Politicians voice opinion on SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Politicians voice opinion on SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling

Supreme Court of the United States (Source: CNN) Supreme Court of the United States (Source: CNN)

Everybody is talking about Friday's Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, including Mid-South politicians, national presidential candidates, and both leading political parties. Here's a list of the released statements:

Governor Bill Haslam (R-TN)

“The people of Tennessee have recently voted clearly on this issue. The Supreme Court has overturned that vote. We will comply with the decision and will ensure that our departments are able to do so as quickly as possible.”

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III

“Today's United States Supreme Court decision not only changes the definition of marriage, but takes from the states and their citizens the longstanding authority to vote and decide what marriage means. To the Tennessee citizen who asks ‘Don't we get a chance to vote on this in some way?' the answer from the Supreme Court is a resounding, ‘No, you do not.' For the Court to tell all Tennesseans that they have no voice, no right to vote, on these issues is disappointing. The Court, nevertheless, has spoken and we respect its decision. Our office is prepared to work with the Governor and the General Assembly, as needed, to take the necessary steps to implement the decision.”

U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

“Today's Supreme Court decision is a disappointment. I have always supported traditional marriage. Despite this decision, no one can overrule the truth about what marriage actually is -- a sacred institution between a man and a woman. I have always believed marriage is between one man and one woman and I will continue to work to ensure our religious beliefs are protected and people of faith are not punished for their beliefs.”

U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN)

“I hope today's Supreme Court ruling can put this issue to rest and that the Tennessee General Assembly does not attempt to thwart or undermine the ruling by passing legislation making it more difficult for Memphians like Ijpe DeKoe and Thom Kostura to exercise their constitutional rights. As the Supreme Court has now said, denial of marriage rights is clearly a denial of equal protection, regardless of its effectiveness as a means to score political points at the expense of yet another minority group. As we have seen today, courage and justice always overcome cowardice and prejudice.”

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (TN)

"The Supreme Court today issued an unfortunate and fundamentally wrong opinion. In 2006, not even a decade ago, over 80% of Tennessee voters issued a strong mandate in favor of traditional marriage. Today, the Supreme Court declared that mandate null and void.

"While the Supreme Court did not stand up for traditional marriage, this decision does not end the institution. The federal government may have the ability to force Tennessee to recognize same-sex unions but it cannot and will not change the hearts and minds of conservatives and traditionalists in Tennessee and elsewhere.

"In the communities and churches across this state, the true definition of marriage, a union of one man and one woman, still lives and breathes. It is an eternal truth that no law or government can truly alter."

U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN)

“Love and equality win. I'm glad the Supreme Court ruled on the right side of history.”

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)

"Although I support the ability of our citizens to define marriage in Tennessee, the Court has ruled that states must grant same-sex marriages, and going forward, I hope we continue to ensure the religious beliefs of all Americans are respected."

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes

“Tennesseans overwhelmingly voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman. If a change was to be made, it should have been allowed to play out through the democratic process but, unfortunately, today's judicial activism short-circuits that ability. While this has long been pushed by the Democrats' agenda, the issue is far from settled."

David Fowler, the President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee

"Today a handful of Americans on the Court have stripped the people of the freedom to democratically address the meaning and role of society's most fundamental institution, marriage. The majority have arrogantly said they are not only smarter than the 50 million Americans who have voted to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but also millions of human beings over thousands of years across the entire globe."

Pastor Dale Walker, President of the Tennessee Pastors Network

“This landmark decision had deep biblical, historical and constitutional roots, and unfortunately, our justices chose to redefine marriage for the entire nation, ignoring other constitutional rights and opening the door to a dangerous infringement on religious liberties,” Pastor Walker said. “The fact that this issue even made it to the Supreme Court of the United States was an indictment against American Christians and against American churches. Even though some churches have sought to blend into the culture rather than change it, this ruling serves as a wake-up call for pastors and churches who are committed to being the salt and light of our society and standing up for truth.

“This is just the beginning,” Walker added, “and as the culture continues to change—and move even further away from the truth of God's Word and from our constitutional roots—it is crucial that pastors and churches know the truth, speak the truth and live the truth, doing all they can to preserve God's Word and protect the religious liberties of Christians across the nation.”

Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini

“With today's decision we see that love and respect has triumphed and we rejoice knowing that every person has the right to marry the person they love. Today is a day that Democrats celebrate with those couples as they build strong families while securing a future for themselves, in Tennessee and across our nation.”

Tennessee House Democrats

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS)

“I have always believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman, a belief shared by many Americans. There are people who hold strong views on both sides of this issue, and reasonable people can respectfully disagree. I will continue to work to protect the First Amendment rights of those who, based on their religious convictions, oppose same-sex marriage.”

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus

“The Supreme Court failed to recognize the states' constitutional role in setting marriage policy, instead finding a federal role where there is none. In doing so, they have taken power away from the states and from the people to settle the relevant issues for themselves.

“Even though the Supreme Court has spoken with finality, there remains a diversity of opinions about marriage policy—from those celebrating today's ruling to those concerned about the constitutional balance of power.

“As a Party, we believe in the importance of traditional marriage between a man and a woman and remain committed to finding common ground to champion the family's role in society. Marriage is critically important to strengthening our country and our communities. Likewise, we will remain champions of religious liberty. 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. We should respect the sincerely held religious views of our fellow citizens, just as we respect those on the winning side of this case.”

Governor Rick Perry (R-TX)

"I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I'm a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment. Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written."

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