In the wake of the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling Friday that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all 50 states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, numerous social conservative and religious groups are calling the court's ruling an abuse of judicial power and a decision that could hurt religious liberty in America.
Among the numerous commenters, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrote in a statement that the court's ruling violates the Constitution's call for states to define their own marriage laws.
"Five justices on the Supreme Court have overturned the votes of 50 million Americans and demanded that the American people walk away from millennia of history and the reality of human nature," Perkins stated. "In reaching a decision so lacking in foundation in the text of the Constitution, in our history, and in our traditions, the Court has done serious damage to its own legitimacy."
"No court can overturn natural law," Perkins added. "Nature and Nature's God, hailed by the signers of our Declaration of Independence as the very source of law, cannot be usurped by the edict of a court, even the United States Supreme Court."
Perkins also warned that the the court's ruling could send "our government on a collision course with America's cherished religious freedoms, explicitly guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution."
"Americans will not stop standing for transcendent truth, nor accept the legitimacy of this decision," Perkins continued. "We will not lapse into silence but will continue to speak uncompromisingly for the truth about what marriage is, always has been, and always will be: the union of one man and one woman."
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, stressed in his statement that it was "improper" for the court to redefine an institution that has existed long before the creation of the government. Because of the court's ruling, Moore argues that there will be "wide-ranging consequences" for America's families and religious freedom.
"I believe this action of finding some illusory Fourteenth Amendment right to same-sex marriage will have wide-ranging and perilous consequences for the stability of families and for freedom of religion," Moore wrote. " In the wake of this decision, we must ensure that the American principles of pluralism and religious liberty are maintained, as the religious convictions of millions of Americans necessarily cause us to hold a different, more ancient, view of marriage than the one the Court has imposed. Additionally, today's decision reminds us of the importance of electing a president who knows how to appoint jurists rather than would-be legislators to the bench."
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said in a statement that the court's decision will serve as a "defacto and legal catalyst for the marginalization of Americans who embrace a biblical worldview."
"Accordingly, we must all work arduously to recognize the image of God in every individual, without exception, while simultaneously building a firewall against intolerance and bigotry toward followers of Christ who preach truth with love," Rodriguez stated. "For at the end of the day, I know for certain, that the moment biblical truth stands defined as hate speech in our nation, America, as we know her, will cease to exist."
In a statement released by the National Association of Evangelicals, president Leith Anderson stated that the Bible never asked any court to define marriage. He added that marriage as a union one man and one woman is embraced by over two billion Christians around the world, which will not change because of one high court ruling.
"As evangelicals, we look to the Bible — not the courts — for guidance on life. … May this court decision be a clarion call to American evangelicals to proclaim and exhibit the good news about biblical marriage," Anderson stated. "As we respect a legal ruling with which we do not agree, we ask others to respect our faith and practices even when they disagree with us."
Although the Supreme Court's ruling is a national decision, Moore added that Christians must not relent in their pressure to restore the traditional definition of marriage.
"Despite this ruling, the church of Jesus Christ will stand fast. We will not capitulate on this issue because we cannot. To minimize or ignore a Christian sexual ethic is to abandon the message Jesus handed down to us, and we have no authority to do this," Moore stated. "At the same time, now is not the time for outrage or panic. Marriage is resilient. God created it to be so. Marriage in the minds of the public may change, but marriage as a reality created by God won't change at all. The church must now articulate and embody a Christian vision of marriage and work to rebuild a culture of marriage."
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, stated that now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of gay marriage, the religious objections of churches and believers must be protected.
"Today's ruling cannot and must not be used to coerce a church or religious institution into performing marriages that their faith does not recognize," Preibus demanded. "We should respect the sincerely held religious views of our fellow citizens, just as we respect those on the winning side of this case."
Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women For America, said in an audio statement that the court's rulings will only intensify America's "culture wars" as it attempted to prematurely end highly contested debate on the marriage issue.
"The negative impact of this illegitimate decision will sound before the Court for years to come," Nance said. "The Court solves nothing with this ill-advised ruling, but only intensifies the culture wars, as it did in Roe [v. Wade], by cutting short a healthy debate about the definition of marriage, family, and sexuality that our country is having. All Americans should stand against such overreach, whatever their views on marriage."