Oct 06, 2014
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear appeals in several marriage equality cases, clearing the way for same-sex marriages in several more states. Without comment, the high court declined to hear appeals of lower court rulings that had opened the door for marriage equality in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin. Legal experts say same-sex marriages can begin in those states immediately. “This action by the Supreme Court is welcome, and I look forward to the day when marriage equality is expanded nationwide,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Opponents of same-sex marriage have no arguments other than appeals to books they deem sacred or the pronouncements of religious authorities,” Lynn added. “That’s not good enough in a nation based on the separation of church and state.” Americans United has filed legal briefs in numerous cases concerning marriage equality. In the briefs, AU attorneys argued that U.S. marriage policy must be based on secular legal rationales, not views grounded in theology. Lynn said that the Religious Right groups that vociferously oppose same-sex marriage need to face the fact that they are losing in courts of law and in the court of public opinion. “The American people have moved beyond the bigotry of the Religious Right,” Lynn said. “The nation is embracing marriage equality, and our courts should too.”