SCOTUS Same-sex Marriage Ruling Has Implications for Ministry Organizations

Faith-based Organizations Need Action Plan for Challenges

As fallout from the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage is beginning, faith-based organizations are starting to come to grips with the ruling’s ramifications.rings2

The Alliance Defending Freedom offers two key takeaways from the ruling.

  1. The Supreme Court said nothing good or bad about same-sex marriage. While the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) “struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),” oddly, they failed to offer a “constitutional right to same-sex marriage.” The court also did not establish same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue.
  2. The way in which DOMA was struck down enhances the danger to your (already threatened) religious freedom. Justice Anthony Kennedy implied in his opinion that the 1996 DOMA passed by President Clinton and Congress was intended to create bias towards couples in same-sex relationships. Kennedy’s interpretation is trouble, with its implication that anyone opposed to same-sex marriage could be a target for future lawsuits.

Here are some other helpful tips:

  • Your best immediate action plan is to confer with your organization’s general counsel to get his or her understanding of how this ruling applies to your mission.
  • Share that information with your board of directors and employees. At some point, you may want to inform your donors.
  • A media outlet is likely to ask for your organization’s position on same-sex marriage. InChrist Communications recommends you prepare that statement now and practice being interviewed.
  • Beyond a statement, what’s your plan if a group or individual targets your organization with a full assault? Nothing seems to be off limits when considering that a gay man in Michigan is suing publishers for using the word “homosexual” in their Bible translations.

InChrist Communications stands ready to assist your organization in drafting media statements, media training or Crisis Communications planning and execution. Click here to request a free strategy session.


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