Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller just issued the following statement following today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down state bans on same-sex marriage:

“Today’s historic court decision for the freedom to marry joins other landmark rulings that have moved this country closer to the Constitution’s promise of equality under the law for all Americans. This is a truly life-affirming moment for so many gay and lesbian couples who want to make the same lifetime commitment to the person they love and protect their families the same way everyone else does.

Now all public officials in Texas should carry out their duty to uphold the Constitution by swiftly implementing this decision. No obstruction. No excuses. No politics.

We have seen in recent months a large and growing number of Texans, including business and faith leaders, rise in opposition to discrimination against LGBT people and their families. They have rejected the cynical and dishonest political argument that freedom from discrimination somehow conflicts with religious liberty. Both clearly can coexist.

In fact, today’s decision is an important affirmation of religious freedom. It does not force clergy to perform same-sex weddings. But it does respect

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The folks at the Texas Pastor Council, like other religious-righters, are growing increasingly desperate in their attacks on the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples. In an email today to supporters, the Pastor Council’s Dave Welch calls for “press conferences, rallies, marches and civil disobedience” if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage:

“If the courts strikes down state Constitutional Amendments like Texas’ that define marriage as only the union of one man and one woman, declaring marriage between same sex couple a constitutional right…we must corporately and publicly declare this decision ‘unlawful’ as a direct violation of the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God’ that undergirds our U.S. Constitution.  We will neither recognize nor obey such a decision and, in fact, justices who vote in this way should be impeached for abject violation of their oath and constitutional duty.”

Welch and his cohorts have denounced what they consider attacks on “traditional” marriage. But this amusing and informative video from writer and commentator Matt Baume does a good job explaining just what “traditional” marriage has meant in human history. It appears not to mean what Welch thinks it does.

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It doesn’t take long before religious-right opponents of the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples turn to fear-mongering about pedophilia and insist that civil laws be based on the Bible. Consider, for example, a “town hall” discussion Tuesday on San Antonio radio station KTSA.

The discussion featured Daniel McNeel “Neel” Lane, the plaintiffs’ attorney in the Texas same-sex marriage case currently before the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Charles Flowers, pastor of Faith Outreach International of San Antonio and a member of the virulently anti-gay Texas Pastor Council. You can listen to the nearly hour-long discussion here, but this short clip features one of Flowers’ main arguments against the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples:

Flowers: “And I think this is ultimately where we’re wrestling. We’re wrestling about whether or not God’s word is a legitimate foundation for the structure that governs our daily lives, as it relates to marriage or anything else. So for many of us who opposes the issue, it’s not really about some angst against homosexuals or lesbians. There are people who, from our viewpoint, battle with struggles just like every other person may battle with their own set… Read More

Polls show that a growing majority of Americans support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples, but that’s not the case specifically among Republicans. In fact, the Texas Republican Party — largely controlled by the religious right for the past two decades — is particularly hostile to the freedom to marry. And some GOP elected officials have been insisting that Texas should essentially ignore a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.

Here are some Texas Republican leaders who are taking such an anti-constitutional position:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, speaking in April:

“If the court tries to do this it will be rampant judicial activism. It will be lawlessness, it will be fundamentally illegitimate.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the state’s chief law enforcement officer, in May refused to say whether he would obey a Supreme Court ruling and even suggested that the Texas Legislature could pass a bill blocking the implementation of such a ruling:

“I think it’s really difficult–first of all, we don’t know that’s gonna happen, second of all, we don’t know exactly how that opinion is going to be written. So, you know, that opinion can be written, you know, numerous ways, hundreds of… Read More

Tom DeLay, the disgraced former U.S. congressman from Texas and Republican House Majority Leader, thinks states can defy a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down bans on same-sex marriage. He tells the right-wing outlet Newsmax that “all hell is going to break loose” if the high court makes such a ruling this month. He goes on:

“A ruling by the Supreme Court is nothing but an opinion if the legislative branch and the executive branch do not enforce it. Not only that, if the states would just invoke the 10th Amendment and assert their sovereignty, they can defy a ruling by the Supreme Court. It’s in the Constitution. We can tell the court what cases they can hear.”

Southern politicians tried this approach after the Supreme Court struck down school segregation as unconstitutional in 1954. It’s also what opponents of interracial marriage called for when the high court struck down state anti-miscegenation laws in 1967.

DeLay also argued that opposing a court ruling striking down bans on same-sex marriage “is about religious liberty more than anything else” — meaning, essentially, the right to refuse to accept or recognize same-sex marriages for religious reasons.

“For all of time, not just Christians and Jews, but all religions… Read More