Attitudes are changing rapidly because the debate increasingly is taking place in media and in statehouses, in corporate boardrooms and in the Boy Scouts. It’s taking place within communities of faith. Within my community of faith: the Quakers.
Some Episcopalian, Lutheran, Mennonite, Pentecostal, Presbyterian and Quaker churches — not all, but some — bless same-sex unions. Others within those denominations will not.
The issue touched off a years-long discussion about the autonomy of individual congregations within the Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends. And it resulted in a schism. Several congregations will end their affiliation with the yearly meeting beginning next month.
Acceptance of homosexuality still is not widespread. Wednesday’s ruling invigorated opponents across the country and in Indiana. Gov. Mike Pence and other leaders in the Statehouse said they expect to approve, for a second time, the proposed constitutional amendment that effectively bans same-sex marriage in Indiana. If they do, and they likely will, Hoosiers will vote the amendment up or down in November 2014.
“I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman and is a unique institution worth defending in our state and nation,” Pence said Wednesday after the Supreme Court rulings. “For thousands of years, marriage has served as the glue that holds families and societies together and so it should ever be.”
And marriage will. It just won’t be so narrowly defined. Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, foresees a broader definition of marriage, and he’s not happy about it.
“It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here — when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’ hateful moral judgment against it,” he said.