Recently, five of nine Supreme Court justices ruled that no state can refuse to accept the union of same gender couples. Some religious leaders immediately declared that the justices had violated the rule in the First Amendment of our Constitution that says each of us can choose and practice our religious beliefs.
Actually the Supreme Court obeyed the prior line that says there shall be no establishment of a specific religion, meaning that no religious position on matters can be the “law of the land.” From that declaration, freedom to practice any religion is ours, but we are breaking the establishment rule if we force on others our religious beliefs on any matter.
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were Virginians tired of the Church of England’s rulings in the colony that became a state after the Revolutionary War. By their insertion of the establishment concept into the First Amendment they created a new religious pattern that freed citizens to follow, or not, any church’s beliefs and ethics as long as everyone’s civil rights are not being violated.
As a heterosexual person who had a joyous marriage until death stole my wife’s life, I cannot deny others the joy of love that come to married persons, including same gender couples. Above all, in our free United States culture allowing us to make our own choices, we have no constitutional right to determine for others who they can or cannot marry.
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Robert L. Walker