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supremecourtatangle_01. ”Just who do we think we are?”

The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment… The Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are? - Chief Justice John Roberts

2. The majority’s reasoning applies with equal force to plural marriage.

It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships? - Chief Justice John Roberts

3. “To blind yourself to history is both prideful and unwise.”

The Court today not only overlooks our country’s entire history and tradition but actively repudiates it, preferring to live only in the heady days of the here and now. I agree with the majority that the “nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times.” As petitioners put it, “times can blind.” But to blind yourself to history is both prideful and unwise. - Chief Justice John Roberts

4. “People of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.”

The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to “exercise” religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses. Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage—when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples… Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today. - Chief Justice John Roberts

5. “The majority feels compelled to sully those on the other side of the debate.”

Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of today’s decision is the extent to which the majority feels compelled to sully those on the other side of the debate. The majority offers a cursory assurance that it does not intend to disparage people who, as a matter of conscience, cannot accept samesex marriage. That disclaimer is hard to square with the very next sentence, in which the majority explains that “the necessary consequence” of laws codifying the traditional definition of marriage is to “demea[n] or stigmatiz[e]” same-sex couples… - Chief Justice John Roberts

6. “Everyone who does not share the majority’s ‘better informed understanding’ as bigoted.”

“It is one thing for the majority to conclude that the Constitution protects a right to same-sex marriage; it is something  else to portray everyone who does not share the majority’s ‘better informed understanding’ as bigoted.” - Chief Justice John Roberts

7. “What really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial putsch.”

But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since… These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution. - Justice Scalia

8. “Potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”

Religious liberty is about more than just the protection for “religious organizations and persons . . . as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.” Religious liberty is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice… Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty. - Justice Thomas

9. “This decision will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”

Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent. - Justice Alito

10. “The majority facilitates the marginalization of many Americans who have traditional ideas.”

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… By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas. Recalling the harsh treatment of gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turnabout is fair play. But if that sentiment prevails, the Nation will experience bitter and lasting wounds. - Justice Alito


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36 thoughts on “Top 10 Quotes from the Dissenting Justices on Same-Sex Marriage”

  1. Mrs T says:

    Romans 1:18-32

  2. TH says:

    As a Christian and traditional marriage proponent, I don’t see how this ruling will affect religious liberty at all. Nothing says your church has to perform one of these weddings.

    1. No it doesn’t TH, but this mentality of “if you don’t accept this new legislation or agree with it you are a bigot” could potentially grow to even harm Christians and others against it. It could very well become possible to sue those who are committing “hate crimes” (aka simply not agreeing) with homosexuals. Do you see how this is a step towards anti-Christian sentiment?

      1. Batman says:

        No, not really. I kind of think it has nothing, at all, whatsoever to do with Christians. Literally none of your rights have been affected by this. And “could potentially grow to even harm Christians”…like…are you serious? Do you realize how much harm your group has done to the LGBT community, yet you have a problem with them getting equal rights as you because it *may* possibly cause harm (it won’t) to Christians? I hate to break it to you, but their community is not nearly as concerned with you as you are with them, or yourselves for that matter. Pretty much if ya’ll could just mind your business and let people who are different than you live their lives, not that many people would have a problem with you. Just please, please, get over yourselves. This isn’t about you.

    2. Tena says:

      It only took a day for a couple to put in their request to have a traditional church perform their marriage. I see a lawsuit coming as soon as that church refuses, don’t you, TH?

    3. wwjdwwjs says:

      They have been calling it “discrimination” for years–have you been listening???

  3. Steve Jacobson says:

    When the activists were pushing for “civil unions” the line was, “We’re not interested in marriage, We just want civil unions so we can share benefits and visit in hospitals like family.” OK. Then, “We want the states to be able to vote for gay marriage, but we think states that don’t want to recognize these marriages shouldn’t have to. We’ll never push the ‘full faith and credit’ clause.” Now they have gotten total recognition, nationwide. Is there any reason to think they won’t come after pastors and churches and try to get around Constitutional protections? What is some activist court of the future going to approve? I, for one, as a pastor, will go to jail rather than sanction a relationship God calls an abomination.

    1. Trevor Brown says:

      Actually gays and lesbians are a more decent class of people than most fundamentalist “Christians”, we don’t resort to name-calling (perverts, deviants, abominations, etc.) You’re just afraid that gays and lesbians will treat you and your ilk as poorly as you have treated them in Christ’s name btw. Fortunately for you no self-respecting gay or lesbian person would want to get married in your demonic hate-filled small-minded church.

