Two Supreme Court Justices criticize landmark same-sex marriage ruling

Two Supreme Court Justices criticize landmark same-sex marriage ruling

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 | Tag Cloud Tags: Democrat, Faith, Media, News, PLO, Religious Liberty, Supreme Court, Worthy News
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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Two Supreme Court justices have made a statement criticizing the landmark 2015 ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which mandates that all states recognize same-sex marriage, Fox News reports. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito said Monday that the mandate issued cannot be found in the constitution; their statement suggests they might be willing to vote to overturn the ruling if given the opportunity.

The case in question concerned Kim Davis, a Kentucky County Clerk who had told her employers she could not issue same-sex couples marriage licenses on the grounds of her religious beliefs.

Dissenting from the original ruling, Thomas had written: "[T]his petition provides a stark reminder of the consequences of Obergefell. By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the court has created a problem that only it can fix Until then, Obergefell will continue to have 'ruinous consequences for religious liberty.'"

Davis had been forced to choose "between her religious beliefs and her job. When she chose to follow her faith, and without any statutory protection of her religious beliefs, she was sued almost immediately for violating the constitutional rights of same-sex couples," Thomas said.

In Monday’s statement, Thomas said the decision in Obergfell was flawed and it marginalized people of faith: "Obergefell enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots, making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss," he wrote. "This assessment flows directly from Obergefell’s language, which characterized such views as 'disparag[ing]' homosexuals and 'diminish[ing] their personhood' through '[d]ignitary wounds,'" Thomas added.

It is unclear if or when a direct challenge to Obergefell may come before the court, or if there would be enough votes on the court to hear such a challenge. Four justices need to agree for the court to hear a case, and Alito and Thomas are the only ones who went on the record Monday. Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch were not on the court when Obergefell was decided.

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