Archbishop Coakley Issues Statement on Judge’s Decision Overturning Oklahoma’s Definition of Marriage

My personal religious leader, Archbishop Paul Coakley issued a statement this afternoon concerning yesterday’s decision by a federal judge to overturn Oklahoma’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Here, without any dissembling from me, is Archbishop Coakley’s Statement.

Coakley statement ok marriage decision

Text of the message:


Archbishop Coakley on ruling on Oklahoma marriage amendment: “Neither church nor state can alter the basic meaning of marriage”

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 15, 2014) – U.S. District Judge Terence Kern yesterday ruled that an Oklahoma constitutional amendment that defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman” violates the U.S. constitution.

The Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, today said he is profoundly disappointed by the decision.

“This ruling is cause for great concern,” the archbishop said. “It thwarts the common good, which depends upon the willingness of societal leaders to uphold basic truths about our humanity. The reality of marriage as ‘the union of one man and one woman’ is just such a basic truth. The majority of Oklahomans recognize this. That Judge Kern chooses to ignore it is deeply disappointing.

“Ultimately, neither church nor state can alter the reality of marriage – but we can delude ourselves about its definition. Maintaining the illusion that genderless marriage is possible comes at a cost to all of us, though. It obscures the facts that only the union between a man and a woman brings forth children and that every child has a father and a mother and deserves to know and relate to them, even though tragic circumstances sometimes render that impossible. That we would willingly deprive children of the opportunity to grow up with mother and father is especially troubling.

“Now more than ever, I will pray for a renewed respect for the reality and the authentic goods of marriage among the leaders of our nation.”


  • Manny

    It’s very hard to read Rebecca. Is there a link to a site?

    • hamiltonr

      I put the text of the message below the original press release. Is that better?

      • Manny

        Yes, thank you.

      • pagansister

        Yes, reading is possible now—I almost write to you but Manny got there first—Thanks Manny. :-)

  • JohnE_o

    My wife and I married with the intent of not having children and I was surgically sterilized long before I met her.

    Should our State have not issued us a marriage license because of this?

    • Theodore Seeber

      Yes. They shouldn’t have. If there is one thing the gay marriage advocacy has pounded into my head with a sledgehammer, it is that DINKS don’t deserve tax breaks for being DINKS.

      I don’t know what we’re going to do about the first amendment problems surrounding marriage- but one thing I’d sure like to see is an end to tax breaks for people without children.

      • FW Ken

        Actually, children create tax deductions. I don’t have any, so my tax bill is larger.

        • Theodore Seeber

          The rate for married filing jointly, on your W2 alone, means that you have a greater amount of takehome pay for both spouses.

          The only case where this reverses, is when both spouses are high wage earners.

    • pesq87

      JohnE, the USSC has protected your right to marry your wife, by determining that it is a fundamental right and your inability to procreate is an invalid reason to deny you a marriage license. Pretty good country, huh?

      • FW Ken

        Citation, please.

        • pesq87

          FWK, you cant be serious, but here you go. 14 in total.

          Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 205, 211 (1888); Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923); Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541
          (1942); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 486 (1965); Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967); Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371, 376, 383 (1971); Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632,
          639-40 (1974); Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 499 (1977); Carey v. Population Services International, 431 U.S. 678, 684-85 (1977); Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374, 384 (1978); Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 95 (1987); Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992); M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 519 U.S. 102, 116 (1996); Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 574 (2003).

          • FW Ken

            I’m familiar with Lawrence, which has nothing to do with marriage being a “right”. I wonder if you are lying about the others. I’ll look at the others, though.

            And for the record, Lawrence was a lie as well.

            • pesq87

              Go for it, Ken. Each of the above cases are exactly what you requested: citations to cases where the USSC states over and over and over and over that Marriage is a fundamental right. And that’s a GOOD thing. As I said above, it’s a great country.

              • pesq87

                …. crickets …

                As I expected.

                • FW Ken

                  Actually, I’m sick and since you lied about Lawrence, you have sunk pretty low on my list of priorities. However, some general reading fails to find a fundamental right to marry whoever you wish, only that restrictions on this purported “right” must be well-founded. Specifically, the claim to a right for same sex couples is based on the right to equal protections.

