Citing God, the Bible, and the supposed best interests of children, leaders of the right wing was quick to condemn today’s Supreme Court rulings, but some also tried to put a positive spin on them.
Minnesota congresswoman and former presidential aspirant Michele Bachmann, one of the leading opponents of marriage equality, issued a statement soon after the rulings came out.
“Marriage was created by the hand of God,” she said. “No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted. For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations.
“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to join the trend, despite the clear will of the people’s representatives through DOMA. What the court has done will undermine the best interest of children and the best interests of the United States.”
Tim Huelskamp, a Republican congressman from Kansas, offered similar sentiments when speaking to reporters outside the court building. “The courts have allowed the desires of adults to trump the needs of our children,” he said, saying kids need a parent of each gender, and same-sex marriage denies them this. He also contended the rulings were contradictory, with the Defense of Marriage Act ruling saying states have the right to define marriage, but the Proposition 8 decision saying they don’t.
Also speaking outside the court, Evangelical Church Alliance spokesman Rob Schenck said the rulings “do not change biblical or timeless truth.”
“The Supreme Court has no authority when it comes to the nature of marriage,” he said. That authority belongs to the creator.”
However, he appeared to praise the DOMA ruling in one respect, in that it countered the federal government’s authority to interfere with state matters. “Another tooth has been extracted from the federal monster,” he said.
He also said, “The public conversation over marriage continues, and that is a good thing,” adding, “Today’s decisions are an invitation to look at same-sex couples and families differently,” with evangelicals being called upon to “minister” to them.
Activists with the American Family Association were not so sanguine. "As a country, if God's judgment has not been upon us before this, God's judgment will be," Fred Jackson said on an AFA radio broadcast. Sandy Rios, being interviewed by Jackson on the phone, said she kept hearing shouts of "DOMA's dead," adding, "I thought that was pretty metaphorical, marriage is kind of dead too, for the future of this country."
The National Organization for Marriage called the rulings "illegitmate" and said they created "a stench."
NOM president Brian Brown, in a statement on the group's website, had this to say about the Prop. 8 ruling: "In a miscarriage of justice the U..S Supreme Court has refused to consider the decision of a single federal court judge to overturn the perfectly legal action of over 7 million California voters who passed Proposition 8 defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Supreme Court's holding that proponents of an initiative had no legal right to appeal ignores California law and rewards corrupt politicians for abandoning their duty to defend traditional marriage laws. It's imperative that Congress continue to preserve the right of states to protect true marriage and refuse to recognize faux marriages performed in other states or countries."
He added, "There is a stench coming from this case that has now stained the Supreme Court. They've allowed corrupt politicians and judges to betray the voters, rewarding them for their betrayal. It's an illegitimate decision. We and millions of other Americans will refuse to accept this rogue decision rewarding corruption."
On DOMA, he noted that section 2 of the law, which allows states to deny recognition to same-sex marriages from other states, was not addressed in the decision and remains intact. He urged Congress "to reject the inevitable attempts to dismantle remaining elements of DOMA."
Like Huelskamp, Brown saw contradiction in the rulings, saying the DOMA decision calls into question federal judge Vaughn Walker's invalidation of Prop. 8. "The only other saving grace of the Supreme Court's decisions today is that they refused to go along with the urgings of Ted Olson and David Boies to find a constitutional right to same-sex ‘marriage,'" he added.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins also expressed relief that "the court today did not impose the sweeping nationwide redefinition of natural marriage that was sought." Seeking the most positive interpretation — for his side — of today's news, he said, in a statement on the group's blog, "Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex ‘marriage.’ As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify."
He continued, “We are encouraged that the court learned from the disaster of Roe v. Wade and refrained from redefining marriage for the entire country. However, by striking down the federal definition of marriage in DOMA, the Court is asserting that Congress does not have the power to define the meaning of words in statutes Congress itself has enacted. This is absurd."
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