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Religious Tolerance logo

"United States v. Windsor" lawsuit succeeds in having part of
federal DOMA law ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court

2013-JUN-26: More reactions to the Supreme Court's
ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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The acronym "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."
The acronym "DOMA" refers to the Defense of Marriage Act
"SCOTUS" refers to the Supreme Court of the United States

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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  • Dan Cathy, president of the Chick fil-A fast food chain has made many controversial statements against same-sex marriage in the past. This time, he tweeted:

    "Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies." 1

    Bill Maher on his HBO program Real Time suggested that Cathy must be able to channel the founding fathers who have been dead for centuries, because they have never been known to have expressed an opinion about lesbians, gays, homosexuals, bisexuals, or same-sex marriage. In fact, the term "homosexual" was only coined in the late 19th century.

  • Keegan O'Brien, editor of The Rainbow Times -- a pro-gay equality group -- wrote:

    "Wednesday June 26th 2013 will be a day that’s remembered in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history, and our community’s long and turbulent struggle for full equality. ... "

    "... when I first heard the news of the Supreme Courts rulings, first on DOMA then Prop 8, and I instantly broke into tears. I was overtaken by an overwhelming feeling of joy as Facebook statuses and news updates celebrating the victory continued to pour across my computer screen. On some level, I was in shock, I almost couldn’t believe it. Even in 2013, being gay in this society isn’t easy. The daily emotional and psychological trauma we endure for living outside the sexual and gender norms of a deeply homophobic society takes its toll on all of us; from higher rates of family rejection, homelessness, suicide, mental health problems, and substance abuse to everyday feelings of depression, insecurity, and alienation. So, to have the most powerful court in the country declare—even if it’s only partially—that we are human beings deserving of equal treatment under the law, is a pretty profound experience. Victories like this not only provide very real and important material improvements to our lives, especially for working class queer couples, while also taking us a step closer toward equality and liberation, they also restore in oppressed people a basic sense of human dignity, self-worth, and confidence that oppression, discrimination, and violence continuously rip away from us. In doing so, they imbue us with the sense of confidence and pride required to hold our heads up high and keep fighting for more. For anyone genuinely concerned with justice and equality for LGBTQ people, this week’s historic ruling is a victory to celebrate. ..."

    "... our dream of full equality is far from achieved. We cannot consider ourselves free and equal as long as 37 states maintain constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, 29 states lack any employment protection for sexual orientation and 37 states for gender identity and expression, there persists a shameful and obscene epidemic of queer youth homelessness and suicide, queer youth lack access to safe schools and relevant curriculum, LGBTQ people lack access to safe, accepting, and accessible healthcare and housing,  too many queer people of color remain locked inside prisons and detention centers because they’ve been victimized by our country’s racially discriminatory and unfair criminal justice and immigration systems, or while LGBTQ people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Palestine continue to live under the bombs and violence of American militarism. While full LGBTQ equality and social justice includes marriage equality, it also extends far beyond on it, and our vision of freedom must encompass the struggles of LGBTQ people everywhere, not just those of us within America’s borders." 2

    Curiously, O'Brien does not mention the predominately Muslim countries of the world where being gay or lesbian can get a person arrested, charged, tried, and executed. Estimates in the media range from 6 to 10 countries who consider same-gender sexual behavior as a capital crime.

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  • David Silverman, President of American Atheists said:

    "Another victory for church and state separation as DOMA falls. DOMA - brought to you by theocrats who want you to obey their rules, even if you don't believe in their god." 3

  • Two spokespeople for the American Family Association weighed into the battle:
    • Fred Jackson warned that: "God’s judgment will be upon us."

    • Sandy Rios said: "It’s a big win for gay activists today. It’s not a good day for us. ... They kept shouting DOMA's dead, I thought that was pretty metaphorical, marriage is dead too, for the future of this country." 4

The fear that God is going to send some sort of natural disaster like an earthquake or hurricane to punish the U.S. for even a little step towards marriage equality is often believed and frequently stated by religious conservatives.

  • A group of conservative members of Congress express concern over married same-sex couples being treated equally:

    On Knees for Jesus published a video on You Tube containing a 9 minute segment of PBS Newshour. It features many conservative members of Congress who expressed their concerns and dissapointment about the decision of the high court on marriage equality. A theme running through many of the comments was that since God created marriage, humans, life itself, the Earth, and the rest of the universe, that the U.S. Supreme Court has no right to change marriage or to recognize legal marriages of same-sex couples. As of 2015-JAN-12, the video had received 16,615 views, 152 likes, and 126 dislikes.


  • Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, correctly predicted the future, saying:

    "Make no mistake: Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in the DOMA case takes the entire nation right to the brink of legal same-sex marriage." 6

    He also wrote that the DOMA ruling:

    "... will be a devastating thing for this country. . .I believe that marriage is a pre-political institution, that is one of God’s greatest gifts to his human creatures and that it always has been and always must be the union between a man and a woman. To radically transform the institution of marriage is to change the definition of what it means for humans to exist together in community."

    Writing on his own web site, he also said:

    "It is virtually impossible to exaggerate the future impact of the DOMA decision, but it is not yet a new Roe v. Wade.  Instead, it sets up a future legal challenge from any citizen in any state that does not have legal same-sex marriage. The Court’s decision in that future case, surely not long in our future, will be the new Roe v. Wade – a sweeping decision that would create a new 'right' that would mean the coast-to-coast legalization of same-sex marriage. Today’s decisions do not take us there, but they take us to the precipice of that sweeping decision. That is especially true of the DOMA case.

    Striking at the heart of DOMA, Justice Kennedy wrote: 'The history of DOMA’s enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.'

    As evidence of this judgment, Kennedy cited a document from the House of Representatives in 1996. That statement proposed that DOMA expressed 'both moral disapproval of homosexuality, and a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality.' That document went on to state that DOMA would protect the government’s 'interest in protecting the traditional moral teachings reflected in heterosexual-only marriage laws.'

    In the view of five justices, that meant the death of DOMA. They ruled that the only reason that Congress passed DOMA in 1996 was because it wanted to single out same-sex couples to be denied access to marriage, and it did so on moral terms. As Kennedy argued in his majority opinion, ' The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law here in question are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the states.' In doing so, he argued, the Congress had passed a law that 'violates the due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government'." 7

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Still more reactions to the Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Jaymi McCann, " 'Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed': Chick-fil-A boss causes outrage AGAIN after tweeting disappointment over historic gay marriage ruling," Daily Mail (UK), 2013-JUN-29, at:
  2. Keegan O'Brien, "Defeating DOMA & Prop 8: We’ve Made History, but We’re Far From Finished," The Rainbow Times, 2013-JUL-04, at:
  3. "Dave Silverman," Facebook, 2013-JUN-26, at:
  4. Brian Tashman, "AFA: DOMA Decision Will Lead to God's Judgment, Death of Marriage," Right Wing Watch, 2013-JUN-26, at:
  5. "Historic Supreme Court Rulings on Gay Marriage Devastate Conservatives by "On Knees for Jesus," You Tube, 2013-JUN-26, at:
  6. Daniel Burke, "Jesus wept' or tears of joy? Faithful react to gay marriage rulings," CNN Belief Blog, 2013-JUN-26, at:
  7. R. Albert Mohler Jr., " 'Waiting for the Other Shoe' — The Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage,", 2013-JUN-26, at:

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Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > SSM > SSM menu > DOMA > Unconstitutional > Windsor v. U.S. > here

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Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2013-JUN-29
Latest update: 2013-JUL-02
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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