The Implications of the Obergefell Decision for Constitutional and Human Rights

As a Christian and as a human rights/global justice advocate, I am concerned with a range of issues – war, oppression, disparity, discrimination, etc. Indeed, G.L.O.B.A.L Justice was launched nearly a year ago to help address the severe situations and conditions affecting so many people in so many regions around the world. While I have studied, researched, taught, and advocated for 30 years on human rights efforts such as alleviating poverty, improving child survival, addressing global health and global violence, etc, I did not grapple as deeply with the issue of same sex rights. I considered same sex issues as private, personal concerns more than as broader, societal concerns. Certainly many gay and lesbian individuals have faced societal adversity throughout the years, especially from those who have inflicted hateful acts against them. But outside of those instances of adversity, the same sex rights cause was starkly different than the human rights causes historically and presently around the global. The type of wide scale oppression, stark disparities, and severe violence inflicted by governments, groups, and individuals, such as in human trafficking and terrorism, were of greater severity and immediacy from an advocacy perspective.

The United States Supreme Court Makes a Far-Reaching Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

On June 26, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. This is a far-reaching case which will have a significant impact on nonprofit organizations for years to come. The following are initial impressions, with much more to come in the coming months.

Conservatives Should Attack Obergefell’s Interpretive Method, Not Its Hijacking of the Democratic Process

Almost three months after the dust from Obergefell has settled, one thing is clear: conservatives are crying foul primarily over Obergefell’s usurpation of the democratic process. The “debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best,” we are told, and the majority in Obergefell was dead wrong to end it. This was Obergefell’s cardinal sin from the conservative perspective.