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The National Catholic Bioethics Center
The NCBC Responds to Supreme Court Ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges
June 2015
© 2020 by The National Catholic Bioethics Center

The NCBC Responds to Supreme Court Ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges

June 26, 2015

The National Catholic Bioethics Center bemoans the loss of states’ rights and freedom of conscience reflected today by the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. This decision reflects a growing judicial tyranny, in which the will of the people is overridden by courts intent on making law rather than interpreting the laws and the Constitution. More than two-thirds of the thirty-one states that voted to affirm traditional marriage in their constitutions have now been made subject to judicial usurpation of their right to decide their own laws as established by Article I of the Constitution. Now all fifty states and U.S. territories will be denied their rights of self-governance, guaranteed by the Constitution. The separation of powers and the right of people to establish laws in governing themselves are the foundations of the American republic.

By denying the freedom of the people in individual states to affirm the historical definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the Supreme Court has diminished the freedom of all Americans regardless of their position on same-sex marriage. The Center continues to affirm the dignity, respect, and rights of persons with same-sex attractions. However, there is a fundamental difference between the marital relationship of one man and one woman, with the ensuing rights recognized for the well-being of children and society, and committed relationships between two persons of the same sex. The Supreme Court has callously disregarded these differences, which have been recognized for millennia by diverse populations around the globe. Following this decision, no state or U.S. territory will be allowed to establish sound social policy to protect traditional marriage and families, and all can be compelled to recognize various forms of marriage established in other states. Moreover, the Obama administration has begun to consider revoking the tax-exempt status of nonprofit schools and institutions that refuse to affirm this radical redefinition of marriage. This assault on religious freedom must be resisted by all people of good will.

The Center thanks the states of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee for defending the constitutionally guaranteed rights of their people, including the protection of conscience rights concerning the nature of marriage. The Center will continue to work with people committed to enhancing the social, economic, and spiritual well-being of the family, which is vital to every society, and reforming a system that has been violated by the very structures created to protect it.