[Update 6pm CST] I spent today calling and texting my LGBT married friends around the country, congratulating them in this momentous ruling. I understand from doing life with them how important this decision is to their lives, their spouses and especially their children. The impact of today can never be overstated, as our nation’s legal arc towards an equal understanding of humanity can continue to be lived in to, now with LGBTs and marriage. Also, you can find The Marin Foundation’s official statement on our Facebook page and our Associate Director’s great post about today’s rulings and the Law of Love here.
There are new cultural starting points for the LGBT conversation. Our country has officially and dramatically shifted in less than a week. Well, kind of. Let me explain…
Exodus International closed last week.
This morning the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, now giving Federal protections to same-sex married couples in the States where gay marriage is legalized.
SCOTUS also ruled Prop 8 of no standing, thus, effectively making California the 13th State to allow gay marriage.
This means there is also a new political starting point.
Although there are currently 37 States that have legislation favoring traditional marriage, there is not much potentially stopping those remaining States to keep such policies–especially with the change in Federal legislation that no longer backs heterosexual marriages only. Although the previous sentence is still quite a leap, to suggest in the near-ish future gay marriage will be legalized throughout America, we must also understand the very real existence of about half of US citizens still do not favor legalizing gay marriage (although that number is dramatically decreasing).
As my social media feeds are blowing up with caution-to-the-wind excitement from LGBTs and progressives, and utter distain from most conservatives, this disconnect is far from over. I might even suggest that our new reality reshapes the entire culture war, thus rendering it a new beginning.
Therefore, the new political question is no longer
Should LGBT people be allowed to get married?
Will my State give LGBT couples the legal recognition and benefits of their marriage?
So in light of today’s rulings, I feel the new genesis for Christians, then, and anyone of faith, really, must begin and end not on gay marriage but on the religious freedom and protections the US Constitution gives those communities of faith and places of worship to practice in their Holy text’s theology. Which, in a number of individual situations, will go against today’s ruling.
One very encouraging note on the religious freedom and protection front came this morning from President Obama. He clearly reiterated the need to
…maintain our nation’s commitment to religious freedom [as vital]… and how religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions.
We must hold him, our nation’s policies moving forward, and each future President to those same commitments. You can read President Obama’s full statement here.
As a body of faith, whether people agree or disagree with the rulings, we must start functioning in the reality of this new world instead of continuing to function in one’s ideal, best case scenario, that does not exist. #MuchLove
I am curious to hear your thoughts on how we all must engage with each other from this point forward?