ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Supreme Court’s two landmark decisions regarding marriage equality have drawn differing reactions from local religious communities. The Supreme Court’s decisions included striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and allowing same-sex marriage in California.
Local Catholic, Lutheran and Baptist leaders say they are saddened by the decisions and will continue to support marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Episcopal leaders in the St. Louis area welcome the rulings and hope Missouri will soon get on board with same-sex marriages.
Episcopal Christ Church Cathedral Dean Mike Kinman says he rang his church bells downtown out of support for the marriage equality decisions.
“We celebrate this and we celebrate it out of the experience of our life as a cathedral community where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples are sacraments to us,” he says. “They have shown us Christ’s love and have been a part of our vibrant community for years.”
Kinman says everyone should be able to experience the benefits of marriage regardless of sexual orientation.
“It’s just a no brainer that all people regardless of sexual orientation have access to the sacrament of marriage, have access to the benefits that the legal contract of marriage provides,” Kinman says.
Angie Shelton with the St. Louis Archdiocese says the Supreme Court’s decisions do not change the reality of marriage, nor do they change the Archdiocese’s responsibility to defend marriage as being between one man and one woman.
“While the law can allow things to be called marriage, it cannot make them into the kind of union that is marriage,” Shelton says. “I think it is important to note that marriage predates both the U.S. government and Western civilization.”
Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki calls the rulings devoid of moral authority.
St. Louis native and New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the Supreme Court got it wrong, saying the truth of marriage endures and the Church will continue to boldly proclaim it with confidence and clarity.
The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod says it is saddened for the nation and calls on Christians to be faithful first to God’s Word knowing that another court is ultimately supreme.