Here is a real life story of one of the unjust repercussions of the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which struck down the marriage laws of every state. According to Obergefell, states cannot deny marriage licenses to same sex couples.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the opinion, allowed that some people oppose same sex marriage for “decent and honorable” reasons. These folks still have First Amendment Rights, he promised. Consider the Burkes:
Michael Burke served in Iraq as a Marine. Kitty Burke worked as a paraprofessional helping special needs children. The Burkes sought to adopt a child through the state of Massachusetts’ foster care program. In their application, they said they were willing to adopt children of any race or ethnicity. They’d take siblings and even kids with certain special needs.
The Burkes are devout Roman Catholics. They frequently work as musicians at local churches. Wall Street Journal columnist William Mc Gurn wrote of the Burke’s faith: “Once upon a time that would be an endorsement. Today it’s an indictment.” The Burkes were rejected as unfit to be adoptive parents. The author of their license study was concerned regarding LGBTQ issues. She noted: “their faith is not supportive and neither are they.”
Justice Samuel Alito saw this coming.
In his dissent in Obergefell, Justice Alito wrote that the decision “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”
Sure, people can think what they’d like about same sex marriage. Justice Alito argued, “I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers and schools.”
The Burkes’ lawyer at the Becket Fund describes this “new orthodoxy” as a government-imposed “replacement ideology.” Christians must refuse to accept this. The Burkes’ lawsuit should help.