The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear appeals from five states of appellate court rulings striking down state marriage laws.
The decision to not hear the cases, for now, means that Virginia, Wisconsin and Utah will begin recognizing marriages of two people of the same gender. Since the appeals courts for those states cover other states, the decision could mean that an additional six states may be required to recognize same-sex marriages, even if the voters or elected bodies of those states chose to define civil marriage as only the union of one man and one woman.
The Court was petitioned by both traditional marriage supporters and same-sex marriage supporters to hear the cases. more >>
Anna Duggar, wife of eldest Duggar son Josh, and her sister Priscilla Walker have released a video about courting, marriage, and general relationship advice, citing their religious beliefs above all else.
Anna spoke about how her sister waited to court her husband David because she was busy serving the Lord. The two discussed the importance of prayer before, during, and after the courtship and in marriage. David even asked Josh for Priscilla's father's phone number to ask if they could court; David chose to court Priscilla because of her servant-like spirit.
"Wait for God's best and pray for your future spouse, that he would have a vision for God and a desire to serve the Lord. It was special—when David asked me to breakfast that first morning of our courtship—he bought me 25 roses. Someone counseled me and told me that a wedding day would come and go but to focus on all those other times. That shouldn't be the passion—don't wait for someone to sweep you off of your feet. It's been the best three years of my life," Priscilla exclaimed. more >>
The Supreme Court has declined to take up appeals from states in which the courts have found same-sex marriage to be a constitutional right. This paves the way for same-sex marriage in many, perhaps most, places in the United States. Many Christians may be unaware of how momentous this is, since the denial of cases doesn't come with quite the shock and awe of a ruling handed down. The effect though is wide-ranging. So what should our response be as the church of Jesus Christ?
There are two responses we should avoid.
The first is the temptation to listen to those who would want to jettison a Christian sexual ethic in order to acclimate to the cultural moment. We have no authority to revise what Jesus has handed down to us. Our vision of marriage is not the equivalent of a church constitution and by-laws, adaptable by a majority vote. Marriage is not simply a cultural or legal practice, but is instead an icon of the union between Christ and his church, embedded in the creation (Eph. 5:22-31). Without a Christian vision of marriage, we have no Christian vision of the gospel. more >>
Los Angeles Pastor Touré Roberts shared a picture on Instagram Friday of him and Sarah Jakes embracing each other, proclaiming in Spanish "I had a great time in Atlanta with this beautiful woman! I cannot wait for her to officially become my wife!"
The warm message was one of two that the Purpose Awaking author shared with followers while attending T.D. and Serita Jakes' Women Thou Art Loose conference Thursday and Friday with his daughter, Ren.
Thursday night Roberts posted another Instagram picture of himself standing with his daughter and Sarah Jakes along with the message "Having a great time at #WTAL with two of the most special ladies in my life! My leading lady and firstborn lady." more >>
An attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom filed a petition Thursday in New York state court asking for a review of the NY State Division of Human Rights decision that fined farm owners Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for refusing to host a lesbian wedding ceremony on their property.
"All Americans should be free to live and work according to their beliefs. Entering the marketplace doesn't mean the government can force a person to surrender their First Amendment freedoms or face punishment," said James Trainor, the attorney.
"The commission demonstrated stunning disregard for the Giffords' First Amendment rights, which were never considered at the hearing. The commissioner's order in essence gives an ultimatum: host same-sex marriage ceremonies or none at all," Trainor added. more >>
This column orginally appeared in The Atlantic.
On April 24, 2012, President Obama went on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to make his case for student-loan forgiveness and college affordability. After slow-jamming the news, Obama pointed to a surprisingly traditional justification for helping young people reduce their student loan debt: It was causing them to delay marriage.
This moment encapsulates the overlooked underpinning of President Obama's economic message: his focus on family. It is an approach fit for our times, as families in America face extraordinary pressures, obstacles and burdens. Both parties would be wise to emulate this in the upcoming midterm elections. more >>