Guest / Limited Access /

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4-3 on November 18 that homosexuals should have the right to marry. The court gave the state legislature 180 days to craft a way for gay couples to legally wed. It did not, however, grant the 14 plaintiffs marriage licenses.

Christian activists say gay-rights groups will now file lawsuits to overturn existing state marriage laws. Currently, 37 states prohibit marriage between homosexuals.

Gay-rights activists said the Massachusetts decision would not force churches to provide religious rites to homosexuals.

"This ruling is not about religion," said the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group. "It's about the civil responsibilities and protections afforded through a government-issued civil marriage license."

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, disagreed. "Marriage is about more than tax credits and other financial benefits," he said. "It is about preserving the best environment for raising children and the safest, healthiest living situation for adults."

A constitutional amendment is pending in the House of Representatives.

Matt Daniels of the Alliance for Marriage called on Congress to act. "[It] is essential to allow the American people to determine the future of marriage in America."

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedShould Pastors Stop Signing Civil Marriage Certificates?
Subscriber Access Only
Should Pastors Stop Signing Civil Marriage Certificates?
First Things says yes. Survey finds 1 in 4 pastors agree.
TrendingThe 10 Most Influential Churches of the Last Century
The 10 Most Influential Churches of the Last Century
There is much to learn from some key trends in the last 100 years of church history.
Editor's PickGood News, Millennials: You Don't Have to Save the Church
Good News, Millennials: You Don't Have to Save the Church
Millennial anxiety sabotages attempts to engage the next generation. Dietrich Bonhoeffer explains why.
Comments
Christianity Today
Massachusetts court backs gay marriage
hide thisJanuary January

In the Magazine

January 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.