I make no claim of being a Justice, Lawyer, or Constitutional expert. I do claim to be a priest and a common-sense registered voter. I will also say that my undergraduate degree is in Political Science (footnote: I was not a very good student).
I cannot imagine a scenario where even a conservative constitutional court can hold any other decision than to require states to at least recognize an otherwise valid marriage between two consenting adults. If the States want to continue to regulate marriage as they seem wont to do fine. But the Federal Government MUST hold that the interstate transfer of property rights, inheritance rights, and legal rights of a “married couple” is valid. As I recall one of the earliest upheavals in our early days as a country was a shift from being a “Confederacy of States” to a Republic using the Federal system of Government. Why? Because the States were using tariffs to tax each other’s goods being transported between States. Therefore, a central Government was established to regulate inter-state trades and to manage the general affairs of this new Republic.
Later, the Civil War was fought and one result was to further clarify the role of the Central Government and established once and for all that the central or Federal Government had a precedence over local or State Governments. Yet, the legacy of “States Rights” continues. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is the very thing that started the LGBT marriage acts in states like New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Yet, when local laws or customs inhibit the rights of individuals a Federal interpretation must prevail to bring justice and equality to all citizens. If our very Federal system was born out of varying state proclivities then the Supreme Court must surely side with the recognition of legal marriages wheresoever they are administered in the 50 states.
All of that being said, I truly wish the Government would stay away from what rightfully were/are sacraments. Marriage is a sacrament, a civil union, while shrouded in lovely epithets is a contract according rights and privileges freely given between two consenting adults. In some countries, in fact in many countries around the world the Church is not an agent of the State and cannot legally bind two persons. In those cases the binding of two persons in a religious context is purely an expression of a particular faith tradition. We at St. Anna’s, as an example, welcome the blessing of a same sex union. It really is a truly faith based response rather than a State driven ceremony. Actually, I find such to be more powerful and meaningful than a “straight” wedding, at least, in the liturgy itself and its words of deep and abiding love and companionship.
That said, if another denomination believes that being Gay is sin, well while I think that terribly wrong, it certainly is their right to be wrong. But that view should not and must not be the engine to create Constitutional public policy or law.
At this writing I am praying and hoping that the Supreme Court will find in favor of LGBT enfranchisement as true citizens of the United States and thus afforded the rights accorded to almost everyone else on this singular issue. For praying is all that I can do and I do believe in the power of prayer to at the very least articulate the hopes, dreams, needs, wants, and aspirations of God’s people. For prayer among many other things is when we speak heart to heart and mind to mind with our God. Pray for Justice and Peace.