Faith leaders demand that liberal justices sit out gay marriage case

Supreme Court, Same Sex Marriage, Equal Rights
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Religious leaders are calling on members of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing to recuse themselves from the blockbuster gay marriage case that the court will begin considering on Tuesday.

Standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, told reporters he’s filing a motion with the Supreme Court calling for the recusal of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.

{mosads}“Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, knowing full well that unique legal issues regarding the definition of marriage would soon come before them, deliberately officiated at so-called homosexual wedding ceremonies creating not merely the appearance of bias, but an actual and blatant conflict of interest,” he said.

“In my personal view they have committed an unparalleled breach of judicial ethics by elevating the importance of their own favored political cause of gay rights above the integrity of the court and of our nation.”

The case before the court, known as Obergefell v. Hodges, stems from a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky. The court has grouped the appeals from the couples in the four states together and will hear two and a half hours of arguments Tuesday morning, 90 minutes more than the court typically allows.

In their rulings, the justices will seek to answer whether states are required to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and whether states have to recognize same-sex marriage licenses from other states under the 14th Amendment.

Lively said Kagan and Ginsburg’s “vividly demonstrated disposition” in favor of the same-sex couples shows they are unable to render a fair judgment.

He and more than a dozen leaders of anti-gay-marriage groups stood behind a wall of empty cardboard filing boxes stacked on the steps of the court on Monday morning.

The boxes — 60 in all — were there to “symbolically” represent 300,000 restraining orders that Faith2Action President Janet Porter said will be delivered to the Supreme Court and to Congress to keep the justices from ruling on gay marriage.

“We have appealed to Congress to restrain the judges, and the good news is Congress has heard our cry,” Porter said.

Last week, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced the Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015, which would remove jurisdiction to rule on gay marriage from federal courts. In the Senate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has introduced The Protect Marriage from the Courts Act, which would also limit the federal courts’ jurisdiction to consider same-sex marriage cases. 

“Congress has the ability to remove appellate jurisdiction,” Porter said. “What that means is, we can actually take from them their right to rule on marriage before they even rule on marriage.”

During the press conference, Larry Sternbane, 51, stood quietly back behind the crowd holding a sign that read, “Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get gay married.”

“This right here is the last gasp of a group that is losing this issue in the public square,” he said. “They are talking to themselves. There are a bunch of tourists listening, and the only ones clapping when somebody ends is them.”

Tags Elena Kagan Government Judge Law LGBT community Same-sex marriage Social Issues Supreme Court of Canada Supreme Court of the United States Ted Cruz
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