Reactions to the Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling
Tampering with 'society's DNA' or ensuring the 'continuing vitality of marriage'? Both sides weigh in.
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
"Today's ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is a landmark step toward ensuring the right of gay and lesbian Americans to share in the joys, and privileges, of marriage afforded heterosexual Americans....Today's decision is also an important affirmation of continuing vitality of the institution of marriage. As the Court itself recognized, today's decision "marks a significant change in the definition of marriage as it has been inherited from the common law.. But it does not disturb the fundamental value of marriage in our society....The Reform Jewish Movement has long been committed to welcoming gay and lesbian Jews into our congregations, synagogues and communal life and strongly supports legislative efforts to provide equal opportunity through civil marriage for gay and lesbian individuals."
-Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director
"We enthusiastically applaud today's ruling....The Unitarian UniversalistAssociation has a long-standing and deeply held religious commitment tosupport full equality for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people,and today's ruling is a significant step forward in guaranteeing that therights enjoyed by heterosexual couples in the Commonwealth of Massachusettsare also available to its bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender citizens."
-The Rev. William G. Sinkford, President
The American Civil Liberties Union
"This court ruling says that individuals who are police officers, firefighters and teachers who serve in our military and pay taxes cannot be denied the same rights as other couples simply because they are gay or lesbian. The court today recognized that a constitution that protects individual rights does not allow government to say that only some families will be protected."
-Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project
Human Rights Campaign
"In the best tradition of our nation, the court ruled that the hard-working, tax-paying gay and lesbian citizens deserve the same rights and protections under law as other citizens of that state. This ruling will never interfere with the right of religious institutions - churches, synagogues and mosques - to determine who will be married within the context of their respective religious faiths. This is about whether gay and lesbian couples in long-term, committed relationships will be afforded the benefits, rights and protections afforded other citizens to best care for their partners and children. This ruling simply means that devoted couples in Massachusetts will no longer have to worry about being denied the ability to visit each other in the hospital, or the ability to make medical decisions for their beloved."
-Elizabeth Birch, executive director
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