The issue of same-sex marriage may be decided by the US Supreme Court by the end of the month, but that isn’t stopping a coaliton of clergy from speaking out against what they claim are threats to religious freedom. They are planning a rally in order to defend so-called traditional marriage.
It should be noted that what is claimed to be the traditional definition of marriage is not that old. In fact, what most people think of today as marriage is only thirty years old. Prior to a 1982 case that went to the US Supreme Court, it was still legal in some places for men to own everything that a woman brought into marriage, or earned during marriage.
Marriage was defined in much of the United States as being between men and women of the same race prior to 1967. Prior to that, it was illegal in the Colonies that would eventually form the United States for Catholics and all non-Anglicans to get married. Prior to that, marriage was defined in much of the world as being, in various places, between two individuals (Native North America), between a man and up to four women (the Muslim world), and so forth.
Not even the Bible has a firm definition as to what marriage is suppose to be, and the only society to have a strong tradition of opposite-sex two-person marriage is the ancient Greeks. The Greeks were not monogamous as they often engaged in same-sex relationships.
The coalition of clergy and their supporters are expected to gather outside the Allen County Courthouse in Indiana on 1 July to protest whatever the ruling is out of the US Supreme Court. Reverend Peter Scaer of Fort Wayne stated that “We have no inside knowledge as to the date or how the court will rule. … This is like reading tea leaves with the Supreme Court.”
He also said that the ruling will have an affect no matter what given that the state has delayed a ballot measure on enshrining marriage bigotry into their state constitution. Scaer stated “Regardless of the court’s decision, we as shepherds in the city of Churches are conscience-bound to proclaim marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We believe the July 1 marriage rally will give us an opportunity to let the community know that we will continue to teach marriage in truth and love according to the word of our Lord.”
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 sometime on 17, 20, 24, 26 or 27 June.
Despite the vocalness of the anti-gay movement, they have been losing ground across the US for years. Last year, Maine voted to gives same-sex couples marriage rights through the ballot box; Washington and Maryland upheld their marriage equality laws that way; and Minnesota rejected a marriage equality ban.