(Photo: REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan)
Conservative Christian leaders have expressed disappointment and concern over the United States Supreme Court's decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.
Many conservative Christians have denounced the Wednesday morning decisions regarding the standing of the California constitutional amendment and the federal definition of marriage.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said in a statement that the five-judge majority's decision regarding the DOMA case was "absurd." Perkins also took issue with the Supreme Court's decision to dismiss the Proposition 8 appeal over lack of standing.
"We are disturbed that the court refused to acknowledge that the proponents of Proposition 8 have standing to defend Proposition 8. This distorts the balance of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government," said Perkins. "Ironically, by refusing to defend the law, California's executive branch has also denied the nation any definitive ruling on the constitutionality of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman."
However, Perkins did commend the court for its refusal to impose a "sweeping nationwide redefinition of natural marriage that was sought."
Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, called the decision for the DOMA case "wrong."
"The Supreme Court got it wrong in saying that a state that has redefined marriage can force that definition on the federal government," said Nimocks. "The federal government should be able to define what marriage is for federal law just as states need to be able to define what marriage is for state law."
"Marriage -- the union of husband and wife -- is timeless, universal, and special, particularly because children need a mother and a father," he added. "That's why 38 states and 94 percent of countries worldwide affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman, just as diverse cultures and faiths have throughout history."
Sam Rohrer, president of the Pennsylvania Pastors' Network, stated that he was "stunned at this decision today to take a 360-degree turn away from the biblical definition of marriage."
"…we must continue to work to keep marriages and families intact, the way God intended them, and pray for a continued revival of the values upon which this country was founded," said Rohrer.
While many social conservative leaders denounced the decision, LGBT groups hailed the decision as historic.
Many have noted that it fell on the 10 year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas, which declared state sodomy laws unconstitutional.
Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the CourageCampaign.org, hailed the Supreme Court's decisions as "another historic step towards creating a more perfect union."
"This is a watershed moment for equality and a clear statement from the highest court in the land that discrimination and hatred have no place in a country founded on the principles of liberty, justice and equality," said Jacobs.
"The judiciary has now caught up with the American public and the tremendous momentum our movement has had since the passage of Prop. 8 five years ago. Love should not be legislated or litigated."
The court's decision has also been applauded by President Barack Obama, the first sitting United States president to support same-sex marriage legalization.