                  • pesq87

                    FWKen, I’m sorry you are not feeling well. Also, I’m not sure if I am meant to reply to your charge that am lying about the Lawrence decision. I’ve been a lawyer for over 20 years and when lawyers disagree with a reasoned legal conclusion they say ‘I disagree because…” or “I dissent because….” But in my experience accusing someone of fibbing doesn’t usually come into the picture. If you believe I have prevaricated I assure you I have not. Nonetheless, I respect your right to disagree with legal reasoning of the United States Supreme Court or any other court.

                    The fact remains, though, in answer to the original question, that on 14 separate occasions the United States Supreme Court has held civil marriage to be so important that it is a fundamental right of citizens:

                    1888: “the most important relation in life”
                    1942: “one of the basic civil rights of man,”
                    1967: “one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”
                    1971: “a fundamental human relationship.”
                    1978: “of fundamental importance for all individuals.”
                    1987: ” a fundamental right” and an “expression[ ] of emotional support and public commitment.”

                    None of those quotes are from the 2003 Lawrence decision, which I take it you believe was wrongly decided.

                    And no, you will not find in the case law a “fundamental right to marry whoever you wish.” That’s not what the line of cases say.

                    To my knowledge, the point is – and the reason that legal gay marriage is advancing so rapidly in this country is — that because the right to marry is so important, so fundamental, such a vital personal right, that before our governmental overlords are able to legally step in and deny a citizen this fundamental right, the government must first show that the government has a compelling reason to deny this right to the applicant.

                    JohnE’s question above was RIGHT on point. Does the government have a compelling reason to deny him his fundamental right to form a marriage? No.

                    The courts across the country that are called upon to look at this issue are experiencing an inability to come up with a compelling state interest for denying this fundamental right to gay people.

                    • FW Ken

                      Lawrence overturned sodomy laws. It did not establish a right to marry. I personally think the law it overturned was stupid to start with and never heard of anyone funded for breaking it, at least in Texas. Like the Matthew Shepherd case, it was used to advance an agenda without respect to the actual facts of the case. Three guys came home to have sex, one felt left out, got jealous, and involved the police. That’s one version. I tend to believe it because I’ve known gays who did that.

                      And yet this purported right to marry is hardly absolute. For example, the right to marry a close relative is abridged, in the eugenics era, mentally impaired people were not allowed to marry. And in all of history, “marriage” between two persons of the same sex is unknown.

                    • pesq87

                      Ken, please put aside Lawrence v Texas for a moment, as it’s causing you to lose sight of the issue. (Focus on the 13 other cases I cited. That’s a lot of jurisprudence). Please ALSO put aside your use of the word “absolute”, as that is your word (not mine), I never said the right to marry is absolute, and in my opinion even introducing the concept of a broad absolute right to anything can only confuse this issue.

                      What I AM saying is that I agree with the USSC that the right to marry is a fundamental right of a citizen, and if the gov is going to deny a marriage license to a guy on the street they must have a compelling reason to do so.

                      And darn it, merely telling me “because…. history” just isn’t a compelling enough reason to deny a citizen a fundamental right in this great country.

                    • FW Ken

                      Whatever. The point is the narcissism and arrogance of this culture. Of which same-sex marriage is a single piece.

                      My argument had always been that any particular relationship, sexual or not, should serve a function if it’s going to get social benefits. Otherwise, shack up and have a good time. I certainly don’t care.

                  • pagansister

                    FW Ken, I hope you are feeling much better!!!

                    • FW Ken

                      Thank you, PS. The vertigo is passed. The headache is abating as well. Probably an intestinal virus.

                    • pagansister

                      Glad to hear it!

  • ahermit

    Love is winning. Get over it.

    • FW Ken

      Actually, power is winning. Love is content with love. Gay rights advocates are demonstrating a deep need for control.

      • ahermit

        No, it’s power that wants to deny loving couples equal protection under the law. Love says let them in.

        • FW Ken

          If that were true, they would not be so violent against people who disagree with them. They won, yet the rage increases. This has been true every step of the way and demonstrates the fundamental disorder at work.

          • ahermit

            Who is being violent? According to the FBI anti-gay hate crimes have increased in recent years.

