The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday made marriage for same-sex couples legal nationwide, declaring that refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples violates the Constitution. The landmark ruling will produce the most significant change in laws governing matrimony since the court struck down state bans on inter-racial marriage almost 50 years ago.
The majority opinion in the 5-4 decision was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were," Kennedy wrote. "As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death." Kennedy went on to speak directly to the type of criticism that often comes from conservatives in pushing back against marriage equality.
"It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves," Kennedy said. "Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
A total of 36 states now permit gay couples to get married, covering roughly 70 percent of the US population. Today's ruling means the bans must end in the other 14 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
The decision capped a remarkably quick turnaround in public and judicial acceptance of same-sex marriage. In the past 18 months, court rulings struck down marriage bans in rapid succession — nearly 60 separate decisions in more than half the states. Public opinion has shifted dramatically in recent years. The first Gallup poll on the subject showed only 27 percent approval for same-sex marriage in 1996. Gallup's most recent poll, taken last month, showed 60 percent approval.
Those figures illustrate a remarkable slide into sin and apostasy. Remarkable. But it is what happens when a person or a nation worships the creation rather than the Creator. Once one sets aside the Creator, it is for all practical purposes, inevitable. Romans 1 shows the slide, beginning in verse 18. And once hardened, it is inescapable. Here is the salient portion of the Romans passage for today's news:
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
|They applaud the perversity. Source|
But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” (Genesis 19:4-5)
Every last man in the entire city surrounded a house that contained fresh, attractive meat. Gang rape was on their mind. Of course, we in the US are not to the point of gay gang rapers marauding from house to house in search of victims, but today in our nation, our new name has become Sodom. Here is Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis, the Genesis apologetics site, offered his reaction to today's news.
This ruling by the Supreme Court in regard to gay "marriage" is actually going to fundamentally change the culture in America and apart from a miracle of God—a special movement of God—this is going to be basically an irreversible situation. And I really believe that to understand what is happening to America now, read Romans chapter 1. That is really a picture of what is going on. We’re going to see increased persecution against Christians; we’re going to see increased antagonism toward Christianity. We’re going to see the restriction of the free exercise of religion, freedom of religion, and free speech in this nation, particularly in regard to Christianity. I believe we’re going to see the government move against Christian churches, colleges, institutions, and organizations that take a stand on biblical marriage as God commands us to in the Bible going back to the book of Genesis.
As Jesus stated in Matthew, "Have ye not read, that He that made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh’? Therefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matthew 19:4–7).
Perhaps He will release the SCOTUS proponents from their sin and they will repent. That would be a Good to emerge from this. Perhaps this hastened the day of the rapture, and that would be a good thing. Perhaps this will weed out false or waffling pastors when confronted with the local, legal reality of the decision, and perhaps would solidify others to a stronger biblical stance. Those would be a good things.
Commentary on today's Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage?
First, an inerrant analysis; then a personal promise.
1. The inerrant analysis (and it isn't pretty):
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper (Romans 1:24-28)
This ruling is depraved and improper. Game over.
2. A personal promise (in complete reliance on God's future grace):
I, and thousands of pastors like me, along with countless biblical Christians who have not bowed the knee to Baal, will never, ever affirm this decision or yield to its illegitimate demand on conscience.
I will gladly tell homosexuals that their sins can be forgiven through repentance and faith in Christ. I will show them human kindness and courtesy.
But I will never offer them false comfort about the eternal consequences of their lifestyle choices. "Do not be deceived: homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
I will never yield to their threats. I will not be silenced. "Do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled" (1 Peter 3:14).
For those who harden their hearts against this biblical truth, I say this: enjoy your legal victory today, but understand how fleeting and empty it is.
A transcendent Judge will one day reverse this Supreme Court. And the nakedness society celebrates today will be shown the nakedness God condemns.
Nary a fig leaf will give you cover in the searching presence of offended, omniscient Holiness. You will give account for your sin, and a transient 5-4 verdict from the U.S. Supreme Court will not justify you on that Day.
For those who belong to Christ: this world was never our home. Let us look confidently to our Rock and Refuge. He will yet have the final say, and He will never forsake or abandon us.
We will not bow our knee to Baal. We will proclaim a righteous and just Jesus who can and does redeem the wicked from their sins, whatever their sins are. The age of grace is not over.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)