Following Justice Anthony Kennedy’s stay on a “gay marriage” court decision in Idaho, marriage advocates are imploring the Supreme Court to reject the judicial redefinition of marriage. “Justice Kennedy’s order further demonstrates that the Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the marriage cases earlier this week is far from the final answer on this important issue,” said Kellie Fiedorek of the legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom. The ruling came after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down marriage laws in Idaho and Nevada on Tuesday, making same-sex “marriage” legal in both states. Clerks were set to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday when Justice Kennedy granted the state of Idaho’s emergency appeal to stay the decision. Kennedy’s decision varies from the Supreme Court’s Monday refusal to hear appeals from five states seeking to reverse lower court decisions that struck down marriage laws recognizing marriage as a union of a man and a woman. Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, praised Justice Kennedy’s decision but emphasized that the high court must hear the cases where state marriage laws were struck down by the lower courts. “We once again call upon the U.S. Supreme Court to decide this issue,” he insisted. “They abdicated their responsibility to the American people earlier in the week and we hope that Justice Kennedy’s action will result in the Supreme Court hearing the issue and ultimately deciding that states have the right to preserve marriage in the law as it has existed in reality since long before the nation was founded — the union of one man and one woman.” The requests came after leaders of the U.S. bishops’ conference expressed serious disappointment with the Supreme Court not taking up the issue earlier in the week. “The Supreme Court’s action fails to resolve immediately the injustice of marriage redefinition, and therefore should be of grave concern to our entire nation,” read a statement by Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco. Bishop Malone chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth. Archbishop Cordileone heads the bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. The Supreme Court should decide the issue because multiple marriage cases are moving up through the federal appeals courts, Fiedorek advised. “Several federal courts—including those in the 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, and 11th circuits—still have cases working their way up to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court is consistent with its past decisions affirming the authority of states over marriage, it will uphold the people’s freedom to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Fiedorek said.
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