      1. Bob Float says:

        “we don’t resort to name calling” “demonic” “hate-filled” “small-minded” #inconsistent

  4. Dr. Nedley Meyers, MD says:

    Goodbye America. You’ve had a wonderful run but, like many countries before you, the hand of providence and favor will not longer be with you. The people of this great nation will soon learn that no man, or a slight majority of men, can destroy the definition and institution of marriage without grave consequences.

    1. derpa derp says:

      ya ok we’ll see lol (;

    2. Wade says:

      I agree.

  5. David Mark Greaves says:

    I am sensing that the SCOTUS majority opinion (ruling) will bring divine judgment on this nation that has turned away from God. September 2015 marks the end of Shemitah according to the Jewish calender; and that will be a time of blessing or judgment for a people according to the degree of respect accorded to God’s standards of conduct. I expect America’s future is doomed, and I hope to be wrong, but that is not likely, if God enforces his standards in the form of judgment.

    1. David- I agree with you in that end times are coming and we are one step closer to it. However, be careful to put a time and date on end times- God says not one man knows when He will return, and if you look at history any man who does has been made to look like a fool…haha just warning you with your best interest in mind…be careful not to make yourself (or the Christian community) out to be a fool! :)

    2. Dan from Georgia says:

      So, why hasn’t God destroyed Canada and most of western Europe, where gay marriage has been legal for some time? Why hasn’t God destroyed America for murdering untold millions of unborn babies, murdering and corralling Native Americans, and murdering and limiting the rights of blacks and women for so long? What about rampant divorce and immorality?

      You know, maybe God is judging us by allowing us our free will. I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for fire and brimstone to rain down from the skies.

  6. Wow, so well articulated and thorough. Thank you for compiling this, it is an accurate and understandable summary of our leaders’ thoughts!

  7. Samuel says:

    I agree with Justices Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Alito.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How can we respond/prepare for what these top 10 quotes say will happen next? Especially 9 and 10?

  9. Leah Adams says:

    Thank you for this insightful post. Chief Justice Roberts has been a huge disappointment to me in other rulings, but at least he got it right in this case. I plan to share this post!

  10. JP says:

    If people think that gay activists will consider their work finished now that they have won this victory, they are sorely mistaken.

  11. Aaron Saunders says:

    1. Separation of Church and State. A religious ceremony shoud’ve never become part of a federal system that affects near every aspect of a life in union. Now that it is, it should for all intents and purposes be considered a federal act instead of a religious one, as it now irrevocably encompasses aspects of living a productive life among society, while enjoying the benefits of a government to rely on.

    2. Argumentum ad consequentiam, or, appeal to consequences. Arguing, in the eyes of the law, that allowing gay marriage would also allow polygamy is insightful, but intrinsically tied to argumentum ad antiquitatem, or appeal to tradition, as both statements assume change should not occur because it has not, and thus, should not.

    3. I feel as though context must be missing, as the statement appears to agree with the legality of gay marriage, even admitting that ignoring history is “prideful and unwise”. Movements such as colored rights, and women’s rights seem to contradict his own dissent.

    4. Again, Separation of Church and State. Implying a decision effecting federal law in a single area (I.E. allowing gays to marry) will suddenly take away the religious freedom of others. Any private organization can, and will do what they want and face the consequences should they wish. Plenty of women’s only colleges exist, which are sexist, but could a boy legally force his way in there? No. Similarly you cannot legally force a privately owned college to provide housing. It’s their business, which they can run as they please.

    5. A favorite of mine: Argument from fallacy. Arguing that by committing argumentum ad hominem, the majority’s conclusion (gay marriage should be legalized) is false, is in and of itself false. While the ARGUMENT may be a fallacy, the CONCLUSION is still solid.

    6. See number 5.

    7. Painfully obvious argumentum ad antiquitatem, or appeal to tradition. Arguing that 135 years of continued action makes it right, or, that because it is a new act it is bad. Alternatively, you could argue it is the historian’s fallacy; assuming that people from up to 135 years ago viewed our nation, and the world, the same way we do today, which is a flawed concept.

    8. Again, I feel something is unexplained. The Justice states that the decision should have been left to the “political process”, and by not doing so, there will be consequences. Is the appealing a case up to the Supreme Court not considered part of the political process?

    9. This one is truly pathetic, more than anything else. Ignoratio elenchi, or irrelevant conclusion. The argument that the minority may be vilified by the courts ruling is valid, but completely failing to address whether or not gays deserve equal rights to marry.

    10. See number 9.

    Interesting read, but a tad depressing to see that what is supposed to mark the pinnacle of thought and foresight in our governemnt is weighed down by petty human weakness.

  12. Bill says:

    The facts of the arguments that were ignored by the “majority” who passed political correctness (which is rarely correct) over written law (Constitution).i

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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