Oklahoma clergy leaders express their opinions on the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on same-sex marriage

The nation's highest court may be “the law of the land” but it does not supersede the laws of the Lord, several Oklahoma faith leaders said Wednesday.
by Carla Hinton Published: June 27, 2013

Coakley said: “We as Catholics reaffirm that no court decision can recreate reality or change the truth about marriage, and we mourn for what will likely be lost for many as a result of this decision — the conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman and the freedom that comes from living in that conviction.”

Slattery in Tulsa said he “grieved” that the “cultural understanding of marriage has shifted so drastically.”

Nonetheless, Slattery said, “Marriage is not a societal construct, but is rather an institution given by God and written in the laws of nature, established at the creation of the world. With this in mind, no government power has the authority or ability to redefine the essence of marriage.”

Implications

Hamilton said he predicts the pair of rulings will embolden the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to challenge “within the year” Oklahoma's constitutional amendment effectively banning gay marriage. The measure was approved by voters in a statewide election in 2004.

“I believe today's ruling will galvanize Oklahomans. It will embolden (same gender) couples to stand up for their rights,” he said.

Hayes, too, said the implications of Wednesday's court rulings likely will play out in the months to come.

Jordan agreed.

“Time will tell what net effect this will have on Oklahoma and the culture, yet God's people will stand firm in the days ahead grounded in the truth of the Scriptures,” he said.

The Rev. George Young, senior pastor of Holy Temple Baptist Church, said he thinks the court rulings were fair and just.

“Whether or not I agree with someone's lifestyle, I think it was unfair (Defense of Marriage Act),” Young said.

He said people of faith will now have to consider how their faith and the government can coexist.

“If nothing else, it may be time for people to reassess how you reconcile your submission to government rulings and your faith journey,” he said.

State Rep. Dan Fisher, R-Yukon, who is senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon, said he is particularly concerned about the court's ruling against Proposition 8 which was approved by a majority of California voters.

Like Hamilton, he predicted that there will be legal challenges to Oklahoma's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and he said the Supreme Court's ruling on Proposition 8 could mean “we'll be in the same position as the Californians are in right now.”

“What you're saying is the state government and the ‘will of the people' are irrelevant,” Fisher said.

“We're on a collision course as to who is to determine what is right and wrong. Is it going to be people in their communities or is it going to be the federal courts?”


by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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