The Supreme Court, Marriage Equality and the Church

We are anxiously awaiting oral arguments this week, committed gay couples seeking the right to marry will take their case to the Supreme Court.

Religious groups are on their side, including my welcoming Unitarian Universalist Church, have signed briefs to legalize same-sex marriage.
The faith traditions supporting marriage equality are telling the court that religions, like American families, are diverse. Even some Bible-based faith communities have an inclusive attitude toward gay families and marriages.

This is another example of changes of public attitudes and then the law change. Before the Civil War, many Mormons and Southern Slavery for persons of African descent was justified by Bible interpretations. Then when slavery ended, then churches read Scripture to require segregation and to bar interracial relationships.

Inevitably, this overt discrimination was renounced with new readings of the Bible after landmark civil rights legislation in the 1960s. The Mormons abandoned formal racial segregation in 1978. Scripture rarely speaks with one voice about how to define civil marriage.

If the Supreme Court interprets the 14th Amendment to mean that states can’t exclude gay couples from civil marriage. I hope that churches which are adamantly opposed to same-sex marriageshow a tolerant path eventually.

With greater tolerance and acceptance of gay married couples, more religions will, slowly, modify doctrinal discourse to match social discourse — exactly the way they did for their previous disapproval of marriages between two people of different races.