            Love is winning, and that seems to be making some people very angry…

            • FW Ken

              Yeah, I saw that statistic. The many gay people I’ve known were mostly at risk from their gay partners.

              • ahermit

                Women are most likely to be assaulted or murdered by their male partners; is that an argument against heterosexual marriage?

                In fact, heterosexual marriages are statistically more violent than gay or lesbian relationships.


                Among women with a history of same-sex partnership:

                30.4% were raped, assaulted or stalked by their husband/male partner

                11.4% were raped, assaulted or stalked by their wife/female partner.

                And among men with a history of same-sex partnership:

                10.8% were raped, assaulted, or stalked by their wife/female partner.

                15.4% were raped, assaulted, or stalked by their husband/male partner.”


                “So here is what it all means. Many women with a history of same-sex partnership also have a history of opposite-sex partnership. Because of that, they are far more likely to report being raped, assaulted or stalked because it is the men in their lives who are doing the raping, assaulting or stalking. Not the women. Same-sex cohabiting women were nearly three times more likely to report being victimized by a male partner than a female partner.

                And here is where the statistic gets really interesting: 20.5% of women in opposite sex relationships were raped, assaulted or stalked by their husband or male partner. That compares to 15.4% of men who were raped, assaulted, or stalked by their male partners. In other words, gay men are safer around their same-sex partners than straight women are around their husbands or opposite-sex partner.”

                • FW Ken

                  Except of course, we weren’t talking about marital violence of any kind, but the hate and rage that gays have exhibited at every successful step. Ted recently linked the shenanigans in Massachusetts against anyone who stands up to the gay bullies.

                  • ahermit

                    Except of course, we weren’t talking about marital violence

                    You raised the issue yourself in the preceding comment when you said:

                    The many gay people I’ve known were mostly at risk from their gay partners.

                    Some in the LGBT community are quite angry, but can you blame them? They are treated like second class citizens, denied their rights, insulted and demeaned and lied about by people like you at every turn. And it is they, not their persecutors who have been the victims of violence; violence which has increases in recent year according to the FBI.

            • FW Ken

              I notice that the Wiki article includes Matthew Shepherd as a hate crime, although it’s been exposed, by a gay man, as drug-related. I wonder how many of these cases are put-up jobs. There is also a discrepancy for the years (2010?) When the actual FBI stats identified one murder of a man purportedly due to being gay. I wonder how many boys were raped by gay men that year? See, you want to play the numbers game, it goes two ways.

              • Sus_1

                I read Stephen Jimenez’s book about the Matthew Shepherd case. The evidence he based his whole book around was an anonymous letter. Nothing in the book convinced me of anything.

                When searching for a link I couldn’t find anything credible for either side.

                • FW Ken

                  I don’t suppose the 100 primary source interviews that confirmed the anonymous letter had any impact?


                  In fact, essentially the same story was reported in 2006


                  The only question that’s unclear is whether Shepherd was dealing or buying the meth. My guess is both. And whether maintaining the Homophobic Murder myth is worth ignoring the destructive power of methamphetamines, especially in the gay world.

  • pagansister

    Marriage between a man and a woman is not required to bring forth children. No couple should have children if they do not want them. Couples can be perfectly happy in each others company. In the case of SS marriage? If the partners wish to have a family? A personal decision just as that of a heterosexual union, but circumstances require different methods obviously. To me it all boils down to equal rights for everyone, and not allowing those that do not conform to what some feel is a definition of marriage are being discriminated against. I know many disagree, it is just my opinion.

    • hamiltonr

      Two people of the same sex can bring forth children from their own bodies. Adoption is one question and it can be discussed. However, these egg harvesting/surrogacy farms degrade, dehumanize and endanger women. I put it down there with prostitution and farming people’s bodies for organs. The doctors who do it should lose their license to practice medicine. They should also be 100% liable for the damages they do to the women, and if there is any serious injury (there always will be) they should go to prison.

      • pagansister

        I totally understand where you are coming from. I think adoption is a way to go for male SS couples, but then again I’m not a male married to another male. Female SS couples have the option of a sperm donor if they choose to not adopt. Women who choose to be surrogates (for money) or egg donors (for money) I agree should think long and hard. The doctors? Ethics are involved here. I do not totally disagree with what you said above.