right. We are terribly slow learners, we human beings, and frail. We fall short of our promise and the words we say. That’s why the Constitution of the United States enshrines how majorities are to behave regarding minorities: they can’t vote them to be unequal. Christ has to be pleased: we are finally getting it, and that happens to be how God works too.” – Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America