THE US Supreme Court’s decision late last month to strike down a key section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was met, as one would expect, with outpourings of fury and grief from those on the Christian right.
Sample 1: Michael Marcavage of the Philadelphia-based evangelistic ministry Repent America called the ruling:
An act of high treason against the holy, Most High God.
The imbecile added:
The reason why Christians fought to oppose attempts to redefine the Biblical institution of marriage is because we love God and our neighbor. We love children and don’t want them to be raised in a nation that teaches them that it is permissible to live however one pleases. If God is not the standard of absolute truth, then who is?
Romans 13 declares that those in civil government are to be ministers of God for good, not evil. Despite the court’s ruling, it is not — and never will be — a marriage before God, but only a mirage.
Sample 2 – Rusty Thomas of Elijah Ministries in Waco, Texas likewise condemned the decision as being an offence against God.
Our nation’s rulers keep poking their fingers in the eye of our holy God and they are going to find out the hard way that the Supreme Court is not supreme. There is a court above them, where every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Sample 3 – Joe Glover of the Family Policy Network in Forest, Virginia:
Even though our political leaders may reject Him and defy Him, God is the ultimate sovereign wherefrom all authority is derived. Even in the wake of such an offensive and immoral Supreme Court decision, the Christian’s primary duty has not changed … We] will continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and unbelieving nation. We will do so on every battle front, including that of homosexuality.
Amidst all this wailing and gnashing of teeth, a number of church’s sounded their bells in celebration of the decision. For almost an hour the National Cathedral in Washington, DC pealed its bells. Its Dean, Gary Hall issued a statement praising the court.
We are ringing our bells at the Cathedral to celebrate the extension of federal marriage equality to all the same-sex couples modeling God’s love in lifelong covenants. Our prayers for continued happiness are with them and with all couples who will be joined in matrimony in the years to come, whether at Washington National Cathedral or elsewhere.
The Washington Ringing Society pealed the bells in the “Gloria in Excelsis” central tower, as did Episcopalians, Methodists and Presbyterians in the city.
An immediate effect of the court ruling was notice given to a married gay couple in Florida that they no longer face being separated because one of them is not a US citizen. Julian Marsh and Traian Povov’s green card approval is the first such approval ever has been granted in the United States.
The DOMA Project, whose lawyers represent the couple, said that this was:
The first time in US history a marriage-based green card petition filed by a gay couple has been approved.
Marsh — a popular DJ in the gay dance scene — and Popov, who live in Fort Lauderdale, were married in New York in October 2012 because Florida has a constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying. Marsh had applied for a green card for Popov, who is from Bulgaria, before the Supreme Court had ruled on whether the Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on the federal government recognizing gay couples’ marriages was constitutional.
Although such green card petitions have previously been denied, the Obama administration had been avoiding ruling on such requests as the challenges to section 3 of DOMA made their way through the courts.
But, following the Supreme Court ruling striking down section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional, The DOMA Project announced that Marsh’s green card petition for his husband had been approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) just two days after the court ruling.
Lavi Soloway, the couple’s lawyer and a founder of The DOMA Project, said:
The approval of this petition demonstrates that the Obama administration’s commitment to recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages after the Supreme Court ruling is now a reality on the ground. We expect additional approvals of green card applications and petitions in the coming days.
Marsh and Popov met March 5, 2011, at a friend’s party. Within a week, they met again at another friend’s house and began dating shortly thereafter. Said Marsh:
I met him, I fell in love, and that was it.
It is symbolically very important that this first petition that was approved comes for a couple that lives in Florida, a state that has a constitutional ban preventing same-sex couples from marrying. This shows the effect of the DOMA ruling for immigration purposes will extend to couples, no matter where they live, so long as they have a valid marriage license.
(See video report here)