Responses to marriage ruling run the gamut

By: - June 26, 2015 12:07 pm

While equality advocates are universally celebrating today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, critics have issued mixed responses.

Not surprisingly, Equality NC hailed the decision:

“Chris Sgro, Equality NC’s executive director, called this ‘a historic day’ for the United States and the state of North Carolina.’Today’s ruling granting loving, same-sex couples the freedom to marry across our United States is a historic moment for our country, and for tens of thousands of same-sex families who call our state home,’ said Sgro. ‘With it, gays and lesbians in every corner of the United States will finally be able to marry the person they love. Today, love won and we celebrate all who have worked tirelessly over many decades to change hearts and minds and make this ruling a possibility.’

Sgro added, ‘Even as we celebrate, we know our progress does not and will not end at the Supreme Court. Same-sex couples can legally marry in North Carolina—and the very same day, be denied public services, fired from their job or denied housing simply because of who they are. With these harsh realities in mind, Equality NC remains committed to fighting for full equality for LGBT North Carolinians wherever they work or live.’”

And this is from the ACLU:

“‘The Supreme Court today welcomed same-sex couples fully into the American family. Gay and lesbian couples and our families may be at peace knowing that our simple request to be treated like everyone else – that is, to be able to participate in the dignity of marriage – has finally been granted,’ said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV Project. ‘Today’s historic victory comes on the backs of same-sex couples and advocates who have worked for decades to dismantle harmful stereotypes and unjust laws in the quest for equal treatment.’

The court’s 5-4 opinion holds that state marriage bans violate the due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Recognizing that ‘marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death,’ the Court held that the Constitution grants to same-sex couples the right to “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”

‘Today’s decision has been 50 years in the making and will stand with Brown vs. Board of Education as one of the landmark civil rights moments of our time,’ said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. ‘Now we take the battle for full legal equality to the states, where 31 states have yet to pass any statewide LGBT non-discrimination laws. The wind is at our backs, and we are now on the cusp of achieving full legal equality for LGBT Americans across the country.'”

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger offered somewhat muted criticism:

“The majority of North Carolina voters who define marriage as between one man and one woman deserved a final resolution from the Supreme Court. while this decision is disappointing, we respect the ruling and will continue to work to ensure North Carolina complies with the law of the land.”

Meanwhile conservative social warriors were scathing in their reaction. 

This is from the N.C. Family Policy Council:

“’This is a dark day for our nation, but it is not the end of the story,’ said John L. Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. ‘The U.S. Supreme Court has declared war on marriage, children, and religious freedom in the United States, and rather than repair a rift, this opinion is going to ignite a fire across our land. The Supreme Court did not change the true and fundamental definition of ‘life’ in Roe v. Wade, and it will not change the true and fundamental definition of ‘marriage’ in Obergefell v. Hodges. ‘Truth’ remains ‘Truth,’ regardless of another misguided opinion that has been handed down by this court.’”

Tami Fitzgerald of the N.C. Values Coalition was similarly apoplectic:

“This landmark decision will bring peril to family structure and stability and will threaten the religious liberties upon which our country was founded. We must guaranty that North Carolinians whose religious beliefs are violated by this decision will have the continuing freedom to act on their beliefs.”

For sheer wackiness, however, Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee may have taken the cake thus far. According to Talking Point Memo, the Huckster is apparently contemplating some sort of resistance:

“‘The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage,’ Huckabee said in the statement. ‘I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.’”

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Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

NC Newsline Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors and voices regular commentaries, and hosts the 'News & Views' weekly radio show/podcast.