Time for a Hard Truth: The Religious Right Lost on Marriage Equality

Church & State, September 2015 | Go to article overview

Time for a Hard Truth: The Religious Right Lost on Marriage Equality


Marriage equality was extended nationwide by the Supreme Court on June 26. The foundations of the country have not collapsed, and, to no one's surprise, millions of opposite-sex couple marriages remain intact.

In short, the sky hasn't fallen. For just about everyone, life is going on much the way it did on June 25. The exceptions are the same-sex couples who are now able to receive the benefits and protections that legal marriage confers. This is a profound change for them and a welcome one.

Nevertheless, many of our friends in the Religious Right are not taking this well. They have cooked up various schemes to undermine the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling. These range from the far-fetched to the truly daft. All will collapse eventually, many of them under the weight of their own absurdity.

For example, the Liberty Counsel, a third-tier right-wing legal group that operates out of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, has been circulating a petition urging county clerks to refuse to grant wedding licenses to same-sex couples.

Few clerks have been foolish enough to sign this "Declaration of Dependence on God" because they know it's a one-way ticket to the unemployment line. The ones who have will soon be brought into compliance through legal action or sent off to find jobs in the private sector.

In Oklahoma, a state legislator has insisted that lawmakers there can simply "nullify" the high court ruling by declaring it inoperative in the Sooner State. Sen. Josh Brecheen claims that this power exists in the Tenth Amendment, and at least two Republican presidential candidates U.S. Sen Ted Cruz and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee--have flirted with the idea as well.

Of course, such strange notions find no safe harbor in our Constitution; they ferment only in the fevered imaginations of the far right. …

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