Thursday, June 27, 2013

Supreme Court and same-sex "marriage"

Opinions are abounding on the consequences of the Supreme Court's rulings issued yesterday on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and its dismissal of a defense of California's Proposition 8 (a ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage (SSM) in California).

In the DOMA case, the Court struck down Section 3 of the law but left the rest of the law intact. The struck section forbade federal recognition of same-sex couples as married, reserving it for only male-female married couples.

In the Prop 8 case, the Court ruled that the challenge to a lower court's ruling invalidating Prop 8 had no standing before the Court because the plaintiffs were private citizens who had no standing to mount the challenge. This left the lower court's ruling unaffected and Prop 8 remains therefore overturned by the lower court.

So what is the potential effect on the United Methodist Church? According to our Book of Discipline, which is our canon law, UM clergy will not perform any type of ceremony validating same-sex "marriage," no matter where performed or under what name they may be called. Furthermore, such ceremonies may not be performed on any UM Church property, no matter who officiates, Methodist or not.

I hope to post a thorough response soon, but for now, here are some links that I commend to you.

UM Reporter: "US Court rulings impact same-sex couples"

My own relevant post, "State should do weddings, Church marriages"

"A secular argument against same-sex marriage"

"IRS could revoke non-profit status for religious institutions over same-sex marriage"

"The Supreme Court’s Marriage Decisions by the Numbers," by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which says nothing much has changed as the result of either ruling.

"Justice Anthony Kennedy's contempt" at Politico

"Marriage Is Dead And The Church Is Next," at National Catholic Register

"The Impact of Today’s Gay Marriage Decisions," by Constitutional Law Prof. Ilya Somin.

And don't overlook, "The Case for Polygamy" at Daily Caller

"Gay lobby’s next target: Benefits in all 50 states" at The Hill